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Peak District May half term 2023: WHAT’S ON

Peak District May half term 2023: WHAT’S ON

If you’re planning your family days out in and around the Peak District for May half term, then you’ve come to the right place. With spring in full bloom across the National Park and lots of sunny days (fingers crossed) it really is a wonderful time of year to explore the Peak District.

May half term dates for Peak District schools are:
27th May to 4th June. Although do note that quite a few schools have an inset day on Monday 5th June.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, but I receive a small commission

When visiting the National Park, we recommend arriving early or late in the day to avoid crowds. Please also take all litter home with you, don’t bring BBQs and park your car in designated parking areas. Please be respectful to local residents.



For general days out, rather than specific events, please check out our guide to Family Days Out in the Peak District, which provides lots of inspiration. Although not much beats a long family walk in the Peak District or family bike ride, and perhaps a stop at a Peak District ice cream parlour afterwards to reward everyone’s efforts.  

As always, we’ll be keeping this page updated as much as possible with news from these Peak District May half term events. But also keep an eye on the Peak District Kids Facebook Group and also our Instagram. Feel free to email us if you know of an event not listed here.

1. May half term at Chatsworth

Various events throughout May half term
Click here for more information

Chatsworth House in spring

Chatsworth House is one of the grandest estates in the UK and the jewel of the Peak District. Set in expansive parkland where wild deer roam and backed by wooded hills, it’s a wonderful place for families to explore, whether it’s enjoying a walk through Stand Wood, or the pram-friendly walk through the estate (walking through the parklands is free), or to meet the animals in the farmyard or play in the adventure playground (entry fee). Do check out our guide to visiting Chatsworth with kids.

Over the May half term Chatsworth always lay on some lovely events for families. This year includes:

1.1 Children’s flower crown making


30th to 31st May (this event is SOLD OUT)
Click here for more information and to book

Bring children along to the Stickyard to create their very own floral crown. They’ll be able to have a go at making a willow ring, before filling it with beautiful spring flowers from the Kitchen and Cutting Garden.

1.2 Children’s bird and butterfly decorations workshop

1st June, 10.30am to 12pm & 1pm to 2.30pm
£7.50 per child | £2.50 per adult
Click here for more information and to book

Make a colourful set of paper birds or butterflies to hang as decorations. You will learn about local birds and butterflies and have a go at making the different body parts using paper shapes and a range of materials. You’ll then assemble these into a complete bird or butterfly. When you have made a few of these you will learn how to put them together to create a mobile or garland.

Each child must be accompanied by one paying adult and your creations will be yours to take home and keep. Children must be able to use scissors and glue.

2. Abseiling, caving and mining, and canoeing

Click here for further information and to book

Peaks and Paddles are running family abseiling and canoeing sessions over half term, as well as ‘Kayak Swan Along‘ which involves a gentle paddle to High Peak Juction and back along the Cromford Canal.

Click here for The Peak District Kids abseiling review, and click here for the canoeing review.

3. Garden Party Celebrations at The Heights of Abraham

27th May to 4th June (10am to 5pm)
This is a FREE event along with paid entry to Heights of Abraham
Check the website for opening times and ticket prices

Heights of Abraham

Head to the Heights of Abraham for a classic English Garden Party, with a twist! Expect the favourite traditional aspects of a Garden Party, such as garden games, brass bands, bunting and picnics… and then add storytelling fairies, crafts, stilt walkers and live music too! It’ll be a fun packed week at the hilltop park, with the usual cable car and cavern tour fun happening as well.

4. Lego build sessions at Brick Corner, Buxton

27th May to 3rd June
Click here for session times and to book

If your kids are Lego fans, then a visit to the family-run Brick Corner café in Buxton is an absolute must. Here there are boxes galore of Lego for your kids to play with and let their imaginations go wild, whilst parents sit back with a coffee and slice of cake in peace (although by all means, there are no age limits if parents want to get involved!)

And over the May half term, there will be Lego robotic and coding sessions to get involved in. These are 90 mins (approx.) sessions where kids follow a guided Lego build, and then code their build to move! Details are yet to be announced for May half term, but watch this space.

This is one of our top things to do in Buxton with kids and a great rainy day activity.

