The Merry Month of May – Bank Holiday Madness!
Money saving ideas for Bank Holiday fun…
How can it nearly be May already?! 2019 is certainly racing past. Easter has been and gone, and schools are now in their summer term.
The good news is that May has not just one but two Bank Holiday Mondays! Which means that we have two long weekends to look forward to this month. Let’s hope that the weather is kind and that we can all get out and about and enjoy ourselves.
The problem is that it can often be expensive to go out for a day, particularly if you are a family with children in tow. So here are our top ten ideas for Bank Holiday fun that doesn’t break the bank!
This has got to be top of the list if the sun is shining. The problem is that everyone else will have the same idea. So for a Bank Holiday day at the beach the first trick is to find a quieter beach that will perhaps not get as crowded as some of the bigger beaches. Use Google for some ideas, but there are several examples in this TimeOut article.
It is then advisable to get there early to avoid the traffic and the crowds: you could make it an adventure to get up early and onto the beach for a BBQ breakfast. If you do this you could also leave early – say mid-afternoon – when the beach is likely to be particularly crowded and before all the rest of the traffic starts leaving.
If you don’t want to travel too far then have a look at what might be just on your doorstep. Most towns and cities have a variety of parks, some with play areas. There may also be country park not too far away from you (again, make sure you get there early to get a good parking space).
All of these environments should provide an ideal spot for a picnic and the kids to play. You could even organise some outdoor games – but hopefully you will also get the chance to relax for a few minutes’ peace and quiet!
- Local events
Whilst thinking about what is on our own doorstep, have a look round for local Bank Holiday events. There are likely to be a range of events to choose from, run by pubs, community organisations, churches etc. Whether it’s a local music festival, a charity spring fair, sporting activities or food and drink festivals there is bound to be something that all the family can enjoy.
- Treasure Hunt
A variation on the above is to organise your own special event. How about a Treasure Hunt? Whether you do this as part of a tour of your local town or city, base it in a local park, or do it at home it can be great fun for everyone. Depending on the location you can either prepare clues and hide them beforehand or go to the location with a list of things to find. Use prizes as an incentive: sweets always go down well!
If the thought of a treasure hunt appeals then have you come across geocaching? This is similar to a real-life treasure hunt and is becoming increasingly popular in the UK as well as globally. The idea is to use either the Geocaching app or a GPS device to navigate to hidden containers called geocaches. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries whose coordinates are registered on geocaching websites such as https://www.geocaching.com. There are bound to be some near you!
Each geocache includes a logbook so that finders can add names and comments. There will also be some small items such as coins, toys, keyrings, costume jewellery, guitar picks or gift cards. You are welcome to take items from the geocache but it is expected that you will also put something back in for the next person to find.
- Animal magic
Have a look around for local farms – including city farms – and animal shelters. Many of these organisations welcome visitors and do not charge (though donations are always appreciated). Your children will love seeing the animals and may be given opportunity to pet or help feed the animals. So Google what is near you and you could have a wonderful day out that everyone will enjoy.
- Stately homes
The UK is full of stately homes, and many have gardens that are free to enter – some with activity areas where children can play. Check out what is near to you on websites such as The National Trust and English Heritage and hopefully you will find something of interest to everyone.
- Car boot sales
Car boot sales are great fun and many areas will have special Bank Holiday car boot sales. Children can buy all kinds of bargains for very little money: if you have seen the TV show Bargain Hunt then you could run your own version of it for additional interest.
If you are feeling brave then why not consider running your own stall? You could perhaps spend the first May Bank Holiday sorting out a load of stuff to be sold (aka decluttering but don’t let the kids realise that!). Then the late May Bank Holiday take a stall at a car boot sale and see how much money you can make.
- Museums and galleries
If the weather is not brilliant on either of the Bank Holidays then why not visit a museum or gallery. There are thousands of different museums and galleries around the country and most of them are free. If you are within easy reach of London then you can easily spend a day going round one or more of the large museums and galleries such as The Science Museum, The Natural History Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Museum, The Tate Gallery and Tate Modern – to name but a few.
- Movie time
Another tried and tested option for a rainy day is a movie fest. Whilst it can be expensive to take the whole family to the cinema you may find a good Bank Holiday offer: check voucher websites, newspapers and the cinema itself. Most cinemas also now permit you to take in your own sweets and drinks, which can save a lot of money.
Another alternative is to set up your living room with comfy chairs, cushions and bean bags and let everyone choose their favourite film to watch. Onesies and popcorn obligatory!
We hope that you and your family have a great time over the May Bank Holiday weekends, and that these ideas help you to save money at the same time.
Check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Loans 2 Go.