Looking for things to do this May Half Term near Tunbridge Wells? We have it covered!
Lockdown is easing and finally we have some time ahead with the kids where we can actually do things, see friends and have new adventures. For most, the May half term 2021 runs from 31st May to 6th / 7th June.
We’ve put together a huge list of ideas and inspiration of what’s going on this half term for kids in the area. Fingers crossed for good weather! Let us know if you can think of any addition things to do this May half term near Tunbridge Wells, and don’t forget to tag us on social media (if you want to) if you do any of these activities. And mostly, have fun!
[Please note – we try to be as accurate as possible with the info, dates, locations and times, but please always double check the details directly with the venue or organiser where possible. Also with most ticketed attractions, you will need to book ahead at the moment…
♥ Treasure Hunt
The next instalment in Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s ‘Say Hi to your High Street’ campaign sees us returning to Hawkhurst this Saturday – 5th June! Visitors to the town this Saturday are invited to take part in a very special treasure hunt with lots of wonderful prizes on offer. Plus the monthly Hawkhurst Farmer’s Market is taking place this Saturday from 9am to 12 noon too!
♥ Get creative
There’s loads of fantastic creative activities going on at Arty Farty Southborough this half term. This includes a Design Your Fairy workshop, Puppet Show workshop and a watercolour painting day. You can book via their website or ring up.
♥ Find the Gruffalo
Go on the Gruffalo trail at Bedgebury Pinetum, meeting all the characters from one of the best-loved children’s storybook. If your kids are older, there’s also a fab Go Ape at Bedgebury, but be sure to book ahead.
♥ Outdoor activities for older kids
Over at Betteshanger Country Park there’s a holiday club running for children aged 9-14 years. There’ll be mountain biking, archery and geocaching on offer through out the week and you can book on daily.
♥ Make a splash at the Aqua Park
The giant water playground at Bewl Water features climbing walls, trampolines, balancing bars, rockers, rollers and blast bags and much more! The course is suitable for individuals, groups, families, adults and children.
♥ Camp out at Bewl
As well as all the amazing activities Bewl has to offer, you can also camp there on their camp site. The peaceful site has been designed with families in mind, and there’s also an amazing looking Poacher’s Hut you can hire.
♥ Mess about on the river
Take a trip down to the tranquil Bodium Boating Station and try your hand at kayaking, rowing or stand-up paddleboarding. If you want to make a bigger break of it, their campsite is also open, plus you can grab breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or just a drink at the Lime Wharf Café on site.
♥ Learn to build a den like a pro
Enjoy an action-packed day at Bore Place learning how to build a den and build a campfire on this one-day course on 1 June. Suitable for kids aged 6-11, the course will also cover bushcraft activities, a farm tour, hot chocolate and marshmallow toasting. The course is quite booked up but if you contact them following the link then they might be able to squeeze you in.
More terrific things to do this May Half Term near Tunbridge Wells!
♥ Become a wildlife warrior
Another fab one-day course at Bore Place, taking place all day on 2 June is their Wildlife Warrior course. Kids aged 6-11 can roam the gardens, woodlands and farmland in search of wildlife and hunt for minibeasts – there’s even pond dipping! There will also be a chance to build a clay pot, sow some seeds and play some games. Again, this is very full but they might be able to add your child to the course if you contact them soon.
♥ Explore life on the seven seas
After a seven-month closure, Chatham Dockyard has finally reopened. There’s loads to discover there including walking the decks of the Victorian HMS Gannet and the Second World War Destroyer HMS Cavalier. And opening on 29 May is the “Hidden Heroines” exhibition, exploring the untold stories of women at the Dockyard. You can book your visit online.
♥ Go tobogganing at the UK’s longest track
Did you know Chatham Ski Centre is home to the UK’s longest tobogganing track? And you and your kids can have a go for as little as £3.50. You can also do tubing (going down the slopes in an inflatable tubes) which is suitable for kids over four years.
♥ Learn to cook together
Over in Deal, Chequers Kitchen Cookery School are running family cooking classes on the Thursday of half term. The half-day course will see you whipping up apple turnovers and Cornish pasties. If you’re looking for a weekend jaunt then there are family classes in sushi making and how to make pasta from scratch.
♥ Climb the walls (literally)
The fantastic Clip and Climb in Tonbridge has now reopened. You can book sessions for parties of up to six. In your session you’ll get a 30-minute introduction, 55 minutes of climbing and then time to remove your harness. There are loads of different walls to try out, plus you can also book for the Stairway to Heaven experience, which adrenaline junkies will love.
♥ Go time travelling to WWII
Discover what life was like during the Second World War at Dover Castle. The castle is hosting a Dover at War event over the late May bank holiday (30 & 31 May), with characters to meet, secrets to uncover and stories to piece together in order to help characters be successful in their mission. Advance booking is essential.
Time to visit somewhere new?