5. Super Hero half term at Thornbridge Gardens

27th May to 4th June, 10am to 4pm
Click here for our Thornbridge Gardens review

This May half-term is going to be SUPER on The Thornbridge Estate!

🦸 Superhero fancy dress with prizes
🦸‍♂️ Superhero Garden trail
🦸‍♀️ Superhero Lego printing workshop for kids (book online)
🦹‍♀️ Super tasty treats at Quackers cafe.
🦹‍♂️ Meet the Animals – free to access

All this plus the usual kids activities including archery, duck fountain and a giant sand pit.

Pre-book your garden entry to save 20%. Dogs welcome on leads.

Thornbridge Gardens is open 10am to 4pm and parking is free (the entrance is on the road between Ashford-in-the-Water and Hassop Station (click here for Google Map point). Click here for more information on visiting Thornbridge Gardens.

As it’s just off the Monsal Trail (and you can access Thornbridge Gardens directly from the Monsal Trail), you may want to combine your visit with a Monsal Trail bike ride. Nearby walks include our short Monsal Head walk and our Ashford-in-the-Water to Monsal Head walk.

6. May half term fun at Matlock Farm Park

Matlock Farm Park pull out all the stops for family fun over May half term. Aside from the usual animal experiences and multiple play areas there are a couple of extra events over the May half term:

6.1 Interactive Exotic Animal Day!

Monday 29th May, 10.30am to 4pm
FREE with farm park entry
Click here for further information

Snake at Matlock Farm Park 5x7

Come and join Jungle Jo and her range of fabulous exotic animals!

Get up close, with the opportunity to handle (subject to availability), snakes, frogs, tarantulas, giant millipedes and more and learn all about the animals’ features, needs and behaviours through the ranger’s fascinating talks .

Drop in to see Jo and her animals throughout the day, from 10:30-4:00. (Park open 10:00-5:00). FREE with park entry! Book farm park tickets online or simply pay on arrival on the day.

6.2 The BIG Bubbleman!

Saturday 3rd June, 10.30am to 4pm
FREE with farm park entry
Click here for further information

The BIG Bubbleman at Matlock Farm Park

Don’t miss this BUBBLE SPECTACULAR!!

The Big Bubbleman, his bubble mill, wands and special potions make the most AMAZING bubbles! Whether it’s monster bubbles the size of a CAR, or swirling clouds of smaller bubbles being chased by happy children, this is pure joy!

Children also have the opportunity to make their own big bubbles or create smaller multi-coloured bubbles with hoops and trays of bubble liquid.

7. Great British Seaside at Crich Tramway Village

Saturday 27th May to Friday 2nd June, 10.00am to 5.30pm (last admissions 4pm) each day.
Click here for further information and to book
Click here for the Peak District Kids review of Crich Tramway Village

May half term Crich Tramway Village

Crich Tramway Village is open throughout May half term with the added fun of a traditional British seaside with Howard Brothers fun fair, mini-beach, Punch & Judy, craft making, and bingo. A face painter and balloon modeler will be on hand for the children.

Vintage trams running each day out, so you can combine the seaside with amazing Derbyshire views!

There is no need to pre-book, you can pay on arrival.

8. Nature’s Colour Wheel: May half term at Ilam Park

27th May to 4th June (10:30am to 3pm)
Click here for further information

Ilam Park walk

Nature is bursting with colours! Why are ladybirds red? Why are trees green? What makes a rainbow? Find out why nature is so colourful on this fun trail around the gardens. How many colours can you spot on one day?

Head over to Ilam Pak for a self-led family trail. Pick up your trail (£1 per person) from the Welcome Hut to start your adventure.

Pre-booking not required. Just turn up on the day! You may also want to combine this with the Peak District Kids pram-friendly Ilam Park walk.

9. Nature Inspired Crafts for Kids at Longshaw Estate

27th to 29th May (10am to 2:30pm)
Click here for further information

Padley Gorge walk

Drop-in craft sessions are suitable for 3-11 year olds. Adult supervision is needed at all times. Sessions will run 10.00am to 2.30pm (with last admission at 2.00pm) on Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th and Monday 29th May in the Moorland Discovery Centre, Longshaw. The cost is £3.00/child. Card payments only please. Sorry, no dogs.

