I'm a thrifty mum of 3 – here's how I save up to £750 a year on UK theme parks & attractions | The Sun

I LOVE taking my family on days out, but as a mum of three children I have to be smart about finding bargains so we can afford it.

I aim to spend less than £50 on a day out for my family of five, even if we're heading to Alton Towers and Legoland.

If you pay on the day, it could cost £68 per adult and £64 per child at Alton Towers, so this year we saved about £280 just on that one day trip.

With the cost of living crisis hitting household budgets, planning in advance is key to making your money go that bit further.

Here's my guide to saving money on attractions throughout the year, which sees me spending up to £750 less.

I kick off the New Year by checking for advance or early bird tickets for events happening in the summer holidays.

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This year, I took my family to an air show at Shuttleworth, in Bedfordshire, for my eight-year-old's August birthday.

By buying the tickets in January, I got the early bird price of £28 per adult with children free, as closer to the day, the tickets went up to £36 each.

In February, I make a list of when the Sun Superdays promotions will run over the year and set reminders for when to collect codes from the papers for the attractions we'd like to visit.

We usually go to both Alton Towers and Legoland on a term-time weekday by booking on inset days, especially if they fall at an unusual time when the parks won't be busy.

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This year, we visited Alton Towers in September and spent about £45 on six tickets.

My brother and I both got a pair of Sun Superdays tickets as he lives in a separate household.

Each pair costs about £9, as it's the cost of nine copies of the paper (70p or £1 depending on day of the week) and then a £2 booking fee.

Meanwhile we used a £25 adult and toddler ticket from the Alton Towers website for my husband and youngest son.

In March, I look for start of the season deals for outdoor attractions, particularly if they are opening something new and want to boost visitors ahead of the summer season.

We really enjoyed visiting the new Gruffalo Discovery Land at Twycross Zoo when it opened in the spring.

I make the most of any Easter offers that might pop up in April, particularly on local attractions' social media pages – it's always worthwhile checking if your kids' holidays start or finish at a different time from others.

In May, we'll all be enjoying an extra bank holiday to celebrate King Charles' coronation and I'll be looking out for deals around that.

This year, we spent the Queen's platinum jubilee at the Legoland Discovery Centre in Birmingham after finding tickets for just £9.95 per person instead of the normal price of £22.

For me, June is a month when I plan ahead for the long summer holidays, working out how much we can afford to spend and setting a budget for any big days out that I've not already booked.

We often go to Warwick Castle using the Sun Superdays promotion in the early summer to beat the crowds in the school holidays.

In July, we make the most of the earlier summer holiday in Leicestershire, by booking off-peak tickets to attractions in surrounding counties that are still in term time.

This summer, I took my toddler to Thomasland at Drayton Manor in Staffordshire for £27.50 for both of us, instead of anytime tickets that cost £42 for an adult and £15 for a toddler.

In August, I tend to find that indoor attractions are quieter if there's nice weather – there's lots of places now where if you book a day ticket, it gets upgraded to an annual pass.

The Space Centre in Leicester is an amazing attraction to visit again and again, especially over the cooler winter months.

Early bird deals for Christmas trains and Santa's grottos are often released as the kids go back to school in September.

One year, I paid just £29 for five of us to visit Santa at Gulliver's Land in Milton Keynes on the Wednesday before Christmas, as there was a discount code for 30 percent off, which brought each ticket down to about £6.

That included a present from Santa and using the rides for four hours.

In October, outdoor attractions sometimes open for reduced hours or with fewer rides, so cost less to visit.

At Wicksteed Park in Kettering, they sell wristbands for £12 instead of £20 per child over October halfterm as they only open one section of the park.

Black Friday falls at the end of November and you can bag some great discounts then.

This year, my best bargain was a family annual membership reduced from £98 to £68 for Conkers, the flagship attraction for the National Forest in the Midlands.

It has a little train, a great indoor forest-themed play area, a 3D cinema and acres of outdoor space, including a splash pad, sensory trail and huge timber structures to explore in the woods.

At the end of the year, you can often find the best prices at Twixmas instead of before Christmas.

This year, I've got my eye on visiting the Winter Wonderland at Tamworth Snowdome. If I go after Christmas, prices drop to £16.95 per person, compared to £23.95 in the week running up to the big day.

Over the course of the year, I must save around £750 on days out, just by not paying full price and shopping around for the best deals.

Why pay more than £1,000 for your family to have fun when you can visit the same attractions for a third of the price?


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