Things to do this Summer
Below you will find lots of activities you can take part in this Summer as well as a list of venues that will be offering free food or meals for very low prices.
Things to do in and around Hanley
Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
- Open Wednesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and 11 am to 4 pm on Sundays.
- The perfect place to explore some of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s rich heritage. Including an original RW388 Spitfire, The Commonwealth Connections exhibition has been made free to enter with mascot Ozzy Owl delving into the Commonwealth countries. This runs until September 11th.
- Free admission.
The Mitchell Arts Centre
- The MAC runs film events year round and throughout the summer holidays.
- Children’s films are being shown, including the Gruffalo, Encanto, Sing, Luca, and Spider-Man.
- Children’s tickets cost £3.50 with one adult going free per paying child, meaning a family of four could enjoy a movie for £7 all in.
LongRest Boardgame Bar and Cafe
- Hosting a library of over 300 board games that can be hired out at the cafe.
- There are board games for a whole range of ages, and tables can be booked online for two-hour or five-hour slots. Two-hour gaming slots cost £2.50 per person, while five hours is £5 a head.
- Serving food throughout the day, the children’s menu starts at £2.50.
- The factory is free to visit, with a shop, outlet and cafe on site, and free parking.
- Factory tours are available for £5 per ticket, held Monday to Friday.
- The decorating studio is a lot of fun, though more expensive with pots to paint starting from £7
Piccadilly Artisan Market
- The Piccadilly Artisan Market is organized by a collective of passionate independent artists.
- It’s a family-friendly event that runs on the fourth Sunday of every month.
- Stalls fill Piccadilly from top to bottom, with gifts and treats like jewellery, sustainable skincare, bakes, and cakes, as well as prints and candles across around 40 stalls.
- The next event will be held on Sunday, July 24, with another on Sunday, August 28 – Bank Holiday weekend.
- As well as a number of stalls to shop, there’s also a children’s activity zone where little ones can have a go at some games and challenges and free craft activities by CraftyKidz. Greyhound Gap will be running a prize every time kids tombola.
- Hanley Parkrun is a free, fun, and friendly weekly 5k community event held each Saturday at 9am at Hanley Park.
Central Forest Park
- Located in the heart of the city Central Forest Park, with facilities for walking, cycling, dog walking, and even skating, biking and skateboarding.
- As well as Stoke Skate Plaza – Europe’s largest street-style skate park – there is also a safari-themed adventure play area and boulders to climb, the lake to walk around and feed the geese.
Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID events
- Every weekday from July 25 to September 2, children can head to Hanley’s Cultural Quarter and enjoy a range of free activities between 10 am to 3 pm, weather dependent.
- Daily activities include a family reading library, family board game play with LongRest, circus skills classes, children’s yoga, as well as the Beach at Smithfield where you can build a sandcastle. A full schedule will soon be available on the BID website.
- The Museum is housed in their Grade ll listed bottle oven.
- Entry into the museum is free, and open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm. A typical visit takes just under an hour, and there is a well-stocked gift shop selling books and souvenirs, as well as a café on site.
Things to do in and around Newcastle-under-Lyme
- Keele Observatory is open to the public on Tuesday evenings.
- The observatory underwent a significant refurbishment in 2009, and now members of the public can go stargazing and learn all about the equipment, including their 60cm reflector for research.
- No booking is required.
- In the beautiful Brampton Park less than half a mile from the town centre is Newcastle-under-Lyme’s local history museum featuring over 2000 years of Borough history.
- Another highlight is Brampton Street which allows you to take a step back in time as you discover the wares of Mellard’s the ironmongers, the treasures of the pawnbroker’s shop, the fascinating cures of the chemist’s and the gruesome collection of doctor’s surgical instruments, alongside a toys gallery filled with teddies, dolls and games up to 150 years old.
- Admission and parking is free.
- When finished you could take a stroll around Brampton park.
Vue Mini Mornings
- Vue Cinema host mini morning sessions to give both adults and kids the chance to experience big screen entertainment for a very small price.
- Mini Mornings are run every Saturday and Sunday morning from 10am, plus every day in the school holidays, showing kids movies and new kids films from just £2.49 a ticket for both adults and children.
Apedale Valley Light Railway
- Take a trip to Apedale Country Park and watch the trains on the Apedale Railway without spending a penny
- A short train ride is £3.50 for adults, £1.50 for children, and free for under 3’s, or there’s a family ticket where two adults and up to four children can enjoy a return trip for £8 in total.
- Trains run at 11.30 am, 12.00 pm, 12.30 pm 1.30 pm and every half hour until 4.00 pm. The round-trip journey takes around 15 minutes.
- On August 13, there’s a Teddy Bears Outing where little ones can spot the bears on the journey, solve a puzzle and win a prize. Kids with bears (or other furry friends) travel for free for this event.
Apedale Mining Museum
- The Heritage Centre’s site was once a working coal mine and the miner’s cottage offers a fascinating insight into everyday family life in the past.
- The museum is open on Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm and entry is free, although donations are appreciated.
Castle Artisan Market
- The third Sunday of every month.
