The six-week summer holidays are just around the corner. But before that, there are still plenty of warm weekends to fill and excited kids to entertain. With the cost-of-living crisis tightening everyone’s purse strings though, finding cheap family summer activities can feel like a chore.
Thankfully, London Northwestern Railway (LNR) have shared a handy activity guide filled with fun, budget-friendly things to do this summer. As well as tips and tricks to help you get more bang for your buck, you’ll find all the inspiration you need to fill those sunny Saturdays and balmy weekday evenings.
Here’s a round-up of the best budget-friendly days out this summer:
A boss day out in Liverpool
Liverpool is the perfect destination for a budget day out with the family. On a sunny day, head to the stunning waterfront at Royal Albert Dock. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants to enjoy a cold drink or an ice cream, or you can just watch the world go by.
If it’s a real scorcher, take a break from the heat and head to the British Music Experience. There are outfits and memorabilia on show from the likes of David Bowie, Spice Girls, Adele, and The Beatles. Plus, visitors can learn a musical instrument, record in a vocal booth or practice dance routines in the attraction’s Dance the Decades experience. And if that wasn’t enough, you can even enjoy discounted entry tickets with a handy 2FOR1 offer when you travel with LNR.
Parks and swimming spots in London
You can’t beat a day out in London on a sunny weekend. With nearly half of the city dedicated to parks and green spaces, it’s one of the greenest capitals in the world. Enjoy a picnic and try a pedalo at Hyde Park, spot the resident deer in Richmond Park or check out the family-run zoo at Battersea Park, complete with lemurs, meerkats and wallabies.
London is also blessed with plenty of places to cool off. From Hampstead Heath Ponds and Parliament Hill Lido to Hampton Pool and Oasis Sports Centre, there’s no shortage of family-friendly places to take a dip.
When you travel with LNR, you can also get 2FOR1 on a range of top UK attractions. Soar up 135 metres into the sky to see breathtaking views of London’s skyline in the London Eye or experience an exhilarating day out on the water with the thrilling River Thames speedboat ride, the Thamesjet.
Family fun in Brum
The UK’s second city is packed with things to do with your little ones. Brum boasts over 8,000 acres of green space and is home to 571 parks – 15 of which have been awarded Green Flag status.
The biggest is Sutton Park. Covering 2,400 acres, it’s the largest urban nature reserve in Europe. Here, you’ll find two playgrounds, picnic areas, heathland, woodlands, lakes, wetlands and marshes. You can also spot wild ponies grazing on the land and visit rescue donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary Birmingham.
With over 30 miles of canals, there are some fantastic walks to enjoy in the city. But if the kids aren’t so keen on stretching their legs, there are plenty of family-friendly alfresco cafés and restaurants overlooking the waterside at Gas Street Basin and Brindley Place.
If the midday sun is too much, take a break from the heat and head to the ThinkTank Science Museum, where you can explore the exciting world of science and discovery. Or say hello to fascinating underwater creatures at the SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham.
SUMMER ACTIVITIES TO TRY AT HOME
Entertaining the kids doesn’t always have to mean going out of the house. Here are five boredom-busting activities you can try at home to keep them happy.
- Create your own waterpark
On a sizzling hot day, there’s no better way to cool down than with your very own DIY waterpark. Fill a paddling pool, create a slip and slide, and let the kids (and adults) loose with some super soakers and water balloons.
- Make a mud kitchen
You can buy relatively inexpensive mud kitchens from most retailers. But if you’re looking for a quick DIY fix, simply place unwanted pots, pans and utensils on an old garden bench or crate and let the little muddy fingers get stuck in.
- Organise a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great way for kids to explore your garden while learning new things. Make a list of colours, insects or flowers and plants, arm them with a magnifying glass and see what they can find.
- Hold your own sports day
A garden sports day is perfect for letting the kids blow off steam, while enjoying some healthy competition. Whether it’s bean bag throwing, egg and spoon races, pillowcase jumping or a homemade obstacle course, it’s a fail-safe activity to keep kids entertained.
- Set up camp in your garden
Turning your garden into a campsite is a fun and easy way to experience the great outdoors. Fill a tent with sleeping bags, cushions and cosy blankets and spend the night chatting away under the stars. Don’t forget those all-important toasted marshmallows!