FREE Family Days Out

family day out

Worry no more penny pinchers, we understand that you may not want to spend loads of money on attractions, indoor or outdoor. But you still want to get out of the house and create some joyful memories with your kids and family. The good news is that it doesn’t always have to break the bank, with loads of days out that don’t cost a penny! Here’s our guide to ‘free days out near me’, where will you visit first?

Free Things To Do in Scotland

the helix and kelpies statue in scotland

Helix and The Kelpies, Falkirk

Based in Scotland, these towering structures were constructed to become a local greenspace to connect all the local communities together. Transforming 350 hectares into a brand new recreational green space and visitor attraction!

Did you know that it also includes splash play areas, a kids’ play park, trails and plenty more? And it’s f r e e to visit – so why not head there for your fun, family day out?

Please note: if you want to go on the tour, you will have to buy tickets.

What’s more impressive is that the Helix & The Kelpies stand 30 metres tall and are the largest equine sculpture in the world!

Shape Location Get directions

The Helix, Falkirk, FK2 7ZT

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday
09:00 - 16:00

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a street view of the royal mile in edinburgh

Walk Along the Royal Mile, Edinburgh

In the heart of Scotland’s capital, you’ll find an iconic and historic area that is rich in culture.

The Royal Mile connects the marvellous Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, but that’s not even the best part.

Take your family out for a day of exploring as you venture across the cobbled stones and narrow stairways and discover all sorts of interesting finds.

For that glimpse of history, head to St Giles’ Cathedral, the old and new Scottish Parliament and other various buildings with stunning architecture. Then to top it off, you’ll find an array of food and drink spots that will tickle your fancy.

Shape Location Get directions

109 The Royal Mile Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1SG

Opening Times

Open 24 hours

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Free Things To Do in the North East

National Railway Museum, York

Choo-choose to head over to the wonderful National Railway Museum for a family fun day!

It features over 100 locomotives and exhibits on the history of the railways! You can immerse yourself in all things to do with train engineering and how travel went from horses to trains!

With a wide range of things to do and trains to see, the kids will have a grand time!

Shape Location Get directions

Leeman Rd, York, YO26 4XJ

Opening Times

Monday Closed
Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

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northern lights on the northumberland coast at night

Explore the Northumberland Coast

A stunning coastline that is an Area of Natural Beauty – and for good reason! With a beautiful stretch of golden sands and plenty of space to roam around!

Whether you choose to bring your bikes for some beachside cycling, take your shoes off and walk barefoot on the soft sand or sit back and watch the wildlife surrounding you wander past. Did you know you could spot seals here?!

Also, did you know the Northumberland Coast is also a dark sky site?! That means it’s an incredible play to stargaze! Will you be able to catch the stars sparkling so brightly?

Shape Location Get directions

Northumberland Coast AONB
Alnwick

Opening Times

Open 24 hours

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Free Things To Do in the North West

a beautiful lush garden on a sunny day

Visit Clifton Country Park, Salford

Discover a beautiful garden that spans out 48 hectares! A tranquil countryside in the heart of the city centre – and it’s free to visit!

You can explore acres of woodland, run through meadows, leisurely walk alongside lakes and discover remnants of the city’s industrial past.

Also…

You can’t beat a public garden trip – especially when they don’t cost anything. You can enjoy a fun-filled family day out there – especially if the weather’s sunny and you bring along a picnic!

There’s so much open space for them to roam about, but also plenty to see. Whether it’s a flower garden blooming all around you, a hedge maze they can get lost in, a nature trail or a little pond where they can watch the fish swim about. Some public gardens even have sculptures your kids can look at in awe, so pack a picnic, wear your outdoor clothes, grab a camera (to take pictures of any animals you see) and find a garden attraction

Here’s a list of garden attractions and beautiful parks you can visit for free family days out:

Shape Location Get directions

Clifton House Rd, Clifton, Salford M27 6NG

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday 09:00 - 15:30

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titanic exhibit at maritime museum

Visit The Liverpool Maritime Museum, Liverpool

Have you ever wanted to deep dive into the history and legacy of the Titanic? At the Maritime Museum, you’ll find a permanent exhibition of the untold story. From Liverpool’s role in the story to a unique insight into the events surrounding and leading up to its tragic end.

