The summer holidays are finally here and there is a whole host of activities and fun family days out to enjoy in Shakespeare's England. Use our action-packed round up to plan your visit to Warwickshire this summer.
Unleash the biggest summer in history at Warwick Castle
From incredible evening events to fun-filled family days out, Warwick Castle's summer programme is packed with something for everyone to enjoy. Experience the thrilling medieval siege show: The Legend of the Trebuchet! where a defence operation is launched to protect the castle from attack. Feel the flames, see the water explode, and hear the cannons boom as the castle’s characters do their best to stand strong.
Experience a live jousting spectacular at Wars of the Roses LIVE! – featuring stunning equestrian stunts and world-class jousting set against the backdrop of the castle’s South Front.
Little ones will love the Zog Live Show - an on stage production bringing best-selling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler’s much-loved story to life in the secluded woodland of the castle in the form of live puppetry, interactive routines and surprise special effects that will entertain all budding dragons.
Between 11th - 20th August, the award-winning night time Dragon Slayer show returns to the castle walls. The full-length theatrical spectacular will bring projection-mapping, live-action, and majestic horses to a 360-degree seated arena right in the middle of the castle courtyard.
Soak up the end of the summer on 25th-26th August at Sundown Spectacular. Immerse yourself in festival vibes with live music from bands and DJs as you tuck into delicious street food and take in the incredible performers. As the sun goes down, the castle comes to life underneath the summer stars, ending in a finale you’ll never forget!
Book your tickets online and save via the Warwick Castle website.
Take part in Shakespeare-inspired activity days at Mary Arden's Farm
The Tudor-inspired Mary Arden’s Farm – the home of William Shakespeare’s mother - is opening its doors every weekend between 22nd July - 3rd September for a chance to feed rare breed animals, have a go at willow weaving, and shoot archery before enjoying an interactive retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Tickets cost £13 for adults and £6.50 for children and can be booked via www.shakespeare.org.uk.
Every Wednesday between 9th - 23rd August will also see the Farm inviting visitors in for an immersive exploration of Shakespeare’s tale, The Tempest. Families can get hands-on by making a staff, exploring Palmer’s Cottage and going on a magical treasure hunt around Mary Arden’s Farm itself. Adult tickets are £7.50 when purchased with a £15 child ticket via www.shakespeare.org.uk
A ‘Shakespeare’s Story’ ticket also grants 12 months’ access to all three of Shakespeare’s family homes – Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage - for one price, with tickets starting from £12.50 for children and £25 for adults via www.shakespeare.org.uk.
Other summer highlights include daily performances in the Shakespeare’s Birthplace gardens of famous scenes from 18 of Shakespeare’s plays. Families will also be able to explore all three of Shakespeare’s family homes in a new way with the ‘Lost Plays Family Trail’ with clues and activities hidden in plain sight across all the properties. Both are available between 26th July - 3rd September.
Get up close to knights jousting at Kenilworth Castle
Head to Kenilworth Castle for a summer of fun and adventure! Can you complete the Summer Explorer Quest and claim your certificate?
See fearless fighters and their horses charging at each other in the Legendary Joust in the shadow of Kenilworth Castle between 10am and 5pm on 29th - 30th July. Tickets cost £56 for 2 adults and up to 3 children when booking online.
Later in the summer, catch the Knights’ Tournament also precedes this between August 26 and August 28, where families can Immerse themselves in the medieval encampment and meet characters from the past to hear all about weapon repairs, cooking and day-to-day life. Tickets cost £53.50 for 2 adults and up to 3 children when booking online.
For more information visit the Kenilworth Castle website.
Free open-air theatre from the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon
On weekends throughout July and August, the RSC’s outdoor theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Dell, will play host to a range of student, community and semi-professional productions. Shows range from The Tempest and Macbeth, through to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Taming Of The Shrew among others. The full line-up can be viewed here.
No booking required. Pack a picnic, dig out your camping chairs and blankets and join the fun.
Delve into puzzle-themed pirate adventures at Magic Alley
Encounter mysterious clues, hidden messages, and mind-bending challenges in The Curse of Jewel Island, the latest quest at Magic Alley that will test your ingenuity and teamwork. Can you retrieve the treasure in this intriguing land of pirates and puzzles? The adventure culminates in a visit to a beach full of play sand, where your little ones can enjoy building sand castles, while parents can kick back in a deck chair.
Recommended for those aged 6 and over. the fun runs until 4 September.
