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Published on: 2015-11-03 11:40:00
As the days darken early and the weather becomes unpredictable, finding days out for the kids can become expensive. However, Hertfordshire can provide great days out for children of all ages, some free and others which won’t break the bank.
Verulamium Museum is free of charge to St Albans residents, or £3.50 child and £5 for an adult ticket (under 5’s visit free) and allows children to experience a day in the life of an ordinary Roman, including play and discovery areas. Verulamium Park is only a short walk away and this park has so much to offer you’ll need to plan to be there all day: Crazy golf, basketball courts, a beautiful lake used by model boating enthusiasts, Roman ruins and acres of beautiful parkland as well as play areas to explore. Staying in St Albans, the imposing Roman city can offer children of all ages a day out which can be affordable or even free.
World famous, the St Albans Cathedral offers stunning views of the area as well as centuries of history to explore, courses, events and concerts throughout the year. Admission is free of charge although a small donation is requested but not enforced. Over Christmas, the cathedral invites choirs from all over the world to perform and the Cathedral turns into a picture postcard of seasonal magic and the Christmas carol services are all free of charge.
Hemel Hempstead is the perfect town for older kids and teenagers as here they can learn to ski at the Snow Centre (prices start at £26 but discounts are available through voucher saving websites and membership) or skateboard at one of the best indoor skate parks in the UK at the XC Centre. The XC Centre is a great place to leave older children for the day as they can enjoy rock climbing, BMX biking, bouldering as well as chilling out in the cafe. Skateboarding sessions starts at £5.50 but prices are reduced with a free membership. To save time at the foyer, fill in the safety disclaimer online before you go. The same leisure complex also offers a multiplex cinema, bowling and restaurants.
Little nature lovers will enjoy Hertfordshire including the beautiful Butterfly World in Bricket Wood (half way between Watford and St Albans). Check opening times after mid November for special events (under 3’s go free), Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, North Hertfordshire, while it costs £14 per child it does offer so many activities to stimulate young minds, no matter what the weather.
Willows Activity Farm in London Colney is a wonderful ‘hands on’ farm where children get can up close to farm animals in a safe environment. Under 2’s go free and a child’s entry ticket is £10. However you can stay all day and explore the activity centre, play area, adventure playground as well as participate in child friendly animal feeding sessions.
If you don’t mind wiping muddy knees then Hertfordshire offers load of parks, outdoor playgrounds, teenage adventure parks and woodlands, all totally free. One of the best is Aberford Park in Borehamwood. This Green Flag award winning park offers a purpose built outdoor skate park, cycle routes, an extreme sports area (over 12’s only), a junior play area (over 7’s), sculptures and an internationally recognised sensory play area for toddlers, as well as a pleasant and affordable cafe. Check out your council’s park and leisure department on their website for more free parks near you. As with all days out, check the internet for voucher offers and discounts on sites such as Groupon and Wowcher which are always available outside of the summer holidays.