“I’m bored!” – a familiar cry that strikes horror in the heart of every parent! From weekends and half-term to long summer holidays; sunshine or good old British rain – it can be difficult to find fun, affordable family activities on a budget that keep the kids amused. Luckily, we live in Lincolnshire – one of the most stunning counties in the country, where there’s always something fun to do. Here are a few handy hints to have family fun the whole year round:
Twelve cheap activity suggestions
- Visit nature reserves
Lincolnshire is home to several nature reserves, perfect for family walks and wildlife spotting. Make a list and see how many animals you can cross off! Check out Gibraltar Point, Whisby Nature Park and Donna Nook for outdoor fun.
- Explore stunning beaches
The Lincolnshire coast has beautiful, family-friendly beaches, such as Skegness, Mablethorpe, and Cleethorpes. Enjoy a day by the sea, building sandcastles, and having an ice cream along the promenade. Or head further afield to Brighton, Blackpool or Whitby – just be sure to grab some fish and chips!
- Discover Lincoln’s History
The historic city of Lincoln offers several free attractions, including the stunning Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle. Walk the cobbled streets of the old town and explore the Roman ruins at Newport Arch – perfect to inspire young minds!
- Enjoy local parks
From your local park to walking trails, playgrounds and green spaces for picnics, there’s no shortage of places to go for a relaxing day outdoors. Some highlights include Boultham Park, camping at Hartsholme Country Park, and Hubbard’s Hills. Grab a blanket and some teddy bears and host your very own Teddy Bear’s picnic!
- Attend free events
Keep an eye on local event listings for free family-orientated events, such as festivals, outdoor movie screenings, and farmers’ markets. Lincolnshire County Council’s website and local Facebook groups are great resources for finding upcoming events.
- Cycle the Water Rail Way
This traffic-free cycle and walking route runs from Lincoln to Boston, following the River Witham. Enjoy the picturesque scenery and spot sculptures and artwork along the way.
- Visit free museums
Lincolnshire has several museums with free admission, including The Collection Museum and Usher Gallery in Lincoln, which showcase local history and art. The Museum of Lincolnshire Life is another free attraction, offering interactive exhibits on the county’s past. Or venture further afield to see some of the country’s great free museums, such as the Natural History Museum in London, National Railway Museum in York, the World Museum in Liverpool and the Imperial War Museum in Manchester.
- Go on a treasure hunt
Geocaching is a fun, free activity for the whole family, involving using a GPS device or smartphone to find hidden containers (geocaches) outdoors. Register on the Geocaching website and search for geocaches around you!
- Get crafty
Use scraps of paper, delivery packaging, old newspapers and trusty PVA glue to get crafty – make birthday cards, craft sock puppets using old socks, or design a fun monster. All you need is some materials, some crayons or markers, and of course – a vivid imagination!
- Visit the library
Your local library is a great place to visit. As well as having a wide choice of books to borrow, they often hold lots of fun sessions and special events throughout the year. Visit Lincs Inspireor Lincolnshire County Council for more information.
- Have a cosy day at home
Recruit the kids as assistant chefs or bakers in the kitchen for the day, and have fun baking cupcakes or creating cheap, tasty andhealthy meals. Rainy and cold? Snuggle up at home, close the curtains, make a cosy den with old sheets and tablecloths and turn your living room into a cinema or music festival. Or crack out the board games – just don’t get too competitive!
- Join the National Trust
The National Trust have put together a list of 50 activities to do before you’re 11 ¾. Although not free (and not required to accomplish the list!), family memberships for the National Trust offer excellent value for money – you can visit awesome castles like Tattershall Castle.
Learn to play an instrument with ‘Take it away’
Take it away is an Arts Council initiative to help children and young people get involved in learning and playing music by providing interest-free loans of up to £5,000 for the purchase of musical instruments.
To be eligible to apply for a Take it away loan, you must be:
- Over 18 buying an instrument for a child under the age of 18 or
- Aged 18-25 years and using the scheme to buy an instrument for yourself (or someone else as a gift).
You must also be:
- A permanent UK resident
- Be working at least 16 hours per week
- Have a building society or bank account so you can set up Direct Debit payments.
You can borrow between £100 and £5000 to help spread the cost of buying an instrument. It’s simple to use, just follow these steps.