Saving money on family days out with entertainment memberships


General Finance

With the summer holidays fast approaching, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained – and how much this is going to cost you. According to Travelodge, British parents spend an average of £1,500 on their kids during the six week break.

And it’s no wonder when family days are so expensive. One way to get around this is to take out an annual membership to some of the country’s top attractions. To see whether this would make sense for you, we’re going to look at the price of the most popular entertainment memberships available.*

Merlin attractions

Merlin is home to 32 attractions in total including Legoland, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds and its annual pass will let you visit these for 12 months.

There’s currently a summer sale on that includes their standard and premium passes, so now could be a good time to get one for you and your family. A standard annual pass for two adults and two children will cost £436 in the sale (a saving of £80). To compare, a one-day ticket to Alton Towers for the same family is £122.64.

With this in mind, it could be worth considering an annual pass if you’re planning on going to these attractions often. But you will have to factor paying this money upfront into your budget.

Some attractions are excluded with the standard pass – see the full list by clicking here.

National Trust

Planning on spending a lot of time outdoors with your kids this summer? You could consider a National Trust membership. The National Trust looks after a number of locations across the UK.

A family membership (for two adults and up to five children) costs £111 a year or £9.25 a month. A family with one adult would pay £69 a year or £5.75 a month. For this price, members will get free entry to over 500 places and free parking at National Trust car parks.

The cost of entry into a national trust park varies depending on the location. For example, a family ticket for Dunham Massey in Cheshire costs £31.20, whereas a visit to Ham House and Garden in Surrey costs £26. With that in mind, check your local parks to see whether it would be worth you purchasing an annual ticket.


Do your kids love animals? You might be planning on a trip to the zoo this summer. There are a number of popular zoos across the UK including, Chester Zoo, Bristol Zoo and London Zoo.

According to visitor recommendations on TripAdvisor, Chester Zoo is the top animal attraction in the UK. If you’re thinking of visiting this summer, adult tickets start from £20 (depending the day you go) for adults and £16.36 for children. If you want to get a membership instead, a two adult, two children yearly pass costs £213.

If you’re planning on visiting the zoo regularly, then becoming a member could make sense. If not, it would be better value to pay the day price.

Kids Pass

You might prefer to have a little more variety in where you take your kids this summer. If so, a Kids Pass Membership could be ideal for you and your family.

For an annual membership of £75 or a monthly cost of £7.50, you can enjoy discounts on a number of days out. This includes up to 40% savings on cinemas, up to 57% savings on family days (including theme parks, bowling, play centres) and kids eat free at a number of restaurants.

You can find out more about the Kids Pass membership, here.

Have Tesco Clubcard vouchers? You could use these to pay for tickets to attractions in the UK. Be sure to do this before the 26 June when the last Clubcard Boost even will end.

*Prices correct at time of writing – 16/06/16

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