- Visitors can browse approximately 70 independent stalls and benefit from free Sunday parking on all council-run car parks.
- Live music and activities for the kids will be put on, including free craft activities by CraftyKidz and a free themed trial around the market area, which when completed, can be handed in for a carton of popcorn or sweets.
Woore Fruit Farm, near Keele
- The farm operates for seasonal fruit picking between May and October, and through the six week holidays, raspberries, tayberries, blackberries and black or redcurrants, as well as plums and strawberries will be available to pick.
- Entry to the farm is free, but you pay for your fruit based on the weight of your punnet.
Things to do in Stoke
The Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre
- Free to enter where guests can learn about the history of the factory, and see displays of fine ceramics and archival films. Visitors can also watch demonstrations of transfer printing, hand painting, and raised paste gilding and visit the world-famous Blue Room, which contains hundreds of blue transfer printed pieces made at Spode between 1790 and 1847.
- Guided tours of the Spode factory site and the Blue Room are available for a small charge, or you can take a look around on your own.
Things to do in Fenton and Longton
LoveClay Ceramics Centre – located at the Valentine Clays headquarters in Fenton
- A series of galleries, exhibition spaces, workshops, and events.
- During the summer, visitors can paint a pot which requires a £5 booking charge that is redeemable against decorated items.
- Pottery pieces start from £5.
Longton Park – also known as Queen’s Park, is a Grade II listed heritage park
- It’s famous for its trees, horticulture, and lakes complete with a clock tower, three bowling pavilions and bandstand.
- It also has skateboard facilities including ramps and rails, multi-use sports courts, and three newly refurbished tennis courts.
- There’s a children’s play area for toddlers and another for juniors, two full-sized football pitches, electronic interactive games, and fishing facilities controlled by Fenton and District Anglers.
Things to do near Tunstall and Burslem
- Westport Lake is Stoke-on-Trent’s largest expanse of water, consisting of two lakes, and a nature reserve.
- A great spot for bird watching, feeding the ducks, or going for a walk.
- There is a parking charge if you’re driving, but the lake is free to visit with a visitor centre that has a cafe offering panoramic views of the water.
- The Grade II* listed Pottery is the UK’s last working Victorian pot bank in continuous production. The site is open every day and is free to visit between 10 am and 4 pm. On your visit, you can take a look in some of the incredible studios now occupied by local, independent businesses, admire the bottle kiln and enjoy a bite to eat from the cafe at the canalside.
- Visitors can book onto the heritage trail, which costs £5.00 for children.
- This guided tour includes a look at the heritage offices, steam engine, Grade II listed bottle kiln, bathhouse, and Europe’s largest ceramic design archive, as well as the newly opened regenerated properties on Harper Street.
Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre
- The centre is home to one of the few remaining Grade II listed bottle ovens, as well as a museum and shop.
- Entrance to the Moorcroft Museum is free of charge, but there are paid-for guided tours that cost £7.50 for adults and £5 for children.
- Victoria Park, in Tunstall, is a Grade II listed heritage park in the city and is home to a historic boathouse, bowls pavilion, clocktower, floral hall, and lodge, as well as a much-loved bandstand. There are fishing pegs, a football pitch, and a children’s play area with outdoor gym equipment and log piles for bug hunting.
- Burslem Park is a Grade II listed Victorian Park, restored in 2012 to its former glory
- Home to a restored Victorian terrace garden and ornamental fountains, buildings with terracotta period details, and a beautiful lake surrounded by pulhamite rockery.
- Visitors can enjoy playing on the tennis courts, play equipment, skate facilities, and playing field.
Royal Stafford Cafe
- A lovely Ceramic Cafe where visitors can have a go at decorating their very own, individual piece of pottery. Helpful and friendly staff are on hand to guide you through the process, and you’ll have a maximum of two hours from the start of your reservation slot.
- The adult studio fee is £2.00 with children charged £1.50. Pottery pieces to paint begin at £4, so it can cost as little as £5.50 to enjoy this experience. Your piece will be glazed and fired and ready for free collection within a week or can be posted out for a fee.
- The cafe is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 4 pm
Things to do in Kidsgrove
Newchapel Recreation Ground pump track
- BMX track facility is suitable for all ages and abilities to use with BMX bikes, rollerblades, scooters, skateboards and even wheelchairs.
- Free to use, the track features elevated starting platforms and various jumps and obstacles, including berms, rollers, angled rollers, table tops, doubles, a shark fin, and a left-handed hip jump.
- Bathpool offers woodland walks and bridle paths around the main lake and several ponds with dedicated cycle routes throughout the park.
- The car park is free, and there is children’s gym exercise equipment scattered throughout the park, too.
Things to do in Smallthorne
Ford Green Hall
- Ford Green Hall was built in 1624 for Hugh Ford, Now an award-winning museum, looked after by a charitable organisation led by volunteers and members of the local community.
- The hall is open Sunday to Thursday from 1 pm to 4 pm – the last admission to look around the Hall is at 3.30 pm. Adult tickets are £4.50 while children aged 5 to 16 cost £3.50. Under fives visit free.
