(AD: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Morses Club)
Did you know the average cost of a family day out in the UK is more than £80 if the latest figures are to be believed?
As a family of five – and soon to be six – I can’t say I’m surprised: I often feel like we shell out money hand over fist at weekends and in the school holidays, sometimes with nothing at all left to show for it at the end of the day.
With the beach on our doorstep I know there’s no change left at all from a £10 note when it comes to ice creams for a family of five, and as for keeping the kids entertained all day – let’s just say you need deep pockets!
February 2020 sees the introduction of a new £20 note, and to help celebrate the launch we were set a £20 challenge by Morses Club who offer cash loans (Representative 466.37% APR): to enjoy a family day out for just £20. Which I have to say was quite a challenge!
So, armed with £20 and our imaginations, we set out to spend a day at the beach without spending a penny more than £20 – and came home with 7 fun things to do at the beach for under £20!
7 fun things to do at the beach for under £20
1. Hunt for shells
Whether your beach is pebbled like ours or covered in lots of golden sand, hunting for shells – and whatever else you can find – is heaps of fun for big kids and little kids alike. We regularly get crabs and sponges washed up where we are, and once we even found a coconut – which really fired the kids’ imaginations when they realised where it could have come from!
2. Talking telescope
Remember when the talking telescope cost just 20p? It costs a grand total of £1 on our stretch of the south coast now, but the kids’ love listening to the narration and looking for the landmarks, plus it’s educational too.
3. Watch the waves
A bit like watching aeroplanes, it’s amazing how long watching waves crash onto the shore will keep them entertained. These two, who can more often than not be found trying to annoy each other rather than doing something together, were happily occupied for a good 20 minutes just watching the waves wash forward and back.
4. Beach hut hide & seek
A perennially favourite game for our three and one you can do all year round whatever the weather, beach hut hide and seek involves running and hiding behind and in between beach huts until you get found – just watch out for fellow hide and seekers to avoid any head-on collisions!
5. Seaside treats
Of course, this is where things start to get expensive: fish and chips alone can set you back the best part of a £10 note where we are (Brighton and Hove), and what makes me really mad is that they charge separately for sauces too. Luckily the portions tend to be huge so a tray of fish and chips, a bag of churros and an ice cream for the littlest one set us back £15.50 and fed the whole family.
6. Beach art
We’re very lucky in that there’s always something going on art-wise at the beach. An ongoing project on Brighton beach is ‘A drop in the ocean’, a giant wave made out of plastic bottle tops washed up on the beach which now features more than 29,000 bottle tops – and counting – in every colour of the rainbow. As well as being interesting to look and it’s also educational, and real food for thought when you consider they were all once floating about in the sea.
7. Let off steam!
Of course the best thing about a trip to the seaside – and it’s totally free – is that you can let them run around to their heart’s content letting off some much-needed steam without trying to contain them or worrying too much about the noise they’re making. Then with a bit of luck all that exercise and sea air will tire them out and give you a bit of peace and quiet afterwards!
£16.50 + £2.10 parking = £18.60
I wasn’t sure it could be done but having taken on Morses Club’s £20 challenge it turns out it is indeed possible to have a family day out at the beach for under £20!
If you’d like to know more about the new £20 note, which goes into circulation from February 20, Morses Club has created a handy infographic featuring lots of interesting facts and figures to feed the imaginations of little people – and big people too! Like the fact the very first £20 note would be worth £4,048 in today’s money and that the new note, featuring the painter JMW Turner, will be the most secure bank note yet.
Do you have any top tips for family days out without breaking the bank? I’d love to hear what they are!
This post is sponsored by Morses Club, one of the largest home credit providers in the UK who offer cash loans delivered to your door. (Representative 466.37% APR).