Free Fun and Festivals
Cheltenham is a wonderful place to raise children – as you already know! We are blessed to be in the middle of the Cotswolds – an area which attracts thousands of tourists every year and we play host to a myriad of festivals across the year, from Jazz and Performance, to Literature and Poetry, by way of Science and World Class Horse Racing! Phew!
So how can you get the best out of Cheltenham as a family?
By simply getting out and about during the festivals will give you all something to see : from the often- outrageous outfits of Race Goers to the street performances and Pop Up events of both Literature and Poetry Festivals.
Every festival offers FREE family events and both primary and secondary schools regularly take part with visits and guests in school – so why not ask your child’s teacher how they are planning to include festival events in the weeks’ activities- and maybe offer to be a parent helper? This can be a great way to access events AND be of use to your wider community: Win/Win.
In the town centre we have The Wilson Gallery and Museum and the ancient but beautiful St Marys church – both offering a wealth of entertainment for all ages, from brass rubbings or sketching to story -telling opportunities and history explorations. The glorious Pittville Park means young ones get to let off steam, older kids can skateboard or cycle and young wildlife hunters can spot a massive range of natural goodness in all seasons. Add in boating in the summer and the now Top Class refreshment offerings at Central Cross and The Boathouse and you are all set for a great day out.
What about going on a treasure hunt and mystery trail? I have lived here for ten years and still find new parts of the town I have never found before! From pretty villages like Prestbury , full of thatched cottages, groaning with stories of Civil War, ghosts and old heroes, to the rush of tiny cottages surrounding Bath Road that always make me feel like I’m on holiday!
Giving the kids a list of things to ‘Spot’ before you go on your walk can keep all eyes occupied and make a mundane wander into a magical adventure; If you feature a mix of man-made and natural items, remembering the various garden ornaments and old world decorations that grace our old buildings.
Through The Eyes of a Child
The joy of children is their willingness to explore things for the first time – so even if you are well aware of your surroundings, remember that to them it is all new and quite an adventure – so give them the time to really take it all in, from trees and birds, squirrels and friendly dogs, to delightful gardens and ‘secret passages’. With just a little imagination – our wonderful town can be transformed and the Big Kid in you will have fun too!