10 Free Things To Do This Bank Holiday

Kids playing splash

With the world only just beginning to open up again, very few of the festivals and events that normally fill the summer bank holiday are going ahead.

We Kidadlers can make our own fun, though, can’t we? And without spending a penny. Here are 10 suggestions of activities to get you out and about, or having fun around the house.

For those who want to go a little further afield and perhaps visit a theme park, zoo or other attraction, we’ve also got all that rounded up too.

1. Take a nature walk: Walking is the simplest and most inexpensive way to have fun as a family. Take a hike through the countryside, or plan a route through the urban environment that links up lots of parks and woodlands. As summer begins to turn to autumn, there’s much to look out for, and younger children will delight in collecting acorns, conkers and other fruits of the season. Find ideas for walks all over the country here.

2. Revisit a museum: Most of the big museums have now reopened. Now is an excellent time to visit. With few tourists around and tight controls over visitor numbers, our cultural spaces are much quieter than usual, making it easier to appreciate the exhibits. Remember to prebook!

3. Go blackberry picking: Take the kids on a bramble ramble. Armed with some gloves and a small bucket you’ll find blackberries growing wild in almost any hedgerow at this time of year -- both in town and country. Take the crop home and bake them into a blackberry pie. Delicious.

4. Join in the Notting Hill Carnival: The real-world parade might be cancelled, but the first ever virtual Notting Hill Carnival is still a big deal. Find out how to watch the four dedicated channels, and get into the party spirit with mask-making and Caribbean food.

5. Wild swimming: Ever fancied a dip in a lake or river? Immersion in cool water has many health benefits, besides the sheer joy of being closer to nature. Read our guide on how to go wild swimming with the family, including tips on staying safe and where to go.

6. A scenic picnic: Sure, you could just head to your usual park, with the usual snacks. But how about trying somewhere with an amazing view, and with an amazing picnic hamper (sadly, not free) to boot? Or maybe it’s time for a teddy bear’s picnic.

7. Arrange a playdate: Lockdown has meant that we’ve all seen less of our friends this year. Kids have suffered too, particularly those who’ve been out of school or nursery. Use the Bank Holiday to arrange a play date for your kid(s) with a best friend they haven’t seen for ages. But first, brush up on the dos and don’t of a socially-distanced playdate.

8. Parakeet spotting: The noisy, exotic birds have thoroughly colonised London and the South-East. Taking the kids out to spot them is a rewarding way to get closer to nature -- they’re impressive birds to find, and they’re relatively easy to track down… so no disappointed faces. Check our guide on where and how to find wild parakeets.

9. Get all sciencey: If you’re looking for some educational fun, then the Francis Crick Institute’s new family science website is the bee’s patella. We’ve also got a (metric) ton of scientific resources, videos and fact files to keep those enquiring minds sharp.

10. Family Challenge Bingo: And finally… have you had a go at our family challenge bingo card yet? The idea is to tick off as many of the activities on the card as possible -- ‘draw a superhero’, ‘learn a magic trick’, ‘write and perform a poem’, etc. -- while raising money for charity. The card was put together by Kidadl and Spread a Smile, a wonderful organisation that brings cheer to seriously ill children. 

Browse more August Bank Holiday ideas.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

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