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Max out your freedom for less

Posted 8 June 2021

Hooray for hugs and holidays! Hooray for cinemas, soft play and sports crowds! Yes, just in time for the summer, we’re all allowed to do a lot more again. If you’re worried how all this fun and freedom will affect your wallet though, worry no more. We know the cost of activities with children can soon add up so as the summer begins, we’ve put together a list of ideas that will keep all ages entertained without breaking the bank.

Whatever your family looks like, enjoy the holidays and max out your new-found freedom for less.

Firstly, you can literally max out your entertainment possibilities with a Dorset Max Card. If you haven’t heard about Max Cards, they allow holders to receive various discounts or benefits at local attractions. Any child in care is entitled to a Max Card from their Local Authority and they can use it on their own, or with a carer. Dorset is on board with the system, with lots of businesses and attractions offering some sort of discount. Well, foster families are pretty amazing, after all.

If you or a child you know has been missing the cinema, there are some fantastic films out now and more on the way. A trip to see a blockbuster needn’t be as expensive as it seems though. Both Cineworld and Odeon offer special kids’ screenings with reduced ticket prices, so combine that with sneaking in your own snacks and you could be on to a winner. If you care for a child with ASD, both companies also hold regular autism friendly screenings.

If you’re after some outdoor family fun, there are 57 Treasure Trails in and around the Bournemouth area. For around £10 the whole family can head outside to search for clues. For those who want their outdoor fun to be free, try the world of geocaching. All you need is a GPS-enabled device, a pen and a sense of adventure. There are plenty of hidden ‘caches across Dorset and the New Forest. Crabbing is another great way to spend a few hours as a family and Poole Quay is a top local spot. Go armed with a bucket, fishing line and bait, or buy cheaply from the quayside.

For a tasty time, head to your nearest Pick-Your-Own Farm. With no entrance fee, you and your family can take your time picking seasonal fruit and veg before making something delicious together – if you don’t eat it all on the way home. Should you know someone into selfies, Sopley Farm also has a beautiful sunflower field in the summer which is perfect for those Instagram or Snapchat posts.

On days when you want to stay inside, why not encourage any children you care for to take-up a challenge? The activities may be cheap, but their sense of achievement at the end could be priceless. For a carbon-busting challenge, there’s Blue Peter’s revamped Green Badge. To start learning BSL, see what inspirational teacher Mr Tyrese has to say. Finally, for more cooking fun, check out Buddy Oliver’s recipe videos and share any results using #cookingbuddies.

If you’ve got any other great family ideas, we’d love to hear about them on our Footprints Facebook page. We’re off to max out hugging our friends again.