Free and low-cost activities for families this summer
Now that the summer holidays have well and truly begun, it can be hard to find ways to entertain children for the whole six weeks. Here are some low-cost and free ideas to consider this summer.
Beach Week at The Orchards is perfect for free entertainment and activities at the end of August.
Running from 10.30am until 3pm, August 22 to 24, there will be magic, Punch and Judy shows, photo booths and more entertainment to come.
The Adur Concert Band will also be performing at the Orchards, fresh from their successful tour around Malta, on August 3.
Borde Hill Garden in Haywards Heath is hosting The Enchanted Garden, which costs £2 to enter the daily trail which includes a prize, and includes storytelling sessions for an additional charge.
Children can explore the woodland and discover the story of Piccolo, the smallest pixie in the garden who needs to earn his wings by passing a series of challenges.
Alternatively, join storyteller John Kirk for tales about the worm who loved to dance, the bee that wouldn’t share and a brave butterfly, told through costume, music, and audience participation. This event is August 19 from 11am to 3pm, and is free with admission.
The trail event runs from July 27 to September 15, from 10am to 5pm.
For families who want to learn about wildlife and habitats, Warnham Local Nature Reserve is perfect.
It’s a 30 minute walk from Horsham town centre and has bird hides overlooking a 17-acre mill pond, walking trails through meadows and woodland and boardwalks over the marshy grassland.
The paths are level and have good disabled access, and the bird hides are especially popular with local photographers.
Admission is £2 and free for under-16s, however if you arrive after the café and visitor centre are closed, you can enter through the gate next to the centre and admission is free.
Also at Wakehurst is Wild Wood Week, a celebration of the traditions, ecology, folklore and beauty of the woodlands.
The event encourages visitors to explore their relationship with the woodland through ancient traditions and evolving innovations of the future as they move through Bethlehem, Pearcelands and Coates Woods.
Children can enjoy tree climbing at Tree Trunk Trek, and can learn forest skills such as fire-lighting and whittling.
Wild Wood is free, and takes place from July 27 to 28 from 10am to 5pm.
In East Grinstead Museum, children can become archaeologists for the day, take part in a ‘down under’ day to learn about Australia and join a friendly band of pirates with a promise of no plank walking.
The activities take place on July 30, August 13 and August 27 respectively, from 10.30am to 3pm.
At Wakehurst, there's a whole schedule of summer activities from July 29 to August 30.
On Mondays they will have tea bag and bath bomb making sessions, from 10am to 5pm for £4.
Fridays they encourage children to 'become a water detective' and go pond dipping, from 11am to 5pm for £4.
They also have a Children's Heritage Garden, full of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and a giant willow pumpkin, as well as Coates Wood's Tree Trunk Trek, an adventurous log trail.
Do you know of any other events happening this summer? Comment below so we can add them to our list.