Don’t panic, that’s what we’re here for! Read on for 9 low-cost or free things to do with kids so they are entertained over the summer holidays, meaning you retain your sanity AND stick to your budget!
Things to Do with Kids this Summer on a Budget
1. Have An Outdoor Movie Night
The summer is the perfect time for letting the kids stay up late and have a movie night outdoors, complete with fun food and fairy lights, of course!
Simply rent (or borrow) a film projector, let the kids pick their favourite films, break out the inflatable mattresses and beanbags, attach a white sheet to PVC pipes for the screen, et voila! Your own outside cinema.
Not only is this a lovely bonding event for the family, it’s also an experience your kids will remember for years to come.
2. Find A Free Festival
If you’re a household of music lovers, look for festivals that will keep your kids entertained for a few days over the summer holidays.
The great part is, whether your family are into classical, jazz, or pop, we bet there is a festival nearby that is either entirely free or very low-cost. Click here for more info on UK festivals this summer.
3. Go On A Treasure Hunt
This activity works best with young kids, but we know some older kids who love it too! Give each child an allotted amount of money, say £3 MAX—it’s more fun (and a great lesson) when they have to budget—then take your kids to the local charity shops and let them search for “treasures” with their money.
They’ll probably end up with tat, but it’ll be tat that will inevitably keep them occupied for hours on end. Then, once they’re bored of it, have them return the items to the charity shops and start again!
4. Bake Cupcakes
Baking cupcakes is a great activity that will help while away the afternoon when it’s raining outside and the kids are bored and grouchy.
Here are a few recipes to get you started, or have your children look through cookbooks and pick out a recipe that looks good.
5. Check Out Groupon
If you haven’t discovered the money-saving delight that is Groupon yet, then you’re missing out.
There are bargains galore to be found on Groupon, and many of these are activities that the kids that will just love, usually at a heavily-discounted price.
From music concerts to theme park tickets to museum passes, we bet you can find something that will keep your kids transfixed for an afternoon or two.
6. Get Them Swimming
If your children are between the ages of 7 and 14, they are eligible to take part in open water ‘Swim Safe’ sessions, which are taking place in 14 locations in England and Wales through the month of August.
The program is run by ASA-qualified swimming teachers, and it includes half an hour of open water swimming and lessons on water safety from qualified lifeguards.
For more information, check out swim safe.
7. Visit the YMCA
Contact your local YMCA to see what they have on offer. Many YMCAs offer affordable day camps where children from 4-16 can participate in sports and crafts activities throughout the summer, and some even accept childcare vouchers.
8. Take Your Bookworms to the Library
What better way to not only keep your child occupied but also encourage them to read more than signing them up for your local library’s Summer Reading Challenge, a program that encourages children aged 4 to 11 to read usually around six books over the summer break.
Head to your local library to sign your children up…some even offer reading challenges for adults, so sign yourself up while you’re at it!
8. Head to the Movies
You may be wondering what this suggestion is doing in an article about how to not break the bank, but many cinemas give parents a break over the summer holidays by offering majorly reduced tickets at certain times of the day.
Vue Cinemas have a Mini Mornings deal where you can get tickets for only £2.49 for both adults and kids between 2-12 (they also throw in a free ticket to Legoland Windsor!) and Odeon cinemas have a deal on weekends and holiday mornings where you can see select films for £2.50 (£3 in some cinemas).
We recommend booking online beforehand, as, not surprisingly, the seats sell out quickly with these deals!
Over To You!
Do you have ideas of cheap or free things to do with kids over the summer holidays? We’d love to hear from you.
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