We’ve teamed up with TV Presenter and dad of two Jeff Brazier to put together a top 21 list of ideas and inspiration on how to enjoy days out on a budget.


Jeff says, “Being a working dad of two, I know all too well that finding activities to keep the children entertained during weekends and holidays can become a bit of a challenge. Luckily, Britain has loads to offer, from family-friendly days out to trips away with the kids – so with a bit of pre-planning your time together can be stress free and enjoyable for the whole family."

“I’ve put together my 21 top ideas for family days out on a budget, with the Family and Friends Railcard which provides a third off rail travel for up to four adults and 60% off fares for four children aged 5-15, as well as exclusive discounts on days out, theatre tickets and UK holiday destinations.”



Top tips

1. Oh we do like to be beside the seaside

With miles and miles of beautiful coastline to choose from across the country, a familytrip to the seaside is the perfect activity come rain or shine. As most of the UK’s beaches are free of charge, a day at the beach won’t cost you a fortune either. Just don’t forget to grab a beach towel, the sun-tan lotion and a bucket and spade. Check out the UK Beach Guide for some great suggestions.

2) Experience the great outdoors

There’s nothing better than a long walk in the countryside. Take some time out to enjoy some of the UK’s most scenic country walks, forests and canals – the fresh air and exercise will do you and the kids the world of good. Walking Britain has thousands of routes all over the UK to choose from.

3) Get back to nature

Get back to nature with a camping trip for the whole family. Perfect for families who enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll be able to spend some quality bonding time with the kids and enjoy some well-needed rest and relaxation. The Camping and Caravan Club has listings of over 2000 campsites nationwide.

4) Get the creative juices flowing

We all know the British weather can be unpredictable, so why not spend a rainy day getting creative with the family. Weather its painting, modelling, or making cards, arts & crafts can be a great way of passing the time and keeping the little ones busy when you can’t get outdoors.

5)  Relax to the max on a UK holiday

A UK getaway can be a far more cost-effective and hassle free option than going abroad – with the Family and Friends Railcard you get discounts of up to 50% off on holidays with Park Resorts, Hoseasons, and Haven. Take the kids away to give them a change of scenery and create some fun family memories.

6) Go back in time

There are thousands of museums in Britain that are free entry, so you won’t be short of choices for fun, interesting and educational visits that won’t break the bank. Why not take the kids to London for the day, to visit one of our favourites, the world famous Natural History Museum.

7) Bake yourself happy

Baking is great way to get the kids thinking about what goes into food and provides a fun indoor activity when the weather isn’t on your side. My kids love getting involved in the kitchen baking goodies such as brownies, cupcakes or cookies that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Check out BBC Good Food for some really fun easy recipes for kids.

8) The show must go on

A family trip to the theatre can be an unforgettable experience, and with hundreds of fantastic children’s shows up and down the country, you’re certain to find one your family will love. What’s more, with the Family and Friends Railcard you can save up to 60% on hundreds of shows including The Lion King, Wicked and Billy Elliot the Musical.

9) Play in the park

Take the opportunity to visit a park for some exercise and fresh air. Most local parks have plenty of open space for kids to run around, or an adventure playground to blow off some steam. Find your local park at

10) Go wild at the zoo

The zoo is a fantastic day out that can be enjoyed by the whole family, and with a number of great zoos, safari parks and wildlife centres throughout the country you certainly won’t be short on choice. Take a trip to ZSL London Zoo and you can take advantage of 2FOR1 entry when you travel by train.

11) Indulge in some family festival fun

A festival is a great way of getting out and about with the family. There are a number of family-friendly options the kids will love, whether you’re into food, crafts, comedy, music or art – be sure to check out the seasonal local festivals in your area.

12) Get out in the garden

When the weekend hits it’s easy for the kids to get stuck indoors watching TV or playing computer games. If the weather permits, why not spend some quality time in the garden – have a BBQ, play football, or get the kids involved in the gardening.

13) Experience theme park thrills

My boys love theme parks – it’s the perfect adventure for the whole family, with plenty of thrills for a fun-packed day out. Travel by train with the Family and Friends Railcard and take a picnic with you to avoid paying over the odds for theme park fodder.  

14) Take part in a family sport

Sport is a really good way of keeping active and spending some quality time with the kids over the holidays. I love having a kickabout in the park with my boys – you could go on a bike ride, play a game of tennis or even throw a Frisbee in the park to get the heart rate going and burn some calories in the process. If the weather is bad, try an indoor play centre like Wacky Warehouse.

15) Get down to your local library

Reading a good book is a great way to pass time and keep the little ones busy. Many local libraries hold free summer reading programmes to encourage kids to read with incentives such as prizes and stickers. As well as being educational, it’s also a great way to spend some quality time together.

16) Have a family adventure

Weekends and holidays are the perfect time to go on a family adventure. Jump on a train together with your family or friends and visit a town or city that you’ve never been to before. You’ll be surprised at what a difference a change of scenery can make.

17) Soak up some history and culture

Britain has a rich historical heritage which can make for a really fun and interesting family day out. Take the kids to one of the UK’s many castles to really bring history to life, or visit a National Trust property for an injection of British culture. With the Family and Friends Railcard you can even get 20% off when purchased as a Virgin Experience Days voucher.

18) Plan the perfect picnic

When the weather is good, the humble picnic is the perfect outdoor occasion, so why not take the whole family to enjoy one together. You can even get the kids to help you make the sandwiches and choose their own treats to pack.

19) Try something new

To beat weekend and holiday boredom, why not take the opportunity to take up a hobby or try a new experience? Whether it’s horse-riding, go-karting, archery or rock-climbing, there are hundreds of fun activities available for the family to take part in together.

20) Make a splash at a water park

Make a splash with the kids this year and take them to the nearest swimming centre or indoor water park. There are hundreds of centres throughout the UK, so you won’t be short on options. If your kids haven’t learnt to swim yet this could also be a great opportunity to take up lessons.

21) Plan for success

The key to ensuring weekends and holidays are happy and enjoyable for the whole family is to make sure you plan your time in advance. Working out an activity planner to decide what you are going to do and when will help you get the most out of your days, save money and give you all the tools you need to some great family days out all year round.