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The Budget Guide to great Family Days Out - Summer 2020

Rebecca BebbingtonRebecca Bebbington · Aug 7, 2020

With the summer months well underway and normality slowly beginning to resume, you may be wondering how you’re going to salvage the summer of 2020. With the world gradually re-opening, more and more of us are itching to get back out there and have some fun.

With the world pretty much acclimated to the new way of living – face masks, hand-washing and social distancing being the new norm, all hope is not lost and there is plenty of fun to be had this summer – sticking to the rules of course!

We’ve decided to compile a useful guide to inspire fun-filled days out for you and your family to delve into this summer – including visits to your local zoo, theme parks, restaurants, scenic walks and much more. We’ve even covered ways you can have fun on a budget as well as a quick reminder on the government’s latest guidelines. We have also featured a great selection of online deals and discounts to use at the likes of Alton Towers, London Zoo, London Pass and National Trust – to just name a few.

However, we do understand that some people may still be feeling anxious about going out, which is why we’ve done all the research to reassure you what restrictions are in place at all your favourite attractions to keep you safe.

Top 5 Family Days Out

Zoos & Safari Parks

Lions at ZSL London Zoo. Image: London Zoo

If your little monkeys have been climbing the walls over the last couple of months, why not take them to see some real-life monkeys in action with a trip to the Zoo now they’re back open for business. A fun-filled day out is guaranteed for all, and with a selection of guidelines in place to ensure your safety, you’re bound to feel relaxed and enjoy making memories with your little ones.

The new rules include online ticket sales, takeaway service at food & drinks stalls, 2-metre social distancing, one-way routes and visitors are asked to wear masks indoors and in enclosures. These rules are carried out at Zoo’s across the UK, but if you’re unsure, check out their site for the latest guidelines.

The ZSL London Zoo is amongst one of the most popular Zoo’s seen to re-open in recent weeks and it’s no surprise as they are now running 20% off Memberships by Direct Debit online. Whipsnade Zoo have the same available deal along with 50% off in the online shop!

Chester Zoo and Blackpool Zoo are also great options for those who live in the North of England. They too are adhering to the new guidelines.

Top Money-Saving Tips!

  • Buying a Zoo Membership will save you heaps of cash if you visit regularly and are typically inexpensive!
  • Travelling on National Rail? Register a Days Out Guide and you can grab 2for1 entry to lots of big zoos and wildlife parks. You will need to print your voucher and have a valid rail ticket bought from National Rail the same day and select the station closest to the zoo as your final destination.
  • Convert your Tesco Clubcard points into vouchers and redeem them at big-name Zoos across the UK for money-off your tickets.

Amusement Parks

Image: Thorpe Park

Whether you’re a family of daredevil adrenaline junkies, or simply looking for some excitement this summer, a theme park is always an excellent choice! Now they’re re-open just in time for the summer holidays, why not treat you and your family to a day out they’re certain to remember.

Legoland, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington and many more amusement parks are now open for business and are too adhering to the new guidelines in place to ensure your safety. These include wearing face masks, empty seats and rows on rides, social distancing in queuing areas, shops and food stalls as well as online ticket purchases only. Each theme park will have various different rules, but these are the compulsory rules outlined by the government. Be sure to check out your theme parks website if you wish for more details on your specific choice.

Of course, we’re all about helping you save money where possible at NetVoucherCodes and at Thorpe Breaks, you can now enjoy 2 for 1 on Short Break tickets – Ideal for a fun-filled weekend away with the family. Alton Towers are also offering £20 off tickets when you book in advance!

If it’s the younger kids you’re wanting to keep entertained, why not try a Legoland short break? Grab up to 20% off a selection of dates now online.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Gulliver’s World & Drayton Manor are just a few more examples of amusement parks across the UK open to enjoy right now, and why not try some of our money-saving tips to get the best value for money.

Top Money-Saving Tips!

  • Book in Advance! The sooner you book, the more you will save. Ticket prices ramp up closer to the date you visit, so save yourself some cash and plan ahead.
  • Take Food & Drink with you. It’s no secret that on-site food stalls and restaurants at amusement parks are expensive, take your family’s food & drink with you to save a heap of cash.
  • Always check online for a 2 for 1 deal. Many amusement parks offer 2 for 1 on tickets, so do your research before checking out!
  • Collect Nectar or Tesco Clubcard Points? Always check if you can redeem these as you may just save yourself a ton of cash.
  • Visit off-peak where possible. If you book now for a weekend when the kids are back in school, you’ll notice the price drop!

The Great Outdoors

Image: National Trust

There is truly no better way to spend summer days than enjoying the great outdoors (weather permitting of course) and Parks, English Heritage sites and National Trust Parks are the ideal places to do so. Explore nature at it’s finest, enjoy a picnic with family & friends and make use of those outdoor toys! Of course, if you’re visiting your local park, remember to keep your distance from others, wear a mask and use hand sanitiser after using play areas.

National Trust gardens and parks are now open for business, but again, are taking measures to ensure your safety. These include online bookings only (except kids as they visit for free), choosing a 30 min time slot, a limited number of visitors at one time and of course, social-distancing. Some facilities will remain closed so be sure to check out their site before visiting.

English Heritage members can too expect similar guidelines in place throughout their sites. However, if you’re not yet a member and wish to enjoy historic sites and the great outdoors with your family this summer, become a member now and gain access to over 400 sites across the UK. In fact, you can now grab 15% off Memberships online now!

