10 Cheap Days Out For The Whole Family This Summer

Looking for family fun days out on a budget? With the summer holidays in full swing, there are plenty of free things you can do to keep the kids entertained while they’re off school.

Spending precious time with the kids and grandkids over the summer is something many of us look forward to all year. But let’s face it, with the prices of absolutely everything increasing by the day, it’s good to try and save a little money where we can. Sure, we can take the little ones to theme parks, zoos, and popular attractions, but sometimes we just need fun things to do that don’t cost the earth – days out that will entertain the kids, while allowing us to make precious family memories. 

That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite cheap days out so you can spend less money, and more quality time as a family this summer.

1. Play at the park

All kids love going to the park. Whether it’s feeding the ducks, trying a swing for the first time, flying a kite, or having a kick about, the whole family is sure to have a fun day out in one of the many green spaces the UK has to offer.

There are child-friendly parks tucked into every town and city, so you’re never too far away from the perfect cheap day out for you and your family. So, take advantage of the sunny weather – pack up a picnic and head down to your favourite local park, or why not discover somewhere new?

2. Go to the beach

When it comes to family days out, it doesn’t get much better than a trip to the beach. No matter where you live in the UK, you’re never more than 75 miles from the sea. So why not dig out your bucket and spade, pack a picnic and head to one of the many beautiful beaches the UK has to offer?

A young girl running through the sea wearing yellow armbands
Credit: Leo Rivas

 

As an island with more than 18,000 miles of coastline, there are over 1500 UK beaches listed on The Beach Guide. You’ll find family-friendly beaches with all the facilities, world-class surf spots, as well as hidden gems off the beaten track. Plus, plenty of beaches that allow dogs too.

Looking for beaches in the South West? Be inspired with: ​​A Staycation in the Beautiful West Country

3. Get fishing

Fishing is a great activity for kids, and the perfect opportunity for families to spend some quality time together. It also gets youngsters away from their screens and out into the fresh air to experience nature. And you don’t need much to get started – your local fishing tackle shop can offer some valuable advice. 

If you want your little ones to learn the art of patience, then fishing is the ideal activity. It can take some time to get the hang of it, but once they’ve caught their first fish, they’ll be hooked! Just take along plenty of drinks and snacks, and sun cream, of course, on a hot day. You might also want to take a couple of games or a colouring book along to keep them occupied in between bites.

4. Go birdwatching

If you’re looking for a fun and free activity you can do with the kids, then birdwatching is a great opportunity to get one with nature.

Our gardens, countryside and even towns and cities, are full of amazing birds. From charming robins and noisy parakeets to cheeky magpies and beautiful blue tits – their unique behaviours make for fascinating viewing. So pop down to your local park or wooded area, or even just your garden or the trees in your street and see what wonderful birds you can spot. 

Looking to spruce up your garden? Discover: ​​10 Simple Tricks for an Easy Garden Makeover

5. Visit a museum

There are currently more than 1,700 Accredited museums in the UK, with a wealth of fantastic exhibitions, artworks, and important artefacts to discover. Whatever your interests, there’s a museum for you. 

A young girl facing a large fish tank
Credit: Caroline Hernandez

 

Lots of the museums here in the UK offer free entry, with more than 30 free museums in London alone, so you can enjoy  fun and educational days out with the grandkids.  

Want to find a fantastic museum where you are? Take a look at our article: The UK’s Best Museums – Whatever Your Interests!

6. Have a bake off

Baking or cooking together is a great way to spend time with the family. Kids will love weighing out the ingredients and getting their hands mucky. And everyone can enjoy whatever weird and wonderful creations come out of the oven at the end.

Getting hands-on in the kitchen is sure to keep both little kids and bigger kids entertained, and who knows, you might even ignite a new passion or even a future career. The Great British Bake Off….here we come!

7. Go Camping

If you have a tent and some knowledge of the outdoors, then camping can make an inexpensive couple of days away from home. And if you don’t have your own camping gear, see if you can borrow it from a friend. You can always invest in your own tent and camping equipment later.

Two children sitting outside in a hammock
Credit: Janko Ferlič

 

You normally have to pay a campsite fee to pitch your tent, but compared to a holiday cottage or a hotel, camping is a fun and super affordable option.

8. Take a hike

If you’re a fan of the outdoors, then why not go on a hike? With plenty of child-friendly walks in the UK, it’s a great opportunity to take in the fresh air while enjoying nature.

Not only is hiking good for your physical and mental health, it’s a fun and free way to discover somewhere new and to enjoy the breathtaking landscape around you. All you need is a good pair of walking boots and you’re ready to explore.

9. Go swimming

Swimming is great exercise, and a lot of fun too. Kids will love making a splash in one of the UK’s many outdoor pools and lido’s this summer. Some are free to visit and others that offer extra facilities may charge an entry free – but there’s nothing more tempting than taking a cool dip in an open-air swimming pool on a hot day.

If you can’t get away on holiday this summer but still want to relax by the water, then an outdoor pool is the perfect solution.

10. Feed some goats

Do your little ones love animals? Then how about some farmyard fun? From friendly sheep, cows, goats, and donkeys, to tractor rides and plenty of outdoor adventures, farms for kids are a fantastic family day out.

days out withTwo goats at a farm
Credit: Andrew Peluso

 

There are lots of family-friendly farms to visit all over the UK, including great city farms too, which provide an element of calm away from the hustle and bustle of city life. And many of them are free to visit too. So all you need to do is pack up your wellies and get ready for some farmyard fun!

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