10. Nature Machine at Level Centre, Rowsley

29th May to 2nd June
Click here for further information and to book.

Nature Machine at Level Centre, Rowsley

Inspired by Derbyshire’s landscape and history, Nature Machine is an accessible sensory experience for visitors of all ages. With immersive projections that will change as the exhibition evolves and a curious cabinet full of surprises to see and touch, all inspired by the local landscape and the collection at Bakewell Old House Museum.

And the best bit? It’s FREE! Just make sure you pre-book your slot.

Nature Machine is not just for May half term, it runs weekdays from 20th April to 1st September 2023.

11. Family Day Rock Climbing with Peak Lines

Click here for further information and to book

family rock climbing Peak District

Spend quality time with your family, discover stunning locations in the Peak District, and create memories to last a lifetime with the family rock climbing sessions over the May half term.

Peak Lines offer private half-day and full-day climbing experiences in the Peak District. 

  • The sessions are friendly, encouraging, and aimed to get you working together as a family
  • You will have a go at climbing and abseiling, learn how to hold each other’s ropes and even learn some of the techniques essential to climbing independently
  • The session will be tailored to you and your family based on experience, age, and fitness level
  • Top-of-the-range safety equipment is provided

The cost for a half-day is £150 and for the full day it is £220. Prices includes all of the equipment and up to 6 people. 

12. Half price kids at Peak Wildlife Park

27th May to 4th June
Click here to book tickets online
Click here to read our review of Peak Wildlife Park

penguins at Peak Wildlife Park

Over the May half term, Peak Wildlife Park are doing half price children’s tickets (£6.99 instead of £13.95). Offer only valid when tickets are purchased with a full paying adult ticket. One full paying adult can purchase multiple half-price children tickets*

13. Coronation Clue…doh! in Matlock

Running every day through the summer from the 1st June
Click here for further information

Coronation Clue…doh! Can you work out WHO stole a priceless piece of the King’s Coronation Regalia, WHAT piece they stole and WHERE they have hidden it within the Town? YES? Then grab your clue sheet from shops around Matlock, get yourselves a pen and find the clues that are hiding within the crowns in shop windows.

14. Go for a family walk

A family walk in the Peak District is really number one reason to visit the National Park, and you should at least fit in one of our family walks into your May half term.

Thorpe Cloud walk
Views from the top of Thorpe Cloud, a relatively easy climb for little ones.

With hundreds of public footpaths criss-crossing the National Park and gentle rolling hills that aren’t too taxing on little legs, it’s the perfect free activity.

On this website we have over 70 family walks, including pram friendly walks and toddler walks, to more challenging walks such as Stanage Edge or Win Hill. Or you may even want to take on an epic walk up Kinder Scout with the kids.

15. National Trust guided walk in the High Peak

Wednesday 31st May (11am to 2pm)
Click here to book

National Trust guided walk

Join a guided family walk in the High Peak with the National Trust on Wednesday 31st May. Explore the Vale of Edale with a knowledgeable National Trust guide. You will pass under the skyline of Kinder Scout and Mam Tor and through the iconic ‘Three Booths’. The walk is approximately 4.3 miles with some mild ascent and descent. This walk is not pram or buggy-friendly.

£5 per adult and 2.50 per child and family group prices available.

16. Get out on the bikes

May half term is a good time to dust off the bikes stored away over the winter months, and head out on one of our Peak District cycle routes.

There are lots of old railway tracks that have been transformed into traffic free routes for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular limestone dales.  As these are traffic free and relatively flat, they’re a great place to go for a family bike ride.

Plus, there are also some lovely routes around the reservoirs (including Ladybower cycle route and Carsington cycle route), although kids will need bikes with gears for these ones.

Below are our top tried and tested Peak District family bike routes. Though remember, you don’t have to do the whole route, you can always cut it short for tired legs.

Monsal trail cycle link
High Peak Trail and Tissington cycle loop
High Peak Trail cycle link
Carsington Water loop
Ladybower cycle route

You may also like to read:
Things to do on a rainy day in the Peak District
Short and easy family walks in the Peak District
Things to do in Matlock and Matlock Bath