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When it comes to family time, there are so many different things that you can do. All of the time, you see new advertisements for amusement parks and days out, but after looking at the price tag, you’re not really sure that you can afford to go on a trip there. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t spend quality, enjoyable time with your kids, and it doesn’t matter what kind of budget you’re working with. What really matters is how inventive you are, so try out these 10 great, and affordable, ideas!
1. Go on a forest walk
One of the best things that you can do (and it won’t cost you any money) is to go on a forest walk with your kids, which has a whole host of benefits. Not only will you be getting a lot of fresh air, but you will also all be getting in some exercise, and there are many ways to make it a lot more interesting. Whether you take some binoculars and encourage your kids to look out for wildlife – or you put together some kind of treasure hunt – you need to use your imagination, but you can make this a great day out, and it’s a good opportunity to bond with your little ones.
2. Visit the beach
The beach is just one of those things that kids always love, and this is a great idea if you live close enough to the coast to visit one. If it’s the summertime, you can relax (relaxing, what’s that?), swim and make sandcastles together, and in the winter your kids can explore the rockpools and look out for unique shells. OK, it doesn’t sound like it’s too exhilarating in the winter, but there are a lot of plus sides to just enjoying the crashing of the waves on the shore, and your kids will undoubtedly love this, too.
3. Go to the park
This is the old favorite of most parents, but there really is nothing like a trip to the park to keep your kids entertained on a budget. Not only will they have fun playing with the other children, but they will also get in a lot of exercise, and you can relax a little (whilst keeping an eye on them, of course). There are some brilliant parks that your kids could spend all day in, so look for the best parks and playgrounds near you if you want them to enjoy the great outdoors, without spending any cash. You can also take a picnic, which is good news again for your wallet.
4. Visit museums
A lot of people think that museums are no good for kids, as it’s just a lot of information, and rooms and rooms of stuff that your family will undoubtedly find pretty boring. Whilst some museums aren’t very good for younger children, there are also a lot of fun ones out there, and they will be able to take a look at dinosaur bones, planes and tanks, and a lot of other different things that will spark their interests. Don’t think that museums are an adult only game, as many of them have also catered to the needs of kids.
5. Go swimming
If you’re not usually one to go swimming, you may think that it won’t be suitable for your kids, especially if they’re pretty young. However, most leisure centers have smaller (and shallower) children’s pools too, so that you don’t have to go into the main pool with all of the other (pretty professional) swimmers. You can get all different types of floats to help your little ones feel comfortable, and your local leisure center may actually provide these things, alongside balls and other toys for kids.
6. Plant things in the garden
You don’t always have to go out of your own home to have a great time, in fact, just going into the garden sometimes does the trick. You can plant some different types of flowers with your kids, and you can also encourage them to put out food for the various species of animals where you live. Getting close to nature at a young age is super important, and it will also help your kids to respect wildlife throughout their lives, so spend a day in the garden, soaking up the sun and helping the creatures. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
7. Go on a road trip
Think of somewhere that isn’t too far away, that you and your kids have always wanted to go to. Perhaps there’s a great park a few hours away, and you’ve always wanted to give it a visit, but the drive just seems like too much? Turn this into something exciting instead, and plan a road trip. This is a great way to spend some time with your kids, and you can play some games in the car, or have a little singalong on the way. It’s good to experience some different places, and it doesn’t cost much to drive there, either.
8. Drop into your local library
Your local library is a great place to take the family. Enjoy having a browse over the books, audiobooks, and CDs, get a membership (even the kids) and checkout workshops that may be running. There is typically a designated area for children to explore a range of board books, children, tween and teen books. Why not join the libraries reading program? Then of course, there are plenty of resources for Mum and Dad too!
9. Visit the farm
There are some farms out there (or petting zoos, depending upon where you live) where you can go and see all of the animals, and this is a great way to teach your kids about the different farmyard species. Many of these farms also have other things on offer, such as fairground rides and play areas, so look into the different options near you. Entry may not be free to these places, but it shouldn’t cost too much, and you’ll be putting your money back into helping the animals if you visit a place that looks after them well, like an animal sanctuary.
10. Bake a cake
OK, we cheated again (sorry!). You don’t have to leave your house to bake a cake (in fact, we don’t know how this would work) but there is nothing like spending a few hours making a tasty dessert, that you and your kids have put a lot of love into. There are plenty of easy recipes out there to ensure that your kitchen doesn’t turn into total chaos, and you don’t have to be a masterchef to make something delicious that the whole family will enjoy. Pick out a cake and get your aprons on, and your whisk at the ready!
So, if you’re looking for some ideas for affordable days out with your kids, why not try these 10 trips? From visiting the beach to going to the movies, there are plenty of things that you can do that won’t cost you the earth, and you and your kids will have a great time enjoying this time together. Get inventive, embrace the free (and exciting) joys of the natural world, and have some days out – or in – that you will remember for many years to come.
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