Five cheap and free ways to keep the kids entertained this summer

There’s no need to spend a fortune entertaining the kids over the six weeks holidays. Cure their boredom with a pick of family days out in the Lee Valley.

From cycle rides and scavenger hunts to wildlife safari’s and nature reserves, here are five cheap and free activities to keep the kids entertained this summer… 

Photo: Eleanor Bentall 

Mindfulness and Natural Art Discovery Day 

Get closer to nature and experience the positive benefits that mindfulness can have on your child’s wellbeing at this engaging and inspiring family event. 

Designed for children aged between four and 11, these interactive sessions will help your child to focus on their senses and take in the natural world around them. During the morning you’ll work in family groups to observe the park’s wildlife, engage in a range of fun activities including blindfold trails, before getting creative with some natural arts and crafts. 

Suitable for: 4 – 11 year olds and their families Date: Tuesday 20 August Session times: 10:00 – 12:00 Venue: Waltham Abbey Gardens Cost: £5 per child and adults go free Booking: Book your space at visitleevalley.org.uk/myleevalley 

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Become and outdoor adventurer 

The Lee Valley boasts acres of wide open spaces and nature reserves which are filled with opportunity for lots of free and fun family activities. Construct your very own scavenger hunt, create some natural art or decorate the trees with some mud faces. You can enjoy hours of exploration at your fingertips, with our Outdoor Adventurer worksheet – it’s the perfect opportunity to get out and about and entertain the kids this summer. 

Download the worksheet from visitleevalley.org.uk/myleevalley 

Lee Valley Regional Park. River Lee Country Park, near Cheshunt. Picnic Area. Photo: Eleanor Bentall

Cycle routes 

Check out one of the many leisurely cycle rides across the vibrant green, open spaces found across the regional park which spans London, Essex and Hertfordshire. Specially designed for all ages and abilities, the routes range from five to 12 miles and offer families and cyclists the chance to discover the distinctive wildlife and award winning open spaces the Lee Valley has to offer. 

Choose your trail at visitleevalley.org.uk/myleevalley 

Wild about Wetlands 

Go wild about wetlands at this fun and interactive free event. Visitors can get involved in pond dipping, natural arts and crafts and a Wetland Detective Trail around the historic Waltham Abbey Gardens. There’ll be guided walks, the opportunity to meet the animals from Lee Valley Park Farms including rabbits and guinea pigs, see the buzzing bees from Waltham Abbey Beekeepers, plus hold a bird of prey! 

Date: Tuesday 30 July Time: 10:00 – 15:30 Venue: Waltham Abbey Gardens Cost: FREE Booking: No need to book, just turn up on the day 

Lee Valley Wildlife Safari 

Grab your binoculars and packed lunch and head out on a wildlife safari. The Lee Valley is home to awarding winning nature reserves and internationally important wetland habitats which include over 200 types of bird, 35 species of mammal, a huge variety of insects including over half the UK’s species of dragonfly and over 500 species of plant. 

Download a wildlife Safari checklist and head out into the park to see what you can find. 

From wading birds to Water Vole, Muntjac and wildflowers bursting into life, you’ll be amazed at the sheer variety of nature and wildlife that’s waiting to be discovered. 

Head to visitleevalley.org.uk/myleevalley to download your wildlife ID sheet. 

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