Low-cost things to do with kids this summer

This year, UK household finances are being squeezed more than ever, with the cost of living continuing to soar. And what’s made it even trickier for families is the added expense of the 6-week summer holidays. Keeping the kids entertained can be costly, but it doesn't have to be. Here we've created a quick list of 10 low-cost summer activities to keep the kids entertained over the last few weeks of the school holidays.

Visit an Adventure Playground for free

Are the kids fed up with visiting the local park? Do a quick Google search and see if there are any adventure playgrounds nearby. Adventure playgrounds are like ‘next-level’ parks with a whole host of exciting activities for children to get involved in, such as den building, tree climbing and water play. Best of all, these adventure playgrounds are often free for kids to use! Top picks include the Adventure Playground in Heartlands, Cornwall and the Labyrinthine Playground in Kensington Gardens.

Fruit picking

Late August or early September is the best time for blackberry picking in the UK, and it’s a free activity your kids are sure to love. If your kids aren’t very outdoorsy or don’t particularly enjoy going on family walks, blackberry picking is guaranteed to get them off the sofa! This activity requires adult supervision as it’s crucial to ensure children pick suitable berries.

If you happen to live in or visit the West Country this summer, it’s also the perfect time for Whortleberry picking. Whortleberries are tiny wild blueberries commonly found growing in Exmoor National Park in North Devon and West Somerset. So grab a basket and head out on a nice, sunny day for a free and fun day of fruit picking!


If you’re looking for a free summer activity for older children, why not get involved in Geocaching? This is essentially a digital treasure hunt, where you use your smartphone’s GPS to discover hidden objects in your local area.

You need to download an app or sign up for a Geocaching website to get started. Then, you’ll need to use the set of coordinates provided to uncover the first hidden object. Remember to replace any treasures you find so that the next person has something to discover too!

Again, this is another great activity for getting kids out and about and a fantastic opportunity to explore your local area as a family.

Free festivals

Tickets for the UK summer music festivals tend to cost a small fortune and sell out within seconds. However, many smaller, free festivals are also taking place this summer. A great one to visit if you’re living or staying in London is Notting Hill Carnival. This festival takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, from 27-29th. Sunday is a dedicated family day, with the Children’s Parade kicking off at 10 am.

If you’re visiting Edinburgh in August, it’s well worth getting involved in the famous arts and theatre festival, the Edinburgh Fringe. While many of the events are ticketed, free street performances take place daily, including buskers, comedians and circus performers.

Do a quick online search for ‘free festivals near me’ to see what’s happening in your area.

Visit a theme park

Theme parks can be pricey, but if you have put some money aside for a summer treat, they offer a great day out for kids. Plus, with discounts from the likes of Kellogg’s and Tesco, there are opportunities to make significant savings.

Kellogg’s currently offers discount codes for a free adult ticket when you buy a full ‘on the day’ priced adult or child ticket for some of the UK’s top attractions. So all you need to do is buy a pack of Kellogg’s cereal, find the code inside the packet and use it when you book online.

If you have a Tesco Clubcard, it’s also worth knowing that you can use your vouchers to pay for some UK theme park tickets. Check out money-saving websites like Groupon for UK theme park deals too.

Enjoy a beach day

If it’s a sunny day, why not head to the beach? Use public transport where possible to save on the cost of parking, and pack a picnic to save money on food. In addition, there are many fun, free activities for kids, including sand castle building, paddling, rock pooling and beach sports. Check out our blog, ‘15 of the UK’s Favourite Beaches,’ to discover the best beaches to visit.

Spend the night somewhere different

If you’re looking to take your family away for the night, why not book a cheap hotel through PlansChange? Check out our Resale Deals to find amazing money-saving deals on hotel rooms in the UK and abroad. The page is constantly updated with new listings, so it’s worth checking back until you find the best deal for you.

Alternatively, if an overnight stay in a hotel isn’t an option, why not camp under the stars in your garden? Sure, you might not get the best night’s sleep of your life, but it’s something your kids will likely remember forever!

Visit a free museum or gallery

Did you know that many UK cities offer free entry to their museums and galleries? So whether you’re visiting London, Edinburgh, Cardiff or one of the other major UK cities, you’ll likely find at least one museum or gallery you can visit without paying a penny! This is a great rainy day activity to do with kids this summer and is also a fantastic way to inject a little educational content into your holiday itinerary.

Get the kids gardening

It doesn’t matter whether you have a large lawn, small yard or even a balcony; you can still have a go at gardening! Get the kids involved in planting seeds and growing their own flowers and vegetables. Look on local Facebook groups to see if anyone is giving away seeds or small plants nearby.

10. Enjoy a spa day at home

Ready for a spa break? We feel you! But if it’s not on the cards right now, why not enjoy a spa day at home instead? Get the kids involved by making and applying your own face masks and treating each other to DIY manicures. It might not be quite the relaxing spa experience you’re used to, but it will be fun!

We hope our list of 10 low-cost things to do with kids this summer is helpful and that you enjoy the rest of the holidays. Also, be sure to share any other ideas you have with the PlansChange team on social media. Click here to like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram.