Keeping The Kids Entertained On A Budget This Spring Half Term

February 14, 2024 • Chris Bardsley

Keeping The Kids Entertained On A Budget This Spring Half Term

As a parent, spring half term can suddenly throw your regular routine out of whack. Instead of getting the kids off to school and heading to work (or enjoying the peace and quiet at home!), suddenly you have all this energy to contain.

But with some simple planning, you can make spring half term an enriching experience for the kids, and limit the stress for yourself as a parent.

The best part? You don’t need an unlimited budget to give the kids a great time this half term if you focus on imaginative activities plus free events happening near you.

If you’re on a low income and are stuck for some ideas, here are some free or low cost ways to entertain the kids this half term from the Fair For You team.

Find Half Term Events In Your Local Area

You might be missing out on fun activities for your family depending on how you search. One of the best resources to check is Eventbrite, where you can find free or paid events all across the UK.

We’ve customised this search to kids’ events happening in Manchester. But if you open the link, you can change the location to wherever you’re based in the UK. You’ll then see upcoming events that are specifically for children near you.

During our search, we found events and activities such as craft clubs, silent discos, cooking classes, upcycling workshops, nature trails, pottery classes, jewellery workshops and outdoor activity days.

So no matter what your kids would enjoy, you can tailor the search based on their preferences along with your budget for any paid activities. Many of the activities we found were free!

2for1 Theme Parks And Attractions With National Rail

National Rail has a scheme called Days Out Guide that will give you 2for1 entry to attractions across the UK. How it works is that you combine your attraction ticket with train tickets bought through National Rail.

There are a whopping 399 attractions to choose from across the UK including theme parks, zoos, cultural attractions and more.

Some attractions have date restrictions. It’s also important to read how the scheme works to make sure you qualify for the discount on the Days Out Guide website.

But with that housekeeping taken care of, some of the attractions that you can get 2for1 entry for include:

  • Alton Towers

  • Cadbury World

  • Legoland Windsor

  • Madame Tussauds

  • Sea Life Adventure

  • Shreks Adventure London

  • The York Dungeon

  • Tudor World

Alongside the big attractions, there are also categories for free attractions along with those costing under £5 or £10. This allows you to adjust your budget based on what you can afford this half term.

DIY Crafts

Back in the days of Art Attack, it was common for kids to spend hours drawing or making crafts out of empty kitchen rolls or washing up liquid. Just because we now spend more time on screens, that doesn’t mean the highly imaginative activities of crafting or colourful have to go away!

As a fantastic rainy day option, crafts can keep the kids entertained for hours. You can also find age-appropriate craft ideas to make this option a real hit for the whole family.

It’s handy to have the likes of crayons, paints, felt tips, glue, coloured paper, straws, pipe cleaners, play dough or clay at home. But if your crafting supplies are running low, you can find these for cheap in the middle aisle of Lidl or shops such as The Works.

Depending on the age of your child, explore crafts such as colouring, pipe cleaner characters, dragon puppets made from straws, paper plate animals or origami.

If you’re stuck for craft ideas or how-to guides, Pinterest is full of free crafting tutorials. You can also search for tutorials on YouTube to follow along with each step.

Home Baking

With some basic store cupboard ingredients, you can keep the kids entertained during half term by doing some baking together. This one is fun for everyone seeing as you get to eat what you make!

Foods you can bake at home on a budget include cupcakes, cakes, biscuits or cookies. But you could also try some savoury foods including homemade pizza.

Get the kids involved throughout the different stages such as weighing out the ingredients, mixing everything together in a bowl and lining the baking tray with butter and parchment paper.

Home baking is also a great time to add in some safety demonstrations on staying safe near an oven or when using sharp tools. Plus recapping on when to ask an adult for help in the kitchen.

Nature Trail & Picnic Day

Spending time in nature has endless benefits for our mental and physical health. For kids, a nice walk in the fresh air gets them away from screens and other distractions in a way that connects them with the natural world.

There is a website called AllTrails that allows you to find all the trails and nature spots closest to you. Click on the result you’re interested in, and you’ll see a free route mapped out for you. Information will be provided on the trail difficulty, weather conditions plus anything else that’s handy to note.

Choose a trail that suits your family, and all you have to do is bring some packing up to enjoy along the route. All of which can provide you with a lovely and scenic day out, without having to spend a fortune!

You could also print off a free nature worksheet for the kids to fill out during or after their walk based on what they saw or learned about.

Even More February Half Term Fun Across The UK

Throughout spring half term, there are always literary festivals popping up for kids where you can meet the authors and take part in workshops. Likewise, many children’s attractions and museums have special events throughout school holidays.

These are just some of the spring half term 2024 events to look out for across the UK:

Bristol: The Bristol Light Festival is running between the 2nd and 11th of February 2024. The light installations are dotted across the city and are free to attend. There are also interactive displays that kids can enjoy as they take in all the lights, colours and sounds.

Cardiff: National Museum Cardiff has free events running throughout the year including half term. Lily’s Fossil Footprint is a free exhibition where kids can get up close and personal with 220 million year old fossils.

Edinburgh/Glasgow: The Great Grumpy Gaboon is being performed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in February with tickets costing £6 for children.

London: The Southbank Centre is running the Imagine Children’s Literary Festival throughout February 2024. Many of the events are free with interactive workshops and performances to enjoy.

Manchester: Head to the Trafford Centre where the Sea Life Centre is opening up a Sea Horse Hotel. Tickets are included with Sea Life admission and allow kids to take part in interactive activities such as designing their own seahorse. Find cheap tickets for the Sea Life Centre online and look out for deals where you can save by booking in advance.

Northern Ireland: The NI Science Festival is running between the 15th and 25th of February 2024 and includes many free events in Belfast and further afield across Northern Ireland. Some of the top events include Extinction Explorers, Nature-Themed Karaoke, The Sea At Night and Space Colouring For Kids.

Rotherham: Febru-AIR-y event at Magna Science Park is running between the 10th Feb - 25th Feb 2024. Air workshop tickets cost £1.50 and the museum is also running a flight simulator during half term.

Fair For You - Helping Parents Afford The Things They Need

As a parent, you will know that affording household appliances or other things for your family isn’t always easy.

At Fair For You, we’re a non-profit lender. We help families on a low income who are financially excluded to purchase the items they need at a cost they can afford to pay back.

Some of the items you can purchase through us include cookers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and kids and baby furniture. Take a look at our site to see our full range of products, plus the upfront price of what you would pay back per week or month by purchasing through us.

If you’re new here, why not take a look at how Fair For You works to learn more?

You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook where we share more helpful guides like these to help your money go further.

This entry was posted in Budgeting Tips, How To's and Blog
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