40 Best Summer Events East Midlands 2021 | Family Friendly | Things to Do

Here it is my 40 best summer events across the East Midlands to keep you busy all summer. This list includes events in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire. All events are family-friendly. Enjoy and report back by following us on social media. We’d love to hear what you have or haven’t enjoyed.

Please keep up-to-date with government guidance before booking or visiting. I am unsure of the following attractions policies on cancellations of events, please consider this before booking and check with them in advance. It may also be an idea to check with the attraction that everything is as advertised the day before you visit.

Things to do East Midlands Summer 2021

Belton House – Summer Family Fun – Lincolnshire

When? 10th July – 5th September
Address: Belton House, High Road Belton, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2LW
A Bit About – National Trust. “This summer we’re hosting a variety of sports activities so that the whole family can get active whilst enjoying inspiring views. Including Nature’s Olympics free trial, free sports equipment hire and self-led challenges.”
More about Belton House


Belvoir Castle – Firework Champions – Leicestershire

When? Saturday 7th August
Address: Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire, NG32 1PE
A Bit About – “Now in its 14th year, right here at Belvoir Castle – 4 great firework displays! Three of the UK’s best firework companies compete against each other with a 10-minute firework display choreographed to music followed by a finale display from organisers MLE Pyrotechnics. The types of fireworks being used by the companies are quite different to the material available to the general public, each company uses category 4 fireworks – those that are for professional use only and the biggest available in the UK.”
Plus Tough Mudder and a Summer concert.
More about Belvoir Castle


Bolsover Castle – Legendary Joust – Derbyshire

When? Sat 28th – Monday 30th August
Address: Bolsover Castle, Castle St, Bolsover, Derbyshire, S44 6PR
A Bit About – “Experience the exhilarating spectacle of speed and skill as four legendary knights compete for honour and glory in the Grand Medieval Joust. See lances shatter, feel the thunder of hooves and hear the roar of the crowd as reputations are won and lost. Our fearless fighters and their magnificent horses will charge at each other at full speed in an unforgettable display of chivalry and sheer courage. Choose your champion and cheer them on to victory – or console them in defeat.”
More about Bolsover Castle


Burghley House – Burghley Horse Trails – Lincolnshire – Cancelled


Chapter House Open Air Theatre – Various Locations across the East Midlands

When? Various dates please see their website
A Bit About – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – “Take a trip down the rabbit hole this summer as Chapterhouse Theatre Company present this brand new production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Join Alice as she stumbles into the magical world of wonderland and meet a whole host of colourful characters. From the unforgettable White Rabbit and the madcap Mad Hatter to the terrifying Queen of Hearts, Alice’s journey couldn’t be filled with more mystery and adventure in a show alive with song, dance and original music.”


Chatsworth House – Young Farmers – Derbyshire

When? 28th July, 4th, 10th, 11th, 18th and 25th aUGUST
Address: Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP
A Bit About – “Join our farmyard team to help with their daily jobs, from collecting eggs to grooming. This is a chance for hands-on involvement in caring for the farmyard animals. £25 per child, £15 per adult. This event is suitable for children aged between 6 and 16. Children must be accompanied by an adult”. Plus outdoor cinema.
More about Chatsworth House


Conkers – Music Nights – Leicestershire

When? Various dates over the summer
Address: Rawdon Rd, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Swadlincote DE12 6GA
A Bit About – The Outdoor Arena at Waterside supplies a superb range of events and extra entertainment throughout the year. This summer tribute acts include Abba, Total 80’s, Madness, AC/DC and more.


Creswell Crags – Stone Age Living History Weekend – Nottinghamshire

When? 7th & 8th August
Address: Creswell Crags, Crags Road, Creswell, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LH
A Bit About – “Ever wondered what life might have looked like inside a cave during the Stone Age? You usually only see pictures in books or reconstructions on TV. For this special weekend at Creswell Crags you will get the rare opportunity to see Stone Age people setting home at Creswell Crags again after an 11,000-year absence.”
More about Creswell Crags


Crich Tramway Museum – Memories of the 1940s Homefront – Derbyshire

When? 14th & 15th August
Address: Crich Tramway Village, Crich, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5DP
A Bit About – “Take a step back to the 1940s Britain on the Homefront with this popular weekend event. Download our leaflet here: Memories of the 1940s Homefront Live 1940s entertainment from singers Jayne Darling, Marina Mae, Johnny Victory and Kev Mack. There will be two children’s boot camps per day, for those brave enough to face Sergeant Major Marmite!” Plus they are hosting a Teddy Bears Picnic on the 30th August and a couple of other summer events.
More about Crich Tramway Village


Doddington Hall Gardens – Summer of Imagination – Lincolnshire

When? 25th July – 5th September
Address: Main St, Doddington, Lincoln LN6 4RU
A Bit About – “Our magical Gardens will be the setting for an immersive quest trail for all the family, transforming them into a journey through legend. More information to come.”


