Money saving experts have shared tips for parents on free and cheap things to do over the February half-term holidays.
Reena Sewraz, from consumer watchdog Which?, said the hacks are particularly relevant given the cost of living crisis, which is taking its toll on household finances.
“Millions of families are looking to cut down on their spending,” she said. “However, there are plenty of fun, cheap and free activities during the school holidays that don’t need to break the bank.”
Here’s what they recommend to keep little ones busy on a budget this week.
Take advantage of ‘kids eat free’ offers
Plenty of restaurants and supermarket cafes run ‘kids eat free’ offers or discounts during the holidays including Bella Italia, Hungry Horse and The Real Greek.
Several supermarkets also offer discounts at certain times, including Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.
For example, Asda will be offering children a free warm breakfast in its cafes across the February half-term holidays. Children can get a free bowl of Quaker porridge from 8am to 12pm. This is in addition to Asda’s current £1 kids main meal deal.
At M&S Cafés you can get a free Kid’s Munch Meal (usually £4) when you spend £5 or more on non-kids food or drink.
Learn something new at a free gallery or museum
Many UK national galleries and museums are free to enter and are an easy way to entertain the family for a day out. Some that come highly recommended by Which? members include:
- St. Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff
- Beamish: The Living Museum of the North in County Durham
- The National Railway Museum in York
- The Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford, Shropshire
- The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh
Just remember they may need you to book a free ticket before arrival.
Watch the latest movies at a discount
Some cinema chains offer discounts for family films at certain times, usually in the morning.
Odeon’s ‘Odeon Kids’, Vue’s ‘Mini Mornings’ and Cineworld’s ‘Movies for Juniors’ all offer discounts for both adults and children.
For example, Vue ‘Mini Mornings’ tickets cost £2.49 or £2.99 if you buy online (£3.49/£3.99 at the venue).
Film fans can also get cinema discounts with dining cards Gourmet Society and Tastecard, with both offering up to 40% off some cinema chains. Gourmet Society currently offers a 60-day free trial, while Tastecard gives you 60 days for just £1.
Take advantage of local libraries
Libraries are a great source of entertainment, especially for younger children.
As well as borrowing physical books for free, most libraries allow users to borrow e-books and audiobooks. Some also have games and toys on offer.
There are some libraries that can also grant access to digital magazines and newspapers. Check local library offers and events via the local council website and sign up for free.
Explore the great outdoors
Take advantage of the free parks up and down the country. Stuck for inspiration? Check out Which?’s guide to the best national parks in the UK.