Just as we begin to recover from the financial fallout of Christmas, along pops February half term! Winter half terms can be testing, especially if rain and bad weather prevent outdoor play.
However, trying to keep the kids entertained this half term doesn’t have to cost a bomb. Here are some low-cost ideas for keeping your little people amused during the half term week:
Your local library:
Most libraries run free arts and crafts sessions over half term, as well as story times, rhyme times and other activities such as construction clubs and other workshops.
Many shopping centres also put on free crafts, activities and events. It’s worth checking out the programme of events at your local mall.
Many arts centres host workshops and events over half term. Whether your little ones are into dance, drawing, writing or craft, you’re likely to find something to they’ll enjoy for a minimal cost.
Cost: Normally around £5 – £10 per activity
If your kids love film, why not take them along to the special kids screenings at your local cinema? These usually take place early in the morning and can cost as little as £2.50 per ticket. Also, check out your local arts centre or theatre, where films may be screened at a fraction of the cost of regular cinema prices.
Cost: £2.50 upwards
All around the UK, museums offer free entry to their exhibits year round. During peak times, such as half term, many put on extra events and activities for their little visitors.
Cost: Often free
If your kids need to run off some steam, why not take them to a free park run? These events are held up and down the country every weekend and kids love the sense of achievement they feel from taking park in a 2k or 5k run with their peers. Check out the Park Run website to find events near you.
Geocaching is a free and slightly addictive activity you can take part in through an app. Your task is to find the geocaches in your area, sign the log book and then re-hide the geocache for others to find. You can also share your progress with others online. If the weather isn’t too bad this half term, geocaching is a great option.
Why not try a subscription craft box to delight the children during half term? If the weather leaves you housebound, a good craft activity is a must. Toucan Box is flexible and reasonably priced, delivering everything you need right to your door.
Cost: From around £5.95 per box
A room full of inflatables is every child’s dream. Bouncy castles, assault courses, slides and more are available at the Bouce Departments pop-up play centres. Tickets cost from £5.50 and must be booked in advance. See if there is a play centre local to you here.
Cost: Around £5.50 per child
Your local Council
Don’t forget to scour your local council’s website to find more free activities in your area. For example, some councils offer free swimming and other leisure activities for kids during half term.
Cost: Free and up
Join the National Trust
For an initial outlay of around £114 (or a direct debit of about £9.55 per month), you can buy a National Trust family membership and have free access to hundreds of incredible places all around the UK. Beautiful gardens, parks, stately homes and historic buildings are just some of the attractions at your fingertips. Your kids will never be bored again!
Cost: about £114 per year
Dig out the deals
Websites such as Wowcher and Groupon have a multitude of deals on events and activities in every pocket of the UK. Don’t forget to see if you can use your loyalty card points to buy tickets to local attractions – for example Tesco Clubcard has an excellent selection of deals.
Aimee Foster is a mum, freelance writer and social media manager, bookworm and sea lover. Find more of her ramblings over on her blog, New Forest Mum.