As the school summer holidays begin, now might be the perfect time to treat your grandchildren to a fun day out.

Often, well-known destinations like Chester Zoo can be booked up at this time of year. Nevertheless, there are plenty of opportunities to explore hidden gems around Cheshire that your grandchildren are bound to love.

Here are four lesser-known days out in Cheshire that you and your grandchildren can enjoy during the summer holidays. 

1. Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich

Kept an official state secret for more than 50 years, the Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker is the perfect way to introduce your children to important history in an accessible and entertaining way.

Nestled in the Nantwich countryside, this museum was once a fully functional nuclear bunker that was built during the Cold War. Once home to hundreds of government officials who were tasked with monitoring Russian nuclear activity, the bunker has been transformed into a phenomenally detailed museum full of original equipment.

For younger children, there is even a “Small Spies” challenge that involves locating all the “spy mice” (do not worry, they are toys) dotted around the displays. 

Curious older children and adults may enjoy reading all the educational materials, which even include letters from those living in the bunker during the Cold War.

Both educational and fun, Hack Green is suitable for children of all ages, but is probably best suited to those aged eight and above. It costs just £7 for children and £13 for adults, and takes around two hours to explore fully. There is a period-style café on site. 

Pair this with a trip into the quaint town of Nantwich for an ice cream or some lunch, and you could have a brilliant day out with your grandchildren over the summer.

2. Gauntlet Birds of Prey Eagle & Vulture Park, Knutsford

If your grandchildren love wildlife, look no further than Gauntlet Birds of Prey Eagle & Vulture Park, located just down the road from Tatton Park.

Home to 180 birds of 50 different species, Gauntlet is the largest collection of birds of prey in the north-west. What is more, the staff and owners are all experts who run dedicated conservation projects designed to preserve endangered bird of prey species.

At Gauntlet, you can watch the experienced staff feed these magnificent birds, including golden eagles, from a safe distance. Not only this, but the birds are often given the opportunity to fly freely around the park, setting Gauntlet apart from other bird of prey centres. 

On top of seeing these amazing birds and listening to educational talks about their care, welfare, and natural habitats, you and your grandchildren may be able to touch one or two animals under staff supervision, including owls and ferrets. 

Visiting Gauntlet is easy, with plenty of free onsite parking and a nearby garden centre if you fancy some shopping, too. Tickets cost £9.50, and children under three visit for free. There is a play area within the park, making the park accessible even for very young children.

3. Blakemere Village, Northwich

If you are looking for a weekend of varied activities with your grandchildren this summer, Blakemere Village is the place to be.

This purpose-built activity village, based in Northwich, has things to do for children of all ages and interests. Including pottery painting, archery, minigolf, and segway riding, this hub is perfect for big families with children of a wide age range. 

Plus, you can book one of their glamping pods if you wish to stay overnight. With lots of restaurants onsite, there is no need to venture off the property to have everything you need for a fabulous night away with your loved ones.

There is no entry fee to Blakemere Village, and the activities are usually “pay as you go”. 

If you do wish to extend your visit and explore the local area, the village is located just a few miles from Cheshire Polo Club, where you can watch matches every weekend with no entry fee, and is close to Delamere Forest too.

Blakemere Village and its surroundings could comprise everything your grandchildren look forward to in the summer holidays, and may be the ideal location to treat them to some amazing new experiences.

4. Chester Quest Interactive Treasure Hunt, Chester city centre

Finally, if you are keen to venture into the city this summer, the Chester Quest Self-Guided Walk and Interactive Treasure Hunt could be a delightful way to spend a day with your grandchildren.

The Chester Quest is an online guide around the city, giving your grandchildren the opportunity to learn about its Roman history and enjoy playing the part of “explorer” for the day. With puzzles to solve and clues to follow around the city centre, your grandchildren are bound to be enthralled by this fun challenge.

Plus, the Chester Quest is easy to organise. You can complete it on any day of the year, needing only a smartphone. Once you buy a ticket, you are able to download the interactive experience and follow the instructions when you arrive in Chester. 

The Interactive Treasure Hunt costs £29.95, and is usable by a group of up to five people of any age. Once you buy the ticket, it is valid for 365 days, so you can choose a sunny day that suits the whole family.

This code-cracking day out might teach your grandchildren a thing or two about history, while letting them make the most of the outdoors this summer.