The summer holidays bearing down upon us this year are a different beast to any we’ve experienced before. The usual events around the West Midlands are not taking place but nonetheless, it is useful to know where to visit with children and families. All attractions ask that people don’t visit if they are showing any symptoms of Covid 19. I’ve tried to do a roundup of the usual places with an update on whether each one is open. I’ll be updating further as things change.
Please do let me know if you have any to add or any alterations I’m not aware of. I’ve included website links to make it easier to check dates, times and availability. For more things to do in the area from family or dog friendly attractions to ideas for a rainy day, head to my comprehensive list of things to do in the West Midlands. For ease, you can click on the area you’re interested below in to jump to that section.
Things to do in Herefordshire during school Summer holidays
Berrington Hall National Trust
At Berrington Hall the parkland, gardens, toilets and car park opened on 8th June. Tickets must be booked online before you visit. Members visit free and non-members pay when booking. Tickets are released every Friday and they will not allow entry to anyone who hasn’t booked. For more information and to book, head to the Berrington Hall Website.
Brockhampton Estate (National Trust)
The Brockhampton Estate including the grounds, toilets and car park reopened on 15th June. Booking is essential, members visit for free and non-members need to pay when they book. Tickets are released every Friday and anyone who hasn’t booked will not be allowed in. Full information and booking is available via the Brockhampton website.
Croft Castle (National Trust)
Croft Castle reopened its parkland, gardens, toilets and car park on 8th June. Advance booking is essential and tickets are released each Friday. Members visit for free and non-members pay when booking tickets. Anybody who hasn’t booked will be turned away. Full information and online booking is available on their website and you can read our review of a dog friendly family day out at Croft Castle.
Eastnor Castle has reopened for the Summer. Tickets need to be pre-booked in advance if possible because numbers are limited. From Wednesday, 22nd July to Monday, 31st August Eastnor Castle will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, plus the August Bank Holiday Monday. Tickets cost £8.50 for adults, and £5.50 for children and £23 for a family. This is for the grounds only and you can pay an upgrade to go inside the castle. Playgrounds have now reopened and the only part of the grounds that remains closed is the maze. An event or activity will be taking place every day they are open. This is included in the entry price. Summer holiday tickets will be available to book from 17th July and full details and booking information are on their website. You can also read my review of a family day out at Eastnor Castle.
Things to do in Shropshire during school Summer holidays
The grounds and parkland at Attingham Park reopened on 3rd June and tickets must be booked in advance. Members can book for free and non-members need to pay when booking. Tickets are released every Friday and anybody who hasn’t booked will be turned away. Do check the Attingham Park website for further information and to book.
Blists Hill Victorian Town
Blists Hill has now reopened for particular days. From 4th July to 20th September 2020, the museum will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 7pm. Everyone will need to book a timed slot to visit, even if they have an annual pass. Tickets are available to book on their website and you can read my review of a dog friendly family day out at Blists Hill.
Hawkstone Park Follies
Hawkstone Park Follies are open for pre-booked tickets only and there are tickets available on their website at present. The cost is £19 for one household of up to 3 people in a car and £25 for one household of up to 7 people in a car. Tickets need to be purchased and paid for before arrival. Toilets on Grotto Hill are open but all buildings including the cafe and the monument are currently closed, as is the children’s playground. Visitors are welcome to bring a picnic as long as you take rubbish home with you. The attraction is dog friendly as long as dogs are on a lead at all times. Only the visitor centre and Grand Valley are accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs and visitors will need to bring a torch. Full details and booking information are on the Hawkstone Park Follies website.
RAF Cosford reopens on 6th July. Admission is free and visitors need to prebook their arrival time in advance. Certain areas will be closed to allow social distancing. Toilet facilities will be open and cleaned regularly. The cafe will be takeaway only. Full details and booking information are on the RAF Cosford Website.
Ray’s Farm, Bridgenorth
Rays Farm reopened on 20th June with pre-booked half-hourly arrival slots. Visitors need to arrive no more than 10 minutes before their given arrival time and anybody who has not booked will not be allowed in. The coffee shop will only serve takeaway food, toilets are open to one household at a time and will be frequently cleaned. Animal feeding and petting is not allowed at present. Full details and booking information are available on the Ray’s Farm website.
Things to do in Staffordshire during school Summer holidays
Alton Towers theme park reopens on 4th July. Tickets will be limited and must be booked in advance. Season ticket and annual pass holders will still need to book online. All guests must bring a face mask with them. To go on certain rides, a mask must be worn. Temperature checks will be carried out before entry and anyone with a temperature of above 37.8 will not be allowed to enter. There will be empty seats and rows on rides to allow for social distancing and certain indoor attractions will not be open. For full details and to book, head to the Alton Towers website. You can also read my review of a trip to Alton Towers theme park, water park and cBeebies hotel with little ones.
