10 ways to have fun with your family for FREE this weekend

Competitors take part in the Maldon Mud Race, a charity event on the River Blackwater in Maldon. Pic

Competitors take part in the Maldon Mud Race, a charity event on the River Blackwater in Maldon. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

If all the bank holidays mean your budget is taking a battering, try these suggestions for family days out for free...

1. Canoeing

As part of the The Broads Outdoors Festival, there is a chance to try canoeing for free from 9am to noon on Saturday, May 6.

No booking required, first-come-first-served, children welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.

The one-hour taster sessions are offered at:

•Bank Boats, Wayford Bridge, NR12 9LN.

•Barnes Brinkcraft, Riverside Road, Wroxham , NR12 8UD.

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•Herbert Woods, Potter Heigham, NR29 5JF.

•Martham Boats, Valley Works, Cess Road, Martham, NR29 4RF.

•Outney Meadow Caravan Park, Outney Meadow, Bungay, NR35 1HG

•Rowan Craft, Wherry Dyke, Geldeston, Beccles , NR34 0LY.

•Salhouse Broad, (next to the beach area) Lower Street, Salhouse, NR13 6RX.

•Sutton Staithe Boatyard, Sutton Staithe, Sutton, NR12 9QS.

•Waveney River Centre, Staithe Road, Burgh St Peter, NR34 0BT

•Whispering Reeds Boats, Staithe Road, Hickling, NR12 0YW.

•Whitlingham Outdoor Education Centre , Whitlingham Lane, Trowse Norwich, NR14 8TR

2. Guided tour of historic St Benet's Abbey

Free guided tours of historic St Benet's Abbey run on Wednesdays at 2pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm, from May through to September.

Meet a volunteer guide in front of the gatehouse at the head of the path from the river.

3. Music

Open your bedroom window very early on Sunday, May 7, and enjoy the sounds of International Dawn Chorus Day for free.

4. Comic Day

It is also Free Comic Day on Saturday, May 6 and Ace Comics in Colchester town centre will be celebrating with comics and costumed characters from 10am to 5.30pm. acecomics.co.uk

5. East Hills Wood

There are three free adventures at East Hills Wood, Longwater Lane, Costessey, near Norwich tomorrow, Saturday, May 6.

Make an early start for a wildlife walk with the Friends of Tudd Valley and Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The 8-9.30am walk will include the chance to learn about birdsong. Then, from 10.30am to noon, take the Wild about the Wildflowers of the Wood walk, and finally, hour-long minibeast safaris begin at 1.30pm and 3pm (Bring a bug pot if you have one.) Children welcome. www.norfolkwildlife trust.org.uk

6. Cars

See some of the finest classic cars ever made with the East Coast Pirates Car Club at the Anchor Plaza, Marine Parade, Yarmouth, on Sunday, May 7. See classic Hot Rods, Harley Davidson bikes and trikes, all-American and British classics and some custom vehicles. Free entry www.eastcoast pirates.co.uk

7. Free mud race spectacle

It's all muddy good fun at the Maldon Mud Race as plucky competitors wade across the river bed at low tide for charities on Sunday, May 7. It attracted almost 20,000 visitors to Maldon's Promenade Park last year and now includes a duck race, fancy dress, entertainment and stalls, with the duck race at 3.30pm and the Mud Race itself at 4.30pm. www.maldonmudrace.com

8. Taster music lessons

Free taster music lessons for adults and children being offered by a village music festival. Turn up, between 10am and noon on Sunday, May 7 to have a go at playing brass, woodwind and string instruments, drums, bells or even an organ, as part of the Carleton Rode Music Festival, at All Saints' Church, Carlton Rode, near Attleborough. www.carletonrodeallsaints.co.uk

9. Free car rally

The Ipswich to Felixstowe Classic Vehicle Rally runs from Christchurch Park to Felixstowe Promenade on Sunday, May 7.

More than 500 vintage vehicles will be on display at Christchurch Park until 11am as part of the annual event organised by Ipswich Transport Museum.

10. Walk

Find out more about the free daily birdsong concert at a dawn chorus walk at Sizewell Belts, near Leiston in Suffolk. The warden-guided walk, with a bracing 4.30am start tomorrow, Saturday, May 6, begins at Kenton Hills Car Park, Lovers Lane. It's free to take part, but you'll need to book your place online at www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org