There’s apparently another two-week heatwave on the way from mid-August, which is great news for families with kids off school and for those of us with summer staycations booked.
A little sunshine can often make it easier to create those special memories with our families, but it can also be a real test on our finances.
Keeping the children entertained can so easily come with a large cost. Day trips and breaks to the seaside can be expensive, especially when you throw in travel, food and other expenses.
However, there are plenty of fun – and often free – family activities that you can plan for before what is tipped to be this year’s biggest heatwave yet. Here are some of our favourites that won’t break the bank.
Explore the outdoors
Feeling up to the heat? Well, there’s plenty to see outside! Visiting your local park is a great way to have a fun yet relaxing time in the sun with family and friends. Taking a picnic - and maybe a ball or two – adds to the enjoyment and keeps everyone entertained for longer. It’s also a great way to walk, explore your local area and meet up with friends and neighbours al fresco.
A bike ride is also great fun, whilst getting us out and about. Going for a cycle is a fabulous form of exercise for both you and your family. Not to forget, you can get to places much further and much quicker for free. You may even find a local spot that you never knew about previously!
When a day outdoors in the warm sunshine isn’t quite enough, why not go camping and sleep out under the stars? If you don’t have a tent, ask around to see if you can borrow one. Or check out second-hand websites and marketplaces on social media. You can often pick up a bargain.
Camping really can give you some quality time outside with the ones you love most. Find a spot across the country, a local camping area, or maybe even the back of your garden, and you can experience a sense of adventure. If you do find yourself near the coast, why not cool down in the sea and go for a swim – it’s a much affordable alternative to the pool?
There’s no place like home
A water fight is a fun way of keeping cool under the sun: a few water balloons or water pistols will do the job. You could even use the water hose and a sprinkler too – they use much less water than filling a paddling pool.
You can also save more money and cut back on waste by making your own ice lollies. Find out more on all the best lolly moulds out there and where to buy them here. They’re really easy to make. And lots more fun, too.
Whilst the kids are playing in the garden and cooling down with a homemade ice lolly, you could start a mini garden by picking up some seeds from your local garden centre. Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs can be really rewarding, and cooking them for your family is a healthy and really cost-effective treat.
Avoiding the heat and sun? No worries! An indoor cinema, set up by shutting the curtains and dimming the lights, can be a great experience in the comfort of your own living room.
Prepare some snacks and drinks and watch your favourite family movie whilst staying cool. After watching the film, you and the children could draw your favourite scenes by having an arts and crafts afternoon. Grab the pens and pencils out, or even go through your cupboards and make a DIY movie character. It gives your kids an opportunity to get creative and produce gifts that they can give to the rest of the family.