Summer 2019 is officially upon us and soon enough the activities will begin.
With the little ones slowly but surely beginning to finish school for the summer, parents will have to get thinking on just how to get them out of the house and active.
Many will be considering how to do this without breaking the bank too, so we’ve taken the time to come up with the ultimate guide to summer in Merseyside – including free and cheap activities too.
Here’s everything you need to know for summer 2019 in Liverpool, Wirral and beyond:
Returning for its fifth year, Calderstones Beach returns this summer from July 13 to September 1.
The hugely popular attraction will have plenty of sand, decking and deck chairs to go around, along with water canoes, bungee trampolines and a range of funfair rides.
This year, visitors can also expect the return of the Runaway Train roller coaster and the much-loved Twister.
Calderstones Beach also offers Autism and Disability friendly sessions throughout the summer.
Where: Calderstones Rd, Liverpool L18 3JD
Price: Free entry, rides are paid for in tokens
The Shaun the Sheep experience
The UK’s first permanent Shaun the Sheep farm attraction has launches at Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm just in time for summer.
Taking up two of the six acres at Farmer Ted’s, the attraction gives families the opportunity to meet their favourite characters.
Themed activities include Bitzer’s Kinetic Club House, Hog Splash and Moley Moley, along with a village fete called Mossy Bottom Crafts where kids can get creative and make their own masks, bunting, and cut-outs of their favourite characters.
Where: Worrall House Farm Larder, Flatman’s Ln, Ormskirk L39 7HW
Price: £10.50 per adult, £13.23 per child, £7.75 per under 3, babies under 1 go free. Prices include entry to the entire Farmer Ted’s Adventure Farm.
Liverpool Indoor funfair
The popular Liverpool Indoor Funfair is returning to the Exhibition Centre this summer from August 23 to September 1.
The funfair will be packed with fairground favourites, including a 200ft long inflatable obstacle course named Energiser, two mini roller coasters, a huge inflatable slide and a 3D Experience Zone.
Where: King’s Dock, Port of Liverpool, Liverpool L3 4FP
Price: £10 including unlimited rides, spectators cost £2 while under 3s go free.
Apple Jack’s Adventure Farm
Apple Jacks Adventure Farm is always a popular choice for parents during the summer holidays and this year will be no different.
The farm offers all kinds of activities from zip wires and crazy golf to drop slides, play frames and even an undercover hay bale hill.
Where: Stretton Rd, Appleton, Warrington WA4 4NW
Price: Tickets start from £11 per person, with children under 90cm going free
Luna Kids Cinema at Tatton Park
Luna Cinema takes over Tatton Park this summer with a whole host of kids’ films from July 23 to 28.
The Luna Kids Bar will be on-site serving up a range of soft drinks, healthy juices, and water, while the Big Kids Bar will serve chilled prosecco, wine and hot drinks.
Films on show include The Incredibles 2, Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun, Moana, Spider-Man: In to the Spiderverse, The Gruffalo, Highway Rat, Zog, Finding Dory, and many many more.
For full details visit www.lunakidscinema.com.
Where: Tatton Park Gardens, Mereheath Dr, Knutsford WA16 6SG
Price: £13 per adult, £8 per child, £8.75 per family, under 3s go free
Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm
Situated on Bidston Hill, Tam O’Shanter is perfect for getting a countryside experience close to home.
The farm allows families to get up close with various animals including pigs, sheep, goats, chickens and geese.
Tam O’Shanter is the perfect place to start a family day, while nearby walks at Bidston Hill and Flaybrick means you can make it a full day out in nature.
Where: Boundary Rd, Birkenhead, Prenton CH43 7PD
Price: Admission is free but donations are welcome
BBC Summer Social
The BBC Summer Social is back at Croxteth Park this August with a huge line up including Busted, Pixie Lott, John Newman and Nina Nesbitt.
The lineup also features favourites Mr Tumble, Andy and the Odd Socks, Dr Ranj and Hey Duggee.
There’ll also be junior discos, gaming areas, character walkabouts and much more.
The family event will run from August 3 to 4.
Where: Croxteth Hall and Country Park, L11 1EH
Price: £23.50 per person, under 2s go free
Giant bionic bugs are heading to WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre this summer from July 20 to September 1.
Families can explore the state of the art animatronic bugs, including a 6ft long dragonfly, a 4ft buzzing bee, and a 6ft long grasshopper.
Visitors can even take the time to explore the other attractions at Martin Mere, including the Canoe Safari, Boat Tour, and the World’s Largest Bug Hotel.
