The Frugal Guide to a Great Day out With the Kids – by Guest Blogger Emily Dick

There is a lot of pressure on parents to give children wonderful memories of their childhood. Most of us take this to mean we should always be out and about visiting local attractions and having days out with the kids. However, this can be challenging for parents as many attractions are just so expensive. The problem can be worse for those with large families or those on a lower income. Keeping the kids occupied during summer vacation can be a challenge too!


It’s important to remember that children can have fun without parents having to spend a fortune. It’s easy to forget this sometimes when kids seem to be glued to their pricey gadgets and video games. Children, especially younger ones, mostly just want attention from their parents and friends. So, with a little imagination and creativity you can make up some great games to get involved with your kids.

If you do decide to go for a day out with the family, there are loads of ways to ensure you don’t overspend. Here are some great tips:

  1. Take a packed lunch and drinks for everyone. Some attractions charge a lot for food and drinks in their eateries, so you can save a lot by taking everything you need with you. If you still want to treat the family, why not try taking some sandwiches then buying an ice cream after? Don’t forget a picnic blanket, too!
  2. Look online for discount codes before visiting an attraction. A quick Google search could end up saving you a lot of money! You might not find any active deals, but often attractions offer a slight discount when booked in advance online. It might only be a few dollars, but it all adds up.
  3. Consider a season pass to your favorite attractions. It might be a big cost to begin with, but if you have kids to amuse all summer break, it can be a lifesaver! Often, season passes pay for themselves after just a few visits, and some can be used for multiple attractions. They’re great if you live close to the attraction – you could pop in for just a few hours to see the best bits even if you don’t have a full day to pass.
  4. Get all your kids’ friends together and have a big day out together to help cut costs. Many attractions offer discounted rates to groups of 8 or 10 people, so try and find a few other families to go with. It’s great for the kids to have friends to play with all day too!
  5. If you are planning a ‘big’ day out, explain to the kids it costs a lot of money and this is why you can’t go on lots of other days out over the summer break. You could try planning the day out for the end of the break, as a reward for behaving perhaps!
  6. If your kids are at the age where they want to buy everything they see in gift stores, consider giving them some pocket money at the start of the day. That way, once it’s gone, it’s gone! You can set their limit, and let them know that they can’t have any more once they have spent it – they will be more likely to buy something they really want rather than wanting everything in sight!
  7. If you are on a really tight budget, you could try avoiding the gift stores altogether. This could be more difficult with older children, but with toddlers you can easily head in the other direction – and perhaps avoid a tantrum in the process!
  8. If your kids are keen to visit the cinema, keep an eye out for special offers. Many offer cheap tickets early in the mornings, or for films which have already been out for a while. Or, you could download a movie suitable for the whole family and make some popcorn for a cheap movie night at home!

There are many great days out which don’t cost a penny. Depending on the area, you could try visiting the seaside or going for a hike in the countryside. Family bike rides are always fun, too! You could also try looking for free attractions such as museums and art galleries. Some offer activities for children at certain times of the year, such as art and craft workshops. These might have a small charge, but are a great way to keep kids busy for a couple of hours, as well as teaching them something new. It might be fun to take a tour, even one of your own city! Or, if you know a lot about where you live, create your own city tour for the kids, where you are the guide!


Remember, having fun is the most important part of days out with the kids. Just because you don’t spend a lot of money, it doesn’t mean everyone can’t have fun!

Author Bio

Emily Dick is currently developing, a parenting website with product reviews and advice for parents of young children. She has recently graduated with an Honors Degree in social science from the Open University.

Emily is mom to two-year-old daughter, Daisy, as well as her two pet cats! When she is not creating content for her website, Emily enjoys outings with Daisy to local events and attractions.

Speak Your Mind