Kent has lots of things to do for kids for a rainy day, including some of the country’s most amazing stately homes and estates like Scotney Castle or Leeds Castle for example. There are also beautiful Cathedrals in Canterbury and Rochester, as well as numerous museums detailing Kent’s past, from Roman times to medieval and modern. If you are lucky with the weather, Kent has also so much outdoor beauty to explore, from the Kent Downs, all the way to seaside towns like Margate. You can visit historic cities like Canterbury, stately homes and castles. Get your activity fix at the largest stretch of open water in the South East – Bewl Water.
So let’s explore the best things do in Kent with your kids:
1. Ramsgate Tunnels
Take a guided walk through this fascinating network of wartime tunnels, where locals took up residence in the 1940’s. The hidden underground city is the UK’s largest network of tunnels, home to over 300 people during the Second World War.
Visitors can see in reality the street signs, canteens, shops and even a hospital which were set up underground.
Address: Marina Esplanade, Ramsgate CT11 8FH
Opening Hours: Opening hours vary, check the website for more info. (Open daily during school holidays).
2. Canterbury Tales Visitor Attraction
See literature brought to life at one of the oldest tourist attractions in Canterbury, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The immersive tour takes you through some of Chaucer’s most famous tales, using real life actors and a fantastic set that recreates 14th century England.
Your kids will love stepping back in time and experiencing the sights, smells and sounds of medieval times.
Opening Hours: Opening times vary, check the website for more info. (Open daily during school holidays).
3. Chislehurst Caves
Enjoy a subterranean adventure through Chislehurst caves, an intersecting warren of man-made caverns covering 22 miles. First created in the mid 13th century, the kids will be fascinated by tales of the Druids, Romans and Saxons who used them.
Moreover, guided tours leave every hour, taking you on a lamp-lit route through the atmospheric tunnels used for centuries.
Address: Caveside Close, Chislehurst BR7 5NL
Opening Hours: Open 10am-4pm Wednesday to Sunday. (Closed on Tuesdays)
4. The Hop Farm Family Park
A real hidden gem in Kent, the Hop Farm Family Park features loads of indoor fun alongside its animals, rides and gardens. Indoor attractions include giant jumping pillows, bumper cars, a fairy garden, children’s theatre, soft play, a magic castle and a gingerbread hut!
Adults will also enjoy similarly discovering the farm’s hop picking heritage in the interactive Hop Story Museum. And don’t forget to taste a bottle of local ale at the cafe!
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
5. Dinotropolis Bluewater
Dino-mad kids will adore Dinotropolis – the new dinosaur themed play area at shopping metropolis, Bluewater. Huge, moving dinosaur models will enthral the little ones as they explore three storeys of soft play and interactive games.
While you’re there, Bluewater also has hundreds of shops, a food hall, a 17 screen cinema, a trampoline park and a pirate cove adventure park to discover.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 9pm.
Ready to explore more things to do with kids in Kent?
6. Penshurst Place
A perfectly preserved manor house with some of the finest gardens in the county, but did you know Penshurst Place is also a top day out for children? With a toy museum (arguably the best kind of museum there is), woodland trails, bike hire and an adventure playground. Therefore, this beautiful estate is a firm favourite for a historic day out. If you’re here in the summer time, be sure to take a turn around the maize maze, complete with clues along the way.
Opening Hours: Opening hours vary, check the website for more info
7. Dreamland, Margate
A vintage theme park in the popular seaside town of Margate offers a fantastic family days out in Kent. Enjoy a wide selection of vintage rides, including the big wheel, scenic railway and chair-o-plane, as well as a Roller Disco, indoor soft play and plenty more. In addition, Margate also has lots of independent cafes, shops and pubs to explore. So why not make a weekend of it and get to know why it’s become so fashionable in recent years.
