With less than a month to go until the kids go back to school, the pressure’s on to give them a summer to remember. After all, they need something to brag about with their pals in the classroom.
If you’re running out of ideas, the local park’s losing its appeal and the words “I’m booooored!” are driving you mad, fear not – we’ve got some suggestions you might not have thought of that are guaranteed to please even the moodiest of offspring…
Get your Harry Potter fix for free
What’s more fun than spending hours and hours fruitlessly trying to get tickets to the Cursed Child? Well, most things, to be fair. But if there’s a Harry Potter nut in your house (even if it’s one of the adults!), they will go potty for the exhibition currently running in London’s West End.
Graphic design duo MinaLima produced props for all of the Harry Potter films, so if you hit up their show at The House Of MinaLima on Greek Street, Soho, you’ll get to gaze at artefacts including Hogwarts Express tickets, front page prints of the Daily Prophet and Harry’s school acceptance letter. The venue is small, but it’s packed full of marvels to delight any HP obsessive.
But be warned, entry might be free but it would be rude not to pick up a souvenir – and there’s plenty of Harry merch available in the gift shop.
The exhibition runs seven days a week throughout August and beyond (it’s currently scheduled until February next year), so don’t panic if you can’t squeeze it in over the next few weeks.
More info: minalima.com
Go to one of the world's biggest kite festivals
It doesn’t matter whether or not the sun’s out – the sky over Portsmouth will still be looking gloriously bright this weekend (13th – 14th August) as one of the world’s biggest and best kite festivals hits Southsea Common.
Over two days, thousands of kite fanatics will be taking their proudest possessions to Porsmouth International Kite Festival to perform incredible tricks and routines. There will be Japanese fighting kites, giant cartoon kites and synchronised kite ballet among the many exceedingly creative and clever attractions. If you’ve got a little one whose head is stuck in the clouds, this is certainly one way to grab their attention.
And you don’t need to be a pro to join in – all visitors are welcome to bring along their own kites too. Or, you can just sit back and enjoy the entertainment; there will be music, boutique stalls, food and drink plus, of course, hundreds of kites for sale at the free event.
More info: portsmouthkitefestival.org.uk
Get them giggling at Edinburgh
You might think Edinburgh Fringe Festival is all late nights and boozy comedians but, while there’s undeniably a lot of this going on, there are also a huge number of family-friendly events at the legendary month-long cultural extravaganza.
Whatever your kids are into, there’s stimulation to be found – from family raves (Big Fish Little Fish and Baby Loves Disco) to Shakespeare for kids (Shakin’ Shakespeare promises "wickedly witty songs, slapstick and fast-paced storytelling”) plus drama workshops, dance classes and, of course, lots and lots of brilliant comedy.
Many events are free or very cheap, with family tickets available. There’s just one hitch: once they get a taste for Edinburgh, they’ll be begging to come back every year.
More info: edfringe.com