Days out Family friendly

Things to do with Kids this Summer Holiday in Derbyshire

Family friendly activities to keep the kids entertained over the 2022 summer holidays in Derbyshire

Schools out for summer! Keeping the kids entertained can feel like hard work. Banish cries of “I’m bored…” with this handy guide to some of the best things to do with kids this summer holiday in Derby, Derbyshire and the Peak District. Many of the events are FREE!

Most Derbyshire schools break up around Friday 22nd July until the 1st September (obviously check with your school as exact dates, INSET days etc do vary from school to school) and this is pretty much organised in date order. Do read the ongoing events at the end.

I’ll keep this updated – so do keep checking back for more events. Information compiled in good faith and were correct at the time of publishing. Please do double check details before making a special journey though.

If you’re looking for things to do rather than specific events, check out this post for 40 things to do in Derbyshire and for more adult focused events, check out my general What’s On Derbyshire event guide.
All the KIDS EAT FREE deals in Derbyshire (it’s not just the big chains!)
girl picking flowers - activities for kids in the summer holiday Derby Derbyshire
Photo by Jill Wellington on

Things to do with Kids this Summer Holiday in Derbyshire

Daily activities – on throughout the summer holiday

Runaway Train Treasure Hunt around High Peak Junction

Follow the trail and be amazed by the history of run-away trains and the oldest railway toilet in the world. Pick up a trail pack from the Visitor Centre at High Peak Junction. 11am to 4pm. No booking required, just turn up any time. £1 per child

School’s Out! Trails at Shipley Country Park, Heanor

A different self-led activity each week. Track down the clue cards to complete your activity sheet and learn about some weird and wonderful nature from around the Earth and receive a certificate! Length: 1-2 miles. £1.50 per child per trail. Parking charges apply. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Dogs welcome on leads. 10.30am-3.30pm. No booking required, turn up any time. Self-led activity.

A Cat Comes to Cromford: Story Trail

22nd July to 2nd September 2022

FREE (donations welcome). Follow the trail to discover the story of how the mill cat arrived in Cromford, and what happened next. Don’t forget to find the letter at each location! Rearrange the letters into the secret word and tell the Mill Shop to win your prize.

Pick up a trail map from the kiosk or Education Room to start your adventure. This trail stretches from the mill yard up to North Street in the village and involves quite a bit of walking and some road crossing.

Dino Trail at Derby Art Gallery and Museum

Now until 4th September 2022 (Closed Mondays)

Hunt for the dinosaurs hidden throughout the art gallery and museum. £1 for the trail. Entry is free (donations welcome) and does not need pre-booking.

Building Buddies at Derbion, Derby

Now until 30th August 2022

[AD] Building Buddies is a pop-up activity at Derbion shopping centre, perfect for little people who like building! It’s really interactive, there’s loads to do and it’s really educational. We absolutely loved it. You do need to book a ticket, £5 per child for half an hour. It’s located outside Boots and Build a Bear, so park near the Derbion cinema/food court (still signposted Intu).

More family friendly things to do in Derby here!

Farmarama at National Forest Adventure Farm, nr Burton upon Trent

Now until 5 September 2022

Includes site entry plus Maize Maze, Princess Sing-a-long, Pirate Show, Mascot Meet & Greets, Foam Party, Fairground Ride, Glitter Face Paint, Craft Marquee. Adults and children £15.99 each. Book online.

Pond Dipping at Cromford Mills

Every Tuesday from 26th July to 30th August, 2-4pm

Come and have a go at pond dipping in the canal! Learn about the creatures that live in the depths and have a go yourself with our nets, trays and ID sheets. Catch sticklebacks and poke around in the mud to see what larvae and worms you can find.

£3 per child. Pre-book or drop in between 2-4pm every Tuesday from 26th July to 30th August. All children must be accompanied by an adult, who is responsible for the children at all times. Recommended for age 5 plus. Please cover up any scratches or cuts with plasters and make sure you wash your hands afterwards. Pre-booking recommended.

Holiday Camp at Injoy Derby

An explosion of play, creativity and fun with various activities such as climbing, soft play, art, and even dodgeball! Includes morning and afternoon snacks, a packed lunch plus an endless supply of water and squash. Only suitable for children aged 5+. £25 per day. Booking required. Early drop off from 8am and breakfast can be added for an additional £5.

All the KIDS EAT FREE deals in Derbyshire (it’s not just the big chains!)

Summer holiday in Derbyshire – Calendar

Mini Beast Safari at Pickford’s Plot, Derby

Thursday 18th August

FREE session (donations welcome).Nature focused sessions in Pickford’s garden. Enjoy the tranquil space and let imagination and curiosity run wild, exploring the plants and animals that make this their home.

