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Summer sorted! Things to do in Surrey with kids of all ages

Parents, roll up! We've found activities for every age, from toddlers to teens. Read on for the best of art, sport, festivals and theatre in Surrey this July and August.

ON STAGE

The Jungle Book at Kew Gardens

The Jungle Book
■ Kew Gardens, Richmond (Tulip Tree Avenue) ■  Sat 23 July – 21 Aug (Tues-Sun)
Fun, songs and adventure await in this heart-warming story for all of the family. Join Mowgli on her journey through the jungle as she meets the wise Bagheera, the noble Akela and the enthusiastic Baloo. Shows are at 11am and 2pm, and run for 70 minutes, with no interval.

THEATRE: Billionaire Boy 
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Thurs 4 – Sat 6 June

David Walliams’ production of Billionaire Boy makes a return to Guildford. It’s about 12-year-old Joe who is the richest boy in the country and receives £100,000 a week pocket money (don’t go getting any ideas, kids). It’s produced by the same team that created the award-winning West End show Gangsta Granny so should be a goodie and, knowing Walliams, will be packed with humour for adults too. 

The Queen’s Knickers
■ Harlequin Theatre, Redhill ■ Sun 7 Aug
It’s a busy year for the Queen – she has lots of important events to attend. But disaster has struck the palace as Her Majesty’s knickers have been nicked! This regal children’s musical is full of songs, silliness and a corgi or two!

The Reluctant Dragon
■ Claremont Gardens, Esher ■ Fri 26 Aug
When a boy finds a dragon up on the Downs he’s not surprised, but this dragon is not like the ones in fairy tales – this one writes poetry and doesn’t like fighting! This delightful adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s The Reluctant Dragon is a lovely tale of bravery and friendship, produced by Quantum Theatre.

SPORTY STUFF

Summer Family Fun Run
■ Dapdune Wharf, Guildford ■ Sat 27 Aug
 Take on a 2k run in the sun around Dapdune Wharf and island, then enjoy an evening of relaxation and refreshment by the riverside.

Young Shots Day
■ Bisley Shooting Ground, Brookwood ■ Mon 1 Aug

An introduction to the world of clay pigeon shooting, 10 to 16-year-olds can take part in the activity day that shows you the ropes and gets the kids involved and practicing their aim. The day includes full tuition with an instructor, all safety equipment, guns, cartridges and food. Booking is required. 

Summer Holiday Festival of Sport
■ Dapdune Wharf, Guildford ■ Mon 1 – 30 Aug
Every day in August challenge yourself with archery, badminton, frisbee golf, table tennis and balance bikes on the island. Or explore the gentler pace of garden games and sensory experiences in the lovely tearoom garden at Dapdune Wharf. It’s from 11am-5pm, free.

Run Reigate Trail Run
■ Gatton Park, Reigate ■ Thurs 28 July
A 5km or 10km early evening run, followed by refreshments on the terrace at Gatton Park. There’s music, bag drop, refreshments and bookable parking with proceeds going to the Gatton Trust charity. It’s from 6.30pm.

WORKSHOPS & SESSIONS

Creative workshops
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ various times and dates from Tues 2 Aug – Thurs 11 Aug
Calling all thespians! Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is hosting a range of workshps for children and teens – from lighting and sound design, to musical theatre and storytelling workshops.

The Make Space
■ Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village ■ Wednesday to Sunday during August

Head to the sculpture studio at Watts Gallery and try out different methods and materials to experiment with making in 3D. Sessions are 10.30-11.30am, 1-2pm and 3-4pm and must be booked in advance. £3 per child, ideal for children aged 5 and up.

Children’s art and craft workshops
■ The Lightbox, Woking ■ Selected dates in July and Aug

The Lightbox art gallery in Woking hosts a range of free drop-in workshops for kids of all ages during the summer holidays. There are free drop-in craft sessions from July 26-29, and then again on various dates in August. More info here.

GET OUTDOORS

Come Out and Play
■ Claremont Gardens, Esher ■ Fri 1 July – Mon 29 Aug
Try your hand at Pall Mall, badminton or skittles. Challenge friends and family – there will even be opportunities for your four-legged friend to take part. And while you’re at Claremont Gardens, go for a wander around the lake and spot the ducks and geese, make a pitstop at the Thatched Cottage on your walk and have a go at the Georgian games stacked away inside. There is also small adventure play area and a cafe.

