The top 5 free things to do with a toddler outside the house.

Entertaining a toddler can be an expensive business, classes and outings soon add up so it’s great when you can find some free things to do. Below is a list of some of my favourites.


Museums are a great place to visit with young children, especially during the week when most older children are in school. They can be both   educational and fun. We live fairly close to Tring and love going to the Natural History Museum there. It makes for a great trip out and can be done whatever the weather.

  • Playgrounds     
    Copyright, Ctd 2005

    Copyright,Chris Darling

    Playgrounds are lots of fun for little ones. In the spring, summer and autumn we visit our local one almost daily. Even in winter we try and go a few times a week. To mix it up and to keep things fresh for both of us, I try and take my daughter to playgrounds in other surrounding villages. That way she gets a new experience.

  • Classes in your local Sure start Centre 


    Sure Start Centres are excellent services run on a non-profit basis, with trained family support workers. They aim to have two universal services a week which mean anyone can attend. In addition they have other classes/sessions, which you might be able to attend if you fall into the specific target group, which is set by each centre individually. Most services should be free. For more information go to the Childrens Centre Website.

  • Play dates

    Copyright, Madgerly

    Copyright, Madgerly

Play dates are a great for both the parents and the children. The children learn socialising skills and how to play with/near each other. They also  learn how to share which is very important. For the adults it is great to have some adult conversation and also to share child raising experiences.  We try and have play dates for our daughters as often as we can.

  • Annual Pass
    Copyright, Paul Albertella

    Copyright, Paul Albertella

    Although technically not free an annual pass is a one off purchase or you can ask for one as a present. Once you have one you can use it for free entry as many times as you like. Last year we had an annual pass for Woburn Safari Park and we used to go most weeks.  We didn’t do the drive through safari that much as our daughter couldn’t see out of the car that well. However we did the walking safari and made good use of the indoor soft play area on rainy days. Whenever we were stuck for something to do the safari park always came to the rescue. Alot of places do annual passes and if you want to go a lot then it is well worth getting one.


Have I missed anything out? What would make your top 5?

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9 Responses

  1. Single Mother Ahoy February 6, 2015 / 4:30 pm

    Great list! When we have a day off, S loves to catch a bus – doesn’t really matter where to so sometimes I just get a day pass and we catch a bus that goes past some animals.
    Also there’s a wicked community farm up the road from us! #TheList
    Single Mother Ahoy recently posted…Send A Card to a Friend DayMy Profile

    • stayathomedad February 6, 2015 / 4:44 pm

      My wife’s aunt recently took my daughter on a bus with her bus pass and she loved it. There’s a great community farm on the Wirral that is free as well.

  2. Ness @ JibberJabberUK February 6, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    We used to love going to our local Sure Start centre until the council closed it down. The library opening hours have also been reduced and are different every day so you can’t just pop in now. It’s really difficult now to find things to do!

    • stayathomedad February 6, 2015 / 8:52 pm

      That’s a shame our sure start centre is very good and the council are going to keep funding them.

  3. Emz February 6, 2015 / 9:12 pm

    Mines not yet a toddler so its all about the soft play now but this list is v useful. I would never think of a museum, that’s a good one. They do some sure start stuff where I am so i’ll keep an eye out for that in the future 🙂
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    • stayathomedad February 6, 2015 / 10:41 pm

      Our sure start has a bumps and babes class. They do stuff like baby massage, sensory play, singing and first aid courses. It’s also a great place to meet other parents from your area. It might be worth checking what your local one offers for babies.

  4. Hannah Mums' Days February 12, 2015 / 10:35 pm

    Some great tips – we love an annual pass here. You can make loads of use if it’s lovely (we love our English Heritage pass!). Also, simple things like going to the supermarket or the library are big hits for us 🙂

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx
    Hannah Mums’ Days recently posted…Rose Petal Sensory Play for Valentines!My Profile

    • stayathomedad February 12, 2015 / 11:12 pm

      The supermarket with the children is one of our nightmares at the moment. Our eldest just wants to go off and explore and won’t sit in the trolley for long. We’ve been meaning to go to the local library, but haven’t got round to it yet. Will have to try that out.

  5. Morna piper March 16, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Great list. We have a city farm in edinburgh which is free. We also used to go to regular rhyme time sessions in the library.
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