Half-term at Half the Cost

Money saving ideas for half-term holiday activities.

Your little angels are soon to break up from school for a week or two and whilst you love them, it’s doubtful by the end of those welcomed holidays, that you’ll still be singing their praises. But whilst those of you out there who can afford the school camps or weeks in the sun enjoy the half term break, others who are on a budget might just be feeling the panic set in as they need to create 7-14 days worth of entertainment without breaking the bank.

Here’s our quick guide to things you can do which might give you a sense of sanity during this time.

Mini golf

Whilst it might cost you to take part, on a dry day, this is a great activity with kids. Getting them out in the fresh air and giving them some mental and physical exercise is always a great thing. Making it a budget day out, you can easily bring a picnic and make a little prize for the winning golfer. By the time you’ve got to the mini golf venue, had a picnic and played a game…they’ll be just enough time for some home made cup cakes and snacks before heading home. It’s an easy way to fill half a day out, bringing the troops home for tea!
A great site for finding out the mini golf  locations nearest you: http://www.miniaturegolfer.com/eng_courses.html

Farm days

Animals aren’t for everyone, but I have to admit, if we lived on a farm – my daughter would thank me every day! There are so many farms now which offer a petting experience without overcharging, this again can easily be stretched out to a half day event. Make sure you shop around to find the best places for the right price. A great farm in the North of England is Reddish Vale farm – it’s always worth asking friends for recommendations so you’re not disappointed when you get there.


Picnic days and a good old fashioned park

Swings and roundabouts may be something we tire of, but our mini me’s could play on them all day. So far, in all my years, I’ve never heard of a park where you have to pay an entry fee – so even on the strictest of budgets – this is something everyone can afford to do.


Show days

If you kids are anything like my little one, then putting on a show with friends will keep them busy for hours. Why not invite some of your friends’ children over and let them all create their own show – with make-up and dress up clothes, paper hats and so forth. They can make props from household items and empty washing up bottles and within a few hours, you can sit back and enjoy the show – or at least try to 😉 The kids will have a blast doing this – with plenty of giggles filling the house and some exhausted little people by the end of the day when final curtain falls.


Whilst we might not all be budding Jamie Olivers, cooking or baking is something most kids love to do – and the cost of the ingredients is much more affordable than a day out! Together, you could cook a three course meal – a soup for starter, pizza for mains and then a nice cake for dessert. You’ll all have so much fun and even better – you get to enjoy the end result when it’s ready!


Now I know the majority of you will wince at the thought of the mess, and I’m not disagreeing with you – but crafts and painting often equals happy and quiet children! A few hours making a robot or painting a mural for the bedroom wall will create great fun for the kids and is easily achievable for just a few pounds. Be sure to get paints which come off walls and floors easily – as well as the kids’ clothes!

Kids club cinema

Finally, whilst we advocate lots of free events, it’s worth noting many cinemas offer a Kids Club screening where films are just £2 per person – these are a great treat and with normal cinema tickets costing around £8 each, it’s a significant £6 saving!


The key generally is to work together with other mums and share the time and cost of the half term fun; scour the internet to see what’s going on in your local area as there’s often special events at budget prices – particularly with national trust venues. And… most importantly, don’t be afraid of making a mess – it all clears up after everyone’s done – and that could be a game in itself for the kids to play!

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