What to do with the Kids at half term (without breaking the bank)?
Do you dread half term?
It's a time of the year that your kids look forward to the most ....... and sometimes a time of the year that you look forward to the least!
Even if your working schedule isn't too badly affected by your young ones being out of school, there is still the factor of needing to fill up their time in a productive and fun manner. Parents don't always want to leave their children to waste the week or fortnight on the couch with their games consoles, which leaves it up to you to try to come up with things to do.
When it comes to half term with the kids, cheap things to do and free things to do are the main goal, and there are more than you might think.
A visit to a farm is always a great trip idea whatever time of year, because it promises that all important mixture of fun and education. Spring is particularly fun because of the new born animals. Kids love the outdoors and they love animals, so any kind of day out that involves being able to get a little bit mucky and see and touch some animals is always a winner. It's always important to find things to do at half term that are going to be entertaining for both you and your children, and a farm that invites visitors is always going to have plenty of activities and interesting highlights for all ages.
Continuing with the animal theme, the Pets At Home stores across the country actually offer a fun workshop for kids who are off school. Named Super Small Furries, the workshop aims to teach children about the care and companionship of small pets, enabling them to get hands on with a number of cute creatures. Another perfect mixture of fun and learning, the workshop provides extras like an activity sheet and stickers, and best of all, it's free!
If you have a child who likes to spend more time in the garden than in the house, then one of the Little Seedlings Holiday Clubs run by Dobbies is a perfect half term idea. It is a free event that lasts for approximately 60 minutes. They will learn all about the signs of spring, about the times when different plants and foods start to grow, and how to keep a good garden. It is a perfect activity for any green fingered child aged between 4 and 10.
People have criticised the cinema industry for out-pricing a large sector of the public for a long time, but this half term you can take advantage of lots of different offers and schemes to give your kids some movie magic enjoyment. Major chains like Vue, Cineworld and Odeon all run their own separate schemes for cheaper tickets for young people over half term. I would really advise taking advantage of this as it turns one the pricier family activities into one of the best cheap things to do over the school break.
Don't make the mistake of assuming that children don't want to go to museums; it's all about the museums that you choose! There is no better match made in heaven than a dad teaching his kids about cool things like trains and planes, so places like the Science Industry Museum and the RAF Museum are perfect for an enjoyable day out. Museums that provide fun activities and interactive experiences are always a great idea for family trips; it is another great example of suggestions for free things to do that are satisfying for both you and your children.
If you live in a place that is within sensible reach of the coast, then a day out at the seaside is always a popular half term choice. The country's beaches are free to spend time on, so the day can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. Taking a picnic and plenty of treats to enjoy when you get there can dramatically lower the cost of the entire experience, and when the arcades on the beach front are all penny slots, you can have hours of fun for mere pounds.
If the forest is more to your kids' liking than the sea, then you can always turn inland instead for a day of hiking on a nearby nature trail. There are plenty of nationally preserved nature spots all over the country, so much so that you are bound to have a beautiful option close to your home. Many maintained national parks feature special nature trails designed to keep children entertained whilst educating them on the beauty of the great outdoors at the same time.
So, no matter how long you have with your children over half term, hopefully this list has shown you that keeping them occupied and entertained does not have to be an expensive task. The trick is to come up with a list of day trips and activities that are diverse and interesting, something to make each member of the family happy.
If you have a fixed family of girls and boys, balance out the trips so there are fun things to do for both sexes, and things to hold Mum and Dad's interest too.
No matter what age your own kids are, there are always going to be cheap and free things to do over half term.
Here's a handy list to the items I have suggested throughout: