Cheap activities for children in BerkshireBy Caroline Cook
July 26, 2012
Stuck for something to do with the children this summer?
Caroline Cook picks out some of the best attractions in and around Reading – and gives you tips on how to cut the costs:
Where: Lower Basildon
Cost: £9 adults, £7.50 senior citizens, £6.50 children, family (two adults and two children) £27, under-twos free.
Meerkats, river hogs, ring-tailed lemurs, yellow mongooses and alpacas are just some of the animals who will be trotting around Beale Park this summer.
The wildlife park is home to a whole host of furry critters and birds as well as boasting a variety of beautiful gardens, sculptures and trails.
Visitors can enjoy looking at model boats before hopping aboard the Beale Railway and enjoying the adventure playground.
Money saving tip: Beale Park has a kids zone on its website with three free activity packs that you can print out to keep them entertained another day.
Cost: £7.95 adults, £6.95 children and seniors, family (two adults and two children) £26.50, under-twos free.
Bucklebury Farm boasts 74 grassy acres filled with dozens of attractions and animals to keep the family entertained this summer.
Visitors to the park can meet the baby deer calves, help bottle feed lambs and pet the adorable baby goats.
The centre also has an indoor play area – ideal for rainy days – and an outdoor adventure playground with climbing frames, a tree house and a sand-pit.
There is also a new coffee shop on site selling home-made cake, bacon rolls, soups and afternoon tea.
Money saving tip: If you’re planning on going to the farm a few times over the year, you can get a season ticket for £46.50 for adults and £40.50 for children to save you some money in the long run.
Where: Blagrave Street, Reading
Standing tall in the middle of Blagrave Street, Reading Museum is one of the most eye-catching sights in the town. And inside there is even more to see, with 11 galleries displaying historical items and other points of interest.
Pop in to discover the history of the Bayeux Tapestry and check out the museum’s latest sporty exhibition Bikes, Ball and Biscuitmen, which runs until the end of October.
Money saving tip: Reading Museum is a two-minute walk from the train station and main bus stops so arrive using public transport and save on costly car parking.
Picnic in the park
Where: In and around Reading
Now the sun has finally decided to gets its hat on in time for the summer holidays, a picnic is a great low-cost day out with the family.
Make up some stacks of sandwiches at home, grab a blanket and head to one of Reading’s green spaces for some fun in the sun.
Forbury Gardens, located in the heart of the town, is an ideal picnic spot, along with Palmer Park and Prospect Park a little further out.
Money saving tip: If you need a picnic blanket head to Poundland where you can pick up a foldaway blanket for, you guessed it, £1.
Basildon Park Children’s Crafts
Where: Lower Basildon
Cost: Standard admission for the whole property £10 adults, £5 children, £25 family.
Grounds only £6 adults, £3 children, £15.80 family
A different sport will be on offer at Basildon Park each week throughout the summer to help children stay fit and have fun.
The 18th Century manor house will open its grounds to families with bats and balls lined up on the terraces. Every Wednesday during the holidays there will also be a craft session for children to get stuck in with different projects.
Money saving tip: By becoming a member of the National Trust you can get free entry and parking at more than 300 historic houses and gardens around the country. Prices start from £53 for an adult and £25 for children.
Where: Princents Lane, Calcot
Cost: Monday-Friday, £3.70 adults, £2.75 children. Weekends and bank hols; before 6pm £4.20 adults, £3.50 children, after 6pm £4.70 adults, £4 children
Send bowling balls hurtling down the lanes at Reading Bowl this summer.
Families can battle it out in the lanes and enjoy snacks from the diner. The bowling alley is open every day of the summer holidays from 9am, with plenty of fast paced fun to be had.
Money saving tip: Reading Bowl is running a summer holiday offer giving people the chance to bowl on Monday-Friday for £1.50 per game per person from 10am-11am, or £2 per game per person from 11am-noon.
Where: Winkfield Road, Windsor
Cost: Adult £44.20, child £35.20, senior £35.20. Discounts available when you book online in advance.
Mini adventurers can take a dive into a world of fun with the Atlantis Submarine Voyage at Legoland.
The underwater experience is the park’s latest ride and features nearly 100 bespoke brick models hand-built by Lego experts.
Other popular attractions at the resort include the Lego Driving School, the fiery Dragon Rollercoaster, Viking’s River Splash, and the Extreme Team Challenge.
Money saving tip: Tesco is running an offer allowing you to convert Clubcard points into Legoland vouchers. Every £11.50 in Clubcard vouchers gives a one-day pass token. See www.tesco.com.
The REME Museum of Technology
Where: Isaac Newton Road, Arborfield
Cost: £5 adult, £4 child, under-fives free, £15 family (two adults and up to three children)
The REME Museum has a busy programme this summer to keep children of all ages entertained.
From Thursday, August 2, to Friday, August 3, families can join in with a camouflage workshop and find out how it is used in the army.
Then on Wednesday, August 22, and Thursday, August 23, youngsters can have a go at building a mini shelter from scrap material.
The museum also has an extensive collection of military vehicles and other items.
Money saving tip: If you belong to a military unit or course you can visit the museum for free.
Where: Holme Grange Craft Village, Heathlands Road, Wokingham
Cost: £3.50 plus the cost of whatever you paint (from £2.50 to £32)
Get creative during the summer holidays with a painting session at Pottery Pals.
The studio, tucked in the middle of Holme Grange Craft Village, invites crafty types to paint a range of items from piggy banks to plates.
After painting the items are glazed and fired so they can be used in the kitchen or put on display at home.
Money saving tip: If you have a birthday coming up in the family why not give them a pottery creatio? Everyone loves a handmade gift and it often works out cheaper than buying pottery on the high street.