Make A Splash! | Affordable Fun In The Sun

With the summer holidays well and truly here (and the sun to go with them!), it’s nice to have a few activities planned that don’t cost the earth or are, preferably, free.

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(Hanging by the pool in some Tootsa MacGinty Swim Shorts)

The sun is lots of fun but of course we have to stay safe, and keep our skin protected. Here are a few essential + stylish items to keep the kids both happy and colourful in the sun:

Pool Collage
1 Dry off in style with this ice-cream cone towel poncho from It’s I Magical // 2 These Sons + Daughters ‘Honey’ shades (available in 8 different colours) are pretty poolside-rock-star // 3 Educational and fun! The Mega Inflatable Globe from John Lewis // 4 New this season, the Tootsa MacGinty unisex swim shorts in blue (also available in red) // 5 Keep their head covered in this mutil coloured hat from Zara Kids // 6 The easiest way to keep their skin safe, this Sun Sense roll-on SPF 50 cream is ideal for the wriggly toddler (ever met one of those?!) from The Sun Care Shop // 7 Make your own healthy versions! Rocket ice lolly moulds // 8 Perfect for the beginner this frog snorkel set will get them comfortable exploring the water // 9 This Roller Wheel from the Science Museum is perfect for long summer days in the garden or on the beach … Just make sure you aren’t in their path!

When the sun has got its hat on, lidos are always a great hit. There are so many across the UK dating back to the 1930s. Though many have been updated and refurbished, quite a few still exhibit that art deco charm. Although not all of them are free, family day passes are affordable and you can usually bring your own picnic.

Here are a few of our UK recommendations:

Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool, Aberdeen, Scotland 

Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool

Opened in 1934, this colourful olympic sized pool contains heated filtered sea water. Late night swimmers can visit 10pm – midnight on Wednesdays during the summer!

Tinside Lido, Plymouth, England

Tinside Lido

This semi-circular waterfront sea water pool was built in 1935 and has lots of lovely art deco features. Fountains, ‘inflatable fun sessions’, and a sunbathing terrace. Picnics are allowed!

Pontypridd Lido, Wales

pontypridd lido

Due to have its grand re-opening this summer, this Grade II listed lido was built in 1927. With three heated pools, a cafe and a state-of-the-art dry play area, it will be the National Lido of Wales.

Granary Square Fountains, Kings Cross, London

Granary Square

Ok, not quite a lido … But we have had hours of fun in the water here. The square is animated with 1,000 choreographed fountains that squirt and splash in patterns – a massive hit with kids – and beautiful at night. Bring a picnic, grab some deck chairs and your afternoon is sorted – and totally free! (Adults, grab a coffee-to-go from Caravan – top notch!)

London Fields LidoHackney, London


Perfect if you don’t like the cold water, this 50 metre pool is heated. Very popular and can get packed on a warm day, but a whole lot of fun! Cafe, sun deck and sunbathing area all available.

Have fun!

by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

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