Summer Family Activities at Gibside

A family in the sunshine at Gibside

Summer holidays call for action-packed family adventures. Here at Gibside we’ve got 600 acres of woodlands, fields and gardens to explore, and free games and inspiring activities to get you closer to nature.

From 23 July, summer 2022

During the 6 week summer break, they'll be free activities every day. Each week will be themed, 'Rest & Relaxation', 'Faster, Further, Longer' or 'Gibside Classics', with games like Tumbling Tower, quiots, orienteering, Flying Disc Golf and hobby horse racing to try. In July, pick up an activity planner at Visitor Reception to pin to your fridge and be inspired. 

Play Tumbling Tower with the whole family
Toddler and grandparents playing Tumbling Tower in the garden
Play Tumbling Tower with the whole family

Come out and play

It's the perfect time of year for outdoor play and thanks to support from Sport England, we have lots of sports or you to get active as a family. Whether grandma wants to hit the target with a foam javelin or the toddlers want to grab a sensory feel tub, whether the teens try sitting volleyball or mum and dad are trying blindfolded football with jingle bands, each activity is designed for everyone to have fun and get active this summer. 

Play sports and get active at Gibside this summer
Child kicking a football high in the sky
Play sports and get active at Gibside this summer

Discover nature

With miles of walks and woodland trails, there’s no excuse not to stretch your legs on an adventure. If it's nature you’re keen to spot, stand very still - you may see Roe deer skip by, Leafcutting bees buzzing hard at work or even Great Crested newts in the Octogan pond. Stop off at the bird hide hidden within the woodlands. Who knows what you'll see up close? Perhaps woodpeckers or even the resident Red Kites.

Play for the day

Extend your stay and play for the day! No visit to Gibside is complete without a trip to the Strawberry Castle play area. This wooden fortress is fit for any King or Queen ready to take on the world! If you're a dare devil, zoom along the zip wire, pump the Archimedes screw and fly high on the basket swings. 

Play out this summer
A girl cartwheels at Gibside
Play out this summer

Give little feet a rest, after a long day of exploring

After a full day of getting ‘happy-tired’ playing, head to Strawberry Castle kiosk for some delicious Northern Bloc ice cream or Market Place café for child’s lunch box. To end the day, find our second-hand bookshop and rest under a tree whilst your imagination takes a fictional journey.


Staying at home? Try some of our ideas to stay active outdoors.

Discover new places to enjoy Summer

 Visitors playing table tennis at Osterley Park and House, London

Summer family activities for every adventurer 

There's lots of summer family activities at places near you. We've got nature trails to keep the kids entertained and sporty challenges to get your heart racing, peaceful gardens to discover and outdoor games for fun afternoons. Pick up a 'Come out and play' activity card when you visit and see what adventure you'll be having this summer.