I love the summer holidays, but with four children it can be a little challenging keeping them entertained for 6 weeks, especially on a budget, so I’ve compiled a list of my favourite family friendly things to do in our local area that don’t cost a fortune.
Great things to do in Hampshire
Fleet Pond is the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. It’s a great place to spend a fun filled few hours with friends. The car park is free and there are picnic tables and benches are various points if you need a snack stop. On a wet day it’s worth wearing wellies as the ground can get quite muddy.
Top tip – take bikes and ride up and down the hills near the car park.
The Look Out
On a rainy day the Discovery Centre at The Look Out, Bracknell, is great fun and educational day out. There are lots of hands on exhibits and a brilliant building play area as well as special shows and events. A family ticket for two adults and two children costs about £20, but if you want a cheaper alternative there is a brilliant free play area, den building area and a forest to explore where you just need to pay for parking. There are also some great bike trails for older children.
Top tip – take a pot and a net and see how many bugs you can find as you explore the forest.
Alice Holt Forest is an amazing Forestry Commission site on the outskirts of Farnham. You only pay for parking so it’s a great fun day out for the whole family. There are walking trails, bike trails, and play areas dotted around as well as toilet facilities and a cafe. Keep an eye out for special events, such as The Gruffalo and Superworm trails, which are great fun.
Top tip – take a picnic and make a day of it
Frensham Little and Great Pond
Take a leisurely walk around Frensham Little Pond, or take a longer hike around the Great Pond if you have more time. Listen to the birds and savour the scent of the trees. This is another great FREE day out, but you do pay for parking and may need to pre book.
Top tip – take swimming gear and swim in Frensham Great Pond or make some wild art on the beach
Fleet Skate Park
Grab a group of friends, a scooter or skateboard and head to Fleet Skate Park.
There’s also a pump track in Edenbrook Country Park where you could head afterwards.
Top tip – Head to Calthorpe Park for a picnic and a game of football afterwards.
Wellington Country Park
Head to Wellington Country Park for a day of fun outdoors. Bounce on the jumping pillow, explore the play areas, play in the sand or water, meet farm animals and lots more.
Top tip – Can you find the fairies??
West Green Fruits
Try your hand at fruit picking at West Green Fruits between June and September ( check website before visiting ). Choose from strawberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, red currants, raspberries and lots more including jams, marmalades and eggs.
Top tips – visit around Halloween time to pick your own pumpkin.
Aldershot Lido is a great outdoor swimming pool with diving platform, toddler area, water flumes and picnic area.
Caversham Lakes is a great spot for some water based fun. There’s an inflatable water park as well as kayak and SUP hire and even a private island!
The Vyne is a beautiful National Trust site with a great Tolkien inspired playground. Try a woodland walk, visit the bird hide or look around the the beautiful house.
Top tip – watch out for special events, we love the Easter egg hunt and tree climbing sessions.
Lockey Farm is a great little park with a jumping pillow, cafe and farm shop in Arborfield. It’s free, although there is a box for donations and the farm shop is full of lovely things too!
Where is your favourite place to visit in the school holidays?
Top tips for keeping the kids entertained at home
With just a tarpaulin, sticks and string you can make a brilliant den in the garden, perfect for having a picnic or playing an imaginative game.
Try some science at home
Summer is the perfect time to try some science activities. Start with one of these easy science challenges from Science Sparks.
Crack a code
Split the kids into teams to design and then break each other’s codes, you could have prizes for the winning team.
Hold a sports day
Set up egg and spoon races, space hopper races, sack races and skipping races and hold your very own sports day with family and friends. You could even make medals for the winners.
Try some baking
Why not use the extra time to try some baking, our current favourite is rocky road, which doesn’t require cooking and keeps for several days afterwards.