Ways To Explore The Outdoors On A Low Budget

4th August 2016
Summer with kids can be really expensive if you’re not careful so I’ve been looking for fun activities that can be done for free or very low cost.

Playgrounds and Parks

These are free and fun so always a winner with Chunk. Playgrounds are great because there’s climbing equipment, sand, slides and lots of fun things to do which burn their energy.

We love going to large parks full of trees and nature as there are so many things you can do in these environments.

Ways To Explore The Outdoors On A Low Budget
Tree Climbing Is Always Fun

Recently we attended an outdoors workshop where we learnt to paint trees using muddy water and played jumping games with muddy puddles so these are things we are going to do in local forest areas after rainy nights!

As well as crafts within parks there’s the classic climbing trees, building stick dens and just running free which never fails to make Chunk happy.


Ways To Explore The Outdoors On A Low Budget
Beaches Provide Lots Of Free Fun

We are fortunate to live in Brighton which has a beach, and this is another great free activity Chunk enjoys.

He will stand there for hours throwing pebbles into the water to watch the splashes they make. He loves to watch the waves and he has a fishing net that we use when crabbing near the rockery.

Depending whether the tide is in or out, there can also be a little bit of sand, so we tend to use sticks to write and draw in the sand before the water washes it clean to start again.

Local Family Fun Days / Fetes / Events

Schools, childrens’ centres and charities tend to hold summer family events so it’s always worth finding out what’s happening in your local area.

Facebook is now a great way to find out about your local events as you can see on your news feed what events your friends are interested in attending and you can also search for events nearby.

Alternatively you can contact your local childrens’ centre or family information service.

Ways To Explore The Outdoors On A Low Budget

Fun Walks

We try to find interesting routes for long walks, and because we live in Sussex there are some beautiful South Downs walks we can access for free.

If you are not fortunate to live near something like this, you can make even the most boring walk fun by setting an agenda. On the way to the park we play “I spy” to search for certain coloured cars/landmarks, or recently we have started hunting for Pokemon which livens up any average walk.

On days you have nothing planned a long walk can break the day up a bit, and also helps your children burn off energy which helps them calm down when it comes to bedtime.

Ways To Explore The Outdoors On A Low Budget

Activities In Your Garden

There’s plenty of activities you can do without leaving your house, simply by using your garden if you have one.

-Treasure hunts in the garden

This doesn’t have to be in the form of chocolate or sweets, you could write clues or for younger ones have little pictures they have to collect in a little basket.

-Chalk games

I used to love hopscotch which is a classic chalk game, or you could play hangman or draughts.

For the younger ones you can draw shapes and animals and then pour water over the images to see what happens.


Football is one of Chunk’s favourite things to do in the garden, as well as playing hide and seek or tag. It’s amazing how long they will happily spend playing these games, and it gives you a free workout at the same time!

-Gardening with them

Chunk’s nanny is an avid gardener so he loves using his little fork and trowel set to dig up the mud and help her plant flowers. His favourite thing to do is water the plants each day and he even has his own little watering can. It’s educational, relaxing and fun.

Ways To Explore The Outdoors On A Low Budget
Getting Your Kids Involved In The Garden Can Be Fun

-Water trays

My nephew has a water tray table in his garden and Chunk loves it. They spend hours playing in the water and you can add things such as sponges, plastic bottles and glitter to add to their experimenting.

-Bug hunts and snail races

Chunk adores bugs and insects so spends hours looking under plant pots, leaves and in the mud for them. We are going to try snail races soon, as it’s just another thing he can do and it will also hopefully encourage him to be more gentle with the snails he finds.

All you have to do is create a large card circle and then draw a smaller circle inside it. Place the snails on the inner circle and the first one to walk off the card wins.

Ways To Explore The Outdoors On A Low Budget
Snail Races Are Brilliant Fun


Lots of kids love camping because it’s as close to nature as you can get. We have been camping in the New Forest before and Chunk loved it, so we have recently got a tent of our own to do it again.

If you don’t want to go camping, tents are useful to use in your garden for the kids to ‘pretend camp’ during the day and when we are out at festivals or day trips they are great at providing a space for Chunk to be in the shade and cool down during the summer months.

Quechua Tent Review
The Quechua 2 Second Tent

We now have the Quechua Tent which goes up in two seconds! I am not a practical person so it allows me to open it and set it up very quickly. Similarly, it folds down quickly too and you can see how it works in their quick guide video.

The tent is lightweight and has special technology which helps keep the tent cool and dark. This means you can choose when you wake up rather than having the sun blast through your tent at an insanely early hour and waking your child up for the day.

For a two man tent it’s quite spacious and unlike a lot of other tents it has great air flow and ventilation so condensation is kept to a minimum.

I love taking it out with us when we are going to be out in the sun all day because the tent has specially coated fabric which is SPF 50+ so he can lay in it and cool down.

Once it’s time to pack up you can then fold it up and put it in the bag it comes with and easily carry it on your shoulder. I totally recommend this for any parents who are not very practical like me!

Quechua Tent Review
The Quechua Tent Folds Down Small For Easy Storage 

Feel free to add any ideas in the comments section below as I’m always open for more to try!

We were sent a tent to test out for the purpose of this post. No payment was received and all opinions are honest and my own.

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