♥ Try the new playground café
The brilliant St John’s coffee shop Even Flow has opened a new café in St John’s park near the playground. Grab a coffee and tasty treat and let the kids burn off some steam while you enjoy five minutes’ peace.
♥ Practice your ninja skills
The amazing Flip Out in Lakeside is most kids’ dream attraction: there’s a multi-level interactive ninja tag zone, a full-sized travelator, climbing walls, a parkour and stunt box arena, trampolines and more. One thing is for sure: it’ll definitely tire them out!
♥ Forest Jacks Forest School
Forest Jacks Summer School in Chiddingstone is running sessions on selected dates across half term. Situated within the grounds of the beautiful Chiddingstone Castle, participants get to enjoy a range of different woodland activities including whittling, fire lighting and fabric printing. Email email@example.com to find out more.
♥ Meet some dinosaurs on the farm
A brand new World of Dinosaur Roar! discovery trail opens at Godstone Farm on 29th May. The trail is included in the price of entry, and will be a trail through natural woodland, with plenty of life-sized dinosaurs to meet. There are currently two types of tickets available at Godstone: entry to farm (including the new trail) or entry to the farm with indoor playbarn access. Either way, be sure to book ahead.
♥ Meet Captain Hook and Peter Pan
The gorgeous estate of Groombridge Place is hosting two special characters over the May bank holiday (30 & 31 May) – Captain Hook and Peter Pan. There’s also a BBQ operating throughout the holidays at Crusoe World, their pirate-themed playground.
♥ Eureka Seekers Alice in Wonderlab workshop
Have you been to Gulliver’s Play Cafe in charming Cranbrook? Based in the heart of the town, taking place on 1st June, find out more about the Eureka Seekers event here (suitable for children from age 3 to 11 years).
♥ An enchanting day out at Herstmonceux Castle Estate
Within the beautiful 300-acre estate of Herstmonceux Castle, visitors can explore formal gardens, woodland trails, meadows, and lakes, all set around a majestic 15th century moated castle. For younger visitors, there is an outdoor play area on this beautiful estate and giant tree swing plus the family challenge of the Marlow Rope Maze – no cheating allowed!
Looking for more things to do this May Half Term near Tunbridge Wells?
♥ Explore the past
There’s a Discovery Week running at Hever Castle throughout half term (29 May – 2 June, as well as 5 & 6 June). There will be opportunities for kids to meet Victorian and Edwardian scientists as they explore inventions from history, as well as get their hands dirty on an archeological dig.
♥ Animals, rides and entertainment all in one place
The Hop Farm will have all it’s fantastic attractions open for kids this May half term, including the giant jumping pillows and the driving school. There’s also indoor and outdoor play areas, rides and live entertainment.
♥ Enjoy the great outdoors
The Hub in Bodium has heaps of stuff to keep you and the kids entertained this half term. There are pop-up food events with bbq, pizza and pintxo nights, as well as loads of water-based fun including paddleboarding. Plus there’s a forest school running through half term too, which you can go to all week or just for one day.
♥ Visit the ice cream farm
You can’t beat Latchett’s for a lovely trip for ice cream. This farm has a brilliant array of tasty and interesting ice creams to eat there or take away. Outside is a little play area (suitable for younger kids, really) and plenty of picnic benches. There’s also Dove’s Playbarn soft play on the same site, which should open come half term!
♥ Be at one with wildlife
Leeds Castle is hosting a week-long event to celebration National Garden Wildlife Week. The kids can get their hands dirty as they discover how to plant seeds and what makes them grow, go on a bug safari and take part in a wildlife trail. There will also be a sunflower marquee where kids can plant their own seeds to take home. Book your timeslot online.
♥ Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea
Why not pop along to The Little Cabin Café in Hildenborough? Sit in the cute little cabins and watch horses and their riders trot past, while sampling some of their amazing cakes. Sounds like bliss to us!
♥ Decorate some delicious biscuits
It’s always good to have a rainy day activity up your sleeve during the school holidays, right? The lovely (and local) Naomi at Noble Bakes has a brilliant range of Paint-Your-Own biscuits, with everything from space, dinosaur and mermaid-themed sets. The price includes delivery.
♥ See Peter Rabbit 2 at The Odeon
Hurrah! Cinemas have reopened, and The Odeon is running their adults pay kids’ prices offer throughout half term again. The long-awaited release of Peter Rabbit 2 is showing at Tunbridge Wells Odeon, along with Cats & Dogs 3, Felix and the Hidden Treasure and Tom & Jerry The Movie.
♥ Spring Garden Trail – Tilly’s Tricky Day
Visit Penshurst Place & Gardens between 29th May and 6th June to take part in Tilly’s Tricky Day – a Spring Garden Trail where visitors can learn about the story of Tilly the gardener and her tricky day in the grounds. As you help her find some tools and pots that have mysteriously gone missing, uncover the culprits behind the havoc!
