10 things to do with kids in the summer holidays (for free!)
No spend days during the long six-week summer holidays are extra important to us as a family. For me it means that if we save on days out and activities then we either save the money and put towards emergency savings or towards debt repayment. Or can even put the money towards a week away with the family.
We always do lots of things for free so I have pulled together my list of 10 things to do with kids in the summer holidays, with the help of a few friends, to give you lots of ideas on fun things to keep everyone happy. If I can keep them amused and stop them bickering then I am a happy person!
When I say free I mean free, literally no cost to eating or entry to where you are going. Sometimes this may require strength to say no to your children and yourself! But we can do this. We can make ten days in the summer holiday no-spend days and still have tons of fun.
For the long days out this will require you to take packed lunches, snacks and drinks. This food is taken from your weekly shopping budget. It may also require a drive or a train ride. Taken from your weekly transportation budget. Picnics are probably one of the best things to do in the summer holidays!
1) The ever so simple country walk
We all live near to nature, even if you live in the middle of a city. Find some green space, a garden, a river and explore. Walk to a corn field and trail the edges. Take out the kids on their bikes. Go to the woods and created houses from branches and tree. I like to write a list of 20 flowers, trees, animals and birds that the children need to search for. The winner gets their choice of dinner or an ice lolly when we get home, or a chance to just bask in the glory of winning.
Ensure you take a big bottle of water in your rucksack and fruit and energy snacks for when they start moaning that they have walked too far.
Geocaching is a fun extension to the country walk. The treasure hunt world of Geocaching. Check out this website for a video explaining how it works. I have just done a quick search and there are 10 treasure spots within one mile of my house alone! I can see how recently they have been visited and how easy they are to find. You will need to take some treasure with you to replace the treasure that you find. I am sure the kids can find a toys or gift that you no longer need to put in the treasure chest.
3) Visit a free museum
So many museums are free, from the Science Museum or Natural History museum in London to the smaller places more local to you. The one pictured here is RAF Hendon. Money Saving Expert has a fab list of free museums where you search by location.
In Eastern England, particularly Cambridge we have the choice of around 10 free museums to visit and then another 20 in London. I have just seen the Bank of England museum is free. We are so doing that, how exciting. And apparently you get to hold a gold bar. Thank you to my friend Cleo of the Graffiti Academy for recommending this freebie.
4) Go to a Splash Park
We love a splash park in this household, even as the boys get older they still love it. There are lots in Hertfordshire, so Im guessing it the same for you where-ever you are reading this post. We have them in St. Albans, Stevenage, Letchworth, Royston, all very near to where we live. Just take a couple of towels and your packed lunch and you are good to go.
5) Assault Course at Park
Check out your local park assault course/exercise course. My local big park is Fairlands park in Stevenage that has a course of apparatus running through the fields and trees. The boys can do pole climbs, monkey bars, chin ups. They like to compete and have me take videos of chin up records!
6) Free community activities
Check out the free classes at your local church, library or Sure start children’s centre. All of these organisations offer freebie activities. There will be play in the park, messy play, rhyme time. All sorts. Ask around in local Facebook groups or google it. Thank you Rebecca Megson-Smith of Ridley Writes for this suggestion. Bec was my writing coach and editor for my book The Money Guide to Transform your Life.
7) Plan your summer with Supermarket reward vouchers
The boys are very keen to go to Legoland this summer. I have been before and it is amazing, especially for three boys who all adore Lego. Alas I’m not paying full or even half price for tickets as it’s so so so expensive. For four is us to go, booking a ticket 7 days in advance is way in excess of £100.
Instead I will use my supermarket vouchers and get four tickets from there. I will save up vouchers from Tesco or Nectar to buy tickets for a treat day out. I would also ensure that I took plenty of drinks and a packed lunch and snacks. We will also avoid the shop!!
8) Fruit Picking
Now is a great time to hit the berry farms and go fruit picking. Near me I have them all, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, even the blackberries are starting to go black. And of course, you are not going to pay for what you eat!! I have a few places I know where we can go proper freebie blackberry picking, or foraging so we might end up doing that. Make sure you know what blackberry is though and don’t go picking any near a road or below a metre in height (where animals might have done a wee)
9) Recycling box creativity
An activity at home for a rainy day. I always have a craft box suitable for any given moment of inspiration. Interesting packaging is kept and goes into the craft box and bit of clean recycling.
I just let the boys go wild with creativity. There are tons of amazing printables online that you could find. Or even printables to then make card models of things.
10) Cake baking
I love baking with the boys. This comes from my upbringing where I would often bake with my mum. We make fairy cakes, chocolate cake, marble cake. We make Victoria sponge, cookies and ginger biscuits. And the most fun part is always licking the bowl!
I hope this has given you lots of ideas for at least ten days of the summer holidays to be filled with 100% free ideas. And may the sunshine every day.