Cheap as chips summer holiday events to fascinate and entertain your children in Northamptonshire

The giant sandpit is currently set up in Northampton's Market Square for little one's to use during six-weeks of no term time.
The giant sandpit is currently set up in Northampton's Market Square for little one's to use during six-weeks of no term time.

Stuck for things to do over the next six weeks? We have put together a bumper crop of activities across Northamptonshire for parents, guardians and children to get stuck into for little or no cost at all.

FREE: 'Dennis and the Chamber of Mischief'

What: Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge 2018 Interactive storyteller. Suitable for 6-11 years (booking is required).

Where: Duston Library

When: 27 July

Time: 10am to 11am

FREE: Family Fun Day

What: Tombola, splat the rat, crazy bikes, karate, face painting, street food, bouncy castle, police cars and cadets, reptiles and a free lunch provided by Northampton Partnership Homes. There will be a small cost for a few of the activities.

Where: Kings Heath Park

When: 28 July

Time: 12 noon to 3pm

FREE: Northampton Active (formerly Northampton Playday)

What: Free afternoon of children's play, including a zip-wire, bouncy castles, soft play, sports including football, bowls and tennis... and 'Lenny the Land Train'.

The Northampton Active Stage will also play host to a magician, dance acts and rhymetime performances. (In partnership with Northampton Leisuire Trust and Abington Park Museum). Suitable for ages 0-12 years.

Where: Abington Park Museum and bandstand side

When: 1 August

Time: 12noon to 4pm

FREE: The Little Fun Club

What: Children will be able to take part in a bumper day of free ‘underwater’ activities, as Pearl the Diver and Malinda the Mermaid will be on-hand in the Northampton shopping centre with a range of fun and games. Youngsters can learn the language of mermaids, ‘merspeak’, as well as play guess the sea creature. They can also get creative in the craft station where they can make their very own underwater themed projects – all of which they can take home with them at the end of the day.

Where: The Grosvenor Centre, opposite Primark

When: 1 August

Time: 11am to 4pm on Wednesday 1 August

FREE: Alice in the Garden tea party

What: Decorate your own treat to celebrate National Playday with free face painting, Mad Hatter Hat craft activities and balloon modelling.

Where: Manor House Museum, Alfred East Art Gallery and the museum and gallery garden.

When: 1 August

Time: 12 noon to 3pm

FREE: Make your own theatre

Where: Duston Library

When: 1 August

Time: 10.30am to 11.30am ( booking required)

PAID FOR: Hip Hop Day

What: A jam-packed day of dance, looking at breakdance and choreographic routines in association with local dance company, Body Rox. For ages 7-16.

Where: The Core at Corby Cube

When: 2 August

Time: 9.30am to 4pm

Cost: £25

PAID FOR: Spoken Word Day

What: Look at a range of different styles and work with The Orator to create spoken word and rap. For ages 12-16.

Where: The Core at Corby Cube

When: 3 August

Time: 9.30am to 4pm

Cost: £25

FREE: Rhymetime

What: Duston Library Activities (for under 5's)

Where: Duston Library

When: August 6th, 13th, 20th

Time: 10am to 11am

FREE: Rock Painting Drop In (while stocks last)​

Where: Duston Library

When: 8 August

Time: 2.30pm to 4pm.

FREE: Zoo Story Corner

What: It's time to go WILD! Dress up in your favourite animal fancy dress costume and listen to the story teller as the shopping centre brings to life one of their favourite tales, 'Dear Zoo'.

Get your face painted as your favourite animal and take a picture with our face in the hole boards. Plus you can create your very own animal pencil pot to take home with you.

Where: At Weston Favell's Favell Fun Club.

When: 8 August

Time: 11am to 3pm

FREE: Make Your Own Dreamcatcher (booking is required)​

Where: Duston Library

When: 15 August

Time: 10.30am to 11.30am

FREE: Grow Your Own Cress

What: Get your aprons ready where you will celebrate the start of August! Woohoo, you will be planting our own cress heads! You will learn about looking after the wildlife whilst decorating your own cress head with felt tip pens and stickers. Once ready, fill it with soil and plant your seeds and take them home to watch them grow!

