As school holidays span a lengthy six weeks, many parents and grandparents struggle to keep the kids amused until September. The summer holidays can be one of the most expensive times of the year, but there are plenty of ways you can enjoy a fun and memorable summer without spending a fortune.
With the typical forms of amusement usually exhausted in the holiday’s first few weeks (the kids will soon get sick of playing Pokémon Go or watching TV), we’ve found new ways to keep your family entertained – with top tips on how to make your money go further.
1. Geocaching: A real life treasure hunt
By taking advantage of Britain’s outdoors, families can enjoy an exciting and inexpensive day out. Geocaching turns exploring nearby nature trails and beauty spots into an exciting treasure hunt. Using GPS coordinates, families can navigate their way to the location of a hidden geocache – a container storing goodies and objects. Sign up to a geocaching website or download an app to start the exciting journey. Have a competition to see who’ll be the first to find the cache hidden under your local park bench!
2. Discovering a fun packed family-friendly festival
There are plenty of child-friendly festivals taking place up and down the country, offering a weekend jam-packed with music, craft workshops, games, storytelling, enchanting performances and fancy dress. Get your wellies at the ready! Suitable for babies, children and adults, a family-friendly festival brings exhilarating entertainment to the great outdoors, with facilities available for a stress-free stay.
Why not try:
- Shambala: 25 – 28 August, Northamptonshire
- Beautiful Days: 19 – 21 August, Devon
- Festival No. 6: 1 – 4 September, Portmeirion
3. Exploring Britain’s brilliant castles
The UK is home to over 500 beautiful castles, so exploring one of these old fortresses won’t take you too far from your own doorstep. Many offer guided tours, while others allow you to walk freely on the grounds and explore the relics at your own pace. Basking in history, visiting a nearby castle is a great way to learn about Britain’s past in a unique, inspiring setting… but watch out for the ghosts!
Why not try:
- Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
- Harlech Castle, Harlech, Wales
- Windsor Castle, Windsor
4. Foraging at a nearby farm
Fruit picking is an affordable and rewarding way to entertain the family on a dry day, with many farms open for visitors throughout summer. From vegetables to strawberries, you can spend an afternoon wandering through the fields and foraging whatever’s in season, before taking it home to cook. Strawberries and ice cream, anyone?
Why not try:
- Kenyon Hall Farm, Warrington
- Garsons, Esher, Surrey
- Border Berries, Roxburghshire, Scotland
5. Heightening their love for learning at a museum
Many museums host exciting boredom-busting events and workshops throughout the summer holidays, where children can learn in a lively, fun setting. Gone are the days of wandering around dusty old exhibits, lots of museums now have weird and wonderful experiments and interactive displays. Visiting a museum is a cost-effective way to keep your children immersed in a full day of learning and exploration.
Why not try:
- Eureka! Halifax
- St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff
- The Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh
Our top tips for more savvy savings
Pre-book where you can
Search online for early bird discounts and pre-booking promotions – in some cases you can save up to 25%!
By pre-booking for Blackpool Pleasure Beach wristbands, for example, you can save £10 on the gate price.
Sign up as a member
It’s worth browsing online to find out if signing up as a member or purchasing a loyalty card gives you discounted entry.
You can redeem Nectar points at Madame Tussauds, while Eureka! children’s museum offers an annual pass which gives you unlimited visits for a year.
Save money on travel
Reducing the cost of travel is also important. National Rail’s Two Together rail card offers two adults, when travelling as a pair, 1/3 off train prices for a year on selected fares. If you’re a driver, there are apps that can help reduce your petrol usage and compare fuel prices. You’re not the only one with little ones to entertain, so why not see if any other family friends are looking for a day out? Parking and petrol costs can be reduced if you share.
Take a packed lunch or picnic
A free day out doesn’t always take into consideration the price of food and refreshments. If you find yourself visiting an attraction or planning a full day out, make sure you take a pre-prepared lunch and a few snacks to save money.
Make the most of what’s in your area
By exploring nature trails, visiting a park or dropping in to your local library, you can really reduce your spending over the holidays. Many libraries are hosting fun activities during the summer holidays, or alternatively, visit for free and enjoy the stacks of books, resources and video games at your fingertips.
From tips to make your money go further to our rewarding personal savings accounts, at Aldermore, we believe that saving should be as straightforward and simple as possible.
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