Why is summer just for kids? 6 ways the grown-ups can have just as much fun this holiday...

So, it’s only the start of the school holidays, and odds are one of these statements relates to you:

1) The thought of having the kids off for a whole six weeks is already making you see red…

2) You’re stuck in work whilst the sun is pouring through a window and you’re wishing you could go back to the carefree summers of your younger years…


3) You’re a teacher, having finally reached the break you spend your whole year counting down to, you’re now twiddling your thumbs wondering how to make the most of your time free of the classroom…

If you’re reading one of the above statements thinking that’s soooo me, then read on my friend, and know you are not alone. Why should the summer holidays be all about the kids? We’ve rounded up some suggestions on how us grown-ups can have just as much fun…

Gin Festival Birmingham

Festivals – The promise of a group of mates, a great atmosphere and a line-up of great entertainment, can be overshadowed by the reality of a mud bath, queues for the loos and questionable liquids being hurled across a crowd in plastic cups. If this is sounding like a no-go zone for you bear with me, I might still have the festival for you. Recently the trend for gins has gone wild, and for you gin lovers out there, the seemingly more sophisticated Gin Festival is making its return to Birmingham for its fourth visit. There will be gin masterclasses, a gin cocktail bar, live music and gorgeous food – that’s a line up worth getting a ticket for. As it’s in the Custard Factory, you won’t be exposed to dingy portaloos and you can swap your wellies for something a bit nicer.

Outdoor theatre season, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

You’ve been watching kids tv for what feels like a lifetime, your brain is slowly turning to Play Doh and you can’t remember the last time you had an adult conversation. You’re sick of coming home from work just to catch the end of the chase before retiring to bed by 9pm out of pure boredom. Break the rut, and enjoy some adult sophistication in the form of the theatre. Birmingham Botanical Gardens currently have a run of outdoor shows performed by Chapterhouse Theatre Company, including literary favourite Pride and Prejudice. This means you can enjoy some fabulous entertainment whilst still basking in the evening sunshine. Grab your picnic blanket, get your place on the lawn and settle in to see Mr Darcy. The show must go on, come rain or shine – so pack your macs along with your picnics!

Everyman Cinema

Don’t get stuck in a room of hyperactive, sugar-fuelled kids in a sticky-floored cinema with seats that give you a numb-bum before the trailers have even finished. Instead, go to the creme-de-la-creme of cinemas, The lavish Everyman. Here, your fold down chairs are replaced by comfy cosy sofas, your popcorn replaced by restaurant standard grub and your refillable coke by a drinks menu to rival the swankiest bars. With the newest releases from the world of film and some late night special screenings of classics, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Shameful indulgence: Prosecco and balls 

Okay, so I’m stretching the summer holiday dates a little bit here, as this event is only available at the end of September, but this is an outing not to be missed. Your chance to have a little bit of childish fun, Prosecco and balls is a party for adults encouraging you to act like kids! Not only can you sip on prosecco and enjoy mac and cheese ‘from the gods’, but there’s a ball pit… yes you heard me, an actual BALL PIT! Bury yourself in multicoloured balls and hide from all your responsibilities of adult life, whilst cheesy pop is blasted throughout the warehouse. The event promises gunk machines, fairground rides and much more to help release the child within you.

 Bar Opus Hendricks Afternoon Tea

An afternoon tea can be a lovely way to spend a summers day. But you know what can make it a little bit better? Making that afternoon turn boozy… Leave the kids behind and gather a group of friends to enjoy this indulgent outing. Bar Opus are currently offering a Hendricks afternoon tea experience, so if you prefer a G&T over an Earl Grey this is the tea for 2 for you. Your teapot will be filled with one of a choice of three seasonal gin cocktails, either Herbal, Floral and Fruity. To soak up that tipple you will be served a tasty assortment of the finest finger sandwiches and sweet treats in the traditional tiered style, how quaint! If you drink a little more than you should who cares, let your hair down, it’s the summer holidays! I’m sure you don’t need much more of a reason to go, but if you need to justify your afternoon escape to someone, let them know that for a limited time only the Hendricks experience is available for just £35 for 2 people instead of £50! I know, bargain! You’d be foolish not to go…

Escape live

If rainy days stuck indoors for hours playing Cluedo is an unwanted flashback to your British summer holidays as a youth, perhaps sit this one out. But if you’re a mystery fan with a knack for working out clues and gathering evidence, then an escape room is right for you. Start by choosing your scenario – will it be the science lab? Or perhaps Doctor Wilson’s office? You and your team are then given 60 minutes to escape the room, by following clues and solving riddles, but will you make it out in time? You’ll either leave with a smug smile on your face or the feeling that you never want to see your team mates ever again. But the fun you can have whilst locked away in this world of pretend is worth risking some friendships for.

Mary Turley 


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