I know that many people want to get out of the house during the summer holidays – mainly because the kids have developed cabin fever and are starting to drive everybody mad! The good news is that even if you are on a budget, there are a few things that you can do as a family that will entertain the kids and give you the break that you desperately need, without breaking the bank.
Okay, maybe staying local is not exactly what you are looking for, but I always remind myself that I’m already saving money if I’m not travelling too far. Almost everybody has a park that is a reasonable walking distance from their home. I’m not talking about a playground for the kids, but somewhere where the whole family can enjoy a picnic, kick a football about and have a good walk together.
If the weather is a bit unsettled you can do a bit of research into what is available indoors in your local area. A quick search online for my area found a museum and an art gallery. The kids did not seem keen at first, but everybody found something there that captured the imagination.
Away from home
I know that it is not always possible to persuade the kids that a day out within ten miles of home actually does count, so sometimes you do have to look a little further afield. When it comes to entertaining the kids a theme park or new attraction like the Warner Bros. studio tour are generally at the top of their list, if not yours! This is not the cheapest day out, but there are always plenty of special offers around, and family tickets are designed to save money, so take advantage of them.
One of our favourite trips was to the Lake District. More than one person had told me that it always rains in the Lake District, so I was prepared for the worst, but the weather was on our side. Here, there are plenty of villages to explore, lakes to walk around (or sail across if you prefer), hills for hiking and other tourist attractions too. My kids loved the tourist boats on Lake Windermere, and we have some great photos as a lasting memory of the day.
I want my family to appreciate what the UK has to offer, so I also encourage them to do a little research of their own to find out what is available to us and then plan days out accordingly. We’ve had days out at vintage car rallies (often held at stately homes), attended craft fairs and gone on day coach trips to the seaside and national parks.
Advantages of family days out
Once children get older they want to spend their free time with their friends, so creating great days out while they are young is a must. I know from personal experience that even kids who complain about leaving behind their video games can enjoy themselves when out and about. Childhood does not last forever, so make the most of it while you can.