Top attractions for families during school holidays amid cost-of-living crisis

415     0
The Red Arrows take to the skies over Eastbourne, East Sussex (Image: Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The Red Arrows take to the skies over Eastbourne, East Sussex (Image: Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

This school summer holiday is going to be a bit different, thanks to the cost-of-living crisis.

For millions of hard-up parents, there will be less spare cash to keep the kids entertained. So we’ve come up with some ideas for cheap or free days out in England, Wales and Scotland that will be sure to put a smile on your childrens’ faces without burning a hole in your pocket.

From animal antics and breath-taking sights to exhilarating hands-on experiences, they certainly won’t be able to say they’re bored…

1Putt it there: For fab family fun, look no further than the multi-coloured minigolf course at London’s Canary Wharf. It’s free to enjoy and the golf clubs and balls are supplied. Info: Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf, London; free; 12-6pm daily; canarywharf.com

2Book barmy: Do your children love stories like The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler? Then take them to see how they were brought to life at this brand new exhibition. Info: The Lowry, The Quays, Salford, Manchester; free; 10/11am-5pm daily; thelowry.com

Mum's touching gesture to young son who died leaves Morrisons shopper in tears erideuiqtqiqdrinvMum's touching gesture to young son who died leaves Morrisons shopper in tears

3Rail-y good: The National Railway Museum in York is free to visit. It’s home to the Mallard – the world’s fastest steam locomotive – and there’s a great play area for under-6s where they can build their own version of Stephenson’s Rocket. Info: Leeman Road, York; free; 10am-5pm daily; railwaymuseum.org.uk

4Air you go: The biggest free seafront air show in the world will be coming to Eastbourne from August 17-20. The Red Arrows will be performing for visitors and wartime Spitfires will take to the skies. Info: Eastbourne, East Sussex; free; visiteastbourne.com/airshow

Top attractions for families during school holidays amid cost-of-living crisisThe airshow at Eastbourne is the biggest free seafront in the world (Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

5Critter craze: Did you know there is a free zoo with everything from kookaburras to ring-tailed lemurs and Scottish wildcats in North London? There’s a children’s play area too. Info: Golders Hill Park, London; free; 7.30am to dusk daily; cityoflondon.gov.uk

6Star attraction: From Egyptian mummies to an aquarium, Liverpool’s free World Museum has enough to keep kids fascinated for hours. There’s also a low-cost planetarium experience inside too. Info: William Brown Street, Liverpool; free; 10am-5pm daily; liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

7Jaw-dropper: Dippy, the 85ft diplodocus from the Natural History Museum, will be at Coventry’s Herbert Art Gallery & Museum all summer. Book online to see this roarsome dino for free. Info: Jordan Well, Coventry; free; dippyincoventry.co.uk

8Get crafty: Make kaleidoscopes, train driver hats or wooden ships during the Tuesday craft sessions at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum, where the interactive exhibits are also free. Info: Blandford Square, Newcastle; free, craft sessions are all under £2; 10/11am-4pm daily; discoverymuseum.org.uk

Top attractions for families during school holidays amid cost-of-living crisisScience Museum and Natural History Museum is the little-known National Army Museum where you can dress up in uniforms

9Battle stations: Along with London’s free Imperial War Museum, Science Museum and Natural History Museum is the little-known National Army Museum where you can dress up in uniforms. Info: Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London; free; 10am-5.30pm Tue-Sun; nam.ac.uk

10Neigh cost: If your children want to meet some friendly four-legged pals, trot down to one of the Redwings sanctuary centres to meet their 700 rescued horses and donkeys. Info: Centres in Norfolk, Essex, Warwickshire and Scotland; free; redwings.org.uk

11Glass act: Raining again? Warm up at Sheffield’s Winter Garden – the largest urban glasshouse in Europe with 2,500 plants from around the world. The indoor trees are sure to fascinate youngsters. Info: Surrey Street, Sheffield; free; 8am-8pm Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm Sun; welcometosheffield.co.uk

12Linc to the past: With 250,000 exhibits, including a First World War tank, a museum trail and a playground for children, the Museum of Lincolnshire Life ticks all the boxes for a great family day out. Info: Burton Road, Lincoln; free; 10am-4pm Fri-Tues; lincolnshire.gov.uk

'I don't want children staying up late at weekends - I really need adult time''I don't want children staying up late at weekends - I really need adult time'
Top attractions for families during school holidays amid cost-of-living crisisSopwith Triplane, which flew in World War One, is on show at RAF Museum in the capital (UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

13Make time fly: With a number of historic aircraft in its hangars, including a Second World War Wellington bomber, the Cosford RAF Museum is a great place to land. There’s an aviation-inspired playground too. Info: Cosford, Shropshire; free with timed entry tickets; 10am-5pm daily, rafmuseum.org.uk

14Farm frolics: Nottingham’s Stonebridge City Farm has everything from cows and pigs to rabbits and meerkats. Grab a cheap bag of feed and get to know them. Info: Stonebridge Road, Nottingham; free; 10am-4.15pm daily; stonebridgecityfarm.com

15Cracker of a day: Head to Plymouth Hoe to watch six pyrotechnic firms battle it out in the British Fireworks Championships on August 16-17. Info: Plymouth, Devon; free; visitplymouth.co.uk.

16So marble-ous: With a games museum and four interactive marble runs, including the giant Snooki 2000, the kids are sure to have a ball at the House of Marbles in Devon. Info: Pottery Road, Bovey Tracey, Devon; free; 9/10am-5pm daily; houseofmarbles.com

17A must-sea: Learn all about heroic Grace Darling – the lighthouse keeper’s daughter who took part in a famous 19th century rescue at sea. The Grace Darling Museum is run by the RNLI. Info: Bamburgh, Northumberland; free; 9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 12-4pm Sun; rnli.org

Top attractions for families during school holidays amid cost-of-living crisisCabot Tower in Bristol boasts magnificent views across the city (James Beck/Freelance)

18Sword point: Let the kids play soldiers at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, where there are more than 4,500 exhibits and daily live shows. Info: Armouries Drive, Leeds; free; 10am-5pm daily; royalarmouries.org

19Towering glory: If you have a head for heights, why not climb the 105ft-high Cabot Tower in Bristol? You’re guaranteed to get stunning views over the city and beyond. Info: Brandon Hill Park, Bristol; free; 8am-9.15pm daily in summer; bristol.gov.uk

20Tech it to the max: Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, has a whole host of fun activities in its Experiment Gallery. See through walls and find out how to make music with your body. Info: Liverpool Road, Manchester; free; 10am-5pm daily; scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk

Alex Stuart

Print page

Comments:

comments powered by Disqus