Things to do in the summer holidays in Kent including Go Ape, Kent Roller Disco and Gravity Rocks, Bluewater

by Lauren Abbott

Every summer break comes with some down time.

But when the screen-time is spent, tempt your tribe away from their tablets with one of these great activites for getting them up, out and moving!

Here's 12 great days out for getting active before the kids head for the classroom.

The new course at Mote Park's Outdoor Adventure Area
The new course at Mote Park's Outdoor Adventure Area

1. Crazy golf

Tee-off at one of Kent's crazy golf courses for a competitive couple of hours with the kids.

Herne Bay has 18-holes of mini golf on the seafront, Pirate Cove at Bluewater offers a golfing adventure spanning the seven seas and Mr Mulligans Dino Golf in Tonbridge and Sidcup bring you prehistoric-themed putting.

There is also Quex Adventure Golf in Birchington, Lillyput mini golf in Broadstairs and a recently opened course at Leeds Castle which is modelled on the castle and its attractions (an admission ticket for the castle is required and the golf is an additional fee). More recently courses have also opened at Mote Park in Maidstone and a temporary attraction at Rochester Cathedral!

Go Ape
Go Ape

2. Go Ape

If they've a head for heights sign the kids up for an outdoor adventure at one of Kent's Go Ape courses. The tree top challenges can be found at both Leeds Castle and Bedgebury Pinetum, near Goudhurst. Fly down zip wires, tackle tree top obstacles and take a leap of faith with the Tarzan swing. Both courses differ slightly in what they offer visitors. Age and height restrictions apply.

Walk amonst the trees at Groombridge Place
Walk amonst the trees at Groombridge Place

3. The Treetops Walkway Experience

If an adventure amongst the tree tops is tempting there is also the UK’s longest and highest treetop walkway at Groombridge Place, near Tunbridge Wells. It is 350m long and stands at over 20m above the forest floor. Thrill seekers can experience something truly magical climbing higher and higher along the ropes into the tree canopy of the ancient forest. The adventure takes around 30 minutes and children under 10 must be supervised at all times.

Indoor climbing, like this at Swallows Leisure Centre, is a great indoor activity
Indoor climbing, like this at Swallows Leisure Centre, is a great indoor activity

4. Indoor climbing

When the weather isn't playing ball and the kids are climbing the walls, rope in some friends and head for one of Kent's climbing attractions. Suitable for all ages and with no equipment other than yourselves and a sensible pair of shoes required - indoor climbing centres have become extremely popular in recent years. Each timed session includes a safety briefing once you're fitted with your harnesses. Clip 'n Climb can be found at both Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne and Dover District Leisure Centre as well as a main centre in Tonbridge on the Business Park in Morley Road. Gravity Trampoline Park also operates Gravity Rocks urban climbing at its base in Bluewater.

5. Trampolining

Trampoline parks have leapt up all over the county in the last five years. Choose from Flip Out in Ashford and Chatham, Gravity in Maidstone and Bluewater, SOAR in Gillingham or Jump In in Tonbridge. Pre-booking is advisable and everyone jumping will need to complete a disclaimer and watch a short safety video before embarking on their timed session.

Gravesend's Cyclopark
Gravesend's Cyclopark

6. Cycling

With a skate park, play areas, cycling track and even a special area to teach the youngest riders about road safety - Gravesend's Cyclopark has plenty on offer to families for a wheelie good day out. The Gravesend-based activity centre, which also has 3km of tarmac for road bikes and 6km of mountain bike track, is full of things for those with a need for speed. Tickets for some activities or sessions can be booked in advance and Cyclopark is also running full day and half day holiday camps where youngsters can try mountain biking, road cycling, BMX and the skate park.

7. Ice skating

Can't stand the summer sun? Give them some cool memories at Gillingham ice rink Planet Ice. Dig out the jumpers and gloves and take to the ice. Session prices start from just over a fiver.

Roller skating
Roller skating

8. Roller Skating

Rolling around since 2005, Kent Roller Disco runs numerous events across the county. Held in leisure centres with skates and safety gear included, each event costs only a few pound per skater. Dreamland in Margate also has its own roller disco at the retro Roller Room, which will be open throughout the holidays and has sessions and special events available to pre-book whilst roller skating can also be found at Roller Bizz on the Medway City Estate next to soft play centre Monkey Bizz.

9. Indoor Laser Tag

Battlezone Laser Tag in Ashford is spread out over two floors with light, sound and smoke effects. The infra-red gaming guns have realistic sounds and everything you need is included in the cost of your game. The centre also runs regular Nerf Wars where participants can bring their own Nerf guns, but ammunition is provided. Alternatively items are available to hire for an additional charge.

Total Wipeout style attraction at Bewl Water, Lamberhurst
Total Wipeout style attraction at Bewl Water, Lamberhurst

10. Aqua action

Alongside Kent's enormous offering of both indoor and outdoor swimming pools are a number of other water-based activities for kids. Choose from the new Aqua Park at Bewl Water, Kent's other outdoor inflatable course at Action Watersports on Romney Marsh or try your hand at surfing with lessons over at Joss Bay, Broadstairs. Dover Sea Sports is also offering multi-activity fun during the holidays with a vast range of timetabled activities from pedalos to paddle boarding.

Anyone for soft play?
Anyone for soft play?

11. Soft play

From things to climb up to those for sliding down, soft play centres are the ideal way to kill a couple of hours, particularly on a dreary day. With separate areas for babies, toddlers and older children the centres can be safe padded places to play while on-site cafes and restaurants can keep everyone's energy levels up. Many also offer additional activities particularly suited to older children including high ropes courses, indoor football and Nerf wars.

Take the kids bowling!
Take the kids bowling!

12. Bowling

Strike it lucky with the family at your nearest bowling alley.

Frames to help children roll their ball down, barriers to stop them running into the gutter and lighter balls for smaller hands make this an activity that children of all ages can join in with. Lanes may need to be pre-booked in busy periods or for large groups. Bowling alleys in Kent include Hollywood Bowl in Ashford, Rochester, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells, MFA bowl in Whitstable and Bugsy's in Margate.

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