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18 completely free things to do in the Summer with kids

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Ahh, the Summer holidays. As a child, no school for six whole weeks seemed like a dream come true. But as an adult?

Saving yourself from hearing the dreaded 'I'm bored' can be extremely difficult... and expensive. How are you going to pull it off?

Fear not! We've made a list to save the kids from boredom and to help take the stress out of entertaining them this Summer.

Want even more free activities? Make sure you check out our Free Days Out page as well, regularly updated with all the best free days out across the UK.

Let's get going!

Family of four play football in a public park

1 - Go to the park

Remember how fun it was going to the park and being pushed on the swings or spinning around on the roundabout? Treat your kids to the same experience!

Find out all the parks your local area has to offer and plan a frugal outing to the park. Take it one step further and make a goal to see all the parks in your area and sit on every swing, your kids will love it!

2 - Visit the library

The library is such an awesome place to go as a child, yet it's a past time we're quickly forgetting as a nation. Lots of libraries host fun reading sessions with your favourite storybook characters and you can find all free library events on your local council page. The best part? Most libraries have air con, perfect to enjoy a cool afternoon reading session! Find your nearest library

3 - Go for a hike

This doesn't have to be strenuous of course!

The National Trust have a wide range of walks suitable for children and there's so much to see! Pack some water, pick up a map and get moving. Check out the National Trust website for inspiration on your next great outdoor adventure.

Woman hiking with 3 young children in woodland area

4 - Learn a new skill

Your child's brain is constantly expanding so now is the perfect time for them to learn a new skill. Whether this is playing an instrument or introducing a new language, the world (or the internet) is their oyster this Summer!

5 - Take pictures & make an album

The growth of the smartphone has changed a lot of things, but one that slips under the radar is the severe drop in physical photographs. We're all quick to take a snap on our phones, but how often do we actually do anything with them (other than uploading them to Facebook and annoying our friends and family)?

Summer is the perfect time to whack out the camera (disposables are reasonably cheap) and take lots of family pictures. Get your children to turn them into a personalised album as a fun arts and crafts project.

Children grow up so quickly, so these photos are a perfect way to make a memento of the Summer that you and they will treasure.

6 - Visit free museums

If there's one thing that the UK knows how to do, it's a free museum. There are so many all over the UK, did you know that these famous ones are completely free?

  • Natural History Museum
  • Imperial War Museums
  • Tate Galleries
  • National Gallery
  • The British Museum

Make sure to check out what's free in your local area as well!

Young boy and girl in front of exhibition at a museum, writing in a blue notepad

Credit: Tripping.com

7 - Have a car boot sale

Have fun and make money by organising a car boot sale. Get your whole family on board and reward your children for decluttering. Visit your local council webiste for more information on your nearest car boot location. 

8 - Start a garden

Start a garden even if you live in a concrete jungle.

This is a great way to teach your kids some responsibility in a fun environment. Seeds are cheap and this activity is one that can last all Summer long which will keep your kids engaged and excited to see the end result.

9 - Watch the sunrise

This is a great one for all family members. Get up early, pack some breakfast and drive somewhere pretty to watch the sunrise. There's something incredibly reflective about this and it will be a lovely family moment you can look back on.

10 - Go to the beach

If the weather's looking good then there's no better activity than a trip to the beach. Pack your costumes, towels and a picnic and head to your nearest coastline. Chase the seagulls, run in and out of waves and treat yourself to some fish and chips if you fancy splurging. Yum!

Family of five walking along a British beach

Credit: Haven

11 - Ride a bike

There are countless routes that you can visit and ride along in the UK. Find a nice local trail near you, pack your helmet and go.

12 - Build a fort

This is one of my favourites. For those days when the unpredictable British weather doesn't quite go in our favour, hide out in your living room with your little ones and build a fort. Play inside or put a movie on and chill out, perfect!

13 - Start a collection

The Summer is the perfect time to start a collection! Stamps, coins, anything - the choice is yours! Not all collections are expensive and you won't break the bank collecting things like conkers. Sounds fun to me!

14 - Have a picnic

Instead of eating your lunch indoors or paying a ridiculous amount for a meal when you're visiting a tourist attraction, why not pack a picnic with items you already have in your fridge? It's so much more cost effective and it's another mini adventure for your little ones.

Parents with two daughters having picnic in a park

Credit: Created by Bearfotos - Freepik.com

15 - Attend a local free festival

There are tonnes of free events happening near you, all you have to do is visit your local council website and you can see what events are coming up. This includes free festivals, community get-togethers and more, all for free!

16 - Go camping in your back garden

Take your kids on an adventure right in your back garden! Grab all the essentials and camp out for the night, your children will love it.

17 - Encourage them to write a story and share it with the family

Your kids have an amazing imagination so why not feed it and encourage them to write a story? You can help them along the way and then watch them proudly as they present it to the family.

18 - Organise a treasure hunt

Last but not least, this idea will keep the kids entertained for hours! Organise a treasure hunt with silly riddles as clues and hide them around the house and outside. Great fun!

So there they are, our top free ways to entertain your kids this Summer. If you have any of your own, please let us know!

Collette xx