Looking for fun events in Northampton to help entertain the children during the school holidays? Or perhaps you’re just after a few ideas for fun days out in Northamptonshire for the summer holidays. I’ve just made my plans and I’m super excited, so I thought I’d share my top finds to fill the six weeks.
And if you’re thinking it’s too early to start planning, think again. Lots of events and attractions have limited numbers due to the delights of the pandemic, so tickets are in demand. Now is the time to get geeky by booking what you can and setting reminders for release dates.
Worried about another lockdown? I hear you, me too, which is why I’d highly recommend centering your trips on outdoor attractions and events, which are less likely to close.
As ever, if you have any recommendations let me know. I’ll keep an eye out too and update this post as I go along.
Family Events in Northampton for the Summer Holidays 2021
Party in the Park 2021
Abington Park is being transformed into a big party for one weekend in August (28-29th). During the day there’s a variety of children’s entertainment on offer, including birds of prey, circus workshops and a giant fairground.
The event also includes a massive rosta of tribute acts. Tickets can be brought online, with prices starting from just £5.25.
The McDougall’s Safari Adventure
Musical mayhem, lively animal characters and the chance to join in – this show is perfect for little ones. It’s taking place at The Deco in central Northampton on 11 August 2021.
Tickets start from just £6. Animal fancy dress is encouraged! You can book and find out more here.
Jurassic Earth Live 2021
Dinosaurs seem to be a hit with most kids in my experience, so no doubt this will be a popular event in Northampton. This 75-minute show is interactive and educational in an exhilarating way – just take a look below!
This event is on 13-14 August 2021 at The Deco and tickets are around the £20 mark. There are a few left at the time of writing so you’ll need to be quick.
Nerf wars, bouncy castles and a load of food – sounds like an event created by kids, right?! This crazy event is on a few different dates, with the one on 7 August 2021 falling in the school holidays. It’s at Abington Park.
Under 2s are free and older children cost £8, which includes unlimited play on the inflatables (which will surely lead to a good night’s sleep?!). Find out more here.
Summer 2021 Events in Northamptonshire and Nearby
I’m also including a few events beyond Northampton because quite frankly, some look like they’re worth the drive!
Festival of Light
Taking place in nearby Market Harborough (around 30minutes from Northampton), this festival offers fireworks, hot air balloons with night light glow show, aerobatic display team and night time helicopter pyro skydivers (yes, really!).
Tickets for age 5+ cost £10 and £20 for adults. It’s on 24 July 2021, so if you want to start your school holidays in a big way this could be the one.
Family Camping at West Lodge Farm
You can camp at this lovely farm during selected dates and your pass includes access to the farm, as well as campfire fun to toast marshmallows, a family quiz, hog roast and breakfast (with booked timeslots to minimise gatherings), family scavenger hunt and more.
This isn’t the first time West Lodge Rural Centre has organised this event and it sounds perfect for 2021. The number of pitches has been reduced, screens will be in place at pay points, timed slots for food and lots more safe measures given their current times.
Adult tickets start at £35 for one night, whilst children tickets start from £25. Be quick to secure your spot!
The Jungle Book at Knebworth House
Okay, so it’s a 90-minute drive from Northampton but it’s worth it in my opinion. Scheduled for 25-26 August 2021, little ones can watch a fun production of this classic on the Sunken Lawn.
Expect lively characters (that they can meet after the show), original music and a good dose of audience participation to keep them engaged. Bring pillows, blankets and settle in for an early evening of immersive fun.
Under 2s are free, child tickets cost £12 and adults cost £18. Find out more here: The Jungle Book
School Holidays in Northampton – Things to Do
Aside from the circuit of free things to do, like these lovely walks in Northampton and the countless playgrounds, there are some great family-friendly attractions to enjoy this summer.
Tucked away near Holcot, this lovely little farm is perfect for a local outting. See adorable pygmy goats, specialist sheep and more cuties at this spot. There’s also a playground and cafe. You can read my full review and guide here.
Castle Ashby Gardens
We’ve visited this lovely spot many times. Home to a beautiful estate, the grounds make for a lovely walk. The kids love the playground at the start of the site, as well as the menagerie further round, featuring meerkats and other fluffy friends.
