Family-friendly days out in Somerset this summer

This summer in Somerset promises exciting events, festivals, family fun and plenty of (fingers crossed) sunny days out. If you’re looking for ways to entertain youngsters during the summer holidays, I’ve put together a list of family-friendly days out in Somerset, to keep all ages happy.

If you’ve got an event I haven’t listed, let me know, and I’ll add it to the list. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This post on school holidays Somerset contains affiliate links. If you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission to help keep this blog going.

Summer holidays activities Somerset

Burrow Hill Cider Farm South Somerset

Art and craft-themed summer days out

Axel Scheffler: A life in illustration, Museum of Somerset, Taunton (Tues-Sat, 15 July-28 October)

The exhibition, Axel Scheffler: A Life in Illustration, features artwork from across his prolific career. Axel’s unmistakable style, with its luminous colour, expressive faces, and humour, can be found in more than 150 books. The exhibition highlights Axel’s creative process, featuring sketches and preparatory drawings to show how his characters develop and come to life on the page. 

See the website for the full programme of summer activities for kids.


Accessible Bat bonanza at Yeovil Country Park (26 July)

Explore what night-time animals call Ninesprings their home, listen to stories and toast marshmallows around a campfire before heading out on a short flat walk to look for nocturnal animals.

Aimed at families with children aged 5- 14 years old who have any physical disabilities, special educational needs, or mental health disabilities.

Family-friendly summer events at Ham Hill

See lovely coloured butterflies up-close on a Butterfly walk (28 July)vwith the rangers who will teach you how to catch and identify them. Aimed at ages 5-11

Head to Northern Spur part of Ham Hill (near the stone circle) on 31 July, to find bugs hiding in long grass, look for Jurassic fossils in the Hamstone, and use clay, mud and sticks to create seed bombs to take home.

Join the ranger team at Ham Hill to discover the secretive life of bats on 2 August. Listen to some batty stories and enjoy a hot chocolate and marshmallow heading off to search for these nocturnal mammals (ages 4-12).

Do you know the difference between and elephant hawk moth and a spectacle moth?Discover how to identify moths by looking at their different shapes, sizes and colours on 5 August.

Build a den fit to live in on 11 August (10am-12pm). Aimed at ages 5-10.

Ham Hill Dog Show (10am-3pm, 13 August). Celebrate your dog and enjoy a day of dog-based activities. Take part in one of the classes, have a go at dog agility or test your leadership with your dog in the Ham Hill Challenge! Entry to classes is £1.50 per dog per class. All proceeds will be split between Fearne Animal Sanctuary and the Friends of Ham Hill.

Ham Hill Country Park South Somerset
Ham Hill Country Park Somerset

Summer crafting at Glastonbury Abbey

Get crafty at Glastonbury Abbey Museum with a packed schedule of making activities. Make Air-drying clay mobiles (11am, 25 July), head off on a mini beast hunt (11am, 26 July, 2 August), create a book out of a matchbox (11am, 27 July), paint your own mini flower pot (11am, 1 August), summer bunting (3 August), animal masks (8 August), air-drying clay tiles (10 August) and lots more! (see website for details).

Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza (5 August)

A headline performance from Texas, with support from Lightning Seeds and Wells City Band will conclude with a traditional fireworks finale.

Bowlore Re-enactment Weekend, Glastonbury Abbey

Bowlore will be performing two shows per day (22 & 23 of July) – one archery, one weapons (both approximately 45 mins+) showing the use of a range of arrowheads and edged hand/pole weapons from the whole medieval period, including choreographed combat and sharp-sword cutting demonstrations.

Between shows there will be have-a-go archery and sword-school (suitable for all ages, £3 per go) plus a hands-on display of weapons and armour, talks and Q&A, set within their medieval tented encampment.

Glastonbury Abbey Somerset
Glastonbury Abbey

Playdays, South Somerset (1-24 August)

Axe throwing, soft archery, a bouncy castle, crafts, birds of prey, pedal juicer and facepainting – expect oodles of family fun at South Somerset playdays.

