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The annual summer holiday conundrum – you want to keep your kids entertained and give them the best summer ever, but you also don’t want to spend every last penny of your savings in the process! Finding free activities in the summer holidays is worth its weight in gold (literally!), so take a look at some of our fun ideas to keep your kids (and the bank manager) happy!


For rainy days, and let’s face it, there will be loads this summer, then head for a day of education (and shelter) in a museum. Whilst some museums do charge, you will find that many are free, and offer fantastic child-friendly activities during the holiday period.

Bike Rides

Strap on helmets and jump on your bikes, summer is the perfect time for a family bike ride. Pack a picnic and you can make a whole day of it. The National Trust website has a list of their top places to enjoy a family bike ride – take a look here.

Teddy Bears Picnic

And on the subject of picnics, why not create your child’s very own Teddy Bear’s picnic? Pack a hamper of all their favourite yummy goodies, along with their collection of teddies, and enjoy a picnic in your local park. You can really run with the teddy bear theme and create teddy bear shaped sandwiches and decorations, as well as playing teddy related games such as a Teddy Bear Hunt, where each child has to find a bear with their name on it, which has been hidden with a little present.


What’s geocaching we hear you cry? Well, it’s like a treasure hunt, but using the GPS on your mobile phone. A great activity to do with the whole family on a gorgeous summer’s day, and a chance to discover parts of your local area that you may never have been to before. To learn a little bit more, and find any geocaches near you, take a look at the official geocache website.

Heritage Sites

Members of Heritage England and Heritage Scotland have access to hundreds of free heritage sites across the country – a great day out!

Family Cooking

Get the whole family involved with cooking dinner. Pizzas are great as everyone can make and design their own, then once they are cooked, the pizzas can be shared around and the whole family can tuck in.


Taking the family camping need not be the mammoth, exhausting activity it at first seems. Set up a camp in your back garden, pitch a tent, throw in some sleeping bags and gather together some delicious snacks, and hey presto – your very own back garden campsite. If you are able to, try making a small campfire, and roast some marshmallows to really create an authentic camping experience!

Water Balloon Fight

When the weather is sweltering, it’s hard for anyone to gather the impetus to do anything, but water balloons are both fun and cooling – win, win!

Messy Play

Take advantage of the fabulous weather and let your kids get as messy as they like without damaging your beautiful carpets. Fill the garden with pots of (washable)paint, buckets of wet mud and pails of sand and let your kids play to their hearts content – once they are done, you’ll just need to hose the area (and perhaps them) down.

Local Events

Check out your local area for free activities. Whilst a lot of classes stop during the summer period, a number of free activities will be organised in your area. Pop in to your local library or Children’s Centre for activities for younger children, and try Time Out, which lists up-to-date free activities in many cities and their surrounding areas.

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