Summer holiday is a time of joy and adventure for children, but they can also be a strain on parents’ wallets. However, you don’t need to break the bank to keep your kids entertained during the long break. 

The UK offers a wealth of affordable and free activities that can provide fun, learning, and memorable experiences. Here are ten money-saving children’s summer holiday activities in the UK.


1. Explore National Parks and Nature Reserves

The UK is home to numerous national parks and nature reserves, perfect for outdoor adventures without any entry fees. Parks like the Lake District, Peak District, and Snowdonia offer stunning landscapes for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife spotting. These trips encourage physical activity and foster a love for nature.


  • Pack a picnic to save on food costs.
  • Bring binoculars and a wildlife guide to make it educational.


2. Visit Free Museums and Galleries

Many museums and art galleries across the UK offer free entry, making them perfect for an educational day out. The British Museum, National Gallery, and the Natural History Museum in London are just a few examples. These venues often have special children’s programs and interactive exhibits.


  • Check the museum’s website for free workshops or storytelling sessions.
  • Plan your visit during less busy times to avoid crowds.


3. Enjoy the Beach

The UK boasts beautiful coastlines and beaches where children can enjoy swimming, sandcastle building, and beachcombing. Locations like Bournemouth, Brighton, and Cornwall are ideal for a fun-filled day at the seaside.


  • Bring your own beach toys and picnic to avoid spending on rentals and beachside cafes.
  • Look for quieter beaches if you prefer less crowded spaces.


4.Take Part in Summer Holiday Local Library Events

Local libraries often host free or low-cost events and activities for children during the summer holidays. These can include storytelling sessions, craft workshops, and reading challenges that encourage literacy and creativity.


  • Sign up for the library’s summer reading challenge to keep kids engaged with books.
  • Attend regular story hours to make reading a fun habit.

5. Discover Historical Sites and Castles

The UK is rich in history, with numerous castles, ruins, and historical sites to explore. Many of these locations offer free or discounted entry for children. Sites like Dover Castle, Edinburgh Castle, and Tintagel Castle can provide a fascinating day out.


  • Check for family discounts or free entry days.
  • Bring a historical guide or download an app for an educational experience.


6. Attend Local Festivals and Fairs

Throughout the summer, many towns and cities in the UK host free festivals and fairs that offer a variety of entertainment options, including music, food stalls, and children’s activities. Events like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and local village fetes are excellent for family outings.


  • Look up event schedules online to find free family-friendly activities.
  • Bring reusable water bottles and snacks to save on refreshments.


7. Go for a Bike Ride

Cycling is a fantastic way to explore the local area and get some exercise. The UK has numerous cycling trails suitable for families, such as the Tarka Trail in Devon or the Camel Trail in Cornwall. These routes offer beautiful scenery and safe paths away from busy roads.


  • Ensure bikes are in good condition before heading out to avoid unexpected repairs.
  • Pack a small repair kit and know how to fix minor issues.


8. Enjoy Local Parks and Playgrounds

Local parks and playgrounds are perfect for a cost-free day out. Many parks have facilities such as play areas, splash pads, and open spaces for picnics and games. Parks like Hyde Park in London or Heaton Park in Manchester offer plenty of amenities.


  • Plan a scavenger hunt or nature walk to add an element of adventure.
  • Bring outdoor games like frisbees or kites.

9. Explore City Farms

City farms provide a slice of rural life in urban settings, and many are free to visit. They offer a chance for children to learn about animals and farming. Vauxhall City Farm and Mudchute Park and Farm in London are excellent examples.


  • Check if the farm has feeding times or petting areas for interactive experiences.
  • Volunteer opportunities might be available for older children.


10. Have a DIY Craft Day at Home

On rainy days, staying indoors can be just as fun with a DIY craft day. Use materials from around the house to create art, build models, or bake treats. Websites like Pinterest are full of ideas for budget-friendly crafts.


  • Recycle household items like cardboard boxes and bottle caps for projects.
  • Set up a designated craft area to keep the mess contained.



The summer holidays don’t have to be an expensive affair. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can provide your children with a variety of enriching and entertaining activities that won’t break the bank. 

From exploring the great outdoors to engaging in educational experiences, the UK offers countless opportunities for family fun on a budget. Embrace these money-saving activities and make this summer holiday one to remember!

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