South Somerset playdays
South Somerset play days
South Somerset playdays – smoothie bike

Kids summer activities at Exmoor Pony Centre (3, 10, 17, 24, 31 August)

Get up close to some of the ponies that have been taken into the care of Exmoor Pony Centre. Activity days include pony rides, pony grooming and crafts and games. Booking is not required and entrance to the Centre is free. There are small charges for the individual activities.

Days out Somerset gardens

Spectacular Sweet Peas at Forde Abbey Gardens, near Chard (until 31 July)

July at the magnificent Forde Abbey is sweet pea season and one of the prettiest Somerset days out. Expect vibrant, fragrant, beautiful blooms bedazzling the 30 acres of grounds. Afterwards, pick up a bunch to spruce up your home in the gift shop.

Forde Abbey near Chard crocuses
Forde Abbey

Time to Bee Friendly Trail at Hestercombe Gardens (21 July-3 September)

If you’re looking for nature-filled things to do in summer holidays, head to Hestercombe gardens to walk a family-friendly route, stopping at bee-formation trail boards to learn useful facts and bee-rilliant jokes! Look out for pictures of different native bees and bee-friendly flowers in the garden to note in your log book and put them to use for bee spotting in our gardens. Each trail booklet includes a bee friendly prize at the end – which you can collect at the plant centre.

Hestercombe gardens Somerset waterfall

Big summer day out at Bishop’s Palace, Wells (22 July-3 September)

Stunning Bishop’s Palace and Gardens with its moat, lolling swans, drawbridge, Great Hall ruins and well pools, is hosting a summer holiday Scavenger Hunt, family storytelling (25 July-29th August) and family crafting (27 July-31 August).

Collect from the Ticket Office, or download one from the website, and, when you’ve completed it, you’ll be rewarded with a prize on the way out!

Bishops Palace and Gardens Wells Somerset
Bishops Palace

Days out in summer at the National Trust (22 July- 4 September)

GIve your kiddos a glimpse of life before iPads and have a go at playing old-fashioned games at National Trust family events in Somerset.

Victorian favourites such as boccia and croquet will be on offer at Tyntesfield, North Somerset. You’ll also be able to set up camp this summer in one of their 3 bell tents. Get cosy with storytelling, make some noise in the music tent or role play cooking on the campfire. There’s also plenty of space for a kick around or some outdoor games.

Enjoy games and activities like Kubb, Connect 4, giant Jenga and boules on the beautiful Cedar Lawn at Montacute House. Test your skills in firing ancient weapons (Tues and Weds, 10.30am to 4pm, 25 July to 30 August) with the Wessex Longbowmen.They will have a whole host of Tudor paraphernalia. There is a charge of £4-00 to fire 6 arrows

Makers Meadow will be transformed into an adventure playground at Barrington Court (23 July-13 Aug), built by children and inspired by Colonel Lyle’s model estate with the help of constructive play experts from Woodland Tribe. £7 per child, accompanying adults free. Each session is 90 minutes long. Booking is essential and normal admission applies. Don’t miss the wonderful birds and handlers from Xtreme Falconry’s two impressive flying displays taking place at 11.30am and 2.30pm on the South Lawn (8 and 22 August).

For a wholesome day out in Somerset, head to Lytes Cary – children can take part in a hobby horse gymkhana, borrow a family active play backpack, stop off at the colouring station, play croquet or have fun in the natural woodland play area.

Animal-themed family day out Somerset

Hide & Sheep trail at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

  • until 3 September

Noah’s Ark has teamed up with Aardman to stage a baa-rilliant new event for days out in the summer holidays. Get set for a farm-tastic experience with an augmented reality trail starring Shaun the Sheep.

Download the free app for The Hide & Sheep trail, enter Noah’s Ark unique location code 1999, and find the 11 Shaun the Sheep markers around the zoo. The trail is fully accessible to wheelchair users and buggies, with plenty of rest stops around the zoo to enjoy too. Once found, these markers will bring the popular character to life at the zoo in 3D.

Dunster Country Fair 2023 (26 July)

On the bill for the 45th edition of Dunster Country Fair are a Shetland Pony Grand National, falconry display, vintage tractors, ferret racing, miniature railways and more.

Dunster Show (18 August)

Taking place on the Lawns below Dunster Castle, this family-friendly agricultural show, has a food hall, trade stands and competitive showing atmosphere with a wide range of classes for horses, cattle and sheep.