Storybook Summer
■ Godstone Farm, Godstone ■ Sat 23 July – 31 Aug
Lots of fun activities at Godstone Farm this summer – all inspired by your favourite storybooks. There will be den building, crafts and story time, plus animal handling, sheep, duck and pig feeding, guinea pig fishing and a Hog’stacle. You’ll also find adventure playgrounds and indoor playbarns, Creatures Cave and the World of Dinosaur Roar Discovery Trail.

Come Out and Play
■ Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham ■ Sat 16 Jul – Mon 29 Aug
Challenge yourself to go further, faster, for longer with seven sporting challenges. Weave around the posts in a wheelbarrow slalom, reach your personal best in our track challenge or test your hand-eye coordination with a game of frisbee golf. For something a little more energetic, have a go at the circuit challenge and see how many jumping jacks or squats you can do in 30 seconds. And while you’re at Polesden Lacey, there are tree swings and natural play areas along Admirals Walk. Or enjoy simple pleasures like hide and seek amongst the trees or rolling down the South Lawn.

Summer of Fun on the Farm
■ Bocketts Farm, Fetcham ■ Sat 16 July – Sun 4 Sept

Always plenty going at Bocketts Farm, and this summer is no exception. Hop on board the tractor and trailer ride, cheer on your favourite in the Pig Race and meet hundreds of friendly farm animals. Explore acres of outdoor adventure including Squirrel Scramble adventure playground, jumping pillows, sandpits and the Farmula 1 quad bikes. Or, Pan for gold in the ‘Last Chance Mine’ and take home a souvenir medal, challenge family and friends to a game of Water Wars and have a boogie in the daily Bocketts Bubble Disco!

Great Garden Adventure
■ RHS Wisley, near Woking ■ Sat 23 July – Mon 29 Aug
RHS Wisley has plenty going on for kids and families this summer including an explorer quest, bug hunts, tree climbing and planting workshops, plus the chance to learn some bushcraft skills.

Summer Adventures
■ Hatchlands Park, near Guildford ■ Sat 16 July – Mon 29 Aug
Come out and play – try your hand at games such as badminton, volleyball and croquet or challenge friends and family to a space hopper race. A new sensory trail is available at Hatchlands this summer, designed by local charity Cherry Trees with inclusion at its core (cost is £2 per trail plus normal admission). The parkland at Hatchlands is also perfect for family walks – and there’s a natural adventure play area in Great Wix Wood. Plus, the Kitchen cafe is the perfect stop-off for ice creams and coffee.

Butterfly Trail
■ Box Hill, near Dorking ■ Throughout July and August
The sight of a butterfly dancing from flower to flower is always a cheerful sight and a welcome sign of warmer days. Take a wander around Box HIll to see how many you can spot on the butterfly trail. Listen to the podcast and pick up butterfly spotter sheet before you go. The Natural Play Trail is a two-mile level walk and a great chance to play in the woods. There are lots of trees and structures to climb on.

The Tree Adventure
■ Winkworth Arboretum, near Godalming ■ Sat 9 July – Sun 4 Sept
This summer holiday there are exciting activities to complete across the arboretum. Find the activity stations and have fun using the landscape to complete challenges from running, hopping and skipping, to conquering the azalea steps. While you’re there, check out the Tree Adventure, a wonderful wooden structure that its inspiration from the natural environment. There’s also a cafe.

JUST FOR TEENS

boy on rope climbing frame in trees

Driving Experience
■ Mercedes Benz World, Weybridge ■ Available for bookings
For the teen who’s keen to get behind the wheel, there are track driving and off-roading experiences for non-licence holders. More fun than you can shake a gear stick at!

Escape Rooms
■ Tulleys, Crawley
 ■ Available for bookings
Great for older groups (recommended age from 12), these fun indoor challenges are perfect to get teens using their brains during the school break and brilliant on wet weather days.

Wild Wood
■ Stoke Park, Guildford ■ Available for bookings 

With courses for kids ages 6-12 and more advanced routes for the older ones, drag the teenagers out to this tree top adventure course. With the weather improving (touch wood) it’s a faultless way to have outdoors entertainment for all. 

