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Posted on: 05 Jul 2024

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Sam Kennard
NEWS Summer 01

Families can head to Plymouth’s waterfront this summer for a series of free activities every Saturday and Sunday in August at Royal William Yard.

Something for everyone, children can get creative with craft sessions, puppet making and open-air children's theatre, and they can get active with mini-golf, mini-tennis, zorbing and soft play on the Green.

With a stand-up paddleboarding Summer Holiday Club, sewing school, fishing trips, fireworks boat trip, and a shark-themed community print all taking place too, it’s shaping up to be a summer to remember. As the school summer holidays beckon, take a look at our round-up of local adventures and staycation inspiration:

Free fun:

Saturday 3rd August, 10am-2pm: Children’s Craft Zone on the Green. This activity is free - but book a place here to ensure there is enough material for everyone wanting to take part

Sunday 4th August, 10am-3pm: Head to the Good Food & Craft Market for dozens of family-friendly stalls. Have a blast from the past on our Geo Trail – an immersive and interactive walking trail around Royal William Yard, created for families and developed with the University of Plymouth, find out more here

Saturday 10th August, 11am-2pm: Mini Tennis on the Green. Join High 5 – winner of the Best Children’s Activity Company Award – for a day of open-air tennis

Sunday 11th August, 10am-3pm: RNLI Open Day. Join the crew from Plymouth Lifeboat Station and other amazing RNLI volunteers for a day of demonstrations, activity and awareness

Saturday 17th August, 11am-3pm: Zorbs, Soft Play and Soft Archery on the Green. High 5 are back with a whole host of exciting activities to try

Sunday 18th August, 11am-3pm: Circus Skills with Higher Beings on the Green. Learn how to balance on a tightrope, walk on stilts and all sorts of other sensational skills

Saturday 24th August, 2-5pm: Puppet Making on the Green. Join Above Bounds theatre collective to make your very own under-the-sea puppet to take home with you. We'll provide all you need to create your own sea creature. Perfect for ages 3+. This is a free activity, but places must be booked in advance – sign up here

Sunday 25th August, 11am-2pm: Mini Golf. Portable Putts will have a pitch and putt course will be laid out on the lawn, so come along for a tee-rific time

Saturday 31st August: Silly Squirrel children’s theatre show. Pull up a picnic blanket and join Above Bounds for this playful and award-winning pop-up show, with puppets, gentle interaction and lots of laughs! Perfect for ages 0-7. This is a free activity, but places must be booked in advance. 11am – 12pm session: sign up here. 2pm – 3pm session – sign up here.

Also taking place at Royal William Yard throughout the summer:

South West SUP is running Summer Holiday SUP Club for ages 9-16. Kids can learn the fundamentals of SUP and water safety in a fun and supportive environment. The focus is on helping children learn and progress at their own pace – it's an exciting way to stay active and learn new skills. The course runs Tues-Thurs, 10am-1pm each week of the summer holidays for a 3-day block (lunch included). There is also a Friday session, 10am-12, which can be booked individually in as a block of 3 weeks (drink and snack provided). Book places here.

There are also a few places left on the free Fit and Fed programme in partnership with Plymouth City Council – book places here.

RAMP at Ocean Studios, is running a free Community Print every Saturday in July and August. This year, the print is a celebration of the fascinating world of “Sharks & Rays” as part of a partnership with the Shark Trust. Each Saturday, participants will be guided by RAMP’s skilled facilitator and a knowledgeable Shark Trust volunteer, who will share exciting facts and stories about these incredible marine creatures. Find out more here

Sustainable Summer Sewing School is also at Ocean Studios. A unique opportunity for children age 8-18 years old to participate in upcycling workshop and explore the world of sustainable fashion. This two-day course, led by professional upcycling designers Abigail Schaefer from Mukta_un_done in collaboration with Lizzy Evans from Make at 140, aims to foster creativity, environmental consciousness, and hands-on skills. The course takes place on 20th-22nd August – find out more here

Plymouth Boat Trips’ Fishing Trips run daily through the summer holidayscheck out the website for times and booking details. Taking 2.5 hours, it’s a fantastic way for the whole family to get out on the water and offers the perfect introduction to rod and line sea fishing. Have fun and learn more about the local marine environment while sustainably fishing in the local waters of Plymouth Sound. Tuition is provided, as is all the kit and safety gear.

Summer Swim Group. Swimmers – adults and children – can join ACE Swimming’s Summer Swim Group on Saturday 10th and 31st August. This is a mixed-ability group to suit all standards from dippers up to channel swimmers, but you must have experience with sea/cold water swimmer. This session will focus on sea safety and developing technique, confidence, distance and speed. Find out more and book your place here

Everyman, the Yard’s very own luxury cinema, offers an altogether more lavish experience. Where better to head as a family to watch new releases and family classics than with sat on a velvet sofa, with a milkshake and popcorn? There will be new releases including Despicable Me 4, and family classic running through the holidays – book here

South West Coast Path weaves through Royal William Yard and is perfect to join for a stroll along the coast. Or take a refreshing dip in our tidal pool! Use the Yard as your base for local adventures; Plymouth Boat Trips ferry service lets you hop on and off from our marina, so head to the bustling Barbican, get to Saltash and back, or take a trip to the historic house and acres of stunning Country Park at Mount Edgcumbe in Cornwall.

The British Firework Championships are always a sight to behold. Not only does Devil’s Point offer a fantastic vantage point, but there are also some really unique viewing opportunities on offer. Join Plymouth Boat Trips' public spectator boat to watch the fireworks from the sea on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th August – book here

There’s never a shortage of places to eat, drink and chill out at Royal William Yard, which makes it a safe bet to visit as a family. Whether your kids fancy pasta, pizza, shakes or bakes, the global food offering means there’s plenty of choice - and children’s menus are available throughout the Yard.