Margate, a beautiful seaside town on England’s southeastern coast and home to a sandy beach, Turner contemporary art gallery, stone pier and a variety of amusement parks and centres, it is a great place to visit with the family. When going on a trip with the kids, sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming trying to plan your days and decide where to go and what to do, especially when the English weather is so unpredictable. So luckily for you, this article will list the top 10 things to do in Margate with kids and hopefully make planning that bit easier:
1. Margate Main Sands – 10 things to do in Margate with kids
Starting off our top 10 things to do in Margate with kids is Margate Main Sands. This beach is perfect to visit during your trip to Margate as it has a tidal pool, children’s rides and amusement arcades, offering traditional seaside fun and entertainment. Even when the tide is in there is plenty of beach to sunbathe and make sandcastles, and if you fancy a bite to eat or refreshment, there are lots of restaurants, bars and seafood stalls just a short walk away in the Old Town. Margate Pier and Turner Contemporary are also just a couple minutes’ walk away. There is RNLI Lifeguard patrolling between May and September from 10am to 6pm and be aware that dogs are not allowed on the beach during these months.
2. Dreamland Amusement Park – 10 things to do in Margate with kids
Next on our list of the top 10 things to do in Margate with kids is Dreamland Amusement Park where there is tonnes to do and see including rides, a roller room and of course plenty to eat and drink. You can get anything here from candy floss, to sweets, ice cream and everyone’s favourite seaside treat, fish and chips so prepare to be full for days! Rides at Dreamland include Dodgems, Helter Skelter, Austin Cars, Chair-o-plane, Ghost Train and Waltzers. There is also the roller room which hosts the Dreamland Roller Disco which is open on weekends and school holidays and is available for parties too, for more information click here.
3. The Shell Grotto
Discovered in 1835, the Shell Grotto consists of 70 feet of winding passages decorated with 4.6 million shells which are arranged as images and patterns including gods and goddesses. There are some people who say it is an ancient Pagan grotto while others believe it to simply be ornate Regency or Victorian, although its history is quite unknown, it is one of Kent’s greatest attractions. From the shop entrance, there are steps down to the grotto, meaning unfortunately this is not accessible to those unable to walk or in wheelchairs. There is also low lighting so be aware it can be dark at some points. Children under 16 go free and for adults entry is £4.50. For more information, click here.
4. ride…The Bike Shed Kent
If you fancy an outdoor activity then Kent’s newest concept in bike hire, ride… is your perfect activity. The Bike Shed Kent provide top-of-the-range Pashley parabikes which are British-built and lovely to ride, they also have Bobbin’s children’s bikes or two-seated trailers for the children too. Their shop is located at Margate station, or alternatively you can book over the phone in advance. Grab one of their bikes and explore the beautiful Thanet coastal scene from Margate to Birchington and beyond, or in the opposite direction to Botany Bay. Prices vary however one hour costs £5 and if you’re wanting them for the whole day, 10 hours will cost £35, for more information visit their website here.
5. Strokes Adventure Golf
What better than a game of mini golf by the seaside? If that’s you and your family’s vibe, then you’ll be very interested in this next activity on our list of the top 10 things to do in Margate with kids. Strokes Adventure Golf, affiliated to the British Mini Golf Association and located in Westbrook, is an 18 hole mini golf course set in attractive surroundings which incorporate rockscapes, plants and water features. Overlooking the beautiful Westbrook Bay, it is a skill based course which is both challenging and fun at the same time. A round costs £6.50 per player, £5.50 for under 12s or £6 for seniors, and the course is open everyday from 10am to 5pm other than Tuesdays. Click here for more information.
6. Bugsy’s Bowling
This next activity is definitely one for the unpredictable British weather, so if it’s raining, Bugsy’s Bowling in Cliftonville is the way to go. This venue boasts gold standard lanes which are prepared for league nights, a diner where chefs freshly prepare a wide variety of meals and enough space for host parties for birthdays or other special occasions. There is also a pool table, an activity centre with games, televisions to watch sports and a bar to grab a pint of beer or cocktail. You can buy a family deal game which costs £22.50, or pay individually for games, if you’re interested, click here.
7. Ollie’s Indoor Play Centre
At number seven on our list of the top 10 things to do in Margate with kids is Ollie’s Indoor Play Centre, which features a four level play area providing a challenging and fun-filled environment suitable for children under 12. Designed and built to the highest safety standards with padding in all areas, your children can go wild here with a four lane astro racer slide, cargo nets, a spooky spider web, up and under challenge and a giant spiral slide, along with many more activities. Kids’ entry is £4.25 and there is also a creche available, for opening hours and more information, click here.
8. The Hornby Visitor Centre
The Hornby Visitor Centre, open seven days a week from 10am to 4pm, with a café and museum also open seven days a week from 10 to 3:30pm, is a great experience and something a little different for the family to enjoy. Featuring rare products from the Hornby, Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi archives, track the history of Hornby’s iconic model trains from Frank Hornby’s early homemade toys and the Hornby ‘O’ gauge. At this visitor centre you can purchase collectable items and exclusive products, relive the story of Britain’s best loved toys and enjoy a nice cup of tea once you’re done exploring.
9. The Old Kent Market
At number nine on the top 10 things to do in Margate with kids is The Old Kent Market. Once the Parade Cinema, this beautiful old building on Fort Hill has now been refurbished into a market creating a community hub and contributing to the regeneration of Margate, selling everything from food and drink, crafts and clothing items. There is a cuisine for everyone here including Greek, Italian, Mexican or traditional English, and bars too so you can keep refreshed. This market is open Monday and Tuesday from 9am to 6pm and Wednesday to Sundays from 8am to 6pm.
10. Margate Museum
Number 10 is another great option if the weather is not so bright. Open on weekends from 11am to 3pm with last admission at 2pm, Margate Museum is housed in a Grade II listed building in the heart of Margate Old Town, and is an unique example of a Victorian Police Station and Magistrates Court, and displays an extensive history of the seaside town of Margate, including that of the sea bathing & bathing machines, the 1815 arrival of Paddle Steamers,Cobb’s Brewery & Bank, Punch & Judy, and Donkeys on the Beach. There are also free guided tours available which include the stories behind many of the artefacts. Tickets cost £2 for adults, £1.50 for seniors and children under 16 go free when accompanied with an adult.