FTwtK Awards – Best Free Family Day Out

Just one of the categories in the Free Time with the Kids Awards 2020. Here are the nominations for the best museum or educational day out in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire. Have a look at all the nominees below and vote for your favourite by clicking the link.

If I have already visited one of the shortlisted attractions then I’ll put a link to the review below. For places I’ve not managed to see yet, I’m hoping to visit as many as possible over the next few weeks and I’ll add the reviews as I do. In the mean time I’ll add links back to their website.


Rushmere Country Park. Heath & Reach, Bedfordshire

Officially Hubby’s favourite woodland (apparently). As well as an easily accessible woodland, there’s a couple of sculpture trails, including hidden fair doors. There’s a MASSIVE (ie really long) slide near the visitor centre. You can also visit from the Stockgrove side and walk around the lake. Check out my review by clicking here.

Cutteslowe Park. Oxford, Oxfordshire

There’s so much on this one site! There’s a miniature railway, three separate playground areas and a lovely, FREE splash park. Other facilities include an aviary, sports pitches, lake, skate park, nature area, community woodland and a sand pit. Phew! Have a look at the review here.

College Lake. Tring, Hertfordshire

Pretty much whenever I ask my Facebook followers for their recommendations at least a couple of people will say College Lake. It’s a disused chalk mine that’s now a nature reserve. A walk around the lake side is quite a trek (particularly for smallest legs) but there are shorter paths to take. There’s also a brilliant wildlife section and various bird hides dotted around. You can find the full review here.

Natural History Museum. Tring, Hertfordshire

Tring Zoo-zeum as it’s known in our house. It’s a museum full of dead, stuffed animals. No, you’d probably not be able to do anything like this now, but it’s actually quite fascinating. The kids can get (literally) face to face with all kinds of animals they’d never be able to normally. The full review is here.

Willen Lake. Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Willlen Lake is the most popular park in Milton Keynes apparently. As well as two lakes to explore there’s loads of other things to do. There’s a treetop extreme, a splash park and lots of water sports to try (including water skiing!). You’ll also find a couple of good playgrounds. Within a short distance there’s a tree cathedral and the stunning Peace Pagoda. You can read the full review here.

University of Oxford Museum of Natural History & The Pitt Rivers Museum. Oxford, Oxfordshire

Not one museum but two, but they’re linked so I’m counting them together. The two museums couldn’t be more different though. The natural history museum is all about, well, natural history. Personal highlights are the glow-in-the-dark rocks and a live bee hive. The Pitt Rivers museum (accessed from the back of the museum) is home to a massive collection of objects from around the world. There’s pretty much everything you can imagine here, including an actual Totem pole! The natural history museum review is here and the Pitt Rivers museum review is here.


Now you’ve seen all the shortlisted attractions in this category of the Free Time with the Kids Awards click the link below to cast your vote. You can vote in as many or as few categories as you like. Don’t forget to tell all your friends about the awards so they can choose their favourites too.

For the nominees across all categories have a look at the main Free Time with the Kids Awards 2020 page.


Keep up to date with the latest news regarding the awards, any new reviews of the nominees and the final result. You’ll also be sent our weekly(ish) newsletter with lots of other reviews, recommendations and discounts. Click the link for more details and to subscribe.

Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch contact@freetimewiththekids.com or get in touch via Facebook