The long summer holidays are here! I have a six and three-year-old who have both finished school and pre-school for six weeks so I’ve been busy compiling a list of things to do to keep them entertained. Luckily, there is a fabulous line-up of family-friendly events from the City of Culture and loads of other stuff going on in the area.
There’s plenty happening straight away. The first weekend, Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July has Hull Folk & Maritime Festival. We went to this last year, there was a great atmosphere on the marina and my children really enjoyed listening to the free bands. If you’re in the city centre on Saturday 22 July, you can’t miss the spectacular Pride In Hull parade and concert from noon, or maybe head across to the Museums Quarter for the Festival of Archaeology to meet pre-historic re-enacters.
Hull 2017 has a handy downloadable guide to the six-weeks school summer holidays, and there is no shortage of things to keep all ages entertained all summer long.
All of the Hull Museums are free and make a great day out, especially during wet weather. Streetlife Museum is hosting an exhibition all summer – Tiger Rags, The Fabric of Hull City AFC. This exhibition of kits and memorabilia from the city’s football club is a must-do for me and my football-mad son!
— Hull City Kits (@HullCityKits) June 28, 2017
At Hull Maritime Museum, Bill Bailey’s Cabinet of Curiosities, discovers the untruths and stories behind the most intriguing artefacts. The exhibition runs all summer and there are also extra, free talks for children from a Curious Collector on Thursday 3, Wednesday 9, Saturday 19 and Monday 21 August, and Friday 1 September.
Humber Street Gallery is a really family-friendly gallery and café in Humber Street, on the Fruit Market. Its summer children’s sessions, Free Play Fridays, take place on 4 and 18 August, and 1 September, from 10am to noon, where you can just drop in and play for free. There will be different special guests at each session and arts and crafts in the upstairs gallery. States Of Play is a fun exhibition for all ages, and Deuce, opposite Humber Street Gallery, is also hosting free States Of Play craft Wednesday workshops for all the family on 2, 16 and 23 August.
The Deep has an event across the summer, Summer Holiday Fun, where you can help create a giant montage showcasing your favourite things about the aquarium. The Deep and Hull 2017 have also worked together on a new large-scale sculptural artwork on display outside C4DI from Saturday 29 July, Bleached by Tania Kovats. This latest piece in the Look Up public art series has been made from recycled cast corals taken from the Deep’s recently refurbished Lagoon of Light.
St Stephens Shopping Centre in Hull is running free family events every Sunday throughout the summer.
And all summer in Beverley there is a trail to spot coloured horses placed around the town, from North Bar through to Flemingate. Pick up a free entry form from the Creative Lab store in Flemingate, the Tourist Information Centre and participating stores.
We also like a day trip to Burton Constable Hall. Its Festival of Flowers runs across the summer – a collection of more than 500 handmade metal sunflowers that is raising money for Dove House.
— Dove House Hospice (@Dove_House) July 21, 2017
Here’s my week-by-week guide to this summer’s highlights:
Week 1: 24-30 July
Hull History Centre has History Makers on Monday 24 July, a free craft and Lego session for children aged 5-10 years. The session is repeated on Saturday 5 and Monday 14 August and Saturday 2 September.
On Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July, it’s Veterans Weekend in East Park. This is a great, free day out for all the family has lots of attractions and displays from present day to days gone by, including a parachute display.
Also on Sunday 30 July, across the Humber Bridge in Barton-upon-Humber at Waters Edge Nature Reserve is a big Wildlife Day. We went to this last year and my kids loved meeting lots of animals and hunting for bugs.
Week 2: 31 July-6 August
For younger children, there’s Mini Masterpieces at Ferens Art Gallery on Tuesday 1 August. This session, Printing With Everyday Objects, costs £1.50 per child and is suitable for children aged 5 and under. Mini Masterpieces also runs on the subsequent Tuesdays, 8, 15 and 22 August.
One for all ages on Tuesday 1 August, is Beverley Racecourse’s next family raceday, Roll Up Raceday. It has another family raceday on Sunday 27 August too, a Sunday Hop.
