50 Free or Cheap Things to do in the Summer Holidays

50 Free or Cheap Things to do in the Summer Holidays - Aria and Logan playing in the paddling pool

Keeping your children entertained during the summer holidays doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. While we do plan maybe one or two bigger days out, for the most part I research and plan cheap or free activities going on in the local area, otherwise it would just be too expensive. So if you’re stuck for some low cost ideas of how to keep your children entertained this summer, here a few ideas to help you.

  1. Go to the park
  2. Go to the library – a lot have free activities on over the summer too, as well as a summer reading challenge
  3. Create a family reading challenge and see how many books you can read all together, Zoe Prose has a free printable for this if you would like to do it.
  4. Day trip to the beach – it’s about an hour and a half drive for us to the coast, as long as I pack a picnic then all you need to consider is the petrol and parking costs – which are worth looking up before you go. My experience is the parking is usually about £10.
  5. Build a fort – always a winner in this house!
  6. Get a giant cardboard box. Trust me this will keep them quiet for a long time – a space ship, boat, airplane – let their imaginations carry them away
  7. Have a water fight
  8. Go on a bug hunt- the Woodland Trust have some free printables you can use
  9. Decorate biscuits
  10. Bake fairy cakes
  11. Make a hopscotch in the garden or if you don’t have a garden, then do it on the pavement outside your home
  12. Make sail boats and have a race – if there is no where outside to race them, do it in the bath
  13. Have a paper plane competition
  14. Print colouring sheets off the internet – you can find some on the Crayola website
  15. See what activities are going on at your local Sure Start centre – we’ve gone to family football and rugby through ours before which was just a small fee for the whole family
  16. Odeon and Cineworld often offer children’s club showings in the mornings where tickets are as little £2.50 each. We just take our own snacks or go to the near by Pound shop and get a £1 pick n’ mix which is much cheaper than you would pay at the cinema itself
  17. Download the Wizard’s Unite or Pokemon Go apps and head out on an adventure
  18. Feed the ducks
  19. Teach your children a card game
  20. Have a picnic, you don’t even have to go out anywhere, my children love an indoors picnic, even better bring a teddy
  21. Collect toilet rolls and do toilet roll craft, there are some amazing ideas here
  22. Go for a walk / bike ride / scoot
  23. Check what’s on at your local shopping centre, ours often have free activities and events on in the summer holidays
  24. Paint rocks and hide them for other people to find around your local area. Here’s a rock painting guide for beginners.
  25. Be super organised and get your children to hand make all of your Christmas cards for December
  26. Have a board game day
  27. Have a movie day, close the curtains and make popcorn just like the cinema
  28. Go pond dipping, there is a useful guide on the RSPB’s website
  29. Find a local splash pad near you and go and get wet
  30. Try geocaching. Not tried it before? Start here
  31. Make mud pies and potions in the garden – my children absolutely love this
  32. Do potato or finger painting
  33. Arrange a play date
  34. Make your own afternoon tea party, invite friends over to join you for it
  35. Try leaf rubbing
  36. Make your own playdough
  37. Put on some wellies and go puddle jumping
  38. Go blackberry picking and then make some jam (probably can’t do this until the end of August)
  39. Start a craft project, there are loads on amazing ideas on The Inspiration Edit, from flower pots and puppets, to bookmarks and pencil pots.
  40. Make your own bath bombs
  41. Put together your family tree
  42. Have a pamper session with face masks, hair chalks and nail polishes (yes boys can join in too!)
  43. Help your child write their own book or newspaper
  44. Decorate a t-shirt (all you need is some fabric pens)
  45. Visit your local pet shop – my kids always like looking at the baby animals and fish
  46. Make your own pizza from scratch
  47. Make your own slime
  48. Conduct a science experiment at home
  49. Have a clear out and rearrange your child(ren)’s bedrooms
  50. Plant some seeds

So there you have it, a few ideas to hopefully make the summer holidays just a little bit easier.

If you’re still looking for some inspiration and if you live near me in the Bracknell and Ascot area, do take a look at my post on summer holiday activities.

2 thoughts on “50 Free or Cheap Things to do in the Summer Holidays”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.