We’re on Summer Holiday countdown here at the moment, even though we still have a couple of weeks to go yet.
I’m not sure who’s more excited about the holidays this year. The kids because they have six long weeks of fun stretching ahead of them or me because this year I actually have three weeks off with them – two near the start and one at the end.
I’ve just read a post about the Free Range Summer that Jen’s planning for her two boys this year and it’s made me start thinking about what we’re going to be doing ourselves.
I’m a planner so I like to know what we’re going to be doing and when and I find that this helps me to budget better as well because I try and mix in a few day trips out as well as lots of free activities, leaving plenty of time for the kids to play our with their friends.
I wrote a post a couple of years ago about how we plan a lot of what we’ll be doing which you can find here but basically, this is what I do:
- I look at the websites of our local museums for any free or cheap events that they’re running and write down any that we might enjoy.
- I usually write down anything that’s going on in our local library but this year, I think the kids will have outgrown the storytelling and craft sessions that ours runs which is a shame.
- I check out the websites of local parks, farms and nature reserves to see what’s going on there and write that down too – last year the woodland near us did weekly nature walks for a pound and they were brilliant.
- If you get the Primary Times from your school, it’s a great resource for what’s going on in your area. I have a good read through the whats going on section and highlight anything I think we’d enjoy.
- I also have a look at our local bowling alley and cinema to see what’s going on and if they have any special cheaper events going on – don’t forget your local cinema might do cheaper showings of some films like ours do.
Then I write all of this down in my Google calendar which I used to plan our time off together (because I’m a geek) but you could just use paper or a normal calendar if you’re less geeky than me!
Next I move on to the things that the kids want to do – we used to make a wish book for this but this year I think we’re going to try something else. All you need really though is a list of things that the kids would like to do, although you need to be clear that you have a budget and things like Disneyland Paris and building an igloo are probably not going to happen. We’re going to do this at the weekend and then I’ll have a look at what they put and anything that needs booking or needs particular planning will get added to the calendar – usually Miss Frugal puts a pony day so I check out the local stable and book her on that but anything that’s free I just write down for us to do whenever along with fun crafts and cooky bits that we’ll do when we’re staying at home.
The final things I add are any ‘big’ days out – the kind that need to be planned and properly budgeted for like a theme park or a night away if we’re doing that. We don’t have many of these but i do try and plan in at least one big thing – usually near to the end of possible.
It does take me a good hour or so to plan our holidays but it’s well worth it because I know that the time off I have with them will be fun filled – they have the weeks when I’m at work to play out with their friends but I’m going to make the most of every minute that we have off together.
And if you want some more ideas for Summer fun, make sure you check out Free Range Summer on The Madhouse and keep checking back here too 😉