Face it, we can’t always keep our little ones in & keep them entertained when money is low. Boredom strikes & thats you being moaned at for the rest of the day!
I’m going to give you some pointers on free things you can do & how you can save money on those places your children are desperate to visit.
An annual membership will only be worthwhile if you intend to visit somewhere regularly, if thats your plan then please read on. I cannot begin to recommend these enough especially for soft play places. We have a toddler only membership for a local Soft Play venue that cost me £80 a year, we only have to go 20 times for it to pay for itself. A feat we have long since accomplished!
Other examples of annual memberships include:
*A Merlin Annual Pass, starting at £169 per person.
*Paradise Wildlife Park membership £300 per family (2 adults & 2 children).
*Willows Activity Farm family membership price(for up to 5 people) £33 a month.
As you can see prices differ but again its worth looking into how many times you plan on visiting & if you can afford the large outlay, although some of these places do allow you to pay monthly via Direct Debit.
These groups may not suit everyone as they are usually for ages 0-4, however for those of us with younger children they are something of a godsend. I have only discovered these in recent weeks & wish I’d visited them before! These groups are usually run by the church or local children’s centre, if you are not religious I would’t worry, none of the church groups I’ve visited so far have had a religious undertone. These groups tend to prove so popular because of the price, £1.50 to £2.50!!!
You usually get around an hour and a half play time for that price, you can’t moan at that nor could you find a group anywhere else for that price.
Baby groups usually have a craft table of some sort, toys, sit ons, songs and sometimes even games.
These groups come highly recommended by myself, hey if I recommend it its got to be fabulous, and many other mums.
If you are unaware of where your local baby groups are please visit your local Children’s Centre website or visit netmums.com.
I’m a huge fan of saving money, so I love finding coupons that help me do so!
The rise of websites such as Wowcher & Groupon has made savings easier to find.
Its free to join both of the above websites so I do recommend doing so, even if you don’t purchase anything it hasn’t cost you a penny to look.
Last year via Wowcher I managed to receive tickets for Paradise Wildlife Park for £10 per person instead of £17 per person.
Don’t worry though, you can still find coupons the old fashioned way, on the back of parking vouchers & receipts. Last year I managed to get my hands on huge discounts for Willows farm just from free parking vouchers at my local swimming centre.
Whilst this idea doesn’t exactly fall under coupons it does give you savings, try visiting the place you wish to visit & see if they have savings for offpeak visits. Our local farm changes its pricing throughout the year so I do recommend visiting websites for cheaper visiting times!
What bigger a saving can you get that a completely free visit somewhere!
Something I used to do with my parents around 15 years ago was Geocaching, is a modern day treasure hunt. A person hides a waterproof box in any area they wish, the box usually contains trinkets and a pen & pad. Once hidden they record the coordinates & return home & log it online, ready for you to find.
When we used to do it we had to use our huge satnav system, nowadays there is even an Geocaching app! So get your GPS receiver/phone ready along with an item to pop in the box & head off & explore.
Some museums are completely free to visit. Please check out this website: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/free-museums-and-art-galleries to find your local free museum & galleries.
This may not be every persons idea of a fun outing but it may help the kids with their homework & cure the boredom for a few hours.
If you enjoy nature then I recommend visiting a local nature reserve or forest, these are usually free to visit & great fun for all the family. To make the outing a little more fun why not make little books up for the kids which contain items to find & mark off. I always used to love doing this when I was younger & found the work books great fun! Some things you can get the kids to search for are fairy baths, feathers & spiders webs, feel free to include anything else you can think of.
These books can be reused for numerous visits so its worth making an effort with them so the little ones never get bored.
One of the most commonly used free places that are used are parks. I am exceptionally lucky where I live as one of my local parks boasts a nature reserve, lake & numerous activities & the others have fantastic outdoor activities for the kids. It may cost to park at these places & to eat there, you can make it cheaper by bringing your own food, kids love picnics & car sharing if you plan to go with a friend.
To find your local parks simply head to google & have a good search. Some of these places now even have trip advisor pages so you can see if they are worth the visit!
I hope at least one of these outings tickles your fancy,