IT'S day one of the summer holidays and that means seven weeks of juggling childcare, kids moaning about being bored, hungry (or both) and trying to find things to entertain them so that you can have five minutes peace!

This summer is going to be even tougher for many as food costs have risen, petrol prices have skyrocketed, and we have the prospect of a very expensive winter ahead of us.

Thankfully we are blessed to live in a county where there are lots of activities to entertain even the most active children, many are free (or subsidised) and welcome children of all ages.

News and Star: Allonby beachAllonby beach

We know that you don’t have the time to go searching for all these different activities, so we have put together a Guide to Cost Friendly Family Days Out this Summer.

Most of the activities are FREE, however some may incur a small charge.

News and Star: Summer holidays on the beachSummer holidays on the beach


Top 3 Seaside Days Out

Fancy a day by the sea? The Solway Coast, as well as being a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is also one of Cumbria’s best kept secrets.


There is so much for families to do in this unspoilt seaside town whatever the weather and it definitely doesn’t have to break the bank. Children of all ages will love playing in and around huge green and in the splash Pad which is on from 11am-6pm daily through the summer.

Silloth is also playing host to several family friendly events across the summer.

Saturday July 23 - Solway Cycling Festival (free to attend but some activities may incur a cost)

Saturday July 30 – Soul on the Green 2022 11am – 8pm (Free open-air music, bring a picnic)

Sunday 28 & Monday August 29 – Silloth Carnival (free entry but some activities may incur a cost)


Allonby beach is an adventure playground all of its own. Build a pebble tower or a den, search for treasure and of course paddle in the sea. There are lots of open spaces to run about as well as the popular park in the centre of the village.

If you are feeling adventurous a cycle or walk along the coastal path is stunning. Maryport is 5 miles to the south and it’s a nice flat route with breath taking scenery.

News and Star: Maryport HarbourMaryport Harbour


This ancient harbour town is full of things to do and explore. There are attractions that you can pay for of course, but if you delve a little deeper there are many other things to see and do.

The Maritime Museum, which is run entirely by volunteers boasts a varied collection relating to the rich maritime, industrial, and social history of the town. It’s open Friday – Sunday and if you live within CA15 take some ID with you for FREE entry.

Likewise, the award-winning Senhouse Roman Museum which is sat 180 feet above the shore also offers FREE entry for residents of CA15.

Taste of the Sea returns to Maryport on August 13/14 2022. Many of the activities such as the music are free to watch but some activities will incur a small charge.


Top 5 FREE Organised Activities

Aspatria Dreamscheme are running FREE holiday activities on certain dates for ALL children aged 6-16. Places are limited so book early – email for more information.

Park Play run free fun and games activities in local parks each Saturday morning for adults and children. They currently operate in Wigton, Aspatria, Hammonds Pond, Barrow and Millom.

Cumbria Tale Trails bring our beautiful environment to life, whilst giving your little people loads of exercise without them realising it! Head out on a family walk based around a fun story with a laminated colourful hand drawn map for children to hunt out clues. There are numerous maps of varying distances, and they can either be downloaded or picked up from the Beacon Museum in Whitehaven.

Cumbria’s libraries are running their popular Summer Reading Challenge again this summer with various free drop-in activities and events taking place at all local libraries. Contact your local library to find out more.

Cumbria’s Holiday Activity and Food Programme has a wide range of activities on offer this summer and includes a lunchtime meal. From canoeing to boxing, cricket to swimming there is something to suit children of all ages.

Activities are free to families who receive benefits related Free School Meals and many of the activities are open to all children with a small charge. To see all the activities on offer


Top 3 Budget Family Days Out

Talkin Tarn

Just a mile off the A69 near Brampton you’ll find fairy-tale woodland, meadowland, and a glacial lake – all making for a magical day out for all the family. Entry to the park is free, however there are nominal parking charges. The 1.3mile walking route is wheelchair and pushchair accessible and there is plenty of picnic space.

Hammonds Pond

Located on a hill at Upperby with playgrounds to suit all ages of children, an area for bikes, scooters and skateboards, woodland walks, and a lovely miniature railway (small charge payable), this is a truly affordable day out for all the family. Parking is also free and there are all the facilities families would expect in a large park.

RSPB Campfield Marsh

Just a five minute drive to the west of Bowness on Solway this is a must-visit day out, especially if your children love wildlife, bugs, and water. Entry and parking are completely free (although a donation is always gratefully received). Activities include pond dipping, a natural play area, and a nature trail as well as picnic benches and visitor centre.