Drayton Manor Park
Drayton Manor reopen on 4th July for advance bookings only. Everyone, including pass holders will need to book tickets online before visiting. They will have a new app available that will include a virtual queue app for both rides and food outlets. From 4th to 17th July only Thomas Land, the zoo and certain family rides will be open. The whole park will be open from 18th July to 31st October, with the exception of certain rides that have had to be closed due to Covid 19. Food outlets will be takeaway only and food can be preordered via the app. They will be doing temperature checks on entry and anybody with a temperature above 38 will be refused entry. Further details and online booking is available here. You can also read my review of a family day out at Drayton Manor.
Monkey Forest reopened on 25th June with social distancing measures in place. Visitor numbers will be limited and tickets can only be purchased in advance online. Tickets will be allocated in half-hour slots and visitors need to arrive at their allocated time. The cafe will be offering takeaway food and drink only with no indoor seating. Only card payments will be accepted. Play areas will not be open. For further information and to book your time slot, head to the Monkey Forest website.
National Forest Adventure Farm
The National Forest Adventure Farm reopens on 18th July 2020 for their Dino Summer event. Tickets must be booked in advance and have not yet gone on sale. More information will be available closer to the opening date on the National Forest Adventure Farm website.
Trentham Gardens are now open for a limited number of pre-booked tickets and social distancing measures are in place. There is a one-way system in operation and the play area, maze, show gardens, bird hides, barefoot walk, boat, train and viewing platform are all closed. Takeaway food and drink and outdoor seating are available. Three lots of toilet facilities are open for one family at a time with extra cleaning taking place. In Trentham village, most shops have reopened but it is a staged reopening so some are opening at a later point. The list is available here. For further information about Trentham Gardens and to book, visit their website.
The SnowDome will be reopening on Friday 31st July. Advance booking is essential and you can now book online for dates from 31st July. If they do not reopen in time for your booked visit, you will receive a full refund. Alternatively, you can transfer the booking to a later date. Full details are available on their website. You can also read my review of Santa’s Winter Wonderland at the Snowdome, Tamworth.
Things to do in Warwickshire during school Summer holidays
Kenilworth Castle (English Heritage)
Kenilworth Castle has now reopened. They have a summer adventure quest taking place during the school holidays. Follow a trail around the castle and track down clues. Solve them all to claim an adventurer’s certificate. Tickets are available to book for specific time slots. Visitor numbers will be limited and nobody without booking confirmation will be admitted. English Heritage members can visit for free but still have to book in advance. The castle itself including the Great Hall will be open and operating a one-way system. The towers will remain closed. The gardens and grounds are fully open and the cafe is open for takeaway food and drink. The shop is open with a one way system and contactless card payment. Toilets are open as usual and extra hand sanitising points will be in use. Audio guides are available to listen to on your own device and can be downloaded. Full details, dates and booking information are on their website. You can also read my review of a dog friendly family day out at Kenilworth Castle.
Magic Alley in Stratford Upon Avon reopened on 4th July with a socially distanced dragon egg hunt in the Enchanted Manor. This costs £8 per person and participants who complete the quest will receive an Introductory Diploma in Wizardry and a dragon shaped reward. The event runs until 25th July and time slots must be booked in advance. There will be one time slot per family to allow social distancing. Magic Alley will remain open after this but no further events are listed for the summer holidays. Find out more about the dragon egg hunt and Magic Alley as a whole on the Magic Alley website.
Warwick Castle’s shows and attractions are back on from 4th July. Tickets must be pre-booked in advance. The Knight’s Village is also reopening if you want to stay there overnight. The towers and ramparts are open, as is the Great Hall and the Falconer’s Quest bird of prey show is taking place. One way systems are in place as are other social distancing measures and additional cleaning and hygiene. Visitors are encouraged to wear a face mask and payments will be by contactless card only. Food outlets will only be selling takeaway food and drink. Head to the Warwick Castle website for full details and to book. You can read our review of a family day out at Warwick Castle. You can also read a review of Warwick Castle post-lockdown from Pink Pear Bear.
Things to do in the West Midlands (County) during school Summer holidays
Black Country Living Museum (BCLM)
The Black Country Living Museum is planning to reopen on 1st August. This is under constant review, so head to their website for more information. As a charity, they are struggling with the lockdown and urging people to either buy tickets now for visiting at a later date or make a small donation if possible. If you are thinking of visiting during the summer holidays, you can read my review of the Black Country Living Museum.
