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Save cash this summer
8:44am Monday 30th July 2012 in Days Out
Keeping youngsters entertained over the summer holidays can be costly.
Theme parks and farm parks are wonderful places to visit, but despite preparing picnics to keep down the costs your expenditure can still mount up.
According to recent headlines, Britain has experienced the longest double dip recession on record. Families are still feeling the pinch, and seeking affordable things to do over the long summer break is essential. With many affordable things to do on our doorstep, we don’t have far to look either and we really are spoilt for choice.
Local museums have plenty of activities on offer, many are free and are certainly more affordable than the expensive attractions many families wouldn’t be able to sustain attending regularly throughout summer, especially if they’re saving to go on holiday too.
Oakwell Hall Country Park and museum in Nutter Lane, Birstall , gives families the chance to roam the open countryside surrounding the historic home without paying a penny. Picnic tables are provided for those taking a packed lunch, but if you fancy a treat, you could buy refreshments from the cafe, or reminisce about old-fashioned sweets with some of the traditional treats in the gift shop. It’s also a token way of keeping these places ticking over.
The country park offers the perfect opportunity for den-building and there is play equipment for younger and older children, too.
Throughout the summer, families can participate in free quizzes based around the museum’s formal gardens. If you want to go into the museum, there is an admission charge, but it’s well worth a visit to find out more about the hall and its heritage.
On Wednesday, August 8 and 29, Oakwell Hall is hosting an Olympic-themed activity session. Creating a Chinese dragon and Russian nesting dolls are just some of the ‘Around the World’ activities which cost £1 per child.
Young ones can also let their creative flair flow with the ‘Enchanted Garden Activities’ at Red House Museum, Oxford Road, Gomersal .
Until Friday, August 24, families can drop in and enjoy daily crafts and activities inspired by the Red House gardens. An exhibition gallery will be transformed into a colourful enchanted paper garden which children can help to decorate and ‘plant’ up.
Activities include creating fantasy flowers of tissue and coloured foils and colouring fantasy animals and feathery collage birds.
Youngsters can also make Regency-style floral fans and animal rocker cards to take away.
Admission is included in the entrance charge to Red House, which is £2.50 for adults and £1 for children. An annual ticket costing £6 for adults and £2.50 for children gives unlimited admissions to Red House and Oakwell Hall for a year.
East Riddlesden Hall, a National Trust property in Bradford Road, Riddlesden, is hosting a free summer fun day at 11am on August 12.
There will be plenty of fun for all the family with local live bands, donkey rides, bubble cars, local crafts, face painting and bouncy castle.
Tennis, crown green bowling and a putting green are among the other activities available. Prices are £4.15 for adults, £2 for junior swimmers, £2 for senior swimmers and under-threes swim free. There are also discounts for passport holders.
While in Ilkley, why not pop into the Ilkley Toy Museum, Whitton Croft Road, and reminisce about traditional toys from yesteryear? Admission is £3 for adults and £2 for children aged five to 16. Free admission for under-fives.
Back over in Bradford, the National Media Museum has a host of free family activities running until Sunday, September 2 including hands-on workshops, amazing science shows, live performances and interactive galleries to explore.
From Saturday, August 4, to Friday, August 17, visitors can follow in the footsteps of internet sensations the ‘Slo Mo’ guys and discover the world of slow-motion filming. Suitable for ages 5+. This is a free event and you don’t have to book. Sessions are from 10am until noon and from 1pm until 4pm.
Punk Science is the Science Museum’s comedy team. The action-packed show contains live experiments, demonstrations, music and votes.
Tickets for shows are free, but booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Tickets must be collected at least 15 minutes before the show.
Children can indulge in Olympic-themed games to celebrate London 2012 from 3.30pm until 6.30pm at Cartwright Hall, Manningham Lane, tomorrow, and over in Ilkley, the Manor House, in Castle Yard, is hosting a family sports day between 11am and 3pm on Thursday, August 9.
Embark on an ‘eco-treasure trail’ and create pictures in your sketch book to take home as a momento of your day on the Creative Threads project, Bracken Hall Countryside Centre, Glen Road, Baildon .
Learn more about Bradford’s wool heritage with a tour round Bradford Industrial Museum in Eccleshill . Admission is free and you can see the spinning machines and looms that brought about Bradford’s textile success.
Youngsters can let their imaginations run wild at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds with free warrior games, falconry displays and stunt riding shows. Entry is free, but there is a nominal charge for some activities.
These are just some of the affordable things to do, so what are you waiting for?
- Oakwell Hall, Birstall, ring (01924) 326240.
- Red House Museum, Gomersal, ring (01274) 335100.
- Ilkley Lido, call (01943) 600453.
- National Media Museum, call 0844 8563797
- The Royal Armouries, Leeds, call 08700 344344.