Ten free summer holiday activity ideas for kids

An image of Seven Sisters near Eastbourne with the words "10 free summer holiday activities for kids" superimposed.

Brace yourselves. The summer holidays are coming. While I look forward to spending more time with the kids, it can be a nightmare when they get bored. Like most parents, we don’t have money to burn so the majority of activities will need to be cheap or, ideally, free.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions for free summer holiday activities to keep your kids entertained during the long, hot days of summer. Obviously, some will depend on what is available near you, but hopefully these will inspire some ideas.

Good luck, my friends!

Great British Tennis Weekend

Next week is Great British Tennis Weekend. Venues around the country are offering free sessions to get youngsters into the sport. Who knows? You may have the next Johanna Konta or Andy Murray on your hands!


Yes, it may have been around for a while now, but Geocaching will be a new one on most kids. It’s a treasure hunt that gets them exercise in fresh air. What’s more, it involves a smartphone so that should be enough to pique their interest. What’s not to like?

Summer reading challenge

It’s important to keep up the academic side of things between school years and the Summer Reading Challenge is just the job. Dylan and Xander loved The Big Friendly Read last year so we’ll be signing them up to Animal Agents this time round.


As we live on an island, there’s a half-decent chance that you won’t be too far from a beach. We live near the coast and don’t go as often as we should but the kids love it. Picnics, skimming stones and charging up and down the mountains of pebbles. Magic!


If you can’t get to a beach, a picnic in a nearby park is just as good. Why not take a ball and enjoy a little bit of jumpers-for-goalposts action while you’re out?

Free walking tours

There are numerous free walking tours across the UK. One in particular that caught my eye was this Harry Potter tour in London. The boys are starting to show an interest in the books, so this is definitely on our list.

Town trails

On a similar note, there are town trails all over the country. I loved the York cat statue trail as a kid. So much so that, years later, I persuaded my editor to send me there to write about it during my journo days!

Scavenger hunts

These take a tiny bit of preparation but kids love the thrill of solving riddles and finding things. Scavenger hunts are ideal for rainy days which, during a British summertime, are inevitable.


There are loads of museums around the UK that are free to enter. Dylan and Xander were bowled over by the Natural History Museum, for example, and we’re planning on going back to see Hope the blue whale.

Local listings

If you’re anything like me, you don’t check local listings enough. This is the ideal time of year to remedy that. There are sure to be free events both big and small near where you live.

What are your suggestions for free summer holiday activities?

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