Enjoy a fun-packed holiday with Council Summer activities

Nature-themed crafts, a Victorian schoolroom experience and interactive stories are just a few of a huge range of activities on offer for all children across Reading this summer – many of them free or low cost.

Reading Libraries will once again be at the forefront of activities and entertainment. They will host Jack and Beanstalk , an interactive play with music for all ages between 26 – 29 July. For details and booking, go to your local library or: https://whatsonreading.com/venues/reading-libraries/whats-on/ready-set-read-jack-and-beanstalk

The fun continues with the Tortoise and the Hare at Palmer Park Library and Tilehurst Library on the 4 August. Visit your local library to book or find out more at: https://whatsonreading.com/venues/reading-libraries/whats-on/kitchen-zoo-presents-tortoise-and-hare .

Why not join in with the annual Summer Reading Challenge? Children aged 4 to 11 can sign up to read six books this summer as part of the exciting sporty and games-themed ‘Ready, Set, Read!’ Summer Reading Challenge 2023, delivered in partnership with national children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust.

Children are challenged to borrow and read at least six books over the holidays and are rewarded for each book read. This year every child receives a folder, stickers, bookmark, certificate, and medal. They also all receive a free book on their second visit. To take part in the free library challenge and receive a collector folder and stickers, families can drop in to pick up a starter pack at their local library branch.

At Reading Museum, children can enjoy a range of nature-themed crafts and papercraft sessions. These take place from 22 July – 3 September, with entry to the museum completely free.

A full list of activities which take place taking at the museum this summer can be found at: https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/family-fun-reading-museum.

For budding young historians over five years old, the Victorian School Experience in the Gateway takes you back in time on the 1 August for only £1. More details at: https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/whats-on/victorian-schoolroom-experience-gateway.

The South Street Youth Theatre offers young people the opportunity to develop drama skills in a relaxed, fun environment at the wonderful South Street Arts Centre in the heart of Reading.

Led by experienced, professional tutors the groups will work towards performances which are then staged at South Street's professionally run main theatre space. Find out more about the opportunities at: https://whatsonreading.com/youth-theatre

The Brighter Futures for Children (BFfC) Youth Team are running community events and fun days across Reading throughout the Summer holidays. There is no need to book, just come along. For more information:  https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/young-peoples-zone/youth-service/.

As part of the SEND Local Offer, children can access a wide range of events, including Autism friendly outings and drama workshops. The SEND Local Offer newsletter is packed with information, services, events and short breaks and can be found at: https://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/advice.page?id=bF4Wboq49qc.

The free Museums, My Way sessions for young visitors with SEND run every Saturday at Reading Museum and The Museum of English Rural Life. Developed with Autism Berkshire, a series of free sessions for neurodiverse visitors of all ages. These sessions, developed with Autism Berkshire, provide a safe environment to explore both museums. For more information and to book a free place, visit: https://www.readingmuseum.org.uk/your-visit/museums-my-way

A wide range of popular activities and events are being held at Reading’s Children’s Centres across the borough. Families with young children can join in events ranging from Story Time in the Park to Teddy Bears’ Picnics and enjoy Summer Fun activities, Soccer Skills, Maths is Fun and much more. Some sessions require booking, but all are free. Visit the Brighter Futures for Children website for full details: https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/for-parents-carers/under-5/childrens-centres/.

For families looking to get out and about, take a look at the exciting activities on offer at the Prospect Park Ranger Station:


Eligible families across Reading will again be able to take advantage of the Holiday Activities & Food (HAF) programme, choosing activities from more than 20 different organisations this summer.

The holiday clubs offer sports, games, arts and crafts, theatre and lots of other exciting opportunities, along with free nutritious meals.

The HAF scheme, co-ordinated by Brighter Futures for Children on behalf of the Council, is available to children who are eligible for pupil-premium free school meals. There is a different way of booking sessions this year. Visit this site for more information: https://brighterfuturesforchildren.org/for-parents-carers/schools/haf/.

The Family Information Service also includes universal information on summer activities in Reading: https://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk/kb5/reading/directory/service.page?id=aui5gBbmusI&familychannel=8-10. For families requiring childcare, including holiday clubs, please visit: www.readingfis.org/childcare

Last updated on 24/07/2023