Playday, the national day for play is held on the first Wednesday in August (this year Wednesday 6th). National Playday came about in 1987 after cuts to play centres and adventure playgrounds in London and started with just a few events in the capital.
It went national in 1991 and in 2013 there were more than 850 events across the country.
This year there are more events planned to celebrate playtime, so get involved and spend the day playing with your kids!
To help get you in the mood for playing, we’ve found some of the best free adventure playgrounds across the UK where you can take your family to play.
Lower Leas Coastal Park, Kent
Split into three zones (Wild, Fun and Formal), Lower Leas Coastal Park has plenty to amuse the whole family. The Wild Zone is perfect for mini beast safaris, with no specific landscaping, while the Formal Zone offers landscaped walks and cycle routes. However, it’s the Fun Zone where the kids will want to be. Featuring the largest free adventure play area in the south east, there are rocking boats, climbing walls, zip lines, a pirate’s wreck and all sorts of slides.
Toffee Park, London
An Open Access park in Islington, Toffee Park allows children the freedom to choose what they want to do and when they come and go. Workers supervise the children and run activities, including cooking, crafts and sports. Toffee Park has a stage, indoor area and sandpit, plus an aerial runway, treehouse, allotment and gardening areas. It’s even had a visit from P Diddy!
Floors Castle, Kelso Scotland
Located in the grounds of Floors Castle inside the walled garden, the adventure playground has a flying fox, monkey bars and swings, plus plenty of other obstacles for children to climb on. There’s also a wavy slide – the ‘slippery dip’ – which delights children of all ages. The park is surrounded by benches for parents needing a rest and the tables of the nearby Terrace Café for hungry visitors.
The Big Swing, Bradford
Another Open Access playground, The Big Swing is the only adventure playground in the Bradford and Leeds area. Children can cook over a campfire, take part in sports or help build more for the playground. There are also activities inside the Hobbit House like pool table, arts and crafts and board games. The sensory garden is the relaxing area and the playground itself has a 50ft zip wire, jumping tower, two sunken trampolines and a 14ft slide. Plus, of course, the Big Swing!
Timberplay, Heartlands, Cornwall
The biggest free adventure playground in Cornwall, Timberplay offers fun play for children in a play area inspired by Cornish folklore. With funnel slides, a shipwrecked boat and underground tunnels there’s plenty for kids to do, plus the custom-made wooden Giant’s Trap after the legendary giant who fell for a maid from St Agnes.
Check out our other posts on kids’ activities for the summer holidays: