The school summer holidays are almost upon us and it’s a time when every parent dreads, even more so when you’re on a budget. But how can you make sure you keep the kids entertained all summer without breaking the bank?
Make the Most of your Surroundings
Do you live near the seaside? Or maybe you live in the countryside, or even near a great park. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money to have fun with the kids – infact you can have many a day out in your local area for free. Pack up your buckets and spades and head to the beach. You can spend the day swimming, building sandcastles and having fun on the sand. Take a picnic and you’ll save money on fish and chips, leaving you enough money for a bag of candy floss or ice creams all round.
Making a Sandcastle – picture by Shutterstock
If you live in the countryside or near a forest or woodland, why not head out on a walk with the kids and explore. Let their imaginations run wild as they pretend they’re fairies and pixies hiding among the trees. Play pooh sticks in the stream and see the animals in the fields – perhaps you’ll even see a few late baby animals.
Forest walks – photo by Shutterstock
Parks these days are so much more than the parks we were used to as kids. State of the art equipment and even huge splash areas with pirate ships, water fountains and slides create hours of fun. Maybe your local park has a boating lake or even a little train to ride on.
Keep your eye out for special offers to save money this summer, whether it’s on clothes from places like George, or days out with the kids, you’re certain to find a few great deals to save you money this summer.
Look out for 2 for 1 deals on entry to theme parks. You’ll find free adult deals for Merlin parks like Legoland and The Dungeons on special packs of Kellogg’s cereal (before the end of July) when you do your weekly shop or when you buy a National Rail ticket (you can also get 2 for 1 on zoo tickets with National Rail).
Try your hand at Tennis for free, visit a festival (the Cardiff Festival, Bristol Balloon Festival and Notting Hill Carnival, among others, are all free to visit), take advantage of special kids eat free or for £1 deals at restaurants like Beefeater, Crown Carvery, Table Table, Pizza Hut or Slug and Lettuce.
Family Tennis game – photo by Shutterstock
Register to watch TV shows for free at Applause Store, visit museums and galleries for free and you can even visit the cinema at certain times to watch kids films and get discounted rates. It’s always worth checking with your local council for a list of activities they’ll be holding for children in the area over the holidays too, all of which will be free or low cost.
Remember to top up your summer wardrobes inexpensively at George and if all else fails go back to basics and give the kids a sheet and a few chairs and get them building a den for a bit of good old fashioned fun for free!