Decorative header image reading 'Free summer activities, food, and support'

Free events/activities, food, and more support if you need it this summer:

This page lists the ways you can make the most of the summer months for less, including free outdoor events, food, and more support if you need it.

To see our full list of year-round support to help with rising living costs, tap here to visit our full cost of living support hub: www.boltonathome.org.uk/cost-of-living.

Free summer activities (organised by us) and packed lunches (updated 24 July 2024)

Free summer activities (organised by us) and packed lunches (updated 24 July 2024)

Each year, our (Bolton at Home's) colleagues organise and support a range of summer activities for you and yours to get involved in. We also support Urban Outreach to offer free packed lunches for young people during summer.

You can see the most up-to-date schedule of activities below, and we'll update this list as more activities are confirmed in different areas. Please note that some sessions may require advance booking, and we've added a note to any of the activities where this is the case.

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HAF Park Sessions supported by our staff (back to the list):

Expect outdoor games, food, useful information/support for parents and guardians, and more at these Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Park Sessions in and around Bolton. For more information on any of the sessions below**, please contact Tara Branagan using  tara.branagan@boltonathome.org.uk.

**This section only lists the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) Park Sessions that are supported by our staff. You can see a full list of activities planned as part of Bolton Council's HAF programme here: www.bolton.gov.uk/HAF (opens in a new tab).

Free Bike Checks in Bolton (several locations) (back to the list):

Make sure your bike's safe and in tip-top condition for the summer holidays with a free bike check on either of these dates:

There's no need to book. For more information, please call, text, or WhatsApp Alun Morris on 07943541636.

Poster for the Free Bike Check sessions at Red Lane Growing Project. A text alternative is available above this image. Poster for the Free Bike Check sessions at Green Way Community Centre, Hall 'i 'th Wood. A text alternative is available above this image.

Community Litter Pick in Tonge Moor (back to the list):

Why not join the local community in helping to make the estate cleaner for all to enjoy during the summer holidays and beyond? We'll be meeting near the raised shrub bed/grassed area to the side of 11 Woodbridge Drive (map opens in a new tab) at 11am. 

  • All equipment will be provided.
  • Drinks and biscuits for everyone who takes part.
  • Help us to re-plant the shrub beds with some summer plants.

If you'd like further information on our Community Litter Pick session, please email Yvonne Seal using  yvonne.seal@boltonathome.org.uk.

Poster for the Community Litter Pick session in Tonge Moor. A text alternative is available above this image.

Bug Hunt in Tonge Moor (back to the list):

Our Bug Hunt activities are always popular. Why not come along and discover tiny wonders, learn about insect habitats, and create lasting memories..?

Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult, but there's no need to book. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing.

  • Friday 26 July 2024, 10am to 12pm
  • Friday 9 August 2024, 10am to 12pm

Meet at St. Chads Church, Longworth Street, Tonge Fold, BL2 6AW (map opens in a new tab). For more information, please call, text, or WhatsApp Alun Morris on 07943541636.

Poster for the Bug Hunt sessions in Tonge Moor. A text alternative is available above this image.

Pond and/or River Dipping sessions in Bolton (several locations) (back to the list):

Pond/river dipping is like a treasure hunt beneath the water’s surface. Using nets and buckets, you'll gently scoop up water bugs, tadpoles, and maybe even a shy newt or two. It’s a fantastic way to connect with nature and learn about those amazing ecosystems that thrive in our local ponds and rivers.

Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, please call, text, or WhatsApp Alun Morris on 07943541636.

Pond and River Dipping at Seven Acres Country Park (to book a place, please call, text, or WhatsApp Alun Morris using 07943541636):

All sessions at Seven Acres Country Park will take place from 10am to 12pm. Please meet at the car park of Lancashire Wildlife Trust on Bury Road, BL2 6DH (map opens in a new tab).

  • Tuesday 23 July 2024
  • Thursday 25 July 2024
  • Tuesday 30 July 2024
  • Thursday 1 August 2024
  • Tuesday 6 August 2024
  • Thursday 8 August 2024
  • Tuesday 13 August 2024
  • Thursday 15 August 2024
  • Tuesday 20 August 2024
  • Thursday 22 August 2024

Pond Dipping at Eatock Lodge Nature Reserve (no need to book):

All sessions at Eatock Lodge will take place from 2pm to 4pm. Eatock Lodge Nature Reserve is located at The Hoskers, Westhoughton, Bolton, BL5 2SQ (map opens in a new tab).

