Thursday, 30 July 2015

The true cost of the Summer Holidays. How to keep costs down on days out and why theme parks and other attractions could embrace the larger family life too.

My children have been off school for a week now and in that time I've been asked if they can go to Legoland, Paulton's Park/Peppa Pig World, into London for the day, to the cinema, swimming, bowling and out for dinner most nights. I don't see this trend ending any time soon so I decided to work out roughly how much the Summer Holidays would cost me if we did all those things each week until September. 

Whilst others are sunning themselves on holiday or having a wonderful Staycation in the UK (hoping the weather gets better) we are at home this Summer and trying to fill our days with activities and days out that don't break the bank. 

First off is the fun and games the children want so here goes;

Monday; Legoland Windsor and HURRAH Legoland Windsor have embraced the larger family/group visitors and have added a Group 7+ option. That's £210 for tickets. Lunch out is another £50 plus drinks and a very small trip to the shop at the end maybe? We are heading towards £300 or more. Yes we could cut costs by taking a picnic lunch (or less children?!)

Thing 4 at Legoland Windsor

Tuesday; Swimming. Local Coral Reef swimming centre, much better than the local swimming pool where there isn't much to do except splash each other and get annoyed! Coral Reef includes Snake River flumes, rapids, the toddler pool area and more. Cost for us all £39, under 4's go free. 

Wednesday; A day trip to London. This usually involves visiting the Science Museum and Natural History Museum, hurrah for free entry. Thing 3 is keen to go to The London Dungeons (£141 for 6 of us, kids under 4 go free). Thing 4 wants to go on the London Eye again (online price approx. £100 for all of us, under 4's go free). Lunch out, keeping it cheap at Macdonalds would be around £30, somewhere else like TGI Friday's or similar would be nearer £70-80 for all of us.

A day trip into London

Thursday; Cinema time. They all want to go and see the new Inside Out film. Thing 5 is a bit too young for the cinema yet so he would have to be looked after. Thing 1 probably isn't interested either! So 2 adults and 3 children for the cinema is £44.20. Plus drinks and sweets/popcorn (purchased beforehand!) around £10.

Friday; Bowling. Which is fab as the whole family can join in, even Thing 5. We stick to one game as the attention span of all of the children isn't amazing. Our local bowling alley is fab and easy to get to and we an all enjoy a game of bowling for around £32 for 7 of us for one game. 

Oldest and youngest at the bowling alley

Saturday; Chilled day, Mummy needs a chilled day or at least as chilled as it can get with five children! We can visit a local park, feed the ducks, play in the splash pool. Ice creams at the park, £10 then out for dinner approx. £70-80. (A chilled day means Mummy doesn't cook!)

Takeaway anyone, our large pizza tower! (We had extra helpers to eat at this particular moment!)

Sunday; It's Paulton's Park time. The children loved it when we went last year and often ask to go back. The rides weren't too off limits for Thing 2 and 3 and the younger ones loved the Peppa Pig world. Cost for 6 people £163, children under 1 metre are free, I think Thing 5 would just about make it through if not it's an extra £28. A cheap lunch at a burger place would still be around £30, I would take our own drinks for throughout the day. 

Peppa Pig World at Paulton's Park

So if you did something every day to keep them entertained and it was what they wanted to do it would come to approximately £800+. For a week, that's ridiculous. No we aren't the average 2 adult, 2 child family but then we aren't part of the minority any more either. Bonus points to Legoland for the group ticket, that gives us slightly more incentive to go knowing we can buy that specific ticket. 

Even if you did one theme park a week and kept the other days to trips to the park and activities at home or outdoors it's still between £160 for Paulton's Park, £210 for Legoland Windsor and then you've got Thorpe Park which on the day would be a whopping £300 for all of us (£180 prebooked), children under 1m are free. Chessington World of Adventures is £189 for 7 of us at Early Bird prices, Thing 5 would have to pay. If you bought tickets on the day it would cost £252 for all 7 of us. Chessington also offer family and group ticket prices, my prices are based on those offers.

Staying at home instead of going on holiday isn't turning out cheaper at all. I know you don't have to fill your week with paid activities there are hundreds of attractions and days out that are free or low cost. I just want to show what these things cost and how much you could spend on keeping the children entertained over the holidays. 

Throw in a couple of birthdays to prepare for too and you will be rocking in the corner until September arrives!! 

Do you have days out planned over the holidays? How do you keep costs down? What fun activities do you have planned that don't cost a fortune?  

Red Rose Mummy


  1. Crikey! I thought I was expensive with just the three of us. I am shocked at the cost of everything!

  2. Wow that's an expensive holiday break! I don't remember ever doing that much in school holidays. we'd have a holiday away then the rest of the time was playing on the park x