Also…

For the best free family days out, add visiting museums to your list! Many of them have free entry and make perfect days out even when there’s bad weather, so there’s no excuse! Seek out the little, independent museums for surprising and unusual days out. Educate and enlighten yourselves on days past, and treasures that have been unearthed.

Keep an eye out for exhibitions at some of the UK’s best museums – some of these are free too and the best family-friendly days out!

Here’s a list of some more free museums that you can visit as well:

Shape Location Get directions

Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool, United Kingdom, L3 4AQ

Opening Times

Monday Closed
Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:00

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Free Things To Do in the Midlands

Tolkien Trail, Birmingham

Ever wanted to channel your inner Hobbit or Elf? How about taking a walk on the fantasy side and getting in touch with what inspired J.R.R. Tolkien himself?

The trail starts off at Sarehole Mill to Mosely Bog (which inspired The Old Forest!). Plus many more places to visit!

Also…

Have you ever wanted to visit the areas that inspired Harry Potter? With their walking trails, you definitely can! It’ll excite fans of both beloved worlds, no matter the age. And the best part? It’s free!

  • The Potter Trail, Scotland. The tour starts at Greyfriars Bobby and ends on Victoria Terrace. All you have to do is book a time
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sun seeping through the treses at cannock chase

Take A Trip to Cannock Chase, West Midlands

A Forestry England site, it’s one of the best days out for anyone in the Midlands! Not only has it got miles of enchanting woodlands to explore, but also a child’s play area and a Go Ape!

Whether you head out orienteering, bring your furry friends along or journey on two wheels throughout Cannock Chase. It’s the perfect day out for all ages! Pack a picnic too and enjoy the lovely views as you have a munch!

Also…

The UK has a wide range of glorious forests that you can wander in, and the best part is…they’re all free to visit!

Some of them even have free-roaming wildlife, like deer, rabbits, miniature ponies and more. Also, your kids or teens will also have fun exploring the outdoors, so grab your walking boots, put on your waterproof coats and get outside! Also, perfect on bank holiday weekends when you have extra time!

Here’s a list of the best free forests you can visit:

Shape Location Get directions

Cannock Chase Forest
Rugeley
WS15 2UZ

Opening Times

Daylight access

Pricing

Parking charges apply - from £5.00

Find out more

Free Things To Do in the South East

fossils found on the jurassic coast

Have A Roarsome Adventure at the Natural History Museum, London

Do you have kids that love dinosaurs? Have they ever wanted to walk among the giants? Look no further than our incredible list of free days out for kids, where they can see dinosaur footprints and other fossils!

The Natural History Museum in South Kensington is the BEST place to witness the roarsome-ness of the giants that once walked the Earth. You can browse fantastic fossils, find out how fossils are formed, what killed the dinos and even see an animatronic T-Rex!

Also…

There are amazing places to find real-life dinosaurs and prehistoric fossils around the UK. From shark teeth and dinosaur footprints to the Jurassic Coast!

  • Dinosaur Coast, North Yorkshire
  • Bracklesham Bay, Sussex (you can find shark teeth here…)
  • Keates Quarry, Swanage (dino footprints from a group of Sauropods!)
  • Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
  • Jurassic Coast, Devon and Dorset
  • Dinosaur Footprints at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

The best fun-free days out for kids who love history, dinosaurs and ancient creatures… Check out the NEW Titansaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur exhibits too!

Shape Location Get directions

Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD

Opening Times

Monday to Sunday 10:00 - 17:50

Pricing

Free, but pre-book tickets

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a sandy beach on a sunny day

Head to the Beach

It doesn’t matter what age you are, a visit to the beach is always lots of fun (if you don’t count the change for some ice creams) minus some it’s free too!

Take a picnic, bring a football, bucket & spade or a frisbee and have some much-needed outdoor activities for kids! The kids will also love hunting for pretty or cool seashells or even seeing some tidepools! Will they find some tiny crabs You’ll have to visit and find out!

If your local beach is more stone than sand then skimming stones and rock pooling are the order of the day! See our top picks for the best beaches in the UK.

