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Having fun on v small budget. How do I do it?

(49 Posts)
dinny Wed 15-Dec-04 21:17:49

I was planning to return to work when ds was 6 months old but I just don't want to leave him yet. We can just about afford for me to stay off work for longer but I will have very little spending money. I am so happy I can be with my boy longer but I'm not sure how I'll entertain him (well, he's easy) and dd who is 2.5. Any suggestions for free/cheap activites? I live in London, btw. Thanks, Dinny

blossomgoodwill Wed 15-Dec-04 21:19:49

Park, mother and toddler groups are usually really cheap 50p - £1 and that includes tea, juice and biscuits plus you get to meet other mums.

spacedonkey Wed 15-Dec-04 21:21:56

science museum
nat hist museum
v & a
museum of childhood in bethnal green

mumsnet meetups!

spacedonkey Wed 15-Dec-04 21:22:32

trundling around on top deck of a routemaster bus

spacedonkey Wed 15-Dec-04 21:23:19

time out has a handy little symbol next to all free events in its listings too

(can you tell i'm skint as well? )

dinny Wed 15-Dec-04 21:25:27

Suppose am asking if it will be a pleasant experience or if I should go back to work to have more money to spend doing things. I am such a spendthift too.

spacedonkey Wed 15-Dec-04 21:27:13

there's so much to do in london for free/nearly free, if you don't want to go back to work, don't!

moondog Wed 15-Dec-04 21:27:27

If i was in London, I would be happy just to walk and walk and much to take in..
That's what I did when I was a student there.
God it was great..

blossomgoodwill Wed 15-Dec-04 21:32:29

I felt the same as you dinny. The things I could have missed and didn't were priceless. I am so pleased I didn't go back to work. I had a job to go back to but after wieghing it all up decided to stay at home, even if it was a struggle financially. I know not everyone has the luxury of having that choice though.

Furball Wed 15-Dec-04 21:36:48

Ds (3.5) and I if I can't think of anything to do go to the local large petshop and spend ages looking at all the animals and fish.

Furball Wed 15-Dec-04 21:37:28

Is there a storytime session at your local library?

albosmum Wed 15-Dec-04 21:39:09

The park and the local library for story times and other activities

winterwarmmummer Wed 15-Dec-04 21:39:45

Our Xmas treat is going to be -
Get on a tube to Oxford Circus, take a bus to the top of New Bond Street, walk down Bond Street as darkness falls. Walk through the Burlington Arcade and go for tea afterwards.

spacedonkey Wed 15-Dec-04 21:40:08

london is great at christmas in the dark

moondog Wed 15-Dec-04 21:40:46

I used to spend hours swimming with ds when I couldn't think of what else to do.
Really wore her out too!

Gobbledigoose Wed 15-Dec-04 21:40:58

Yes, I do free things like go to the airport to watch the planes taking off and coming in, go and find some building work and watch the diggers, watch the trains (or go for a quick short ride on one), swimming doesn't have to be too expensive. The toddler groups tend to cost next to nothing and I meet up at other friends' houses a lot which is obviously free.

All the other usual things like the park - summer is easy as you can be out in the garden playing with sand, water, painting etc.

A good free thing I did the other day, although seasonal of course, is walk out in the dark spotting people's christmas trees and lights!

There is loads you can do with your kids that costs hardly anything - I spend almost nothing all week and still manage to entertain them. Just don't go shopping for gawds sake!

ItllBeLonelymumThisChristmas Wed 15-Dec-04 21:42:04

Ooh yes, the Christmas lights in Oxford/ Regent Street are always worth a look at with small children.

spacedonkey Wed 15-Dec-04 21:42:27

covent garden's another good un

GoodKingWestCountryLass Wed 15-Dec-04 22:22:15

When i'm really skint we go to playgroups, fre museums, parks and the like. Also, rather than buying drinks and food if you are out all day it is much cheaper to take packed lunches and drinks with you.

dinny Thu 16-Dec-04 20:19:00

Thanks for all the hints. Have been to Regent St twice so far this year! And local Xmas light runs! Will have to give up shopping and going for lunch - pack lunches are the way forward. Blossomhill, I think I will go back but not till ds is nearly a year. I'm hoping I'll feel less worried about leaving him by then!

blossomgoodwill Fri 17-Dec-04 14:25:26

dinny - that's great, whatever suits you and your family

SantaClausfrau Fri 17-Dec-04 14:53:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arabica Fri 17-Dec-04 18:51:05

Can you get to the South Bank? Royal Festival Hall ballroom has free music sessions at the weekends, anything from jazz to big band and classical, and it's a great space for them to run around in too. Afterwards we walk down to Tate Modern listening to the buskers on the way (DS once joined in with a busker and earned a pound so he paid for his own ice-cream that day!) and looking at the boats. If you bring your own sandwiches it's a really cheap day out & there are changing facilities in Tate Modern. Recommend British Museum too and, of course, Museum of Childhood.

spacedonkey Fri 17-Dec-04 18:53:47

As mentioned on another thread, there's the Frost Fair on at the globe, with a 30 metre snow slide (£2 per ride) at the tate modern

Loads of christmassy stuff here

SantaFio2 Fri 17-Dec-04 18:58:05

I spend hardly any money on my kids as 'trips' iyklwim

I con them into thinking the co-op is fun
the park is amazing
the duck pond is just fantastic
the beach is wonderful
the back yard is a tressure trove
the library is just interesting as they get to pick their own books
and just a walk anywherekeeps them happy, my ds for instance loves walking the dogs

doesnt cost us a penny

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