Updated: Sep 5, 2019
It's come to that time of the year again. The six weeks holiday is about to start and every parent is thinking the same thing. What on earth are we going to do in the holidays without spending a fortune? There's so much to do but it costs so much. And there are only so many times you can go to the park or beach without getting bored. With this in mind I've put together a list of fun things you can do over the summer holidays which doesn't cost the earth. With this in mind, each of the activities below can entertain a family of four - for less then the price of a single childs theatre ticket / adult cinema ticket.
This is a great one to do at home with a little bit of planning and it's a great learning activitity too! There are thousands of experiments you can do at home with things that are just around the house. From the classic coke and mentos experiment (make sure you do it outside!) to other fun ones like non-newtonian liquids there are some really fun ones you can do without spending a fortune or buying an expensive science kit!
Lot's of people have created many wonderful blog posts about what to do and I've put a few here:
A few weeks ago we tried this at home and one of the cool things you can do is that you can really get into the whole science feel of the day relativly cheaply too. For example; we bought scientific pippetts from Amazon cheap here;
Whatever you do make sure you are safe and have the relevant protection for the experiments you do.
This is a surprisingly easy one to do which barely costs anything extra. All you have to do is keep your paper/plastic recycling clean and seperate. When you have enough of it you can make some really fun arts and crafts wherever your mind takes you! You can paint it too for added effect. And the best thing is at the end it can all go back in the recycling. We did this recently with my little ones and we loved how creative you can be - my 3 y/o daughter decided to turn herself into a robot.
Local Summer Events
If you're looking for a good day out of the house but not wanting to break the bank, there are some great fun days and parties out there perfect to entertain your little ones. Some of my good friends over at Let's Party are running an event like this over the summer. On the 30th of July they are doing an amazing Arabian Nights themed party with a very special princess appearance. The cost of two tickets (adults go free) is less then the price of a single adult cinema ticket and will keep your little ones talking about it all day! I'm taking my two little ones there as it's always a good day out! Tickets are available here
There are always lots of free entry local fairs where there is always a lot of fun entertainment, stalls, food and crafts which won't cost the earth but still give you a good day out no matter what your budget it. You may even see me or one of my giant characters at one of these events - like in this picture
This is something that up until recently I had forgotten about, but it's a cool little thing to do with the family and it just requires a mobile phone with GPS. Basically, people have placed little secret "caches" around the real world which you have to find. They can be as small as a film cannister or a lunchbox size.
They have been marked on a map and your Geocache app acts like a compass to find ones near to you. They can contain lots of things, from little log books of who found it, to pictures, jokes - you name it! There are a few along Southend Seafront, and you can plan a little walk to find them all. Best thing is, kids don't even realise they are getting excersize when they go on their little treasure hunt. You can find the app here.
The Driving Game
This is a good game to play with older kids and can lead you on a little adventure. Make sure you have plenty of fuel in the car for this one, and take a picnic too! Task one is to get the children to write down random directions such as left, right, straight on etc. As many as you like to do. When you've got this, on your little adventure day you all get into the car and either from an agreed point - or just from the moment you set off you follow the directions that are written down. (A little tip. If you are good at navigating, you can "randomly" choose when to follow a direction so you can make sure you get to somewhere instead of a random street)
See the planes
My little boy loves airplanes. He gets excited watching airplanes fly overhead, especially when they are low. A lot of airports now have viewing areas where you can see planes take off and land. The Holiday Inn at Southend Airport has a great view of the runway from its cafe. For the price of a couple of coffees you can sit there, enjoy a drink and watch planes take off and land. The staff there are really accomodating too and are more than happy to have you stay there and watch the planes off.
There are probably lots more places you can go for cheap this summer, and as I find more I will add them to this list. If you have any good ideas as well you can always drop me an email and let me know - and I can add them to the list!