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With the summer holidays fast approaching, the very idea of having six weeks (closer to eight here) full-time parenting is slowly starting to dawn on me.
What are we going to do? How am I going to keep everyone amused on my tiny part time income?
So if you and your wallet have the FEAR, then hopefully these free activates and days out will help ease the financial strain.
Free Outdoor Sports
1. The FA is currently offering free football coaching to girls aged between 5-11 years old. Lessons include learning to dribble, pass and shoot. Boys aren’t included (sad face) but you can pick up or download a free voucher from the Lidi website for a free session.
2. Free tennis coaching is available throughout the UK to any child who wants to learn.
3. Local Park Runs take part weekly throughout the UK on Sunday mornings. All ages, including prams and dogs, are welcome to take part.
Out and About
4. Have a bit of a Google and check out what’s on around you. What time is the local splash park open? Does your local leisure center have a free soft play? Ours offers an hour free play for a £1 donation that you get back if you leave on time!
5. Are there any gardens that the kids could run around? Mine love nothing more than running around in circles and a free park or garden center is perfect for this. Fran from Whinge Whinge Wine has come across some great free gardens in her home county of Kent, but these places can be found anywhere!
6. The Woodland Trust has hundreds of printable activates you and your kids can do while out and about. Animal watching, tree rubbing and even leaf collecting, perfect for all ages and all abilities.
Sarah from Digital Motherhood has a great list of things to do outdoors, including mud pies and den building.
7. While most animal sanctuaries are expensive, there are one or two gems scattered around that are completely free.
Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too found one called Redwings Horse Sanctuary. It’s completely free and looks really good fun.
I Googled “free animal sanctuary near me” and it came up with free without me even have to dig!
8. Go on a Pokemon hunt! The app is free to download, so why not go out and see how many Pokemon you can find?
Not only does it encourage everyone to get out of the house for a bit, it’s also a fun way to explore your local area.
Warning: The app is indeed free, but does use data and does have some in-app purchases. Make sure that the parental controls are set so you don’t get charged.
Stay at Home
9. If you really can’t face going out, then Jenni from Chilling with Lucas has some great ideas to keep everyone amused. Picnic lunches, fashion shows, and pillow forts are included, and, my personal favorite, just letting them run around outside like crazy people. Now that’s a win in my book!
10. I’m not great at crafts, but my kids love them. This Dandelion Painting project is fun or why not create a Butterfly Craft Tree? Both are made using the normal craft box tools, and should hopefully take minimal effect on your part.
I normally just google “simple crafts” because, er, i’m cheap! 🙂
11. If the kids want to play loud music, why not have your own inside boogie. Start by making your bunting, then the party food, they pick a playlist. Shut the curtains and grab a flash light.
Mine love anything to do with food and drink, and most things are cheaply made at home. This lemonade recipe from Chloe at Chloe Me Just Me is really fun, plus the classic chocolate muffins and choc chip cookies.
13. Homemade Games
Kids seem to love the simple things, like pots and pans or dry pasta. These ideas from Zoe at Mummy and Liss are good and offer a huge array of play ideas with normal household objects.
14. V&A Museum of Childhood (London) brings together a choice of parental youth and childhood fun. Everything is childhood related, from old toys to teddy bears.
Natural History Museum and The Science Museum are both free as well. Clare from Emmy’s Mummy and Harry’s Too explains more about the free activities you can do in London here.
15. Fort Nelson (Fareham) is a 19-acre estate of outer fortifications, secret tunnels, and bunkers, all for free! Kids of all ages can run around and explore the hidden depths of the fort.
16. Museum of Science and Industry (Manchester) explores the city’s industrial and scientific history in an interactive and fun way.
For a full list of free museums near you, see here.
17. Bournemouth Beach has miles of white sand plus hundreds of cafes and restaurants. Parking can be a bit of a nightmare, with the beachside parking costing as much as £10 for a day. If you’re early or late enough, you can normally find free street parking, ten minutes or so walk away.
18. South Sea (Portsmouth) is a stony beach with a huge park attached. Again, parking isn’t easy, but it’s worth trying to find a free space down one of the many residential roads. Not far from the main tip by the fair, is a boating lake with a huge kids play park and picnic benches, perfect for all ages.
19. Watergate Bay (Newquay) can offer older kids the chance to surf or crab among the rock pools. The beach is soft and clean and close to local shops.
20. South Tyneside Festival is an annual three-month celebration of music and culture with open air performances along side the golden sands. Admission is free for all.
21. Brighton Pride is a free celebration of everything LGBT. Everything is free, fun, and many events are family friendly. Watch shows, listen to music and generally have a fab time.
19. Check out your local library for all things kids. From rhyme time for the babies to craft for the pre-schoolers to free movie afternoons for the bigger ones. Google your local library to find out more.
22. The Oast House (Manchester) are showing classic films throughout the holidays for free. Starting in July right through to the start September, films like The Goonies and ET will be shown from 6 pm onwards.
23. If you don’t live anywhere near Manchester, then check out MSE Free Cinema Ticket Code Thread. People post daily the hidden codes they find online or ways to register for free tickets in your area.
If you do have a few pennies to spare, then you can find our cheap holiday ideas here.
Are there any free activities going on in your area? Let us know so we can update this list!