School's out but Derbyshire has plenty to keep kids busy this summer

27 July 2017

From pottery and woodland crafts to treasure hunts and detective work − there's a wide range of activities for children to get stuck into at some of our venues around the county this summer.

Councillor Alex Dale, our cabinet member for young people, said:

"There's loads for young people to do in Derbyshire throughout the summer holidays.

"We've lined-up a range of activities for all ages at our libraries and other venues to keep boredom at bay so why not take a look at our website to see what's going on near you."

Families looking for a day out can head down to our countryside centres. There's lots to explore and do − with lots of fun to be had for free or for less than £1.50 per child including:

  • Go wild at Elvaston Castle - pick up a copy of the Summer Activity Trail in the courtyard shop, venture into the park and use all your senses to see what you can discover
  • Fresh air and fun at Shipley Country Park - there will be a different self-led activity each week such as a trail or treasure hunt
  • Heritage and mini beasts at High Peak Junction on the Cromford Canal - follow a Heritage Trail Treasure Hunt or hunt and identify mini beasts
  • Capture the Chesterfield Canal - a photography competition for under 16s − themed on the Chesterfield Canal, organised by Tapton Lock Visitor Centre and free to enter. Closing date is 31 August 2017.

Middleton Top near Middleton by Wirksworth is a great place for kids to get out on a bike. Bikes are available to hire from our cycle centre nearby, including two electric assist bikes − or E bikes − which means the High Peak Trail can now be enjoyed by people who would otherwise find it too challenging. It is also offering a cycle repair and maintenance service.

There is more information about these events and all the other activities at our countryside sites. You can also visit Derbyshire countryside on Facebook (opens in a new window).

Libraries across Derbyshire are on hand to help beat summer boredom too.

A range of activities are taking place across the county including making badges, creating disguises, songs and stories, making masks, animal crafts, cracking codes and learning how to be a secret agent. There are also activity trails, puzzle solving and rhyme times.

Your local library has more information about what's happening near you.

And while they're at the library, there's a chance for children to take part in this year's annual national Summer Reading Challenge.

Children are encouraged to read up to six books over the summer holidays and earn medals and certificates.

This year's theme is Animal Agents and children will get the chance to become detectives joining a whole host of clever creatures to solve all kinds of mysteries.

There's also a wide selection of short courses and taster sessions on offer at our Eco Centre near Wirksworth − including family learning sessions for pottery, bush craft and willow crafts. 

We have further details on all adult community education service courses.

Lea Green − our outdoor education centre near Matlock − also has plenty to keep kids amused.

Set in 25 acres and open all year round. It offers:

  • a large range of activities and courses for schools, youth and community groups, families and private businesses 
  • Adventure Days for 5 to 12 year olds in the summer holidays are an affordable, active alternative to childcare. Children are welcome on their own or with friends to take part in a wide range of activities
  • Activ-ability days are for children and young people with disabilities, learning difficulties and additional needs.

But the fun doesn't end after six weeks! There's more events to look forward to in the autumn including:

  • the Derbyshire Woodland Festival now in its 17th year. It takes place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September 2017. This popular event celebrates traditional and contemporary woodland crafts within the historic grounds of Elvaston Castle.
  • Heritage Open Days on the Cromford Canal on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September 2017.
  • Tapton Lock Festival celebrating the Chesterfield Canal on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September 2017.
  • Young people aged 15 to 19 considering their options after school can visit the Derbyshire Skills Festival to get careers information and help from a wide range of experts. Two free events are being held - in Chesterfield on Thursday 14 September 2017 and in Derby on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 September 2017.