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Money-saving ideas to entertain the kids this October half-term

Posted 08 October 2016

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Five fun and inexpensive ways to keep the kids entertained over the autumn half-term.

For most school children up and down the country, the next half-term will start on 24th October. So if you’re a parent with children in school, you’ll soon find yourself with a little more time to enjoy as a family and also with the challenge of keeping the younger members of your family entertained for nine whole days. 

So if you’re looking for some inexpensive ways to keep everyone happy this autumn half-term, cast your eyes over these. 


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Get arty and create an autumn display

If you’re looking for a simple way to entertain younger children for a day, why not take them out for a walk to collect some autumn leaves. When you get home you can make an autumn display full of those beautiful gold, brown and red colours everyone loves. 

Don’t forget to collect some stronger leaves to make leaf rubbings – just make sure you have some crayons in the autumn colours you want. For this project you’ll a big piece of cardboard on which you can make your display and then hang up in pride of place, once it’s done. You can get as creative as you want with this idea and fill your autumn mood board with all the things that you love most about the season. 

With this idea you’ll get a chance to enjoy a walk together in the autumn leaves, and should end up with a lovely piece of art that you’ve all worked on as a family. 


Baking is always a great idea if you’re looking for a cheap, simple way to entertain the kids. And it’s easy to adapt this idea depending on how old your children are – just make the recipes a little more challenging for older kids. 

Pumpkins, berries and pears are all associated with this time of year – berries and pears because they’re in season, and pumpkins because of the Halloween connection. Why not see whether you can find some recipes that incorporate these ingredients, to make your baking truly autumn themed. 

You can find some great baking recipes for all the family here, and if you want your baking to have a scary Halloween edge you’ll find loads of ideas here. The ingredients for baking are never that expensive and of course, you get to sample what you’ve made at the end which is always a bonus!

Discounted cinema trips 

Everyone loves a trip to the cinema, and with this idea you’ll get to relax and enjoy the film as well. Odeon have a kids club every Saturday and Sunday, with prices starting at £2.50. And Cineworld have weekly discounted screenings for juniors, from just £2.00. 

Have a look to see what’s on at your local cinema because if there’s something that you fancy, you might be able to get your tickets at a bargain price, if you go at the right time. 

Check out what’s going on in your area for free 

There might be loads of exciting stuff going on in your area over the half-term, so make sure you see what’s going on so you don’t miss out. For instance, there are a range of activities happening in Manchester specifically designed to keep the kids entertained over the half-term. Some of them are very inexpensive or completely free, like these new exhibitions at MOSI, or the family entertainment at Waterside Arts Centre. 

Just search for half-term activities in your area, and you should find something that you and your family will enjoy. 

Plan your Halloween party and costume

Kids love Halloween, so why not use this half-term to put a bit of planning into what costume they’re going to wear as they go trick or treating. Making their very own Halloween costume could become a fun project for their week off. And don’t forget to carve some pumpkins and dot them around the house to create the spooky mood. 

If you want to plan a Halloween party, why not see whether you could combine forces with another parent in your area or from your child’s school? It’s far less stressful if you’ve got someone to help you plan, and you’ll get to split the cost as well. 

With a little bit of planning the half-term can end up being family time that everyone really enjoys, and it definitely doesn’t have to cost the earth. Check out the rest of our money-saving section for lots more ideas. 


by Christine Walsh

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