Opening Hours: Opening hours vary according to the season, check the website for more info
8. Emmetts Garden
High up in the Weald of Kent, National Trust owned Emmetts Gardens boasts panoramic views across the Kent countryside and a stunning array of flowers, herbs and trees. Kids can run wild in the play area complete with charming teepees, whilst you enjoy the peaceful and totally photogenic surrounds. If you’re feeling energetic, tackle the circular walk around Ide Hill and enjoy spectacular views, rewarding yourself with tea and cake at the tea shop at the end!
Address: Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN14 6BA
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
9. Wildlife Parks
There are so many amazing wildlife parks in Kent that we couldn’t just choose one! There is Howletts, Wingham, Port Lympne and Wildwood to name just a few! Differing from a zoo in that the animals are free to roam and live similarly to their natural habitat, wildlife parks are a fantastic chance for the kids to see exotic species in a ‘safari’ environment, without the costly air fare. Many of the parks also have lots of extra kids activities and attractions like adventure play parks, petting barns and indoor play.
10. Betteshanger Park
This 250 acre park is a must visit for active families, who will find miles of cycling and walking trails, an outdoor play park and fun activities like archery, climbing, fossil hunting and geocaching.
A new state-of-the-art Visitor Centre is due to open this year (2019) which will be home to the Kent Mining Museum, celebrating the social history and impact of coal mining in Kent. A Green Energy Centre will tell the story of future energy, using solar power and a biomass boiler to generate clean power for the Park and the national grid.
Address: Sandwich Road, Deal CT14 0BF
Opening Hours: Opening daily 10am – 4:30 pm / 6 pm (Winter / Summer)
11. Leeds Castle
If you want to shortlist the top 10 castles in England, surely Leeds Caste must figure on this list. Famously known to be the house of Henry VIII who made some major renovations for his first first Catherine of Aragon, Leeds Castle is a popular day out among locals. You will find beautiful gardens, different events every year, two different children’s playgrounds and even a mini golf. Leeds Castle is probably one of the most popular thing to do in Kent with kids.
Address: Broomfield, Maidstone ME17 1PL
12. Howletts Wild Animal Park
Part of the Aspinall Foundation, Howletts Wild Animal Park is a great choice for families looking to spend time outdoor in Kent. The park hosts around 400 wild animals such as Gorillas, African Elephants or gigantic Anteaters. There is even a treetop high rope course challenge for children who have a height of 1.2m minimum. Howsletts is a great thing to do in Kent with kids for sure and you will also contribute to the foundation to reduce the extinction of endangered species such as black rhinos.
13. Rochester Castle
This castle has been constructed in the 11th century by the Bishop of Rochester named Gundulf, one of the most famous architects of William the Conqueror. Rochester Castle is typical of Norman architecture with its massive fortresses. Open from Tuesday to Sunday, you can easily squeeze half a day to visit this historic site before moving on to the next attraction in Kent.
Address: Castle Hill, Rochester ME1 1SW
14. Port Lympne Reserve
If you are looking for a family day out in Kent, look no further by booking the whole day at Port Lympne Reserve. The 1-hour jeep safari tour cannot be missed and there are a lot of walking trails to get close to animals. This park is part of the Aspinall Foundation with a mission in mind to rescue endangered animals who face extinction. Don’t forget that you can also stay 1 or 2 nights at the reserve a different range of accommodation such as the Treehouse Hotel or the Bear Lodge.
Address: Aldington Rd, Lympne, Hythe CT21 4LR
15. Lower Leas Coastal Park
Located nearby Folkstone, the Lower Leas Coastal Park is one of the largest park in the area with 3 sections to discover. The first one is made of gardens, flower fields and paths. The second is for your little ones with different play areas. Last but not least, the third wild zone aims at recreating the wildlife habitat for different animals. We strongly recommend to pay a visit especially for its underrated kids play area and the proximity of the pebbled beach.
Kent is such an easy weekend destination for Londoners who want to be away from home for a few nights and spend great family time in another place. So many things to do with kids in Kent.
The post may contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. More info: Disclosure.