Free and low cost activities for kids in Plymouth

Free and low cost activities for kids in Plymouth

Finding low cost and free things to do with the family over the summer holiday needn't be difficult. Here are our top suggestions for having fun on a budget:

Even if you don’t go on holiday, keeping your kids entertained this summer will cost you £594.

That’s according to the Post Office, which added up the costs of activities, childcare, driving to destinations to come up with the depressing figure for weary parents.

To help out, we've put together a list of low cost and free days out to make this summer holiday loads of fun for the whole family:

1 Plymouth Hoe

The finest views of Plymouth and Plymouth Sound are from the Hoe, a spacious park opened in 1817. Traversed by the Promenade, it extends past Drake's Island as far as the lighthouse on Eddystone Rock, 14 miles away. It's also where you'll find the Armada Monument, erected in 1888 and decorated with the coats of arms of the towns that helped in the struggle against the Spanish. The nearby massive Naval War Memorial is worth a look, as is the Sir Francis Drake Statue. Also in Hoe, the upper part of Smeaton Lighthouse (1756) is open as a viewing tower. Be prepared to tackle the 93 steps, including steep ladders, to the lantern room for the lovely views.

2 National Marine Aquarium

The National Marine Aquarium is the UK's largest aquarium and offers superb educational programs and displays. Exhibits cover the world's oceans, from the shores of England to Pacific coral reefs. More than 70 sharks from 10 different species are housed here, including small dogfish and large sand tiger sharks. All feature in an excellent interactive dive show. On-site restaurants also offer views of exhibits or across Plymouth Sound.

3 Walk through the largest park in Plymouth - Central Park.

This park has open meadows, woodlands and up and down hills with fantastic views over the city towards Plymouth Sound and Cornwall. Take the children to the Seven Continents Adventure Playground containing dino swings, climbing frames, a large pyramid net, drums, sound wheel and a wheelchair roundabout!

4 Enjoy many of the city's free exhibitions venues

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and Plymouth Arts Centre have a rolling programme of high quality shows on display, as do Peninsula Arts at Plymouth University and the KARST gallery at Rumpus Cosy. Admission to these exhibitions is usually free and all the venues are within a short walking distance from each other so it’s easy to visit more than one in a day.

5 Plym Valley Railway

As well as train rides, they have lots of engines, carriages and wagons to see. There’re viewing areas so you can watch the trains running when you aren't on them! When you get off the train at Plym bridge you can explore Plym bridge woods, which is a national trust property. The Railway is next to a cycle track, so you can bring your bikes, have a train ride, then explore the cycle track through Plym bridge woods.

6 Mount Wise Swimming Pool

The free Mount Wise Swimming Pool has a cool 25 foot main pool plus a small paddling pool ideal for younger children and a separate fun packed activity pool whose delights include fountains, stepping stones, whirl pool and bubble pool!

There's also a sunbathing terrace available where you're allowed to picnic (no glass ware permitted obviously) so that's a nice spot to warm the kids up if the water's a little chilly and equally good to keep parents busy relaxing while everyone has a dip and splash!

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