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Free and cheap events for the family

With the cost of living rising, spending is at the front of all our minds this year, but we all still deserve time out. If you want to treat the family this winter or during half term but don’t want to spend a fortune, then take a look at our dedicated round-up of cheap and free events you can visit throughout England in 2023. Find more tip and tricks for saving money in the coming months by visiting the Help for Households website

1

Free & cheap events: V&A Museum

London

Explore much-loved stage productions at ‘Reimagining Musicals.’ From classics like Miss Saigon right up to SIX the Musical, you’ll uncover how they have been adapted, revived and retold.

How much? Free 

When: Until 27 November 2023

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2

Free & cheap events: Science and Industry Museum

Manchester

Get your groove on at ‘Turn it Up’ which delves deeper into the science of music. Fun and hands-on, you are encouraged to reflect on what music means to everyone.

How much? Adult £8, child £6. Family concessions available

When? Until 21 May 2023

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3

Free & cheap events: MK Gallery

Milton Keynes

Compete against your friends and family at Press Start: Gaming Session, an after-hours gaming event hosted by the University of Northampton Game Design Students.

How much? Free

When: 13 January 2023

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4

Free & cheap events: National Science and Media Museum

Bradford

Get a fantastic insight into one of the world’s greatest scientific minds by having a nosey around Stephen Hawking's actual office. Don't miss this fascinating display of never before seen items from his work life.

How much? Free!

When: From April 2023

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5

Free & cheap events: Market Hall Dome

Plymouth

Join narrator, Celeste, in this journey through time on screen as you walk with dinosaurs. An adventure showing you the Earth in the distant past and following the fascinating lives of these giant creatures to their extinction.

How much? Free 

When: Until 29 January 2023

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6

Free & cheap events: Arnolfini

Bristol

Enjoy free entry to exhibitions and delight in rarely-seen art. Check out Bharti Kher: The Body is a Place,  a major solo exhibition of drawing, sculpture and the spaces that lie between.

How much: Free

When? Until 29 January 2023

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7

Free & cheap events: Science Museum

London

Fun and interactive, try your hand at making your own sci-fi character, from drawing them to producing their back story and modelling their costume at a sci-fi session.

How much? Free!

When: 11 to 19 February 2023

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8

Free & cheap events: Manchester Museum

Manchester

Discover the rich story of Egypt and more than 100 objects, including eight mummies at the opening exhibition of the newly renovated museum, Golden Mummies of Egypt is a one-of-a-kind cultural display.

How much? Free

When: Opens February 2023

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9

Free & cheap events: Horniman Museum

London

Get stuck into crafts and family fun at the drop-in sessions inspired by the museum’s vast collection. Watch out for their special days in 2023, including the Big Garden Birdwatch.

How much? Free

When: Saturdays from 21 January 2023

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10

Free & cheap events: Snape Maltings Concert Hall

Suffolk

The Power of Stories exhibition explores Black stories of Suffolk and how stories shape the way we see the world. See original costumes from Marvel’s blockbuster film, Black Panther and listen to locally inspired stories.

How much? Free

When: Until 19 February 2023

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11

Free & cheap events: Walker Art Gallery

Liverpool

Visit the first major exhibition to combine football, fashion, pop culture and art in the football-loving city of Liverpool. Art of the Terraces tells the story of a movement that defined sports culture of the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

How much? Free (suggested donation of £5)

When: Until 12 March 2023

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12

Free & cheap events: National Maritime Museum

London

Encounter characters from under the sea every Saturday, from Neptune to Tamera the Time Traveller, see them come to life and hear their incredible stories first-hand. 

How much? Free

When? Throughout 2023

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13

Free & cheap events: Gunnersbury Park Museum

London

Calling intrepid explorers! Pick up your passport and follow clues along a dedicated museum trail to collect a stamp from each gallery. There’s a prize draw available for all finishers!

How much? Free

When? Until March 2023

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14

Free & cheap events: Cecil Sharp House

London

What better than a Dosey Doe (aka barn dance) to brighten up a gloomy January? Enjoy this afternoon of dancing with live music and expert callers to guide you through the steps.

How much? Adult £8.50, Child (Under 2yrs £2.50)

When: 21 January 2023

 

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15

Free & cheap events: Chinese New Year

London

Still feeling the New Year’s Eve vibe? Do it all again and celebrate the incoming Chinese New Year! With food stalls, traditional dance and a host of performances, this central London party will brighten up the darkest of January blues.

