The sun is shining (on-and-off!) and school's out for summer, so the timing couldn’t be better for Love Parks Week 2011. From July 23–31 everyone can enjoy the best their local park has to offer with a whole host of outdoor activities up and down the country celebrating our fabulous green spaces. See of top picks of happy happenings below:
Park and Pond Explorers
Engage your child’s curiosity about nature, both on land and underwater at Bedfont Lakes in Ashford. Keen explorers can become a nature detective for the day, discovering the various wildlife of the park and then taking a dip in the pond to discover what creatures are lurking in the deep.
Street Dance Workshop
July 27–August 24
Kicking off in Love Parks Week, children aged four and above can bust a move and boost their back-to-school street cred every Wednesday afternoon with free street dance classes at Clissold Park, Hackney.
South Shields Shuffle
Meet at the South Marine Park Bandstand in South Shields for an open-air session of high-energy dance craze Zumba, suitable for all ages and abilities.
Picnic In The Park
Dine al fresco with your family at Stanley Park, Anfield, this summer where you can either bring along your own picnic basket or order one pre-made from on-site bistro Kemps for that luxury touch.
In The Footsteps of Robin Hood
Step back in time to 1248 and join a walking tour with Robert of Wentbridge, one of Robin's faithful band. Join merry man Robert on a stroll through Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, hot on the heels of Nottingham’s most revered outlaw.
Free Family Outdoor Games
Join in with a whole host of outdoor games at this free event at Bosworth Road Fields in Castle Donington. Activities are open to all age groups and will include rounders, tug-of-war, bottle rockets and many more classic outdoor games.
Puppet Making Workshops
July 27–August 31
Every Wednesday throughout the summer holidays children aged 5-12 can create their own magical mythical puppets at Antony House in Plymouth.
Dog lovers unite! Bring your prized pooch along to Eastville Park, Bristol for a dogs' picnic and general celebration of all things canine including stalls and a raffle in aid of Avon and Somerset Greyhound Action.
Bilberry Pancakes Feast
Why wait for Shrove Tuesday to enjoy scrumptious pancakes? Meet at Cave Hill Country Park, Belfast, and go foraging for delicious local bilberries then make tasty pancakes with your pickings.
Help to preserve our most vibrant native insect by counting butterflies in Hazelbank Park, Newtonabbey, then take a look inside a moth trap for a sneak peek at what beautiful creatures are fluttering around while the world is asleep.
Teddy Bears Picnic
If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise…Bring along your child’s favourite furry friend as well as a snack and join in a traditional teddy bears picnic at Cambuslang Park in Lanarkshire.
Open day, Red Moss
To Coincide with Love Parks Week, Red Moss Wildlife Reserve in Balerno is holding its annual open day including guided walks, pond dipping and a nature quiz.
Classic Punch and Judy shows and brilliant balloon sculpting are just two of the tricks Mr T.Ricks has up his sleeve at Ynysangharad park, Pontypridd.
The Lava Family
July 30, 31
Hailing from Wellington, New Zealand this versatile family band are certain to enthral young and old alike with their beautiful songs and five-voice harmonies during this outdoor afternoon concert at Wales' National Botanic Gardens, Carmarthenshire.
For more fun events, and to see what's happening in your area, visit the official Love Parks Week website.
And for great summer events, see our guide to family days out