Portishead Summer Show (29-30 July)

The Portishead Summer Show is a two-day family show combining a traditional flower show with activities that promote local country life, nature and the environment. There’s also live music, food, drink, children’s activities, a dog show, a pig show (!), mobile farm, Punch and Judy, fun sports, fancy dress parade for kids under 10 and lots more!

Big summer day out at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park (17 July-27 August)

Meet animals, explore Dinosaur Valley and its gigantic animatronic creatures, go off-roading in a mini jeep safari, have a go on the adventure playgrounds, boing on the giant pillows, ride the miniature railway, play mini golf or race go-carts, play on the indoor soft play and more, all summer long at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife park. 

As well as the usual rides and attractions, splash at the sand and water play area, swoosh down the giant slip n slide*, and end each day with a foam party!

They are also offering a ‘Boomerang Ticket’ you get 25% off your 2nd visit, 50% off your 3rd visit, 75% off your 4th visit and your 5th visit is FREE.

Avon Valley Wildlife park Somerset

Dinosaur Adventure Week at Animal Farm and Adventure Park, Burnham-on-Sea (3-9 August)

Meet Titch the T-Rex, raptors, Gretel the Triceratops and more during this week-long dino extravaganza on a 23-acre farm park. Frolic in the new indoor soft play, cuddle animals and have a go at crazy golf, plus a whole host of other fun summer holiday activities.

Mid-Somerset Show, Shepton Mallet (20 August)

For things to do during the summer holidays in Somerset with kids, check out The Mid-Somerset Show is a one-day ​​agricultural show featuring everything from dog shows, cider championships and cheese tasting to livestock displays, vintage vehicles, live music and craft classes.

Ferne Animal Sanctuary, near Chard

Set in 72 acres of stunning Somerset countryside, Ferne Animal Sanctuary is a great place for an outdoorsy day out. Rather than a petting zoo, the sanctuary rescues animals that have had a tough time or are unable to be looked after by their owners, so you might not always see loads on a visit, but there is always something to spot.

We got up close to chickens, watched pigs lolling in their paddock and saw goats, horses, chinchillas, rabbits, tortoises (that were discovered being smuggled through customs), guinea pigs and rabbits.

There’s also a playground, craft area and cafe with small kids’ play area to top the day off. Don’t miss the Ferne Dog Show (3 September).

Heritage summer holiday events Somerset

Yesterday’s Farming, near Langport (19 & 20 August)

A rural farming heritage event showcasing the past of farming. On offer are tractors and machinery at Stream Farm, Drayton, Langport.

Summer days out at The Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare

Blow your kiddos’ minds with choppers and magic (every Wednesday 2-30 August) at The Helicopter Museum this summer. Open Cockpit days ((30 July and 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30 August) allow visitors to access the cockpits of selected helicopters and have the controls explained by an experienced guide.

Days out in Somerset for families at Fleet Air Arm museum

One of the largest aviation museum’s in the world, Fleet Air Arm is home to a whopping 90 flying machines. Every Friday throughout August (11.30am & 1.30pm), join Pitcombe Rock Falconry at the Museum to learn about how birds of prey fly, and how the aircraft have taken inspiration from nature.

Head to the museum on Mondays to build your own Fairey Barracuda. As in the real life project, you might have to first find some pieces in the sand, or in water, or take some pieces from other wrecks…

Fleet Air Arm Museum
Fleet Air Arm Museum

Train rides, Heritage Railway Station, Midsomer Norton (selected dates in August)

Trains run from the Victorian Era station at Midsomer Norton South over one mile of the Somerset & Dorset mainline railway. Check the website for more details.

Bank Holiday fun at East Somerset Railway, Shepton Mallet (26-28 August)

Don’t miss this weekend of family fun with steam & diesel trains, a miniature railway, bouncy castle, Punch & Judy and more!

Gartell Light Railway (28 August)

This delightful narrow gauge railway in South Somerset is privately operated by the Gartell family and their friends and only opened to the public on selected, provisional dates throughout the year. 

