The six weeks of the summer holidays are upon us. Many families are faced with some difficult financial decisions. How do we keep the family cared for, entertained and fed for six whole weeks of summer holidays?
Faith Archer from Much More with Less and I are here to help with a ton of ideas with free activities and ways to save huge amounts on days out with the kids. Faith has shared her best ideas here and we are talking LIVE on Instagram tonight at 7pm, Monday 18th July 2022, sharing all of our combined knowledge and experience, that will save you £££’s.
We have written our articles and are producing our Instagram Live chat in collaboration with our business partner PensionBee. We both have private pensions with our personal money saved with PensionBee, go check out my Pensions Mess to Pensions Success article here , sharing how I tracked down and consolidated my existing employed pension schemes with PensionBee.
My TEN ideas for free summer Holiday activities/days out to help you at this time of financial difficulty.
Many amazing attractions are surprisingly, free to visit. Be pre-warned, head to their website as you will need to book a ticket to visit at a certain time. In the past few years, my boys and I have enjoyed visits to these wonderful free galleries and museums: – RAF Hendon, Natural History Museum, London Science Museum, Tate Modern and Manchester Science & Industry Museum.
These are all huge attractions that keep the family entertained and learning for hours. Also, local museums are mostly free too, most towns and cities have a museum documenting its history, free to enter.
Mystery Shopping Family Attractions
I love this way of getting a free day and food for your family. Become a mystery shopper and review activities such a bowling or trampoline parks in return for taking some pictures and completing a few questions on customer service. I am a mystery shopper for Proinsight and have taken my children bowling plus have eaten at the venue for nothing. Please note you will have to pay initially and then the money is refunded back to you the following month. You will need to complete a review questionnaire and take pictures whilst at the attraction, these take me 45-60 minutes to complete to a high standard after the shop.
Mystery Shopping Gym and Spas
The same mystery shopping company Proinsight also offer gym membership at gyms with pools. Last summer we spent at least two days a week at the gym, playing tennis, swimming and being super active. The gym membership shops vary, it will normally be a one month or three-month membership. Again, questionnaire completion and pictures are required, and you will pay for your membership, but it then gets reimbursed the following month.
A super fun treasure hunt adventure wherever you are in the country. Head on over to the Geocaching website and see what treasure lies near you! The website gives you the location and you need to find it. This sounds easy, we have tried it, sometimes the treasure box is very well hidden and it’s NOT easy to find, ha-ha! Take some treasure, a toy or small gift to replace what you have taken so another child gets a treasure gift too.
Use Loyalty Points from Shops to buy tickets for Attractions
When was the last time you checked your Tesco Clubcard vouchers or Nectar account? These vouchers are worth three to four times their face value in exchange for so many days out attractions, places like Legoland, Alton Towers, Colchester Zoo. Take a picnic for lunch and snacks to save even more and avoid that shop at the end at all costs.
A Visit to the nearest Lake or Beach
An absolute favourite of ours as a family that we (me particularly as a sea girl/lover) love to do as often as possible. Our nearest big water is Grafham water, a reservoir, and an eight mile walk or bike ride for a full circuit. You can stop for a paddle and a bit of shell hunting. Do as I do with a little advance planning and find a spot to park without a parking charge.
Our nearest beautiful beach is Frinton-On-Sea, around 1 hr 45 mins away and we will drive there, so there is a fuel cost to get there. But once there, enjoy a picnic on the beach, but do watch out for tide times!
A Nature Hunt
A perfect free adventure to make local walks a bit different is to create a nature hunt checklist to take with you. Write a list of ten animals, birds, trees or flowers that your children each need to spot and see who can tick off the most nature finds.
Who can first spot a rabbit, kite, magpie, oak tree, spider, fern, cow parsley, buttercup, beech tree and Labrador?
Local Garden Centre
I visited my local independent garden centre Vanstone for the first time in lockdown (I know, shock horror) and was amazed at how much there was to keep the children entertained. There are animals, a lake, a park, a train ride and huge grounds to explore. But try not to spend money!
Check out your local library to see what activities they are offering over the holidays. Story time, crafting, education, your local library is a wonderful source of education particularly for young children.
Your local council/authority
What is your local council/authority is offering as free children’s activities throughout the holidays? My local council has a variety of summer holiday crafting sessions, held in the local shopping centre for example. Head to your council website to see what is available over the summer holidays.
Please be aware that any form of investment can go up and down. You may want to consider advice from a qualified IFA. Just make sure they come recommended by a trusted friend and check their investment levels. Some will only work with clients with an investment level of at least £150k. This post was written in collaboration with PensionBee. Capital at Risk