Here we offer 10 suggestions for days out over Easter, as well as tips to keep the costs down.
UK city days out
A day out in one of the UK’s cities could be a great way to teach your children more about the country they live in and, whether you choose to explore on foot, on an open-top bus or even on a boat, you’ll learn all sorts of interesting facts about the UK’s history.
Why not soak up the atmosphere in London in the run up to the Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations? The Oxford vs Cambridge boat race takes place on April 7, so if you want to watch this historic sporting event, plan your trip around that.
If you want to visit any of the big attractions in the capital, pre-book tickets to save on entry costs and take a look at MoneySupermarket’s vouchers channel to take advantage of offers. Current money off vouchers include 20% off entrance to the London Dungeon, 20% off the price of the Doctor Who tour and 20% off the price of City Cruises down the River Thames.
Other good options for city day trips include York, Manchester, Chester, Bristol, Bath and Edinburgh.
Or, if you would prefer to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, make a packed lunch and head into the British countryside to explore for the day. If your child is a bookworm, a trip to the Lake District to learn all about Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth will inspire them while sports-mad children will love learning how to surf on one of the UK’s many beautiful (and often deserted) beaches in areas such as Cornwall, Devon and Northumberland.
If you decide to explore the area over a day or two, you could take a look at the late availability of countryside cottages and B&Bs, and if you travel by train, make sure you book in advance to save on walk-up fees.
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside
If your children aren’t keen on surfing, but love the seaside, a day out in a traditional British seaside resort such as Blackpool, Brighton, Bournemouth or Weston-Super-Mare eating fish and chips, walking down the beach and playing in the amusement arcades is sure to keep all of the family entertained.
And, if you want to visit one of the attractions by the sea with the kids, check online for discount codes before you pack your bucket and spade. Current offers on MoneySupermarket include 20% off entry to the Sealife Centre in Blackpool and 20% off SeaQuarium in Weston-Super-Mare.
Theme park adrenaline rushes
For some children, the most exciting part of a trip to Blackpool or other seaside resorts is a ride on a rollercoaster, so why not treat mini adrenaline junkies to a day out in one of the UK’s theme parks? Again, it pays to buy your tickets in advance as, for example, if you book your Alton Towers passes online at least seven days before your trip, you can save up to 25% on the on-the-day price.
Current discount codes on MoneySupermarket’s voucher channel include 30% off admissions to Lightwater Valley in North Yorkshire, two for one on entry at Drayton Manor Theme Park in Staffordshire, and £10 off an unlimited ride wristband for a family of four at M&D’s theme park in Scotland.
Learn something new
For an educational day out, do some research on what’s on in museums in your local area over the Easter break. Many museums are free to enter and will be running special child-friendly activities during the school holidays. For example, Manchester Museum is running an Easter Museum Allotment where children can get involved by designing plant pots and planting sunflowers, and the Museum of London is running storytelling sessions, workshops bringing animals to life through animation and animal hunts in the galleries.
If you decide to visit a museum that does charge an entry fee or want to see a chargeable exhibition, remember that there are ways to avoid paying full price. For example, MoneySupermarket currently has discounts on the entry to Science Museum Imax Cinema in London, the London Motor Museum and The National Maritime Museum.
All creatures great and small
If your child wants to be the next David Attenborough, a trip to a zoo or safari park is sure to impress them. Whipsnade Zoo is bringing back its Sealion Splash Live show for Easter, the Easter bunny is at Bristol Zoo over the Easter weekend to meet younger visitors, and Knowsley Safari Park has a week of activities for children to learn more about South East Asia.
To save money on your day out at the zoo and avoid queues on entry, pre-book your tickets keeping an eye out for online discounts – for example 10% off entry at Knowsley Safari Park via their website. And avoid expensive lunches out and high sugar snacks by taking packed lunches for the children with healthy treats for throughout the day.
Gardens and parks
Green-fingered children will be fascinated learning all about exotic plants, conservation and ecosystems at attractions such as Kew Gardens and the Eden Project.
The good news for parents is that entrance is free for children under 17 at Kew Gardens and is discounted for those under 17. We also have discount codes for 20% off adult entry at Kew Gardens and 25% off at the Eden Project.
Why not use your day out to inspire an Easter gardening project when you get home?
Sport-themed days out
If the spring weather and run up to the Olympics has got your children talking about all things sporty, or perhaps they are counting down the days until the FA Cup final, plan a day out around their favourite team or sporting activity.
Many football clubs offer tours around their stadium, and football fans will enjoy snooping around the players’ dressing rooms and standing on their team’s pitch. There’s 20% off the price of a stadium tour at Chelsea Football Club on MoneySupermarket’s voucher channel as well 20% off the price of tickets for a behind the scenes tour of Anfield and, for cricket fans, there’s 20% off tours of Lord’s.
Or perhaps you children are more interested in actually taking part in sport? If the weather continues to be sunny, why not get a group together and head to the park or local playing fields and set up a game of football, cricket or rounders? Get other parents involved too and you can all have a work out!
If you want to learn a new sport with the children, how about having a golf lesson? You could nab a 60-minute lesson in Formby over Easter for £25 a child and £39 an adult – saving up to 50% off the price.
Or, if the weather forces you to stay indoors, how about bowling or laser quest? It’s got to beat being glued to the TV or computer in the house.
Dramatic days out
A night out at the theatre will add excitement to the holidays of children who love all things dramatic, so take a look at what is on in your local area.
For a real treat, why not take the family to a West End show? You can buy tickets to Shrek the Musical for as little as £30 and don’t forget to consider matinee performances for younger children. To make a real night of it, you can even find London hotel and theatre packages from £73 per person.
Older children may want to spend their holidays browsing the latest fashions in the shops, so set up a day out with them hitting the high street and having lunch. And don’t pay over the odds for your food, take a look at MoneySupermarket’s eating out vouchers to save some spending money for your shopping spree.
Current offers include buy one main course and get another for £2.50 at Pizza Express, a free starter or dessert at Chiquito and two for one on tapas to share at La Tasca.
If you want to have a full day in the shops, why not look for a cheap hotel deal in a city such as London, Manchester or Newcastle then indulge in some retail therapy at a shopping centre such as Westfield, the Trafford Centre or the Metrocentre.
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.