Anyone for tennis?
Tennis For Free, Nationwide – free
Make the most of Murray mania and sign up for a free, coached tennis session through Tennis For Free (opens in a new window). This sports charity runs weekly, family-oriented classes in parks all over the UK, with players as young as three welcome (accompanied by a parent who always wants to play). Judy Murray herself is a patron of the charity, and she certainly knows a thing or two about creating tennis stars of the future. If you’re looking for free things to do with the kids, it’s well worth finding a session in your area (opens in a new window).
Experience some sociable media
National Media Museum, Bradford – free
If you’re in Yorkshire or the North West of England, the National Media Museum (opens in a new window) is an absolute must-go. There are permanent ‘Magic Factory’ and Animation Gallery floors, along with temporary exhibitions that are renewed over time (until the end of October there’s the ‘In Your Face’ exhibition, including a brilliantly daft ‘Selfie’ competition). Kids can learn about all things media without having their faces glued to a screen. Win!
Crack the code
Code club, nationwide - free
Think you might have a budding internet entrepreneur in your family? If so, look into Code Club (opens in a new window) – a national network of volunteers who teach kids aged 9-11 how to code in different computer languages. Clubs usually take place in libraries, schools or community centres, and the classes are completely free. Just search the site for a club near you and sign up your junior Zuckerberg!
Escape the city
Dagenham Chase Nature Reserve, Essex - free
If you’re in the South East of England, check out Dagenham Chase – a one-time winner of the Netmums Gold Award for free days out (opens in a new window). Just 15 miles outside the centre of London, you’ll find a vast network of countryside sites that are home to dozens of species of rare birds, wild animals and tree varieties. It’s a great way to open city kids’ eyes to rural spaces, and the website has printable factsheets (opens in a new window) for little ones to learn while they explore.
Project Craft (London, Manchester, Glasgow) – £10-£20, including materials
Inspire your creative critters with these one-hour hands-on craft classes (opens in a new window) held in flagship branches of Paperchase. There are various dates to choose from, and prices range from £10 for things like jewellery and pom-poms to £20 for scrapbooking and card-making. The crafts are taught by friendly class leaders, and you can get hands-on too (you know you want to).
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