How kids can earn a Blue Peter badge to bag free entry to 200+ attractions, incl Diggerland, Jorvik Viking Centre & London Zoo

When you think about Blue Peter, whatever your age - the long-running children's TV show celebrates its 60th birthday today - its highly coveted pin badges probably spring to mind. You might assume they're hard to get hold of, but actually, with bit of effort, kids can earn a badge fairly easily...

Kids with badges get free entry at 200+ UK attractions until they're 16.

Since 2017, Blue Peter badges no longer get free entry at Merlin attractions (Alton Towers etc). For info, see our Merlin scraps free entry news story.

How do you get a Blue Peter badge?

Kids aged six to 15 can tell Blue Peter about something they’ve created, such as a model or a cake, including a web link or some photos of it with their application. They should also include their full name and address, date of birth, and which badge they’re applying for (see info on the different badges below), and crucially, why they deserve to have a badge.

Alternatively, they can write an interesting letter to Blue Peter (at least 50 words) and earn a badge that way instead. It’s a great way of teaching your kids how hard work can pay off. Kids' letters need to be sent to the following address:

Blue Peter, 1st Floor Bridge House, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2BH

Blue Peter says all children who write in will get a reply, and the majority of those will get a badge as well, but the application process can take as long as eight weeks. Apparently, current presenters Lindsey and Radzi open some of the letters themselves.

So how can you get in for free?

Some attractions let kids in for free as long as they’re wearing their Blue Peter badge, while others will ask to see a Blue Peter badge card - these are easy to get, but it's a separate application process. Once your child's received their badge, they need to complete this form (possibly with help from a grown-up) and they’ll get a Blue Peter badge card.

On it will be their date of birth, and as the scheme's only for six to 15-year-olds, they can only get in for free until their 16th birthday. This means they can get up to 10 years’ free access to the attractions. For free entry, kids need to be going in with a paying adult - though it doesn’t matter how much the adult paid or when/where they bought the ticket.

The full T&Cs state there’s no need to have booked in advance, but do remember attractions reserve the right to refuse entry on the day (eg, if they’re already at capacity).

Where can kids get in for free?

There are loads of places all over the UK, including some popular theme parks, zoos and museums - such as Diggerland, Jorvik Viking Centre, London Zoo and Stonehenge. Of course, some have their own discounts so do check first (see our Theme Parks guide).

There's a full list of 200+ attractions on the BBC's website.

What are the different badges you can get?

There are eight badges in total - that's if you include the special Diamond Badge, which is only available this year for Blue Peter's 60th anniversary - but some are much easier to get than others. It doesn’t matter which badge you have for free entry, any will work.

1. Blue badge

The most iconic Blue Peter badge, which kids can get for sending an interesting letter, email, story, picture, poem, or for having appeared on the TV show - here's how to apply.

2. Diamond badge

To receive a Diamond badge, kids must already have at least one other Blue Peter badge of any colour. There's an application form online, but the badge is only available in 2018.

3. Silver badge

Kids who already have a Blue badge can get a Silver badge if they make an extra effort. For example, if they’ve already sent in a picture, send a poem or short story.

4. Green badge

The Green badge is for children who've sent in a letter or picture about something to do with helping the environment, conservation or nature.

5. Orange badge

Orange badges are reserved for winners and runners-up of Blue Peter competitions.

6. Purple badge

If your child's a budding TV critic, they can earn a Purple badge by sending in a review of the show. They just complete this form and answer 10 questions about the programme.

7. Gold badge

The Gold badge is the rarest of all the Blue Peter badges and the hardest one to get. Only a few are handed out each year and both adults (16+) and kids are eligible. Yet to earn it, you need to have done something seriously big, such as saving someone’s life or winning an Olympic medal. Drawing a picture of your Nan won't cut it for the Gold badge I'm afraid.

8. Sport badge

A relatively new badge, which children can earn by inspiring others to get involved with sport. Unfortunately, applications for Sport badges have now closed until 2019.

Has your child (or have you) got a Blue Peter badge? How did they get it? And how much money do you reckon it’s helped you save on days out? Let us know.