Summer is here, meaning it’s a great idea to get the kids out of the house and burning off some of that excess energy in the outdoors. But while outdoor adventures are often expensive, there are deals around to make the most of your money.
We’ve taken a look at five of the most popular outdoor adventure activities for kids and teenagers and compiled a list of some of the best deals you can use to enjoy cheap experience days with your family.
Go Ape offers a unique outdoor experience for your little, and not so little, monkeys. There are 28 separate Go Ape parks across England, Scotland and Wales. Each site has a slightly different offering, which includes a combination of Forest Biking, Forest Segway, Tree-Top Adventures and Tree-Top Junior Adventures. As a general rule, only children 10 or above are able to attend Go Ape centres. Minimum height and weight restrictions also apply, depending on the activity. However, Go Ape Junior activities cater specifically for children aged 6-12 (as long as they are above 1 metre tall), but are open to anyone over 6 years.
Standard gate-entry prices:
These vary according to which activity you are planning:
Forest Biking: £12 adult (over 1.5 metres tall) / £8 child (under 1.5 metres tall)
Forest Segway: £25 adult and child (10 years plus and over 7 stone)
Tree-Top Adventure: £30 adult / £20 child (10-17 years and over 1.4 metres tall)
Tree-Top Junior: £15 adult and child (under 17 but over 1 metre tall)
Cheap experience days at Go Ape:
- Go Ape online: Rather than queue on the day, you can book your tickets online through the Go Ape website. However, Go Ape does not offer online discounts, and group discounts are not available on weekends.
- Virgin Experience Days – You can also get your tickets to Go Ape through Virgin Experience Days, although they do not offer any discount on the standard gate price.
- Go Ape’s Great British Adventure competition: Why not enter Go Ape’s Great British Adventure competition to win a Segway adventure or adventure gear! All you have to do to enter is upload photos of your own Great British Adventure by September 30, 2012 and get your family and friends to vote. Every photo goes into the monthly draw to win adventure gear, including £500 worth of Go Ape vouchers, Adventure mountain bikes and Crew clothing. The entry with the most votes will go on to win a £5,000 Segway adventure.
- StudentBeans discount Tree-Top Adventures: For the rest of the year, StudentBeans is offering 20% off Go Ape Tree-Top Adventures. The discounted tickets are valid Sunday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) for the remainder of 2012. The offer is valid at all Go Ape locations except Go Ape Woburn. You will need to register with StudentBeans to be able to take up the offer.
- Pizza Express discount Tree-Top Adventures: Pizza Express is also offering 20% off Tree-Top Adventures, but only until September 30. The offer is valid Sunday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) at all sites except Go Ape Woburn.
Skirmish is a popular outdoor activity, particularly with the boys – big and small. The game can be played with 'live' paint ammunition (paintball), or using electronic tagging (laser).
Cheap experience days playing skirmish:
- Buyagift £15 special offer: Cheap experience days out for a large family or group of friends don’t come much better than Buyagift’s special offer on paintball. For just £15, you can get a paintball session for eight people at a range of sites across the UK. The voucher is valid for 10 months, and the minimum age at most participating sites is 12 years. You will, however, need to pay for each player's first 100 paint balls when you book, at a cost of £11.50 per person. The organiser of the event will receive 200 paint balls.
- Attractiontix Group of 8 offer: Attractiontix also offers a £15 Group of 8 discounted offer, available at locations UK-wide. Tickets can be used within nine months of being purchased. Paintball pellets need to be purchased separately, at £7.50 per 100 balls. This is a big saving of £4 per 100 balls on the Buyagift offer, however the tradeoff is that the minimum age is 14 years.
- Tesco Clubcard offer at Skirmish Paintball Games: You can also use your Tesco Clubcard vouchers to exchange for skirmish tokens to use at any Skirmish Paintball Games site in the UK. Every £5 in Clubcard vouchers gets you £15 worth of skirmish tokens. These tokens get you entry to the park, equipment hire as well as a hot lunch on full day bookings. There is also the option to include 250 paint balls in the package. Additional paint balls will need to be purchased in cash on the day, and kids need to be aged over 12 to play.
- Tesco Clubcard Battlefront Games offer: Exchange your Tesco Clubcard vouchers for reward tokens to use on a skirmish day with Battlefront Games in Petersfield, Hampshire. Every £5 in Clubcard vouchers gets you £20 worth of Clubcard reward tokens. Each player costs £35 in tokens. There is a maximum of four players on one booking, and Clubcard vouchers can't be used to book a birthday party.
- 100 free paint balls and £12.99 games: The website UKpaintball.co.uk is offering paintball at dozens of locations across the UK for just £12.99 for any date this year. Better still, the price includes 100 free paint balls when you book.
Go-karting is a great outdoor adventure for the older kids to blow off some steam and get their heart pumping by zooming around the race track. And there are plenty of go-kart centres around, with some great money-saving deals to match!