Where: WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough, Ormskirk L40 0TA
Price: £6.25 per child, £11.70, under 4s go free
This summer Chester Zoo has welcomed its new Predators exhibition, which features giant animals such as sharks, a dire wolf, and even life-sized dinosaurs.
The largest life-like robot models at the zoo this summer is the megalodon, a giant species of shark which has been extinct for more than two million years and has a mouth the size of a car.
The exhibition showcases more than 200 million years of history and runs until September 8.
Where: Chester Zoo, Cheshire, CH2 1EU
Price: Prices vary day to day so it’s worth checking the Chester Zoo website ahead of time
Back for its second event, Teach Rex is returning to Camp and Furnace on August 28.
The unique interactive dinosaur experience will give families the chance to discover more about their favourite prehistoric creatures.
Teach Rex guides guests through the evolution of the Tyrannosaurus Rex and its anatomy – with the help of some special T-Rex guests.
Families can also enjoy a ‘dino disco’, and even interact with the animatronic dinosaurs at the end of the show.
Where: 67 Greenland St, Liverpool L1 0BY
Price: Tickets start from £7.50 per child
Mermaids at Sea Life
Mermaids will be swimming with turtles, stingrays and sharks this summer as they dive in to Sea Life at the Trafford Centre.
Families will be able to catch a glimpse of the mythical creatures as they swim, and even watch as the mermaids interact using sign language.
The mermaids will be visiting the Trafford centre on different dates throughout the year, including July 13 – 14, August 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; October 12 -13; November 9 – 10 and December 7- 8.
Where: Barton Square intu Trafford Centre M17 8AS
Price: Tickets start from £11.95 if bought online
Sefton Park’s Palm House will be taken over by pirates this summer in a huge party hosted by infamous swashbucklers Blunderbuss and Badger.
Children will be able to learn sea shanties along with actions while also gaining some insight into how pirates used to live, including the weapons they used and even what they would eat for dinner.
Kids who are fans of adventure will be able to take part in a treasure hunt with special guest, Peter Pan.
The party takes place on Tuesday, August 6.
Where: Sefton Park Palm House, L17 1AP
Price: Tickets range from £2.50 to £5.50.
Hoylake Live Summerfest
Returning for its second year, Hoylake Live Summerfest returns to the streets and venues of Hoylake on Saturday, July 27.
Families can expect a range of activities and more than 50 stalls that will include food vendors, arts and crafts, fashion and face-painting.
There’ll also be a huge children’s play area consisting of a nerf gun arena, zorb balls and a 130ft assault course.
Where: Venues across Hoylake
Families can attend a magical princess party this summer – and it’s at Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm.
On July 27 and 28, families can head to the popular farm to enjoy party sessions filled with face painting, arts and crafts, sing-a-long sessions, hot chocolate and story time in a cosy teepee.
There will be four sessions each day for families to make the most of, from princess fun to exploring the urban farm.
Where: Boundary Rd, Birkenhead, Prenton CH43 7PD
Price: Tickets start from £21.
Floating cinema at the Albert Dock
Liverpool is welcoming its first ever floating cinema this summer at the Royal Albert Dock.
The cinema will take place on the dock’s floating pontoon, where will it screen a range of family-friendly films.
Family screenings throughout the day from August 4 – 10 include Finding Nemo, Shark Tale, Lady and the Tramp, Matilda, and Jumanji.
Where: The Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AA
Price: £8.80 per child, £15.40 per adult
Croxteth Park is hosting a summer festival this month featuring The Human League and The Real Thing.
Let’s Rock is aimed at the whole family, with free entry for children aged 12 and under.
To keep the little ones entertained there is a Kids’ Kingdom area with an interactive circus, face painting, inflatables and much more.
The festival takes place on Saturday, July 27.
Where: Croxteth Hall and Country Park, L11 1EH
Price: Tickets start from £30 per adult.
Outdoor cinema at Aintree Racecourse
Aintree Racecourse will be taken over by Slip N Slide events this summer to bring an outdoor cinema to Liverpool.
The screenings confirmed for Aintree Racecourse this summer are Bohemian Rhapsody on Saturday August, 3 and The Greatest Showman on Sunday August 4, from 7pm until 11pm.
There will also be food stalls, snack vendors and a bar available.
Where: Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Rd, Liverpool L9 5AS
Price: Tickets start from £16.16.
