We had an absolutely fantastic day out at Chatham Dockyard. There’s so much to do there, plus they have special Summer Fun activities to enjoy during the summer holidays.
Here’s what’s on offer:
Even though we live by the sea, our trips to the beach usually involve a whole load of pebbles, masses of seaweed and not much sand. So my kids loved the chance to get stuck in to soft creamy sand at the retro beach. It’s big enough to build sandcastles and sit and enjoy an ice cream, but also enclosed so no worries about escapees! Parents can enjoy a sit down in one of the chairs or tiny beach huts, or try out the giant deckchair! There’s a beach cabin selling ice creams and beach toys too.
Top tip: if you buy a kids’ meal in the Mess Deck restaurant it’s served in a bucket and spade, which you get to keep and use at the beach!
A Pirate’s Life For Me
This is a temporary exhibit in conjunction with the V&A, and features an exploration of pirates in children’s culture. There are clues to find, a pirate ship to climb on and plenty of dressing up!
Top tip: Pop in to No 1 The Smithery to ‘check out the exhibitions’, and you get to use the posh toilets by yourself!
I really like this part of the day. Choose a timeslot at the Plan Your Day stand when you go in, and you can enjoy an hour of fun science with your little ones. It starts with 30 minutes of experiments / crafts – including a bionic paper hand or putting the body parts in the right place (best swat up on your GCSE biology in advance for that one).
Then you move on to a 30 minute show from Doc Yard and Bunsen, all about the science of our bodies and why we are all ‘super’.
My six year old son enjoyed the experiments and show more than my three year old daughter, but there were lots of extra things for her to enjoy too. There are chalk tables for scribbling on, giant wooden blocks and a full size lifeboat to play in, plus plenty of space for wandering around.
This is one of the aspects that is so brilliant about Chatham Dockyard; they’ve put a lot of thought into making it really family friendly. There’s an indoor soft play in the Wagon Stop Cafe as well as two outdoor adventure playgrounds, plus HMS Cavalier and HMS Gannet which can be thoroughly explored.
There was plenty to keep both of my children thoroughly entertained, both together and separately. For example, my son got bored in the soft play quickly but jumped at the chance to tour the boats whilst my daughter stayed in there (with my husband, obviously!)
We would definitely come back and visit again, we’re already looking forward to the special Enchanted event in the October half term.
Adult tickets start from £22 online and during the summer holidays (until 1st September), kids’ tickets are only £1 with every full paying adult.