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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 May'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

In Brockworth, Gloucestershire you can watch foolhardy souls cartwheel down a Cooper’s Hill chasing a 7lb cheese in the annual Cheese Rolling race on May 30.

Meanwhile over in Brighton the Fringe Festival is on during the half term with hundreds of free events the kids might enjoy like puppet performances and poetry events.

Have a look at Free-events and wherecanwego 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 Mini Mornings every morning during the holidays. Both adult and child tickets are £1.99 (3D £2.79) for selected movies, so you could release your inner child for very little expense.

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. 

Cineworld also does Movie for Juniors where you and the kids can get in for a tiny £2 each (3D £3.50).

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 £8.99 and you can get the same for £13.99. Deals vary between bowling alleys so check the Tenpin website before you go.

Learn a new skill

There's everything from free scales and fins pet workshops at Pets at Home stores to build a bug workshops at the National Gallery.

Hobbycraft also runs free workshops for kids in some of its 81 UK stores over the weekends and during half term. Check if your local one is running one.

Alternatively stay in and pass on your own skills (think instruments, drawing, cooking) 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 as well as some great walks including  walks 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 We’re Going on a Bear Hunt at the Little Angel Theatre you can get tickets for £12 for adults or £10 for children.

You can bag more free tickets, money off and cheap meals by visiting Groupon, WowcherVouchercodes 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 Top 10 recipes for children and Top 10 easy and fun  baking recipes. So check it out!

Eat out on the cheap

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

You can find a load on websites like Vouchercodes. At Bella Italia for example you can get a code for 25% off your food bill (until June 5)

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.

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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