Top 10 Things to Do with the Kids this Summer
It’s safe to say that Summer has officially arrived in Suffolk, and isn’t it just glorious! If you’re holidaying in the county as a family, this is truly the best time to get stuck in to all the fantastic activities on offer. To make your holiday truly unforgettable, get stuck into our top 10 recommendations, perfect for all the family.
Build a sandcastle at Southwold
If you’re heading to Suffolk with the kids in Summertime, Southwold should be one of your first ports of call. The quaint seaside town has been awarded a Blue Flag, a Quality Coast Award and is Marine Conservation Recommended, so you can rest assured that both the water and the wonderful sandy shores are clean. Lifeguards monitor the waters, making the beach a safe place for both you and the children.
The beach itself is lined with adorable, colourful beach huts in various cheerful hues, and the traditional pier has all the usual amusements, a restaurant and an excellent café offering a child-friendly menu. One of the finest seaside towns not only in Suffolk but arguably the country.
Travel back to the Anglo Saxon era at Sutton Hoo
If you have a budding archaeologist in the family (or if you yourself are a bit of a history buff), you really must visit Sutton Hoo when you’re holidaying in Suffolk. A hugely significant national site, the burial site is one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time, thought to house the grave of the Anglo Saxon King Raedwalk of the East Angles. The discoveries made here have been significant in helping historians to understand how our ancestors once lived.
The children will love the exhibition hall and visitors centre – they can dress up in Saxon costume, follow the estate trails, play in the outdoor play area and take a burial ground tour through the 91 hectares of woodland. There are always plenty of events on, too – a variety of workshops available suitable for all ages.
Take them crabbing at Walberswick
A famous pastime of the county, if you’re in Suffolk you really must go crabbing! Walberswick, a pretty village on the south bank of the River Blyth, is a mere ferry ride across from Southwold. In years past it was the host of The British Open Crabbing Championship, last held in August 2010 – the event is no longer held but nonetheless it does not stop the village being a crabbing haven.
Take a picnic and relax on the glorious sandy beach whilst the kids head to the harbour and get involved with the local sport. Make sure to pack some bacon – the crabs love it! End the day in the fantastic village pub for a hearty pint and dinner whilst enjoying stunning views of the sea.
Take a bike ride through Rendlesham Forest
A 1500 hectare mixed Woodland near Woodbridge, Rendlesham Forest boasts two excellent cycle trails, one approximately 6 miles long marked in white, and another 10 miles long marked in green. Bring your own bikes or contact Suffolk Cycle Hire, who can get bikes delivered to your door for your convenience.
Near the forest car park is a picnic area where visitors can BBQ to their hearts content – perfect for fuelling up after a long ride. The forest also has two circular walks and a UFO trail, which guides visitors to the areas connected to the famous UFO sighting of December 1980. If the children still have enough energy after all those exciting activities, let them tire themselves out in the play area, featuring a climbing wall, obstacle course, tube slide and zip line!
Go boating on Thorpeness Meare
If you’re looking for a perfect day out to rival any fairy-tale trip, look no further than the quaint Suffolk coastal village of Thorpeness – more specifically the meare. In the 1900s, Thorpeness was transformed into a holiday village, with Peter Pan islands in the lake, a 70ft fairytale cottage on stilts and mock-tudor homes.
For a magical day out, we recommend hiring a rowing boat on The Meare – why not take a picnic and row out to one of the many Peter-Pan themed islands? The children will love playing in Wendy’s playhouse! The Meare is also just a short walk from Thorpeness beach, where children can paddle in the waves.
Go to the Farm
If your kids don’t often get the chance to visit a farm or experience the joys of countryside life, then Suffolk is the perfect place! The county has several farms on offer, so you certainly will be spoilt for choice.
Easton Farm Park sits on the edge of the beautiful Victorian village of Easton. It is an interactive farm and perfect for families with young children. Included in the entrance price are activities such as pony rides, train rides, hug-a-bunny, and more!
Alternatively, Jimmy's Farm, of TV fame, offers a fun day out for the family, with nature trails and an adventure playground.
For something a little bit different, and traditionally Suffolk, visit The Suffolk Punch Trust Colony Stud Farm in Hollesley, near Woodbridge. See the horses and yearlings, rare Large Black Pigs, Red Poll Cattle and Suffolk Sheep!
To the zoo!
North Suffolk is home to both Africa Alive! and the Oasis Camel Centre. Africa Alive is a walking safari in Kessingland, set in 100 acres of land, featuring ‘Plains of Africa’, ‘Kingdom of the Lion’ and ‘Lemur Encounters’.
The Camel Park in Linstead offers cuddle-a-pet sessions and Keeper-For-The-Day experiences. There are several children’s play areas on site. There are restaurants and ‘Snack Shacks’ on site, but you are also welcome to bring your own picnic.
Pick your own strawberries!
When the sun is shining and the birds are singing, what better way to spend an hour or two in the summer? Friday Street Farm in Saxmundham and Rookery Farm in Tattingstone, near Constable Country, both welcome you to fill a punnet with strawberries.
Later, get the children involved in making a strawberry tart, or get the family round the table for an afternoon tasting of cream teas with fresh clotted cream and scones!
Hire a canoe
Alton Water offers canoe and kayak hire by the hour, so you and your family can enjoy the summer weather with a splash in the reservoir. Buoyancy aids are included in the price of hire, so the kids will be nice and safe.
Closer to Aldeburgh, Iken Canoe Hire offers the same service for the upper reaches of the Alde estuary between Snape and Aldeburgh. The option of short hire (up to 2 hours), half day hire and full day hire with canoes and kayaks suitable for all skill levels, means that everyone is catered for!
Spend a day at Aldeburgh Carnival
Last but certainly not least is the Aldeburgh Carnival, an absolute must for all the family! One of the biggest summer events on the Suffolk Coast, every year Aldeburgh is transformed for its annual carnival.
The carnival takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend, but we recommend the last day of the carnival for the most fun! The day kicks off with a float parade down the high street, in which various local organisations show off their own themed floats. The sea front is full of food and craft stalls for you to enjoy at your leisure, and further south are amusement rides.