And if those don’t tickle your fancy, then here are some more beaches you’d love to go to:

  • Boscombe Pier Beach, Bournemouth
  • Southsea West Beach, Portsmouth
  • Porthmeor Cove, Cornwall
  • Caister-On-Sea Beach, Norfolk
  • Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth
  • Gower Peninsula, Wales

Free Things To Do in the South West

little girl holding a crab in her hand

Take the Kids Crabbing at Poole Quay, Dorset

Like tiny creatures? Maybe those you don’t normally see and are hard to find! Then this calls for a session of crabbing! Head to the coast and get finding – there is an initial outlay of around £5 for the kit which consists of a bucket, a net and a crab line.

But once you have the equipment, crabbing is hours of fun and you can use it again and again!

You can also visit Mudeford Quay in Dorset, and there are plenty of crabs to catch! Some people recommend using bacon as bait, but we’ve heard that crabs seem to like cat food…

Shape Location Get directions

Poole Quay, Poole, BH15 1HJ

Opening Times

Daylight access

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cow on the roskilly's farm in cornwall

Melt Your Heart at Roskilly’s Farm, Cornwall

A really fun free thing to do with the kids is to visit an animal farm! Everyone loves cute and adorable animals, whether they bleet or moo!

With free admission, it’s the perfect day out for kids and a Cornwall trip will be amazing too! There’s a mile of easy walking (so great for all ages!), and the free walking trail includes The Top and Bottom Ponds, Long Meadows, The Old Withy Woods, the Old Orchard and more!

You can also grab a cheeky Cornish ice cream after…

Shape Location Get directions

Barton Farm, Tregellast Cl, St Keverne, Helston TR12 6NX

Opening Times

Monday and Tuesday Closed
Wednesday to Friday 09:30 - 15:00
Saturday and Sunday 09:30 - 17:00

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Free Things To Do in Northern Ireland

sunset picture of giants causeway in Northern Ireland

Behold Earth’s Natural Beauty – Giants Causeways

A natural phenomenon has to be the Giants Causeways and the one place you have to explore. Being Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site it’s special with incredible rock formations that are out of this world and uniquely spectacular.

Also, boasting fun and enjoyable walks, it makes for epic free family days out! So, add it to your bucket list this year!

Shape Location Get directions

Bushmills, Northern Ireland BT57 8SZ

Opening Times

Dawn to dusk

Find out more

More Free Things To Do

someone geo caching in the woods

Go Geocaching

This is an outdoor activity in which participants use their mobile phones and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

It is great for teaching kids how to read a map and improves their observation skills too! Perfect for kiddies who love geography and the world they live in.

bluebell woods

Backyard Travel

Do you know where you live? We love exploring our local area and have found many hidden gems but when you take a different path than usual, you find places you’ve never seen before!

Whether it’s an abandoned railway track perfect for cycling along, an abundance of interesting creatures or even stunning woods like Bluebell wood.

To get the teens involved, just tell them you are off out catching Pokemon and they will soon come and join you… Challenge the kids to create a map or illustrated list of their favourite new “discoveries” and enjoy the endless possibilities of free family fun!

a family riding bikes

Bikes Rides and Scooters

Many parks have nice large pathways, perfect for zooming along on a bike or scooter – mix it up by renting a bicycle for two or a reclining bike, pack a picnic in your backpack and have a fabulous outdoor adventure for free!

More and more communities are putting in skate parks as well – so you can enjoy the curves with a board or scooter (the shredding teens usually don’t show up ’til noon!).

older couple sitting on a bench

Check Your Local Council Website

Many councils run free family activity sessions such as sporting and fitness sessions for all ages, especially during the school holidays!

They also list all the play parks in the area and you may find a hidden gem that you’ve not visited before… Whether there is a historical site near you or even a splash pad! Try it out!

We hope you enjoyed our blog on fun family-free days out and free things to do near you! From exploring some beautiful National Trust sites to discovering fabulous museums – whether they have permanent or temporary exhibitions!

There are plenty of choices here, so we know one will be perfect for you and the kiddies. Make your days out the best! Whether you plan some free family days for the weekends or during the school holidays, you know you’ll always find plenty of fun attractions on our blog.

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