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Things to do with kids in the Summer Holidays
20 Jul 2023

And just like that the summer holidays are upon us! My Shrewsbury comes to the rescue with a bumper guide to help the weeks fly by. Whether it’s raining or you’re tight on pennies, this is your cheat sheet to combat holiday boredom. Pictured: Shropshire Petal Fields, near Newport, opening to the public for the first time this summer.

Outdoor Events

There seems to be more taking place in the great outdoors this summer than ever before. Don’t forget some of our local big festivals offer fun for all the family. Coming up there’s Shrewsbury Flower Show at the Quarry (August 11th and 12th) and Shrewsbury Folk Festival at the West Mid Showground (August 25th – 28th) and Shrewsbury Steam Rally (August 27th - 28th) at Onslow Park. And if flowers, folk music and steam power aren't your thing, there’s Shrewsbury Dog Show for your pooch-loving youngsters (August 27th).

dog show

The Romans Return at Wroxeter Roman City will transport families back in time with the sights and smells of Roman encampment (August 5th and 6th). You can even sign little ones up for Gladiator school!

Live Performances (Outdoors)

Castle

Shrewsbury Castle is hosting an open-air theatre season. There’s lots in store with classic stories and family favourites.

On Sunday, July 23rd you can join Princess Beauty, The Snow Queen, and The Tower Princess for a Princess Picnic at the Castle. You bring the picnic and they’ll provide the songs and dancing.

There are evening performances for families that can stay up past 7pm, with Robin Hood from the Three Inch Fools (July 27th), and Romeo and Juliet from Lord Chamberlain's Men, which will be performed as it was originally with an all-male cast (August 1st and 2nd).

Robin Hood

Immersion Theatre is showcasing its adaptation of The Wizard of Oz (Thursday, August 10th) and Twelfth Night (Sunday, August 13th).

Quantum Theatre has a brand new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows on Thursday, August 17th with Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr Toad in tow.

Finally, ReachOut Theatre Company will perform A Very Royal Tea Party in celebration of the King's Coronation Year (Thursday, August 31st). Find out if the King of England will join Alice and her wonderful friends.

Live Performances (Indoors)

If the idea of relying on a warm, dry summer’s evening for entertainment is too unnerving, then our local theatre groups are here to help with shows at Theatre Seven.

Curtain Call will be performing Shrek The Musical Jr (July 28th - 30th). Shrek and his fairy tale misfit friends will embark on a journey to rescue a princess but they end up finding self-acceptance along the way.

Following the smash hit West End production and film, Get Your Wigle On is bringing Matilda The Musical Jr and Tim Minchin’s fabulous songs to Shrewsbury’s stage (August 3rd and 4th).

Matilda the Musical Jr

Holiday Fun at Attingham

Attingham Park has a ‘Summer of Play’ throughout the holidays with an ever-changing calendar of events, which include their straw bales fort and outdoor theatre with 'Squirrel Walnutkins Saves the Planet'. On Saturday mornings in August, their Mansion will be open for SEN (Special Educational Need) relaxed sessions from 10am - 10.45am. Find out more here.

Squirrel Walnutkins 

Rain-proof ideas

Just about every child in Shropshire is talking about the Elemental and Barbie films – and luckily for you, The Old Market Hall is showing both. Elemental (PG) follows the story of unlikely pair, fire element Ember and water element Wade, who meet and fall in love against all the odds (August 14th – 24th).

Barbie (12A) with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling is showing August 18th – 24th. Find out if the marketing hype lives up to the film (there’s a parent and baby showing on August 21st).

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (PG) shows from August 25 – 31.

Every Saturday evening Shrewsbury Sports Village hosts Skaters Club. It’s a roller disco for beginners to pro skaters, and skates are available to hire.

Skating

If you have a princess-loving little one, then The Buttermarket has just the thing. On Sunday, July 30th, there’s a Princess Party, with Ariel and Belle singalongs. They have added an extra performance due to demand. On Sunday, August 13th you’re encouraged to let it go and join in the singalong, with a Frozen Party from Elsa and Anna.

On Friday, August 4th join local storyteller Jake Evans at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery for a mammoth-themed storytelling session for everyone aged 3+.

For Crafty Art Lovers

The Space on Coleham is holding craft workshops throughout the summer holidays. Themes include oceans, comics and space. 

There is Summer Fun Messy Play at Bayston Hill Memorial Hall (August 26th) for ages 6 months to 5 years, learning all about holidays, the beach and under the sea.

On August 8th Abakhan Shrewsbury is hosting a Children's Holiday Sewing Club for 6-12 year olds. Their talented tutor will get kids into sewing and making their own creations, as well as using a sewing machine.

Sewing club

Shrewsbury Museum is hosting family-friendly art workshops for children with SEND. The I-Gnition Art Workshops are taking place on July 25th and August 8th.