Ecclesbourne Valley Railway – Train Through Legendary Countryside – Derbyshire

When? 21st – 30th August
Address: Wirksworth Station, Coldwell St, Wirksworth, Matlock DE4 4FB
A Bit About – “From the creators of the sell-out Christmas experience comes our magical new summer theatrical production onboard our steam train! A new performance designed in 2021. Experience the magic from the moment you board the train to the moment you get off. Join in with the mystical characters as they dance, sing and entertain throughout the journey telling our story.”


Great Central Railway Nottingham – Bear Express – Nottinghamshire

When? 29th & 30th August
Address: Great Central Railway Nottingham, Mered Way, Ruddington, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG11 6JS
A Bit About – “Why not join us this weekend for the final Bank Holiday till Christmas.  2 days of heritage running along with a chance to meet GCRN’s very own Edward the Bear on all services (Sun & Mon only) He will be giving all children on the train a sweet treat as well. We will also be running vehicles from our heritage bus collection providing a circular link from Ruddington to Rushcliffe halt on Sunday and also on other local routes if possible.”
More about Great Central Railway Nottingham


Gullivers Kingdom – Princess & Pirate Weekend plus Superhero Summer Finale – Derbyshire

When? Princess & Pirate weekend 17th and 18th July
Superhero Summer Finale 4th and 5th September
Address: Gulliver’s Kingdom, Temple Walk, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3PG
A Bit About – “Princess and Pirate weekend – There will be treasure, treats, fancy dress events themed activities and so much more. Superhero finale – We’re finishing the summer holidays in style with a Superhero finale complete with fireworks.
More about Gullivers Kingdom


Heckington show – Lincolnshire

When? Saturday 24th July
Address: Hall Grounds, Heckington, Sleaford NG34 9JF
A Bit About – “We are planning a smaller One Day Show with Firework Concert in the evening on Saturday 24th July 2021. More info to be confirmed.”


Heights of Abraham – Summer Time Special – Derbyshire

When? 17th July to 5th September
Address: Heights of Abraham, Dale Rd, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE4 3NT
A Bit About – “Punch and Judy show three times a day Located next to the amphitheatre. Showtimes 11:30, 1:30 and 3:30”
More about Heights of Abraham


Lincoln Imp Trail – Lincoln City Centre – Lincolnshire

When? 3rd July – 8th September
Address: Lincoln City Centre
A Bit About – “The city will come alive this summer with the arrival of 30 individually designed, hand-painted Imps as part of the Lincoln Imp Trail. With thirty Imps being displayed throughout the city, and one taking up residence at the seaside in Skegness. We challenge you to find them all.”


Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre – East Kirkby Air Show – Lincolnshire

When? 7th Auguxt
Address: East Kirkby, Spilsby PE23 4DE
A Bit About – “This is our annual full airshow and is run to help raise funds for the on-going restoration of Avro Lancaster NX611. We have limited tickets to 5,000 so it is vital that you try and buy your tickets early as we sold out last year. We will have re-enactors, Lancaster taxy runs, trade stalls, vintage cars, Military vehicles and much more to give you an excellent family day out.”


Lincolnshire Showground – Various Events – Lincolnshire

When? Various dates
Address: Lincoln LN2 2NA
A Bit About – Family-friendly events this summer include: Cinderella On Ice 3rd August, Lincs Fest family day out 15th August, ONE event family event 28th August.


