Half term holidays can be a wonderful opportunity for families to spend quality time together. However, entertaining kids can sometimes be costly. Luckily, the UK offers a plethora of budget-friendly activities that can keep children engaged and create lasting memories without breaking the bank. Here are Cash Panda’s 10 money-saving activities to enjoy with kids during half term in the UK.

1. Explore Local Parks and Nature Reserves

The UK is home to some of the most beautiful parks and nature reserves. Spending a day exploring these natural wonders can be both fun and educational for kids. Bring along a picnic, a football, or a frisbee, and you have a full day of entertainment at no cost. Some notable parks include Hyde Park in London, Heaton Park in Manchester, and Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.

2. Visit Free Museums and Galleries

Many museums and galleries across the UK offer free entry, making them perfect for a half-term outing. For instance, the British Museum and the National Gallery in London, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Manchester Museum provide fascinating exhibits that can captivate children of all ages. These venues often have special activities and workshops for kids during school holidays.

3. Take Advantage of Free Library Events

Local libraries often host free events and activities during half term, such as storytime sessions, craft workshops, and games. Check your local library’s schedule to find out what’s on offer. Libraries are great places to encourage a love of reading and provide a calm environment for children to relax and explore new books.

4. Plan a Scavenger Hunt

Organize a scavenger hunt in your garden, local park, or around your neighborhood. Create a list of items for your kids to find, such as certain types of leaves, flowers, or landmarks. This activity encourages children to be observant and active while having fun. You can even incorporate educational elements by including items related to nature or local history.

5. Enjoy a Day at the Beach

While the UK might not be known for its tropical beaches, there are many beautiful coastal spots perfect for a day out. Beaches like Bournemouth, Whitby, and St Ives offer stunning scenery and plenty of opportunities for kids to play. Collecting shells, building sandcastles, and paddling in the sea are timeless, free activities that children love.

6. Get Crafty with DIY Projects

Half term is an excellent time to get creative with DIY crafts. Use materials you already have at home, like paper, cardboard, and old magazines, to create fun projects. Websites like Pinterest are full of ideas for kid-friendly crafts, from making paper masks to building bird feeders. Crafting can keep kids occupied for hours and stimulate their imagination.

7. Attend Local Community Events

Many communities host free or low-cost events during half term, such as fairs, markets, and festivals. These events often include family-friendly activities like face painting, live music, and food stalls. Check community boards or local social media groups to find out what’s happening in your area.

8. Go for a Bike Ride

Cycling is a great way to explore the local area and get some exercise. Many cities and towns in the UK have dedicated cycling paths and trails suitable for families. If you don’t have bikes, consider borrowing or renting them. Helmets and safety gear are essential, and you can turn the ride into an adventure by planning a route with interesting stops along the way.

9. Visit a City Farm

City farms are fantastic for kids to learn about animals and agriculture. Farms like Vauxhall City Farm in London, Gorgie City Farm in Edinburgh, and St Werburghs City Farm in Bristol offer free entry and provide hands-on experiences with farm animals. Many city farms also run workshops and activities for children during school holidays.

10. Host a Movie Marathon

Transform your living room into a cosy cinema for a day. Choose a theme, gather some favorite family movies, make popcorn, and enjoy a movie marathon. This is a great way to spend a rainy day indoors without spending much money. You can even involve the kids in creating movie tickets and setting up a snack bar.

Bonus Tips for Saving Money During Half Term

Plan Ahead:  Look out for free events and activities in advance. Websites like Eventbrite and local council pages often list free or low-cost events happening in your area.

Use Discount Vouchers: Websites such as Groupon and VoucherCodes can offer significant discounts on family activities.

Pack Your Own Snacks: Bringing your own food and drinks can save a lot of money, especially if you’re heading out for the day.

Take Advantage of Public Transport Offers: Many public transport systems offer family tickets or discounts during school holidays. Check your local transport provider for deals.

Making the Most of Half Term

The key to a successful and enjoyable half term is to mix a bit of planning with a sense of adventure. By exploring local attractions, taking part in community events, and getting creative at home, you can provide your kids with a variety of enriching experiences without taking a quick loan or spending a fortune.

These activities not only entertain but also educate and inspire, making the half term break a memorable time for the whole family.


Remember, the best memories are often made from simple, shared experiences. So, pack a picnic, grab your bikes, or set up a craft table, and enjoy the wonderful array of budget-friendly activities the UK has to offer.

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