It’s been a rainy, rainy summer so far, and most families are feeling the pinch. However, there is some good news – there are hundreds of cheap, subsidised and free activities available this July, so you and your kids can have loads of fun without breaking into the housekeeping money too much.
We’ve picked four interesting, diverse, cheap days out that will give you a chance to learn, play, be healthy and be creative together, and they’ll be interesting for both adults and children to take part in.
Free craft sessions
DIY chain B&Q will be offering free craft sessions for kids in 59 of their British stores throughout July and August. They are mostly suitable for kids aged 7 to 11 years, accompanied by a parent or guardian. There will be different projects to make each week, from building bird boxes to toy aeroplanes, so there’s something for most kids’ tastes.
If you can’t make it into the store, B&Q also has ‘summer holiday survival packs’ full of activities to keep the kids busy, available as a free download.
There are many special off-peak train travel offers available this summer. Check with individual rail operators in your area, or look at the UK-wide ‘Days Out Guide’ for cheap fares all around the country. The guide also has inspiration for hundreds of different days out, and lots of money-saving vouchers to print off.
For family groups, you might be interested in GroupSave type offers, where up to four people can travel for the price of two. You can take up to four extra kids, aged 5 to 15 years, if you’re planning a big day out too, and will only be charged £1 per child for a return ticket. These offers mostly apply in the London and South East areas.
Kellogg’s is offering free swimming sessions for kids this summer – all you have to do is clip out one coupon per child from promotional packs to qualify. Then check to see which of your local swimming pools are participating in the scheme. One paying adult is required per child. There’s also a side promotion on the website where you can claim a free sports towel (£1 postage charge applies).
British Gas is also offering free swimming sessions for kids and adults until the end of August. You don’t have to be a British Gas customer to apply, but there are extra perks available to its customers. Over 700 pools are participating around the country.
Free fitness plans
If you’d like to make a do-it-yourself family fitness day, the Change 4 Life NHS initiative is offering free fitness plans for everyone. It’s part of their new ‘Games 4 Life’ summer campaign. All you have to do is fill in the questionnaire on the website and they’ll generate a tailored plan for you.
Change 4 Life also has a ‘Fun Generator’ to help you find ways to get the kids more active. It contains over 100 family games and activities to try, many of which are free. You can find it on their website or download it as a mobile phone app.