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Cheap and free things to do this half term

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Wondering how to entertain the kids on a budget during October's half term? Look no further...

If you’re strapped for ideas for half-term family activities, never fear.

We have a whole load of them right here.

Take in a free event

As we're close to bonfire night, there are quite a few public firework displays going on towards the end of October.

In Manchester, there's the Free for Arts Fringe, while for those down south there's the Maidenhead Festival of Music & Dance.

Have a look at Free-events.co.uk and wherecanwego.com for more events going on in your area over the course of the week.

Watch a film

For a lazy start to the day, Vue cinemas host Kids AM every morning during the holidays. Both adult and child tickets are £1.99 for selected movies, so you could release your inner child for very little.

Odeon offers something very similar with Odeon Kids. Kids and adults can go every morning during the school holidays at a slightly higher ticket price of £2.50. 

And to complete the set, Cineworld also does Movie for Juniors where you and the kids can get in for a tiny £1.75 each (£3.25 for 3D showings) or £1.35 if you're a My Cineworld member.

Go bowling

Head over to your local Tenpin from Monday to Friday and get a cracking Eat and Play deal. If you go before 5pm, kids can get two games of bowling and a burger meal from £8.49 and you can get the same for £12.99. Deals vary between bowling alleys so check the Tenpin website before you go.

Learn a new skill

There's everything from craft clubs at Macclesfield Silk Museum to digital art drop-ins at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Or stay in and pass on your own skills (think instruments, drawing) to the kids.  

Get sporty

If the weather holds up, get them outside for a bit of a kickabout. Find out where to get free holiday football coaching at various skill centres throughout England.

Or if the kids prefer a spot of tennis, clubs up and down the UK offer free weekly tennis coaching lessons in public parks and free ‘walk on and play’ in certain courts.

The National Trust has a number of cycle routes for families too, including bike rides for little legs so that the young’uns don’t get too tired.

Councils across the UK offer free swim programmes for certain residents, so check out your local council’s website to see if you or your children are eligible.

Soak up some culture

There are free museums up and down the country just waiting to be explored, and many of them host special events for children during the break.

If you’re in or around London, there’s plenty of children’s theatre to keep them entertained too. For example, if you go and see The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me at the Little Angel Theatre you can get tickets for £5 each if you see the Friday performance at 5pm.

You can bag more free tickets, money off and cheap meals by visiting Groupon, Livingsocial, WowcherVoucher Codes and Voucher Cloud.

Get cooking

There are plenty of cooking websites out there with budget recipes which can cost you as little as £1 per head.

Our sister site loveFOOD has countless recipes for you to peruse, including 10 recipes kids will love to make and 10 more easy baking recipes too.

Eat out on the cheap

You can guarantee that there’ll be some great offers available for families over the half term.

Bella Italia is offering diners a £1 main course if they buy another main course at full price. Just be aware that you can’t redeem these vouchers on Friday and Saturday.

Or if you have a craving for a roast dinner, find your nearest Crown Carvery. If you order a meal on any Sunday (or bank holiday Monday) any child under 10 will get their meal for free!

Get creative at home

You don’t have to go on a grand adventure to have a memorable day with the family. Find something you can all do together like play a game or do a project which the whole family can get involved in.

It can be as simple as grabbing some old scraps and getting crafty. There are thousands of projects available online, including ones that can be made using household junk. Since Halloween is close now, making costumes from scratch 

There are also some wacky experiments you can do at home like creating your own tornado, fashioning a soap sculpture or growing edible crystals. You don’t even have to leave the kitchen.

And if all else fails, raid the linen cupboard and make a giant blanket fort.

We update this article ahead of every major half-term holiday

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