The summer holidays. Now there’s a three words which can strike fear in to the hearts of every parent.
It’s not just the prospect of having to entertain the children for six weeks which causes stress in otherwise well-grounded adults. There’s also the cost. A family day out to a theme park, zoo or museum can easily cost over £100 – and that’s before the your eight-year-old has fallen over and knocked his front tooth out, your five-year-old has had a screaming fit because you dared to say no to a £5 ice-cream and your youngest has vomited all over your shirt.
Parents simply can’t afford to pay to go to attractions every few days during the school six-weeks holiday. But there is another way. You can give the kids great days out for free.
There are brilliant places to go in Lancashire and particularly around Preston which the kids will love – and so will your wallet.
All you have to do is get out of thinking that spending money on an entrance fee equals happy kids. If you put the effort in, your children won’t register the difference between a park and a theme park.
With a picnic, a few bats and balls and some bread to feed the ducks you will be amazed at how happy your kids can be. Even a family bike ride can produce the wow factor in them that you may remember feeling when you were their age.
The biggest thing Preston has got going for it is its amazing parks – but how many of us use them regularly? Avenham and Miller parks can provide a stunning backdrop to a brilliant day out. Haslam Park near Ashton is also an unheralded gem. And Brockholes on the other side of Junction 31 on the M6 has developed into a wonderful child-friendly adventure playground.
And just outside the city you have the amazing Withy Grove playground in Bamber Bridge (just behind the leisure centre) and Worden Park in Leyland.
One thing kids do like is new experiences – so taking them somewhere they have never been before is important. That’s why I wrote Free Days Out in Lancashire, a guide book on where to go in the region where you don’t have to spend any money (other than the occasional car park charge).
It lists a whole range of locations suitable for families with kids from one-year-old to teenagers. I published it because it is so hard to find out where to go for free days out on websites like VisitLancashire.com. They primarily are there to promote tourism business in the region – and most tourism businesses charge entrance fees.
That means people are missing out on visiting some amazing free locations and venues.
If you don’t know where there is a brilliant free skatepark, a stunning free mountain bike trail or an amazing free aqua park in Lancashire, you need to get this book.
Free Days Out in Lancashire is available on Amazon (£6.99) and Kindle (£1.99). The Kindle version can be downloaded to iPads, iPhones, Android and Windows phones, meaning you can take it with you on your days out.
Where has been missed? Let us know in the comments below