Enjoy some action-packed family fun without breaking the bank.
We’re all watching our pennies now more than ever, but that’s not to say you can’t still have fun. From free days out at venues across the country to classic indoor games and outdoor adventures, all you need is a plan. And with the Easter break upon us, as well as three bank holiday weekends in May, now’s the time to think smart about making the most of family time, without spending a fortune.
Check out these at-home activities and free days out to keep your little ones entertained – and keep your cash where you want it, in your pocket.
Visit a castle
England alone is thought to be home to an incredible 4,000 castles, while Wales has more than 13 per square mile, so it’s safe to say we’re never far from a royal seat here in Britain. With many of these free to enter, from Etal Castle in Northumberland and Penrith Castle in Cumbria to Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire, why not have a right royal day out… without a princely price tag. The English Heritage website will help identify a top spot near you.
It’s an exciting time for birdwatching, so why not get the kids involved in a hobby enjoyed by a reported 3 million people every year in the UK? With spring and summer highlights including everything from blackbirds and wrens to blue tits and thrushes, make a list of all those you spot in your local area. There are free tools online like this one from the RSPB to help identify exactly what you’ve seen for a school break project with a difference.
Be a tourist in your own hometown
All our towns and cities are packed with points of interest enjoyed regularly by visitors, so could this be the time to rethink your hometown and get exploring? From the town clock and local church to fascinating bridges and quirky buildings, get out there for a look around and see what gems of information the kids can go back to school with.
Visit parks and public gardens
Get out in the great outdoors with a trip to some of the UK’s stunning parks and green spaces. With free access available right across the country, from Temple Newsam Park in Leeds, complete with formal gardens and bluebell woods, to the Peter Beales Rose Gardens in Attleborough, Norfolk, there are great options out there for everyone. Search online for a free-to-access garden near you for an easy-on-the-purse strings family day out.
Have a picnic
We all live close to somewhere lovely, whether that’s the local park, the beach or a forest nearby. Pack up your lunch for the day and head off for a picnic, transforming an ordinary day into one to remember.
Put on a play
Do your kids have a favourite book, or even a TV show they’re fans of? Encourage budding performers to put on a play for friends and family with their take on the stories they love, or for some extra inspiration, the RSC offers some online resources for free to give youngsters an early taste of Shakespeare. A fun and creative challenge to keep little thespians busy, and totally free of charge.
Visit a Stately Home
Summon your inner aristocrat and visit one of Britain’s many fabulous stately homes. With an estimated 3,000 across the UK, they’ve been featured everywhere from Harry Potter to Bridgerton, and are well worth a visit. Check out Visit England and search for budget access to a stately home near you.
Have a treasure hunt
A homemade map, a list of canny clues and you’ll create a magical adventure through the house or garden, all without eating into your budget. And the good news is, the treasure can be whatever you want to make it. A tasty treat at the end for the cleverest pirate will be just the ticket. Happy hunting!
Go for a night-time walk
What child doesn’t like to stay up late? With no school to get up for, plan a night-time walk to give your little ones a different perspective on the place they live. Wrap up warm and explore the sights of your neighbourhood in a way you don’t always have the chance to do. Pick a clear night if you can, and you could even show the kids some of the wonders of the sky. Clever –and free – phone apps like SkyView will help you pick out the stars and identify constellations for curious little minds.
Visit a museum
Spark your children’s imaginations with a visit to your local museum. Free options are available right across the UK, from the Hands on History Museum in Hull and the Museum on the Moundin Edinburgh to the Big Pit: National Coal Museum in Wales, the options are endless. Who knows, you could end up getting lost in a maze, meeting a Viking, or even taking a trip to Saturn! Search museums.co.uk to learn more about access to a museum near you.
Make a Fakeaway
Treat the family to your top takeaway meal on a budget. As well as a delicious foodie treat, you’ll have all the fun that comes with making it, and the sense of achievement that comes with a job well done. There are hundreds of free recipes available online, from kebabs and curries to sweet and sour chicken and the ultimate beef burger. What’s not to love?
Take a trip to a gallery
With free entry at lots of venues across the country, take your chance to get cultural with the kids and visit your local art gallery. From the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead to London’s National Portrait Gallery and the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, there are exciting options available in every region of the country, so what are you waiting for? Introduce your little Picasso to the art world, and they might never look back. Check out the interactive map at artuk.org and track down a free-to-access gallery in your area.
How TSB can help
TSB has a range of tools to help you make the most of your money and manage your finances. If you want help planning ahead or dealing with challenges, our Money Confidence Experts are available by video call, in a branch, or at a pop-up.
Find out more and book an appointment here.