31 things to do instead of shopping ’til you drop

The world’s a wonderful place, and there’s plenty to do that doesn’t involve shopping. Here’s thirty one ideas for alternatives to our favourite national pastime!

  1. visit a museum, using the visitbritain.com website for inspiration
  2. take in an art exhibition
  3. go for a picnic
  4. see a band
  5. go for a long stroll in the countryside – go to walkingroutes.co.uk to find walks near you
  6. have an adventure on the bus
  7. go to a village fayre
  8. visit a petting zoo or animal farm
  9. stroll round a stately home and gardens (National Trust membership is a brilliant idea and lets you park in NT car parks all over Britain for nothing even if you’re not visiting a property)
  10. read a good book
  11. visit the seaside and go rock pooling
  12. explore your home town on foot, discovering new places you never knew existed
  13. enjoy a cheap pub lunch, or find a restaurant where you can take your own booze, which cuts the cost right down to the bone
  14. get your friends round for an afternoon party
  15. watch a great film together at home
  16. create your own nightclub in your living room and dance the afternoon away
  17. play traditional board games
  18. play cricket or rounders in your local park, or fly a kite
  19. visit the zoo
  20. explore a castle
  21. hire a rowing boat on a river or lake
  22. use our discount codes to track down cheap entertainment and eating out
  23. buy a charity shop hat and decorate it
  24. visit the BBC website and apply to see a live televised show (it’s free), or try lostintv.com
  25. if you’re in London, visit soundmap.co.uk, where there are five audio walks to enjoy, narrated by local experts
  26. go to the cinema – lastminute.com usually have cheap cinema tickets on board, and matinee tickets often cost less than prime time evening seats
  27. find your nearest Pick Your Own and stock up on luscious fresh produce
  28. head for the great outdoors and pick your own blackberries and so on in the hedgerows
  29. make a cake, or learn to bake and decorate fairy cakes
  30. look for local free entertainment arranged by the council, especially useful during the school holidays
  31. learn something new. There are masses of free and cheap courses online and free courses arranged by educational establishments