Easter 2019: cheap and free things to do with the kids

Cheap and free activities to do this Easter without breaking the bank.

The Easter holidays are here, but it doesn’t have to be a drain on your wallet.

So, if you're looking for some ideas on how to have fun on a budget, look no further.

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Free events 

The National Trust has loads of other Easter themed events from birdwatching trails to lambing. Make a leaf crown at Nymans in West Sussex or become Robin Hood for a day at Bodiam Castle. 

It's bluebell season! Check out the National Trust and the Woodland Trust to find a bluebell walk near you for a family photoshoot. 

Dobbies Garden Centres are running their Little Seedlings gardening club at their centres up and down the country. The sessions are free but you'll need to sign up here

Yellowave Beach Sports in Brighton is hosting a Free Easter Trail at its site and anyone that finds all the pictures will get a chocolate brioche for free! 

The Southbank Centre have a few free family events on this Easter including Boogie Monsters and an Afro Dance Party where you can learn some new moves. 

When participating with an adult, kids can enter the Royal Windsor's Easter Eggstravaganza for free. Register here. 

Edinburgh Science Festival runs until 21 April and there's a whole bunch of events to get involved in, many of which are free. 

Cheap events

The Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt is running at 260 National Trust locations across the UK. Sign up here and entry is just £3. 

English Heritage is running Easter Adventure Quests at its sites from until 28 April. It's £1 to take part in the quest plus entry admission if you're a non-member. 

For Londoners, Somerset House is hosting Now Play This, a festival of gaming. It's £4 for a child under 12 and the ticket price gives you access to lots of interactive exhibits. 

Winchester Science Centre is offering the Science of Sweets from until 23 April. Think a sugar flame thrower and an invention centre. Admission to the centre is £9 but once you're in all the exhibits are free to enjoy. 

The National Ice Centre in Nottingham is hosting an Easter Family Fun Weekend on the 20th and 21st of April. Kids under 5 are free (older kids-£7.50) and there will be a petting zoo as well as access to the ice. 

If you live near Manchester, the Manchester Duck Race returns on the 19th of April and registering a duck in the race is only £1. 

Leeds' Royal Armouries is offering an Easter Activity Pack for £10. It sounds like a lot but your child will get a go at sword fighting, crossbow shooting and archery. 

Have some farmyard fun

Loads of cities have urban farms and a lot of them have cheap or even free entry! At this time of year you might be in with a chance of seeing newborn lambs but if not there's always pony rides and animal petting. 

Ouseburn Farm in Newcastle has free farmer's club sessions where the kids will get to learn more about looking after the animals.

Rice Lane City Farm in Liverpool has loads of free activities for the kids to get involved in. 

If you're nowhere near a farm, Pets at Home stores are offering free small animal sessions across the UK. Sign up here to join one at your local store. 

Visit your local museum or attraction

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?

If you live in the West Midlands, you can pay a visit to the Coventry Transport Museum or the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Go underground at the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenafon, Wales for free. 

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

Car retailer Inchcape has put together an interactive map listing the UK's top attractions and how much entry costs (see below).

Travel for less

If you’re keen to get out and about over Easter, you can save if you need to use the train.

Children under the age of five travel on trains for free with a fare-paying passenger and those aged five to 15 get a 50% discount.

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.

You can also save on a trip using a railcard.

The Family & Friends railcard offers a third off fares for adults and 60% off for children and you can also get you two-for-one offers via the Days Out Guide website.

National Express often has some cheap journeys to other parts of the UK so it's worth checking out the site.

Get active

Get out and start working off all that Easter choccy! 

Tennis for free has free tennis coaching all over the country. Sessions are popular so book fast here. 

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.

For something a little more fast-paced they can do a junior Parkrun. There are 2K runs happening every Sunday at 9:30am across the country – find out where your nearest one is

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.

Get cooking

Cooking at home is an ideal backup plan in the event of unexpected downpours (which, let’s face it, are quite likely).

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. Happy cooking!

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.

The Blue Peter website has loads of ideas including making a kite out of recycled materials. 

Alternatively, you can take the less messy route and build a blanket fort in the living room or one of the kid’s bedrooms.

Have a cheap meal out

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

For instance, kids can eat for £1 at Prezzo as long as they're accompanied by a full-paying adult. The offer is running until 28 April excluding Saturdays. 

One child eats free at La Tasca when an adult spends £10 or more on a main. 

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

Watch a film

Most cinemas have special viewings set up for kids over the Easter holidays. 

For a lazy start to the day, Vue cinemas host Mini Mornings every morning during the holidays. Both adult and child tickets are £3.24 for selected movies.

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

Find out more about how to get cheap cinema tickets here. 

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This article has been updated

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