Summer Holiday Top Picks Blog! - Derby Days Out Blog
10th July 2019

The six weeks summer holidays is a loooong time to fill - we know! But we've found some fantastic events happening to keep the whole family entertained this summer. With all this to choose from you'll be wondering how to fit it all in!! These are our top picks and remember, you can also find great options on our events pages too.

Summer Fun for all the Family at Chatsworth!

The Dog: A Celebration at Chatsworth

In the house, there is a range of activities for the young and young at heart. Have a go at dog breed top trumps using collector cards on the visitor route and stop by the New Gallery for plenty of fido fun, from creating your own dog breed to colouring a canine masterpiece.

This summer alongside the exhibition that explores stories of bravery and mischief, of working dogs and treasured companions through a fascinating collection of artworks, letters and artefacts, Chatsworth will also play host to some very important guests as it welcomes two Crufts winners in August.

Crufts champions or not, all dogs are welcome at Chatsworth this summer. With doggy drinking stations and dog-friendly places to stop and eat, visitors are welcome to bring their own four-legged friends for walks or put their pooch through its paces with the dog agility course located near the Maze.

In the spirit of this year's exhibition, Chatsworth has put together three of its favourite walks in the garden, parkland and woods - perfect for dogs and their owners. Pick up a copy at garden entrances or download a pdf from the website.

In the garden, marvel at the eight-metre high scaffolding sculpture of a dog commissioned by the Duke and Duchess from the artist Ben Long. His dog is of a monumental scale and is a vivid addition to the landscape.

Fun In The Garden

Not to be missed, the 105 acres of historic garden, famous for its rich history and undergoing its biggest transformation in 200 years. Young and old alike will marvel at the human sundial, the balancing rock and the Emperor Fountain. With water features scattered around the garden including the Willow Tree Fountain and the Cascade, as well as miles of footpath, a maze and rockery, there is plenty to do and see. For the more daring, the old coal tunnel can be explored underneath the garden.

Farmyard and Adventure Playground

Visitors can meet animals up close, take a trailer ride and let young ones play all day on swings, zip wires and slides.

To plan the perfect day out, try the new interactive map to view daily activities, opening times, menus for restaurants and cafés, plus key features in the garden, farmyard and park all in one place.

For more information visit

Great activities this Summer Holidays!

There’s plenty to do in Derby this summer, from Markeaton Park to Derby Libraries, to Derby Arena, there’s something for everyone.

Put on your favourite superhero outfit, grab your picnic basket, and come on down to Derby Parks for Superhero Picnic in the Park! On Tuesday 30 July at Markeaton Park, Wednesday 31 July at Chaddesden Park and Thursday 1 August at Darley Park this completely free event is the place to be to celebrate Love Parks week. There will be sports and craft activities, try it sessions, a superhero trail, face painting and much more super fun!

Head over to Derby Arena for a cycle-tastic summer. You don’t need to be experienced beyond riding a bike to try out track cycling at Derby Arena, come along to a youth beginner cycling session or a family track cycling session to enjoy this fantastic sport this summer. This summer toddlers can take part in the cycling fun with balance bikes! Two to four year olds can learn the basics of cycling all while having great fun.

Coming this summer to Derby Arena is a cycling mechanics course teaching the basics of break adjustment, gear adjustments and changing an inner tube. These free sessions will help those who enjoy cycling to get the most out of the sport!

Keep the kids active and entertained at Moorways Stadium, Springwood Leisure Centre and Derby Arena with our multi-sport activity camps.All of these activity camps offer the chance to learn more sports throughout the school holidays and to improve kid’s skills.

Make a splash at Queen’s Leisure Centre this summer with a whole host of swimming activities on offer from the new Float Run Splash challenge and the giant obstacle course Atlantis Splash Run to Family Splash sessions with plenty of fun floats and pool toys. Take part in our all new Disney inspired family swim sessions this summer for a magical splash!

There’ll be plenty of excitement in Markeaton Park Craft Village this summer as Derby LIVE’s Outdoor Theatre and Cinema season comes to town. Get involved with a unique interactive experience with Here Be Dragons!  As the Babbling Vagabonds lead you on this outdoor theatrical walk around Markeaton Park from Monday 5 to Saturday 10 August. Children can meet the secretive ‘creature carers’ and help them to conjure a story to becalm a bewildered beastie!

Markeaton Park is the place to be this summer with a whole host of amazing activities. Try out the all new mini golf course, or the unique new disc golf for something a bit different. Take to the heights on Markeaton Skyline high ropes course, or practice your skills on the Markeaton tennis courts.

Children aged 4 to 11 years old can take on the Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge starting on Saturday 13 July. All Derby Libraries will be running the Space Chase challenge, to read six books over the summer holidays and follow the Space Chase adventure!