♥ Go through the looking glass…
The folks at Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures has a new immersive experience based on Alice in Wonderland. Groups of six will scurry down the rabbit’s warren to meet the Cheshire cat and the Mad Hatter, play games and create magical memories. Booking is open now.
♥ …Or join Fagin’s gang
Also at Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures is the Oliver Twist experience. You’ll visit the smoky Victorian streets of London, meeting Nancy and having an immersive theatrical experience – plus learn how to pick a pocket or two with the Artful Dodger. They will also adapt the performance to your group, so if you have younger members they can make the experience more lighthearted.
Have a magical time this May Half Term!
♥ Have Tea with the Tangled Princess and Red Mermaid!
Once Upon a Wish Events are back at their exciting Emporium in Royal Victoria Place as well as at the Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel. From a ‘Tangled Tea Time’ to Princess & Superhero School plus so much more, there is plenty to choose from.
♥ Play Pooh Sticks at the actual Winnie the Pooh bridge
Pop “Pooh Car Park” into your sat nav and head for the real Pooh Sticks Bridge. The bridge was recently damaged in a storm, but has been lovingly reinstated. The bridge is an easy 30-minute walk from the car park – perfect for little legs.
♥ Paint some pottery
There’s a new pottery painting shop opening in Tonbridge, The Pottery Box, and it looks fab. There are three booths to hire, and hiring one gives you 1 hour 45 minutes. There are loads of things to choose from to paint, and staff on hand to help. Book your slot online.
♥ Check out the Discovery Trail at Priory Farm
The beautiful Discovery Trail at Priory Farm is well worth checking out. There have been loads of new bits added this year to the trail. The trail is designed with children in mind and aims to educate them about nature. Booking is essential.
♥ Try your hand at wild weaving
Enjoy breathtaking views and learn how to wild weave at The Riverhill Himalayan Gardens this half term (running Saturday 29 May – Sunday 6 June. Kids will be able to make a natural loom to then create an natural memory board of your visit. It’s worth noting that the gardens are closed on Tuesday 1 June. Book your tickets online.
♥ Ride a steam train
The lovely Spa Valley Railway has recently reopened, and they’ll be running their heritage diesel trains between Tunbridge Wells and Eridge over the bank holiday weekend (29 May – 31 May). You can book a private compartment for groups of up to six people, and all bookings need to be made in advance online.
♥ Explore Tilgate Park
The wonderful Tilgate Park has so much to do. On their website you can download printables to do a tree trail, there’s Go Ape, a nature centre with more than 100 species of animals, and the lovely Lakeside Café. The Walled Garden has enough in itself to fill your visit: there’s another café here, a maze and theme gardens. You can also buy some crafts from local artists at the Craft Units, or get your dog washed (yes, really!) at the self-service dog wash.
♥ Take the leap at Tigers Gymnastics Holiday Club
Recommended for children of primary school age, Tigers Gymnastics are hosting their popular holiday club at their new venue in Chapman Way, Tunbridge Wells.
♥ Brush up on your tennis skills
Tunbridge Wells Lawn Tennis Club is running holiday camps for kids from 3 to 11+ throughout the week (excluding the bank holiday). They’ll learn ball skills and get expert coaching. You can sign up for a whole week or just a single day.
♥ Jump for joy: trampoline parks have reopened
Although we still really miss JumpIn in Tonbridge, there is Urban Jump slightly further afield in Heathfield. During half term there will be family jump sessions every morning.
♥ Relax and reconnect
OK, so half terms aren’t known for being especially relaxing for parents, but Wakehurst are running a well-being week during half term in support of Mental Heath Awareness Week. You can book on to feel-good challenges, sound baths and plant percussion workshops, as well as going on a mindfulness trail. All time slots are bookable online.
Enjoy the great outdoors this half term!
♥ Crafts, walks and pizzas in the woods
We love Wilderness Wood all year round, and this half term they’re doing some lovely events. Over the bank holiday weekend there will be woodland craft demos and delicious pizzas served from their open wood-fired oven. Go for a woodland walk and discover their new play areas (their new swing is epic!) while you’re there. They’re trying to be spontaneous so there’s no booking – if the car park’s full they’re at capacity.
♥ See the cutest puppet show
Also at Wilderness Wood, Du Iz Tak is a puppet show about tiny creatures exploring their ever-changing home. The show will allow for just three families/households at a time, and it lasts for 30 minutes. This one you do have to book ahead for.
♥ Try one of our favourite walks
We’ve put together a list of some brilliant walks in the area here.
Looking for more ideas for things to around Tunbridge Wells during May Half Term? You may find some of these blog posts useful:
- The best things to do in Kent when it’s raining.
- 9 of the best family bike rides in Kent and East Sussex
- 50+ family days out in Kent and East Sussex.
- 50 things to do for free with the kids in Kent
- 15 best beaches in Kent and East Sussex
- Top places for soft play in Tunbridge Wells.