See a film up in the sky
Where: Bussey Building (Peckham), Queen of Hoxton (Shoreditch), Roof East (Stratford), Kensington Roof Gardens (Kensington)
If you want to make the most of the glorious summer weather, but find yourself gravitating towards indoor activities such as going to the cinema, then you’re in luck. Thanks to London’s Rooftop Film Club, you can take your movie-going experience up a level… or, try a few hundred feet. Framed by a backdrop of the capital’s magnificent skyline, you can catch classic flicks and the latest releases, all from the comfort of a roomy deckchair. The Rooftop Film Club has a whole calendar set up for the summer, meaning you can enjoy films like Rogue One – A Star Wars Story, Sausage Party, Back to the Future and a Grease sing-a-long, if that’s your kind of thing (it’s certainly the one that we want #sorrynotsorry).
Image credit: pexels.com
Play mini golf with your mates
Where: Wandsworth Park
Mini golf, anyone? Whether you’re a putting pro or still manage to send the ball flying in the wrong direction every time (yep, us too), there’s something for everyone at Putt in the Park. With exciting and elaborate mini golf courses situated in London’s Wandsworth Park, Battersea Park and Acton Park, they’re great fun for all ages so we’d highly recommend getting the whole family involved.
Plus, Putt in the Park also has a licensed café, so you can celebrate your score (or sulk moodily and comfort yourself) with a delicious meal and refreshing drink. Perfect!
Feast on the finest street food
When: 10th June
Where: The Bond Company, Digbeth
Forget the bog-standard barbeque, it’s all about the street food and Birmingham is cooking up a storm. Head over to Digbeth’s pop-up Summer Market, a one day urban festival where you can sample the sounds, sights and, most importantly, tastes of the summer’s music festivals in the heart of the UK’s second city. With some of the country’s most innovative and unusual traders expected to attend, you can taste your way around the stalls in the courtyard as well as the indoor market hall. You can even indulge in a cheeky bevvy or two at the Real Ale Bus Bar and Cocktail Caravan (can we take the last one home, please?).
If you’re bringing the kids along – great! They’ll get in for free *inserts hands in the air emoji* and can bop along to a whole musical menu courtesy of a DJ, as well as enjoy a wealth of other entertainment.
Image credit: Dan Gold on unsplash.com
Go on a bear hunt around the city
When: July – September
If you go out to the woods today you’re in for a big surprise – because the bears have only gone and migrated to the Midlands! As the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2015 Big Hoot which saw owl sculptures dotted around Birmingham City Centre, this summer, you and the family can search the city for up to 100 bear sculptures in the Big Sleuth event (sleuth is the word for a big group of bears, in case you didn’t know).
Delivered by Birmingham Children’s Hospital and creative producers, Wild in Art, a certain cele-bear-ity will also be getting involved too. That’s right, Chief Scout and TV wilderness guru, Bear Grylls, is supporting the cause and will be helping to design a Sun Bear (FYI – a bear typically found in the forest habitats of Southeast Asia). When you’ve managed to track it down, make sure you get a pic and tweet it to us @nationalexpress
Ride the waves (where you’d least expect)
Where: Helly Hansen Watersports Centre, Salford Quays
Why jet across to the Med when you can jump on the coach and enjoy those action-packed, exhilarating watersports in Manchester? The Helly Hansen Watersports Centre in Salford Quays is no ordinary swimming pool and you can enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities, from climbing and kayaking to powerboating and open water swimming, there’s a whole host of things to keep the more adventurous types entertained. When you tire of sailing off into the sunset and need to refuel, you’re just a stone’s throw away from many budget-friendly and delicious eats along the Quays, including Harvester, Nandos, Pizza Express and Café Rouge. Yum!
Have a night to remember
One of our favourite things about the summer is that exam season is finally over *bursts into song and dance routine* and, if you ask us, there’s only one way to celebrate – with a mind-blowing, unforgettable night out! So, gather your mates and head to Leeds where the city’s epic club scene will soon see you through to the early hours. If jazz, soul, funk and hip-hop tunes are your kind of thing (as well as drinks from £2.50 – bargain!), HiFi’s underground haven should be first on your list. Or, if you’re more of a house and techno hound, you can hear from some of the best up-and-coming DJs at Mint Club.
Watch famous dragon boat racing
When: 4th – 6th August
Where: Victoria Embankment
We know, we know. Keeping the kids occupied and entertained all summer long is no mean feat (and has been known to be particularly mean on the wallets, too!). That’s why we’d recommend visiting Nottingham for its free Riverside Festival this August. Covering one mile along the bank of the River Trent, the annual family shindig will offer three days of unique and quirky entertainment. From the famous dragon boat and duck racing through to a fun fair, live music and dazzling fireworks on the Saturday night (top tip – make sure you’ve picked your spot by 10.30pm for the best views), it’s a weekend packed full of fun for the kiddies and grown ups alike.
Be loony for Bristol’s balloons
When: 10th – 13th August
Where: Ashton Court
You know it’s summer not just when the skies are the perfect hue of blue, but when they are filled with all the colours of the rainbow too – a sight only made possible by Bristol’s fabulous hot air balloon festival. At this free event, you can lose yourself in the launch of over 150 balloons from across the globe, taking place every morning and evening at 6am and 6pm. Although, the occasion doesn’t just stop at simply launching the balloons as you can also take to the skies in one yourself.
Take a traditional beach trip
Where: Weymouth Beach, Dorset
Is it even summer without a trip to the beach? We thought not, and Blighty’s home to some of the very best! If you want the perfect blend of old meets new, we’ll take you direct to Weymouth Beach, just minutes from the town centre and historic harbour. As a treasure trove packed full of traditional charm, you can reacquaint yourself with Punch and Judy (because just how long has it been since you last saw a show?), enjoy a gentle donkey ride along the golden sands and even have a little splash around in its cool sea. If you’d prefer to get moving and try something new, the beach is studded with lively events including beach volleyball championships and musical performances. Perfect for anyone who fancies an alternative beach day.
How will you be spending your summer? Let us know over at @nationalexpress