With the summer holidays fast approaching and another Bank Holiday or two on the horizon, we're guessing that finding fun activities to do as a family is high up on your to-do list. With the help of three money-saving bloggers and a few tips of our own, here are five ideas for some budget-friendly outdoor adventures that you can all do together.
1. 'Combine tech and nature' says Faith from Much More With Less
"Geocaching is a great activity for encouraging kids to get outside for a walk, and you can download an app for free. My two love finding the hidden caches on family outings - there's loads to discover!"
If you haven't heard of Geocaching before, it's an outdoor activity where you use your smartphone's GPS to find 'treasure'. Caches are hidden containers that house these treasures which are usually inexpensive trinkets and a logbook where the finder can log their discovery of the cache. The coordinates and instructions are all stored on an app and a website. Find out more at Opencache.uk.
2. 'Create your own treasure hunt' says Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny
"I love to do a nature treasure hunt with my three boys. I write a list of lots of things to search for on a country walk. Blackbird, worm, squirrel, oak tree, bluebells, red kite etc. They love the competition element. And its free!"
3. Have some fruity fun
Investigate your nearest 'pick your own' fruit farms and stock up on strawberries, raspberries and other delicious summer fruits whilst getting involved as a family and showing the little ones where their favourite berries come from. Punnets usually start from around £3 - not far off a lot of supermarket prices and you're getting an activity and fresh produce to boot. Head home and think of your favourite berry themed recipes to create to keep the fun going. Jams, fruit salad, cakes and ice cream sundaes would definitely be on our lists.
4. 'Know where you can grab extra' says savvy saver Christine Burnett
Finding where you can benefit from free parking is always a winning feeling isn't it? Savvy saver and member of the Much More With Less Facebook group says, 'Volunteering at my local parkrun for just an hour rewards us with free all-day admission for one car. This saves us the normal charge of £9 at Dalby Forest, part of Forestry England which has so much to do from BBQ areas to cycling trails and 2 play areas.'
5. Get involved locally
Find some local National Trust properties and investigate their summer tours or family fun days that are usually free to participate in if you are already members - they range from behind the scenes tours in the houses to educational nature sessions. Check out local noticeboards for summer fetes and scarecrow trails to get to know your neighbours in nearby villages or towns.
In Nottingham, where our Head Office is, the Park Rangers at some of our local parks run educational sessions and walking tours of their parks. Plus, if you live in Nottingham we're running educational StoryParks sessions with Nottingham City Council in 5 city centre parks with storytelling sessions, arts and crafts and nature talks. Why not see what's going on in your local area this summer?
All tips and advice are solely the opinions and experience of the bloggers featured in this article.