Its officially the six weeks holiday here in the UK. We plan what we are going to do but sometimes fall short of ideas & get stuck in a rut. I’m here to help with fun outdoor outings on a budget. I’ll be talking specifically about places in
the Hertfordshire area BUT if you are from elsewhere continue reading, You’ll still get great ideas!
Splash Parks-Cost £FREE
In Hertfordshire we are lucky to have numerous splash parks. Simple bright designs that the kids love & they are FREE to enter, what could be better.
Splash parks are suitable for children of walking age & up, B started going just after he was one!
In the Hertfordshire area I can highly recommend the splash parks at Fairlands Valley in Stevenage, St Albans & Letchworth.
I have been to all three & can highly recommend them all, my favourite is Letchworth. It has a smaller water jet area but 2 sets of shallow paddling pools.
Its always a good idea to choose a splash park that has a playground attached or close by because sometimes kids can get bored & its a nice mix to be able to have a splash then go off on the swings & slides.
Nature Walks-Cost FREE
Nature walks are a great way to get the kids exercising whilst doing something fun. I used to go on them all the time when I was little & plan to take B on them properly when he’s that little bit older, let your little ones minds run free & let them have some imaginative play while you get some fresh air!
As a family we used to make up a little booklet before we left of things that we needed to look out for, fairy baths & feathers were among some of the items on our checklist. We always used to have great fun with these & would tally off how many we found. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve seen a ‘fairy bath’ since I last went on a nature walk & that was when I was 10!
Whilst you don’t need to do these booklets I can assure you they are great fun for the kids.
I can recommend Sherrards Park Woods in Hertfordshire & Heartwood Forest in St.Albans.
Check out the Woodland Trust website to find your local woods.
Lido(Outside Pool)- Small price
To put it simply a Lido is pretty much an outdoor pool. Indoor pools can get over crowded & too hot in the good weather so why not take full advantage of local Lido’s & have a swim outdoors!
I don’t swim so can’t recommend it personally but plenty of my friends visit Ware Lido & have a lovely time there, its a popular place so make sure you pick the right time.
Local Playground-Cost FREE
This is an easy one if you have a nice local playground, my local one is pretty pants for my sons age so we avoid it at all costs. However a small drive away we have a fantastic park which has a lake & a playground! My son loves it there & its far more appropriate for his age.
Kids love playing & a playground is the perfect place to let them run free & explore.
How about bringing a picnic along too to make it that little more enjoyable!
I personally love taking B to Stanborough Park in Welwyn Garden City(although I find their parking charges disgusting), Verulam Park in St.Albans & Fairlands Valley in Stevenage.
As stated above St.Albans & Stevenage have splash parks also so its another activity to do while you’re there.
Now this is a hit & miss one dependent on your child & the type of Garden Centres you have close to you.
In Hertfordshire we are lucky enough to have Van Hages in Ware! Van Hages has a small animal garden that has Pigs, Meerkats, Fluffy footed Chickens & so much more inside! The fluffy footed Chickens make B go HA HA HA. If you spoke to him he would tell you the story. This animal garden is free to walk round & is a lovely little activity to do, B tends to go every Sunday with his Nanna & Grandad.
There is also a fabulous mini train that runs at weekends & certain days in the school holidays! We love it lots & B usually goes on it a fair few times, it costs £1 a person from 2 years & up.
Come Christmas time they also have an ice rink & a santa claus, I haven’t braved the ice rink since my mum fell over & snapped her phone.
I know not all Garden centres will be as good as Van Hages but its worth trying them out & letting your kids explore, MAYBE not near the breakables though! Why not play pretend & act as if the plants are a jungle & the ornamental animals are real animals, that quite obviously need to be avoided.
Play In The Garden-Cost FREE
It sounds simple but sometimes we forget about the space we have outside our houses, thats if you have a place with a garden of course!
Garden toys can be picked up extremely cheap on local for sale pages, you could get a fair few bits less than you’d pay for a brand new slide for instance.
I managed to get B a mini climbing cube with slide for £10! He loved it so much & I was so pleased, it retails at £100+ so I couldn’t complain!
Garden play is a great way for you to get a bit of peace & quiet, depending on the age of your child. I don’t get that.
Visit A Local Farm-Cost £21 for a family ticket
For the purpose of this I will be using my local farm, Standalone Farm, as an example.
A ticket to come here for a family, 2 adults 3 children, will set you back £21. A small fee for a lovely little day out.
I think nowadays the smaller family run farms get forgotten about but I think they are hidden gems.
I always used to come to Standalone Farm when I was little & I always enjoyed myself there, from Tractor rides to visiting the piggies, theres fun for all the family. My cousins particularly liked the model railway here.
Make sure to check on Google for your local farm, they seem to be priced much fairer than some of the more larger farms.
I always think theres a different air to them as well, much more down to earth & appreciative.
Geo-Caching- Cost Free to £5
Lets just call this hi-tec treasure hunting. This has been around for a long time but many aren’t aware of it, heck even I forgot about it till a friend reminded me of it.
If you’ve got a spare few hours & a phone with GPS capability or GPS receiver then I highly recommend this little activity.
Head out if its a nice day, expect to walk a fair bit, bring along some items to pop in the boxes you find & probably expect to get a little lost.
All you have to do is check out the Geocaching website to find your local Caches! I think back when I used to do it we found them & printed them off but hey, times have changed, everything is electronic now.
Enter the details given to you from the website & off you go! Make sure you bring items with you to exchange at the caches.
Many a time we got lost but it was a great feeling when we finally found one we’d been searching for for hours. This is a fun filled activity for the whole family. It was never about the prize for me & shouldn’t be for you either as the items in the boxes you find are trinkets & nothing of value, it is however a great form of exercise & a great laugh.
Make sure to bring a camera so you can document your day.
Like my ideas?
Got some of your own?
Leave me a comment below <3