With the summer holidays coming to a close, and major exams coming up on the horizon (such as the 11+), many parents want to spend quality time in between studying. After all, the summer holidays are a rare opportunity for everyone in your family to relax. However, if your child has mock exams booked, or needs to knuckle down on their exam practice, you might not want to travel too far from home. Here are some day trips you could do to spend quality time with your family during the run-up to exams.

A trip to the Lido

Lidos are one of the few relics of the heyday of British summertimes. Not only are these often Art Deco beauties with nostalgia-inspiring architecture, but they are also a great way to spend time by the pool that isn’t too far from home. Some, in places such as Brighton, are even re-opening due to demand. Seize the opportunity of the last few hot weeks of summer to enjoy a traditional summertime. 


If your children are in the process of completing mock exams, you may want to reward them for their hard work. Mock tests are an excellent learning tool for getting practice in before the big day, and they ensure that your child won’t be intimidated on the big day. However, it’s essential to break up these tests with fun days out – with maybe a few treats thrown in. Picnics are one of the best ways to do this close to home. Filling a hamper with their favourite food and drinks is a great way to make your children feel treated. It’s also the perfect way to break up a long walk, or day out at a park.

The aquarium

If you have somewhere to be the next day, then you will want to find big attractions that are close to you, and an aquarium is the perfect day out. Thankfully, the UK is full of local aquariums you can go and visit to discover more about marine life. Visiting the shark tank, petting rays and witnessing luminous jellyfish is fun at any age. You will often find aquariums at the seaside, too, which makes them a great feature of a big day out. Spending your day eating chips on the beach and visiting the seal enclosure will provide a pleasant distraction from looming exams. 

Attend a family-friendly festival

If you want to ensure that children with upcoming exams feel as if their holiday has been somewhat broken up by fun instead of studying, then choose an activity that is vibrant and energetic. Festivals are a great place to get their face painted, enjoy new food and take part in interesting activities. You’ll even find festivals with specific child-friendly areas, which is particularly useful if you have infants to bring along too.  

While many of us want the best for our kids, it’s easy to feel guilty about educating them over the holiday period. Exams are stressful, and so it’s necessary to practice mock tests in the run-up to the 11+ season. Therefore, making your holiday as fun and vibrant as possible is the best thing you can do for your child. 

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Written by Kitty

There's nothing better than a weekend spent at a spa and total relaxation and happy thoughts is a way of life to me. It's lucky I love cats really with a name like mine! Happily married with my three fur babies to keep us company.