How much? Free!

When? 22 January 2023

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16

Free & cheap events: Winter Lantern Parade

Tunbridge Wells

Light up the town in early February with an evening festival of fun and light following their ‘Our Secret Garden Theme’. Make your own lantern, mingle with the crowds, and take in the atmosphere.

How much? Free!

When? 4 February 2023

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17

Free & cheap events: Devizes Market Place

Devizes

Devizes Market Place comes to life with art, music and roaming acts at its International Street Festival in May. Packed with street traders and market stalls, this energetic event will put a spring in your step!

How much? Free!

When? 27 and 28 May 2023

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18

Free & cheap events: Natural History Museum

Tring

Get ready for some serious ‘eggs-ploring’ and join the team at Tring to discover everything about eggs in all shapes and sizes, from the giant Ostrich egg down. Then get cracking on your egg decoration to take home!

How much? Buy tickets on the day for £2

When? From 4 to 13 April 2023

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19

Free & cheap events: Museum of Life

Lincoln

Perfect for letting off some steam! Follow the museum trail to the Historic Hunters Playground, exploring every nook and cranny of this museum, celebrating the culture and history of the local community from 1750. There’s a History Hunter’s badge for completers!

How much? Free!

When? Open daily throughout 2023

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20

Free & cheap events: BFI Mediatheque

Manchester

Forget streaming services and journey back to the past to explore some iconic big-screen moments and cult TV of the past.  Kids will wonder how you managed without Netflix while you indulge in a serious dose of telly nostalgia!

How much? Free!

When: Tuesday to Sunday throughout 2023

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21

Free & cheap events: Hyde Park

London

Calling all budding twitchers! Head to Hyde Park for their Brilliant Birds Discovery Days. Build a bird feeder and follow a discovery trail to learn more about our feathered friends as they get ready for nesting season.

How much? Free!

When? 14 to 16 February 2023

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22

Free & cheap events: World Museum

Liverpool

Get up close and personal with hermit crabs, starfish, rays and sharks at the Aquarium in Liverpool World Museum. This fun and interactive display even has rescue terrapins who love to see new faces… but will you find Nemo?!

How much? Free!

When? Daily throughout 2023

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23

Free & cheap events: Williamson’s Tunnels

Liverpool

Discover one of the northwest’s buried secrets on a fascinating tour of this little-known gem under Edge Hill. Under constant renovation by volunteers, this labyrinth of tunnels and underground caverns dates back to the 1800s. 

How much? Guided tours are free, but donations are welcome

When? Every Wednesday and Sunday throughout 2023

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24

Free & cheap events: Turner on Tour, The National Gallery

London

For the first time in a century, two ground-breaking Turner paintings, 'Harbour of Dieppe: Changement de Domicile' and 'Cologne, the Arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening', are coming home from the USA.  Two centuries on, these icons still dazzle alongside other much-loved works by Turner.

How much? Free!

When? Until 19 February 2023

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25

Free & cheap events: Mayor of Bath Corps Walking Tour

Bath

Walk in the footsteps of the Romans and alongside the Mayor of Bath’s team on a free walking tour of this stunning City, taking in everything from the hot springs to its rich history and architecture through expert eyes.

How much? Free!

When? Regular daily tours throughout 2023

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26

Free & cheap events: Great North Museum

Newcastle upon Tyne

Head for the Fossil Stories gallery and dive into the steamy swamps of a world millions of years ago. Discover the weird, wonderful and downright terrifying life forms that lived there!

How much? Free but donations welcome

When: Daily throughout 2023 

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27

Free & cheap events: Moors Valley Gruffalo Trail

Dorset

We know that Gruffalos are big. But just how big? Well, head to Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ashley Heath in Dorset to find out! At the end of the trail in the Enchanted Woods, you’ll find a life-sized Gruffalo alongside their fairy-themed playground.

How much? Free!

When? Daily 

Find out more
17 Jan 2023(last updated)

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    Manchester

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    Milton Keynes

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    Bradford

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    Plymouth

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    Bristol

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    London

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    Manchester

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    London

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    Suffolk

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    Liverpool

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    London

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    London

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    London

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    London

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    Tunbridge Wells

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    Devizes

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    Tring

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    Lincoln

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    Manchester

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    London

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    Liverpool

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    Liverpool

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    London

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    Bath

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    Newcastle upon Tyne

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    Dorset

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