Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation, but the kids are home from school and getting underfoot, full of excess energy (are they powered by sunlight?). You need a break to relax but they want fun, excitement and to be entertained. You deserve a break too; you want to take them to a place (preferably free) where they can enjoy and exhaust themselves (fingers-crossed for an early bedtime), so you can relax.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of places and adventures for your kids to have that you will enjoy as well! Here are our top suggestions for free things to do in Kent with your kids this summer.
It feels like there is an endless number of interesting museums in Kent, and your kids may have varying levels of interest in them.
RAF Manston Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum – Located in a historic RAF airfield (now better known as the Kent International Airport), the building houses a Spitfire MK XVI (LF) and a Hurricane IIC in two different halls, along with a wide range of other items. Your kids might have fun and learn something! There is free parking for your car and the Merlin café for when you need a coffee.
Kent Firefighting Museum – This museum is in the Woodlands Garden Centre in Sevenoaks, it’s full of fire engines, uniforms, equipment and more for your kids to get involved in. Again, there’s a café inside for you to rest while your kids choose a new career path… again.
Viking Ship Hugin – Found in Ramsgate, at the cliff top of Pegwell Bay, this is a replica of a Viking ship. It’s such an amazing replica that it sailed from Denmark to Thanet, in 1949, to celebrate the 1500th anniversary, of the invasion of Britain.
Hastings Shipwreck Museum & Fisherman’s Museum – If your children enjoy boats, they will enjoy these museums, both found in Hastings. Not only are they jam-packed with information, there is a great playground and a local beach and pier to enjoy. If they still need entertainment, the Lifeboat Station is definitely worth a look.
St Peter’s Village Tour – Sevenoaks houses an award-winning series of tours that explore the local history with the help of the many costumed characters and re-enactments. Learn about the history of the flint-built church, how workhouses worked, and how we were involved in the Napoleonic wars.
Dinosaur Island – If your kids like going even further back in history, head to Southwater Country Park in Horsham to explore this massive area. Dinosaur bones are hidden in the sand, or head to the sky with aerial walkways and jungle swings in this prehistoric space. Parking does cost a small amount, but entry is free.
Lower Leas Coastal Park – The largest free adventure playground in the South East has spaces for the wild kids as well as the quieter ones. There’s a sunken pirate ship, slides, a wild zone that is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and beautiful views of Folkestone’s coast.
Birling Gap – As one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the south coast, there are a ton of events that happen over the summer for your kids to enjoy. You could find fossils or crabs in the many rock pools that stretch between Eastbourne and Brighton, though there is a small nudist beach that you may want to avoid.
Foal Farm – In Biggin Hill there is an animal rescue farm that looks after many different kinds of animals before they get rehomed. Go visit to check out the many small animals and a few larger ones. If you have your own pet, then you may find this especially handy, as you can even buy pet supplies here!
Raystede Centre – Another animal rescue farm, they rehome over 1500 animals every year. Again, go for a visit to watch small animals, birds, and alpacas, before heading out to enjoy the lakes or visit the café.
Pooh Sticks Bridge – If you’ve carried on the tradition and told your kid about Winnie the Pooh, head to the original Pooh Sticks Bridge just beyond Hartfield. There’s a Pooh Corner Shop to grab your activities book and map before you head out and play a game of Pooh Sticks with your kids!