Discover 26 of the best places to take the kids in Gloucestershire when it’s raining – from marvellous museums and farmyard animals, to trampoline centres and adventure parks.
Situated in the heart of the city, the Museum of Gloucester offers free entry and a fascinating day out for the whole family. Open Thursday to Saturday, from 10am to 3pm, visitors can expect to see Roman grave stones, famous artworks, exhibitions on dinosaurs, one of the oldest games in the world and more artefacts that will boggle the mind.
For more information, visit facebook.com/MuseumofGloucester.
Families can go on the prowl for dinosaurs at the Museum of Gloucester, find a skull and discover some amazing artefacts from thousands of years ago, there’s also a chance to head into a Roman kitchen and see part of the Roman city wall – and all with free entry.
There’s plenty of under-cover activities for families to enjoy without getting soaked at Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park. Small ones can romp around the heated soft play area, with all ages enjoying playing in the huge covered sandpit and meeting the farm park’s residents in the sheltered animal barn.
Discover hours of indoor entertainment at the Dean Heritage Centre, which offers five on-site galleries exploring the history of the Forest of Dean from the Iron Age to the present day. There’s also a Forester’s Cottage and Victorian School Room, so kids can step back in time. And, if it happens to brighten up, don’t miss exploring The Gruffalo Trail.
You’re never too young to be introduced to the magic of live theatre and Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre is hosting a number of family-friendly, socially distanced performances in 2021 – including a visit from Peppa Pig, honk, honk!
Located on the outskirts of Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswold Clubhouse is a fun-filled soft play centre with plenty to entertain children up to the age of 11. There’s a separate space for under threes, a reading nook and an on-site café too. For more ideas, check out our round up of Gloucestershire's soft play centres.
Expelliarmus! Eagle-eyed youngsters can discover which of Gloucester Cathedral’s cloisters doubled as the corridors of Hogwarts during Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and The Half Blood Prince.
Located in Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter, Mr Mulligan’s has two 18-hole adventure golf courses to choose from. With kids – and grown-ups too! – testing their putting skills on a variety of different crazy golf obstacles.
A day out steeped in history, with plenty of indoor exhibitions to keep families educated and entertained in a downpour, there are three castles to choose from in and around Gloucestershire, including the stunning Sudeley Castle and Gardens in Winchcombe, the striking Berkeley Castle, near Stroud, and Eastnor Castle in nearby Ledbury.
In a shower, all ages can head to the covered hides at Slimbridge Wetland Centre to watch birds in the warm and dry. Kids are sure to have heaps of fun splashing around in outdoor wet playground, Welly Boot Land, drying off afterwards with a walk through the indoor Toad Hall exhibit.
Take cover for the rain and tuck into some scrumptious sweet treats at Creams Café in Cheltenham’s Brewery Quarter. Let the kids choose from sweet sundaes, wonderful waffles or perfect pancakes.
Go underground to escape the drizzle, with a visit to Clearwell Caves: in the Forest of Dean. Hear the miners’ stories, explore nine impressive caverns, and soak up the atmospheric displays, with plenty to keep young visitors enthralled.
Children with a need for speed, can whiz round the tracks at JDR Karting in Gloucester on safe, electric karts – and not worry about splashing any pedestrians!
Aviation enthusiasts old and young will be fascinated at Gloucester’s Jet Age Museum, which is home to an impressive exhibition and a replica of Britain’s first jet aircraft, the Gloster E.28/39.
Little ones can let their imaginations run wild at Dinky Street in Bishop’s Cleeve, where children can head into the different rooms to try their hand at hairdressing, being a doctor, building a wall or serving up cakes in the café.
Whether it’s striking out on the bowling lanes, playing video games or getting competitive at air hockey, Stroud Bowl, Tenpin in Gloucester and Hollywood Bowl Cheltenham provide a fun and safe haven away from the wind and rain. Bowling with little ones? Ask for a ramp to help them take aim, and gutter guards too.
Airborne offers hours of indoor entertainment at its trampoline park in Cheltenham. As well as trampolines, kids can test their skills on the air bag, battle beam and ninja run. There is also a dedicated toddler time session for little ones too.
Families can get creative with some pottery painting fun in Gloucestershire, at The Paint It Yourself Pottery Company in Cheltenham and Pick a Pot and Paint in Cirencester, offering pint-sized Picassos the opportunity to create their own mug or plate masterpieces, with the chance to immortalise tiny footprints, or handprints proving popular with parents too.
Escape the elements and head to Warehouse in Gloucester, where you’ll discover an impressive indoor climbing venue with a bouldering floor and Kids’ Zone or Far Peak in Northleach offering indoor climbing and bouldering, with a dedicated kids’ climbing area suitable for nippers as young as three.
Put their reflexes to the test at Laser Tag Gloucester, situated at Gloucester’s popular JDR Karting Arena. The Aliens vs Predators themed multi-floor arena, complete with amazing props, promises an exciting experience and even allows skilled shooters to take aim at their opponents through the floor.
Take shelter from the rain on board the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway, which runs between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.
Children under five years old can travel free of charge and there’s also free activity sheets available from the stations to keep the kids entertained throughout the journey.
Providing hours of educational entertainment, the county’s libraries are reopening, offering the chance to get lost in a good book or enjoy time on the computers, while storytelling, book clubs, craft sessions, poetry workshops, baby bounce, rhyme time and much more will keep little ones of all ages busy – and learning – without them even realising!
Make a splash without heading into the rain with a swimming session at Leisure at Cheltenham which has lots to offer littles one, including a main pool, a teaching pool, and a diving pool, and when it reopens, a fun-filled Splash Pad – an indoor aquatic play zone for children up to the age of eight.
Open from mid-February to mid-December, Cotswold Motoring Museum in Bourton-on-the-Water is the home of television star, Brum. Meanwhile, visitors of all generations will enjoy the attraction’s impressive toy collection, which includes everything from pedal cars and model aeroplanes, to jigsaws and board games.
Located in the second largest town in Roman Britain, Cirencester’s Corinium Museum offers a fascinating look at what life was like in Roman times, including impressive mosaics and a Roman garden to explore, alongside amazing artefacts like pre-historic jewellery, an Anglo-Saxon shield, ancient tombstones and Tudor coins.
Dare devils aged 10 and above will jump at the chance to visit one of Europe’s largest indoor skateparks right on their doorstep in Gloucestershire. Providing a shelter from the storms and an area to try out some tricks, Rush in Stroud is five parks in one, with a one-of-a-kind street section; park section; bowl section; practice area with a Resi jump box; and a foam pit.
And while they’re not open right now, the cinema at Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury regularly shows family films, Sherborne Cinema offers a unique setting and brilliant value with tickets, while Gloucester Guildhall's cinema also regularly shows films suitable for kids – with well-priced tickets and deals.
For more information, visit facebook.com/MuseumofGloucester.
Monday 07 September 2020
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