Mini golf at Otterspool Adventure
Otterspool Adventure recently revealed its brand new adventure golf course, which features a raft ride, woodland characters, a hobbit house and rocky tunnel.
Along with playing a round of golf, families can enjoy the Racing Ranger and Mini Quad Bikes courses, the inflatable obstacle course and try their hands at the Volvo diggers.
Where: 37 Otterspool Dr, Liverpool L17 5AL
Price: During peak times prices start from £8 per child, £4 per toddler, £4 per adult and under 1s go free
Inflatable theme parks
Inflation Liverpool, based in Bootle, launches its second location this summer on July 20.
The new venue, Inflation Wirral, is based at Upton Hall School and features a 300 square metre arena with an assault course, maze, slides, basketball, climbing walls and more.
Inflation Wirral is open seven days a week throughout the summer holidays, from 9am – 6pm.
Inflation Liverpool offers more than 12 different inflatables including soccer darts, gladiator duel, assault courses, basketball and football shooters.
Where: Activity For All, Maguire Avenue, Liverpool, L20 9PQ/ Upton Hall School, 61 Moreton Rd, Birkenhead, CH49 6LJ
Price: Prices vary so it is best to check the Activity for All website.
Liverpool’s much-loved Tudor house will host a range of summer activities this year, including archery, crafts, yoga and sports sessions.
This summer will be Speke Hall’s Summer of Sport, with fun and games like football, tennis and archery planned every week of the summer holidays.
Where: The Walk, Speke, Liverpool L24 1XD
Price: Free, but admission fees apply
The Crocky Trail
There’s nothing better than spending the day taking on challenges to defy gravity on scary slides and wheels of wonder – and you can do all of that and more at The Crocky Trail.
Families can make their way along the mile long Crocky Trail, which winds its way through fields and trees, and passes over the Crocky stream.
Where: Cotton Abbotts, Waverton, Chester, CH3 7PH
Price: £10 per adult, £15 per child, under 5s go free
Families can take up a new hobby this summer at Artemis Academy – combat archery.
The attraction, based in Aintree, offers customers a 10,000 sqft battle arena, along with castles and interactive bunked using in the games, and one of the largest collections of Nerf gins in the UK.
Combat Archery, similar to paintball , offers the chance for teams to battle it out in an elimination-style format, using recurve bows and head masks with 360 degree protection.
Artemis Academy also offers Nerf Wars, an experience that sees teams pitted against each other in the battle arena using an array of Nerf weapons and ammunition.
Where: Barclays Business Centre, Unit 19 Second, Brookfield Dr, Liverpool L9 7AU
Price: Nerf Wars costs £10 per person, Combat Archery costs £15 per person
Back for its fifth year, Kids Fest is a completely free, community fun day.
There will be a whole host of entertainment, including a dance competition, funfair rides – and a few surprises too.
The event is set to take place on August 18.
Where: Stanley Park, Walton Ln, Liverpool L4 2SL
The Ice Cream Farm
There’s nothing better than ice cream on a hot summer’s day, so The Ice Cream Farm in Cheshire is the perfect place.
The farm features the world’s largest ice cream shop, a miniature golf course, Europe’s largest indoor sand and water play, and even a go-kart track.
Where: Drumlan Hall Farm, Newton Ln, Tattenhall, Chester CH3 9NE
Price: Entry to the farm is free, and activities cost between £1 and £4.50
Museums across Liverpool are hosting events throughout the summer, including storytelling, craft sessions, toddler times and film screenings.
The Maritime Museum will host a screening of The Pirates! In an Adventure… on July 21, while visitors can take part in fun interactive treasure hunts around the Museum of Liverpool on July 24.
Visit the Liverpool Museums website for the full list of events this summer.
Where: Liverpool museums
Treasures and Castles
Families can explore Formby beach in a whole new way this summer as part of the Treasures and Castles events.
Little ones can collect treasures along the way and parents can make plenty of memories as they take in the shore.
The event takes place twice throughout the summer, on July 24 and August 23.
Where: Victoria Rd, Formby, Liverpool L37 1LJ
Fun1stFootball and Y-Sports are hosting a football festival and funfair at Hinterlands this month.
The event will include a range of football attractions, freestylers and FIFA competitions so there is something for everyone.
On-site there will be a a food truck, pic n mix carts and a bar, along with DJ sets throughout the day.
Where: Hinterlands, 7 Mann St, Liverpool L8 5AF
Price: Free to spectators, or £17.50 for an unlimited access wristband
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