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7 ways to keep the kids entertained for less

Posted 07 May 2016

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Keeping the kids entertained doesn’t have to cost the earth. Here are 7 inexpensive ideas for half-term fun.

If you’ve got kids at school you won’t have failed to notice that half-term is coming up. The kids will be thrilled they’ve got a week off school, but what are you going to do to keep them occupied? And how will you keep the costs down? 

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Well, don’t worry - we’ve got you covered on both these questions. Here are 7 great ideas to keep the kids entertained for less over the school break. 

1. Save on the cinema

Have a look at your local cinema timetable and see whether they’ve got any kids films showing at a discount. 


Odeon cinemas, for example, have a kids’ screening every Saturday, Sunday and every day of the summer holidays and the tickets are just £2.50 for children and adults. A big saving on the normal price. 


2. Go for a walk and picnic

When it comes to entertaining the kids, sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. What’s better than getting out in the fresh air as a family, stretching your legs, and then finding a pretty spot for some sandwiches and cake? 


There could be beautiful scenic walks in your area that you’ve never experienced before – just have a look at Ramblers to find them. Or check to see whether you’re lucky enough to live near any of the National Trust’s top spring walks. 


3. Save with National Rail

Did you know that National Rail are giving you the chance to get two tickets for the price of one for loads of attractions in London if you travel by train? It’s really simple to benefit – just visit the site, download your vouchers, get the train and when you get to your chosen attraction make sure you show them both your vouchers and train tickets. Hey presto! There are loads of exciting and historic places you could visit for less with this deal, from The Tower of London to the National Portrait Gallery. 


4. Set them a challenge

The National Trust have come up with 50 things they believe you should do before you’re eleven and three quarters years’ old. Specific we know – but what a good idea to keep the kids occupied and tick some essential childhood experience boxes. Added to that, most of the stuff on the list is achievable without you spending a penny. 


Some are pretty simple, like rolling down a really big hill, while others present a bit more of a challenge, like using a map and compass to get somewhere. 


Why not see how many of these little challenges your kids can do over the half-term? You could even do these challenges if your kid has already turned twelve – we promise not to tell the National Trust!


5. Visit a free museum

There are loads of museums that don’t charge an admission fee. Just think of all the things you could be learning and enjoying with your children for no cost at all. For example, The Museum of Science and Industry is a firm favourite with families in the north – why not see their free engine demonstration, or take part in Makefest, a free festival that gives children the chance to have a go at coding, crafting and creating? 


Make sure you get out and about in your area and explore the fascinating, historic and educational places that won’t cost you anything. 


6. Go for a bike ride

Bikes are great fun and allow you to go a little bit further afield for that picnic or day out. If you don’t have bikes, why not see whether there’s a bike sharing or hiring scheme in your area, or whether you could borrow some from friends and family?


Sustrans will show you the best cycle paths near you, including traffic-free options that are even safer for children. 


7. Get creative

Kids never need that much persuading to get creative as it comes so naturally to them. You can do anything that takes your fancy, but here are a few ideas to get you started:


• drawing/colouring

• painting

• decorating a mug or piggy bank 

• baking – here are some great recipes for kids

• write a short play and then perform it

• write a short story and read it out loud

So there you go - there’s no reason why you and the kids can’t have a fun-filled half-term for hardly any cost at all. Keep checking the blog for lots more money-saving ideas. 

by Christine Walsh

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