14 free family days out this summer
We asked EADT readers to share their favourite free family activity to do over the summer holidays. Here are just some of them. While the activities are free, many places do charge for car parking so check before you visit. And don’t forget your picnic…
Sail a model boat
Make a model boat from scrap paper and cardboard (there are plenty of 'how to' guides online), then take it for a sail on the Woodbridge Model Boat Pond, which is on the River Path, near The Tea Hut.
Catch a movie
Ipswich Entertains are putting on a free summer cinema fun day at Holywells Park this Thursday, July 25, with The Incredibles 2 and Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation showing between 12noon and 4pm. Two more free family fun days, with interactive animal displays and dinosaur experiences, will be held at Holywells Park on July 31 and Bourne Park on August 7.
Set off with your line, bacon and bucket and head to Felixstowe Ferry for a spot of crabbing. Remember to add some water, rocks and seaweed to your bucket to help replicate the crab's environment.
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While there is a chance to buy, you can choose to just admire the art adorning stalls along Felixstowe promenade from the pier to the Spa Pavilion on Sunday, September 1, from 10am to 4.30pm. There will be children's activities to take part in too.
Look for painted rocks
On your travels around the county, look out for special painted rocks and, once you've found them, share a picture on the Suffolk Rocks Facebook page. You can also paint your own at home and hide them somewhere in the county.
Get on your bike
Rendlesham Forest is a popular place for a bike ride, with four cycling routes to choose from. Children will love the UFO trail. There's a play area and plenty of places to stop for a picnic along the way.
Admire river views
Head to pretty Pin Mill, walk along the river, enjoy the views and spot the wildlife and stop for a picnic along the way. And if you've forgotten to bring one, there's a pub overlooking the river.
Go to a carnival
There's three whole days of free entertainment at this year's Felixstowe Carnival, with music on the evening of Friday, July 26, the procession, music and children's entertainment the following day, and music, children's entertainment and fireworks on the Sunday.
Day at the beach
Pack your picnic, buckets and spades, a windbreak and a blanket and spend a day at one of our region's beautiful beaches. Enjoy some sandy sandwiches or, if you've left the picnic at home, a cone of piping hot chips.
Walk round a lake
Park up at Needham Lake, play Poohsticks on the bridge over the river and set off on the short walk around the lake. There are plenty of picnic spots as well as play equipment for young children and a den building area for older children.
Get on board
Ipswich Maritime Festival returns to the waterfront on the weekend of August 17 and 18. Hop on the foot ferry and land train to get you around the event, where there will be pirates and sailors to look out for, including a Jack Sparrow lookalike! A fireworks display will be held on the Saturday night.
Enjoy the fireworks
Have a day at Clacton beach and stay for the evening too, as Clacton Pier will be offering free fireworks displays on Sunday, August 25. There will be live music and entertainment on the pier throughout the day too.
Go for a walk
Visit Brandon Country Park and you'll find plenty of walking and cycling trails to choose from. The Redwood Trail is a one-mile circular walk, which is a great route for pushchairs and all-terrain wheelchairs.
Relax in the gardens
On a fine day, head to the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds for a picnic. The 14-acre site, set on the site of a former Benedictine Abbey, is well known for its floral displays and has plenty of other attractions including a children's play area.