9 fun things to do at Bluewater without setting foot in a shop – Kent Online | Dauktion

Bluewater is renowned as one of Kent’s premier retail destinations, but in recent years the Greenhithe shopping center has expanded to offer a range of fun activities for all the family, with no shop in sight.

Penny-conscious families these days might prefer to spend their money on things to do with the kids than a new pair of sneakers these days. Luckily, at Bluewater, we have nine things to do, from scenic picnics to thrilling zip lines, that don’t involve shopping.

Hangloose offers visitors the chance to fly over Bluewater on a zipline—just one of the mall’s many attractions. Image: Hangloose Adventures

Explore Pirate Cove Adventure Park

The pirate-themed play area is the perfect place to get out and enjoy a range of family-friendly outdoor activities. The park’s flagship theme is adventure golf, which takes you through two 18-hole courses full of daring obstacles. You can also set sail on the miniport boats and shark-themed electric boats, or stay ashore on the Land Rover off-road adventure for juniors.

Find out more online here.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar educational trail features sculptures, activities and insect hotels.  Image: Bluewater
The Very Hungry Caterpillar educational trail features sculptures, activities and insect hotels. Image: Bluewater

Follow the outdoor educational trail

The mall is surrounded by beautiful lakes, quarries, and wildlife, so it only makes sense that there would be a nature trail to guide visitors through the area. Young children can follow the “Very Hungry Caterpillar” themed signs that guide them through play areas, insect hotels, and stepping stones that feature audio recordings of readings from the children’s book read by students at Stone St. Mary’s CE Elementary School .

Nature trail brochures can be picked up at Bluewater or printed at home. Prizes for completing the trail can be collected from the Guest Services Desk. Find out more online here.

Gravity Rocks opened its largest climbing walls to date earlier this year.  Image: Gravity Rocks
Gravity Rocks opened its largest climbing walls to date earlier this year. Image: Gravity Rocks

Jump, hop and climb in Gravity

The Gravity indoor trampoline park opened in Bluewater in 2017 and has since become a popular attraction for visitors. The wall-to-wall trampolines are perfect for playing games like dodgeball and practicing your tricks and skills, all under the supervision of trained staff. There are also a number of unique events, such as HIIT fitness classes and SEN sessions, regularly held inside.

If trampolining isn’t your thing, the climbing walls at Gravity Rocks might be for you. There are 13 climbing challenges for visitors, each with their own exciting routes and obstacles to overcome.

Find out more online here.

Dinotropolis is a dinosaur-themed play area for kids to explore inside the mall.  Image: The sculptures
Dinotropolis is a dinosaur-themed play area for kids to explore inside the mall. Image: The sculptures

Play in Dinotropolis Park

This dinosaur-themed indoor play park is a great place to take boisterous kids and aspiring paleontologists to burn off some energy and get up close to prehistoric creatures. The play area features animatronic dinosaurs, three soft play levels, interactive games, raptor racing and when it’s time for a break, the Fossil Cafe is open with hot and cold refreshments. Whether you want to take part in hands-on activities at Discovery Cove or brave the thrilling slides in the Dino Jungle, there’s plenty to do.

Find out more online here.

We tested the exciting giant swing when it opened in the summer.  Image: John Nguyen / PA Wire
We tested the exciting giant swing when it opened in the summer. Image: John Nguyen / PA Wire

Embark on a high-flying adventure

Hangloose, which opened in Bluewater last summer, is a great activity for older adventure seekers. The adventure park is home to England’s longest zipline, which takes adrenaline junkies on a high-speed trip over the cliffs, and has also recently opened its own giant swing. The swing is 50 meters high, overlooking the lakes and natural areas, offering riders a weightless experience. One of our KentOnline reporters even braved the swing when it first opened in August.

Hangloose also boasts the UK’s only skydiving machine, which is currently closed for construction and plans to open more attractions like a bungee jump and climbing wall in the future.

Find out more online here.

Test your driving skills

If you’re under 17 but want to start driving already, Bluewater’s Young Driver School could be for you. Children over the age of 11 and 4ft 8” tall can get behind the wheel of a dual-control Vauxhall vehicle with a fully qualified instructor and learn the basics of driving. With your instructor, become familiar with braking, shifting and even reversing on the practice area, complete with priority crossings and parking areas.

The Young Driver lessons take place next to the blue parking garage. Find out more online here.

The lakes around Bluewater are surprisingly beautiful.  Image: Dorota Herkt for Snapshot Kent
The lakes around Bluewater are surprisingly beautiful. Image: Dorota Herkt for Snapshot Kent

Have a picnic by the lakes

A scenic setting might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of a shopping mall, but Bluewater’s lakes are a truly relaxing place to enjoy a quiet picnic. Find a patch of grass or one of the many picnic benches and relax as you watch the ducks hop in and out of the water and breathe in the fresh air as you gaze out over the lakes. When you’re done with lunch, you can follow one of the designated hiking or biking trails and explore Bluewater’s 50 acres of landscaped parkland.

Find out more online here.

Put on your skates and book a seat on the indoor ice rink this Christmas.  Image: Bluewater
Put on your skates and book a seat on the indoor ice rink this Christmas. Image: Bluewater

Hike through a winter wonderland

This year, Bluewater’s festive celebration, Believe, returns to transform the mall into a beautiful Christmas grotto. There will be an indoor Christmas cave where children can greet Santa’s elf and reindeer before meeting the man in person and taking home a special gift. There will also be an outdoor covered ice rink suitable for all weather conditions and Winterland, the outdoor Christmas market. Enjoy traditional rides, exciting thrills and, for the first time this year, the 40-meter Observation Wheel, which offers spectacular views of Bluewater and the surrounding area.

Winterland is open from Saturday November 12th to Sunday January 8th. The ice rink is open from Thursday November 17th to Sunday January 1st. Believe is open from Friday 25th November to Saturday 25th December.

Find out more online here.

The cinema at Bluewater has recently been refurbished and features 17 state-of-the-art screens.  Image: Showcase cinema
The cinema at Bluewater has recently been refurbished and features 17 state-of-the-art screens. Image: Showcase cinema

Watch a movie at the Showcase Cinema

Who doesn’t love going to the cinema? The Showcase Cinema de Lux at Bluewater, located on the top floor, features 17 screens showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters as well as flashback favorites and family films. There are two oversized XPlus screens with Dolby Atmos sound and laser projection, as well as VIP Gallery Service, which includes access to the exclusive Gallery Bar, temperature-controlled reclining seats, and a free sweet or savory bento box for snacking while the film is on.

Find out more online here.

You can also sign up for the free Showcase Insider loyalty program to receive discounts on tickets, food and beverages, exclusive rewards and members-only shows.

Leave a Comment