The summer has arrived and that means we want to be out and about in the sunshine. The only problem of course is that many of the places that you or the kids want to go to cost money. Theme parks, holidays, trips to the seaside…by the end of the day you have spent a fortune whether it’s on petrol or train fairs to get to the place, entry tickets or food and drink throughout the day. So how can you make your summer fun packed and cheap as possible, whether it is for you and a partner or the whole family?
It seems obvious but a picnic is one of the best ways to enjoy a fun day out on a shoestring budget. Even better, it is National Picnic week from 17th to 23rd June so there is no excuse. You can fill your hamper with food on any budget but make sure you fill it with things which won’t go off as the day goes on. If you do have cold meats, cheese and salad items then ensure you pack a cool box inside the hamper to keep the food hygienically cool. For the kids, make sure you pack plenty of games and toys so that you too can have a peaceful afternoon. It may be worth asking one of the kids friends’ along too to keep them entertained while you have a relaxing sunbathe! The best things about a picnic is that you can make a day of it anywhere you like – just jump in the car and off you go! For some great tips and ideas on how to have a successful picnic, take a look at the national picnic website: http://www.picnicweek.co.uk/
It may not be an obvious idea but school fete’s are a fantastic way to spend a sunny afternoon, and are more often than not, extremely cheap or free to enter. These fairs often have stalls, games, rides, competitions, dance exhibitions, food huts and much more so there is always plenty to keep the kids entertained. They are usually open to the general public as the point of these fete’s is to raise funds for the school in question. If in doubt, then say you are taking a look at the school as you may want to send the kids there!
You may not be aware of this but so much of London’s top attractions are totally free. The Science Museum in South Kensington is free entry and it holds hours and hours of free fun and learning for the kids. An ideal day for just the price of a train ticket! The website even has a page designed especially for families to plan their day in the museum dependent on the children’s ages with something for every age, from the under 5′s to the grown ups, with flight simulators, a space gallery and even an IMAX cinema. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/
Also free is the Natural History Museum which is chock full of dinosaurs, precious gems, earth and space exhibitions, things to make and do, games and so much more. The kids can’t fail to be impressed with this day out and the best part for you is that it is free! http://www.nhm.ac.uk/
Do you love sport? Golf … gymnastics … dance … football … rugby … anything! Could you spend the summer teaching the kids all the skills you know? Not only is this a fantastic bonding experience allowing you to spend time with your little ones a really connect over something you love, they also get lots of important physical activity and it is free. If you don’t have a garden (and even if you do) you can simply head to your local park and get learning. Their eager minds are quick to pick up new skills and you’ll be surprised how fast they become little pro’s meaning that come September, they could even join the rugby / gymnastic team or take part in a dance competition with their new founds skills.
Check out Days Out With The Kids for lots of inspiration on free days near you. http://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/
There are so many free activities for adults in all the major towns and cities across the UK. All you have to do is look. For example, in London there are endless free galleries and museums, including the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the British Museum. There are also free outdoor film showings, lunchtime concerts and festivals, whether they are food, art or fashion based, plus markets, Carnivals and the beautiful and traditional Changing of The Guard at Buckingham Palace. Search for free local actives online and you will be amazed at all the free fun which is right on your doorstep.
Get involved with some volunteer work with the The Conservation Volunteers. They have hundreds of green projects going on up and down the country and you can simply sign up to one near you and spend a morning, day or week having fun, getting involved in a team and doing something great for charity. From plating trees to recovering ‘green’ spaces by rebuilding the walls and steps and making the area beautiful again. There are so many opportunities to get outdoors, do something healthy and fun, and all for free. Go to http://www.tcv.org.uk/
Sheffield is home to the largest temperate glasshouses to be built in the UK in the last one hundred years and is filled with more than 2,500 plants as well as being home to the Botanical Gardens and Peaceful Gardens. Incredibly, this award winning building has free entry and is an amazing location to spend a day in stunning surroundings, being at one with nature. Go to: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/out–about/parks-woodlands–countryside/gardens/the-winter-garden
This article was originally posted at Healthy Family Matters by Sadie Marshall. She writes for http://free-stuffuk.co.uk and recently took her two children to Sherwood Forest, where they had a great day out.