Fun activities this bank holiday weekend from special events to family days out

The May bank holiday weekend has crept up on us quickly, and you may be finding yourself scrambling for ideas to keep the kids entertained, or simply to make the most of the extra day off.

Luckily we’ve got you covered with a guide to some of the top things to do this weekend, from special events and fun festivals worth bookmarking, to the theme parks not to miss and ideas for a thrilling days out that the whole family can enjoy.

Oh, and for those days where the bank holiday weather forecast doesn’t look particularly inviting, we’ve also flagged some of the best film releases, museum events and other rainy day ideas to keep both grown-ups and the kids entertained.

Check out our guide below…

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Climb the O2

Get ready for an exhilarating walk over the roof the world-famous O2. The 90-minute experience includes walking 52m above ground with spectacular views of the London skyline. Choose from daytime, sunset and twilight climbs – or you can even opt for a Celebration Climb where you can indulge with a glass of bubbly at the top! Tickets from £35pp and must be pre-booked. Find out more at theo2.co.uk/up-at-the-o2/climb.

Go to a theme park





Fun activities this bank holiday weekend from special events to family days out

There are plenty of fun new theme park rides for 2022 (

Paultons Park)

Theme parks have opened for the season and there are plenty of fun new rides and attractions for 2022 in the likes of Legoland, Alton Towers and Paultons Park (home to Peppa Pig World).

There are plenty of UK theme park deals for 2022 to be found too if you’re looking to keep costs down, including ‘adults go free’ offers and savings on food and drink.

Walking tours with a difference

Walking tours can be a fascinating way to explore a destination, but if you know the area, visiting the tourist hotspots may not appeal. However, there are some great tours that let you unearth lesser-known gems and fun facts while you walk around.

For example Treasure Trails has plenty of maps you can download, and then follow cryptic clues throughout a city to solve mysteries or ‘find treasure’- and they cater to groups of all ages. Find out more at treasuretrails.co.uk.

National Trust events

Exploring a new National Trust site can be a fun way to do something different, whether it’s gorgeous gardens on a sunny day or wandering inside grandiose homes on a drizzly morning.

To give you a helping hand, National Trust actually has a guide which rounds up the best events to enjoy in Spring, including some inspiration for the bank holiday. Find out more at nationaltrust.org.uk.

Explore the Soul of Madrid

Madrí Excepcional, the Mediterranean style lager, will serve up the Soul of Madrid in London this bank holiday weekend, in a celebrating of the food, art and music to be found in both the Spanish and English capitals.

London Bridge’s Vinegar Yard will play host to the special event including performances by Fusa Nocta and Lady Leshurr (10pm on Friday, April 29), delicious food inspired by Madrí Excepcional including burgers, and original artwork that will be a feast for the eyes.

The new Madrí Excepcional inspired Nanny Bills menu will be available until May 27, 2022. Find out more on designmynight.com/london.

Go and see a West End show





It could be time to tick Wicked off the bucket list (

Newcastle Chronicle)

Thinking of a trip to London’s West End to catch a show? There are heaps of dazzling performances on at the moment including the likes of Frozen, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Back to the Future, Come From Away and more.

There’s no need to break the bank either. For example Wowcher has theatre breaks from £89pp including a hotel stay and tickets while Buyagift has theatre deals and discounts.

V&A’s Beatrix Potter exhibition

The V&A museum is currently hosting a ‘Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature’ exhibition in collaboration with the National Trust. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the beloved author’s life as a scientist and conservationist and explores the places and animals that inspired her most beloved characters.

Find out more at vam.ac.uk.

While away a rainy day in the cinema

Cinema trips are back and there are plenty of great films to bookmark if you’re looking to kill a few hours or want to do something fun on a rainy day.

Top films currently out at the likes of Odeon, Vue and Cineworld include:

  • Downton Abbey: A New Era
  • The Lost City
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • The Bad Guys

Everyman Cinemas also come with perks including comfy sofas, food served to your table and some great pre-film cocktails. Find out more on everymancinema.com.

York’s Giant Deck Chair competition

10 giant deck chairs are hidden around York – and if you find all ten, you could win a £500 York Gift Card. Head to the Visitor Information Centre on Museum Street and go in search of the eye-catching creations (plus, you’ll learn plenty about York past and present along the way).

Find out more on visityork.org.

Cheap UK holiday deals

Looking for a bargain staycation? There are plenty of tempting deals on right now:

  • Haven has family breaks from £479 for the summer holidays – book here.
  • Travelodge has rooms from £29 a night – use this price finder tool here.
  • Premier Inn has rooms from £29 a night for summer – book here.
  • Shearings has last-minute tours and breaks from £164pp – book here.
  • Parkdean Resorts has up to £250 off summer holidays – book here.

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Meet Stonehenge’s friendly Giant

The kind and gentle giant Gnomus will be heading to Stonehenge this bank holiday weekend to check on his old friends, the stones. He’ll be telling tales of how Stonehenge came to be built, thanks to a clever mix of puppetry, history and conservation.

Find out more at english-heritage.org.uk.

Take on an escape room

Looking for a challenge that the whole family can enjoy, no matter what the British weather decides to do this weekend? An escape room can be a lot of fun and there are various themes sure to cater to a wide array of ages, whether you’re going for zombies or just want a fun themed room that the kids will also love.

Tripadvisor has a handy guide to some of England’s best escape rooms to get you started.