Family days out can be very expensive. In summer, many of us head to parks and playgrounds for free days out, but in colder weather, this option isn’t as appealing. Then, as Christmas events start to pop up, things get even more expensive, especially if you have multiple children. The good news is, there are great ways to save money while enjoying all of the magical activities available at this time of the year.

Avoid Big Attractions

Seeing Santa in a large shopping mall in the middle of a city will always be more expensive than visiting a smaller, out-of-town location. Ice skating at a local garden centre is cheaper than a city centre outdoor rink that’s popped up just for the season.

Big, branded attractions can be very expensive, so try to avoid them, and find smaller, out-of-town attractions that offer similar things at a much lower price.

Things like craft sessions at your local library and winter fayres at community centres can be a great way to enjoy the magic of the season and are often free, or very good value for money.

Copy Activities and Attractions

Sometimes, these large attractions are overwhelming for younger children or new foster children, and you might want to avoid even the free events.

But there are plenty of ways to recreate some of them at home. Find Christmas recipes to bake together online, print colouring sheets and crafts, and go sledging at a local park or field instead of heading to a busy, expensive ice-skating rink. If you foster, get help and advice from

Look Online for Discounts

If you are looking forward to some family days out this winter, one of the most effective ways to reduce the cost is to look online for discount codes and special offers. Even booking in advance online is a great way to reduce the cost and can save you a lot of money if you have a large family.

Pack a Picnic

Another great way to save money on family days out is to avoid buying food and snacks once you are there. Most attractions charge more than similar restaurants off-site, and the food is usually of lower quality. Pack a picnic, and plenty of snacks and drinks for the day and you could make big savings.

Start Family Traditions

Starting your own family traditions is a great way to have lots to look forward to over the winter, without having to go out and spend money to keep everyone entertained. Things like family hikes, with hot chocolate when you get home, family Christmas movie days, pumpkin picking and decorating, and Christmas baking days are also excellent traditions that you can enjoy every year, even as your children start to get older.

Family days out are a wonderful chance to spend time together and enjoy the season. But they can be very expensive, especially once you factor in food, travel, and other expenses. If there are activities you really want to attend, prioritise these, and then save money with smaller, or home-based activities for the rest of the season.