Cheap experience days go-karting:
- Lastminute 2 for 1 go-kart offer: Possibly the best go-karting deal available at present is the 2 for 1 Kids Go-Karting offer from Lastminute.com. The special offer, from £29, gets 2 for 1 entry at six venues, and is valid for six months from the date of purchase. The offer is valid for kids aged 8 to 13, and height and weight restrictions apply. Drivers aged 14 and above can still drive for an additional £5 per person.
- Experience Mad: Experience Mad has a Go-Karting for Two special offer, which saves £10 on the regular price – however it is only available for older kids and adults as there is a minimum age of 16 years. Height restrictions also apply. Available at 11 locations across England and Wales, the £89 experience lasts for up to two hours, including around 30 minutes on the track. The voucher is valid for 10 months from the date of purchase.
- Into the blue offers: There are 10 go-karting offers available through Into the Blue, which start from £35 per person, depending on the location. Age and height restrictions are applicable, which vary from site to site.
- Daytona Motorsport online discounts: Daytona Motorsport has grand prix-style race tracks at Manchester, Milton Keynes and Sandown Park. Each park offers its own special offers which rotate regularly, from discounted online bookings to free ice creams and prize draws during August. Daytona Milton Keynes also has a dedicated Junior Circuit, suitable for kids aged between 8 and 15. Prices generally start from £25 per person.
- 2-for-1 go karting: Brentwood and Lakeside Karting in Essex is offering 2 for 1 vouchers for use at both tracks. You will need to register your details on their website to get your voucher code.
Water parks and adventures
During the warm summer months, water adventures provide hours of fun for the whole family. Better still, it’s a day out you can enjoy come rain or shine! Cheap experience days abound with these money-saving deals.
Cheap experience days at water adventures:
- Thames River Cruise adventure with the London Pass: Use your London Pass to get a FREE Thames River Cruise as well as FREE entry to 54 other top London attractions. The river cruises normally cost £13.50 for adults and £6.50 for kids, however if you're planning to visit multiple attractions and see the city by boat, the London Pass can be great value. six-
- Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Blackpool Pleasure Beach: You can save big on a trip to the popular Blackpool Pleasure Beach by using your Tesco Clubcard. Exchanging just £9.50 in Clubcard vouchers will get you a one-day wristband token for full entry into the park and unlimited access to all rides – a saving of £25.50 on the standard adult wristband price of £35. Tokens are valid for six months from date of issue.
- Experience Mad 50% discount RIB adventure: Get over 50% off the standard price of a 90 minute extreme RIB adventure on the Solent in Hampshire. The discounted ticket has been further reduced to £21 and is valid for one person (aged 8 years and over) until October 31 this year. That's a £22 saving on the standard price! There is a maximum of eight people per group and weight limits of 18 stone.
- Tesco Clubcard vouchers to Brean Splash Water Park: In a newly launched offer, your Tesco Clubcard vouchers can now be used to get your family into Brean Splash Water Park in Somerset. Every £5 worth of Clubcard vouchers gets you £20 worth of rewards tokens to use towards your entry. Tesco Clubcard is quick to point out that while the Pool Complex is open year-round, outdoor areas are only open between late May and September.
- Waterworld special offers: Staffordshire-based Waterworld offers some great discounts to its subscriber base. Simply fill in your details to receive email alerts about a range of special offers, including “buy one get one half price” offers and 2 for 1 entry after 12 noon, as well as 15% off in the park's cafe bar.
- Alton Towers Waterpark kids go half price: Alton Towers Waterpark is offering half price entry to all kids (ages 4 to 12) until September 10, 2012 – a saving of £5.25 per child. Under the park’s standard entry prices, kids under 4 go free.
- White Water Tubing UK group online discount: Tubing is a fun alternative to white water rafting, although because of the trained guides and safety equipment needed, it generally doesn’t come cheap. White Water Tubing UK operates in Denbighshire in Wales, and is open to anyone aged 12 or over. Group discounts are available online: save 10% for groups of six or more, or get 15% off for groups of 12 or more. Families of four with two under 18s get one free entry, equating to just under £45 each.
Quad bike adventures
What better way to get out and explore the countryside than jumping on a quad bike. There are some fantastic dedicated quad biking facilities nationwide, with trails winding along some of the UK’s most breath-taking countryside.
Cheap experience days quad biking:
- Into the Blue 20% discount offer: Save 20% on each ticket you purchase through Into the Blue for a quad bike adventure day in Sussex. The discounted tickets cost £40 per person. Specialist quads are also available for kids aged 11 to 16. For those not game to race or minding kids under 11, the clubhouse offers free tea and coffee as well as views over part of the track to cheer on your crew!
- 20% off Speed Freaks Collection vouchers: You can currently get 20% off on Lastminute.com’s Speed Freaks Collection gift vouchers. These special vouchers, at the reduced price of £47.20, let you choose one of eight adventure experiences, including a quad biking adventure for one, and are valid for nine months from the date of issue. These adventures are usually priced from £59.