Inexpensive or Free Activities & Eating Out

  • FosterWiki
  • Author:FosterWiki
  • Published:August 2022
  • Country: United Kingdom

Inexpensive or Free Activities & Eating Out in the Holidays for Fostering Families

Free Activities

Introduction to Inexpensive or Free Activities & Eating Out in the Holidays for Fostering Families

The FosterWiki report on the cost-of-living crisis revealed 89% of foster carers said they are having to cut back on money spent on the children, impacting on food, heating, travel and activities, and 2.5% had even had to resort to food banks.

Many said that activities were the first thing to suffer so we have reached out to our foster carer community and others for their top ideas and tips on free or inexpensive ideas for activities and eating out for families and children.

Government schemes

Government’s finder for holiday club play schemes, before and after school clubs.

These may be at schools, private or voluntary organisations, in England & Wales.

Government ‘HAF’ food and activity vouchers

This is a government initiative to provide free holiday provisions including healthy food and enriching activities.
Although it says it’s for children on free school meals the local authorities have the discretion to use their funding to provide free or subsidised holiday club places for children who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals but who the local authority believes could benefit from HAF provision. So don’t be afraid to ask as our foster children and young people certainly come under that category.

Leisure centre passports

Foster carers have told us that many local authorities provide or can obtain free leisure centre passports for children, check this out with your child’s LA.


Recommended by lots of foster carers, and completely FREE.
Here’s what Geocaching say:
“Join the world’s largest treasure-hunting community with the official app for geocaching.

Whether you are off to find your first geocache or your ten-thousandth, this app is your ultimate geocaching toolbox. There are millions of clever containers called geocaches hidden in almost every country on Earth, just waving to be found, there are probably even some near you right now.

Just getting started? This app walks you through the adventure of finding your first few geocaches. There are tips, hints and instructions for geocaching as well as using the app”

Ewan’s guide is the disabled access review website where disabled people, their families, friends and carers can find and share the accessibility of venues around the UK and beyond. The website shares thousands of experiences and is the go-to tool for many disabled people.

We believe in making the world more accessible one review at a time. Thousands of people use Euan’s Guide every month to find and share disabled access information. We often get told that just one review from someone with similar access requirements can give someone else enough confidence to visit somewhere new. Euan’s Guide is opening doors for disabled people to find great places to go. By breaking down barriers of exclusion, it gives everyone the freedom to explore

National Trust

The National Trust has locations all over the UK. At FosterWiki we think its amazing value as it works out at about £2.70 a week for a whole family, which includes own children, foster children, and grandchildren. Although there are cafes, you can take your own picnics to save on the expense as there are gorgeous gardens and grounds to have picnics in.

The National Trust have so many free activities for children over the holidays including trails, treasure hunts, and discovery games.
They always have great facilities and good accessibility. Join here:

Gruffalo Trails

If you are looking for a fun, free day out, you have to check out your nearest Gruffalo Trail. Grab a picnic and explore nature with all of the popular characters from The Gruffalo. There are parks and further activities at most locations to enjoy – making it perfect, and affordable.

family day out.

Paw Print Family

Its mission is to help parents save time and provide opportunities that deliver adventure, fun, community and reward.

They do this through our family of brands; Pawprint Badges, Pawprint Trails, Pawprint Tales and the Pawprint Trust.

Pawprint Badges brings you fun, collectable, embroidered badges for all occasions and takes the strain off programme planning with 1000s of free activity ideas and resources.

Joining the family in 2020 Pawprint Trails and Pawprint Tales go hand in hand, bringing you a fun and informative way to discover the people, places and history of the UK.

With treasure hunts to get you out and about, free activity ideas and a story to sit alongside each location you can explore the sights and cities for real or enjoy them from the comfort of your own home.”

Websites with museums, art galleries and more

162+ Free Days Out Across the UK (for Aug 22)

It’s your mojo

Amazing online activities for all children focus on children’s holistic well-being and creative thinking, helping children to thrive in life. They provide extra-curricular life skill programs that focus on developing multiple skills including logical, artistic, linguistic, interpersonal… Basically, it works out at £3.50 for as many children as are in the family and they get access to 15 hours of entertainment a week. There’s also a week’s free trial. Here’s an example of the timetable:
Holiday activities

Here is the Its Your Mojo founder talking about the benefits of online activities

Join here:

Blue light card

The blue light card now includes foster carers.
“We are the discount service for the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces, providing our members with thousands of amazing discounts online and on the high street.  For just £4.99, members of the Blue Light community can register for 2-years and access more than 15,000 discounts from large national retailers to local businesses across categories such as holidays, cars, days out, fashion, gifts, insurance, phones, and many more.

Range of discounts – We’re home to a range of official discounts from large national retailers to local businesses in a wide range of categories including holidays, cars, days out, fashion, gifts, insurance, phones and much more!”

Foster carer’s comment:

Eating out

    Kids eat for £1 All Day, Every Day with no adult spend required from 25th July – 4th September 2022 Update! This offer has now been extended until the end of the year.
    From 25th June – 26th August 2022 get one free kid’s hot meal deal or kids’ breakfast for dine-in or Kids Pick ‘n’ Mix to takeaway with any purchase by an adult in the café at Tesco. Clubcard/app required.
    From July 25th – August 12th 2022 children can eat free at M&S cafes with a purchase of any adult meal or drinks over £5
    From June 27th 2022 children get 1 mini main, 2 snacks and a drink FREE with every £4 spent at Pausa Cafes at Dunelm stores.
    Kids eat free all day, every day with paying adults at Preto. This offer is open to children up to 10 years old – This is an ongoing offer!
    Purchase one great value £9.50 breakfast at any Whitbread Inns pub or restaurant and two kids under 16 eat for FREE
    At Future Inns, under 5’s always eat for free with any adult meal. During the school holidays, it’s extended to under 12’s.
    Two children under 16 years old can get a free breakfast every day with one paying adult!
    Two children get free breakfast with one paying adult! It has also been reported that if you sign up for their newsletter they send out a code for kids to eat free, but I haven’t personally tried this.
    The same as Beefeater, you can get two children free breakfast with one paying adult! It has also been reported that if you sign up for their newsletter they send out a code for kids to eat free, but I haven’t personally tried this.
    Kids eat free all day, every day in Morrisons cafes nationwide, daily from 3 pm with every adult meal over £4.99.
    Kids eat free from 3 pm-5.30 pm, Monday to Thursday until 1st September 2022
    Kids eat FREE every Sunday for every £10 spent by an adult.
    Kids under 10 can eat free from the children’s menu when grown-ups order mains from the main menu. Available every day 12pm – 5pm.
    Kids eat breakfast free when accompanied by a paying adult, all day every day through the school holidays from 9 am – 12 pm
  • IKEA
    From 12th July to 3rd September, kids can enjoy any meal from the children’s menu for 95p, or £1.50 for a combo meal which includes one hot meal, jelly, a soft drink, and a piece of fruit.
    Children can eat for £1 with any adult main. The offer is valid Wednesdays only but all day.
    Children can eat for £1 with any adult main. The offer is valid between 4-6 pm Monday to Thursday.
    Every Monday to Friday, 3 – 7 pm you can get a kids’ main for just £1 with the purchase of an adult meal.
    Kids eat one or two courses for £1 at Café Rouge when you order one adult’s main meal. Excludes Saturdays

Chrities caring for children and young people with disabilities

Activities Free activities inexpensive activities
To the moon and back

Fostering Hampshire - #openyourdoor
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