Summer is racing by and, before we know it, the kids will be back at school again. Whilst that may be a huge relief in lots of ways, many of us have tinges of regret that we didn’t make the most of our time with the family while we had the opportunity. So in the time remaining before the great big Back to School, why not plan some fun days out with the family?
Financially most of us are feeling the pinch by this stage of the school holidays. Everything just seems to be so expensive, especially if you have also been away on holiday. This can make the thought of organising a day out quite daunting. But a day out doesn’t have to break the bank. The most important thing is that we spend quality time with our families, not that we throw money at them. Time is the most precious thing of all and it passes so quickly. That’s why it’s also a really good idea to build in some family photography when you are all together, to capture precious memories for years to come.
So here are six of the best ideas for fun family time that will mean the world but not cost the earth:
1: An Old-Fashioned Picnic Hopefully we are due a little bit more sunshine and it’s a case of grabbing the opportunity when it arises! Head for your nearest beach, park or woods and take along a good old-fashioned picnic of the Enid Blyton variety. To quote Five Go Off in a Caravan “ I don’t know why, but the meals we have on picnics always taste so much nicer than the ones we have indoors.” Whether or not you include the anecdotal lashings of ginger beer is up to you! But why not get everyone to choose and prepare something for the picnic and head off into the sun with a picnic basket, a blanket to sit on and some games to play. Talking of which ….
2: Games Most children - and many adults - love outdoor games! These don’t necessarily have to be super energetic or highly competitive, games can be planned that anyone can enjoy. Many children do enjoy ball games - and perhaps you could meet up with other families to share the fun - and the organising! But you could also organise alternatives such as hide and seek, a treasure hunt or quizzes.
3: A little piece of history There are many museums around and most of them are free - for example the Science Museum or Natural History Museum in London. Also many stately homes have outdoor areas and gardens that are free, and may also have activity areas where children can play. Some will put on special activities for children during the summer.
4: Animal antics Zoos can be expensive but most city farms are free and enable children to see - and perhaps pet or feed - the animals. Or organise your own animal-related activity. Do you have any friends with a child-friendly dog who may be willing for you to go with them on a walk? There is also an organisation called Borrow My Doggy that links up dog owners with willing helpers. Or are there neighbours who may appreciate help with feeding cats or other small animals whilst they are away?
5: Get your boots on! When was the last time you went to a car boot sale? Children love them! They can be great fun to wander round and children will love buying things for small amounts of money. You could run your own family competition - along the lines of Bargain Hunt - or give them specific things to look for. You may even decide to set up your own stall to get rid of some of your own clutter and make a few pounds into the bargain!
6: Special summer events All around the country there are many special summer events being run by different community organisations, churches, pubs etc. These can be an excellent source of a fun day out or free entertainment. One excellent way to check out what’s happening in your area is the helpful new app Hoop. Hoop is a mobile app that helps you find amazing things to do with your kids, including thousands of free activities. You can specify your area and the ages of your children and Hoop will provide appropriate listings including all the useful information you need about what’s going on. You can also share your plans with friends and family in one click.
Enjoy the rest of the summer. We hope you have some fantastic family fun and also manage some wonderful family photography along the way so that you can relive these happy days for years to come.
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