Fun for all the family 2015
It's going to be a scorcher! Make the most of your kids' summer holidays
Yes, it can be hugely entertaining having your face slapped in paint while you try desperately to supervise four out-of-control children hell bent on causing as much mayhem as possible.... but it's still not the sort of thing you want to do every day.
Then again, you won't get another chance to see your kids grow up, so here's a few ideas for making the most those precious family days out in the open air.
On the buses
Getting around on the cheap
With petrol prices sky rocketing, it can be pretty expensive just getting to where you want to go even before you've paid to get in.
With trips planned to take you to see Ed Sheeran at Wembley Stadium, Bristol Zoo and Weston Supermare - why not get in touch with Barnes Coaches?
Down on the farm
Get down with the animals
With Swindon being surrounded by countryside, it's no surprise that one of the most popular locations for families on a day out is the farm.
Animals around every corner, plus tractor rides, animal races and a café.
Family season pass
Buy a summer season pass at Roves Farm and say hello down on the farm any time you want!
All creatures great and small
Take a walk on the wild side
Just up the road you'll also find some animals slightly more exotic than the usual.
Take a day to see the lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes.... tortoises, parrots, fruit bats and more!
Cotswold Wildlife Park
Catch the animals at feeding time, jump around in the play area or take a train ride!
There's plenty going on this summer at Cotswold Wildlife Park.
Take the family to Studley Grange Leisure Park on junction 16 and you'll find a family of mighty meerkats! Plus otters, ducks, geese, lambs and more.
It's the perfect answer to a family day out - take the grandparents with you, and they will be entertained all day at the craft centre.
A Taste of the Tropics
Butterfly World at Studley Grange
Inside at Studley Grange, you'll be fascinated by the beautiful butterflies, flying freely amongst tropical plants - not to be missed!
The Manor Farm Estate
Situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, The Manor Farm Estate in Lechlade offers fun for all the family.
From their friendly farmyard animals to mountain biking, swimming, nature trails & much more...
> Manor Farm - website
Another advantage of living in Swindon (gosh, aren't they're so many!) is the chance to get out and have a nice, sedate bike ride round the towns and villages that surround the town.
First you'll need to kit the family out on two wheels, though - and if Robbie Williams can shop for a bike in Swindon then so can you!
On the beach
Believe it or not, life really can be a beach in Swindon.
Located just a few miles down the road is the Cotswold Country Park, where there's so many activities on offer we can't possibly list them all here.
Plus, there's an actual man-made sandy shore to enjoy, as well.
Not quite Bondi, we admit, but pretty brilliant all the same when the sun's at its hottest.
Whether you're a young person or a parent just wanting a go, this summer you can go and try your hand at tridives, sailing, windsurfing and much more.
Wet 'n Wild
Go on, give them a thrill they won't forget in a hurry - ringo riding, waterskiing or wakeboarding!
We've tried it - and can definitely vouch that it's... absolutely brilliant fun!
Just watch the vid if you don't believe it. And with a huge range of water sports on offer at WMski it's the perfect excuse to try something new!
Push the boat out
There aren't many better places for taking a stroll, or just lying back and soaking up some rays while the swans and boats float by.
But why stop there?
Hire yourself a boat for the day (or overnight if you're feeling adventurous) and take in the scenery at your own pace - you'll find loads of places to tie the ropes and take to land for a picnic!
Or take the easy way out and join a river cruise - you can relax while someone else does all the hard work!
Summer Holidays 2015
Fun without getting wet at Studley Grange! Get there while the sun's still shining!
Dads. If it's sunny outside, why not take the boy(s) out for a spot of fishing in Swindon?
Remember though: children under 12 don't require a rod license, but adults do at nearly all locations such as Coate Water and Stanton Park.
For those who really want to go for the big stuff, trout fishing at Lechlade is the place to be.
Around the houses
Take in a bit of history
Swindon has a whole number of stately homes and gardens nearby. All at their best during the summer months.
Well worth an afternoon out, we think. Who knows the kids might just learn something.
Grand Palladian style house and gardens just outside Lechlade
On the track
Get the kids revved up and ready
The summer means the speedway season in Swindon.
So why not take the kids down to the Abbey to watch the Robins?
On the buffers
Take a trip back into a bygone era with a ride on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway.
Open weekends and bank holidays, trains run between 11:00am and 4:00pm.
On 30 & 31 August, there's also a Children's Treasure Hunt.
Pitch & putt and crazy golf in Swindon
There are 2 great pitch and putt courses to try - one at Coate Water, the other in Highworth.
Both offer a simple course (the Coate Water one over 18 holes) where beginners of all ages can have a go without fear of embarrassing themselves.
And if that sounds too much, why not crazy golf at Coate Water or Studley Grange.
Grand Days Out
Festivals, comedy and more...
Don't forget our other section on 'Big Events' in and around this summer, nearly all ideal for families. See link below.
If a trip up the river, or a game of golf doesn't inspire you, then don't worry.
We've loads more ideas of things to do with the kids in our sections on 'Holiday Activities' and 'Rainy Days' below including museums, cinema and plenty more.