Half-term is imminent – where does the time go? Mercifully it looks as if it will be mostly warm. Still, even when the sun shines, entertaining the kids can be pretty expensive if you go to theme parks or museums. I’ve put together a few alternative (and cheap) ideas for holiday family fun – suitable for older kids.
1. Camp in the garden
No hassle with motorway driving or rubbish facilities! Pitch the tent in your back garden and let the kids camp out for a day or two. They could BBQ out there too. If it’s cold or raining, they can come back in the house.
2. Treasure hunt
If your kids enjoyed Pokemon Go, they might like geocaching. It’s a phone app which directs you to various caches of treasure (nick-nacks) hidden around your area. Another option is to make a list of things for kids to find in the park, along your road or garden. You could team up with other parents too.
3. Kids cook the evening meal
Adults can put their feet up while children decide on the family meal for the day, make a list, navigate the supermarket and cook the evening meal. Supervision may be required!
4. Try a new sport
Check out what classes are available at the local leisure centre and sign up for a trial session. Pool, ping pong and crazy golf are all acceptable. If you’re organised enough, phone up a few friends for a game of rounders and picnic in the park (perhaps with wine for the adults).
Stop the kids lazing around all day plugged into a device and encourage them to give something back to society. This might take a bit of research at local amenities, churches, National Trust or YMCA but you could find organisations looking for volunteers with conservation, visiting older people or helping kids with disabilities at sports centres. Or just get a couple of bin bags and pick up rubbish in your community green area.
6. A day in the country (of your choice)
Don’t visit a foreign country, bring it home! This is helpful if your kids are studying a language at school. Have a French day where you eat croissants and croque monsieurs, try to read a French book or watch a French film and/or find a real French shop, person or restaurant to visit.
Sometimes, however, there is just no escape from Legoland or Chessington. Plenty of families will be headed to the park or the beach too. If this is your chosen activity, make sure you’re prepared with a couple of discount deals.
The first is a Friends and Family Railcard which gives you a third off adult fares and 60% off child tickets. Normally it costs £30 but if you book today you can get an additional £6 off using this code FMH20. They’ve also got some good ideas for activities under £15 in London, Birmingham and Liverpool here.
The second is a subscription to *Kids Pass* . Warning: this is an affiliate link but I think it's actually quite a good deal. It's a phone app allows you up to 40% off at cinemas nationwide, seven days a week and up to 57% off a big variety of days out. Kids can also eat free at thousands of restaurants. The subscription is £39.99 a year but you can get a special 30-day membership for £1 at the moment.
Share your half-term recommendation on our SMM forum here.