Along with Christmas (yes, I’ve said the C word in July), summer holidays are one of my favourite times of the year. Lots of time to enjoy with my daughter and loads of fun activities going on everywhere. However, six weeks of big days out can start to get a bit pricey, so I try to balance it out with activities that are free of charge. I really believe that you don’t need to spend lots of money to have fun as a family. So here’s my top ten free activities for the summer holidays:
1. Parks. Here in Cardiff, we’re very lucky to have so many great parks. Brilliant for outdoor exercise, meeting new children to play with, learning about nature and for picnics. We’ll be spending plenty of time in our local parks over the summer.
2. Libraries. Not only for discovering new books to enjoy, there are often fun activities going on at libraries over the holidays. In the UK, children can sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge, giving plenty of motivation and rewards for reading.
3. Arts and crafts activities. Ok, so it could be argued that this isn’t really free, as you’ll have to buy at least a few things for any craft activity. However, if you get maybe a set of paints, some glue and scissors, hours and hours of creative fun can be had by recycling household items such as kitchen roll tubes, cereal boxes, washing up bottles etc.
4. Printables. There are loads of free printables on the internet. Colouring pages are great for keeping the kids occupied for a bit while you get boring grown up stuff done. There are also lots of learning worksheets and activities to do together. Try looking at Twinkl or the Cbeebies website.
5. Board Games. Again, this is entirely free since you would have to actually buy the board games. But once you have, they’re always there, ready for an hour you have to fill. Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows that we as a family are huge fans of tabletop games. If you’re put off by memories of Monopoly fights, please look around at the games available today. There are such a huge variety, I really think anyone could find something that they and their children can enjoy.
6. Museums. We have several museums within easy reach and they’re all free entry. As a bonus, they’re all running activities over the summer. A great hands-on educational activity.
7. Movie day. While I only do this a couple of times over the six week break, it is nice (especially perhaps the day after a really exhausting day out) to cuddle up on the sofa with a big bowl of popcorn and enjoy some films.
8. Geocaching. A great way to explore the outdoors, searching for hidden caches in parks, around town centres and pretty much anywhere. Pop on the Geocaching website and find caches near you.
9. Visiting the coast. Notice I didn’t say the beach. Yes, the beach is a great, fun and free day out. But there’s plenty more to do at the coastline than making sand castles. You could search rock pools for sea creatures, hunt for shells and even fossils!
10. Historical sites. Castles, ancient ruins, churches and other historical sites are often free to visit and offer a fun way to learn about national and local history.
What other fun free activities do you and your family like to enjoy during the holidays?