Look out for Bloom Art Studio, in Coleham, listing their holiday clubs here.

Bloom

Or why not while away a couple of hours at Shrewsbury’s pottery painting studio, Splat and Splodge.

Ideas that won’t cost you a penny...

There’s still time to take in the amazing Shrewsbury Arts Trail, with some incredible exhibitions which will spark young imaginations. Don’t miss the opportunity to view works by Salvador Dali and Jacob Chandler.

Dali

The Parade Shops has lined up 6 weeks of free summer events. The list features Corner Exotics on July 26th, Jakes Evans Storyteller on August 2nd, Fun Science on August 9th, PJ The Showman on August 16th, Circus Sensible on August 23rd, and Biscuit Decorating on August 30th. 

It’s easy to get complacent about visiting Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery – but remember it is free to visit as many times as you like over the holidays (donations welcome). It’s a gorgeous space, with plenty of interactive exhibits to keep young minds amused.

SM&AG is holding a free Drawn! Workshop on August 3rd where you can enjoy a fun mix of drawing, collage and printmaking. Places need to be booked with cheriejerrard@gmail.com.

Another great free activity is taking a stroll around the town centre and spotting the colourful mini murals painted on the Openreach Boxes, or following the new Heritage Trail to get a better grasp of local history (pick up a copy from the Shrewsbury Visitor Information Centre at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery). 

murals

Dobbies has a free Little Seedlings Club workshop - Summer Loving Gardens in August. The workshop covers which plants love the sun, how they adapt to hot weather and how to protect our gardens in the sun.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust has events throughout the summer. Explore the Shore at The Cut on 27th July with the Shropshire Love Nature Festival.

Shrewsbury Library is open Monday to Saturday. This summer they have a Summer Reading Challenge. Pick up a starter pack in the library anytime and kids can start collecting rewards for reading.

When the sun is shining, grab your picnic and head to the Quarry. We would suggest promising a visit to the play area after a wander round The Dingle. And don’t forget their swimsuit or trunks for the Splash Park – the best place for kids to cool down and use up unspent energy!

splash park

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings have knocked it out of the park this summer with fun, free activities where you can learn all about the grandparent of the modern skyscraper. Kids go free to The Mill exhibition during the summer holidays. They have some free activities too, with their I Spy Adventure activity trails around the site, and on selected dates visual artist Jamila Walker is leading a free photography and drawing scavenger hunt, plus, every Thursday throughout the holidays there are science and engineering drop-in hands-on sessions. Find out more here.

Flaxmill

And if the weather takes a turn for the worse, head to The Darwin Centre for their free-to-use soft play area – Darwin’s Den. Handily opposite the toilets!

Anytime ideas

There are lots of lovely places to visit any time in the holidays. You might fancy a boat trip on the Sabrina or a boardgame session in Nerdy Coffee Co. (now Nerdy 2.0) Shrewsbury’s cat café, Paws Café, has Cats & Crafts sessions during the summer – but there are only a few spaces remaining!

Paws Cafe

Not limited to the summer holidays, but always popular for family days out in Shrewsbury, you could visit the Climbing Hut, Jump In, Cineworld and Hollywood Bowl

Further afield

As always, Park Hall Countryside Experience has lined up a whole summer of fun at their farm attraction in Oswestry. Their maise maze is open all summer and each week they’ll hold a different themed event with dinosaur week, pirates and princesses week, science week, animal magic week, and bop and pop week. As well as the activities, you can meet the animals, visit the museums, and enjoy lots of indoor and outdoor play areas.

Park Hall

Shropshire Petal Fields opens in Newport from August 4th until 13th daily. Petal confetti business, Shropshire Petals are giving visitors exclusive access to a field usually reserved for petal confetti production, and Shropshire Festivals are turning it into a visitor attraction with a Wild Woodland Walk, onsite café, and extra fun. The flower field is open for a limited time while the flowers are in bloom, with delphiniums, sunflowers, cornflowers, and wildflowers providing the perfect photo backdrop for your next family photo.

Flower Field

You can learn to be a dragon trainer at Hawkstone Park Follies or follow the Zog activity trail at Haughmond Hill for fun in the fresh air with little ones.

Camp Bestival returns to Weston Park (August 17th – 20th). This year there’s a new lake, new water sports, a circus area, and a roller disco.

Bestival

Celebrate Blists Hill Victorian Town's 50th birthday (August 26th). For one night the site will be transformed into a 70s Summer Party, with ABBA Sensation and Hot to Trot providing the music, plus street food, a Babycham bar, vintage games, having a go at craft activities, and a Victorian Seaside Experience.

If you’re still stuck for ideas, then why not sign up for our In The Loop newsletter to keep up to date with all the latest events and offers in the town.