Get active for FREE this summer

Kids Run Free

With holidays looming we thought we’d delve into some of the fun, free (or low cost) and active things that kids can do in the summer to avoid getting bored, and sitting indoors watching TV or playing on screens. We know summer holidays can be an expensive time, but they don’t have to cost the earth.

We’ve come up with a few ideas for fun days out and excursions, active play and more that should keep your family entertained and active without breaking the bank too much…

Kids Run Free

Kids Run Free is a charity that organises a range of completely free running activities for children.

There are free events held in over 20 locations around the UK, in places like local parks and schools. Some areas have weekly and fortnightly kids races, some are just once a month but it’s great fun for everyone with fun obstacle course warm up runs, and a race. Every child comes away with their very own race card with space for race stickers so that they are encouraged to come back – we find at Learn Play Grow that kids love to be motivated with sticker cards they can fill up. Kids Run Free gives participants a sticker every time they run, and they can save them for a Kids Run Free gift.

The races range from a sweet 50m sprint for active 0-2 year olds to something a little more challenging for older kids, and children are encouraged and supported all the way. It’s a great and completely free way to help keep kids active during the school holidays and beyond.

Find a race near you


This one will suit imaginative children who love to explore. It’s a theme park with a difference – set in 50 acres of Norfolk woodland. It’s not the sort of place you want to go if you’re a thrill a minute seeker ad the kids are expecting rides, and although it’s not technically free (as there’s an entrance fee for older kids and adults) if you have smaller kids (under 3 feet tall) they get in free so it’s a bit less expensive for a family to go than one of the more commercial theme parks would be. They also sell organic food so it’s not just another expensive junk food paradise…

There’s plenty of active, outdoor fun and children are encouraged to indulge their imaginations by climbing trees, crossing rope bridges, building dens and hiding in tree houses. Designed by a local children’s author called Tom Blofeld, the park is also full of the magical creatures you’ll find in his books. Bewilderwood also puts on craft activities and seasonal events.

If you’re under 92cm tall you get in free; from 92-105cm tall it’s £13.50. And if you’re taller than 105cm you’ll pay £15.50 (online prices in advance)

Grandma or grandpa can get in for £8.50 if they are over the age of 65!

Look into Local Council FREE Activities

Animal Encounter

Keep an eye on your local council’s website over the summer holidays because most local authorities will put on free events in local parks and community areas for kids. Things like play beaches in parks are always popular as are free music and fun days that the kids can wander around. Local parks and nature areas often put on nature walks for kids too, which is fun and free but also educational.

A quick look at our own local council website revealed a free exhibition featuring The Clangers, Bagpuss and Thomas the Tank Engine in a local museum, a free ‘Fun Beach’ in the local park for kids to visit, an ‘Active Family Fun Day’ in another local park plus a petting zoo, wildlife day and even a movie day in one park, all free.

All of these ideas are great for getting the kids outside in the summer holidays, walking, running and exploring plus stimulating their imaginations.

Of course, you can also see if there are any Learn Play Grow taster sessions (free) or summer school clubs in your area? See what’s near you.

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