Budget days out with the kids

As the weather is getting nicer and our days are getting longer, we all love to take our kids out on days out but most of us are on a budget. I’m definitely one of those mum’s who is on a budget but loves to take my little lady out on days out. Of course there are parks but there is only so many times you can take them to a park without them getting a little bored of it.

So I thought I would comply a little list of places in the South West, England. Mainly around the Gloucestershire area which is where I am based that you could take your kids too without breaking the bank.

#1 – Gruffalo Trail – As I wrote in a blog last week we took Acacia to Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean to do the Gruffalo trail and what a fantastic day out it was and it definitely did not break the bank! It cost us a total of £6.50 for all three of us, including parking. This day out is perfect for little legs too as the trail is only around 2km long with lots of stopping and starting. You have the option of making it even cheaper if you want but we decided to buy the activity pack for Acacia which we bought from the Beechenhurst Lodge cafe for £3 which she completed on the way around the trail. But you can complete the trail without the activity pack and you can do it with just the free app you can download on your phone!

#2 – Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail – This a great day out for families who like walking and exploring the woods. The full Sculpture Trail is about 3.5 miles long, but it can also be explored in a series of shorter distances. The best place to park would be Beechenhurst where you can park up for £3.50 for the entire day and it’s a good base as there is a cafe and park for the kids to play in. But of course to make it even cheaper you can pack up a picnic which you can then enjoy anywhere you would like, as long as you don’t mind leaning up a against a tree. Probably wise to take a picnic blanket just incase! Also, walking boots or wellies are a must as it can be a little on the muddy side. The trail is made up of permanent and temporary sculptures. My absolute favourite is the Stained Glass window, which holds a place in my heart as my grandads ashes were scattered there.

#3 – WWT Slimbridge – Now this is a little more pricey but still a great day out. You have the option here to buy a family ticket (2 adults 2 children aged between 4-16) which is £34.27 or adults £12.26 each and children £6.75 each. Children under 4 go free. You also can buy annual passes and can pay monthly and I believe it is around £6.75 a month and you can go as many times as you would like. Which is great as they hold different events throughout the year, such as Easter, Halloween, Christmas etc. They also hold daily walks and talks throughout the park, our favourite bit is the otter talk as you get to watch the keeper feed the otters and then the keeper tells you lots of different facts.
When you get there you can pick up a centre map and day planner – for free! Or download a map off their website which is http://www.wwt.org.uk. You can also buy a bag of grain at reception to feed the birds, which is great fun for everyone! They also have play areas dotted around for the kids so they can have a play and a play area called welly boot land which is perfect for kids who love splashing around. Great for the warmer weather too but also just as good for wet weather.

#4 – Cotswold Farm Park – This is a lovely, fairly cheap day out. Prices for adults are £12.00, Children (4-15) £10.50, Toddlers (2-3) £7.50 and under 2’s go free. But you can also get a family admission for £40.00 which can cover 2 adults and 2 children/toddlers or 1 adult and 3 children/toddlers. The park consists of lots of different farm animals and rare breeds. In the park there are a number of different areas, you have the touch barn where you can hold and feed baby animals, demonstration barn where you can get hands on, the farm safari which is a tour on the tractor and trailer around the park where a member of staff talks to you about the park and animals and a chance for you to learn more about the farm and the animals, rare breeds trail, play areas and a maze. There is also a wildlife walk. On site they also have a lovely cafe which offers cold and warm foods but you may take a picnic which you can have in the outside seating area.

#5 – Cattle Country, Berkeley – Cattle Country is great for all ages. It offers indoor and outdoor play areas including an assault course, outdoor splash pool for the little children (take a towel and change of clothes), jumping pillows outside, a boating lake an beach barn. There are two indoor play barns one aimed at the bigger kids and one for the smaller kids. There is also chance to have animal encounters with guinea pigs, rabbits, deer and ducks. Also in Spring you have the chance to bottle feed the lambs and calves. It is a great day out for the whole family. They are also holding an event on the 1st and 2nd April where yo can meet the characters Ben and Holly. The admission prices for the park are under 1’s free, toddlers (2-3) £6.45, Children (4-17) £10.45 and adults £9.75. They also offer group ticket which are for 4 or more people for a price of £9.25 per person. There are a few extra costs which is for the Tractors rides at £1 per person and then the coin operated activities such as the mini tractors and dizzy ducks which again is £1. As for food there is a cafe which serves hot and cold food, drinks and ice cream but the park also offers picnic and barbeque spaces! Also, the park is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

#6 – Pittville Park, Cheltenham – The day is the best day out as it is FREE! Yup, totally free. The park is split in half by a road but either side can be access via an under pass so no need to cross any roads. Parking is near by and usually is free. There is a fenced of play area which is situated near the toilets and there is the Peacock Palace which you can see the guinea pigs, rabbits, chipmunks and birds. There is also a cafe on the park which has out door seating but again, to save even more money you can have a picnic near the lakes where you can also feed the ducks and swans. There are also seasonal activities such as pitch and putt golf, tennis, and you can hire a boat and take a small boat trip around the boat lake (small cost). There is also a skate park where you can go if your kids like playing on their scooters, skate boards or bikes. Again, this is wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

#7 – Museums – There are a variety of musuems situated around Gloucestershire so instead of writing about each one I will make a list and will included location and prices and websites.

  • Museum of Gloucester – Gloucester city centre, pay and display near by. Prices £5.00 Adults, £3.00 Concessions (include adults over 60, children between 5 and 17, students), £12.00 Family (up to 2 adults and 5 children).
  • Gloucester Life Museum – Gloucester city centre, pay and display near by. Prices the same as Museum of Gloucester. The admission charges include general admission to both museums for an entire year and you will be given a membership card. So you can go as many times as you like. You can also get a Gloucester Museum Pass it allows unlimited entries for 12 months to the Museum of Gloucester, The life Musuem, Waterways Museum and the Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum. This cost £10.00 for an adult and £20.00 for a family pass which covers 2 adults and 3 children. You can purchase this from any of these museums or the Gloucester Tourist Information Centre.
  • Tewksbury Town Museum – Tewksbury, Gloucestershire. Pay and display near by and also public transport. Price – FREE! http://www.tewkesburymusuem.org
  • Corinium Musuem – Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Parking nearby. Prices £5.20 adults, £2.50 children (5-16), £3.40 Students (16+), £4.40 Concessions, free under 5’s, family tickets (up to 2 adults an 5 children) 10% off adult and children admissions. http://www.coriniummuseum.org
  • Worester city art gallery and museum – Worcester, Worcestershire. Nearby parking. Admission FREE!

#8 – Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo – You can walk around with the butterflies from all around the world and it’s completely indoors. There is also a hedge maze where you can run around and play whilst trying to find your way. Prices £4.50 child, £7.00 adults, £5.00 concession, £20.00 family (2 adults, 2 children). A lovely day out which I highly recommend. There is also mini golf and other activities there for a small extra price so make sure you take some pennies with you just in case.

I hope these few cheaper days out help you find the perfect day out for you and your family but if not you can always visit http://www.daysoutwiththekids.co.uk for more days out!

Suki x

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