School holidays are every kid’s heaven and a lot of parents’ hell. It’s not that I don’t like having both boys at home full time, but it does seem to make life ten times harder. They’ve both gotten to an age where they play together a lot, but also argue just as much – more so when they’re bored as this naturally makes the grumpy – which means I feel a desperate need to keep them entertained on a budget. Cue the inspiration behind this article…hope it’s useful!

1. Cycling

To be fair, this is totally not specific to North Wales, as there is over 14,000 miles worth of routes across the UK. If you Google “National Cycle Network”, you’ll find an incredibly easy website, and can check out the routes near you.

Routes in Wales

There are loads of great reasons why cycling should be a definite yes this summer. Firstly, with the anniversary of the fabulously successful Olympics last year, it should be easy to encourage your kids on to a bike with tales of Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton.

Secondly, I love taking the boys out on bikes because it means I can feel less guilty about the ice cream stop we make, having done some physical activity that day!

Finally, it’s possible to use the website to find easy routes, and routes that don’t involve traffic, which means your kids will be totally safe!

Initially, you will of course have to pay for bikes, but I’m a massive fan of getting good quality items cheap on Ebay. Grab a bargain and view it as an investment!

2. The Beach

If it’s one thing North Wales is definitely NOT short of is a bit of sand and the sea. Buy the right beach toys and equipment and you may find you’ve bought yourself a bit of relaxation time, as kids are fab at keeping themselves amused on beaches. I sometimes invite my nieces and nephews, or some of the boys’ friends, organise a little game of beach football, and chill out with a book for a while!

Newborough beach in Anglesey…my favourite

The great thing about the beach is it’s FREE! Buckets and spades are ten a penny, as are beach balls, and you can pick up a selection of beach toys and games for cheap everywhere now; may I recommend Pound Stretcher? Beach weather is only likely to last a short time any way…

3. Geocaching

I wrote about this activity a while ago, because Jack and I tried it as an “alternative to dogging” as we needed to spend some much-needed, quality time together. This is definitely one for the whole family and, again absolutely FREE!

Jack getting a grip of map reading…before I tool over!

If you don’t know what geocaching is, well done, you’re officially not a geek. Unfortunately, from this point onwards, you will be.

If you Google geocaching you’ll easily find the official geocaching website. Basically, “treasure” (or, geocaches) has been hidden all over the UK. On the website you put in postcode of the area you’re visiting, and you will be given the co-ordinates of all nearby caches. You can get the app on your phone, and then the idea is you try to find a cache.

Fancy finding all this crap! How lucky would you feel?!

The caches can be any size, and contain any type of rubbish, but once you’ve found one you have to write your name on the record that’s in there (so your geekiness can be immortalised forever).

I LOVE this, and, even though the “treasure” is a load of rubbish, it’s great fun finding each one! Since Jack and I tried it earlier this year, we’ve taken the boys when we’ve been out for walks and they’ve loved it too.

Basically, if you fancy a nice walk somewhere but want your kids to be enthusiastic about coming rather than moaning, turn it into a geocaching experience and let them do their thing!


I hope this article’s been useful in providing a couple of ideas of free activities to do with kids this summer. I’d love to hear from anyone who has any other ideas they’d like to share!

Thanks for reading,

Ella xxx

Thank you to Roisin Byrne for contributing this article, you can catch Roisin on Twitter or Facebook here.

This article has been provided by Theodore Thomas as part of his cheaper home series.