The first half-term of the year is on the horizon and it’s time to start making plans. Each February parents rack their brains for ideas of how to keep the kids entertained. If like us you are also on a budget this can be quite the challenge. No need to worry though, with a little imagination and creativity you can still have lots of fun even on a budget.
Here are some ideas for February half term fun on a budget.
Local Shopping Centres
Lots of shopping centres offer free half term activities, I’ve seen craft session and story time advertised at my local one. They of course want to lure you in to spend your money but with a strong resolve it’s a great low-budget idea. Lots of stores within shopping centres also offer half term activities like treasure hunts or colouring competitions. The kids could win a prize and it keeps them occupied at the same time.
The only cost involved in this activity might be the parking but a few quid for a couple of hours peace is well worth it. Alternatively you could walk or cycle if you live near by, take some drinks and a snack to save even more money.
The library is a great no budget idea for any time of the year but many offer activity days during the school holidays too. Some libraries also offer reading schemes where children can collect stickers or book marks for each book they read over the school holidays. Our local libraries have child friendly tables and chairs with puzzles, colouring sheets and games on too.
Many libraries provide a free storytime session every week, the children can do crafts, play games and learn songs and of course listen to stories. Check your local libraries website or give them a call and see what they have to offer.
There are countless ways to have fun indoors this half term, it’s always best to have a back up plan with the unpredictable winter weather in mind. Here are some of our favourite activities to do at home during the half term.
- Watch movies
- Invite friends over for a playdate
- Read stories
- Build a fort
- Play hide & seek
- Board games
- Dressing up
This is an obvious one really isn’t it, we are quite lucky and have several really good parks in walking distance. The local council updated them all a few years ago and the equipment on them is fantastic. They all have safety gates to stop little ones escaping too. There is nothing simpler or great for a no budget day out than letting kids run of steam at the park.
I’ve started taking myself a warm drink in a flask and packing snacks and drinks for the kids. They are happy to play outside in all weathers as long as they are fed and watered.
If you live near a large garden centre it might be worth giving them a call or looking on their websites to see if they have anything going on over the half term. Our local one is running a free storytime session along with a winter craft activity. Many offer activities like making your own bird feeder or sun catcher, these usually only cost a few pounds and they have something to take home with them.
The children’s centre I sometimes take Daisy and Jake to is a Sure Start centre, all families are welcome with children up to the age of five. The centre’s stay open all year round and provide fun activities as well as a healthy snack and drink free of charge. Some of the centres also provide a sensory room and a book borrowing scheme.
It’s worth searching out similar places in your area, some cater for children up to the age of eight during the holidays too.
Museums & Art Galleries
Many museums and art galleries offer free entry and actively encourage families to visit. They usually have a dedicated programme of themed activities over the school holidays. At our local museum kids can make a bottle rocket or create a flying saucer this half term.
It’s also a good idea to look on community notice boards or your local council Facebook pages they often list events and activities.