25/09/2012 17:32 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Best Of The Mad Blog Awards: School's Out

The Best of the Mad Blog Awards: School's out in prog Getty

School's out and it's officially the holiday season, but how will you fill the long summer break ahead, especially if the weather doesn't turn out to be quite as good as forecasters suggest?

Our Mad Blog Awards finalists sponsored by, have plenty of suggestions for places to visit and things to do this summer, from fine dining in Mayfair to sandcastles on the beach. There are tips for passing the time on the journey too if the idea of travelling long distances puts a dampener on your holiday plans.

A great place to start for holiday crafts is Red Ted Art's blog. It's packed full of craft ideas and rainy day activities, like these pine cone people, paper monsters and colourful critters.

You can also try making these bottle top magnets. Lulastic talks us through the very simple process, and all you really need is resin and a handful of magnets.

If you are looking for places to visit, Little Sheep recommends Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum with its Planetarium, recycling centre, wildlife gallery and science exhibitions. There's plenty to keep the family busy for a whole day, and a picnic area too if you want to save money by bringing your own food.

This Mummy Loves give us plenty of reasons to visit Chester Zoo, with its 110 acres of gardens and 7000 animals. Sonia's post is packed full of photos which really give you a glimpse of what the zoo has to offer.

The Five F's blog recommends The Eden Project in Cornwall. It boasts the world's largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants and gardens, and a range of events, exhibitions and workshops. Kate's post also includes top tips for getting the most out of your visit.

If you're looking for an upmarket treat, the Fashion Detective tried the Teddy's Tea Time at the Montcalm Hotel in London's Mayfair. You can indulge in afternoon tea and champagne while a harpist serenades you. We love the very tempting food images in Jo's post too.

If you're looking for things to do closer to home, Actually Mummy has some excellent tips for low cost outdoor activities. You could try garden camping, a nature trail; an obstacle course or even take your own treats and create a treasure hunt, all without spending a penny.

All Baby Advice recommends getting out in the fresh air with the family and giving mushroom picking a try, although you might want to read up on those you can eat and those you can't before heading out into the forest.

Mummy Whisperer suggests attending a family festival as an alternative to a holiday this year. Some are more family friendly than others, but on the whole kids are expected and catered for and they generally love the idea of mud and tents. If you're unsure which festival to pick from the wide range on offer, Lisa's post offers some excellent tips to make choosing a little easier.

If you are heading off on a camping trip but dread having to pack for the whole family, Thinly Spread has some top packing tips to make sure nothing gets left behind.

Love Chic Living asks what makes a good holiday property? There is plenty to consider when booking a holiday cottage, lodge or caravan. In this post Jen flags up some suggestions and wonders how important they are to you.

Adventures of an Unfit Mother discusses the idea of buying a mobile home, although her husband seems to have very different ideas on the style they should go for.

If days out during the summer months appeal but you're put off by the idea of a long car journey, This Mummy Loves has some excellent suggestions for passing the time, including games, movies and books on CD. And Geekmummy shows how an ipad can make travelling so much easier.

Once you've reached your holiday destination, getting toddlers to the beach can require a military operation, Rainy Day Mum explains. So here are some top tips for getting to the beach with the family, what you need to take and activities you can do when you get there.

And once you coped with the packing, the organizing and the journey, you'll really need to be armed with the knowledge of how to make the perfect sandcastle, as Science Sparks explains.

If you'd like to find out more about the finalists, please visit our Mad Blog Awards website.