It's an unfortunate fact of life that parents don't get as much time off of work as their children get off school – and that's where summer holiday playschemes come in handy. There are plenty to choose from in most areas, so if you have a child with a special interest or who'd like to learn a new skill it
makes sense to look beyond their school's offering. Here are a few examples, but there are many, many more to choose from...
Pony Days at Hill Farm Equestrian Centre, Ipswich
If your child is pony-mad, then you could give them the best summer holiday ever by booking them onto a horse-related playscheme. The Hill Farm Equestrian Centre offers young visitors the chance to ride a pony three times a day – as well as caring for the animals and learning about them.
Running from 9am to 5pm, they cost £30 per day or £100 for a week. It's not cheap, but it's cheaper than owning one!
Does your little monkey love climbing up things? Then why not send them to a climbing wall for the day (or longer) during the summer holidays? The Boulders Climbing Centre offers children aged eight and up an introduction to climbing as part of a day of activities. If they get the bug they can then go on to sign up for a proper introductory course. Kids' activities at Boulders are priced from £12 per day.
Aquatics Activity Camp at Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh
If your offspring is a water baby then check out whether any of your local pools are running summer holiday playschemes. The Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh offers a day of water-based fun for nine to 14 year olds – where they get to earn swimming and life-saving badges as well as splashing about. The price is £170 per week and it could be ideal prep for a summer holiday with the family.
Rare Studio, Liverpool
Think your youngster could be the next Jennifer Lawrence or Taylor Swift? Kids with showbiz ambitions are catered for in a series of week-long workshops being held at the well-regarded Rare Studio in Liverpool. Musical theatre, dancing, singing and acting are each catered for in separate weeks – at a price of £100 for the week, but with concessions for low-income families to as low as £40.
The Rock Project at Newcastle Cricket Club
If your kids are more interested in playing instruments than singing or dancing then don't worry, there's plenty of summertime fun on offer for them too. The Rock Project offers youngsters the opportunity to play the bass, guitar and drums over the course of a three-day series of classes. Outdoor games and singing sessions are also included in the sessions, which cost £85 for the three days.
Tennis Camp at South Ribble Tennis and Fitness Centre
Have your little ones been fired up by watching Wimbledon? Do they want to be the next Andy Murray or Serena Williams? Priced at just £12 a day and taking place from 9am to 4pm, these Tennis Camp sessions near Preston in Lancashire will see youngsters learning the basics, playing together and taking part in other fun activities.
Gymnastics Holiday Camp at Elite Gymnastics in North London
Acrobatics, dance, multi sports and normal fun and games are all on the agenda at the Elite Gymnastics holiday club, held in Grange Park, North London. The kids will be be instructed by coaches with British Gymnastics qualifications and the price is £40 for a single day, £70 for two or £150 for a week.
Football First Soccer School, Worcester
Running since 2002, the Football First Soccer School caters for boys and girls aged four to 13.
Two football-mad primary school teachers providing the coaching, drilling skills into your offspring with a variety of fun games. The scheme runs from 10am to 3pm and costs £15 per day or £60 for a week.
Bright Sparks Science Summer Camp, Oxfordshire
The Bright Sparks "Science Safari" weeks are being held at a variety of schools across Oxfordshire over the summer holidays – giving kids the chance to flex their grey matter rather than their muscles.
Offering science tricks, messy experiments, fun games and science crafts – the playscheme is priced at £25 per day.