children petting goats

10 cheap (or free) days out your kids will love

author: Fiona Peake

By Fiona Peake

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: 

The Science Museum, London 

North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe 

Art Gallery, Falmouth 

Manchester Museum, Manchester 

Weston Park Museum, Sheffield 

Blaise Castle Museum and grounds, Bristol 

North Down Museum, Bangor 

Glasgow Museums, Scotland 

Big Pit Coal Museum, Wales 

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.

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: We make every effort to ensure that content is correct at the time of publication. Please note that information published on this website does not constitute financial advice, and we aren’t responsible for the content of any external sites.

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