12 cheap and free things to do this Easter

Check out these ideas on how to enjoy the Easter break without breaking the bank.

Easter is nearly here, and that means time off for the whole family. So if you're looking for some ideas on how to have fun on a budget, look no further!

Go on an Easter egg hunt

If you’ve got kids why not try an Easter egg hunt? There’s bound to be one going on near you, or you could try putting one on yourself! All you have to do is wrap up some eggs and place them around the garden, park or any area with sneaky hiding places.

For the ninth year running Cadbury is teaming up with the National Trust and the National Trust for Scotland to put on egg hunts at over 300 locations across the UK. You’ll get a Cadbury Egghead reward for completing the trail and there are other prizes up for grabs too. Find your nearest hunt.

Do a spring clean

The four-day weekend is the perfect opportunity for a massive clear out. Plus if you manage to sell your unwanted stuff you could earn a bit of extra cash to fund some more exciting activities.

With the weather warming up you could try a car boot sale. You can find one going on near you at Car Boot Junction. Read How to be successful at a car boot sale if you've never done one before.

Or alternatively you can sell from the comfort of your own home using sites like eBay or Gumtree. Read How to sell successfully on eBay for some tips or if you have an unreasonable amount of DVDs you need to get rid of, head over to Selling DVDs: Musicmagpie vs the competition to find the best places to flog your old media.

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Help someone else

Take advantage of countless volunteering opportunities up and down the UK- it'll make you feel really good. 

Start by visiting Do-it, Volunteering Matters and NCVO to find out what’s going on in your area, be it working with children, animals, homeless people or environmental projects. Volunteering Wales and Volunteer Scotland have a whole raft of activities too so be sure to check those out.

If you’ve got more specific skills to offer like accountancy, marketing, law, mentoring or IT, try Reach.

Indulge in some farmyard fun

The Three Counties Showground  in Worcestershire is hosting Countrytastic this Easter holiday. Get into the spirit with ride-on tractors as well as donkeys, goats, cows, rabbits, sheep, pigs and alpacas at the petting corner and grooming stations. Kids can even bottle-feed lambs, take part in cooking workshops and plant their very own mushroom log to take home with them. 

In the 'Ask the Farmer' theatre visitors can learn about food cupboard staples and Easy Peasy Cookery will be putting on demonstrations for children which will allow them to cook with crops.  

Countrytastic will be happening on Thursday 31st March from 10am to 5pm. Tickets are £6 each and children under three go free.

Get cooking

If you have younger kids and are looking for something fun to do Tesco are holding free pop-up cooking courses around the country for children aged 5-11 as part of its Eat Happy Project.

All the ingredients will be provided on the day, so you won’t need to bring anything with you. Children will also get an apron and recipes to take home with them so that they can share their newfound skills with the rest of the family.

You can book a spot online on the Eat Happy Project website.

Cooking at home is an ideal back-up plan in the event of unexpected downpours (which, let’s face it, are quite likely). Even the most basic baking ingredients will do the business with Mary Berry’s vanilla cupcake recipe on our sister site, loveFOOD.

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Watch a film

Most cinemas have special viewings set up for kids over the Easter holidays. But that doesn’t mean the grown-ups can’t catch a film too!

There are plenty of ways to cut the cost of going to the cinema, like redeeming Nectar or Clubcard points for cinema tickets. Check out How to get cheap and free cinema tickets for more.

Alternatively why not give one of the many streaming services a go? Now TVNetflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video all offer 30-day free trials initially, so whether you’re after a recent big budget blockbuster or a classic, you won’t have to pay a penny!

Visit a museum

Make some time to check out your local museums – many of which are free.

If you’re based in London, there’s the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. Or why not pop along to the V&A Museum or Tate Modern?

Alternatively, check out the dofreestuff.com website which allows you to click on your area and find out which museums and attractions are free nearby. For example, if you live in the West Midlands, you can pay a visit to the Coventry Transport Museum or the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Visit Britain also has a great list of free museums on its website.

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Catch a show

Going to the theatre doesn’t have to be expensive.

You can find great deals on websites like lastminute.com and cheaptheatretickets.com for West End hits like Showstopper! The Improvised Musical with tickets costing as little as £10.

See our guide to Cheap theatre tickets for more.

Alternatively you can have a cracking time at a comedy club. Get money off tickets to comedy clubs around the country by using websites like Vouchercodes and Vouchercloud.

Don’t forget your local council’s arts website to find out what’s going on near you for even cheaper shows you could try.

Do some sport

Families who have been inspired by Sport Relief should get themselves down to their local sports club or leisure centre and work off all of that choccy!

Encourage the sprogs to get on the pitch with free holiday football coaching which is available at various skill centres around England.

For a little more exploration, the National Trust has a wealth of cycle and walking routes (even some for little legs) that the whole family can enjoy. Websites such as nationaltrail.co.uk and walkingbritain.co.uk have lots of free routes to try out as well.

The Woodland Trust website has more than 1,000 woodland sites which are free to visit across the country. The website includes a selection of downloadable woodland walks.

If you want to make a splash, some local councils offer free swimming over the Easter holidays. Visit your local pool to see if you can bag a free swim for you or the kids.

Better yet, under 16s can sign up for a free Better Activities for Kids Card to use at your local Better leisure centre. The card will entitle them to savings on junior activities taking place over the Easter weekend including sports hall activities and swimming. Check out your nearest Better leisure centre to see what's on. 

Make your own entertainment

It doesn’t take an awful lot to make your own fun at home, and it’s always memorable.

Use some of those discarded Easter egg boxes to make a robot, doll’s house or puppet theatre. All you need is some scrap paper, some PVA glue and some crafty bits and pieces.

Alternatively you can take the less messy route and build a blanket fort in the living room or one of the kid’s bedrooms. Hold a mini housewarming with snacks, music and a sleepover.

Travel for less

If you’re keen to get out and about over Easter, you can save by using the train.

Up to two children under the age of five travel on trains for free and those aged five to 15 get a 50% discount. And if you're travelling in and around London, your train ticket can open up a host of two-for-one offers at attractions via the Days Out Guide website.

Anyone over the age of 16 travelling together might do well getting the Two Together railcard. It only costs £30 for the two cards and can save a third on journeys and can also get you two-for-one offers via the Days Out Guide website.

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Have a cheap meal out

If you fancy a meal out over the Easter break, it doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet.

There are loads of discount vouchers around at the moment, although many are restricted to the long weekend itself.

Check out VouchercodesVouchercloud and MyVoucherCodes to see what you can get.

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This article has been updated for 2016

Save more money this Easter:

Go to the cinema for free this week

Where to find favourite Easter eggs at cheapest prices

Poundland: shopping hacks and tricks to save more money



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