WITH the summer holidays now upon us, you might be looking out for things to do to keep the whole family entertained.

Although most attractions have been closed for the past 18 months, many are now beginning to re-open - so here are some ideas for if you've saved up for a family day out, or a weekend away.


South Wales Argus: The new baby gorilla at Bristol Zoo. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.The new baby gorilla at Bristol Zoo. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

Folly Farm

If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy the summer holidays as a family that’s got a bit for everyone but isn’t far from home, then look no further than Folly Farm.

The farm, in Pembrokeshire, is open daily – from 10am to 5pm up to September 30 – and boasts a whole range of activities.

You can visit more than 750 animals at the zoo, or get up close to furry and feathery farmyard friends in the barn. There are also 17 rides in the farm’s fairground, and eight adventure play areas.

As part of the experience, you can see the new purpose-built home for sloths, which was built over lockdown.

Pre-booking is essential, and can be done at folly-farm.co.uk. An adult day ticket is £19.95, while tickets for children aged 3-15 cost £17.95.

Bristol Zoo

If you head in the opposite direction, over the Severn Bridge, you can visit Bristol Zoo.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world, and is set to move to a new site in 2024, so there is not long left to see the animals at their current home.

The zoo boasts more than 400 species of animals, including all your favourites – including lions, meerkats, penguins, and gorillas – including seven month old Juni. 

You must pre-book an arrival time – using bristolzoo.org.uk/online-booking – though once you have arrived you can spend as long as you like at the zoo.

Adult tickets cost £17.84, or £16.22 without making a donation to the zoo. For a child ticket (ages 2-14), it costs £12.10, or £11 without making a donation.

Chester Zoo

If you’re looking further afield, you can always make a weekend out of travelling up to Chester Zoo.

There’s around 35,000 animals at the zoo, including elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes, lions, tigers, bears and kangaroos.

And just last month, a critically-endangered Sumatran orangutan was born at the zoo.

There are also several play areas and stops for food, drinks and snacks, and there is also the Lazy River Boat Trip to try out.

You must pre-book tickets at chesterzoo.org. The zoo is open from 10am to 6pm until August 29, with free on-site parking.

Adult tickets cost £26.36, and for children, tickets cost £21.36.

Safari parks

South Wales Argus: An elephant at West Midlands Safari Park. Picture: Matthew LissimoreAn elephant at West Midlands Safari Park. Picture: Matthew Lissimore


If you fancy getting more up close and personal with the animals, then why not try Longleat Safari Park.

Roll up your windows as you head through the different sections of the park, including the Big Game Park, Wolf Wood, Lion Country, Monkey Mayhem, and you can see Anne the Elephant.

The park recommends tickets are pre-booked online (longleat.co.uk), but a small number of walk-up tickets will be available. These are subject to availability and entry is not guaranteed without a pre-booking.

Tickets to Longleat include access to the Safari Park; on-foot animal attractions including Koala Creek, Jungle Cruise and Family Farmyard; and main square adventure attractions including the Longleat Railway, Rockin’ Rhino and the hedge maze.

Day tickets cost £34.95 for adults (16 years or over) and £26.20 for children (aged 3-15).

West Midlands Safari Park

Slightly further afield is West Midlands Safari Park.

You can take a tour through the African plains (with white rhinos, giraffes, and zebras), wild Asia (with Indian rhinos), carnivores (with tigers, lions and cheetahs), the borderlands (with Bactrian camels), and see the elephants.

There are also daily shows, including the Sea Lion Show, and you can also explore the Land of the Living Dinosaurs, or take a ride in the Adventure Theme Park.

And to make the trip extra special, you could even stay in the safari lodges which back on to some of the enclosures.

Unfortunately the cheetah and elephant lodges are fully booked until November 2022, but the new red panda cottages will be opening on August 2 and bookings are now available up until December 31.

Tickets to the safari park cost £25 for adults and £20 for children (aged 3-15yrs). Rides in the Adventure Theme Park cost extra.

Theme parks

South Wales Argus: Peppa Pig World at Paulton's Park.Peppa Pig World at Paulton's Park.

Oakwood Theme Park

If you’re after thrills for all the family, then a close-to-home option is Oakwood Theme Park.

Based in the heart of Pembrokeshire, Oakwood has 10 family friendly activities, plus six adrenaline inducing rides, including Megafobia – voted the UK’s top wooden rollercoaster, plus much more.

Booking is essential, and can be done via oakwoodthemepark.co.uk. No tickets will be sold on the gate.

Standard tickets, for those aged 13 and up, cost £36.25, while junior tickets (age three to 12) cost £24.25.

A family ticket (two standard and two junior) costs £110.


If you want to build some memories this summer, then you can head down to Legoland Windsor Resort.

The theme park has more than 55 rides, attractions and live shows – including Pirate Falls: Treasure Quest, the Lego Ninjago The Ride, Viking River Splash, and riding the Legoland Express.

There are also restaurants, shops, and a first of its kind Total Sensory Space – with vibrating bean bags, soft seating, interactive projections, infinity tunnels, and soft lighting, all designed to create a calm space to relax.

There is also two onsite themed hotels, plus a selection of handpicked nearby hotels, for if you want to turn your stay into a longer trip.

You can book a day ticket for the theme park online for £39, while an all-inclusive ticket (entry, a standard meal deal and a refillable drinking vessel) costs £54.00.

This can be done at legoland.co.uk.

Peppa Pig World

For those with younger families, how about a trip to Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park on the edge of the New Forest.

There you can meet Peppa, George, and family, and there are nine rides suitable for young children and perfect for toddlers.

Other themed worlds at the park include the new for 2021 Tornado Springs, with eight rides set in a Midwest desert resort town in the American heyday of the 1950s; and the Lost Kingdom, which is home to two rollercoasters, lifelike animatronic dinosaurs, Jurassic-themed family rides, and a prehistoric dinosaur adventure play park.

Across Paulton’s Park, there are more than 70 rides and attractions, and kids under a metre tall get in free.

The park is also home to home to rare exotic birds, beautiful gardens and a lake, a historic watermill, adventure playgrounds, an indoor play centre, and two water splash parks.

Individual tickets – for people over one metre tall – cost £37.75, while a family of three costs £110.75, a family of four costs £147, and a family of five costs £183.75.

London theatres

South Wales Argus: The Globe Theatre. Picture: Getty ImagesThe Globe Theatre. Picture: Getty Images

If you’re looking for a touch of culture over the summer, you can show your support for the arts as theatres reopen.

And you can make a weekend of it by booking a hotel or an AirBnb and taking in all London has to offer.

Michael Ball is set to reprise his role as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray at the London Coliseum, with tickets starting at £25. 

Pretty Woman: The Musical is playing at the Savoy Theatre with Aimie Atkinson as Vivian Ward and Danny Mac as Edward Lewis. Tickets start from £80.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is playing at the London Palladium, starring Jason Donovan as the pharaoh, X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke as the narrator, and Jac Yarrow as Joseph. Tickets start from £25.

South Wales Argus: Michael Sheen. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire.Michael Sheen. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire.

If you’re looking for something new, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s reinvention of Cinderella, which premiered in June, is on stage at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. The show stars Carrie Hope Fletcher. Tickets are available from £31. 

And if you’re after your Shakespearian fix, A Midsummer Night's Dream is being performed at The Globe Theatre, with tickets from £5 to £59.

And Newport’s Michael Sheen is on stage at the Olivier Theatre, in a new take on Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. However, there is only a limited time to see this, as it closes on July 24.