Under 5s are free, over 5s cost £4.40 and adult tickets cost £10. Tickets are released 2/3 weeks in advance and need to be booked online.
Read More: Castle Ashby Gardens – All You Need to Know
Coton Manor Gardens
If you love that sort of thing, you’ll love Coton Manor Gardens too. The flamingos are what makes this place so unique.
Read More: Your Guide to Coton Manor Gardens With Kids
You can’t beat an ice cream in the sunshine, watching the planes take off and land. We love it here, not least because it’s free and you can team the visit with a trip to the nearby pocket park.
Perhaps not one for a sunny day, but one that the kids love and helps burn off that wild energy! Home to massive trampolines, foam pits and other squdigy fun things, this is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Read More: 30 Things to do in Northampton
Things to Do Within 90-Minutes of Northampton
I’m also including my favourite attractions and things to do in Northampton and just beyond.
Just in Kettering, so only around a half hour drive from Northampton, you’ll find Wickstead Park. The beauty of this place is that you don’t need to book entry tickets in advance. In fact, entry is free.
You’ll find various rides dotted about the sprawling grounds, awesome playgrounds and lots of wide open space for them to run wild. There are also a few animals to see.
We’ve been before without going on the rides, making it super cheap, but even if you just go on a few it’s very reasonably priced. You can buy wristbands (£17 for children) or ride tickets (£2.50) on arrival, but annoyingly not online.
Worried about an English summer? Try these rainy day things to do in Northampton
During the summer holidays children can enjoy the Zog adventure trail here in the castle grounds. My two (3 and 5) are beyond excited to follow in Zog’s footsteps!
Children collect a stamp for every task they complete, from roaring to flying, just like the tasks in the story. There are five to collect and best of all, your day ticket includes this fun. Yes, no extra costs – winning!
Warwick Castle is a firm favourite with mine. They loved it when we stayed overnight in the Knight’s Village and the various events we’ve seen there. When I asked them what they wanted to do in the summer holidays this was one of their top choices, so I can’t wait to take them back.
You can book online now for the summer holidays and Zog will be there throughout.
Tickets cost around £22 per adult and children over age 3. Under 3s are free. It’s just under an hour from Northampton.
If you fancy a visit to a castle, but have exhausted Warwick or want a cheaper option try Kenilworth Castle. It’s 50-minutes from Northampton.
It offers an Elizabethan garden, medieval towers, a castle keep and lots more to explore.
Adult entry costs £13.60 and children’s entry costs £8.20.
Legoland Discovery Centre
At a little over an hour from Northampton, I really rate visiting here, though possibly best on a rainy day as it’s indoors.
It’s basically filled with lego creations that move, flash and impress, as well as an area where the kids can build and even a ride. My two are totally not into lego so I thought it might be a bit rubbish, but we loved it. You can read my full review and guide here.
I’ve had my eye on Wrest Park for a while as it looks so lovely. In the past they’ve had great events on, so I’m hopeful for a summer event. Anyway, it’s basically an English Heritage grounds that’s around a 45-minute journey from Northampton.
There are over 90 beautiful acres to explore, from woodland walks to the fun playground and waterside spots.
Entry costs £13.90 for adults and £8.40 for children, though under 5s are free.
Tip: Get over 4% cashback (affiliate link) on your tickets by booking via Topcashback
Stratford Butterfly Farm
I took my two to Stratford Butterfly Farm during the last school holidays. It’s a good option as you can make a day of it out in Stratford-Upon-Avon, which is a beautiful place in its own right.
It’s around an hour from Northampton so totally doable. You can read my full review and guide here.
Thomas Land at Drayton Manor
Thomas Land is a portion of the theme park, Drayton Manor. It’s just over an hour from Northampton and great for younger kids. Under 5s have a good selection of rides to go on and it’s easy to fill a whole day here.
You can read my full review and guide here.
Planning for the Holidays
What’s your plan for the holidays? I’ve aimed for one attraction per week – Wickstead Park, West Lodge, Warwick Castle and Wrest Park (all the Ws for some reasons?!). I’ve chosen them based on my budget. I plan to fill the rest of the days with free things, like walks, picnics and play time at home.