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Summer Holiday Activities For Kids Across Reading

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Family-friendly theatre, reading challenges, play clubs, and a special outdoor rhymetime and picnic are among the exciting range of activities on offer for children over the summer holidays. 

Reading Summer Holiday Activities

Reading Challenge

The fun with Reading Libraries begins with the much-loved free Summer Reading Challenge launching on 9 July. Children aged 4 to 11 are challenged to read at least six books over the summer as part of this year’s science-themed ‘Gadgeteers’ Summer Reading Challenge.  

Bright Sparks Science

For budding scientists, Bright Sparks science workshops offer a range of hands-on, fun-filled activities for every child. Coming to Central, Caversham, Battle, Palmer Park, Whitley, and Southcote Libraries throughout August, sessions will cost £1 and are suitable for children 5-10. Find out more at: https://whatsonreading.com/venues/reading-libraries/whats-on/bright-sparks-science-workshops  

Rhymetime

A special Platinum Jubilee Rhymetime Picnic comes to the Forbury Gardens on 3 August at 10.30am and 12.30pm, in partnership with Teddies Music Club. Two free Rhymetime sessions filled with royal songs and familiar favourites will be on offer, and families are welcome to bring their own picnic and fancy dress.  

Reading Library Events

For further details of Reading Library events and activities visit: www.reading.gov.uk/libraries and www.whatsonreading.com/venues/reading-libraries/whats-on-events  

The Hexagon

The Hexagon are welcoming a furry friend direct from the West End in ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea,’ on the 16 and 17 July. Join the tea-guzzling tiger in this delightful family show; packed with oodles of magic, sing-along songs and clumsy chaos. Tickets £14, or £9.50 for a group, find out more and book at: https://whatsonreading.com/venues/hexagon/whats-on/tiger-who-came-tea  

Reading Museum

Travel back to Ancient Rome with Reading Museum’s free Roman Fun Day on 28 July. Find out about life at Calleva Atrebatum (Silchester) 2,000 years ago, drop in to make pasta jewellery brooches and laurel leaf headdresses, and handle some real & replica objects from our famous Loans Collection.  

Forbury Gardens

Insect explorers can search for creepy crawlies in the Forbury Gardens and Abbey Ruins with the museum’s special bug hunting kits. Identify, draw, and record your finds, and look at some fabulous insect specimens from the museum’s loans collection boxes. Tickets £4, booking essential via: – https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/out-abbey-bug-club  

For a full programme of events, visit: https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/museum/whats-on  

SEND Activities

For young visitors with SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disabilities), the free Museums, My Way sessions will return to The Museum of English Rural Life on 25 July. Developed with Autism Berkshire, sessions provide a safe environment to explore the museum at quiet times, with sensory backpacks and ear defenders, break out rooms, and reduced gallery noise. More information is available at: https://merl.reading.ac.uk/event/museums-my-way/  

The summer edition of Reading SEND offer newsletter is packed with information on services, activities, events, childcare options, advice for under 5-year-olds, short breaks, information on support and services for 16+ and much more: https://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/service.page?id=lcc_7CWKv_8 

Children’s Centres

Reading’s Children’s Centres, run by Brighter Futures for Children, are running Get Active Week, August 22-26, where families will be encouraged to take part in free outdoor activities together and join in sessions at the centres, including Sports4Kidz, Mum and Baby Yoga and Healthy Lunch Time Fun.  

Our children’s centres will also be running a packed programme of free activities throughout the summer holidays, such as Baby Messy Play, Summer Challenge, Story and Craft, Teddy Bears Picnic, Rhymetime and Football Fun. Keep an eye out for details on the Reading Children’s Centres web page soon: https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/for-parents-carers/under-5/childrens-centres/.  

Brighter Futures for Children is coordinating the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) scheme this summer with activity clubs from local providers offering a range of fun, physical activities, exciting new experiences, and nutritious meals too. This scheme is available to all Reading children who are eligible for pupil premium free school meals.  

From drama to dodgeball, rock academy and more, there will be something to suit every child’s interest. For more details and to register, visit: https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/for-parents-carers/schools/haf/ 

Full details of the summer holidays universal offer from the Family Information Service are available at: https://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/service.page?id=LVQKeRJHJRc&familychannel=8-10 

General Holiday Activities can be found on the following search list:

https://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/results.page?familychannel=8-10 

For parents or carers who need information on childcare, holiday clubs, childminders etc for the school holiday, details of care available can be found at: www.readingfis.org/childcare 

Booking for Reading Play’s summer holiday play clubs is now open. Running 25 July to 26 August at The Hill Primary and Waterloo Meadows. Book your place online at: http://www.readingplay.co.uk/holiday-playclubs/  

Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward, Lead Councillor for Leisure, and Recreation, said: 

“Keeping children busy and entertained in the summer holidays without breaking the bank is always a challenge, and this year the cost-of-living crisis is putting even more pressure on Reading’s families. I am pleased that the council is once again delivering an extensive programme of low- and no-cost family activities this summer.  

“There is also a wealth of activities and support on offer for families of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. From Lego clubs to equine-assisted therapy, there is something to suit everyone in Reading’s SEND offer. 

“I encourage all Reading residents to take advantage of our wonderful open spaces across the borough. There are many beautiful parks and gardens in Reading with play areas, a paddling pool and space to play games., and remember there is no charge for under-threes at our brilliant new 9-hole mini-golf course at Prospect Park!”