  • Thursday 1 August 2024
  • Thursday 8 August 2024

Pond Dipping at Moses Gate Country Park (no need to book):

All sessions at Moses Gate Country Park will take place from 2pm to 4pm. Please meet at the entrance to Rock Hall in the lower car park (map opens in a new tab).

  • Thursday 25 July 2024
  • Thursday 8 August 2024

Pond Dipping at Doffcocker Lodge (no need to book):

All sessions at Doffcocker Lodge will take place from 10am to 12pm. Please meet behind Ripon Avenue (map opens in a new tab).

  • Friday 2 August 2024
  • Friday 16 August 2024

Poster for the Pond and River Dipping sessions at Seven Acres Country Park. A text alternative is available above this image. Poster for the Pond Dipping sessions at Eatock Lodge. A text alternative is available above this image. Poster for the Pond Dipping sessions at Doffcocker Lodge. A text alternative is available above this image.

Summer Fun in Nature sessions in Breight met (back to the list):

Expect bug hunts, games, snacks, s'mores, and more at these Summer Fun in Nature sessions at the Red Lane Growing Project in Breightmet (map opens in a new tab). Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, please call, text, or WhatsApp Alun Morris on 07943541636.

All summer fun in nature sessions take place from 2pm to 4pm the Red Lane Growing Project in Breightmet (map opens in a new tab):

  • Tuesday 23 July 2024
  • Tuesday 30 July 2024
  • Tuesday 6 August 2024
  • Tuesday 13 August 2024
  • Tuesday 20 August 2024

Poster for the Summer Fun in Nature sessions in Breightmet. A text alternative is available above this image.

Free advice, support, and family activities at the Slaterfield Community Centre open day (back to the list):

Come along to Slaterfield Community Centre on Carrington Dr, Bolton, BL3 6YE (map opens in a new tab) and see what's on offer in the local area. Expect light refreshments along with a bouncy castle, music, and face painting for the youngsters.

Poster for the Slaterfield Community Centre open day. A text alternative is available above this image.

A walk in the wild and picnic in Ashton Fields, New Bury (back to the list):

Bring along your lunch for a walk in the park, bug hunt, games, picnic, and more. There will be two sessions, both taking place from approx. 12pm to 3pm (meet at the New Bury UCAN Centre at 53 George St, Farnworth, Bolton, BL4 9PU - map opens in a new tab):

  • Monday 29 July 2024
  • Monday 12 August 2024

Poster for the Walk in the Wild and Picnic in Ashton Fields in New Bury. A text alternative is available above this image.

Get free packed lunches from Urban Outreach's 'Bolton Lunches' scheme (back to the list):

Header banner reading: 'Where to collect free packed lunches in Bolton during the summer holidays.'

Urban Outreach have released a full list of sites you'll be able to collect free packed lunches from (for young people aged 4 to 18) as part of their 2024 'Bolton Lunches' project.

In 2024, Bolton Lunches will run from Monday 22 July to Friday 30 August. Tap here for further details on how the Bolton Lunches scheme works and for a list of sites you'll be able to collect free packed lunches from in 2024.

Free summer activities organised by our partners (2024)

Here's an overview of some of the summer activities our partners have organised for you and yours.

To learn more and see the most-up-to date information for each activity, please tap the relevant links below. We'll update this list as and when we're made aware of more activities taking place.

Image of the exterior of the Octagon Theatre in Bolton

Free summer activities and affordable tickets from the Octagon Theatre, Bolton:

Unlock your children’s imaginations with creative opportunities at the Octagon Theatre this summer.

They'll be offering a range of free activities including interactive storytelling sessions, creative drama workshops, and a free family festival packed with activities over the Bank Holiday weekend (from Friday 23 August 2024).

To find out more and book your free places, please tap:  octagonbolton.co.uk/families (opens in a new tab).

You'll also be able to unlock £4 tickets to Octagon productions throughout the year by joining the Affordable Ticket Scheme, which is open to anyone on Universal Credit or anyone referred by one of the Octagon's ticket access partners (such as Bolton at Home). To find out more about the Affordable Ticket Scheme, please email Tara Branagan (from our Community Engagement Team) using:  tara.branagan@boltonathome.org.uk.

Promotional banner graphic for Bolton's HAF (Holiday Activities and Food) programme

Free activities as part of Bolton's Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme in 2024:

The annual Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme supports children and families with free fun, creative sessions offering sports, games, physical activity, and food for a minimum four hours a day, for four days a week.

You'll find a full list of activities on the Bolton Council website at: www.bolton.gov.uk/HAF (opens in a new tab). Some activities are only open to children and families on benefit-related free school meals, but all sessions hosted directly by Bolton Council are open to all (for free).

