Walker family credit Rebecca Bacon 37


Unmissable Events for Families this Summer

Whether you're heading here for a summer holiday or simply looking for a fun day out, these unmissable family events and activities are sure to keep everyone entertained!

Summer of Play at National Trust Ickworth

Summer of play

This year, the National Trust Ickworth Estate are transforming their vast and green grounds into a hub for families and young people. Come on down to the walled garden and get creative in the play space, where you can go on a journey of activities including sensory elements, storytelling, performing on the summer house stage, weaving through the maze and making mischief in the mud kitchen. There’s something to excite children of all ages as well as the young at heart- and all free of charge.

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Primadonna Festival - 28 July

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Primadonna is a book festival with a difference and there’s something for visitors of all ages. Set in the glorious grounds of the Food Museum in Stowmarket, you’ll make your way around 75 acres of countryside and various buildings from windmills to medieval barns and a tiny chapel. There’s plenty of talks, workshops and performances as well as a full programme of activities for young people, including story sessions, bread making, a fun palace and a chance to meet the rare breed animals on the farm, including Zippo the Suffolk Punch horse. Children can run wild in the orchard and enjoy the excitement of camping overnight, leaving feeling inspired and full of new ideas.

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Kentwell Hall's Magic Weekend - 27 & 28 July

Magic weekend

Summoning all witches, wizards, elves and pixies for a spellbinding weekend at Kentwell Hall! This fantastical weekend is a must-visit for any fans of Harry Potter, The Worst Witch or anything weird, wonderful and wild! Help Alice find the Cheshire cat, have your fortune told by the curious Gnostic Gned and even decorate a wand and cast some of your own amazing spells. This is a great opportunity for your little gnomes and fairies to dress up and spend a magical day outdoors taking in part in activities, stories and games.

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Theatre in the Parks - The Unusual Adventures of Robin Hood

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Theatre in the Parks

The popular outdoor theatre season returns for 2024 with a new programme of performances in the beautiful Abbey Gardens and West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village.

There's something for the whole family with outdoor performances of The Unusual Adventures of Robin Hood and The Secret Garden in The Abbey Gardens and The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck, Beowulf and Quentin Blake: Angelica Sprocket's Pockets in West Stow Country Park.

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Shuffle Board Game Cafe

Shuffle Board cafe Town Crier and Abraham Lincoln playing

For older kids or teens who want something a bit different, head down to the Shuffle Board Game Cafe where you can choose from over 500 different board games. Enjoy a panini or a smoothie from the cafe and challenge each other to a new game to see who has the best strategy. There are experts on hand to introduce you to a new game or to help you discover an old favourite. If you’re an avid Pokemon trader, be sure to pop down on Sunday evenings where there is space for TCG players and collectors to trade and battle.

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Pond Dipping and Dragonfly Experience at Clare Castle Country Park - 16th August

Clare Castle Clare Castle Country Park Trust

Budding biologists will be fascinated by the thriving ecosystems at Clare Castle Country Park this summer. Have fun and learn all about the ponds and rivers in the park and the intriguing world below the water’s surface.

Book a time slot for the 30 minute explorative and interactive sessions on pond dipping and dragonfly hunting taking place on the 6th July and the 16th August. Expert guidance and all equipment is provided and you’ll leave with new memories and lots of new knowledge. There’s a cafe on site for refreshments, as well as a butterfly garden and the expansive country park itself. Well worth a visit for a stimulating day out for all.

Tickets for pond dipping are £3 per child (All children MUST be 6yrs or over.)

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Theatre Royal Backstage Tour

Theatre Royal Tour

Perhaps your youngsters enjoy a trip to the theatre? They probably love to laugh out loud at the pantomime each year, but have they ever seen behind the curtain and found what happens backstage at the theatre? Led by an enthusiastic team of tour guides, you and your inquisitive kids will travel around the theatre, taking in the building and all of its history, while finding out what has to happen to bring a show to life on the stage.

You’ll even get a chance to tread the boards yourself! Afterwards, why not book a ticket to see ‘Dorothy, back in Oz’ the Summer family musical show full of fun, songs, dancing and an evil princess with interchangeable heads!

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Wild Tracks

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For young adrenaline seekers and their families, Wild Tracks outdoor activity park is a must. The 60 acre site offers motocross, go-karting, archery, battlefield live and off-road driving to name but a few of the adventurous activities available. A thrilling Quad bike experience is available for anyone over 8 years old and offers an exciting experience as you take to the extensive track that curves and winds around the woodland.

If you’re new to these activities- fear not, expert trainers are on hand to provide guidance, you’ll be shooting arrows like Robin Hood and driving like ‘The stig’ in no time!

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Bury St Edmunds Food & Drink Festival

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The Bury St Edmunds Food and drink Festival promises eats and drinks aplenty in Suffolk’s foodie capital, including cookery displays, markets, artisan stalls and something to tempt the taste buds of young and old. What’s more, there’s a whole lot of fun for the kids, with loads to see and do. With street entertainers, virtual reality, face-painting, fairground rides and even a stealth racer at the Arc Shopping centre, youngsters will be buzzing with excitement.

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