Days out summer 2023 at West Somerset Railway (Wednesdays in school holidays Somerset)

Each Wednesday presents a new theme for the day (including Woodland Wonders, Treasures of the sea, Fossil hunting, Creative Construction and history detectives) with a team of volunteers offering different themed crafts and an exciting discovery zone with table top activities to engage with! These activities and crafts will all be taking place at Minehead Station (TA24 5BG).

Wild Wednesdays

West Somerset Railway Steam Fayre Vintage Ralley, Norton Fitzwarren

Every year volunteers from the West Somerset Railway Association (WSRA) welcome thousands of visitors to their vintage rally at Norton Fitzwarren fields over the first weekend in (5 & 6) August. Expect working traction engines, tractors and road rollers, polished vintage cars, motorcycles, fire engines, buses, military and commercial vehicles, vintage agricultural tractors, parades of vehicles, demos of steam engines and tractors, heavy horses, children’s entertainments and model train rides plus lots more!

Steam Fayre
Steam Fayre, credit West Somerset Railway

Train days at Yeovil Railway Centre, Yeovil Junction

What’s your favourite kind of choo choo? Don’t know? Well, you can try all kinds of heritage trains at Yeovil Junction these summer holidays 2023 Somerset. Head over for an extended Tractor and Trains Weekend (29-30 July), Diesel Train Days (10.30am-2.40pm, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 August) and Steam Train Days (6, 20 August, 3 Sept).

Also onsite are a miniature railway, model railway, cafe, exhibits and shop.

Steam up, Westonzoyland (11am-4pm, 6, 16 August)

Marvel at over 30 stationary steam engines and pumps on display on 6 and 16 August, then test your knowledge in a quiz to win a prize.  

There’s also a Light Railway Gala (28 August), celebrating all things railway! Join in the narrow gauge fun with railway rides and activities.

Summer Somerset festivals

Somerset LOVES a festival and aside from that particular star-studded Somerset festival, whose tickets fly off the cyber shelves like hot cakes to lucky, tech-savvy, well-prepared folk with fifteen laptops, there are so many other festivals taking place in the county.

I’ve rounded up all the festivals in Somerset taking place in 2023 here.

Valley Fest Somerset
Valley Fest

Burrow Hill Cider Farm events

Pop Ups at Somerset Cider Brandy, Burrow Hill, Kingsbury Episcopi

Burrow Hill Cider Farm (home of Somerset Cider Brandy and the famous Somerset Cider Bus) uses age-old traditional methods of production to create dangerously delicious cider. Coordinate your visit with one of their summer pop-ups to quaff it alongside scrumptious food in the orchard, surrounded by cows, tractors, plenty of pooches and picnicking families. 

Events this summer take place on Saturdays from 10am-5pm and include Mexican Food by Basement Tacos, music from The Kings of Lounge (22 July), Filipino Street Food by Aurora Kusina (29 July), Music by The Legendary SnakeSnakeSnake and Street Food by Sauce Deli (65August), Cider and Basement Tacos (12 August), Live Music by the Kings Of Lounge, Cocktails and pizza on the orchards (19 August), Filipino Street Food by Aurora Kusina (26 August), Cocktails and pizza on the orchards (2 Sept).

Burrow Hill Cider Farm pop-up
Burrow Hill Cider Farm pop-up

Family Theatre days out in Somerset

Taunton Brewhouse has an array of performances aimed at families:

From The Smeds and The Smoos, Dragons and Mythical Beasts, to Mog The Forgetful Cat, Splashtest Dummies, Peter Pan, Barmy Britain and Fireman Sam,

Taunton Brewhouse Theatre programmer summer 2023

Outdoor theatre Somerset

‘All the world’s a stage!’ and that’s never truer in summer, when Somerset’s outdoor spaces are fashioned, quite literally, into open-air stages making fantastic children’s activities in summer holidays. Which one will you be digging out the picnic blanket for?

Chill on the Hill, Ham Hill

Pack a picnic and Chill on the Hill on 25 August with a fun, creative circus event for families. In partnership with Ham Hill Country Park and The Octagon Theatre there will be performances, workshops and an opportunity to watch the formidable Pirates of the Carabina with their show – Pirate Taxi! The show is a pay what you feel event. Donate online, when you register for your free ticket, or come on the day with cash for the donation bucket.