Lincolnshire Wolds Railway – Various Events – Lincolnshire

When? Various dates
Address: Station Road, Ludborough, Lincolnshire, DN36 5SQ
A Bit About – 1st August Greatest Showman carnival day with fancy dress. 8th August Songs of Queen, with fancy dress. 15th August Teddy Bear’s day, bring your best teddy or soft toy. 22nd August Hawaiin Sunday, with fancy dress. 29th August Superhero fun, come in superhero fancy dress. 30th August Let’s party, any fancy dress.
More about Lincolnshire Wolds Railway


Market Rasen Racecourse – Dinosaur Day – Lincolnshire

When? 1st August
Address: Legsby Rd, Market Rasen LN8 3EA
A Bit About – “Looking for a roarsome raceday? Then look no further! On Sunday 1 August, Market Rasen Racecourse, partnered by charity of the year Lindsey Lodge Hospice, are delighted to host a Family Extravaganza Raceday packed with activities for the whole family.”


Matlock Farm Park – Various Events – Derbyshire

When? Various dates see below
Address: Matlock Farm Park, Jaggers Ln, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 5LH
A Bit About – 23rd, 30th July plus 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th August – Professor Paul Temple’s Punch and Judy show, 25th July – The Big Bubbleman. 7th & 8th August – Superhero weekend. 29th August – Peak District Highland games. 30th August – Bank holiday Monday fun day.
More about Matlock Farm Park


Midland Railway Butterley – Victorian Trains to the Seaside – Derbyshire

When? 28th – 30th August
Address: Butterley Station, Ripley DE5 3QZ
A Bit About – “The vintage train at the Midland Railway – Butterley operates twice a year so that the chance to travel on these historic vehicles is very limited. Visitors in Victorian costume will be able to travel at half price and several of the Midland Railway Trust volunteers will be on the trains in costume to explain the history of these vehicles and the future plans for this historic train. The narrow gauge Golden Valley Light Railway will also be running all weekend with its own historic restored coach from the Ashover Light Railway.”


National Space Centre – Earth from space – Leicestershire

When? 10th July – 5th September
Address: The National Space Centre, Exploration Dr, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE4 5NS
A Bit About – “Join the National Space Centre’s Discovery team for a summer of Earth observation. Take a seat to find out more about satellites, follow the trail to see amazing artefacts and enjoy our science busking sessions.”
More about the National Space Centre


Normanby Hall – Party in the Park – Lincolnshire

When? July 24th and 25th
Address: Normanby Rd, Scunthorpe DN15 9HU
A Bit About – “Buy your tickets now for a sensational summer night of LIVE music! Featuring an exciting line-up of nationally acclaimed tribute acts including headliners Little Fix (Saturday only), all within the beautiful surroundings of Normanby Hall Country Park.”


Nottinghams Riverside Festival – Nottinghamshire – Cancelled

When? Cancelled
Address: Victoria Embankment
A Bit About – “The East Midlands’ biggest free festival returns to the banks of the Trent, celebrating summer as this hugely popular mid-summer festival returns. More details to be announced nearer the date.”


Rand Farm – Family Festival – Lincolnshire

When? 21st August
Address: Rand, Market Rasen LN8 5NJ
A Bit About – “Introducing the brand-new Rand Festival: Family Night On Saturday 21st August you and your family can enjoy Rand Farm Park after-hours with the addition of Little Mix The Show, animal fun, play, food and drink.”


Robin Hood Festival – Sherwood Forest – Nottinghamshire – Moved to the end of September


Rockingham Castle – Various Events – Leicestershire

When? Varied dates see below
Address: Rockingham Castle Estate, Rockingham, Market Harborough LE16 8TH
A Bit About – Rockingham Castle is hosting a number of family-friendly events this summer. 25th July – Is Tudor history day. 8th August – Civil War History day. 15th August – Jousting and medieval living history village. 22nd August – Teddy Bear’s picnic. 3rd & 4th September – Outdoor cinema
More about Rockingham Castle


Rufford Abbey – Totally Roarsome Woodland Trail – Nottinghamshire

When? 3rd July – 5th September
Address: Rufford Abbey Country Park, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, NG22 9DF
A Bit About – “Enter into Jurassic Land then onto the Jungle. Once you’ve encountered our dinosaurs, lions, and tigers, it’s off on a Bear Hunt. How many will you find? Then take a trip through the Wild West. Yeeeeeh Haaaw. Head down the rabbit hole into Alice’s Wonderland. Next, make your way into Neverland – where there are pirates everywhere you turn. Then we are off to the world of Superheroes. Batman, Superman, Spiderman – they’ll all be there to greet you. Finally, wander through our fantasy land with dragons, unicorns and knights of the realm.”
Find out more about Rufford Abbey


