How kids can earn a Blue Peter badge to bag free entry to 200+ attractions
Including Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the Eden Project, Edinburgh Zoo & The London Bridge Experience
When you think about Blue Peter, whatever your age, its highly coveted pin badges likely spring to mind. You might assume they're hard to get hold of, but with a bit of effort, kids can earn a badge fairly easily...
Children with badges and accompanying badge card get free entry at 200+ UK attractions until they're 16. It can take up to ten weeks for the badges to come through, so you'll need to apply soon to have it for summer.
How do you get a Blue Peter badge?
Kids aged five to 15 can tell Blue Peter about something they’ve created, such as a model or a cake, including a drawing or photos of it with their application. They should also include their full name and address, birthdate, which badge they’re applying for (see the different badges below), and why they deserve to have a badge.
Alternatively, they can write an interesting letter to Blue Peter (at least 50 words) to earn a badge 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, 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 ten weeks. Current presenters, Mwaksy, Joel and Abby, even open some of the letters themselves. What's more, children might get to see their post on the 'Big Badge Wall' each week when they tune into the show on CBBC (from 5pm on Fridays), or stream/catch-up via BBC iPlayer.
How do you get into attractions for free?
We've spoken to the BBC about how kids can use their badges to get into attractions for free, and it was happy for us to explain how to do this.
To access the discount, kids need to wear their Blue Peter badge and have a valid Blue Peter badge card – these are easy to get, but they are posted out separately. Once your child's received their badge, the accompanying letter will confirm that a Blue Peter card will be arriving in the near future. If your letter asks you to register your details they need to complete this form (possibly with help from a grown-up) and they’ll get a Blue Peter badge card.
The scheme's for five to 15-year-olds, so 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 don’t mention any need to book in advance, but do remember attractions reserve the right to refuse entry on the day (for example if they’re at full capacity). Be sure to mention your Blue Peter badge at the time of booking, whether in advance or at the gate.
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 Blackpool Pleasure Beach, London Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, the Eden Project, Kew Gardens 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 website.
Since 2017, Blue Peter badges no longer get free entry at Merlin attractions (Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and so on). For info, see our Merlin scraps free entry MSE News story.
How does this compare to other attraction offers?
You can often find discounts or special offers when it comes to theme park and days out tickets, including 2for1 tickets with National Rail and turning Tesco Clubcard vouchers into tickets. However, you can't use this 'child goes free' badge alongside other offers such as these, so how does it compare?
Typically, if there's a 2for1 available, it'll trump the badge – it's more MoneySaving for adults to use a 2for1 and pay full-price for kids. However, if you had an odd number of adults, say three adults and three kids, you could split your group so the third adult goes in separately with the third child, who then uses their badge for free entry.
- 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.
- Music Badge. Designed by Ed Sheeran, the Music badge is awarded to kids who demonstrate their passion for music by learning an instrument or taking part in a musical performance.
- Silver Badge. The Silver badge is for children who show individual acts of kindness. Kids can show kindness by doing something for their community, or another person. This could be doing some super fundraising, volunteering, or speaking up against injustice.
- Green Badge. The Green badge is for children who show how much they care about nature, the environment and sustainability. Kids can include a photo or video of themselves taking part in a green activity, or create some artwork inspired by the environment.
- Orange Badge. Orange badges are reserved for winners and runners-up of Blue Peter competitions.
- Purple Fan Club Badge. Your child can earn this badge by joining the Blue Peter fan club and answering a few questions about the show and website. They'll need to complete the Purple Fan Club badge application form and send it off by post.
- 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 showing unique bravery and citizenship. Drawing a picture of your Nan won't cut it for the Gold badge I'm afraid.
- Sports Badge. Limited edition Sports badges are released periodically, and a brand new Blue Peter Sport Badge is set to launch in 2023. To earn one, kids must get active and try a physical activity they've never attempted before.