How to entertain your grandchildren on a budget

Andrew Stucken / 27 June 2012

Summer is here - no, really - and more and more attractions for the grandchildren are opening up.

You can give them a great day out without ruining your finances in the process – Andrew Stucken suggests some fun and inspiring budget-conscious outings.

Get voucher savvy – make those attractions affordable Otherwise prohibitively expensive days out can become accessible using vouchers offering 2-for-1 or reduced-price entry. You could try looking in local and national newspapers, or on your local council’s or Tourist Board’s websites.

Take them swimming Many leisure centres offer free or reduced-price swimming for the under-18s – especially during school holidays. Check for free or inexpensive multi-sports days at the same time.

Open days watch for free open days at fire stations and other public services and amenities.

Go fruit picking When the season arrives, Pick-Your-Own fruit farms offer a fun, inexpensive and active day to treat your grandchildren. Freezing or preserving the results can bring back happy memories of sunny days, during the winter.

Parks and open spaces Sometimes simple is best. Whether you live in a city or a rural location, everyone should have access to places where the grandchildren can play. Many larger towns and cities have “green trails” where you can explore havens for nature. If you live away from a major town, how about a woodland walk, maybe including a picnic?

Child-friendly museums While many museums and art galleries charge heftily for entry, some are more affordable, or even free. You could try going online to search for some in your locality.

Cheap cinema Some cinemas offer 2-for-1 promotions on certain days of the week – effectively all0wing you to take a grandchild to a film for free. Remember to check with the cinema before going.

Factory tours Some companies are keen to use free tours to promote their business. Watching things being made can be fascinating for kids. It may take a little thought and research to find opportunities, but could give them a day out they will remember.

Don’t overlook National Trust or English Heritage Membership You may already be a member - and thus able to take your grandchildren along free.

The above suggestions are designed to be widely available – and every area will have its own unique attractions offering budget-conscious days out. Try an online search for websites listing opportunities in your locality.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.