Skegness Raceway – Various Events – Lincolnshire

When? Various dates throughout the summer holidays
Address: Skegness Raceway, Marsh Ln, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE24 5JA
A Bit About – They have plenty of summer events at Skegness raceway. Such as a summer special days with Double Decker Bangers, stunt teams and more. Carnival day with Slingshot Monster Truck Car Crushing, Services Racing, Banger & Caravan Destruction Derby with Static Caravans.
More about Skegness Raceway


Splendour Festival 2021 – Wollaton Park – Nottinghamshire – CANCELLED

When? Saturday 24th July
Address: Wollaton Park, Nottinghamshire
A Bit About – “Splendour in Nottingham is an annual one-day music festival held in Nottingham, England since 2008. Organised by Nottingham City Council and DHP Concerts, the event is held within Wollaton Park, to the west of Nottingham City Centre.”


Superhero Picnic in the Park – Derbyshire Parks

When? Tuesday 27th July Markeaton Park. Wednesday 28th July – Chaddesden Park, Thursday 29th July – Darley Park.
A Bit About – “All you need to do to take part in the fun is dress up like a superhero and bring a picnic! Superhero Picnic in the Park visits Chaddesden Park to celebrate #LOVEPARKS All events are FREE and run from 11am to 3pm. All our events will follow government COVID guidance and may be subject to change. More details coming soon!”


The Village Church Farm – Vintage Picnic Day – Lincolnshire

When? Saturday 8th August
Address: The Village Church Farm, Church Rd S, Skegness, Lincolnshire, PE25 2HF
A Bit About – “Bookings being taken for our first Vintage Picnic day at the museum. Celebrating 200 years of family life on the farm (1766- 1960’s) We welcome you to join us for a fun family day out at the museum. Dress up in your favourite decade from the 1760s through to the Hair and shoulder pad halcyon days of the 1980s. Bring your own picnics and don’t forget your blanket. Classic vehicle owners are more than welcome to come and display alongside your picnic. There will also be prizes for the best-dressed family \ represented period.
More about The Village Church Farm


Thoresby Park – Gloworm Festival 2021 – Nottinghamshire

When? 14th & 15th August
Address: Thoresby Park, Netherfield Ln, Newark NG22 9EP
A Bit About – “The Gloworm Festival is a 2-day festival that has been specially created for grown-ups and their little people. We invite our festival goers to come and play in a warm, welcoming and creative environment, lose their inhibitions, let their hair down and have some fun. Here at the Gloworm Festival, we believe that children are the most important people in the world, which is why this event is aimed at families with children aged 0-13, with plenty for teenagers and grown-ups to enjoy too.”


Twycross Zoo – Summer of Adventure – Leicestershire

When? 24th July – 30th August
Address: Twycross Zoo, East Midland Zoological Society, Burton Road, Atherstone, Leicestershire, CV9 3PX
A Bit About – “Head to our GIANT Sand Pit, meet our Island Princess and discover how you can save our oceans, see over 500 animals in over 100 acres of outdoor space, immerse yourself in award-winning exhibits and so much more!”
More about Twycross Zoo


Uncle Henry’s – New Fairy Trail – Lincolnshire

When? Now until the 31st August
Address: Uncle Henry’s, Grayingham Grange Farm, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 4JD
A Bit About – “Uncle Henry’s have partnered with Brilliant Trails and created a bespoke Fairy Trail to delight inquisitive minds and provide a sense of adventure. Launching this Saturday 1st May the Fairy Trail invites visitors to follow the visual clues through the woods using a booklet to complete a quest set by the Fairy Queen. Are you up for the challenge?”
More about Uncle Henry’s


Willow Tree Family Farm – Pirates of the sea – Derbyshire

When? 31st July
Address: Willow Tree Family Farm, Langwith Rd, Shirebrook, Mansfield, Derbyshire, NG20 8TE
A Bit About – Live pirate show with bar, music, games, inside event – marquee.
More about Willow Tree


40 Best Summer Events East Midlands 2021 – Things to do

For more ideas for days out across the East Midlands please visit my days out page – plus 200+ great family friendly things to do in Lincolnshire.


TBC – Deerstock 2022, Mablethorpe Illuminations, Nottingham Beach, Skegness Carnival,