School summer holidays in Bolton are nearly upon us and it’s time for parents to start thinking about ways to keep the kids entertained.

Luckily, there are amazing places and activities right here in Bolton- and they don’t cost the world either.

If you are stuck for ideas and are looking for great places to take the kids, here are five local places to consider:

Smithills Open Farm
Open hours:10am-5pm
Cost: Adults: £8
Children (2-16): £7
OAPs: £7

If your kids love animals, then Smithills Open Farm is a fantastic place in Bolton to take them.

Best of all, there are over 1000 animals on the farm, including goats, pythons, skunks, and llamas, meaning you can take your kids time and time again without them getting bored.

However, it’s important to note that the coronavirus pandemic has altered some activities and services on the farm.

Animal handling sessions and donkey rides aren’t currently available- but kids can go on tractor rides and feed the animals.

If you want to visit, then you have to book online first.

Octagon Theatre Bolton
Cost: £3
The Bolton News: Fancy a tea party? (Photo: Octagon Theatre Bolton)Fancy a tea party? (Photo: Octagon Theatre Bolton)

While theatres are technically allowed to open, many live performances aren’t going ahead until later in the year.

However, Octagon Theatre Bolton has planned some events which are perfect for young people interested in the arts.

The company is hosting musical theatre dance and singing workshops throughout summer- the first one is for 11-16 year olds on July 20.

Excitingly, the company is also hosting a virtual tea party experience based on Alice in Wonderland.

This event promises to be a “fun filled hour” with “a virtual Tea Dance, Best Mug in Show competition, a Great Bolton Cake Off.”

This will take place on August 14th and tickets cost £3 per household.

Moses Gate Country Park
The Bolton News: (Photo: Jane Milne)(Photo: Jane Milne)

If you are looking for a free activity to try with the kids, nothing beats heading to the park.

It is also a great fishing spot for famillies wanting some peace and tranquility in the warm weather. 

Moses Gate Country Park received 104 ‘Excellent’ ratings on Trip Advisor- so it's well worth a visit.

Bolton Museum

Open hours: Tuesday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.
Cost: Free

This iconic museum has been closed since the lockdown in March- however, they are opening to the public from July 14.

This means you can give your children a much more entertaining and immersive learning experience, as all the galleries are open.


The museum contains thousands of ancient artefacts and even a realistic recreation of the tomb of Thutmose III.

The museum shop will also be open- just ask a staff member for help if you wish to buy something.

However, health and safety is still an important consideration in the museum. As a result, hand sanitising stations will be available around the building and there will also be a one-way system in place.

Go Ape! Rivington
Cost: £16- 49. Prices vary according to the activity.

Opening hours: 10am-2pm.

The Bolton News: Are you brave enough to take on the treetop challenge? (Photo: Go Ape!)Are you brave enough to take on the treetop challenge? (Photo: Go Ape!)

Fancy zip-lining through the trees and practicing your climbing skills? Go Ape! has reopened and could be a great day out for a thrill-seeking family.  

The course is recommended for children age 6+ and one adult can supervise a maximum of two children aged 10-15.

Where are you planning to take your kids in the summer holidays?