11 best family days out in the South West: Cheap things to do with your kids

Looking to keep the kids entertained? Here are 14 budget-friendly things to do in South West England...

A young girl on a family day out in the South West watching a seal

Look forward to family days out in the South West of England again, thanks to an ease in lockdown measures.

The South West is bursting with great places to explore as a family. Be that some rainy day activities in Cornwall or fun things to do with kids in beautiful Bath or bustling Bristol. And it's safe to say we’re very much looking forward to getting back out and seeing places in person again, especially during the school summer holidays.

From a safari adventure to a family National Trust outing, there’s plenty of day trips to try in the South West that are fun, budget-friendly and re-opening soon.

So pack a picnic, rally the troops and choose from one of these brilliant South West days out suggestions:

Best family days out in the South West:

1. Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, Warminster

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The first ever Safari Park outside of Africa, this is one of the best kid’s zoos in the South West and will make for a fun family day out. See cheetahs, lions, monkeys and giraffes up close, plus some notoriously naughty monkeys.

Longleat re-opens on Monday 12th April and is operating a daily cap on visitors to ensure optimum safety. Be sure to book your tickets online and save yourself 15%.

Find out more about Longleat Safari and Adventure Park and book tickets for summer 2021 here

2. Avon Valley Adventure Wildlife Park, Bristol


Come rain or shine, this adventure park in Bristol is sure to hit the spot when looking for days out in the South West. There’s a whole host of activities to keep the family happy, from paddle-boarding, archery, a maze, trampolines, quad bikes, and fishing. Plus, enjoy the park’s rare and exotic animals and be sure to stop by the fascinating falconry display. If it sounds like too much to fit into one day, it could be worth investing in an annual pass and spreading the activities out over the holidays. 

Avon Valley Adventure Wildlife Park re-opens on Monday 12th April and are operating half day ‘Covid safe’ AM and PM sessions. It’s worth noting that the park is only accepting pre-booked tickets, so buy your tickets online to save disappointment.

Find out more about Avon Valley Adventure Wildlife Park and book tickets for Summer 2021 here

3. Eden Project, St Austell


The Eden Project is an absolute must if you’re in the South West area. With huge iconic greenhouses and thousands of species of plants there is so much to see and do. Find out who WEEE Man is, take a picture with the giant bee, walk in the rainforest and ride England’s longest zip wire. This will be one of the most nature-packed days out in the South West you can experience. 

The Eden Project has a proposed re-entry date of 17th May, with special timed ticketing slots for all visitors to maintain effective social distancing. You can pre-book your entry from mid-April and sign up to their newsletter for further details.

Find out more about The Eden Project and get the latest ticket information here

4. Rugrats & Halfpints, Cirencester


You’d be silly not to consider Rugrats & Halfpints for a fun family day out in the South West. Formerly Magicland, this soft play centre is the perfect place for your little one to burn off some steam and there’s plenty of space for you to sit and watch (if you don’t fancy tackling the course yourself). There are snacks available too so when their tummies start to rumble you can grab a spot of lunch before hitting the road. Whilst the centre’s huge range of sensory based activities including bubble machines, trampolines and an indoor go-karting track, are sure to keep them entertained for a few hours.

Rugrats & Halfpints in Cirencester looks forward to welcoming families back on Monday 17th May. All two hour sessions must be pre-booked online, with the half hour break between sessions used to sanitise the play area for peace of mind.

Find out more about Rugrats and Halfpints and book your tickets for summer 2021 here

5. Snowtrax, Christchurch

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Why wait for the snow when you can have it all year round? Opt for one of the more alternative days out in the South West and take a ski or snowboarding lesson on these (surprisingly warm) slopes. If that doesn’t take your fancy, bring some friends and zoom down the slope in a much cheaper ringo or ski-bob. Or check out the alpine adventure park full of trampolines, cables, a fort, slides and swings. Either way, you’ll get all the fun of a ski holiday without the expense or travel. 

