Keeping your kids entertained during school holidays could be costing more than you think
Two-thirds (65%) of parents worry about the costs of keeping their children entertained throughout the school holidays, according to new research.
As the UK approaches the half term break, mobile money app Monese conducted a survey with UK parents1 and found that the majority worry about the extra expense that the school holidays can bring, with families on smaller incomes (under £20k a year) particularly concerned about this.
95% of parents stated that they splash out on little extras such as sweet treats, toys and day outs in order to keep their kids entertained while at home, while only 5% said they have no extra costs during the school holidays.
When asked about their expenses, Monese found that on average parents spend £15 more per day, per child during the school holidays, versus during term time.
Parents in Edinburgh came out as the highest spenders, splashing £21.17 per day, per child during the holidays while parents in Southampton are the most cash-conscious, with the lowest school holiday spend of £10.17 per day, per child.
On average British children have 65 school holiday days a year (not including weekends)2. Based on the average ‘extra’ daily cost reported by parents, the total price of keeping the kids busy comes in at a hefty £975 per child, per year.
To help parents keep the school holidays fun without breaking the bank, the personal finance experts at Monese have put together a list of 25 UK days out that will cost a family of four £25 or less3.
Anglo-Saxon Village, Suffolk
One of England’s great archaeological sites, featuring extensive indoor galleries and a stunning recreation of an Anglo-Saxon village surrounded by 125 acres of unspoilt countryside.
Price: £16 for a family ticket (up to 5 family members, maximum 2 adults)
Beaumaris Castle, Beaumaris Wales
Beaumaris on the island of Anglesey is famous as the greatest castle never built. It was the last of the royal strongholds created by Edward I in Wales and his architect James of St George – this was to be their crowning glory, the castle to end all castles.
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, Birmingham
From reptiles and birds to furry favourites like monkeys and red pandas, there are new friends to meet everywhere you turn. You can even catch up with the keepers at feeding times to find out more about some of their animals and see them have their lunch!
Price: £21.80 for two adults and two children
Cambridge Museum of Technology, Cambridge (Opens 22/05)
Cambridge Museum of Technology is the home of our industrial heritage. Children are free to explore and take part in activities while learning about Cambridge’s former industrial landscape.
Price: Families of two adults and up to four children – £13.00
Cannon Hall Farm, Barnsley
One of the biggest farm attractions in the UK, it’s a world of animal magic where thousands of baby animals are born every year. Children can enjoy sheep and ferret racing or learn how milk is produced during cow and goat milking demonstrations.
Price: £23.70 for two adults and two children on a weekday
Canonteign Falls, Devon
Visit Canonteign Falls for peaceful walks among the waterfalls and lakes and family fun in the gardens and playgrounds. Experience the highest waterfall in Dartmoor National Park.
Price: £25 for a family of 4
City of Caves, Nottingham (Opens 21/05)
City of Caves is part of a hidden maze of over 500 original sandstone caves underneath the streets of Nottingham dating back to the dark ages.
Price: £24.50 for a family of 4
Cotswold Sculpture Park, Gloucestershire
There are ten acres of lush, forested ground with dozens of sculptures from a variety of artists. The sculptures are also available to buy if you find one that you wish to have in your own garden.
Price: £20 for two adults and two children
Derby Ram Trail, Derby
Derby Museums in partnership with Wild in Art are bringing a flock of 30 colourful and unique 5ft rams on a trail around the city of Derby.
Free Harry Potter tour, Edinburgh, Scotland
Explore some of the real places in Edinburgh that inspired J K Rowling to create the Harry Potter series.
Imperial War Museum North, Manchester (Opens 19/05)
Explore the timeline from the First World War to the present day, immerse yourself in the Big Picture Show, discover the forgotten histories of service personnel and civilians and see conflict through the eyes of artists.
Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Yorkshire
This trail follows a well-defined footpath which runs as close to the edge of the two rivers as possible to provide spectacular views of the waterfalls. Walking boots or strong shoes are advised.
Price: £24 for two adults and two children
Kelburn Country Centre, Ayrshire Scotland https://www.kelburnestate.com/
The most popular attractions at Kelburn include the magical Secret Forest – a complex of woodland paths and raised walkways with fairy tale surprises at every turn, and the Waterfall Pool – where the Kel burn drops 20 feet into a spectacular grotto. There’s also the Adventure Park, the Wild West Saloon, indoor soft play, gardens, surprising artwork throughout the glen and much, much more.
Macduff Marine Aquarium, Macduff Scotland (Opens 26/04)
Meet hundreds of local fishy characters at this fascinating aquarium. Enjoy daily feed shows, touch pool sessions and see divers feeding the fish!
Price: £22.40 for a family of 4.
Natural History Museum, London (Opens 17/05)
Find answers to your big nature questions. Delve into stories about the Museum’s collections, scientists and research. Uncover the history of life on Earth, from the smallest insects to the largest mammals.
Northern Ireland War Memorial, Belfast Ireland
The Northern Ireland War Memorial tells the story of how Northern Ireland was affected by and contributed to the Second World War. The museum has an expanding collection and offers a range of family events and workshops for schools and community groups.
Northumberland College Zoo, Northumberland
Northumberland College Zoo is home to 150 species of animals and children can watch animal feedings throughout the day and learn about conservation.
Price: £6.95 per adult, 4.95 per child
Puzzlewood Forest, Coleford
Experience twisted trees in an otherworldly woodland through a mile and a half of paths, bridges and lookout points.
Price: £25 for two adults and two children
Rabbit Farm, Gwynedd Wales (Opens 26/04)
Take a visit to this farm and interact with a plethora of animals.
Children are able to handle different animals including rabbits, guinea pigs and even puppies, they can also hand feed many of the larger animals – but be aware, those pigs are rather greedy.
Price: £5 per adult, £4.50 per child (3-15yo).
Royal Victoria Country Park, Hampshire
The Royal Victoria Country Park is by the shores of Southampton Water. It comprises 200 acres of mature woodland and grassy parkland, as well as a small shingle beach. It has a fairy garden, playground and miniature railway.
Sandringham Garden, Norfolk
The 600-acre Royal Park has two waymarked trails winding through woodlands & parkland with further unmarked paths for you to explore.
Price: £12 per adult, free for under 17
Volcano Falls Adventure Golf, Yorkshire
Set on a mysterious island amid dense jungle, an exploding volcano, plunging waterfall and ferocious dinosaurs lay two challenging indoor 18-hole mini golf courses, waiting to be defeated. Enjoy some refreshments on your visit with a range of Street Food and two fully stocked Tiki Bars!
Price: £24 for a family of 4
Wales Ape & Monkey Sanctuary, Swansea Wales
The sanctuary rescues and provides a home for many types of animals, especially primates, such as chimpanzees, baboons, spider monkeys, and marmosets.
Price: £25 for a family of 4
WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre, Moray Scotland
The WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre is based at the mouth of the River Spey where the world’s largest bottlenose dolphins are regularly seen feeding, hunting & breaching, wild and free along with seals, ospreys, the occasional otter and a whole host of other wildlife.
Wood Mills Nature Reserve, Sussex
Visitors can walk past the old ponds and lake, through the ancient woodland, alongside the streams and waterways into the unimproved meadows with their wild hedgerows – habitats all contained within its 47 acres. This variety of habitat attracts an impressive number of species including mammals, insects, amphibians and birds.