Cheap Family Fun

Cheap Holiday Fun for Your Family

Never mind the weather, instead of pulling your hair out at the state of the awful weather, or the fact your wallet is really hurting in this horrible climate, financial or climatic. Here are 5 differing solutions for a family day out, so in fact you can add your own ideas as well, and then just get going on them for at least a week’s cheap holiday or roll through them again making alterations as you go for a couple of weeks, so get going – enjoy!

Highclere Castle Fun Day 1: Museums or Stately Homes. Whatever the weather, be it rainy or a scorcher, this is a great time to treat yourselves to visiting a National Gallery Museum (take your sketch pads), Country House or Stately home. All of them are educational and fascinating to explore. If you use your imagination, you can dream up inter-family competitions on what you see as you expand your knowledge.

You will be surprised what sticks when it’s not a forced lesson! There are plenty of museum choices, such as art, natural history, aquarium, motoring, steam, flying and nautical museums, just to name a few. You might even try several museums in a day if they are all small.

Contrary to popular belief, these places are not boring and you can certainly find something of interest for the entire family. As far as Stately Homes go, well of course, here in the UK, we are very fortunate to have a very large selection, and it will be money well spent to become a member of the National Trust, because then, for one annual fee you can visit as many as you wish, nationwide, free of charge.

Then of course, you could also buy a Family Annual Membership and join the English Heritage, visiting the many national sites of interest, including many castles and homes, also as many times as you like free of further charges.

Fun Day 2: Country Fairs, County Shows, Festivals. You really should visit Festivals, Country Fairs and County Shows. In your area, try one this year. Finding many different things to do, you will get plenty of fresh air and exercise which will greatly help with your own well being. Usually there is food and entertainment, along with exhibitions of clay pigeon shooting or learning to cast a fly to improve your fishing, plus many other things to see. Being these shows are country based, on the whole, you get the chance to see all the magnificent farm animals at their best, on display for all to see and often touch, which really helps children to understand and appreciate them more in their own right.

Sometimes you will find such things as artists showing their original work in many shapes and forms, engineering hobbies, garden equipment and/or plants displays and many stands/booths with interesting trinkets, wood carvings, saddlers, hot tubs, emporiums of everything and much more. Mostly, these are all very inexpensive days out, where you have heaps of fun and never know what you are going to find.

Fun Day 3: National Parks or small local Parks. Many people live in cities where there are all different types of theme parks, but they have never gone to see them. There are many types of parks, including amusement parks, water parks, aquariums and garden parks; you can even take your dog to a dog park! Maybe you are one of the fortunate ones who has a National Park on your doorstep with all that this can offer.

Editor’s Note: For local walks with your family, I can wholeheartedly recommend Kiddiwalks in Berkshire. It covers 20 walks ranging in length from 1 to 4 miles, including lots of Berkshire nature reserves. This rates as my absolute favourite book at the moment and has introduced us to whole new areas of local countryside, we never even knew existed.

All of these are wonderful places to take your family, but you have to check, as some can be expensive if big rides are involved, but with a little local research before you start, you can find inexpensive parks which can have many things to see and do.

Fun Day 4: A Trip to the Beach or the Lake. Many people forget that there is a beach or a lake nearby which can bring hours of fun. Some ocean beaches have rock pools where you might find some interesting sea life – something for the children to get excited about, and of course there is always beach fishing.

Some lakes will have a place for you to swim and/or fish.

Wherever there is water, the chance of water-sports is a possibility, so make sure your family is kitted out with safety in mind. These are all great places for exploration, and sometimes you can even find a spot that isn’t too populated.

Fun Day 5: Picnics The nice thing about picnics is that they can be enjoyed anywhere. In the old days, before we had technology to get in the way, many families would just get in the car and drive off to a favourite location.

Splashing in Puddles
Image: Claire Bloomfield /

Along the way – to stay within the family budget, they would often take a picnic lunch so they wouldn’t need to stop at a restaurant. These times are still great for bonding with your family. Picnics have the great advantage of not only being pleasant, but convenient also, because you choose when and where you eat, plus of course saving you a small fortune, as it’s economically sound and can be easily done on all your days out.

Having family fun doesn’t have to cost an ‘An Arm and a Leg’, and it can be very interesting to see what happens using your own home as a base while you bring in the changes daily, venturing forth into the great unknown!

Of course, if you are staying away from home, all of these cost effective days will work wherever you are.

I wish you all Happy Days…


Copyright © 2012 Mervyn Rees – The author of, The Secrets of Biodiesel. An active young 72 year old with a lifespan of experience to share, being a Fellow of the Institute Motoring Industry, built his own Dragonfly Roadsters before retiring as a Motor Vehicle Manufacturer. Having tried retiring twice and given up, he has now created an additional website to share his many interests with other companionable people.

Parents and Two Kids courtesy of


  1. kixskigue says:

    Hello! Just want to say thank you for this interesting article! =) Peace, Joy.

Leave a Reply

Translate »