Summer Holiday Ideas On A Budget

If the long summer holidays are getting to be somewhat of a strain on your bank account, then don’t worry because we have plenty of fun ideas on how to keep the family entertained for absolutely nothing!

Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre

Let’s start with the Summer Holiday Workshop at the Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre which occurs every Thursday in August. It kicks off with Instant Animations, where you can see drawings come to life with a simple paper template, combining some of the oldest forms of animation alongside today’s latest digital technology. It takes place from 12pm-3pm and no need to book…just drop in!

The following week sees the Augmented Reality Playground with 3D augmented reality drawings. The drawings are visible to everyone at the workshop, so you can draw together and interact with the creations of others too. Its suitable for ages 4+ and again there’s no booking required, simply drop in and enjoy all the fun!

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery

Here’s a chance to learn and have fun at the same time with a visit to New Walk Museum. Since opening, the museum has never charged for entry and remains one of Leicester’s best attractions. In fact, it was recently awarded the Sandford Award; a fantastic accolade awarded to places that have made a valuable contribution to heritage education. The museum picked up the award for its inspirational history, art, natural history and palaeontology exhibitions. It doesn’t end there as the Museum hosts a fantastic array of temporary exhibitions including most recently ‘May the Fourth Be with You’ and ‘MOD’s: Shaping a Generation’. The latest exhibition to come to the Museum is ‘The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists’ – a beautiful and colourful exhibition with an unparalleled collection of books, original artwork and artefacts which show how the numerous talented Ladybird illustrators played such an enormous role in the success of the company over the 20th century.

Abbey Park

Leicester might be a bustling city, but it boasts plenty of outdoor spots that will simply take your breath away. Abbey Park is situated close to the city and is the perfect place to relax and admire Leicester’s riverside scenery. Heritage lovers will love a stroll around the remains of the twelfth century Leicester Abbey and Cavendish House, a 17th century mansion. Pet’s Corner is a favorite with everyone regardless of whether you’re a pet lover or not. It’s a great chance to see a collection of exotic birds, as well as small enclosures housing hens, guinea pigs, rabbits, goats and pygmy goats. There is even a miniature railway which runs at the weekends and at special events. If you’re looking for something slightly more active, then how about a game of tennis at one of the five hard surfaced tennis courts located in the park.

Oh deer 🦌

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Bradgate Park

Enjoy another one of Leicestershire’s beauty spots renowned for its fine herds of deer and the only remaining enclosed medieval deer park in the East Midlands. Bradgate Park has incredible scenery and contains the oldest rocks in England. Another interesting fact which you might not know about the park, is that it’s also the birthplace and childhood home of 16th century Queen of England, Lady Jane Grey – whose reign famously lasted for only nine days. You can explore the ruins of her home – one of the earliest country houses built for royalty.

But that’s not all, you can enjoy the rich history and enchanting beauty of almost untouched nature; marvel at oak trees that are over 500-years old in the medieval deer park, see Old John tower - one of Leicestershire's most famous landmarks at the highest point of the park. Be peaceful alongside the Leicestershire Yeomanry war memorial for the Boer War and World Wars 1 and 2, and walk alongside the beautiful stretch of water, waterfalls and pools of the River Lin.

Abbey Pumping Station

Leicester is home to fantastic museums and Abbey Pumping Station is most certainly one to be included on that list. It’s been in operation since the late 1800’s and although any functions it performs now are merely superficial, it is host to Leicester’s Museum of Science and Technology. It’s a great display of Leicester's industrial, technological and scientific heritage. Entry to the museum itself is free, but they often have events at a very reasonable price that offer a more in depth look at the history, as well as opportunities to see the huge steam pumps in action.

Also, on offer is a display on the history and science of public health in Leicester. Using historical items from various periods, including Victorian toilets and Roman water pipes, you have an opportunity to learn more about the everyday infrastructure that we take for granted, and how hundreds of years of research and development have led us to the point we are at now.

So, there you have it…ideas on how to enjoy the last few weeks of the summer holidays at no cost!

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