Days out Family friendly

Things to do in the Summer Holiday in Derbyshire 2023

Family friendly, school holiday activities to keep the kids entertained over the 2023 summer holidays in Derbyshire

Schools out for summer! Keeping the kids entertained over the six weeks 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. Best of all, many of these summer holiday activities events are FREE!

Most Derbyshire schools break up around Friday 21st July until the 4th September (do check with your school as exact dates, INSET days etc obviously vary from school to school).

How to use this guide to summer holidays activities in Derbyshire

Note there are two sections. Firstly events that run daily or regularly throughout the six weeks holiday, and then a section of one-off summer holiday activities organised by date.

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.

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.
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

Activities that are on throughout the summer holiday

Summer of Play at Calke Abbey

Daily throughout the holidays

There’s lots going on at Calke over the summer. Calke Explore has an extensive natural play area for kids to get active. Then enjoy a family bike ride on the Tramway Trail.

Photo credit: National Trust/Rod Kirkpatrick

The Walled Kitchen Garden is hosting The Garden of Imagination where kids of all ages can get stuck into a range of activities. Then relive childhood memories by enjoying some old-fashioned play in the Stableyards. Read more.

Photo credit: National Trust/Rod Kirkpatrick

Summer Crafts at Denby

Throughout the summer holidays, there’s a range of seasonal craft activities for children to get involved in. Booking essential. Read our review.

summer crafts - school holiday Derbyshire

Summer Fun at Shipley Country Park, Heanor

Daily from Sunday 23rd July to Sunday 3rd September 2023, 10.30am-3.30pm.

During the school summer holidays there will be a different self-led activity each week, so make time for fun with the family in the fresh air. Turn up at any time, 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! Approx. 1-2 miles. Cost: £1.50 per child per trail.

Runaway Train Treasure Hunt around High Peak Junction

Daily from Friday 21st July to Sunday 3rd September, 11am – 4pm

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 (DE4 5AA). No booking required, just turn up any time. £1 per child.

Mini-Beast Safari at Middleton Top, Wirksworth

Daily from Friday 21st July to Sunday 3rd September, 11am – 4pm

Collect your bug catching pots, and insect identification cards from the Visitor Centre (DE4 4LS) then stalk spiders and go hunt a grasshopper. £1 per child.

Farmarama at National Forest Adventure Farm, nr Burton upon Trent

Daily from 22nd July to 4th September 2023

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 if booked in advance.

Magical Summer on the Thornbridge Estate

Daily from Friday 21st July to Sunday 3rd September 2023

Enjoy a very special secret garden experience as well as the newly launched nature trial featuring insight into each wildlife character and their habitat. The Duck Fountain will be well-stocked and the swing ball, archery sets, and much more will be set out in the gardens for those looking to burn off some energy. Also meet the Thornbridge Smallholding Animals.

rubber duck fountain - summer holiday in Derbyshire, summer holiday activities

Summer activities at QUAD, Derby

There’s a huge and varied offer for families at QUAD this summer holidays. From daily Cine Kids films (for just £5), a free exhibition daily in the gallery, a programme of workshops and activities and all the blockbuster summer family releases. Read my previous review of QUAD Derby.

More family friendly things to do in Derby here!

Summer holiday calendar in Derbyshire

Summer events organised by date

Park in the Dark, Elvaston Castle, Derby

Saturday 2nd and Saturday 9th September, 7.30-9.30pm

Find out more about night-time nature resident at Elvaston Castle and explore the grounds to find our resident bat species. About a mile. Bring a torch and wear suitable footwear. Adults £7, Children £4. Sorry, no dogs. Booking essential. Call 01629 533870.

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

Click here for more things to do in Derby.

Click below for other great summer holiday content

11 Flower Fields in Derbyshire to Visit

Regular readers of the blog will by now know that I am an absolute sucker for an Instagram picture. Over the last five years or so, each summer I get green with envy seeing people down south frolic about in lavender fields and the like. To my delight, Derbyshire now has several fields of flowers…

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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.

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