Parents typically spend £252 over the half-term break keeping kids amused, according to VoucherCodes. Here's how to have family fun for less!
1. Plan ahead
“It can be hard to keep fun free when the weather prevents you from doing things like trips to your local park," says Anita Naik, lifestyle editor of VoucherCodes.co.uk. "Staying at home is always a cheap option but the key is to plan; teddy bears’ picnics, discos, board games and making dens are great indoor activities kids enjoy but unless you plan for them in advance they can fall a little flat. I always draw up a rough schedule at the beginning of the week so I know what we’re doing."
2. Free festivals
Look out for free festivals. In London the children’s Imagine Festival has a range of free workshops and displays for kids of all ages who love books and authors. For older kids, Brighton’s Science Festival is running throughout half term week – particularly good for 12-14 year olds. There’s also Library Fest in Leeds and a whole host of others across the UK – check your local newspaper website or search “free half term festivals” to find your local event.
3. Free days out
Check out the Magic Freebies Cheap & Free Days Out section. "It’s packed full of exciting and beautiful places to visit with your family from watching the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace to experiencing life as a Roman at Corinium Museum in Cirencester ," says Colleen at MagicFreebiesUK. "Pack a picnic, a thermos and you’ve got yourself a day of fun!"
4. Flip a pancake!
Why wait until Shrove Tuesday! Check out how to rustle up the perfect pancake here.
5. Take the train
If you like to explore with your family on a regular basis then you’ll want to pick up a Family & Friends Railcard for £30 a year. Not only can you save 1/3 on adult and 60% on kid’s fares you can also save on dining out, West End shows and days out, too. Four adults and four kids can also travel together on one Railcard, so get your play date calendar out now.
6. Play tennis for free
Whether you’re a complete beginner or wanting to brush up on your skills – did you know you can play for free or partially for free in tennis courts near you? Tennis for Free is a community sports charity which helps with local councils, tennis clubs and coaches to lead tennis sessions throughout the UK.
7. Down on the farm!
Check out farms for kids where lambing season has started. Willow Farm in Herts has a huge range of activities in half term that include watching lambs be fed, story time and puppet shows. While Big Sheep Activity Farm in North Devon also has lambing events for kids of all ages.
8. Cinema savers
- There will be special Odeon Kids screenings every day during the school holidays. With a mix of classics and latest releases, you can keep the kids entertained for as little as £2.50 a ticket. Check out Odeon Kids showtimes at your local cinema here.
- Vue cinemas also has a fantastic deal where everyone pays the kids price of £1.75 for their Kids AM screenings. These films may be slightly older but it's guaranteed to be fun for all! Find out more here.
- Cineworld offers Movies for Juniors for just £1.50 a ticket or £3 for 3D. More here. Sign up to MyCineworld to get a further 10% off when you book online.
9. Dine out for less
- Kids eat free (with paying adults) at Crown Carveries on Sunday
- On weeknight kids eat free (with paying adults) at Morrisons
- £5 off when you spend £15 at Hungry Horse
- Free Ice Cream with main meals at Toby Carvery
- Kids Meal & Drink for £5.65 at Giraffe, plus half-price pancakes on Shrove Tuesday
10. Get crafting!
You can claim a free Toucan Activity Box full of exciting crafting goodies for kids to build and create. The first box is free and there are over 50 different types to choose from depending on age and interest. Get yours here.