At this time of the year it would be fair to say I start to perspire … badly.
Not due to excessive physical activity, those that know me know I am more of a cake and comfort kinda gal, however with the School Summer holiday looming and the purse strings only stretching as far as the extortionatly priced new school uniform … I normally begin to panic on how to keep my kids entertained on a very tight budget or … if possible for free!
I know I have not been alone on this state of parenting panic so this year I am teaming up with nPower to share my top places to visit in Nottinghamshire that are free to visit or reasonably priced!
So when the cabin fever hits and the kids whining tempo hits fever pitch .. throw back the doors and head out and about!
Sherwood Pines is somewhere close to my heart at I grew up with this beautifully majestic forest on the doorstep and it featured heavily in my teen years when wanting fresh air and exercise!
The forest has over 3,300 acres to discover all for the cost of the car parking … entry to the forest is free and with plenty of walkable paths you can take to the forest and explore or even take a picnic and sit back and take in the atmosphere.
For those with bikes, why not take them along, Sherwood Pines have a fantastic range of bike trails ideal for all abilities and again all free is using your own bike.
If you don’t have your own bike, fear not you can hire bikes there but there is a cost to this service.
If you are visiting Sherwood Pines why not pay a little extra and swing through the trees with go ape! Although frightened of heights I have even managed to get myself high up in the tree tops!
Go Ape have an adult course and a children course to so the whole family can join in!
If you have not discovered Creswell Crags yet, it is a majestically beautiful limestone gorge surrounded by a cluster of caves that were inhabited during the last ice age that are totally free to walk around (however a suggested parking donation stands currently at £3)
There is fantastic visitors centre on the site that you have to pay for should you want to visit, along with lots of cave tours that are offered giving you a wider depth of knowledge at just how much history there is here again that is a chargeable service and can be found HERE.
Stonebridge City Farm
Stonebridge City Farm can be found in the heart Nottingham City and is free to visit and open every day, although donation are encouraged.
During the summer Stonebridge City Farm have a list of pre planned activities taking place to help keep your kids entertained and interested in being outside so it will make a perfect escape from the summer boredom!
Ruffed Abbey Country Park
Ruffed Abbey Country Park is one of our all time go too, it has so much to offer that we never get bored visiting, with free entry and car parking at £3 for the whole day we can often be found enjoying the fresh air here walking the woodland and lakeside walks!
You can also find the formal gardens, children’s garden and even a small maze all set in the grounds of the 12th century Abbey.
It’s a great location for a picnic and ice-cream and to let the kids run off some steam!
This beautiful Cathedral is open everyday and is free to visit, although again donations are gratefully accepted.
With daily options for guided tours, this might be an option if you wanted to take on more history of the building although it’s probably aimed more at the older child than the younger age range. However they do offer a great audio tour if you really did want to understand more about the history of the this stunning building.
If you are in the Southwell area why not check out Southwell’s second treasure .. Southwell Workhouse.. Why not take your littles to visit how life was for those in the rural workhouse for the areas destitute! … it’s certainly an eye opener and with lots to see.
Vicar Water Country Park
This beautiful parkland and lake overlooks some stunning views and with masses of wildlife, fab footpaths and even day fishing as an option there are lots that can be done while visiting! .. Why not take a picnic or even grab a bite to eat at the Rumbles Cafe or take the scooters!
Fresh air and a relaxed atmosphere can both be found at Vicar Water Country Park and all for free!
Attenborough Nature Reserve
The nature reserve, has lots of events for children all the year through, however in the holidays they really do seem to hear the cries of those stressed out parents and host a whole load of interesting and informative sessions to keep the littles amused from nature walks to picnics!
Although the Attenborough Nature Reserve is free to enter there is a suggested donation of £1.50 for the car park.
Is one of my most loved places on the planet, not only did I grow up in the Village with Sherwood Forest on my doorstep but it’s the one place I love to escape to when fresh air is needed no matter what time of the year it is!
With its abundance of wildlife and fantastic interactive visitor centre there really is lots to get engaged with no matter your age and all for free (although a parking fee is place at certain times of the year)
Green’s Windmill is another fantastic free day out but this time with a difference, with its working mill, museum and science centre along with the outside playground this lovely venue is open Wednesday to Sunday and is totally free to visit for all making it a must visit location for the holidays!
Green’s Windmill has some hands on activities for children to get them involved in the science centre, which is great for keeping those little folk entertained!
Wollaton Hall And Park
Walloon Hall And Park is a total gem of a venue to go and visit, with the stunning grade one listed building Wollaton Hall houses the city’s Natural History Museum as well as some reconstructed rooms for people to view. Entrance to the Hall and grounds is free, however parking is £2 for up to 3 hours and £4 for the whole day.
Nottingham Industrial Museum
Is also located at Wollaton Hall but there is a small fee payable to visit this Industrial Museum contains a unique collection of working steam and diesel engines along with some regional examples of textile and transport technologies and exhibits.
Floralands Farm Park
Floralands Farm Park is situated at Floralands Garden Centre and is complete with a lovely play area, picnic area and there are lots of animals to see and feed!
National Ice Centre
What about taking to the ice this holidays? Well you certainly can if you visit the National Ice Stadium, with their extended public sessions the only thing to worry about is keeping upright .. ok that might just might be me!
City Of Caves & Galleries of Justice
The City Of Caves is a below ground family attraction that show cases some of the caves beneath Nottingham City from the Dark Ages! Don’t forget if you want to visit its sister attraction the Galleries of Justice you get a far better price than one or the other visits.
The Galleries of Justice are based in Nottingham’s old courthouse and gaol, and is full of things to do with exhibitions, audio tours, cafe and gift shop … there are lots to uncover at this museum of Crime and Punishment!
Lakeside Arts Centre
Located at university park, Lakeside Art Centre has a really large area with children’s playgrounds and even a boating lake, where you can hire a rowing boat for a while to take to the water!
With cafe and lots of special events throughout the year it makes for a lovely visit no matter if it’s a short or long visit there is plenty of fun to be had
This historic Newstead Abbey is set in some utterly stunning grounds, with lakes, waterfalls, formal gardens and winding paths it’s utterly breathtaking no matter what time of the year. The grounds and gardens are free to visit but a small fee is payable if you would like to visit the inside of the abbey.
Brewhouse Yard is a museum of Nottingham’s social history through the ages for the last 300 years and has masses to see, do and learn about in the reconstructed rooms, hops and galleries!
museum depicts the social history of Nottingham over the last 300 years. The Museum of Nottingham Life contains a mixture of reconstructed rooms & shop settings, and gallery displays.
So what do you have planned this summer?
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post