Parents find creative ways to entertain their children this summer, despite feeling the squeeze from rising living costs

  • Santander UK research1 reveals parents’ creative ideas and tips for a summer of fun with the kids that doesn’t ‘cost the earth’ 

  • Parents across the UK continue to feel the pressure of rising living costs this summer, however new research shows that 36% have been putting money aside for summer activities 

  • Santander’s free online Financial Health Check and Budget Calculator can help parents stay on top of their finances and plan ahead 

New research by Santander1 reveals that, despite ongoing cost of living pressures, parents across the UK are looking forward to a summer of fun with the kids and will be making the most of ‘free’ entertainment to keep them busy. 

As a result of rising prices, some parents are concerned about how much they will end up spending this summer compared to previous years, with 60 percent worried they will not be able to afford as many fun activities for their children as they would have liked. But 9 in 10 are turning to free and low-cost activities, from treasure hunts to museum trips. 

Nearly six in 10 will lean on friends and family for support more this summer, and 36 per cent are putting money aside for the sole purpose of keeping their kids busy over this six-week period. 

Josie Clapham, Director of Financial Support at Santander UK said: “With the school holidays only a few days away and living costs still on the rise, many parents will be worried about the additional costs they will face this summer. For many, this year will be even trickier than before, so if you are feeling the pinch, you are not alone.”  

It has emerged that parents spend, on average, more than £500 (per child) over the six-week summer holidays entertaining their children.  

The poll of 1,000 parents with children aged six to 16, revealed that overall, parents estimate their spend on fun activities over the summer increases by as much as 45 per cent compared to term time.  

Josie Clapham added: “We are offering free tools and support, which can help put parents’ mind at ease - allowing them to plan ahead and budget, while still enjoying and making the most of their time with their families this summer.”   

The research also highlights that these activities don’t necessarily need to cost the ‘earth’, with 1 in 4 parents particularly excited to be creative and try out new things with their kids. 

Bringing food from home (voted by 62 per cent) is the top tip when it comes to saving money on days out. Free museums, nature walks and water fights are also among the top ways to keep the kids entertained on a budget. Others have been making the most of their resources around the home by setting up treasure hunts to keep them busy for hours, and away from their screens. 

Top 10 ways parents keep their kids entertained in the summer on a budget: 

  1. Go to the beach 

  1. Go to the park 

  1. Nature walks 

  1. Picnics 

  1. Free museums 

  1. Go swimming 

  1. Go on a bike ride 

  1. Go to the cinema 

  1. Walking the dog 

  1. Water fights 

Santander UK’s budgeting advice: 

  1. Know your incomings and expenses. Knowing what’s coming in and what’s going out of your bank account is the first step to keeping on top of your finances. Using a budget calculator is a great way to get a quick, simple view of your overall finances and discover where you might be able to save some extra cash. 

  2. Plan ahead. If you’re worried about your financial situation, act now. Taking time out to prepare for more expensive periods, like the summer holidays or Christmas, is the best way to plan your spending, use your money wisely, and put your mind at ease. Santander’s Financial Health Check is a great tool to get started and completely free for anyone to use.  

  3. Every day is different. It’s difficult to plan for absolutely everything that comes our way – particularly when it comes to personal finances. Putting away a small emergency “rainy day” fund helps to prepare for those unexpected, unplanned expenses, which none of us can plan for!  

Santander’s free Financial Health Check2 and Budget Calculator, along with a range of online support and tips, can be found on our website:

- Ends –  

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.  


Notes to Editors   
1) The research was conducted by OnePoll between 19 June and 28 June polling a representative sample of 1,000 parents with children aged between five and 16.   

2) 53,000 people have completed Santander’s Financial Health Check since launching in November last year. 

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2022, the bank had around 19,000 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK. 

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030. In the first quarter of 2023, Banco Santander had €1.2 trillion in total funds, 161 million customers, 9,000 branches and 210,000 employees. 


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