HALF term is fast approaching, and many parents will be scratching their heads to come up with low budget ways to entertain the kids this October.
From trips to the cinema, to free hikes and trails you can complete, you don’t have to break the bank.
Ron’s Gone Wrong hit cinemas today and will be the perfect movie to take the little ones to[/caption]
Embrace a bit of family competition down at the bowling alley[/caption]
Most schools break up a week today, leaving parents with the dread of fun-filling everyday between October 22 to October 31.
Equifax estimates that mums and dads across the UK spend on average £323 just on the half term break.
You can use websites such as Wowcher, Groupon and Vouchercloud which have a wealth of discounted family activities for days out over the week.
Signing up to Kids Pass offers discounts on different things including meals out at restaurants like Prezzo and Frankie & Benny’s too.
Of course you’ll have to dig into your pockets for the £3 monthly subscription, but you can save £2 on the first month as it’s only £1.
But even without the schemes and subscriptions, there are still plenty of other budget friendly ways to entertain the kids this half term.
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Many of them are free ways to keep the family occupied and have a great day out too.
We’ve come up with a few ideas below, so make sure you check them out before you splurge while school’s out.
Trip to the flicks
Why not take your kids to the movies over half term?
One of the must-see films out at the moment is Ron’s Gone Wrong, which hits the big screen today.
You can check your local cinemas showings online to find the best time to catch the screening.
But you don’t need to fork out excessive amounts to catch the latest releases.
The average price of a seat in front of the big screen cost around £6.75 in 2020, according to Statista.
You can usually get kids tickets cheaper, but you could still be racking up as much as £175.50 a year, if you go to the cinema once a fortnight.
Cashing in on deals like Compare the Market’s Meerkat Movies scheme can half that cost though.
You’ll have to make a purchase through the comparison giant’s service, but once you do you’ll get the 2for1 discount for a year as a reward.
Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert recently revealed a trick to claim the deal for as little as £1 too.
Alternatively, you could use the reward as an opportunity to shop around for household products such as getting a better deal on your home or car insurance.
So with consumer bills rocketing as of late anyway, the reward works as a perfect bonus for your savvy shopping-around skills.
Cinemas themselves offer great discounts too. Cineworld has Movies for Juniors screenings that start from only £2.50, and Vue’s Mini Mornings scheme costs as little as £2.49.
Take a dip
You can still splash-out without splashing the cash this half term.
Just because the summer months are over, it doesn’t mean you can’t take the kids for a quick dip, especially as plenty of indoor pools are open over half term.
You can usually gain access to your local leisure centre’s pool from as little as £1 to £3 for the day.
Prices will vary between locations and it’s best to check out your local centre’s charges on its website.
There are more kitted out locations you can try like the Splashdown sites in Poole, Dorset, and Devon.
But this can cost around £15 a ticket with, another £5 a ticket for mums and dads staying dry to watch.
Though you might not find the same epic slides and fountains at your local pool, you could save over £10 recreating the fun for yourself.
There are plenty of things you can do in the lead up to Halloween over the half term week.
You’ll have nine days, including the weekend, before the spooky holiday, so there’s a lot of time to fill with free and cheap activities.
Why not spend one day visiting a free pumpkin patch, where you and the kids will be able to pick out the biggest, ugliest, and best pumpkins of the bunch, ready for decorating and carving at home later.
Scoping out the outdoor patch for the perfect pumpkins will likely take a day in itself, so you can save another full day for getting messy in the kitchen with carving.
You can use utensils you have in your kitchen drawers already to help cut out designs, but you can pick up specially created kits on the cheap too, Wilko have them for £1.
In the spirit (pardon the pun) of no waste, why not spend another day testing your Bake-Off skills with the innards of your pumpkins.
You can visit free resources on supermarkets’ websites usually, Tesco has a blog of the top 10 pumpkin recipes, that you can read for free and try at home.
You can while away a few hours of the break down at the bowling alley too.
Tenpin has all sorts of deals on over the half term holiday.
One you can take advantage of it the two games for the price of one deal, that means you can play from as little as £4.
The bowling giant also does 50% off on Tuesdays so you can play from £2.80.
Usually the venues will come equipped with a whole host of arcade games too if you want to spend a little extra time there.
But you will have to keep in mind it could drain your pockets off all your spare change, so you should set a limit for you and the kids to spend on the games, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Take a hike
There’s nothing better than the good old English countryside, and there’s plenty to explore when it comes to taking a hike as a family.
Treasure Trails has a host of resources you can download, that will take the family on an exciting quest around gardens and stunning locations in the UK.
The trail experts say each one is perfect for kids aged 6 to 106, and with a mission in mind you’ll be able to postpone the kids asking if we’re nearly there yet, by a few hours at least.
The only thing is, it will set you back £10 to download a trail, but once you complete the quest you’ll be entered into a £100 prize draw.
There are other free hikes you can set out on though, The National Trust has a lit of ten top family walks that you can embark on, with free resources to download to help you along the trail.
Or you could simply set off into your local area to see what you can find, maybe set up a treasure trail for the kids, or have a list of landmarks to seek out before you can return home.
Why not continue your adventure into the wilderness by staying overnight and camping out.
You can find sites that let you pitch up for as little as £1 a night, but you’ll want to avoid the super popular destinations if you want to get a deal this cheap.
If you don’t fancy travelling too far afield, or simply want to stay within a good proximity of a working toilet, you could set up camp in your own back garden too.
It could make a fun change to the regular bedtime routine for the kids during the holiday, you won’t have to worry about site fees, and you know your warm bed is only a few yards away if it all gets a bit too cold or damp.
DIY bus tour
Travel itself doesn’t have to be boring, and you can even make a day out of it without needing an actual destination if you can make the ride fun enough.
Especially if you fancy a day out in the big city like London, but can’t afford to fork out for the various tours that usually hiked up for the holiday season too – Halloween tours on Big Bus Tours cost from just over £20 currently.
You can in fact see a lot of the iconic London sights from the top deck of the good old London bus on certain routes.
So if you manage to bag a spot to ride at the front of a double decker you’ll be able to get the best views.
You will need a travel card or a credit card as they don’t take cash on the buses anymore.
But kids under 11 can travel for free with an accompanying paying adult.
It’s a much cheaper alternative to taking an expensive open-top bus tour, you’ll just have to make sure you look up all the facts you need to know along the route, or download a free guidebook online.
Roll the dice
There’s no better way to beat the boredom blues than with some boardgames.
You could turn the week long break into a tournament of sorts with a game a day to keep up the competition before the school term restarts.
Dig out a few that you might have lying around the house, and get the whole family involved.
Spending time over the October break to brush up on your competitive skills is the perfect opportunity to get ahead for Christmas when the rest of the family visits ready to battle it out over Monopoly, Pictionary and more.
Plenty of retailers have already begun their toy sales ahead of the festive season and you can bag discount board games in amongst that too, to stock up your collection.
The whole family can enjoy a free trek[/caption]
Splash out this half term holiday[/caption]
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