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Festive Freebies: 10 ideas for free Christmas days out

Rachel Brady

08 December 2017

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3 minutes
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Whether you want to cosy up, get creative, spread Christmas cheer, or enjoy some fresh air, you spend enough at Christmas on presents and food to worry about paying even more for days out too. Here I have listed a few activity ideas for your family to do this Christmas - all without spending any money.

A mum and child meeting Santa

  1. Go Carol Singing

    It used to be something most people did at Christmas, but since the festivities have become more secular and commercial, carol singing has decreased in popularity. I personally think, whatever your religious stance, carol singing can be such a lovely event and a great reminder of what Christmas actually is about. Either attend a local service (try Googling 'free Carol services 2017') or organise one yourself with the kids and some other mums. Maybe start off with mulled wine at someone's house first to get people's vocal chords warmed up? How about visiting a local elderly home or hospital and spreading the cheer?
  1. Check out Local Christmas Markets and Fairs

    Yes, you could easily spend money at the markets, but it's also possible to go and spend nothing or very little, and just take in the atmosphere. Better still, attend your local church's or school's Christmas fair if they are having one, then anything you do spend (and it's likely to be pennies) will directly benefit your community.

    A little boy in a shark hat holding a cup
  1. Visit a Church Christmas Tree Festival

    Visiting a church at Christmas, even if you aren't religious, is such a nice, peaceful thing to do. At this time of year, many have Christmas Tree festivals on, and you can admire all the trees that have been decorated by local organisations and give a small donation to charity if you wish to. The bigger the church, the more impressive the trees. However, I love visiting our local village church as it's such an intimate and cute affair – and you always get offered a free cup of tea and a biscuit!
  1. Enjoy a Winter Walk

    Walking in wintertime, whether it's snowy or frosty, is for me so much more enjoyable than summer walking. Bring a flask of hot chocolate or tea and some cake. Let the kids take pictures with a camera or your phone and then look at them afterwards. Or why not use the walk to gather holly for a Christmas wreath or just to pop up about the place? National parks are a great place to start.
  1. Christmas Crafting

    Many places are hosting Christmas craft events at this time of year, some for free. Again, churches often host Messy Church events that welcome all people to make Christmas decorations or crafts. Try searching online for 'Christmas crafting sessions free' and see what comes up. We are going to one by a local crafty gift shop which costs £10 but that covers tea, cake and any decorations you make which is great value. If you can't find one, why not organise one yourself? Everyone comes with a craft idea and enough materials for however many kids there will be, and the host provides tea and cake. Simple! (P.S. you can get some crafting ideas from our blog!)

    A little girl doing some Christmas crafts
  1. Festive Cook Out

    Try to find a place where BBQ'ing is allowed; perhaps a campsite, local beauty spot, or a conservation area that has a designated picnic and BBQ area, and organise a few friends to meet up with too. Each bring some BBQ stuff – keep it simple, sausages and chicken drumsticks. Then bring hot chocolate, blankets, things to sit on. Why not have a BBQ in winter? With a fire to huddle round, it makes more sense than in summer!
  1. Get Cultural at Museums and Galleries

    Museums and galleries are almost always free admission – and many have a special exhibition on at Christmas. Research your local ones and get some culture for free. Take a packed lunch and spend nothing! Start by getting some inspiration from our list of the top 10 best museums in the UK
  1. Christmas List Research Window Shopping

    To be done before you have done your shopping for gifts, the idea is to spend a day browsing, feeling and touching potential presents, trying out toys and generally getting some inspo. You don't buy anything (but write lists and then... ssshhhh!!!... you go home to research the cheapest places to get them online). As far as the kids are concerned, it's easy enough to blag, them saying "Let's go window shopping to research our list to Santa". Worried their expectations will go through the roof? Limit each kid to 5 (or 3 or less) and explain you may not get everything but that Santa needs some help with ideas.

    Santa holding a sack full of presents

  1. Visit a Free Santa's Grotto or Parade

    Some grottos in shopping centres, garden centres or museums etc are free – many also aren't; it tends to be the smaller ones that are free. Similarly, many places are doing free parades to attend this year. Don't miss the DAy Out With The Kids guide to the best UK Santa's grottos too!
  1. Volunteer for the day as a family

    This is such a special thing to do at Christmas. Whether it's a homeless charity or an animal sanctuary, many will allow youngsters (accompanied by parents) to help out. Do some research and create memories that will convey the real meaning of Christmas to your kids.

 

Don't mind spending a bit on your Christmas day out? Here are some more great Christmas days out ideas, plus a list of the best ice rinks near you.

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Rachel Brady

08 December 2017

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Rachel Brady lives a mostly peaceful but very muddy life in the Peak District with her husband, 2 young kids, 2 cats and 1 naughty chocolate lab. Rachel is one of our much loved Trusted Explorers, which means all content has been written exclusively for dayoutwiththekids.co.uk in exchange for a contribution to their family piggy bank. All posts are first hand, honest and based on real experiences.

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