To finish off a wonderful summer holiday Derby’s much loved concert, The Hannells Darley Park Concert is back on Sunday 1 September. Bring along your picnic and enjoy the fireworks to finish off a great summer!

FIVE at Derby Theatre

Wednesday 31 July - Saturday 10 August

Tickets: £12 (£10 Under 26s)

Book Now:

FREE Stay 'n' Play Area before and after the show and FREE Ice Cream with every ticket

Eyes see, fingers touch,

Noses breathe in deep,

Tongues taste, ears hear,

Bodies ready- leap!

What’s this? What does it look like? How does it feel? Does it smell nasty, or taste nice? Does it make a noise?

Join two dancers and a live musician as they use their eyes and ears, noses and mouths, fingers and feet to discover a world of play that makes the ordinary extraordinary.

FIVE is a playful exploration of our five human senses through dance, movement and live music. Created by Derbyshire-based family theatre specialists WinterWalker, this warm, funny and inclusive show is a perfect introduction to live performance for children age 3 to 6 and their grown-ups.

“Little mouths were open as they were absolutely mesmerised by the entire performance.” Boom Magazine (Holiday, 2018)

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Accessible Performances

There is a dedicated Relaxed Performance on Wednesday 7 August at 1:30pm but due to the non-verbal, sensory and visual nature of the show there is a relaxed atmosphere during all performances.

This is a non-verbal performance suitable for Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing audiences.

Summer Holiday Events at Derby Museums

TRAIL: LEGO® Lost in Time
Saturday 20 July – Sunday 1 September
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 12-4pm - Museum & Art Gallery
Trail sheets £1 each
Some of the LEGO® characters from the Brick History exhibition have escaped and are wandering around the Museum! Can you find them and work out which time they belong to?
Drop-in, suitable for children 5-15 years old with their grown-ups.

Crafty Tuesdays
Selected Tuesdays, 10am-2pm - Pickford’s House
FREE - Give What You Think
Drop-in session, suitable for children aged 5+ with their
grown-ups. Accessibility restrictions to upper floors.

Family Handling Histories
Tuesdays 23 July, 6 August and 20 August 10.30-11am - Museum & Art Gallery
FREE - Give What You Think
Drop-in session, suitable for families.

Art Hub
Selected Wednesdays, 10am-12 noon and 1-3pm - Museum & Art Gallery
FREE - Give What You Think
Drop-in session, suitable for children aged 7+ with their grown-ups.

Pickford’s House Family Tour
Every Wednesday from 24 July to 28 August, 10.30-11.30am - Pickford’s House
FREE - Give What You Think
Suitable for adults and children aged 7+ with their grown-ups. Accessibility restrictions to upper floors.

Pickford’s Plot
Selected Thursdays, 10am-2pm - Pickford’s House
FREE - Give What You Think
Drop-in session, suitable for families.

Family Friday
Selected Fridays, 10-11.30am - Museum & Art Gallery
FREE - Give What You Think
Drop-in session, suitable for children aged 5+ with their grown-ups.

This is Derby Celebration Day
Saturday 13 July, 12-3pm - Museum & Art Gallery
FREE - Give What You Think
Come along to the Museum to find out about This is Derby; a project that has been working with young people in the city over the last year to help develop essential life skills. Have a go at some taster activities to see what hidden talents you may have.
Drop-in session, suitable for all.

Brick by Brick: Family LEGO® Building Workshop
Saturday 3 August, 10am-12noon and 1-3pm - Museum & Art Gallery
£5 adult / £3.50 child / FREE for Derby Museums Family Friends (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Booking essential, visit or call 01332 641901
Take part in creative building tasks led by Tan Draig and his amazing 500,000 piece LEGO® collection. Learn LEGO® techniques both 'legal' and 'illegal' as we explore some of the endless ways we can use LEGO®. The workshop is suitable for all levels of skill and experience.
Suitable for families with children aged 4+.

A World Collection: Shadow Puppet Workshop
Saturday 17 August, 11am-1pm - Museum & Art Gallery
FREE - Give What You Think
Drop-in session, suitable for children aged 7 years+.

FILM: Spirited Away (PG)
Friday 27 September, 7.30pm - Museum & Art Gallery on The Wardwick
£12 adults / £9 concessions*
Tickets available online at in person at QUAD’s box office, or by phone 01332 290606

Three Bears Cookery Club

For more information visit:


We really hope that you find this website useful in helping you plan a family day out. Whilst we try our absolute hardest to ensure all of the information is correct and up to date, we highly recommend you call ahead of any planned visit to check opening times and prices etc. We don't want any disappointed families! (Oh and check the weather before you set off!) 

BBC Weather Derby