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NewsSummer survival guide
25 July 2017
Summer survival guide

We know the summer holidays can be an expensive time for parents; research from Groupon suggests that the average family expects to spend £389 on activities and treats to keep their kids entertained in the school holidays. A scary figure, but there are ways to cut costs.

We’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you prepare for the six weeks ahead, and save money, plus our pick of some of our favourite free events for families in the local area. 

Get organised! 

Draw up a rough calendar and fill it with any activities you already have planned, or have childcare for, to give you a better idea of the days you’ve got left to fill. You can then use your calendar to make a weekly plan; this easy to use template from Netmums, helps you break down the day into manageable chunks of time. 

Get the kids involved and get them to suggest things they would like to do on their ‘summer bucket list’, though you’ll probably have to “help” them so there’s a nice mix of activities to cover all weathers! 

Lunches and snacks 

The cost of feeding the kids at home through the summer holidays can mount up, and add to the stress! Supersavvyme has some great tips for making your food budget go further, as well as tasty ideas for low-cost snacks.

Stock up on packets of frozen treats from discount stores like Farm Foods, so you can avoid expensive trips to the ice-cream van, or even better why not make your own? Making treats like this with the kids is an activity of its own.

Loyalty points, coupons and voucher codes 

If you've got points stored up on either a Sainsbury's Nectar card or a Tesco Clubcard, you can redeem them against the cost of admission on days out. 

Popping to the supermarket could also save you a packet on your next day trip. Kelloggs are currently offering free entry for grown-ups, to a range of top attractions, including Legoland and Thorpe Park. Remember not to spend more on cereal than you would on getting in to the attractions in the first place though!

The MoneysavingExpert website is regularly-updated with a list of vouchers, 2for1 deals, and offers on days out, including cheap tickets for theme parks, attractions and cinemas

Free, family fun – our top picks 

Get lost in a story 

Libraries everywhere are taking part in the free, summer reading challenge . Join in with some super sleuthing with the Animal Agents. All you need to do is read six books (or more!) over the holidays to collect special stickers and complete the Challenge. Each time you visit the library, you'll discover new clues and evidence that will help you solve this cryptic case. Find your nearest library to get started.

Foyles bookshop, in Cabot Circus are laying on some brilliant interactive storytelling sessions in July and August, like this one on 28 July, where children can learn about beasts and create their own, inspired by Yuval Summer’s The Big Book of Beasts

Playground adventures 

Adventure playgrounds offer exciting free spaces for children aged 5-15 to play, with some offering extra activities and trips throughout the school holidays. In Bristol, Felix Road Adventure Playground, kids can take part in graffiti workshops and a bike festival, while Lockleaze Adventure Playground are running themed weeks, including a Native American week and a Music Week. To find your nearest playground, visit the Go Places to Play website.

Make sure you don’t miss the Brutalist Playground at The Edge, in Bath. Children and adults have the chance to play on giant foam structures based on the concrete playgrounds found on some post-war housing estates in the mid-twentieth century. The playground is open until the 9th September, and booking is recommended. 

Causing a Hoo Ha!

Get yourself down to down to the Colston Hall for the best family party in town. The Hoo Ha! festival is back for the third year, with three days of interactive shows, music and art. Some of the events are ticketed, but there is plenty going on for free in the foyer, including story-telling sessions, face-painting, art workshops, a kids’ rave and an inflatable Planetarium!

What low-cost activities are you planning to do with your kids this summer? Share your ideas with us on Twitter using the hashtag #LowCostSummer.

Need help financing your holiday fun? Our Everyday Loans let you borrow as little as £100, and pay it back in affordable chunks. Find out more.

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Bristol, BS6 5RW

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Call us on 0117 924 7309

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