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Cheap and free things to do this half term

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Wondering how to entertain the kids during the May half term and looking for cheap or free things to do? 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

From cheese rolling in Gloucestershire to the Milk Race cycling in Nottingham to the Saddleworth & District brass band contests, have a look at Free-events.co.uk and wherecanwego.com for 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 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 or £1.35 if you're a My Cineworld member.

Go bowling

Head over to your local Tenpin to get a cracking Eat and Play deal. If you go before 5pm, kids can get one game and a burger meal for £7.49 and you can get the same for £9.99. Deals vary between bowling alleys so check the Tenpin website before you go.

Learn a new skill

B&Q runs Kids Can Do It workshops for children aged 7-11, teaching kids basic DIY skills. You can get in on the action for free if you’re a member of the B&Q Club, otherwise it’s a fiver.

There's also  everything from kite making workshops at Discover Children's Story Centre in London to origami boat construction in Falmouth, digital art drop-ins at the Victoria & Albert Museum and willow weaving at Drum Castle.

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.

Get to the coast

For a good, old-fashioned day out, why not go to beach? Just grab some cheap buckets and spades and head for the sea. It’s the perfect chance to treat yourself to some proper fish and chips and a classic vanilla cone, complete with a 99 Flake.

Soak up some culture

There are free museums up and down the country just waiting to be explored.

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 Paper Dolls 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.

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 a full-price main course. Just be aware that you can’t redeem these vouchers on Friday and Saturday.

Or if you have beginning-of-the-week roast cravings, find your nearest Crown Carvery. If you order a meal, any child under 10 will get the kids version 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 geting crafty. There are thousands of projects available online, including ones that can be made using household junk.

Do some whacky experiments 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

Earn money back on your everyday spending with a cashback credit card

More tips for families:

The best Junior ISAs

The top Child Trust Funds

How to claim your Tax Credits

How to renew your Tax Credits

Five ways to cut the cost of childcare

Breastfeeding: free help and moneysaving tips

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