In the school holidays, it’s all too easy for the kids to park themselves in front of the tv and slouch their way through summer. But with just a little prep (and a thrown-together picnic), the school holidays can be a brilliant time for learning, exploring and making memories. Here are just a few suggestions to get you thinking!

Explore some of Scotland secret gardens

Explore some of Scotland secret gardens

From soap carving to Lego construction: they are all at the Engine Shed

From soap carving to Lego construction: they are all at the Engine Shed

Charity Garden Openings

The Scotland’s Gardens scheme raises money for charity through encouraging, promoting and supporting garden openings all over the country. For just a small donation, you can gain access to some of Scotland’s most beautiful secret gardens, and you may find a cream tea there, too. There are dates throughout July and August. To find a garden open near you, type in your postcode on their website: https://scotlandsgardens.org/

Summer Skills Showcase at the Engine Shed

Head to the Engine Shed throughout the summer holidays for fun, free workshops that will introduce you and your family to traditional building skills and materials. Choose from mini bricks, to soap carving, to clay creations, to Lego construction and even building your own 3D sports ground! You’ll be able to find out lots about the important work of Historic Environment Scotland, too. For more information, visit: https://www.engineshed.scot/whats-on/event/

The Helix Summer Fun Sessions

From Super Spies, to Messy Play, to Woodland Warriors, MineCraft and Mad Hatters, there’s an event for every child, of every age, at the Helix this summer. These fun sessions explore several themes, but always with the natural environment at the heart of the activity. All sessions are £6 per child and must be booked in advance via the Helix box office or website. Throughout July and August. For more information and bookings: http://www.thehelix.co.uk/all-events/under-the-trees-summer-fun-sessions/

Jupiter Bioblitz

Join the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) and friends at the Jupiter Urban Wildlife Reserve on 14 July. There, you will become a citizen scientist for the day by finding, identifying and recording all types of wildlife. Learn why recording nature can help to look after greenspaces and waterways, and learn how you can help IFLI to build a landscape-wide database of species. For more information, visit: http://www.innerforthlandscape.co.uk/

Stirling Highland Games

On 18 August, Stirling Sports Village will host one of the region’s signature annual events. Stirling’s Highland Games welcomes visitors from around the world to witness traditional Highland games competitions in the heart of the City. The games field offers brilliant views over to the Wallace Monument, Cambuskenneth Abbey and Stirling Castle. A full programme of traditional events includes running, cycling, Highland dancing, heavyweights, long jump and triple jump. Enjoy piping performances throughout the day, too. In addition, the Traders Village will present some fabulous Scottish fare. Wander through a delicious range of food and coffee servers, craft and whisky stalls, as well as an onsite bar. Tickets are discounted online: http://www.stirlinghighlandgames.com/

Become a Super Spy at the Helix this summer

Become a Super Spy at the Helix this summer

Learn how to look after greenspaces and waterways at Jupiter Bioblitz

Learn how to look after greenspaces and waterways at Jupiter Bioblitz

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