How to get through the summer holidays with your wallet intact

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Summer is finally here! This means that alarms are turned off, book bags have been tossed to the side, and parents are smashing their piggy banks trying to figure out just how they will be able to keep the kids entertained for six whole weeks without re-mortgaging the house. We all know that family entertainment can be very pricey, with plenty of attractions across the UK relying on the summer holidays to help them make a pretty penny (well, that’s business after all!). Since staying inside the house and hiding until September just isn’t possible for most families, we have sourced some low-cost ways to keep the kids entertained while not draining your bank balance too heavily.

1. Visit Museums

Museums are a great way to have a family day out that is educational, fun and most importantly frugal. There are over 2,000 museums across the UK and many of these offer free admission, meaning that you can see wonderful artefacts and exhibits without having to pay a penny! Museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum also offer free events and experiments for children in the summer – it’s worth researching online to see what you can find to suit your family’s tastes. Depending on where you go, you are likely to have to travel which can increase the cost. To get around this, if you use the rail service you can purchase a Family & Friends annual railcard for £30, which gives you 1/3 off adult fares and up to 60% off child fares. You are likely to earn the cost of the railcard back in one journey, especially if you’re hoping to venture into London. Why not pack up a picnic, hop on the train, find a free museum and have a wonderful, low-cost day out!

2. Enjoy Nature

Another fantastic way to get the kids out of the house is to explore the great outdoors. This could be visiting a close-by woodland area or forest trail and having a nice long walk, or even visiting the local green with a Frisbee, Football or Rounders set and playing some sports! Another way to appreciate nature is by visiting animal sanctuaries. Many reserves and sanctuaries offer free entry, such as the RSPB and The Donkey Sanctuary, and there are also hundreds of farms in the UK which are open to the public such as Mudchute in London, Mead Open Farm in Leighton Buzzard and The Hop Farm in Kent. Please bear in mind that not all open farms are free, but many of them are very reasonably priced (The Hop Farm is just £1 per person!). Plenty of farms offer free events and opportunities to feed and pet the animals which kids love. Search for local reserves and farms in your area and plan a nature adventure – you’ll have an unbe-leaf-able time!

3. Utilise Supermarket Rewards

The summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to cash in some of those Nectar rewards and Club Card points that you have been saving. You can get money off on days out to exciting attractions such as Sea Life Centres, Dungeons and theme parks by going online and trading your points for vouchers, and you can also get free cinema tickets and meal vouchers too! So whether you fancy a cheeky outing to Pizza Express or a full-blown day trip to Drayton Manor, take a look at your points online first – you may be able to enjoy a fantastic family day out for minimal cost.

We hope these suggestions have been useful and will help you to save some cash. Whatever you decide to do over the summer holidays, we hope you have an amazing time. Cherish these moments, for in the blink of an eye it will be September again!

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