Thursday Art Workshop at Cromford Mills

Thursday 18th August 11am-3pm

Shibori Dye a T-shirt with Mary Macdonald. Choose your favourite colours and dye a t shirt in the Shibori style with The Old Loom Shop’s Mary Macdonald. £10 per person. No booking, just drop in. Suitable for 5+ and their grown up.


Friday 19th to Sunday 21st August 2022

Thornbridge Brewery presents Peakender, a family friendly beer, food and music festival at Bakewell Showground. More info and tickets here.

Mead Fest

Saturday 20th August 2022

Young people’s festival. Wide variety of music throughout the day. Lots of free activities e.g. climbing wall, archery, falconry show, writing and art workshops. Food vendors – no alcohol. Buy tickets here.

Barlow Carnival Day, Barlow near Chesterfield

Saturday 20th August, parade 2pm

FREE, traditional event with a parade, Carnival Queen, floats, bands and fancy dress through the village. Fun fair, food stalls and classic car display on the recreation ground. (Charges apply for activities, food etc).

Derby Theatre Summer School for Years 7-10

Monday 22nd August 2022 – Friday 26th August 2022, 10am- 4pm each day, with a performance at 3PM on Friday

Develop skills, meet new friends and have some fun in Derby Theatre’s fantastic Summer School! Participants will grow their abilities as actors and creatives, working together as a team to create a brand new performance over the course of the week, with a production showcase at the end of the day on Friday. All sessions take place in Derby Theatre’s Studio. £100. Half price and full bursaries, subject to availability, contact Sam George on 

Nature Creative at Pickford’s Plot, Derby

Thursday 25th August

FREE session (donations welcome).Nature focused sessions in Pickford’s garden. Enjoy the tranquil space and let imagination and curiosity run wild, exploring the plants and animals that make this their home.

Thursday Art Workshop at Cromford Mills

Thursday 25th August 11am-3pm 

FREE. Printing Colours and Shapes. Fashion yourself some fabulous, patterned paper clothes as we print with blocks and toys. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting messy! No booking required, just drop in. Suitable for 3+ and their grown-ups.

Legendary Joust at Bolsover Castle

Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th & Monday 29th August 2022

Experience the exhilarating spectacle of speed and skill as four legendary knights compete for honour and glory in the Grand Medieval Joust. See lances shatter, feel the thunder of hooves and hear the roar of the crowd as reputations are won and lost. Our fearless fighters and their magnificent horses will charge at each other at full speed in and unforgettable display of chivalry and sheer courage. Choose your champion and cheer them on to victory – or console them in defeat. Book online for guaranteed entry and cheapest prices.

Darley Park Concert, Derby

Sunday 28th August 2022

A much-loved Derby event and one of the UK’s biggest outdoor classical concerts in the stunning natural amphitheatre of Darley Park. Bring a picnic, enjoy the classical music and spectacular fireworks. Buy tickets here.

Also see my general What’s On Derbyshire – Events Guide, a carefully curated list of the best events in the local area

Ongoing events

Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth (near Bakewell)

Now until 1 October 2022

Monumental sculpture from Burning Man in the free to access parkland. Parking charges apply at Chatsworth.

modern sculpture in front of Chatsworth House - activities for kids in the summer holiday Derby Derbyshire
Photo credit: Chatsworth Estate

Local Well Dressings

Throughout the summer

An ancient custom, unique to Derbyshire. Well dressing is the art of decorating wells and springs with pictures made from flowers and other natural materials. More information here. FREE to visit.

Forest for the Future

Now until Saturday 27th August

This summer holiday, Derby’s Market Place is transformed into a woodland wonderland as the only urban forest in the East Midlands and only four in the UK. Benches within the forest are a perfect spot for a picnic. The aim of the installation is to help visitors learn more about climate change, biodiversity and the natural environment. FREE to access.

Click here for more things to do in Derby.

a kid with multicolored hand paint
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on

More summer holiday in Derbyshire events coming soon – please bookmark this page.

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If you are an organiser of an event happening during the summer holiday in Derbyshire and would like to promote it here, please contact me via email which can be found on the Work With Me page.

By Molly Scott

Derbyshire blogger - bringing you the best places to eat, drink, spa and stay in the wider Derbyshire area. Champion of the most fabulous independents.

One reply on “Things to do with Kids this Summer Holiday in Derbyshire”

Superhero Picnic?!?!? I wish I were a kid living a little further up north – that sounds aweeeeesome! Fab finds here, lots for kids and families to enjoy over the summer break.

Caz xx

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