21 October 2017 : 
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If it feels like the Easter weekend was a million years ago, fear not, as this weekend – Friday 29 April to Monday 2 May – is the first of two long weekends in May.

Don’t let the infamous British weather ruin your bank holiday weekend, as we’ve rounded up some fantastic activities to keep you and your family entertained.

We know how much of a strain bank holidays can put on your wallet, so all of our recommendations are either cheap or free.

Bank Holiday Fun May 2016

Put the kids in charge

Imagine a child-size city where the kids are in charge. That’s exactly what KidZania, based on London, is. This unique educational attraction gives kids the opportunity to try out more than 60 career-based activities, such as fighting crime as a police officer or flying a plane. It teaches children essential life skills, such as teamwork and financial literacy, while they have fun role-playing.

Admission is usually £29.50 off-peak and £32 at peak times for children, and £16.50 for adults, but book for Friday or Monday after 2.30pm via attractiontix.com, and kids are half price and each ticket gets one adult ticket for free – that’s a saving of up to £33.

Watch your favourite films

If the weather isn’t great, one of the most popular things to do is to head to the cinema. But if you’ve got a big family, the cost can soon rack up – one angry dad recently publicly hit out as his trip to the cinema with two children left him almost £70 out of pocket.

However, Odeon has a family-friendly promotion on at the moment. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, you can get in to see your kids’ favourite movies for just £2.50 per person. At just £10 for a family of four, that’s an £18 saving compared to Odeon’s standard family ticket (£28).

Learn to ride a bike

Is your little one getting to the age where they could start learning to ride a bike? If you’ll be in or around Glasgow on Monday 2 May, head on over to one of two drop-in Play on Pedals sessions. These sessions are aimed at pre-school children and designed to help them learn to ride a bike.

There’s no need to book, all bikes, equipment, and instructors are provided, and they’re completely free. The programme is hosting bank holiday specials at the Riverside Museum and Tollcross Park Winter Gardens on Monday between 11am and 3pm.

Be at one with nature

Just about everyone remembers going to the zoo as a child – after all it is probably the first time you see animals other than cats and dogs. However, zoos can be quite expensive, particularly if there’s a few of you going. A city farm is a great alternative.

Stonebridge City Farm in Nottingham is home to goats, cows, ponies, sheep, tortoises and turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, and a variety of birds, including cockatiels and a parrot. Kids can visit the animals, gardens, go on a nature walk, and see where the farm grows its fruit and vegetables, without you spending a penny as admission is free.

Get cultured

The UK is home to hundreds of museums and art galleries; many of which are free to enter. The Tudors at the Tower Family Festival at the Tower of London is free for children under 5 and offers a range of exciting hands-on activities including using a crossbow.

A trip to a museum or art gallery might not be the first activity you’d think of if you have kids, but there are plenty that will keep the little ones engaged. For example, the National Football Museum in Manchester has a Discovery Zone where the children can dress up as footballers; while Coventry Transport Museum is bound to be a hit with Top Gear fan, as it is home to two of the world’s fastest cars.

Go to a festival

It may only just be the start of the UK festival season, but there are plenty going on this bank holiday weekend, so there’s bound to be one you’ll enjoy.

Dementia Aware-Fest in Birmingham, is a multi-band all-day rock gig, aiming to raise awareness of the condition. This year’s line-up includes Colour of Noise, Shynne, and Daylight Robbery. Tickets are just £5.

The Victorian Extravaganza in Llandudno, North Wales, features a street fair, fairground rides, street parades, fun stalls, steam engines, and plenty of other family-friendly entertainment.


Jemma Porter - Image Jemma Porter - Signature
Jemma Porter is a news & research reporter for compareandsave.com. Having worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money. For press inquiries, please visit our Media Centre.

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