Frugal family days out can be hard to do. Ones that entertain the whole family can be even harder!
We’re a family of 4 with an age gap of eight and a half years between the two children. Trying to find days out that a pre-teen and a toddler will both enjoy is always a bit of a challenge. The other issue is the expense.
Everything seems to cost a small fortune these days. A day out can easily cost £150+ when you include entrance fees and feeding the little blighters!
We like to make the most of our weekends together but we haven’t got the money to be doing big days out like that all the time. So what’s the trick? Well, I have a couple to share with you.
Frugal Family Days Out – Reducing Entrance Fees
I have a couple of ways of doing this. My first is Tesco Clubcard Vouchers. They are a godsend at times!
They’re so easy to collect too, just do your weekly shop in Tesco. Fill your fuel tank at Tesco. DO EVERYTHING WITH TESCO!
Now, I actually don’t do my full weekly shop in Tesco any more. I do go to a cheaper store BUT, I have food intolerance’s and the shop I go to doesn’t have many products in stock. Which means my top up shop is usually done in Tesco. And if you have ever bought Free From then you will know how bloody expensive it all is! But think of the Clubcard points.
We recently had a day out at a theme park. Tesco offer loads of different parks but we chose one that suits both the children…. And the pre-teen and toddler.
Using some of our Clubcard vouchers (about £25 in total) meant that the entrance fee was £3… For all 4 of us. It should have been £86.
I saved some money food wise too….. I couldn’t eat anything there thanks to my intolerances so had to take my own. This is always a great way of saving some money though. Take a packed lunch and have a picnic! Spend some money on an ice cream if you really feel you need to buy something while you’re there.
My second tip on reducing entrance fees: Get your children to make something creative and send it to Blue Peter.
This only works if your children are of a certain age but it’s great. My daughter now has a slight addiction to getting Blue Peter badges and apparently 3 isn’t enough. But what comes with your first badge is free entry to different attractions across the country. Most of them are “Child goes free with one paying adult” but you are still saving money.
We have used it for (again) a theme park, which saved us £25. But we’re going to The Isle of Wight this year and there’s quite a few attractions there where we can use it.
Frugal Family Days Out – Finding Things For Free
I suppose this is a bit of an obvious one really but finding free activities is always handy.
We are a 2 minute walk from the beach so that’s always a good one but it’s amazing how quickly you can become bored of it.
Many attractions hold open days where they offer reduced prices or even free entry. We have been to some beautiful gardens locally that ask for a small donation on the day. The kids enjoyed running around the different areas and we just took in the scenery. I know our local castle has a free entry day once or twice a year too.
The best way to find these things is to either look on the attractions website or on Facebook. I’m forever getting reminders about events near me.
There are many museums that are free all year too. The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum but I know travelling to London with a little one is a mission! We tried it once…. We won’t take the toddler back until he can spend a day walking on his own 2 feet!
There are a lot of smaller, more local museums though. There are 2 natural history museums near us and are both free to enter. Yes, they don’t have a massive blue whale or dinosaurs but the pieces are still pretty interesting.
There is always the classic option of a walk and picnic in some local woods or a park too!
Frugal Family Days Out – Things That Are Worth The Money
We, as a family have annual passes to our local zoo. They are a lot of money outright but they are so worth it.
A trip to the zoo used to be like a theme park trip. It would have cost a fortune to go and then you would HAVE to see the whole thing in one day. Our local zoo is huge so it meant a long, tiresome day.
We get the passes as part of Christmas presents which saves money but doing it this way means we don’t have to race around seeing everything! It means we can go as often as we like. Take our time wandering around, go to soft play (hell) and just enjoy it. We also get money off in the shops too which means we usually have a good dinner while we’re there.
There are attractions all over the country that offer annual passes so it’s worth a look.
If you are after more ideas for days out then check out the post I wrote last summer. And if you know of any good frugal family days out then comment below and share the love.