If your family are staying in the UK this summer, there are lots of ways to have fun and keep kids occupied, whatever your budget. We’ve rounded up a few free or discounted family days-out and activities nationwide, to help you keep your little ones out of mischief and your bank balance firmly in the black:
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts look after 2,300 nature reserves in the UK and run over 240 regular nature clubs for children, including Nature Tots, Wildlife Watch groups, junior volunteering groups and WildPlay sessions for the whole family. Depending where you live, clubs are either free to attend or cost about £5 per session.
If you don’t want to get involved in a club, you can visit a vast majority (around 98%) of Wildlife Trust nature reserves free. Find out where your nearest reserve is on their website.
Free summer football coaching for girls
The FA Lidl Skills programme gives children of all abilities the opportunity to get active, learn new football skills and enjoy the game, and this summer they are offering free football coaching sessions to girls aged between 5-11 throughout England.
For boys and girls after summer, each session costs about £3 and lasts for around three hours. Both girls and boys can get one free session via a voucher available in Lidl stores or from the Lidl website.
London Transport Museum – Kids go free
Children under 18 go free to the London Transport Museum when accompanied by an adult. An adult ticket is £17.50 and it allows unlimited daytime entry to all Museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year. They have a calendar of activities for families over the summer holidays which includes make-and-take workshops, storytelling and musical jamming sessions.
London Transport Museum is in the old Grade II-listed Flower Market building in Covent Garden Piazza, London, WC2E 7BB.
SAVVY TIP: Carers are permitted free access when accompanying a concession paying adult.
Little Seedlings, nationwide – free gardening club for kids
Dobbies garden centres host the Little Seedlings Club on the first Sunday of every month throughout the UK (times vary per store). It’s a free-to-join gardening club where children aged between 4–10 can learn about plants, wildlife and the environment. Kids receive a free welcome pack with a special children’s lunch offer which can be used after each event. The clubs are popular so advanced booking is required.
The House of Marbles, Devon – free entry
Visit the House of Marbles in Devon free. They produce vintage and traditional toys and games, but you can also see their working glassworks, museum, marble runs and have lunch in their restaurant.
Eden Project, Cornwall – £25 annual membership
Book your visit to the Eden Project in Cornwall at least one day before you go and get 10% off entry prices, meaning an adult ticket is £25 (instead of £27.50) and a child (aged 5-16) is £12.60 (instead of £14). Children under 4 can visit free and up to the age of 13, must be accompanied an adult. If you purchase an Advanced Annual Pass, you’ll get free entry for a year. This means an adult will pay £25 for the year.
Legoland, Thorpe Park, Sea Life Centre and more – Free adult ticket
You can get a free adult ticket to a variety of Merlin Entertainments’ attractions including Legoland, Thorpe Park, SeaLife Centre and more via promotional packs of Cadbury and Kellogg’s. You will need to purchase a full-priced adult ticket to get the additional one free, and vouchers are valid until 30th July 2018.
Days out Guide – 2 for 1 offers
National Rail’s Days Out Guide offers a huge selection of discounted days out, with many 2 for 1 offers when you travel by train.
Purchase and download your vouchers at daysoutguide.co.uk, travel by train and present your voucher and train ticket at the attraction. Attractions include visiting the 1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefield; sightseeing in Liverpool on an open top tour bus; visiting the Thinktank science museum in Birmingham; stopping by the Royal Pavilion Brighton and many more.
Isle of Wight – Kids go free
You can take kids to the Isle of Wight free with Wightlink until Sunday 3 September 2017.
Infants under 5 always travel free with Wightlink but during the summer holidays you can take up to two children, aged 5-15, free with every adult foot passenger day return purchased at their ticket office. You need to mention the “Kids Go Free” offer. There are lots of kid-friendly things to do on the island, – many offering discounts if booked in advance – such as: The Steam Railway at Havenstreet; Black Gang Chine in Ventnor; Robin Hill in Newport; The Needles in Alum Bay; or simply a walk on the beach with an ice cream and a round of pitch and putt in Shanklin!
London Big Ticket
Save money when you combine bookings on two or more of the following Merlin London attractions via the London Big Ticket: Coca-Cola London Eye, Madame Tussauds London, The London Dungeon, SEA LIFE London, DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure! London, London Eye River Cruise and Big Bus tours.
The ticket also allows you to visit the attractions within a 90-day period when you book online at least 24 hours in advance.
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