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Ideas for cheap days out in winter please(21 Posts)
In the summer it's been fairly easy, so for a walk, potter nice village with shops and limit spending to small items/those really needed or a cycle ride - taking sandwiches with us in the hope we can eat outside.
Does anyone have any ideas for cheap days out in the winter? I don't want lack of money to affect doing things with our DD. I thought about trying a museum in town which is free and we'll continue to go on bike rides - when weather permits. We might play games/watch DVDs a bit more this winter, but that's not getting us out as a family. We realize we'll have to spend a bit more than in the summer though.
Kids movie screenings- my local cinema costs £1.50 per ticket
Soft play is always good. I know they can be pricey, but most will do a loyalty scheme whereby if you go 5 times you get a free play on the 6th time or some such thing. Depending on what you have in your area, there may also be pubs or restaurants with soft plays attached where you can go & just buy a coffee.
Cafe for a nice hot chocolate after a cold or wet walk.
Keep an eye on Groupon, Wowcher etc for deals - maybe steam railways, farm parks, bowling etc
Depending on age of your DC, a bus ride or train ride, young DC love the whole experience & looking out of the window etc
Playdates with friends with DC of similar ages.
Libraries quite often do events, particularly during school holidays eg ours is doing a puppet theatre one day in half term.
Give the local museum a try. It should be free to get in and our local ones puts on lots of activities over the holidays/weekend. Lots are free or minimal charge
In autumn you could always go for a walk in the woods/country and have fun kicking and throwing the leaves about. If it's too cold to eat outside, have your sandwiches in the car. If you're going somewhere like a town and don't fancy making sandwiches, you could always buy a pasty and eat it in a shopping arcade.
We came across an iceskating deal on Amazon - 4 for £10, so do look on places like that. If you have a Tescos clubcard, you could use that to buy cinema tickets and days out cheaper.
If you want to make more of the day and it's really cold, go for your walk, potter and if you'd like to eat indoors, try Weatherspoons or somewhere like Crown Caveries where you can eat for £4/5 a head easily.
I don't blame you looking at cheap options, I don't mind not doing stuff myself but it's important to do things as a family.
Do you have a Wacky Warehouse soft play near you?
If so you can buy a monthly pass that gives you unlimited entrance. It is £10 a month for 1 child, £15 for 2 and £20 for 3/4. We always get our moneys worth out of ours and is a great back up for rainy, cold days.
same as summer only with more clothes.
any interest in geocaching?
Some leisure centres do cheap roller-skating afternoons. I thought it was a one-off where we used to live, but 100 miles away they do it here too! It's £1 per child, plus another quid if you hire skates. I am quite rubbish; some parents sit out, but I like the DC to see me fail.
Libraries are great. We can hang around ours for a good half day.
Mystery bus trips with packed lunch. Also popular here is a trip to indoor shopping centres without going shopping. We ride in lifts and on escalators, play on those ride-on machines (without pound coins), try on hats, try to spot the most people wearing green coats etc. Some centres run trails and/or craft activities in the holidays. Sometimes we buy a drink in a cafe. Don't laugh. It's a destination to head for on public transport, it's indoors and it's not something we do all the time.
There's a BBC website on things to do in your local area - it's patchy but we've found some cold weather gems on there. Also your local council website may have a "calendar" type page of local events and workshops. Ours is really useful - I've found clubs and societies running family intro days for all sorts of things (model railways, trampolining, bat monitoring to name a few), nature walks suitable for children & parents, craft workshops for children. Both places we've lived with children, there has been a ton of cheap stuff to do once we've dug around.
If its raining garden centres and diy stores have great OTT Christmas displays that little ones love looking at, and you don't have to buy stuff.
Have a look on the MSE website for coupons & money saving ideas.
Nice walks. Winter picnics - hot soup and sandwiches.
In winter I sometimes take friends kids to the beach to build sandcastles. Just make sure they're wrapped up and waterproofed.
How old is your DD?
Are you near a city? My local city has 3 museums and an art gallery. The museums and art gallery are all free and the gallery has regular free activities for kids. The Museum of Natural History has been a big hit with DD since she was quite small. The art gallery has a backpack which kids can take around with them. The backpack contains a device which plays an audio piece explaining some of the paintings in a child friendly way and asking the kids some questions about the painting which means the kids have to look closely at the painting to find the answer. DD feels very important with her backpack . There's a cultural centre for children and they have plays and art workshops regularly. As Christmas draws near, there are all the city Christmas lights and window displays to marvel at.
As others have mentioned already, libraries often have free events for kids, especially during the school holidays. Ours had a Hallowe'en art event last week where the kids made a Hallowe'en mobile.
I google a lot to find cheap (and ideally free) activities where I live or within reach of where I live. I've just paid €10 for DD to attend an art workshop where they'll be making Christmas decorations. Sometimes you find free/cheap events in the most unlikely places. For example, there's a castle in my local city and they had FREE performances of The Nutcracker for kids last Christmas. Now, it wasn't a full-length ballet. It was only about 20 minutes but DD loved it. The websites I use are all Irish so not much use to you I'm afraid but if you google 'things to do with kids in (where I live)' you'll probably find lots of stuff.
DD is in cubs and they have lots of cheap days out and sleepovers.
Quite, I really like the idea of the mystery tours - I might use that myself.
We do cinema (£1.50) each, National Trust/English Heritage if weather not too bad, museums (free)or potter about shops.
Depending on age of DC, looking round a pet shop can be fun, with lots of tanks of fish, the rabbits etc and sometimes seeing dogs being groomed etc.
Do you gat Primary Times in your area? A magazine for families with children? It usually has ideas and local events.
The National Trust has saved us a fortune over the years. My D Mum pays our subscribtion for Christmas and there is always something going on if you live close to a property.
Ditto English Heritage.
Is your DD old enough to join something like Rainbows?
Hi has anyone bought a kids pass on wowcher? I'm wondering if this is any good for theme parks like Chessington...At £1 a month it seems too good to be true seeing as a Merlin pass is £139 pp for a family of over 3 persons! Many thanks.
DH and I often go for a nice walk then come home for hot chocolate and/or cake. Much cheaper than a cafe! Twinings Hot Chocolate is the best and in offer at LIDL at the moment for £2.50. Yum!
We will often go to a different village or town and have a wander around with a visit to have a nose around the church or museum which is usually free.
The Wherecanwego website is quite good for local events, craft fairs, etc.
When I was a kid at this time of year we would spend hours making homemade Christmas cards for relative and making decorations such as paper chains and snowflakes.
Nearer to Christmas we would spend time writing a letter to Santa and decorating it.
Then after Christmas we would write and decorate thank you cards to relatives.
We invest in decent waterproof (spotty otter) clothing and boots for our dc. It’s an big expense initially but it does give us more freedom to get outside more in the winter months.
We try to make our walks exciting and varied so we visited some caves yesterday and there’s some good woodland walks near me.
The forestry commission forest visitor centres have great play areas and trim trails, they often have events/activities on too.
We have a NT membership, which for a family is about £9 a month. But we live in an area where there are loads! My kids love running around the gardens and the play areas are usually pretty good again.
Cycling wise, do you have a pump track locally? My kids can spend a good couple of hours wizzing around a pump track, and they’re free!
Went swimming today with the kids. It was practically empty!!!
I would google free events in towns around where you live, check out eventbright and libraries