Cheap and free things to do this half term

Wondering how to entertain the kids on a budget during October 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

National Trust has a whole raft of events happening over October half-term. The kids could test their survival skills, experience some tree-based crafts and more. 

Of course, Halloween will be on the little ones' minds too. If you live in Sheffield, you can get involved in The Moor's Little Monster's Halloween Party. There'll be Halloween themed fun from dances, music, funfair rides and a giant Frankenstein. It's running from 11am-5pm on Sunday 29 October. 

Or you could spruce up your house with some bits and pieces from Twickenham Craft Fairs. The next event is a Halloween-themed fair at St. Mary's Church Hall from 1:30pm until 5pm on Saturday 28 October.  

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

There are some great films to catch this half term including The LEGO Ninjago Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie.

For a lazy start to the day, Vue cinemas host Mini Mornings every morning during the holidays. Both adult and child tickets are £2.49 for selected movies.

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 School Holiday Special deal. If you go before 5pm, kids can get one game of bowling and a burger meal for £8.70 and adults can get the same for £11.20. Deals vary between bowling alleys so check the Tenpin website before you go.

Cheap and free things to do this half term

Learn a new skill

There's everything from Autumn & Winter Workshops at Pets at Home stores to Lego Tigers 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 store is running one.

Alternatively stay in and pass on your own skills (think instruments, drawing etc) 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.

There’s plenty of children’s theatre to keep them entertained too. You can catch Princess Charming at the Ovalhouse in London from 24-28 October. It's £10 for adults and £6 for kids.

Check out Groupon and Wowcher for cheap tickets to local shows.

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!

Take it a step further: why not go out with the kids and pick your own fruit? Have a look at this list to pinpoint your nearest Pick Your Own (PYO) farm

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 such as £10 off orders over £25 at Papa John's until 29 October. 

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 only £1!

Get experimental

Spark your children’s curiosity with homemade science experiments.

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

For more ideas, check out YouTube.

Cheap and free things to do this half term

Have fun 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. Put together a scavenger hunt in the garden using small knick-knacks or wrapped chocolates or take the hunt indoors if it’s raining.

Rediscover old board and card games like chess or snap or seek out cheap new ones like Dobble.

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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