The Summer holidays don't have to equal expensive days out and days rammed with activities. It's perfectly acceptable and indeed healthy to have nothing days at home in your PJs watching movies and just letting the kids 'be'. You don't have to have something scheduled for every waking minute of the day. Likewise, the theme parks and zoos and such like are lovely places to visit (and we do have a visit to Bristol Zoo with my pre-purchased Groupon tickets planned) but frankly the best things in life are free and if you have local playgrounds and country parks at your disposal - use them! Grab the bikes and scooters and let the kids run free.
We are fortunate enough to live in a beautiful town with a wonderful country park just a 10 minute walk away, so on our way to the library to choose some books for the Summer Reading Challenge we decided we would go for a walk along the river to feed the ducks and pay a visit to the local park afterwards, too.
The park has been revamped fairly recently and there are two different playgrounds to choose from with one geared more towards older children, though both are suitable for my youngest two at 5 and 9. They had great fun tearing up and down the steps to go on the slide, and clambering up the climbing frame to swing across the monkey bars and flinging themselves off the side of the frame and down the pole with wild abandon.
We spent just over an hour there and only left because it was nearly lunchtime and grumbling tummies were demanding food, next time I think we will take a picnic and sit out on the playing field. On our way home we stopped off in the newly refurbished Timbrell's Yard restaurant/bar (who also boast the most beautiful hotel rooms, they have a breakfast buffet open to the public every day between 0730-11am) for a coffee & freshly baked pastries - H loves their pain au chocolat and E can demolish one of their croissants in about 10 seconds flat - and enjoyed the view of the river just outside, the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.