Where: Weston Favell Shopping Centre

When: 1 August

Time: 11am to 3pm

FREE: Youth Graffiti Project Workshop

Where: St David’s Church community rooms,

When: 3 August

Time: 2pm to 4pm

FREE: Bradlaugh Fields Community Show

When: 4 August,

Time: 10am to 5pm

PAID FOR: Brilliant Birds

What: Join us for a walk around the aviary and learn about the birds that are kept there. Then make some feathery friends in our brilliant bird craft workshop. Suitable for children of all ages. Booking essential.

Where: Abington Park Museum

When: 7 August

Time: 1.15 to 2pm, 2.15 to 3pm, 3.15 to 4pm

Cost: £2.50 per child

Call 01604 838110 Tuesday to Sunday 1-5pm or www.northampton.gov.uk/museumkids

FREE: Youth Graffiti Project Painting

Where: MUNGA area St David’s

When: 10 August

Time: 11am to 4pm

FREE: Children’s Face Painting

Where: Northampton Market Square

When: 11 August,

Time: 11am to 3.30pm

Free of charge

FREE: Edwardian Extravaganza

What: Take a step back in time to Abington 1901-1910 at our Edwardian themed family fun day. Take part in craft activities, fancy dress and Edwardian mini Olympics on the lawn. Enjoy music Edwardian music, watch a Punch and Judy show, and try your performance skills in our Edwardian variety show! Drop in – no booking required. Please note there will be a small charge for some of the activities.

Where: Abington Park Museum

When: 11 August

Time: 1-5pm

FREE: Kinky Boots screening

What: Big screen showings of Kinky Boots.

Where: Becket’s Park

When: 12 August

Time: Two screenings: 11am and 2.30pm

PAID FOR: Arts Workshop

What: Create a printed and collaged park landscape using painted papers, stencils and simple printmaking techniques. Suitable for children aged five and over. Booking essential. Call 01604 838110 Tuesday to Sunday 1-5pm or www.northampton.gov.uk/museumkids

Where:Abington Park Museum

When: 14 August

Time: 1.15-2pm, 2.15-3pm, 3.15-4pm

Cost: £2.50 per child

FREE: Sun Time, Fun Time

What: Join the centre as they check in and board the flight on a Sunny Summer Holiday with Favell Fun Club. You're invited to create your own smiling sunshine. Learn one the best Summertime songs using sign language - 'You are my Sunshine'.

When: 15 August

Where: Weston Favell Shopping Centre

PAID FOR: Anchors Away!

What: Join Abington Park Model Yacht Club to learn how to sail your very own model yacht. Decorate and find out how to set up your yacht. Then, test your boat sailing skills and race against the other model boats at Abington Park boating lake. Suitable for children aged five and over. Learning session will take place from 1-2pm, boating lake session 2-3pm. This activity will involve support from supervising adult to enable the child to participate.

Booking essential. Booking essential. Call 01604 838110 Tuesday to Sunday 1-5pm or www.northampton.gov.uk/museumkids

Find out more about Abington Park Model Yacht Club at www.apmyc.weebly.com

Where: Abington Park Museum

When: 16 August

Time: 1pm to 3pm

Cost: £5 per child

PAID FOR: Radio Sailing with Abington Park Model Yacht Club

What: Join Abington Park Model Yacht Club to learn all about sailing a radio controlled boat. Yachts will be provided by Abington Park Model Yacht Club for you to try.

Day one - a short session at the museum, learning about the radio controlled yacht, followed by a trip to Abington Park boating lake to learn how to operate the yachts on the water.

Day two - some basic theory, followed by a mini regatta with a small prize for the winner!

Suitable for children aged eight and over. Children must be supervised by an adult at all times. This activity will involve support from supervising adult to enable the child to participate.

Booking essential. Call 01604 838110 Tuesday to Sunday 1-5pm or www.northampton.gov.uk/museumkids

Find out more about Abington Park Model Yacht Club at www.apmyc.weebly.com

Where: Abington Park Museum

When: 21 and 23 August

Time: 1pm to 3pm

Cost: £6 per child for the two afternoon sessions

FREE: Pom Pom Pets (booking is required)

Where: Duston Library

When: 22 August

Time: 10.30am to 11am

FREE: Pooh Bear and Friends Crafts

What: Favell Fun club is tasting sweet as we make our own hunny pot perfect for any Pooh Bear! Take your hunny pot home and follow their map around the centre to find all your favourite Pooh Bear characters and return it to collect your popping popcorn treat.

