Top Ten ideas for half term fun this February
Money saving ideas for February half term…
Half term is fast approaching and many parents are panicking at the thought of entertaining the kids for those extra five days. Whether you are at home with them yourself, have organised childcare, or some combination of the two there is always that age old question “what shall we do?”!
Whilst it can be tempting to let them sit in front of a screen while you get on with things (and let’s face it this can sometimes be a win-win solution all round!) there are all kinds of other things that you can do together this half term. The good news is that these don’t have to cost the earth.
So here are our Top Ten money saving ideas for half term:
- 1. Breathe the air
If the weather is good over half term then take the opportunity to get everyone out and about in the fresh air. It is energising and makes everyone feel better. There are many opportunities – such as country parks, woods and beaches. If you’re feeling really brave why not take along a mini picnic to enjoy along the way?
If you prefer something more structured rather than just heading out into the unknown, have a look at your nearest National Trust or English Heritage site. Many venues do not charge just for entering the grounds where you can often find plenty to do. Also those that do charge usually offer reduced or free admission for children.
- 2. Fun with animals
Most children love animals, so try to find an opportunity to meet some face to face this half term! Large attractions such as zoos or wildlife parks can be expensive. But there are many smaller alternatives. Many animal sanctuaries rescue all kinds of different animals, whereas others focus on a specific breed – for example donkeys, goats or owls. Most of these have free admission (though welcome donations).
There are also many working farms around the country where visitors can get hands on with animals, and get involved in activities such as t animal feeding and egg collecting.
- 3. Geocaching
A growing worldwide trend which is increasingly popular in the UK is geocaching. Think of it as a real-life treasure hunt.
All you need to get started is the Geocaching app and/or a GPS device. You then use one or both of these to navigate to cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. The geocache coordinates are registered on a geocaching website such as https://www.geocaching.com.
There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered. Geocaches include a logbook for finders to add names and comments, as well as some interesting and fun items such as coins, small toys, keyrings, guitar picks, gift cards or costume jewellery. Finders are welcome to take items from the geocache but the etiquette is to put something back in as well.
- 4. Have fun getting fit
Half term is a great time for all the family to get fit together. This doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Why not get together with some other families to organise outdoor games in the local park? Or do your own fun run, danceathon or obstacle course?
Also check out any special half term offers at local leisure centres for activities such as family swimming or childrens’ school holiday camps.
- 5. Explore your local city
Visiting your nearest city need not cost a fortune. Many train companies have special travel offers for families during school holidays, and if you take food with you – or check in advance for offers at good value food outlets – then you do not have to spend too much money on food while you’re there.
Once you get to your city you’ll find a wide range of activities available for free. In London, for example, there are over 20 free museums and galleries that you can visit, including The Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum British Museum, and the Tate Modern.
You could also fit in your own specially designed walking tour – perhaps making it into a treasure hunt where children have to look for key landmarks as they go along.
Whatever your family likes to do, there are likely to be opportunities to do it without spending too much. But to get the most out of your day in the city it’s definitely best to plan before you go.
- 6. Movies
Everyone loves a good movie, and half term is a great time for enjoying one. Many cinemas will have special family offers for half term which can really help to cut the cost.
But if it’s still too much then why not treat yourself to either a DVD or On Demand movie and watch it at home? Make a big thing of it by rearranging the seating and getting out the popcorn – just as if you were in a cinema. Though you are allowed to wear pyjamas and onesies of course!
- 7. Get creative!
Most children love making things, so why not dedicate an afternoon to arts and crafts during half term? Whether it’s painting or drawing, slime or play doh, creating collages or mosaics using images from magazines or building something innovative and unique from basic household items; there are all kinds of possibilities.
Another option is to do some baking. Some families love to do this, others can’t bear the mess! But it can be a fun and productive activity with something lovely to eat at the end. There are many relatively simple things that children can make, including biscuits and cakes, so could be well worth the effort.
- 8. Fun and games
Board games seem to be becoming popular again so why not enjoy playing some of your old favourites and exploring some of the newer ones. There are all kinds of versions of Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit that the whole family can enjoy – and check out some of the top-selling games from Christmas 2018 such as Strictly Come Dancing, The Crystal Maze and even When in Rome – the first Alexa-powered board game!
Or why not also have a fun afternoon playing old-fashioned party games? The list is endless: hide and seek, pass the parcel – or musical bumps / chairs / statues? Great fun for everyone – especially with prizes!
- 9. Car boot sale
If you have been inspired by the Marie Kondo Tidying Up craze then why not start decluttering your home this half term? One way to get the kids involved in this is to aim to do a car boot sale – perhaps the final weekend of half term. This could be a great opportunity to declutter and make a bit of cash all at the same time, and children will enjoy helping out on the day and also looking round other peoples’ stalls.
First check out the car boot sales near you to see if there is a suitable opportunity. Also consider specialised markets such as Little Pickles that are designed to give private sellers the opportunity to sell their nearly new items such as maternity wear, nursery furniture, bikes, books, DVD’s, games, clothes and toys.
Then get the whole family to have a massive clear out so that you have plenty to sell. You can offer incentives to the kids such as some kind of small treat for every item they sort out to sell, plus a share of the profits on the day.
There is also a lot you can do in advance to make things easier on the day of the sale. For example you could have separate boxes for different items such as toys, household items, bags, books etc. Also plan your pricing in advance – perhaps the kids could make signs to put on things.
A car boot sale can keep everyone occupied, declutter your house, and make you some money. An all-round win-win situation!
- 10. Local events
Last but definitely not least, take a look around your local area for special events this half term. Many local pubs, clubs and community organisations will be running a range of different activities from entertainment to treasure hunts to litter picking.
Also look out for different types of market to visit. There are numerous farmers markets all around the country, selling a wide variety of produce. Children will be amazed at the concept of going from stall to stall to buy different things rather than simply filling a supermarket trolley!
Getting involved in local events is not only a fun and productive way to spend time this half term but also opens the door to new friendships and more social activities on an ongoing basis.
We hope that the above ideas help to occupy you and your family this half term without breaking the bank. Check back here soon for more lifestyle and money saving ideas from Loans 2 Go.