Keeping your kids entertained over the summer holidays just got easier with these 10 ideas for cheap days out.
The summer holidays can feel like a long time, so how do you keep kids occupied? It can be a costly time for parents, with increased vacation costs and childcare to take into account. So we’ve looked to see what there is to do around the UK, with an emphasis on low cost or in some cases - free!
1. Pick your own fruit and veg
With locations around the UK, taking the kids to pick their own fruit and veg is a great way to encourage them to eat more of the good stuff. Check for locations near you on the PYO website. Each location will have different opening times and conditions, so check before turning up. For example, some charge a small entry fee which is then redeemable against any food you pick.
2. Enjoy a free museum visit
Okay, “enjoy” and “museum” aren’t always two words that go together, but lots of museums are trying to appeal to the younger crowd. We’ve compiled a list of some of these museums that have free entry too. Be sure to check their website to check for temporary closures as some exhibits may not be open due to COVID:
3. Have a virtual sleepover
You don’t have to visit a museum, or even leave the house, to have fun and learn at the same time. The National Museum of Cardiff is hosting a virtual sleepover with a space theme, aimed at kids aged between 4 and 12. A family ticket is £5, and the event starts at 2pm on 7th August and lasts until 11am on 8th August. Get your ticket online.
4. Walk upside down
Visit an upside down house and get some crazy photos of you walking on the ceiling or climbing the walls! Locations include Bristol, Brighton, Lakeside, and The Trafford Centre. Tickets start at just £3.50 and kids under 3 go free.
5. Go to the races
If you’ve got an interest in horse racing or just fancy something different, why not have a day out at the races? Kids under 18 go free. Check out the Jockey Club website for a list of upcoming events at a racecourse near you.
6. Try a free game of tennis
Tennis For Free is an initiative designed to bring the game of tennis to those that might not normally get the chance to play. It’s free and open to anyone of any age, with locations across England, Scotland, and Wales. Book a session online and just turn up - all equipment is provided.
7. Explore the great outdoors
Get the kids to help put a picnic together and head to the beach, or your nearest park or woodland. Have fun playing simple games of “I Spy” or walking nature trails and seeing who can spot the most wildlife. Just take waterproof jackets in case the weather lets you down. Check out The Woodland Trust for locations of woods near you, and for lots more ideas for things to do.
8. Visit a petting farm
See animals in a more natural setting in a petting farm. A lot cheaper than zoos, some petting farms have free entry, and you might be able to get involved with feeding the animals too. Most of them allow you to take your own food but check before you go.
Lancaster Park & Animal Farm, Oldham (tickets from £6)
Hesketh Farm Park, Skipton (tickets from £7)
Bath City Farm, Bath (free entry)
Love Gorgie Farm, Edinburgh (free entry, donations welcome)
Temple Newsam Farm, Leeds (a family ticket is £11.45)
Stonebridge City Farm, Nottingham (free, donations welcome)
Briarlands Farm, Stirling, Scotland (family ticket £25.50)
Foel Farm, Wales (family ticket from £24.50)
9. Learn a new skill at Hobbycraft
Hobbycraft is running various workshops, available for kids of all ages, throughout the summer. At locations around the country, kids can learn to make a dreamcatcher, knit their own snood, or try their hand at acrylic paints. Class sizes are kept small, and prices start at £5 which includes all materials.
10. Visit a nuclear bunker
Bound to fascinate kids and adults alike, the Secret Nuclear Bunker is an interesting day out. Located in Brentwood, Essex, after the self-guided bunker tour you can try ziplining and a high ropes course. A family ticket is £20, and they only take cash. There’s also a Secret Nuclear Bunker near St. Andrews in Scotland - a family ticket here is £36.95.
Looking for ways to make a bit of extra income over summer? Here are 10 of our favourites.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.