Summer activities for the family – budget-friendly!


As the summer months are approaching, you may thinking of planning a holiday or some days out/road trips with the family. 

When it comes to planning family days out, they can be expensive – transport, food, possibly accommodation etc. But you do not have to spend a lot of money in order to spend time and make memories with the family. 

We want to share some completely free or low-cost, family fun activities that you could build into your schedule or budget this summer. 


Picnic in the Park 

There is something very wholesome about a family picnic to bring everyone together. Hopefully, with some sunshine this summer, a picnic in the park is a good idea for keeping the kids entertained.  

First, whether you choose to have a park, beach or garden picnic, this list of picnic essentials will help you pack: 

  • A Picnic Basket, Cooler, or Backpack  
  • Picnic Blanket  
  • Plates, Glasses, Utensils, and Napkins  
  • Bin Bags  
  • Kitchen Roll or wipes 

You can’t have a picnic without some yummy snacks. Here are some foods that will both parents and kids will enjoy: 

  • Sandwiches (a picnic classic!) 
  • Finger food – nuts, popcorn etc. 
  • Fruit 

These snacks can be made at home and are low-cost, healthy options for the family. You can also check out our ‘Snacks and Light Meals section’ from our MABS 101 Square Meals (PDF), where you can discover the perfect ingredients for a packed lunch and some tasty treat ideas. 


Family Cycle 

Cycling with the family is a great way of exploring scenic areas around Ireland, spending time with the family and not putting too much pressure on the little one’s feet! 

Like any day out with the family, you will need a backpack of essentials. Can you ever really leave the house without a bag? What do I take? How much? Have we got it all? 

Don’t worry, we have you got you covered. Here are some essentials to pack before hitting the saddle: 

  • Bike accessories: helmets are a must to keep yourself and the family safe.  
  • Sun protection: spending time out in the sun (hopefully!) means your skin will be exposed for a long period of time. We know most kids hate using it but sun cream is a must-pack. Check the weather before you set off on your cycle! 
  • Good clothing: comfortable runners and trainers are best for cycling. It is important to also prepare for the weather (especially in Ireland), so be sure to pack your waterproofs and a spare change of clothes for the kids. 
  • Snacks: you will need to fuel the family during your cycle. Maybe you will decide to stop off at a scenic lake or park. Make sure to have some water as well as sandwiches to keep you hydrated and well-fed. 
  • Camera/phone: don’t forget to capture the memories and take snaps throughout the cycle. Even if there is a flat tyre or two, there are bound to be plenty of stories you’ll recall from your day out. 

There are more free outdoor activity ideas and inspiration on Discover Ireland. Take a look and maybe make a list of a few things you’d like to do this summer. 


Step back in history – Museum tours 

Museums are great places to visit with children and many of them have interactive exhibits or activity sheets for younger visitors. Museum visits also tend to be free or low cost and, because they are indoors, they are perfect for a rainy day. 

There are three National Museums located in Dublin, which are all free to visit and open 7 days a week: 


Other examples of free museums around the country are: 


These are just some of the examples of museums with free admission around the country. Search in your local area and there may be more that you did not know was free! Museum tours are a great way of learning some new stuff, spending time with the children and it is also a nice indoor option, when the sun is not shining! 

We hope that you found our suggestions on some low-cost family activities helpful and that you can try some out over the summer months. 


Contact Us

If you have a general money, budgeting or debt-related query, you can call the MABS National Helpline on 0818 07 2000 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm or find the contact details for your local office.   

Don’t forget to follow us too at @MABSinfo – Facebook, Instagram., or Twitter. 


Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. The details of each case can be unique. As a result, the outcome can be different to what has been described in this blog.

Note: We welcome references to and use of the content in this blog. However, please reference MABS and link said content if you choose to do so.