Going out with the kids doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s a selection of some free family days out taking place across the UK this month.
Keep an eye out on local forums and notice boards for local free events too. Well worth checking out is the ParkLives website, which offers free activities happening in local parks, year-round, including mountain boarding,family circuits and horse riding.
Hoop is an excellent free app to help parents discover local things to do with kids. Created by a group of dads and aimed at parents with children aged under 11, it’s available on iPhone and Android and lists over 20,000 family friendly events and activities each month throughout the UK.
Spot dinosaurs in Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens
Mondays to Saturdays 10am - 4pm, Sundays 12noon - 4pm
See a baby T Rex as it hatches from its giant egg, watch a stegosaurus and a triceratops grazing on the greenery and spot some pteranodons flying overhead. Hunt down a velociraptor before it finds you and try not to disturb the sleepy crocodile as it lurks by the pool. The collection also includes an impressive three metre high utahraptor, a baby camarasaurus and a huge pterodactyl with a two metre wingspan.
Go on a night search for bats in Nunhead Cemetery
23 June, 9.30-11pm
Join a guided bat walk, using bat detectors to pick up the inaudible calls of different types of bats in the nature reserve of Nunhead Cemetery. There are a number of misconceptions and myths surrounding bats which London Wildlife Trust aims to dispel during the walk. Bring a torch and wear sturdy footwear and clothing suitable for the conditions.
Be thrilled by the air displays at Torbay Airshow
3 & 4 June
Free fun for all the family with displays over the stunning South Devon bay at Paignton Green. This year displays from the RAF will include the first display of the season from the world-famous Red Arrows, as well as military aircraft the Hurricane Hawker, Avro Lancaster and Supermarine Spitfire. Plus heart-stopping displays from the Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team, world aerobatic competitor Gerald Cooper in his Extreme XA41, the Gyro Display, the Raven Aerobatic team, the Strikemaster, the Piston Provost and former British Female Aerobatic Champion Lauren Richardson in the Pitts Special. On firm ground there will be a kids’ area and craft and refreshment stalls.
Admire the pageantry at Trooping the Colour, Buckingham Palace and The Mall
10 June from 10am
The Queen’s official birthday (her actual one is on 21 April) is marked with a spectacular military parade at Buckingham Palace.
Head to The Mall to enjoy all the pomp and ceremony and spot royals passing, including the Queen with an escort of Household Cavalry.
Watch street theatre and outdoor performances at the Hat Fair in Winchester
30 June - 2 July
The UK’s longest-running festival of outdoor arts returns to the historic city of Winchester. On Friday and Saturday there will be performances at more than 20 locations all around Winchester city centre while on Sunday there’s an all-day family picnic at Oram’s Arbour with some of the world’s most spectacular street performers.
Enjoy a day (or two!) at the Arnold Carnival, Nottingham
Saturday, 17 June, 12 noon - 10.30pm & Sunday, 18 June, 10.30am - 10pm
The annual Arnold Carnival returns to Arnot Hill Park and is jam-packed with free activities for all the family. Entertainment includes a mix of professional and community music, dance, local school bands, choirs and solo artists, a children’s arts and craft activity marquee, a dog show on both days, BMX/skateboarding sessions and street entertainers. On Sunday there will be a Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast.
Sing along at West End Live in London’s Trafalgar Square
24 & 25 June
Every year the cast of some of the most talked-about West End shows take to the stage in front of thousands of spectators, to showcase the best of London’s West End. Last year’s line-up included The Lion King, The Bodyguard, Matilda The Musical, The Phantom Of The Opera, STOMP, Jersey Boys, Impossible and Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and starred Beverley Knight, Tom Chambers, Kerry Ellis, Matt Cardle, Pixie Lott and many more famous faces. This year’s line-up had yet to be released so check the site closer to the date.
Open Farm Sunday, throughout the UK
Every year farmers across Britain open their gates to the public to show first-hand what it means to be a farmer. Each Open Farm Sunday event is unique but activities range from machinery displays, tractor and trailer rides, through to demonstrations, nature walks and the opportunity to pet and feed animals. You can find your nearest farm by entering your post code on the site.
Be amazed at the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival
23 June - 8 July
Experience one of London’s largest outdoor arts festivals, with art installations, street theatre, circus, dance acts and music events, produced by both UK and international artists. Highlights include:
Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon, a captivating lit-up sculpture featuring NASA images of the moon’s surface and music by composer Dan Jones, in the Old Royal Observatory Garden. 23-25 June.
A range of free activities in Greenwich Town Centre including playing an oversized game of Bingo Lingo. 24-25 June.
Take a virtual reality ride into time and space while playing on a swing with Thrill Laboratory’s VR Playground in Greenwich Park. 24-25 June.