November 30, 2023

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Happy Staffordshire Day! Things to do with the kids in Stoke-on-Trent this May bank holiday weekend

Today is Staffordshire Day, and to help you celebrate, we have rounded up some of the best activities in the county that showcase what makes Staffordshire truly special. From museums to theme parks, Staffordshire has something for everyone, and perhaps most importantly of all, it has oatcakes…

There is also something to suit every budget, including free activities with good bus links. Staffordshire is also full of amazing countryside with brilliant walks, which you can read more about here.

To find out more about activities on the day, click here.

Read: Lidl wants to open eight new stores at these North Staffordshire locations

1. Alton Towers

Some of the roles include waiters, lifeguards, and ride hosts
The theme park opened in 1980

It has to be number one, as it’s the best theme park in the UK. An institution since 1860, it’s hard to get bored with a choice of mini-golf, the waterpark, spa, and hotel, plus rides for all ages. If you have chance, take a walk around the beautiful gardens.

What visitors say: “A quiet day out for my 39th birthday and it was perfect! I’ve been going to Alton Towers for about 20 years now and I have loved it every time I have gone. They make my birthdays very special by singing happy birthday to me on the runaway mine train and had me go round more times. I’ll never have a bad word for Alton Towers.”

2. Waterworld, Etruria

Waterworld at Festival Park

The aqua park opened in 1989, and attracts around 400,000 visitors a year. It features both indoor and outdoor slides, and there’s something for all ages.

What visitors say: “We were a family of five plus two friends and we had a really lovely day at Waterworld. The children aged between six and 13 had lots of fun on the slides and in the wave pool. A really enjoyable day had by all. We will definitely be coming back to take advantage of the outdoor area when the weather gets nicer.”

3. The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley

The new Spitfire Gallery at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
The new Spitfire Gallery at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

If you haven’t been to see the new Spitfire area, it’s worth the visit. And even better, the museum is free. Children will love the stuffed animals and street scenes, whilst it’s also a great look back at the history of Stoke-on-Trent.

What visitors say: “This is my local museum and it’s been a while since my last visit. It’s really interesting with lots of exciting displays on offer. From our local history of pottery to the Vikings which links in with the Staffordshire hoard that was found and is now on display. For visitors to the area and even local folk it’s a nice place to visit to explore the past – and the best thing is it’s free. They do ask for a donation but that’s entirely your choice.”

4. Middleport Pottery

Middleport Pottery
Middleport Pottery

A fascinating look at the pottery industry, with the best snacks and drinks with beautiful views of the canal from the cafe. It is also full of small studios with the option to support small businesses with local arts.

What visitors say: “Middleport Pottery, located in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, has been the home of Burleigh (historically Burgess and Leigh) since 1889. It is filled with stunning original features and we were able to learn about and see for ourselves the traditional techniques that are still used to produce Burleigh-ware today. We had an outstanding guided tour from Keith who explained the process from start to finish. It is one of the best guided tours we have had from anyone anywhere! Truly brilliant! We will definitely be returning!”

5. Trentham Gardens

The Trentham Estate, one of the jewels in Staffordshire's crown
The Trentham Estate, one of the jewels in Staffordshire’s crown

Regularly attracting coach-loads of visitors, we’re lucky to have this on our doorstep. Visit the huge garden centre, with its array of homeware, furniture, clothes, books, plants and more – then take a walk around the lake and visit the cafe. For a more sedentary time, the shopping village has something for all. If you have time, visit the Monkey Forest.

What visitors say: “A massive place with plenty to keep you occupied. We combined it with the Monkey Forest for which you pay separately but you could probably spend a day at each. The shopping village has lots of different brand outlets and eating places, although would probably benefit from something like a local supermarket. Also a big garden centre. Plenty of free parking. The gardens themselves are quite expensive to go in, but there is a good variety of things to do – the lake to walk round, Italian garden, woodland walks and the rather sad remains of what is left of Trentham Hall. Plenty of seats in the gardens so you can have a break looking at the lake, and also a tea-room. The shopping village gets very busy on a nice day so probably best avoided if you still want to avoid crowds, but there’s acres of space in the gardens.”

6. Regent Theatre, Hanley

A recent production of Rock of Age at The Regent Theatre

Right in the Cultural Quarter, get a bite to eat before seeing a show in this stunning 1930s venue.

What visitors say: “It’s a really nice theatre in the city centre, lots of local restaurants and bars nearby. Friendly staff and you can have drinks delivered to your seat. Beautifully decorated and disabled friendly too, as there are lifts in the building. I definitely would go back again.”

7. Get some oatcakes!

Oatcakes from Povey’s Oatcakes

If you really want to celebrate Staffordshire Day, get some oatcakes. Available from most major supermarkets, small independent stores, and with make-your-own kits, you’re hardly short for choice. Bacon and cheese is the most popular option.

8. Tenpin Stoke, Etruria

The Festival Park car park is home to an Odeon, Costa and Tenpin Bowling

Show Festival Park some love with a retro attraction – bowling. Tenpin has a large arcade with various games, a cafe and often, cosmic bowling, which kids will love.

What visitors say: “I had a great night here where the bowling was as good as usual and the organisation was superb with plenty of measures to keep everyone safe. Really good value with three games for two adults and a child £30 with half-price food and drink. Food was a lot better than I expected although the menu is quite limited. I couldn’t fault the service and yes you do occasionally share the same bay with other bowlers, common sense dictates that you stick to your designated balls.”

9. Awesome Walls, Longton and Normacot

Awesome Walls in Longton
Awesome Walls in Longton

Suitable for older children and adults, this indoor rock-climbing centre is huge and a great way to have fun and exercise. Memberships and induction sessions are available.

What visitors say: “l love spending time at Awesome walls, the routes are changed around every six weeks which just about gives me time to complete all the climbs at my grade. I have taken my children expecting them to get bored and get the iPad’s out but they loved it too. The staff are all really friendly and the atmosphere is very chilled. The coffee is good and I often sit around having a brew and relaxing for some time after my arms have given up on me. I am at a novice level but feel that this has been a great place for me to develop my skills. There are also plenty of routes that will far surpass my level of skill for some time to come, which are all graded incrementally.”

10. Flip Out, Stone

This huge trampolining centre is ideal for children and adults, regardless of their age. It’s a also a good way for them to tire themselves out whilst parents can enjoy a coffee in the cafe.

What visitors say: “My son has just had his ninth birthday party here. What a fantastic experience it has been. The booking process was easy and simple. Nothing was too much trouble. We were greeted on arrival. Dave was a party coordinator and he made the whole experience stress-free. I feel he went above and beyond to make my son’s party special.”

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