Free and budget-friendly things to do this winter

As the winter chill settles in and the excitement of the holiday season is over, you may find yourself on the hunt for free and budget-friendly activities to keep the kids entertained. Fear not! Coventry and Warwickshire offer a wide range of experiences that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

From arts and crafts to nature trails and sculpture parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice with Coventry and Warwickshire’s fantastic free and budget-friendly activities, making this January a month of memorable family adventures.

Here’s a guide to some fantastic options for free and budget-friendly family fun that won’t dent your wallet:

Embrace the spirit of adventure with Coventry’s Young Explorer Trail, a delightful journey through the city that captivates young minds. Pick up your FREE ‘Young Explorer’ trail from inside one of Coventry’s two Visitor Information Centres (located adjacent to Coventry Railway Station, or inside Pool Meadow Bus Station) and discover the answers to the 10 questions as you search some of the very special city centre attractions to win your exclusive Coventry Young Explorers badge!

The trail should take approximately 60 minutes to complete, allowing for the walking time between venues, but you could easily extend your stay and spend a little extra time in each venue, talking with our local experts to find out more about Coventry should you wish to!

Experience the awe-inspiring architecture and rich history of Coventry Cathedral. Whether you’re admiring the modernist design or exploring the ruins of the old cathedral, this iconic landmark offers a contemplative and enlightening experience for visitors of all ages.

Exploring the remains of the medieval cathedral, which was destroyed during the Coventry Blitz in 1940. Admire the innovative and striking design of the modern cathedral, famously known as St. Michael’s Cathedral or even take a wander through the Cathedral Gardens and say hello to the local squirrel residents, there is something for everyone.

Unlock the world of art and culture at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. From interactive exhibits to family-friendly workshops and events, there’s something to spark creativity and curiosity in everyone.

Fresh from its recent return home to the Natural History Museum, Dippy the Diplodocus (DIP-low-DOCK-us) has stormed into Coventry and will be on display at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum until 2025. Dippy the dinosaur is a life-size, plaster-of-paris replica of a Diplodocus carnegii skeleton. It became the first Diplodocus to go on display anywhere in the world when it was gifted to the Natural History Museum by Andrew Carnegie on 12 May 1905.

Libraries are often unsung heroes for family outings. Coventry boasts libraries packed with family-friendly books, storytelling sessions, and even craft activities for kids. It’s a perfect spot to stimulate their imaginations and foster a love for reading.

Inspired by the British Library’s current exhibition Fantasy: Realms of Imagination, Coventry Central Library is displaying a free exhibition that explores the rich diversity of the fantasy genre, from legends to manga and live-action role-playing games. Discover how fantasy is flourishing today across various media – literature, TV, film, games and more – and look back at the genre’s origins.

Nature beckons at Ryton Pools, a serene haven where families can revel in the beauty of the great outdoors. With picturesque trails, play areas, and opportunities for wildlife spotting, it’s an ideal escape for a day of exploration and adventure. With a café, two parks, and ancient woodland and 100 acres to explore this country park is a great way for you to get out and about in the winter fresh air.

Looking for something to do for a few hours? Why not venture beyond Coventry to Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery and explore the exhibitions and workshops designed to engage and entertain kids? Be inspired by local stories, and the life of novelist George Eliot, take time creating new art in their colouring-in areas or create your music with their musical instruments. Nuneaton Art Gallery & Museum is free, fun and family-friendly.

Embrace the outdoors and let the kids burn off some energy at War Memorial Park. This premier park attracts around 400,000 visitors from all over the city and beyond every year. Take a walk along the paved path or wander through the formal garden or try your ‘foot’ at the footgolf course. Take a wander through the sensory garden or learn something new on the tree trail.

Embark on an exciting journey of discovery, creation, learning, and enjoyment at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum. Home to a wide range of artefacts from rugby’s cultural heritage spanning back to Roman times, Rugby’s rich industrial heritage, and the birth of the famous game. On display until 03 February 2024, Rugby Open brings together a diverse range of high-quality contemporary art from emerging and established artists from the local area and includes dozens of pieces from across the arts, from paintings and prints to textiles and ceramics.

The Warwick Arts Centre is dedicated to family-friendly programming. Whether it’s crafting sessions, theatre workshops, or storytelling events, the centre aims to create an inclusive space where families can bond over shared artistic experiences. The FREE family activities are not only enjoyable for children but also provide parents with the opportunity to participate actively in their children’s creative journey.

In addition to the indoor activities, the Warwick Arts Centre boasts a captivating sculpture trail that meanders through the scenic campus grounds. The outdoor art installations enhance the overall experience, allowing visitors to appreciate art in a natural and open setting. The sculpture trail is a perfect way for families to combine art appreciation with outdoor exploration.

For Go CV Members, the Coventry Transport Museum is a free family fun day out and a must-visit. Explore the fascinating world of transport through exhibitions showcasing everything from bicycles to vintage cars. It’s an educational and entertaining journey for the whole family.

January need not be a month of hibernation and boredom. Coventry and its neighbouring areas are brimming with opportunities for family fun that won’t strain your wallet. So, grab your coats, gather the kids, and embark on memorable adventures that will create lasting moments without breaking the bank!

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