If you have kids wrapping up for school this summer, you’ll no doubt be approaching the end of July with slight trepidation and fear.
Six weeks of juggling work, summer clubs and finding cheap ways to entertain them.
For kids, it feels like a never ending summer of fun. For parents, it feels never ending for all the wrong reasons.
With the average summer holidays costing parents around £2,000 (source: Daily Mail), we’ve decided to help parents across the UK by offering some great ways to entertain children for absolutely FREE.
- Check out ParkLives.com
ParkLives is a collaboration with Coca Cola and local authorities to provide group-based activities in parks across the country.
Sessions vary from family fishing to kid-friendly zumba to den building and orienteering.
Visit ParkLives.com, type in your postcode and see what the nearest activities are to you.
- Go on an expedition – in your own garden
Whether you have a camping trip planned this summer or not, setting up a tent in the garden is a really fun way to prepare for a night under the stars.
Preparations can begin in the afternoon, where you plan dinner (traditional bean stew for the proper camping experience!), pitching the tent and deciding what toys to camp with. For a proper treat, toast marshmallows on a chiminea and set up a mini cinema in the tent with an ipad and lots of cushions.
- See what’s on at the local museum
Throughout the summer, museums will be holding special events to encourage young minds through their doors.
Some museums are doing space exhibitions where you visit spacecraft that Tim Peake travelled into the International Space Station, walk through the late Cretaceous period with dinosaurs, and enjoy outdoor circuses.
This summer is packed with free festivals, whether it’s Edinburgh art festival, the Notting Hill carnival, Angel Canal Festival in Islington and Festwich, the biggest free tribute festival which has activities for kids all day.
- Day at the beach
A cheap day out – and also one of the best ways to spend time with your family. Pack a picnic, bring the buckets and spades and a big blanket and you’re good to go. Visit thebeachguide.co.uk to find out where the best bit of coastline is near you.
- Get back to nature
Visit the woodlandtrust.org and see the range of great printouts for children of all ages. Choose from over 100 downloadable guides on anything from how to build a giant nest, making flower crowns, going on a bird hunt and making cheesy pine cone bird feeders. Then head off to your local woods and enjoy!
- Pokemon Go
Yes, it was the craze that swept the UK last year, but there’s nothing to stop you from downloading the app again and getting the kids involved. After all, if it encourages kids to get outside, walk (and run!) around and visit points of local interest, it can’t be a bad thing, can it?
- Free tennis coaching
Visit tennisforfree.com to find out more about this community sports charity. Working with local authorities, tennis clubs and coaches, this organisation provides free weekly coach led family oriented tennis sessions to local communities in the UK. You could have a potential Johanna Konta or Andy Murray in your midst!
- Free Lego builds
Every Thursday, Lego stores offer kids the opportunity to take part in free Lego builds where they can take their own mini models home for free. See the Lego site for details.
- Free craft sessions at Hobbycraft
Hobbycraft are offering its customer the chance to take part in free craft workshops and demos at some of its 81 stores across the UK.
Sessions will vary from store to store, but all materials will be supplied and children of all ages are welcome.
Click here to see if your nearest store is participating.