Although we're all watching the pennies during the school holidays, we still need to get out and about with the children (to stop you tearing strips off each other) but do not fear! - there are lots of cheap options on our doorstep too. So have a look at one of these suggested FREE activities to keep your family entertained.
1. Nature Trail
Have you tried the GruffaloSpotter App yet? It's a great way to turn a walk into an exciting adventure! Free too! The Gruffalo Spotter app has been designed for exclusive use at 26 forests across England where visitors can join the adventure through the deep dark wood. The trail is now open at the Wyre Forest near Kidderminster. Read more here. The Wyre Forest has a new Highway Rat trail which you can enjoy this Half Term.
Worcester Woods Country Park and Severn Valley Country Park are both great free places to get some fresh air. Both have open spaces - perfect for kite flying -a Visitor Centre with cafe facilities, and adventure play area. Kinver Edge, maintained by the National Trust, has a lovely natural play area hidden in the forest - follow the signs for the Adder Trail. The national trust at Clent Hills also regularly run nature trails for children. There's a Natural Playground tucked behind the cafe at Nimmings Wood where children can make dens to their heart's content!
Suggestions on Facebook: 'Baggeridge Park, Severn Valley Country Park and Birches Valley are great' Helen Gamble
Turn your family walk into a real adventure. Geocaching is a treasure hunt for the digital generation. All you need is a smart phone (download the app) or handheld GPS and a sense of fun. The geocache that you're searching for is a small waterproof treasure box hidden outdoors. The cache could be hidden anywhere, and disguised with leaves and camouflage tape! The National Trust have hidden 8 caches at Clent and if you do them all at once it would take around 2 hours. There are plenty of geocaches hidden by other people in the area too, and in fact all over the world! For more about geocaching have a read of our online article here.
3. Explore your Local Museums
We are blessed to have a lot of great, family friendly museums on our doorstep, offering free entry. The Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge holds free glass blowing demonstrations - so if we have a damp summer, you know where to head!
Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum also offers free entry. It's housed in a beautiful Victorian building in the centre of Worcester, so easy to get to by train and each school holiday they hold activities for children.
For more museums to visit, see out go-to guide here.
4. The Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford offers a great day out for the family. Situated next to an active airfield, this is the only place in the Midlands where you can get close to so many breath-taking aircraft for free, including all three V Bombers; the Vulcan, Victor and Valliant. The museum often runs activities during school holidays so worth checking out their website. There's a restaurant on site so you really could spend all day there! It's easy to get to by train as the station is right next to the Air Force base. There's a new aeroplane themed play area outside too!
'We definitely recommend RAF Cosford, Bewdley Museum, Red Cone and Bantock House ( Wolverhampton)' Gaby Roe on Facebook
5. Support your Local Library
Your local library shouldn't be overlooked. Many local libraries run regular, free, term time sessions, like Family Reading Groups or Rattle and Rhyme sessions for little ones, so it's worth calling them to find out what's on offer. How about taking part in this year's Summer Reading Challenge - there are plenty of rewards for readers! This year's theme is Wild World Heroes.
'Worth checking your local library's events too' Karen Hartland on Facebook.
6. Go on a Bike Ride
The area is rich with potential routes for a family bike ride. As long as you wear the right clothing, there's no reason why the bikes should be locked away all winter. It gives us all a blast of fresh air and fitness and is free - just need to stash a packet of biscuits in your rucksack! Cannock Chase, Wyre Forest, Arrow Valley, Dudmaston Hall, Tudor Grange Park, all have bike trails.
" We enjoy cycling on the Old Railway Track that runs from Wall Heath through Wombourne on to Penn. (South Staffordshire Railway Walk)" Laura Harris on Facebook.
7 Try a New Park
Sometimes, just trying out a new park is a good way to keep children entertained. We have lots of local parks in our area. How about meeting up with school friends somewhere different this school holiday? Take a look at this Guide to Local Parks for inspiration.
Mary Stevens Park are hosting some free outdoor activities for children this summer. Tuesdays - Saturdays in August, there are different sports/games from 2-3pm and 3-4pm. Activities include Kwik Cricket and Frisbee Golf!
8. Swim for Free
Children who live in the Dudley Borough can swim for free at leisure centres in Dudley, Halesowen and Crystal Centre (opening soon after refurbishment). The offer applies to Under 16s only who live in the area and children need to be registered first. Details here.
Thanks to all our Facebook contributors!
If you have ideas for free or cheap things to do with your family, please share them! Email me here.
Editor of Raring2go! Kidderminster & Stourbridge since 2008. Local font of knowledge. Mother of two and wife of one.