Sandown Sport Adventure Camp
■ Sandown Park, Esher ■ Dates throughout July and August

Dry slope skiing, ringos, skywalking, archery and tons more exciting activities, at £135 for 2 days, the kids can stay active and in the fresh air, while making memories and staying out of trouble! Suitable for ages 8-14.

FESTIVALS

Summer Family Fun Festival
■ The Lightbox, Woking ■ Tues 26 – Fri 29 July
Kick off the summer school holidays with a week of crafting and games at The Lightbox. There will be garden games and ice cream in the courtyard, drop-in and book-ahead craft workshops and a self-led building trail with a sweet prize for those that take part.

Staycation Live Festival
■ Philips Memorial Park, Godalming
 ■ Fri 5 – Sun 7 Aug
It’s the 10th anniversary of Staycation Live, a festival for the Godalming community. Entry is free – though if you can afford it organisers ask festival goers to donate £10 – and as well as a diverse range of music there’s lots to entertain including a kids’ zone and food.

WeyFest
■ The Rural Life Museum, Tilford ■ Fri 19 – Sun 21 Aug
WeyFest is back again in 2022, bringing it’s boutique style festival with more than 30 hours of music, camping, posh loos and plenty to occupy kids and grown ups alike with music, drama and creative arts workshop. Confirmed acts include Billy Ocean and Del Amitri.

LUCKY DIP

 GoBoat
■ GoBoat, Riverside Walk, Kingston ■ Open daily
Take to the waters for an adventurous afternoon on the River Thames. Rentable for 1, 2, 3 or 4 hours, don your lifejackets and sail down the river to Hampton Court Palace, passing Raven’s Ait and Thames Ditton Island. The perfect picnic situation! 

The Brick People: Bringing the Bricks Back
■ Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking ■ Sun 14 Aug
Three events featuring LEGO® bricks, perfect fun for all the family – Lego build and displays. There will be Lego play areas, an anagram trail activity and more.

Brooklands Summer Fete
■ Brooklands Museum, Weybridge ■ July 23 – Aug 31
Head to Brooklands Museum for a fun family day out. There’s a range of  activities each day as well as a daily BBQ  and lots of fun going on around site, including the pedal planes and cars. And the London Bus Museum will be operating bus rides around the local area.

OOPS … TOO LATE ON THESE

The Tiger Who Came to Tea
■ G Live, Guildford ■ Fri 22 and Sat 23 July
Based on the book by Judith Kerr, this much loved story of the tea-guzzling tiger is back on tour. It’s a lovely family show family show packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos. Suitable for kids aged 3+.

The Gruffalo
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Fri 15 Jul & Sat 16 July 

Julia Donaldson’s classic children’s storybook comes to life in this musical adaptation. Expect songs, laughs and monstrous fun for children aged 3 and up and their grown-ups. Fridays shows are at 2pm and 4.30pm, Saturday they’re on at 11am and 2pm.

Pop Princesses
■ New Victoria Theatre, Woking ■ Sat 16 July

This pop concert for kids starring four beautiful princesses who love to sing – and features music from Hirt artists including Little Mix, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.

The Secret Garden
■ Claremont Gardens, Esher ■ Sat 16 July
Join Mary on her journey to discovering The Secret Garden in this family-friendly, dance adaptation of the best-selling novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The iconic story is brought to life like in this one-hour ballet. Perfect for kids and grown ups.

Godstoneberry
■ Flower Farm, Godstone ■ Fri 8 – Sun 10 July

A three-day festival offering up a host of experiences including an eclectic mix of live music and comedy, workshops, a dedicated kids’ space and range of artisan food and drink.

Spontaneous Storytelling with Danyah Miller
■ Cranleigh Arts Centre, Cranleigh ■ Sat 16 July
Award-winning local storyteller Danyah Miller creates spontaneous stories using your suggestions whilst playing a range of storytelling games. A superb way to spark your child’s imagination, you’ll take away ideas which you can use at home together for years to come. Ideal for kids aged 6-10.

Squish – Mama G’s Storytime Roadshow
■ Camberley Theatre ■  Sat 23 July

Combining panto, drag and the art of storytelling this all-singing, partial-dancing extravaganza is filled with stories about being who you are and loving who you want. Popular panto dame Robert Pearce is the star. There’ll be lots of joining in, lots of terrible jokes and most importantly: lots of sequins!

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