Things to do on a rainy day in Kent
After a long spell of dry hot days, that has definitely made being at home with children a lot easier for parents so far this summer, it looks like the forecast is bringing some cooler wetter weather in the coming week.
If you're in need of some rainy day ideas to keep the kids occupied, or are looking for attractions that offer some shelter undercover in the event of a shower, we've some suggestions that might help...
Soft play centres and bowling alleys
The government has said that bowling alleys and indoor play centres can reopen from Saturday, August 15 - which could give many families another option for an activity indoors in the event of a rainy day.
Like many other attractions, these too will be subject to strict government guidelines and will need to ensure that social distancing for both visitors and staff can be maintained.
As with so many other days out now, it is likely that families will be required to pre-book their visit to allow indoor centres to both control numbers and to collect family details for the NHS test and trace system.
Soft play centres and bowling alleys are in the process of ensuring they have the correct procedures in place to meet the latest government rules so are all unlikely to reopen at once at the weekend. Check with your local play centre before visiting to ensure its opening hours and the arrangements for booking a visit.
The Roman Museum, Canterbury
Kent's only Roman museum has reopened with a fantastic ticket offer for families.
Alongside two kids going free with every full paying adult is the additional offer of 50% off any remaining tickets.
It makes a family outing to the museum a really cheap day out and an ideal activity undercover should the weather be poor. To learn more please click here.
Unlimited jumps at Gravity, Bluewater and Maidstone
Gravity trampoline parks have launched an unlimited summer bounce pass which is an ideal way to give the kids something to do whilst controlling the pounds and pennies this summer.
The pass, available at either the Bluewater park or the one at Lockmeadow in Maidstone, entitles holders to unlimited summer visits for just over the cost of one open jump ticket.
Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham
The military museum in Medway is reopening to the public for the first time on Saturday, August 15 with pre-booked tickets, limited numbers and one way systems in place.
Museum director, Rebecca Nash, said: “We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the Royal Engineers Museum, Gillingham. We’ve thoroughly prepared our historic site to adhere to the government guidelines and to achieve the We’re Good To Go standard. The relaunch of the museum’s galleries & services will hopefully encourage our visitors to be further inspired by the history of the Royal Engineers innovative approach to unprecedented challenges.”
To learn more about seeing the fascinating military collections and how to pre-book your tickets click here.
Take in a Kent castle
English Heritage has reopened the castle at Deal amongst its attractions in Kent to now be welcoming back visitors. Dover Castle and Walmer Castle and Gardens are also sites on the Kent coast to have opened ticket bookings. English Heritage is restricting visitors, has one-way systems in place and tickets must be pre-booked for a set date and time. To find out what is open and closed at each site and the elements which are accessible please click here for further information.
Leeds Castle has also opened its castle gates with visitors requiring a pre-booked date and time to see inside. The Castle itself follows the grounds, gardens, children's play areas and adventure golf in reopening to the public and you can learn more here.
Hever Castle - the childhood home of Anne Boleyn - is also now welcoming visitors inside in small numbers. Families going to Hever Castle require a gardens ticket which can be upgraded on the day for a time to visit the castle should slots be available. To learn more about going to Hever Castle and booking tickets please click here.
All aboard a heritage railway!
If there's sunshine and showers and you're desperate to get the kids outside, a ride on one of Kent's historic railways could be the ideal ticket.
The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch heritage railway is now steaming through East Kent giving passengers a choice of where to spend a few hours whilst the Kent and East Sussex Railway at Tenterden is taking families to Bodiam and back.
Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway is also back up and running on Wednesdays and Sundays during August and the Spa Valley Railway is open late in August for events close to the bank holiday weekend.
It is worth pre-booking your trip and social distancing and face coverings will be required so it is worth checking what is needed for your family before you travel.
50 things to do indoors
When school closures and social-distancing guidelines were first announced back in March My Kent Family published a list of 50 possible things to do with the family during lockdown.
Suggestions for activities indoors included organising a family movie night, making fat balls or feeders for the birds, crafting paper aeroplanes and creating a family portrait or piece of artwork to mark 2020.
There is also a list of possible games in the guide such as an indoor hopscotch, teaching the kids a family card game or a fun and silly round of 'would you rather'. (There's definitely lots of questions you can pose for the latter as we all spend lots of time at home thinking about what we'd most like to do when this is over).
If you haven't yet crossed them all off you can view the full list of 50 activities to do at home by clicking here.