Budget busting guide to the school summer holidays

Ready for an expensive six weeks off with the kids? Or will you be watching the pennies and hunting out activities that don’t blow the budget?

The money saving team at have put together their tips for keeping the costs down during the summer break.

Instead of blowing £30 on a family cinema ticket, they suggest looking out for the junior showing which will cost you just a few pounds.

When it comes to travelling around, the team suggest looking at the deals you can get on public transport rather than hopping into the car and spending a fortune on parking.

If you are planning a day out at a theme park, book in advance and save up to 20% on the ticket price.

And if you’re looking for something completely free, they recommend heading to a museum, creating a water park in your garden or spending a day at a local country park.

Darren Williams from said: “I’ve got two young kids so know just how pricey the school summer holidays can be, especially if the weather’s bad.

“Keeping them busy is a must if you’re going to avoid sibling squabbles or complete boredom so planning in advance is a great tip, especially if you are having a day out at a theme park or attraction.

“If you look around locally, there will be stacks you can do for free. Museums and city farms, for example, will be geared up for the holidays and will have plenty of free activities on to keep the kids happy.

“Country parks are another great place to head – lots of open space and always a great playground. If you have bikes, take them along too and peddle around the park.

“You could try fruit picking and then make us some delicious jams or cakes or, if you want to keep it simple, meet up with a group of friends and their kids and let them all burn off some energy together.”

Here is guide to a budget summer:


Head to a museum for a fun and educational day out. Many  are free to enter and will have interactive displays or trails perfect for your children. Remember to take food and drink with you and if there’s a shop, set your kids a strict budget otherwise your free day out could become very expensive.

Sports sessions

If your kids are members of a football team or sports club, check out whether the coach is planning extra sessions or a mini tournament during the holidays. If not, get a group of children together and run your own sports day, football match or game of rounders.

Cheap travel

If you’re heading out for the day, check out the cheapest way to travel. You may automatically head to your car, but bus and train companies will run offers over the six-week break which could prove better for your purse.

Book in advance

Planning a visit to a theme park or attraction? Book ahead. You can save up to 20% if you plan your trip in advance and book your tickets online.

Junior cinema showings

A trip to the cinema is perfect for a rainy day – but do your homework and see what deals are on. Many will run offers over the summer holidays and if you can get up early, check out what’s being shown in the morning. The movies may be older, but you’ll pay pennies to get in and if you missed them first time round, then it’s a good chance to catch up.

Visit a farm

Many cities will have their own charitable city farm. They’re generally free to get in, although do try to make a donation, and a great way for your kids to be at one with nature, see some gorgeous animals and experience life down on the farm.

Country parks

Head to a local country park and all you’ll have to shell out for is the car park. Take a picnic, a few outdoor games and some friends and you’ll have a great – and cheap – day out.

Visit a stately home

If you’re happy to join the National Trust or English Heritage, then make the most of that membership and get exploring. The initial outlay will soon pay for itself and you’ll have hundreds of properties and gardens to explore across the UK.

On your bike

Do you and the kids own a bike? Pump up the tyres, pack a picnic and head for the open countryside. Check out local footpaths and take your kids on an adventure. You’ll find parts of the local countryside you never knew existed and it’s good for you too!

Pick your own

Why not head off and pick your own fruit? You can forage from hedgerows or pay to pick your own from a local farm. Once home, encourage the kids to help you make jam or some tasty cakes and puddings.

Create your own water park

If the cost of visiting a water park is too much, create one at home. Fill up the paddling pool, get out the water slide and find the water pistols. Your kids will have hours of fun and will water the garden at the same time.

Play dates

Never underestimate a play date. Meeting up with your mum friends and their kids will always result in a great day. It can be as simple as a picnic in the park – if the children are together and get on, time will fly.

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