Cadbury World are reopening on 18th July. Tickets must be pre-booked and will go on sale at midday on 7th July. Tickets will be limited to allow social distancing but they will be open for longer hours at the weekends so that they can accommodate more people. All employees will be wearing face masks and all guests over the age of three years old will be encouraged to bring and wear a face covering. Contactless payments are encouraged and the Cadbury shop will only be open to those visiting Cadbury World. Full details are on their website and you can read my review of a family day out at Cadbury World.
Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust
The Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust will be open from Friday, 10th July. All children booked onto trips during July will receive a free gift worth £3.99. Trips need to be pre-booked and the boats have been divided into individual pods. Each one can hold up to two adults and two children. Their canal side coffee shop will be open. Their pricing structure has changed because you now pay for a pod rather than paying for each individual ticket. However, it is a lot cheaper to book a pod for one person than four people. For full information and to book, head to the Canal and Tunnel Trust website.
National Sea Life Centre
The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham reopens on 4th July. It will be essential to pre-book and adhere to a time slot and smaller number of people will be allowed in at a time. Pre-booking includes annual pass, flexi ticket and promotional voucher holders. Temperature checks may be carried out on entry. Payments will be via contactless card only. Full details are on the National Sea Life Centre website and you can also read my review of the National Sea Life Centre.
Things to do in Worcestershire during school Summer holidays
All Things Wild
All Things Wild has now reopened with a lot of social distancing measures in place, including some parts of the attraction remaining closed. Indoor and outdoor play areas are currently closed and animal encounters are not taking place. Admission must be booked in advance and visitors will need to stick to their time slot. Both day visitors and annual members will need to prebook and anyone who hasn’t booked will be turned away. Check the All Things Wild website for full details, prices, timings and to book.
Croome (National Trust)
Croome Parkland reopened on 8th June. Tickets must be booked in advance. Members tickets are free to book and non-members pay when booking. Tickets are released every Friday. The shop, house, RAF museum, visitor centre and play areas are closed at present and there are limited toilets. The kiosk will be serving limited takeaway hot and cold drinks and light snacks. Dogs are welcome but must be on a lead at all times. To find out more and book a time to visit Croome, head to their website.
The Firs remains closed at present and they are working towards reopening when possible. For further details and updated information, head to their website. If you are planning to visit when they reopen, you may want to read my review of a dog friendly family day out at the Firs.
Severn Valley Railway
The Severn Valley Railway will be reopening halfway through the school summer holidays, on 1st August. Tickets must be booked in advance and visitors will have to choose their travel when booking and stick to those times. Visitors will travel in their own private compartments which can hold up to six people. The compartment will be reserved for your exclusive use all day. A compartment will cost £67.50 for members and £75 for non-members. Tickets are now available for the first two weeks of August and they will make a decision after that as to the continued services they will run. Check the website for the timetable and to book.
Spetchley Gardens reopened on 11th June and opening hours are 10.30 am to 5 pm Wednesday to Sunday. The coffee shop will be available for takeaway picnics that need to be pre-ordered on arrival. Payments are by card only. There will be less toilets and seating areas and more hand sanitising points. The website mentions that group visits are not available, but doesn’t mention how large a group will be admitted, so it is worth checking with them before you go if you plan to meet with others. There will be no audio tours or disability scooters to hire.
The Church, Learning Centre, Heritage Centre, Vinerary, Conservatory and Natural Play Area will not be open. They have a large selection of plants for sale. Admission fees are £8 per adult, £3.50 per child, £19 per family and under 3s are free. Full details and up to date information are on the Spetchley Gardens website.
West Midlands Safari Park
The West Midlands Safari Park drive through safari only is open until 3rd July. The whole park reopens from 4th July. Advance booking is essential and entry is not guaranteed for anyone who has not booked online. Pre-booking is still required if you have an annual pass, free return ticket or a child under 3. Walk-through areas including Penguin Cove, Ice Age, Land of the Living Dinosaurs the aquarium and reptile house will be opening. Attractions remaining closed include the twilight cave, lemur woods, lorikeet landing and goat park. The West Midlands Safari Park theme park will be open with additional social distancing measures in place. Rides cost extra on top of the entry ticket price. You can check opening times and dates on the Safari Park website and read my review of the West Midlands Safari Park.
Witley Court (English Heritage)
Witley Court reopens on 4th July. Timed entry slots must be booked in advance. Visitor numbers will be limited and nobody without booking confirmation will be allowed in. Members tickets are free but still need to be booked in advance. The gardens, ruins and woodland walk will all be open. The gift shop will be open and encouraging contactless payment. Toilets are open as usual and hand sanitising points are available. Full details are on the Witley Court website and you can also read my review of a dog friendly family day out at Witley Court.