This summer sit back and relax whilst the Lake District, Cumbria entertains the whole family with a host of cultural activities to inspire all ages. We have some of the best family-friendly attractions in the most awe-inspiring landscape you’re ever likely to find. There are plenty of events and productions to fire up the imagination whatever fuels your family’s needs. From interactive museums and exhibitions, to flying through the sky on a tree top adventure, it’s time to pack a picnic and enjoy some quality family time in the Lake District, Cumbria.
Entertain the whole family this summer in the Lake District with a host of cultural delights for all ages
// DISCOVER PETER RABBIT AND BEATRIX POTTER
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter this year, the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere and the Old Laundry Theatre are staging a very special world premiere of family musical adventure ‘Where Is Peter Rabbit?’ With lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn, this innovative show combines live performance, projection and recording, with Miriam Margolyes and Griff Rhys Jones lending their voices too. The ten week run of the musical will play up to three shows a day throughout the summer. Adult tickets cost £8 and children £6. A family ticket comprising of two adults and two children costs £25.
// EXPLORE WILLIAM WORDSWORTH’S GRASMERE
New for 2016, all accompanied children aged 16 and under go FREE at William Wordsworth’s inspirational home, Dove Cottage and The Wordsworth Museum, in the picturesque village of Grasmere. During the school holidays get stuck into their Family Events & Activities programme and enjoy hands-on learning in their family activity room, fully equipped with toys, art and antique objects to explore. Every Tuesday you can take part in ‘Terrific Treks’ exploring the area with their education team and learn about the wild landscape of the Lake District. See what birds and animals you can spot and collect plant specimens for further examination. Hear extracts of Wordsworth’s poems and Dorothy’s journal as well as taking time to sketch and chat.
Thursday mornings welcome a new early year’s session, ‘Rucksack of Rhymes’ for children age 0-5 years. Exploring Wordsworth’s poems through songs, rhymes and stories. Each week the rucksack contains toys, and sensory objects relating to the poem which can be explored by children, their parents or carers.
Whilst in Grasmere enjoy a short walk to the historic house and gardens of Allan Bank. A place to really relax, explore and enjoy with all the family. Once the home to William Wordsworth and National Trust founder Canon Rawnsley today the house is a perfect retreat to simply paint, play and make memories without the worry of disturbing historic artefacts or breaking precious objects.
From the 23 July as part of the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth, run the risk of bumping into old Mr McGregor and take part in Mr McGregor’s Garden Trail, as you make your way around his garden hunting for clues. He’s nowhere to be seen, but his coat is hanging on the shed door so he can’t be too far away. Complete the trail without getting caught to claim your prize. A standard family ticket costs £14.75 and Mr McGregor’s Garden Trail is included in the admission price.
// SWALLOWS & AMAZONS CONISTON ADVENTURE
Now it’s time for some culture in the great outdoors and what better way to see the Lake District than by water. With the release of the BBC’s new film adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s book Swallows & Amazons, it’s time for you and your family to experience life on the water and enjoy a sailing adventure all of your own.
Let outdoor adventure company Joint Adventures guide you around Coniston Water. Travel to places only accessible by canoe or Kayak, such as ‘Secret Harbour’ on ‘Wild Cat Island’, where you can explore the island and see where John, Susan, Titty and The Boy Roger set up their tents and played pirates and even make the ‘Jump’.
Or if you just fancy exploring on your own you can have a totally authentic experience by hiring a dingy in true ‘Swallows’ style or for a modern twist you could even try your hand at stand up paddle board (SUP) from the Coniston Boating Centre. Or you could enjoy an afternoon cruise on the Coniston Launch and travel down the peaceful east side of the lake to find locations including ‘The Amazon River’ and ‘Octopus Lagoon’.
You can enjoy an amazing forest art and Swallows and Amazons adventure with our Lakes Culture Grizedale and Coniston itinerary
// FOREST FUN WITH STICK MAN, ZIP WIRES AND SCULPTURE
Grizedale Forest, in the heart of the Lake District, offers an unrivalled day out for all the family. Choose from a variety of walking & cycling trails to suit all that take in amazing large outdoor sculptures. Join Stick Man on his forest adventure trails and set off with an activity pack to help get Stick Man get back to the family tree! The pack contains the trail leaflet, activity sheets, pencil, crayon and pipe cleaners to make your Stick Man. Buy your activity pack from the visitor information centre between 10.00am to 4pm. Cost £3.
Another way to fill an hour whilst deep in the trees is to explore the canopies, trail blazing with Tree Top Junior. Negotiate crossings and finish on a high (literally) with one awesome zip wire. After your adventure find a quiet spot to admire the wildlife, amazing sculptures, and relax with a well-earned ice cream before burning off any excess energy on the amazing adventure play area.
// Lakes Alive, Kendal, 26 – 28 August
Don’t forget to leave some time to visit the historic and vibrant market town of Kendal, just a stone’s throw away from the heart of the Lake District. Packed full of things to do to this summer including the annual arts festival Lakes Alive with a range of contemporary visual art exhibitions, new digital commissions and spectacular happenings including performance and installation. Then just sit back and enjoy a Free Gig in the Brewery Arts Centre Garden whilst the kids run free around the grounds.
// LAKES CULTURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PLACES TO EAT
Whilst out and about enjoying a day out with the family treat yourself to a bite to eat or a light refreshment at one of our family favourite café’s, tearooms and of course ice cream stops!
World of Beatrix Potter Attraction Tea Room, Bowness on Windermere LA23 3BX
Visit the Award-winning family-friendly Beatrix Potter™ themed Tea Room, open every day from 10am. Sample a selection of tempting treats made from fresh local ingredients and home-grown salad and vegetables grown in their very own kitchen garden. Kids love the Peter Rabbit™ Picnic Basket with a selection of sandwiches, snacks, fruit and a drink. High chairs, baby food heating facilities and baby change facilities are all available.
Tweedies Bar, Grasmere LA22 9SW
With one of most stunning gardens perfect for the kids to play whilst Mum and Dad relax is Tweedies Bar in Grasmere. Serving the kids a variety of dishes from mini pie and mash or beans on toast it is the perfect stop for a light lunch in between one of the villages many attractions.
The Bluebird Café, Coniston LA21 8AN
After your Swallows and Amazons adventure head straight to the Bluebird Café on the shores of Coniston for a well-earned slice of homemade cake washed down with a refreshing milkshake or smoothie.
Grainstore at Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal LA9 4HE
Pop into the relaxed and friendly environment of the Grainstore to fill a hunger gap whatever the size of your appetite. The menu is designed so you can order a selection of their special Brewery-style tapas or stone-baked pizzas, with a special children’s menu available if you don’t want them sharing your tapas!
Old Laundry Theatre – LA23 3BX
Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum – LA22 9SH
Allan Bank – LA22 9QB
Brantwood – LA21 8AD
Coniston Launch – LA21 8AN
Joint Adventures – LA21 8EW
Coniston Boating Centre – LA21 8EW
Grizedale Forest – LA22 0QJ
Go Ape Tree Top Adventure – LA22 0QJ
Brewery Arts Centre – LA9 4HE
World of Beatrix Potter Attraction Tea Room – LA23 3BX
Tweedies Bar – LA22 9SW
Blue Bird Café – LA21 8AN
. . . . . . . . . . .
To enjoy these Lakes Culture events and much more, book your break in the Lake District here