Snoxtrax is open from Monday 29th March and actively taking bookings for ski and snowboard lessons, and their ring and ski-bob sessions. We recommend the Family Activity Package for £45 which gives you day passes, meals and 2 x 30 minute children’s ringo or ski bob sessions.

Find out more about Snowtrax and book your tickets for summer 2021 here

6. National Seal Sanctuary, Gweek

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Get up close and personal with some rescued seals for an unforgettable family day out at this South West sanctuary. Make sure you attend feeding times – it’s not just the seals, you’ll make friends with the penguins and otters too. There are even rock pools where you can hold a crab or a starfish. Unlike aquariums, and zoos, this is a really interactive day out all in aid of the seals who have been rescued. Learn the heart-warming stories of each individual seal as they journey down their road to recovery. 

You'll be able to see these seals in action from Monday 12th April when the sanctuary re-opens. But be aware you'll have to pre-book online to get in.

Find out more about the National Seal Sanctuary and book your tickets for summer 2021 here

7. Roman Baths and Museum, Bath


This is for anyone looking for one of the more history packed days out in the South West. Bring history to life at the Roman Baths where your kids can learn simple Latin phrases and meet costumed characters who’ll chat about life as a Roman citizen. They can listen to a child-friendly audio guide explaining the history of the site, fill in a puzzle sheet and discover the collection of over 17,000 silver coins. After the tour you can try some of the famous water, with its rumoured healing powers…

The Roman Baths are getting ready to welcome visitors back on Monday 17th May. Tickets must be pre-booked online, so be sure to plan your trip ahead of time. 

Find out more about the Roman Baths and Museum and book your tickets for summer 2021 here

8. Dunster Castle, Minehead

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Take a South West day trip to this historic castle, dating back to the Norman era. Situated on a wooded hill, explore the castle, learn the history and take a walk in the beautiful grounds. Be sure to look up the variety of special activities available, from den building to knight school. There is a wheel-friendly route in the gardens so if you’ve still got a pram you can still navigate the paths. There’s also parking on site if you drive and it is £4.50 for the day or free for National Trust members.

Families can enjoy the garden, parkland and Tenants’ Hall pop-up castle again from Monday 29th March (open 10-5pm). With the castle officially stated to re-open from Tuesday 1st June. 

Find out more about Dunster Castle and  plan your visit here

9. Stonehenge, Amesbury


As one of the wonders of the world, this makes a great activity to tick off with the family. It’s perfect if your little one loves history, or if you are trying to spark more of an interest. There’s a world-class exhibition and you can come face to face with a man who is 5,500 years old. 

Stonehenge will open from Monday 12th April with plenty of outside takeaway catering options to enjoy during your South West day trip. Tickets must be bought online and ahead of time.

Find out more about English Heritage’s Stonehenge and book tickets for summer 2021 here

10. Dorset Water Park, Purbeck


Set in two scenic lakes overlooking Corfe Castle, there are two huge inflatable obstacle courses that the kids will love. You need to be a confident swimmer and able to swim a 50 metre length so it isn’t suitable for kids under six. To save money, pack a picnic to eat after the kids have burned off some steam. There is a lovely area overlooking Corfe Castle where you can set up. Plus there is a Snack Shack if you want hot food, refreshments and ice creams. 

The Water Park reopens for it’s summer season on Saturday 22nd May. So get in early and buy your tickets online. It’s advised you arrive 45 minutes early to your session for a full healt and safety briefing.

Find out more about Dorset Water Park and book your tickets for summer 2021 here

11. Dorset Mud Trail, Purbeck

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Located in the same setting as Dorset water park, you could finish your exciting family day out in the South West with a turn on this daring mud trail. With over 30 obstacles, including monkey rings, balance beams and cargo nets to choose from, it’s sure to knacker the kids out. But don’t worry, it’s free for spectators so you don’t have to join them on the trail if you don’t feel up to it…

Like the neighbouring water park, Dorset Mud Trail will re-open on Saturday 22nd May. You should pre-book your tickets online to save disappointment on the day.

Find out more about Dorset Mud Trail and book your tickets for summer 2021 here

Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.