Free alternatives to soft play

Are you in need of recharging?

Our canals and rivers offer spaces on your doorstep to relax and reconnect when we need them the most.

Why pay for the privilege of letting your children play in a germ-smeared soft play centre when you could take your kids out for a free day of fun in the fresh air?

Family trips without the credit card guilt trip Having fun by the water

1. Check out your local library

When was the last time you took a trip to your local library? Do you even own a library card? The UK has over 4,000 libraries and, as well as lending out a humongous range of children’s books, many of them run events especially for children.

Whether it’s craft-making, story-time or creative writing there’s bound to be something taking place near you.

3. Be a tourist in your own town

If you take your town for granted why not get reacquainted with it this summer? Have a wander and challenge your kids to spot the oldest building by their date stone.

Find out about local events and markets. Most towns and villages have their own website full of local information. You could event explore your local museum. If it’s a little dull invent a game to play with the kids. What’s the biggest or smallest thing they can find in a display case?

4. Get creative with cardboard boxes

Forget about the contents. The packaging is where it’s at. Next time you’re at the supermarket pick up a few spare cardboard boxes and challenge your children to turn them into space rockets, Ferraris or teddy bear houses.

Encourage them to decorate their creations using cut outs from old magazines or newspapers. Hours of fun for next to nothing.

5. Take a trip to the water

Our canals and rivers have everything you need to create a memorable day out with your family. To help inspire you on your visit we’ve prepared a series of local guides with activity ideas for youngsters. Spot some colourful narrowboats, feed the ducks or simply enjoy a picnic down by your local lock.

Family visiting the Stourbridge Canal Family visiting the Stourbridge Canal

Last date edited: 25 July 2018