Places you can collect free packed lunches from during the school summer holidays (2024)

Places you can collect free packed lunches from during the school summer holidays (2024)

Urban Outreach have released a full list of sites you'll be able to collect free packed lunches from (for young people aged 4 to 18) as part of their annual 'Bolton Lunches' project (2024).

All of the sites listed below will be open every weekday, Monday 22 July to Friday 30 August 2024, 11am to 12noon (excluding the bank holiday on Monday 26 August).

Please help us make sure this list is seen by anyone who could use a helping hand to provide lunches for their family over summer- whether it’s a friend, family member, or someone else you care about.

The purpose of the yearly 'Bolton Lunches' project is to make sure no child goes hungry during the summer holidays. You might spot our (Bolton at Home) staff helping out at some of these sites, including at Withins UCAN Centre, The Willows Centre, New Bury UCAN Centre, Roosevelt Community Centre, and others (but all sites on the list offer the same level of support).

A list of sites where residents will be able to collect free packed lunches during the summer holidays in 2024. A text alternative of this poster is available below.

If you'd prefer, you can read a text-only version of the poster below (last updated Friday 19 July 2024):

Astley Bridge:

  • Oldham's Children's Centre: Forfar St., BL1 6RN

Blackrod:

  • St. Katherine's Church: Church St., BL6 5EN

Breightmet:

  • Breightmet Library: Breightmet Fold Lane, BL2 6NT
  • Red Lane URC: Newby Road, BL2 5EL
  • Withins UCAN Centre: 39 Kentmere Road, BL2 5JG

Daubhill:

  • St. Bedes Church: Normanby St., BL3 3QR
  • Willows Community Centre: Back Caledonia St., BL3 5PA

Deane:

  • Deane Church: 41 Junction Road, BL3 4LT
  • Sutton Centre: Addington Road, BL3 4QZ

Farnworth:

  • Farnworth Library: Market St., BL4 7PG
  • New Bury UCAN Centre: 53 George St., BL4 9PU

Great Lever:

  • Great Lever Children's Centre: Leonard St., BL3 3AP
  • Rose Hill URC: 75 Bradford Rd., BL3 2HE

Halliwell:

  • Oxford Grove Children's Centre: Oxford Grove, BL1 3BH
  • St. Thomas Primary School: Eskrick St., BL1 3JB

Horwich:

  • Bridge Church: Rock St., BL6 5QS
  • St. Elizabeth's Church: Cedar Ave., BL6 6HT

Johnson Fold:

  • Hope Centre: 27 Tattersall Ave., BL1 5TE

Kearsley:

  • Roosevelt Road Community Centre: Roosevelt Rd., BL4 8EA

Little Lever:

  • Kings Church Little Lever: Market St., BL3 1HN

Tonge:

  • Castle Hill Centre: Castleton St., BL2 2JW
  • Tonge Children's Centre: 260 Starkie Rd., BL2 2ED

Westhoughton:

  • John Holt Community Centre: Birch Ave., BL5 2NR

Experiencing financial difficulty?

Decorative header reading 'We and our partners are here to help'

If you're experiencing financial difficulty this summer, we (Bolton at Home) and our partners are here to help.

Expert staff in our Money Advice Team can offer free, confidential, and independent advice on a full range of money matters to anyone living in a Bolton at Home property. Some of the things we can help you with include:

  • money worries,
  • managing the money you have in a better way,
  • working out which debts to pay first,
  • getting all the right income and benefits entitlement,
  • where to access affordable credit (Hoot Credit Union),
  • accessing and managing your bank account,
  • and more.

Could we help you or someone you know? For peace of mind, just ask. You'll find our Money Advice Team's contact details here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/money-advice-team.

Looking for support with money matters, but don't live in a Bolton at Home property? 

Our partners at Bolton Council also have a range of support for people who are experiencing financial difficulty, such as Bolton's Money Skills Service. It offers free, impartial money guidance to people who live, work, or study in Bolton. They can help with a range of issues including high energy costs, budgeting guidance, and dealing with debts. For more information, please visit the Bolton's Money Skills Service website at: www.boltonsmoneyskills.org.uk (opens in a new tab).

Bolton Council have also received funding from the Government's Household Support Fund, which has been set up to ensure people have access to additional help if they need it. For more information on the ways they can help, please visit:  www.bolton.gov.uk/benefits/household-support-fund/1 (opens in a new tab).

Remember: if you live in a Bolton at Home property, you can speak to our Money Advice Team (using their contact details at:  www.boltonathome.org.uk/money-advice-team) if you'd like support to apply for any additional funding or support- like that listed on Bolton Council's website.