If the rising prices of public transport and petrol coupled with expensive admission fees mean that you simply can’t stretch to days out, don’t despair. With a little creativity and organisation, there are plenty of ways to keep the kids entertained on a budget.
Here are some of our top money-saving ideas…
Take advantage of offers
Vouchers and money-off deals are a good place to start to make days out more affordable.
The MoneySupermarket vouchers channel has a number of options for family days out across the UK. For example, Drayton Manor is offering two-for-one on admissions and Chessington World of Adventures is knocking 10% off half term breaks. Knowsley Safari Park meanwhile is charging just half price on admissions.
Or why not take the kids out for a tasty treat? Gourmet Burger Kitchen is offering two burgers for £10, while kids can eat completely free at Pizza Hut.
And it really couldn’t be easier to get these discounts – just visit the MoneySupermarket vouchers and deals channel and print off your voucher.
Another option is to buy your tickets for theme parks and other attractions online in advance as this can shave pounds off the price. If you’re planning on taking the train, booking your tickets just a few days in advance can also cut costs. Read Bob Atkinson’s tips for more information on how to get cheap train tickets.
Fun for free
Do a little research about what free activities are going on in your local area. Museums, galleries and libraries often put on activity and craft sessions for children in the half term while many towns have urban farms.
But there is also plenty to do if the weather keeps you in and you have to stay at home. For younger children, you could set up a craft table with different activities at each ‘station’ such as painting, Play-Doh and colouring. Set a certain amount of time for each activity so they don’t get fed up and then move them on. It will take up a rainy afternoon and they’ll end up with a selection of pictures and things they’ve made.
Or if you have high hopes of your little one being the next Jamie Oliver, how about trying a spot of baking? Fairy cakes, muffins and biscuits are all very easy to make and they’ll love getting involved. You could even set up an indoor picnic area to enjoy all your hard work!
There are some great recipe books out there with hundreds of ideas for easy recipes for kids. Check out MoneySupermarket’s shopping channel for inspiration.
The great outdoors
OK, so the weather isn’t likely to be cracking the flags any time in February but wrap up warm and embrace the elements! It might be cold but it’s better than the kids spending hours in front of the TV or on computer games.
For little green-fingered members of the family, you could create a nature scavenger hunt. List a number of things they have to spot in the garden or while out on a walk then award them points for each thing they find.
Or why not get crafty and use things you would normally throw away to make a bird-feeder for your garden’s feathered friends? Children love anything they can make so check out the RSPB kids website for a step-by-step guide. They can then spend time out in the garden spotting which birds come for dinner.
If you have a park nearby or are lucky enough to live near the beach, get a group together and organise a good old-fashioned game of rounders or cricket. The kids can burn off some energy and you get a work-out too – bonus!
Another healthy option if you have older children with bikes is to investigate some new trails. Visiting Sustrans will allow you to look up local cycle routes in your area and you could discover new places you didn’t even know existed.
So there you have it – lots of fun, creative and active ways for you to keep the kids entertained over half term. Just make sure you don’t wear yourself out so much that you come to the end of the week needing another holiday!
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.