Go to your local playground. The children will be able to use up all their energy before teatime, and best of all, it’s free! Some councils also have free skate parks. Your local council will be able to advise you where they are. Find your local council here.
A few councils also have adventure playgrounds which children can attend after school or during the school holidays. An adventure playground is an outdoor space with playworkers on hand. They are free and usually open to children who are between 6 and 15 years old.
Make a trip to the library. Libraries today are making a huge effort to cater to children. If the children are not into reading, free internet access and on-line games may tempt them in.
Go to a museum together. Museums are often free. Many museums have free activities for children during the school holidays, ring ahead to find out. Some museums like science museums offer lots of interactive play. There is a list of free museums here.
Go and see a film. Many cinemas have special sessions that are cheaper for children.
Go bowling. It makes a great day out as is a relatively cheap and fun activity you can all take part in.
On a rainy day, play boardgames, watch a film or cartoon together, do some arts and crafts. If you have storage space,always have interesting objects on hand that could be transformed (empty egg boxes, cardboard boxes, empty plastic jars and containers etc). Find some ideas for arts and crafts activities here.
Share an activity you love like cooking, baking, gardening or sewing and pass on your skills. There are many books about cooking or gardening with children.
Enrol them to do their favourite sport, or encourage them to try out a new one, either after school or during the school holidays.
Go on a bike ride together.
Go on a bus or coach trip together.
Try out your local nature trails. See here for more details.
Check out local groups for young people, like the Scouts, Girl guides, or Woodcraft Folk.
Find out what your child’s school is offering, both after school and during school holidays.