The Summer holidays are one of the best times of the year for getting the children up off the sofa, jumping into the great outdoors and having heaps of fun discovering new places.
To keep the children entertained throughout, the National Trust is encouraging children to complete its '50 things to do before you're 11 & ¾' wild-time challenge and see if they can try and tick off more than 25 things on the list during the six weeks of summer (Monday 22 July – Sunday 1 September).
Simply sign up for free at the '50 Things' website at the start of the holidays and download the brand new 'wild-time challenge pack', crammed with a six week adventure planner, activity sheet and plenty of top tips to help boost children's outdoor experiences this Summer. 50 things scrapbooks will be available free at over 350 participating properties (subject to availability)
Plus, if families log each adventure they complete online, not only will they collect exciting rewards along the way, but if you tick off 25, you will also receive a free National Trust family visit pass and be in with a chance to win the top prize of directing and starring in your very own nature film* (*T&C apply)
Here's our favourites from a selection of National Trust events and activities on offer for a wild and wonderful summer:
- First week:
Mottisfont, Hampshire: The House at Pooh Corner, 13 July- 15 September (10am-5pm)
This summer explore the wonderful world of a boy and his bear. The adventures of Christopher Robin and Pooh in the Hundred Acre wood are the perfect inspiration for all sorts of outdoor fun. Tick off as many '50 things' activities including playing pooh sticks, making a daisy chain (10 August), building a kite (17 August) and going on a wild bug hunt (24 July).
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required, for more information, please call 01794 340757.
- Second week:
Brownsea Island, Dorset: Wild art workshop, 13 July and 10 August (11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm)
Celebrate the island's 50 year anniversary with their outdoor festival season. Come along to this workshop and go wild by creating your own art and completing one of the '50 things' activities. You will be able to explore and experiment with exciting land art, creating your very own masterpiece using what nature has left around you.
Ticket charge, £5 per person. Booking is essential for this event, please call 01202 707744.
Mount Stewart House, Garden and Temple of the Winds, County Down: Wildlife trackers, 18 July (1.30pm-3.30pm)
Parents can relax at this drop off event where kids can learn more about nature and the amazing animals that make Mount Stewart their home. Why not see if you can hold a scary beast and complete another of the '50 things' activities.
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is essential, please call 028 4278 8387.
- Third week:
Cliveden, Berkshire: Family camping, moths and moonlight, 21-22 July (2pm-11.30am)
Join the rangers at Cliveden for this extra special overnight camp in the woods. Take part in this fantastic evening under the stars, with bat watching, moth-trapping, bug hunts, toasting marshmallows over the fire and story-telling. Please bring your own picnic for dinner, then wake up to a delicious breakfast and take part in the morning activities.
Ticket charge, £27 per adult and £17 per child. Booking is essential for this event, please call 0844 249 1895.
Plas yn Rhiw, Gwynedd: Beach fun day at Llanbedrog, 23 July (11am-4pm)
Beach games, sand sculpture competition, five a side football, family relay races, face painting and more are all available for the whole family to enjoy at Plas yn Rhiw. Join the team on the beach where you can discover plenty of exciting opportunities to tick off lots of '50 things' activities including skimming a stone, flying a kite, catching a fish, creating some wild art, jumping over waves and lots more.
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required for this event, for more information please call 01758 780219.
- Fourth week:
Dunstable Downs, Chilterns Gateway Centre and Whipsnade Estate, Bedfordshire: Kite festival- come fly your kite, 27-28 July (11am-4pm)
Join the team at Dunstable over this fantastic fun filled weekend and complete one of the '50 things' activities, kite flying. There will be plenty to do and see including kids activities, face painting, entertainers, browsing the market stalls and plenty more. Be amazed as giant kites in the shape of bears, tigers and stars float across the sky and world famous display teams fly kites in magical patterns.
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required for this event, for more information please call 01582 500925.
Osterley Park and House, Middlesex: Fly a kite, 31 July (12pm-4pm)
If you think you can't fly a kite anywhere in London then think again. Visit Osterley Park over the summer and let your kid's complete one of the '50 things' activities by making and then flying their very own kite.
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required, for more information please call 020 8232 5050.
- Fifth week:
C.S.I: Coleridge Spy Investigation, 27 July-2 September [excluding Tuesdays and Wednesdays] (11am-4.30pm)
Inspired poet or French spy? The British government has sent you as their secret agent to find out. 215 years ago, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was investigated by the British government as a suspected spy. Crack codes and navigate the treasure map as a family in this spy-themed trail around the cottage and outside in the grounds.
Normal admission charges apply, ticket charge £1 per trail. Booking is not required for this event, for more information please call 01278 732662.
- Sixth week:
Stourhead, Wiltshire: Big family tree climb , 10, 11 and 17 August (12pm-4pm)
Come and join qualified tree-climbers, Joe and Mimi, for an exciting tree top adventure. With opportunities to climb some of Stourhead's giant trees, this is a great way for all ages to experience Stourhead's treetops. At the same time, you can tick off 'climb a tree' from your '50 things' list.
Normal admission charges apply, ticket charge, £5 per person. Booking is not required for this event, for more information please call 01747 841152.
Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire: Cycleabout clumber, 17 August (10.30am-11.30am)
Suitable for all ages, entertain the family in the great outdoors and enjoy a cycle route that takes about one hour around the beautiful parkland and grounds of Clumber Park. With beautiful scenery you'll want to make sure you stop off for a picnic along the way.
Normal admission charges apply. Booking is not required for this event, for more information please call 01909 544917.
- Seventh week:
Brancaster Millennium Activity Centre, Norfolk: Raft building, 19-23 August (11.15am-1.15pm)
Unleash your adventurous side and take to the water on the beach at Brancaster. Build and float your very own raft down the creek at the harbour and tick off another '50 things' activity. The team will be able to provide a wetsuit, spray top and buoyancy aid but be prepared to get wet.
Ticket charge, £9.60 per child (ages 8-14). Booking is essential for this event, please call 0844 249 1895
- Eighth week:
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden: Bugs at Fountains, 24 August (10.30am-11.30am, 1pm-2pm and 2.30pm-3.30pm)
Kids can join former BBC bug boffin Dr Roger Key on a one hour bug hunt, uncovering creepy crawlies hiding in the undergrowth. Why not see how many of the scary creatures you can hold in order to complete one of the '50 things' activities.
Ticket charge, £2.50 per child. Normal admission charges apply. Booking is essential for this event, please call 01765 643197
- Ninth week:
Croft Castle and Parkland, Herefordshire: Hide and seek, 20 July-1 September (11am-4pm)
Play hide and seek with all the family in and around the wonderful gardens at Croft Castle. Let under 5's discover all of the best places to hide and if they can solve all the clues then they win a grand prize. When you've finished why not have a go at completing some of the '50 things' activities and holiday trail too.
Normal admission charges apply, ticket charge £2 per trail. Booking is not required, for more information please call 01568 780246.
In March 2012, the National Trust published the 'Natural Childhood' report which highlighted evidence of a long-term and dramatic decline in children's relationship with the outdoors. The report called for urgent action to bridge this growing gap before it was too late. Off the back of the research the Trust launched its '50 things to do before you're 11&¾' which aimed to encourage more families and children out into the outdoors, engaging with nature.