Bad Dad, Somerset Cider Brandy Orchards, Burrow Hill (4 August)

An open-air adaptation of David Walliams Bad Dad from Heartbreak Productions is the perfect summer family entertainment. So, pack your picnics, something to sit on, and join Frank and Gilbert as they navigate their way through car chases and convicts in the struggle to escape the clutches of the local crime lord and clear Gilbert’s name.

Folksy Theatre: The Ugly Duckling, Forde Abbey (27 July)​​

See this much-loved tale brought to life with live music and puppetry, in the gardens of Forde Abbey (5.30 pm – 7 pm).

Hercules, Glastonbury Abbey (6.30pm, 21 July)

IKP’s unmistakable brand of “delightfully daft” family theatre will take you on a journey back in time to the land of heroes, monsters and myths. Join Hercules as he labours for beauty, truth and love!

The Ugly Duckling, The Walled Gardens of Cannington (2 August)

Lying within the grounds of a medieval Benedictine Priory, these beautiful gardens will be the site of  Folksy Theatre’s rendition of The Ugly Duckling (2pm).

Peter Rabbit, The Museum of Somerset (9 August)

Join Peter and Benjamin on their hair-raising adventures in this enchanting adaptation of the Beatrix Potter classic. This adaptation by Quantum Theatre will take place in the castle courtyard.

Alice in Wonderland, Bishops Palace, Wells (9 August)

Follow the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons down the rabbit hole for their own hilarious take on Lewis Carroll’s nonsensical novel. A delightfully anarchic show that gets curiouser and curiouser with live music and audience interaction. 

The Wizard of Oz, Tyntesfield (11 August)

Click your heels and follow the yellow brick road as Immersion Theatre proudly presents a brand new adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. With lashings of audience participation, dazzling costumes, an original script, and plenty of laughter, this faithful re-telling promises to have you shouting, clapping and singing along to a host of brand-new songs.

More days out in Somerset for kids

Barrington Court, Somerset
Barrington Court

Live music at Mendip Basecamp (selected dates in July and August)

Mendip basecamp are hosting a summer of free outdoor live music and entertainment featuring local musicians and bands, playing live under their magical canopy from around 7pm.

The Lodge will be open for food and drink, serving stone-baked craft pizzas, loaded fries and Pieminister Pies plus local beer and cider from Butcombe, Thatchers and the Bristol Beer Factory.

Mini Golf and High Ropes at Vivary Golf and Adventure Centre, Taunton

Keep kids busy and active at Vivary 18-hole crazy golf course and high ropes centre. In addition, there’s also a fantastic range of activities including lower, less intense ropes to start with, a climbing wall, high ropes, totem pole and the power fan descender too.

Trash Trail, Orchard Shopping Centre, Taunton (22 July-3 September)

Trails make great summer activities for kids – buy a Trash Trail map online and get hunt down a colourful trail of ‘Litterbugs’.

One of the largest social events in the UK to promote greener living, for six weeks, the towns and green spaces of the county will become homes to inspiring sculptures crafted from recycled materials by local artists.

Greenbank heated outdoor swimming pool, Street

When the temperature rises, seek out solace at Street outdoor pool, a sizeable 30m x 12m with a shallow, semi-circular kids’ pool, splash park play area with interactive features like water jets and spray fountains. Warning, it does get busy on hot days!

Party in the Parks, Clarence Park, Weston-super-Mare (4 August)

Free family event with sports, games, circus skills, art, facepainting, puppet shows, balloon modelling and more!

Watchet Summertime (14-19 August)

Street market stalls, workshops, live music, open air cinema and fireworks are just some of the summer holiday activities happening during Watchet Summertime.

Truckfest South West, Shepton Mallet (2-3 September)

Be amazed by Monster Trucks and Arena Stunt Shows, meet children’s characters, enjoy exhilarating rides and see some incredible trucks at the Bath and West Showground.

Family days out Somerset attractions

From millenia-old caves to legend-swirling landmarks, family-friendly animal parks to chic cultural hotspots, iconic views, coastal days out, sensational gardens and historical attractions, Somerset’s varied landscape offers all kinds of adventures. Click on the button below for oodles of inspiration!

Read more:

37 Things to do in South Somerset with kids

Best cafes in Somerset for brunch

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