On Saturday 5 August, book younger children a free place on Albemarle Saturdays music workshops. These are Early Years Lullabyhullaballoo workshops that I’ve tried and recommend.
On Wednesday 2 August it’s National Play Day, a huge free event in Queens Gardens. This is something I’ve done every year since my children were small, there are lots of free activities for children of all ages to join in with.
On Saturday 5 August, book younger children a free place on Albemarle Saturdays music workshops at Albemarle Music Centre in Ferensway. These ones are Early Years Lullabyhullaballoo workshops that I’ve tried and recommend.
At Hull City Hall on the same day it’s the Milkshake Show, I’ve got tickets to see this for my daughter’s birthday and can’t wait.
Also that day is Humber Street Sesh, the annual family-friendly music festival, pictured below. Adult tickets cost £10 in advance but under-12s go free.
Week 3: 7-13 August
We’ll be spending a lot of time in the parks over the summer, we have some fabulous ones in Hull and the surrounding villages. On Wednesday 9 August, there is a teddy bears’ picnic in one of my favourites, Pickering Park.
Also on 12 August, Hull Maritime Museum has Time Troopers – free, fun craft activities for all ages. From Monday 7 August, you can find another new large-scale Look Up public art installation suspended in Princes Quay Shopping Centre, Elephant In The Room.
Week 4: 14-20 August
Ferens Art Gallery has an interactive talk on Wednesday 16 August, Life Of An Artist. Aimed at children aged 8-12, this gives an insight into what it’s like being an artist. The talk is free but you need to book.
There are some good activities on at Sewerby Hall this week. Wednesday 16 August is Magic Day, Thursday 17 is a Rusticus Adventure and Friday 18 is an Outdoor Play session.
I’m also holding my own Mumbler Summer Family Fun Day! It’s a free event so do pop along and say hi.
I’m also holding my own Mumbler Summer Family Fun Day! It’s on Sunday 20 August 1pm-4pm at the Hallmark Hotel in North Ferriby. There will be lots of children’s activities and games, bouncy castles, stalls, BBQ and a programme of tots classes to try throughout the afternoon to come along and try out. It’s a free event so do pop along and say hi.
Week 5: 21-27 August
The Hull & East Riding Museum in Hull’s Museums Quarter has some free drop-in activities on this week. For children aged 5-10 is Curious Creations on Wednesday 23 August, 10.30am-1pm, join artists to get inspired by some of the more weird and wonderful objects in their collections. For under-fives, there’s Dinosaur Junk Modelling on Thursday 24 August, 1pm-3pm. And on Saturday 26 August at Hull Maritime Museum, 11am-3pm, The Sea is a free family activity for children ages 8-12 years where you can find out more about life at home and sea through story-telling, crafts and live sea shanties.
Hull Truck has its monthly children’s show on Saturday 26 August, Finlay McGuigan’s Great Adventures In Storyland for children aged 3-6 years. There are arts and crafts beforehand and at just £3 per child and adults going free, this is a great value show.
Just outside Hull is Fort Paull, which has its annual feasting and fighting Knights In Battle on Sunday 27 and bank holiday Monday 28 August – a great day out for the family.
Week 6: 28 August-3 September
Bank holiday Monday kicks this week off! We have lots of great beaches nearby if we get good weather. Another great activity for kids of all ages that we have in the areas surrounding Hull is pick your own fruit. We like The Fruit Yard at Shiptonthorpe, but there are lots to choose from.
We end the summer on a high. It’s the big one, the Freedom Festival.
We end the summer on a high. It’s the big one, the Freedom Festival. Running from Friday 1 to Sunday 3 September, this is always one of the highlights of our year. Each year this seems to get even better and I have a feeling this year will be truly spectacular.
In addition to the highlights above, there are lots of other events and activities running during the school holiday across our region. For more information, have a look on the Hull & East Riding Mumbler website. Enjoy the summer!