My hubbie has a rare day off in the week next Tues so we thought we might try and take our 21mth old out for the day. Once you have added up the cost of petrol going somewhere, entrance and lunch (picnic or not) etc it all adds up!
We were going to go to Paulton Park but just not sure as that means a whole tank of petrol which really increases the cost of your day out doesnt it!! god isnt it sad that you have to worry about the cost of petrol to fill up these days!!! makes me a little angry actually!!! ohh crikey I better get off my soapbox now!!
Surrey is a large county, can you be any more specific about area, especially as travel can be a large part of the cost.
Children are often happy doing the most simple of things... the journey itself can be just as fun if not more so than the destination - so if your DD/DS has not been on a train much, then a train journey even just one or two stops further down the line can be exciting for them, especially if the train goes through a tunnel!
Some things we like doing:
Dorking - walking up box hill. Cost: Free - well, there is a cafe at the top, so there will probably be cost of an icecream. Google Maps: Box Hill - Stepping Stones round route - note, not suitable for a buggy, backcarrier recommended. Distance around 2.5 miles but is up and down steep hill.
If you are in West Surrey near Berkshire border, then The Lookout (a science centre with large outdoor playground) at Bracknell is good. It is Free to walk around the woods and to use the playground. The science centre costs £5.60 (toddler special) for 1 adult plus toddlers. £6.60 per additional adult (I suggest asking nicely if they could count your child twice, so 2x toddler special rate - don't ask won't get, worth asking).
With regard to lunch, always take a picnic this time of year - though expect to supplement it with icecream for children and tea/coffee for adults.
Near Guildford? We like a picnic in the castle grounds, and for a small fee you can climb to the top. Or there are walks along the canal. There is a nice small gallery on the High St too, which has a kids activity table with pics to colour in.
It will be Discount Tuesday at Watts Gallery, Compton. Haven't been to this as it opens this weekend. If you like art, possibly a place to go. Could combine with a visit to Guildford to see the canal and castle.
The children I care for who were 5 and nearly 3 at the time liked Haslemere museum - stuffed animals and things like that.
If you are more London located, then Horniman museum near Dulwich is good. It's free, though now does charge for the aquarium. Also in South East London is Crystal Palace Place Park, which has dinosaurs around the lake.
nannynick, good to hear Watts Gallery is finally re-opening, it's been a building site for years (seems like). I LOVE the memorial chapel too - that hasn't been closed, but it is often difficult to get hold of the key.