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Free things to do to keep active this summer

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The school holidays are nearly here. And with six weeks stretching out in front of us, we’ve put together some ideas to get the whole family active for free in Wales.

Exercising is a great way to spend time together and it doesn’t have to break the bank…

1. Head to your local swimming pool - for free

On a hot day, is there anything better than going for a dip at your local pool? And the good news is that children can go swimming for FREE in Wales. Yes, you heard right.

Swimming is a great full body workout. It also lowers stress levels and reduces anxiety. So, pack your swim bags and contact your local public pool for timetables, and make the most of free swimming for under 16s and over 60s all summer long.

2. Get on your bike

Check your tyres, fill up your water bottle and jump on the bikes this summer. If you’re not sure where to go, the Visit Wales website suggests lots of low traffic, family-friendly cycle routes.

There are also plenty of free mountain bike trails and BMX pump tracks right across Wales. Not got a bike? There are some free bike recycling schemes in Wales such Free Bikes 4 Kids in Newport and Montgomery Energy Group’s Free Bike Scheme which stops bikes going to landfill and to a good home instead. 

You can also find free bikes on Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree – just remember to make sure it’s in good working order or head to your nearest repair café if you need some advice.

3. Paddleboarding

No list of things to do this summer would be complete without paddleboarding. Super popular, it is loads of fun but do make sure you stay safe on the water. Canoe Wales has some great info and safety advice and also offer courses to get you started. 

Alternatively, find a paddleboarding club near you – they often have spare boards available and weekly paddling trips.

Group of people with surfboards walking towards the sea

4. Surfing and bodyboarding

Near the Welsh coast this summer? Lucky you! If the kids are a bit older and are no longer content building sandcastles or exploring rockpools, it might be worth investing in a bodyboard.

Again, just make sure you stay safe. Head for a beach with lifeguards and stay between the red and yellow flags. There’s expert advice and safety tips on the RNLI website.

5. Get walking

Walking is a great way to get active and get some fresh air. And we’re certainly not short on places to go in Wales.

If your kids need some extra motivation, try singing songs, geocaching, playing games or spotting nature along the way.

Make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out, cover up in the sun and pack sunscreen, snacks and plenty of water. 

6. Rounders and cricket, anyone?

Long summer evenings are perfect for a game of rounders or cricket. Whether you head to the park or the beach, all you really need is a bat and ball.

And there’s nothing better than catching out Mum and Dad, right?

It’s a great exercise to get the heart pumping and can really help develop throwing, batting and catching skills too.

7. Find your nearest parkrun

From Aberdare to Ynys Mon, there are 71 parkrun events across Wales. So chances are, wherever you are in Wales, you’re not far from one. Turn up on a Saturday morning and walk, jog or run a 5k. If you’re a junior, there’s a 2k on a Sunday morning which is designed for 4-14 year olds.

It doesn’t matter how fast (or slow) you go and it doesn’t matter what you wear. Organised by volunteers, parkrun is famously inclusive. Go on, try it.

Find your nearest parkrun.


Hopefully our list of ways to get active for free over the summer holidays will help the whole family keep moving. 

And if you decide to follow any of our tips, we’d love to hear about it. Get in touch with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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