- On July 27 there’s a Pirates Day running from 11 am to 3.30 pm where visitors are encouraged to dress like a pirate.
- The following month on August 9 there is a Teddy Bears Picnic, where you can bring a Teddy bear, and have a brew from the tea room. The Farm on wheels will also be on-site with a selection of animals.
- And on August 17, there’s a Vikings, Princesses, Knights, and Shieldmaidens event where children can meet fearsome Vikings demonstrating battle techniques, explore replica Medieval weapons and armour and learn what it was like to be a Knight.
Things to do in Trentham
- Trentham Shopping Village – With free parking and almost 80 timber lodges housing shops, cafes, and restaurants, Trentham Shopping Village is a fabulous spot to while away a couple of hours. It’s very dog friendly if you want to take the pooch with you.
- Trentham is also home to Blue Diamond Group’s flagship Garden Centre,
- Trentham Makers Market – Trentham Makers Market brings together an abundance of the North West’s finest makers, bakers, and creators showcasing every third Saturday of the month at Trentham Estate near the Shopping Village. Visitors can expect an array of art, craft, food, drink, coffee, music, and street food at the dog-friendly event.
- Saturday, August 20. Again, parking is free so there’s no time limit on your stay, so you can enjoy the shops and garden centre with the market all in one epic day out.
- Trentham Gardens Parkrun – If you want to see Trentham Gardens without needing to pay an admission fee, why not sign up to the Trentham Gardens Parkrun? The friendly weekly 5k community event takes place every Saturday at 9 am, meeting at Trentham Gardens at Trentham Estate.
- While free to join, be sure to register ahead of the event and bring a scannable copy of your barcode, ready to walk, jog, run or spectate the event. Runners of any age can take part for their own enjoyment, whatever their pace, and enjoy a coffee at The Rotisserie with the other participants after.
Things to do in Biddulph and Mow Cop
Biddulph Fun Day
- After three years, Biddulph Fun Day is back on Saturday, July 30.
- Hosted by the community group Friends of BRIC, the fun day will be held on the Church Road playing fields, and is free to attend.
- There will be a number of activities that cost a small fee on the day, including a fun fair, dog show, community stalls and face painting.
- There will be all the fun of the fair with a dance display and custom cars to have a look at, making it a vibrant event for the whole family.
Shakes on the Rocks
- Wickenstone Farm, is a self-service milkshake machine that opened in April 2022.
- Visitors can pay £2 for a large glass bottle to fill with milk for an additional £1.50, or one of five different flavours of milkshake for £2. Alternatively, there are cups where a milkshake will cost just £1.50 in total and can be enjoyed on one of the picnic benches with panoramic views of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Biddulph Grange Country Park
- Originally part of the larger Biddulph Grange Estate, Biddulph Grange Country Park is a 73-acre site that offers you the chance to explore a historic landscape as laid out by its Victorian and early 20th century creators. Biddulph Grange has been Grade 1 listed since 1984, and the Country Park forms part of that listing.
- The main pool is an outstanding feature at the centre of the site with a fully restored 1904 stone boat house, and Grade II listed ornamental bridge on the Himalayan walk in the park.
- There are fishing permits for the central lake, which is also perfect for a circular walk through the spring wood and open meadows.
- Knypersley Reservoir sits in Greenway Bank Country Park, just south-east of Biddulph. Knypersley Reservoir was built in 1827 to supply Caldon Canal, but the woodland is ancient.
- There is a small, free car park where you can usually get a space, but on a sunny Saturday, you may be better parking on the roadside which overlooks the water. There are lots of geese, ducks and the odd swan you can feed lakeside by the car park.
Mow Cop Castle
- Mow Cop Folly – also known locally as Mow Cop Castle – is owned by the National Trust, and makes up part of the Alderley Edge and Cheshire Countryside, offering breathtaking 360 degree views across Staffordshire and Cheshire.
- It’s a relatively steep climb up to the folly if you’re walking, but it is clearly labelled with a National Trust sign from the road, so is easy to spot.
- Alternatively, there is a free car park.
Things to do in and around Leek
- In collaboration with Totally Locally, the Leek Sunday Supplement market is held on the first Sunday of every month, so will see markets on August 7 and September 4 during the holidays.
- The award-winning market is extremely popular, with up to 80 stalls featuring handmade artisan products and local food. Many of Leek’s independent shops, cafes, and pubs open for the day adding a lovely lively vibe to the market.
- High Street car park is free on Sundays, and there are plenty of gifts, treats, and bakes priced below £5, so you don’t need to spend a lot to enjoy yourself.
- On the edge of the Peak District National Park, near Leek, you’ll find Tittesworth Water – a reservoir is owned by Severn Trent which makes for a fun day out for all the family.
- The scenic drive to the stunning Staffordshire location is almost as tranquil as Tittesworth itself, with views of the Moorlands for miles.
- Parking is £3 for up to two hours, or £5 for all day, and is open 7 am – 9 pm April to September – there are some cash-only machines, but there is an odd one where you can pay by card.