Fortunate to live by the sea? A Day out at the seaside is bound to provide fun for all the family, and on a warm summer’s day, you’ll feel as though you’re not in the UK at all. The great thing about heading to the beach is that it is cost-free – so pack your towels, sun cream and snacks and enjoy a day out in the sunshine by the sea.

Lastly, why not head fruit picking this summer? Not only is this a great way to engage kids with nature, but it’s also great fun and you all get to enjoy some sweet treats at the end! There are hundreds of sites scattered across the UK and entry charges are very affordable.

Top Money-Saving Tips!

  • The great thing about the outdoors is that it’s mainly cost-free or inexpensive! However, if you’re looking to invest in a Membership with the National Trust or English Heritage, always check for online offers as they regularly offer discounts.
  • Always plan and book ahead too, this can save you both time & money.

Museums and Historic Attractions

Image: Warwick Castle

Inject some education into your next family day out with a trip to a Museum! Not only are museums bursting with fun and interest, but they’re also a great way for your kids to pick up some handy facts and expand their knowledge in all sorts of areas like science, history and art. With hundreds of museums across the country now open for business, you’re spoiled for choice.

There are so many museums to choose from in the UK including the famous British Museum, National History Museum as well as interactive museums like Warwick Castle, Madame Tussauds Wax Work Museum or Eureka! Whether you’re wanting to travel or stay local, there are some amazing museums scattered right across the UK – some on your doorstep you’ve probably never even heard of!

A lot of museums are actually cost-free, which is great for a budget day out with the family. Other’s do charge an entry fee, especially if they are interactive and feature tours or a show.

If you’re wanting to delve into the world of Ancient British History with an exciting day out, Warwick Castle should be at the top of your list – you can even grab £6 off tickets now!

Likewise, Madame Tussauds is also offering 15% off tickets when you book online in advance – ideal if you’re wanting to get up close and personal with your favourite and least favourite celebs.

Again, restrictions are in place at every venue you visit, including online bookings only, social distancing and limited guests at one time.

Top Money-Saving Tips!

  • If you’re on a budget, hunt out some museums which are free of charge! You will be surprised how many don’t charge an entry fee.
  • Think about buying a Merlin Pass if you enjoy visiting their attractions more than once or twice within the year, you could save a fortune on ticket prices.
  • Convert your Clubcard vouchers into a Merlin Standard Annual Pass.
  • Take your own food & drink to avoid costly prices on-site.

Experience Days

Image: Red Letter Days

If you’re stuck for ideas on ways to have fun this summer you may want to take up an experience day! These are becoming more and more popular amongst families who are keen to try something new and are suitable for both adults & kids.

Start by browsing through popular sites such as Virgin Experience Days, Red Letter Days, Buy a Gift and Groupon to just name a few, and you’ll discover hundreds of discounted days out to enjoy with your family! From London bus tours and dining experiences to driving experiences, safari park trips, hotel breaks, sightseeing adventures and many more – there’s something for every family to enjoy and are often more affordable than booking direct.

If you’re a student, you can grab 20% off experiences at Virgin Experience Days or use the code LIFE15 at Red Letter Days to secure 15% off your next experience or break. Our friends at Buy a Gift are also running a selection of money-saving deals on their packages, including 30% off for NHS staff and £10 Off your First Order!

Top Money-Saving Tips!

  • Shop around! You may be set on a specific deal but will often find it slightly cheaper elsewhere.
  • Book in advance to secure the best price.
  • Check the Special Offers section for the latest price cuts and great days out.

In short, there are heaps of ways to spend your summer days and you can rest assured your safety is a priority across each and every attraction and venue you decide to visit.

Eat Out to Help Out

It’s no secret that both kids and adults love heading out for a tasty lunch or dinner, and it’s a great way to end a fun filled day of activities! Well, this has just got even more exciting as the summer holidays have landed just in time with the government’s new Eat Out to Help Out Scheme!

If going out for dinner wasn’t fun enough, you’re now able to get 50% off your bill (not including alcohol), and this is on top of any other discounts the restaurant may be running. Each person can save up to £10 off their meal at participating restaurants, cafes and pubs – perfect for families on a budget.

This offer will run on Monday’s, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August and you will be able to use this discount as many times as you want! The discount will be applied when you pay (does not include takeaways).

A list of all participating venues is now available so you can start planning!

Reduced VAT

As well as discounted prices in food venues, families will also be pleased to know that you will also save money this summer on all your favourite attractions as well as hotels and food chains.

Nandos and Mcdonalds are just a few which have already slashed their prices this month as the Government announced they are temporarily reducing VAT rates to just 5% from 20% which will run up until January 2021.

This applies to amusement parks, theatres, zoos and cinemas, as well as hotels, caravan parks, restaurants, cafes and pubs, meaning you will be paying less on days out this summer! These discounts won’t be passed on as a voucher, they will be a fixed price the customer will see when they purchase. Find more detailed information here.

Keep Calm and Enjoy the Summer!


With summer 2020 officially back on, be sure to make the most of it with you and your family! Utilise our money-saving tips to grab savings on your favourite attractions, plus, make the most of the Government’s latest schemes – you’ll certainly miss them when they’re gone.

Try not to be afraid of going out into the world, these new government schemes are in place to encourage families to venture out, and with new restrictions in place across every venue and attraction – including Test and Trace, you are as safe as possible.

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Correct: 07/08/2020

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