** From 26 July, tickets will be £5 per person on weekdays when booked in advance (plus booking fee). Walk-ins and weekend tickets are charged at £7 per person. For more info: http://magicalleystratford.com/events/
Have the purr-fect lunch at Shakespaw Cat Café
Enjoy a spot of homemade breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea surrounded by cute moggies including Bottom the long-haired Persian, and Himalayan Persian brothers Hamlet and Horatio – along with a supporting cast.
Shakespaw Cat Café houses needy kitties whilst enabling animal lovers who are unable to keep their own pets - or may not want the responsibility - to interact with cats. 90-minute slots are available for £6 per person excluding food and drink, and need to be booked online in advance by visiting https://shakespawcatcafe.com/booking/ (visits are for over-10s only).
Join the fun at the Fairytale Festival at Fairytale Farm
Fairytale Farm will be hosting a magical ‘Fairytale Festival’ every day throughout the summer. With interactive fairy tale storytelling that will bring some of the most famous fairy tales alive, a puppet show workshop, crafts, summer games and challenges along the trail, fun interactions and petting with our friendly animals, there will be something for everyone.
Visit between 22nd July to 3rd September to enjoy the festival fun. No special tickets are required. Book your visit online via the Fairytale Farm website.
Explore a tropical rainforest at Stratford Butterfly Farm
Wet weather never stops the fun at Stratford Butterfly Farm! Come rain or shine you can walk amongst some of the world’s most stunning and colourful butterflies in a tropical rainforest setting, complete with fish-filled pools, splashing waterfalls, before having the chance to handle different insects in a minibeast handling sessions. Meet Kenny the spectacled Caiman who resides in the Butterfly Farm's newest attraction Rainforest Realm whick also features other animals from Central American Rainforests. Summer activities take place between 22nd July and 3rd September.
Tickets are £27.50 for 2 adults and 2 children when booked online.
Celebrate 30 years of the British Motor Museum and explore the future of the car.
This summer, the British Motor Museum turns 30! Visit between 14th - 20th August for a full week of celebration activities and events, featuring special editions of fan favourites and once in a lifetime experiences with cars from the museum's collection.
There will be something for everyone! Including: a Prize Raffle offering a rare opportunity to take a ride in one of five legendary vehicles from the collection, a chance to glimpse some of the museum's famous cars in action at Cars on the Move, and an opportunity to learn the unique story of the museum in a special display featuring photos and materials from across its 30-year history.
As well as the special anniversary events there will also be a whole summer of family activities to experience at the museum with their STEAM-inspired summer programme of holiday activities.
Enrol in ‘Jester School’ at St Mary's Guildhall
Join 14th Century St Mary’s Guildhall in Coventry for plenty of history-inspired merriment during the school summer holidays.
Experience family fun activities including Jester School workshops – an immersive Tudor history experience celebrating music, dancing and merriment while ‘Living History’ sessions will be held in the medieval kitchen every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the summer holidays.
For more information and prices, which start from £5 per child, visit the St Mary's Guildhall website.
Get creative with bird-themed Shakespearean fun at Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall
Head back to school to the very same schoolroom where William Shakespeare once studied and let your creativity take flight with a new bird-themed craft activity at Shakespeare's Schoolroom. Decorating one of the 60 birds that Shakespeare wrote about in his plays and poetry including swallows, starlings and sparrows. Fly your bird away with you or add it to the colourful menagerie that will be created at the schoolroom by visitors over the summer.
The activity will be available daily at Shakespeare's Schoolroom & Guildhall from 22nd July to 31st August. Craft kits are £2 and can be purchased at the information desk or when you book your tickets here.
Enjoy a summer of fun family activities in and around Warwickshire
Heritage and Culture Warwickshire have planned a packed calendar of events for families and children to enjoy throughout the summer. The themed event days focus on a variety of subjects including history and nature and will take place at several venues including Market Hall Museum in Warwick, and St Nicholas Park. Visit our What's On pages to find details on the different activity days.
Where to stay in Warwickshire this summer
With a wide choice of accommodation from peaceful country retreats and boutique town centre bolt-holes to cosy bed and breakfasts, and self-catering stays – there is something to suit all tastes and budgets. Find a place to stay in Shakespeare’s England here.
Keep an eye on our What's On pages for a full calendar of events and activities. taking place in Shakespeare’s England all year round.
We hope you have a wonderful summer n Shakespeare’s England and don’t forget to share your stories and adventures with us on social media – #MyShakespearesEnglandStory.