Where: Weston Favell Shopping Centre

When: 22 August

Time: 11am to 3pm

PAID FOR: Puppet Workshop

What: Learn all about puppets, see the puppets in their collection, and have a go at making your very own puppet. Suitable for children of all ages. Booking essential. Booking essential. Call 01604 838110 Tuesday to Sunday 1-5pm or www.northampton.gov.uk/museumkids

Where: Abington Park Museum

When: 30 August

Time: 1.15pm to 2pm, 2.15pm to 3pm, 3.15pm to 4pm

Cost: £3 per child.

All Summer long activities:

Free Summer Activities for Kids in Northampton

What: A team of seven, managed by authorities including the county and borough council, will be leading a summer of fun free activities with no set timetable. So simply turn up and get stuck into rounders, basketball, capture the flag, football, arts and crafts and much more. For children and young people aged 5 to 16 years old. Remember to bring lunch and parents bring a chair if you're wanting to stay with your little ones or you're also invited to get involved too.

When: Ongoing from 30 July to August 23.

Where: Every Monday the event will be held at Great Billing Parish Pocket Park (NN3 9EF)

Every Tuesday the event will be held at South Fields Park (NN3 5JA)

Every Wednesday the event will be held at Lings Wood Park (NN3 8TA)

Every Thursday the event will be held at the Racecourse (NN1 4LG)

Time: 10am to 1pm

FREE: Elsie’s Café Fighting Holiday Hunger for All Children

What: Pick up a bag containing a picnic lunch for your child every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime. Due to the voluntary nature of Elsie’s operation and to maintain their commitment to prevent food waste, bags must be ordered a day in advance and are subject to availability. Book a picnic bag by e-mailing summerlunchbags@gmail.com or call in person at Elsie’s Café. Children must be accompanied by an adult to book a picnic bag, which they can eat it in the cafe, in their garden or take elsewhere. It is anticipated the bags will contain protein (meat, cheese etc) bread, fruit, something sweet and a drink.

Where: From Elsie’s Café at Market Street Community Rooms, Brunswick Place, Northampton.

Time: 11:45am to 12:15pm

FREE: The Harts Summer Rock Club

What: The pub is holding a free event every Monday of the summer holidays - the event is called the Harts summer rock club and is in the spirit of the current rock craze in the community. Children are welcome to come during these hours to design their own rocks ready to go and hide in the community. Rocks are provided but parents are reminded that packed lunches are not allowed but food for the family can be bought in the restaurant.

Where: The Hart pub in Duston (573 Harlestone Road)

When: Every Monday during the school holidays

Time: 12 noon to 4pm

FREE: Market Square Beach

What: A giant sand pit, buckets and spades, deck chairs, children’s fairground rides will be opening at the bottom of the market square seven days a week, weather permitting.

Where: Northampton Market Square

When: 26 July to 2 September

Time: 10am to 4pm

PAID FOR: Stay and Play and Mini Beast Hunts

Where: Bradlaugh Fields

When: Every Wednesday

Time: 10am to 12pm

Cost: £1.50

FREE: Market Square Beach

What: The giant sandpit is hosted by the council and free to use. It will be giving away free buckets and spades for families on Saturday 28th July and until stocks last.

Where: Wellingborough town centre

When: From 28 July to 16 August

Time: 10am to 4pm.

Kettering by the Sea

What: The giant sand pit will be open from 20 July until 18 August every day (except Sundays).

Where: Market Place in Kettering

Time: 10am to 4pm

Interactive ghost trail

All day, any day,

Pick up a trail map from the Guildhall in Northampton.

FREE: Nasty Northampton

What: An exhibition for all the family that looks at the hysterical and hideous histories of Northampton, from the exploits of Francis Tresham in the Gunpowder Plot and his eventual fate as a severed head at Northampton castle to the secret of what leveller Captain Pouch had in his pocket. Find out why Northampton started to make shoes and about the crimes of the Culworth gang, a notorious gang of robbers in the 18th century. With lots of things to see and do the exhibition brings Northampton’s odd history to life.

Where: Grosvenor Shopping Centre

When: Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday (running until September 16)

Time: 12 to 5pm