Good fun and good value: free and low-cost ideas for the summer holidays

Whether you need to entertain the children/grandchildren or are looking to occupy the whole family on a staycation, here are some ideas that provide lots of entertainment for little money.

No-cost entertainment

Find a festival

From music to food or balloons, there are a lot of festivals and carnivals that provide great entertainment for free – again, comes to the rescue here, and also offers a guide to festivals and more.

Inspiration for free

If you’re stuck for ideas, try Visit England‘s things to do pages and select the free or low budget filters ­you’ll find everything from free museums and music to great cycle and walking routes to try. There’s no reason to be bored, even if you’re trying to save money!

Low-cost entertainment

Vouchers add value always offers a good selection of deals/vouchers for activities, meals, travel and days out, so check these out for inspiration! Websites such as Groupon and MyVoucherCodes offer or publicise discounts on anything from local attractions to 2-for-1 pizzas – you’ll have to put up with a load of emails but it can be worth it for the deals.

Kids get sporty (or crafty)

Check out your local leisure centre – they usually offer a wide variety of summer courses and activity days for children, from arts and crafts to specific sports, that don’t cost much. Find your local sports facilities through

Lidl and the FA have combined forces to offer football coaching sessions for 5-11 year olds of all abilities this summer, which are accessible for a small fee.

Big screen, small cost

Vue, Odeon and Cineworld cinema chains put on a special kids’ film screening at discounted prices every morning through the holidays – it’s worth checking other local cinemas to find out if they do a similar offer, too. Find your local cinema.

Good value entertainment

Fun for all ages

National Trust or English Heritage family membership is a bigger outlay – £126.00 for the National Trust and £105 for English Heritage – but can very quickly pay for itself if you make good use of it. Both offer lots of locations, plus special events and activities for children throughout the summer – check to see which has the most properties in your area. Membership of a local attraction such as a zoo or adventure park can also be a good investment if you can go regularly.

The content of this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. We do not offer financial advice. If you’re unsure as to the suitability of a product you should seek advice from a Financial Adviser. You may have to pay for this advice.