It’s a tough time for renters as we all know. With private sector rents rising at rates that are higher than inflation, there isn’t a huge amount of spare cash around for anything other than meeting those essential monthly outgoings. Of course, with half term upon us that can be slightly problematic with demands for cinema trips, theme parks, shopping and a whole range of different activities that seem to have a minimum £extortiate entrance fee. When did entertaining a child become so expensive?
As we reach the mid way point in the half term week the end is in sight but, just in case you’ve run out of ideas for Thursday through to Sunday, here are a few cheap ways to keep everyone entertained and happy:
Don’t pay. We don’t mean refuse to pay but seek out activities and entertainment that don’t cost anything. If you’re based in a city like London then you’re at a huge advantage thanks to the wealth of free museums – many with interactive features – as well as historic sites and buildings that there are to visit. However, there are locations and events all over the UK that are free and which will stir the imagination and keep everyone occupied for at least a day – check out sites like Where Can We Go and Free Events, as well as Visit Britain to see what you can do without paying a penny.
Get creative. Sometimes we forget that it’s the simplest things that can keep children amused – the old story about the box that gets played with more than the expensive toy that came in it is the best example of why it’s not necessary to spend a lot to keep children entertained. If you’ve got time and some inclination then there’s all sorts of crafty fun to be had at home, from potato printing T-shirts, to creating new cake recipes and putting on productions of favourite musical numbers.
Join forces. Sometimes all you really need to keep kids entertained is…more kids! If you’re in a similar position to other parents this half term then why not suggest joining forces for a day and sharing budgets and ideas to provide a sociable and fun half term that no one will ever forget.
Get outside. Ok so – as always – the weather is fairly unreliable in the UK but that’s what rain boots and raincoats were invented for. Whether you decide to take a ball and have a kick about in the park or set off on an adventure walk with clues along the way, there’s nothing better for tiring kids out and giving them a rosy glow in their cheeks than a day filled with plenty of outdoor activity. Bike rides, picnics, mini sports days and even designing an assault course in the garden are all easy ways to create fun from healthy exercise.
Look out for discounts. If you do want to treat the family to a trip to the cinema or the theatre then make sure you go during the discounted times or find a voucher to keep the costs down. For example, there are many cinemas, such as the Odeon and the Vue, which offer significantly discounted kid’s tickets during the morning of a school holiday period. You can also find all sorts of vouchers, deals and offers for family experiences, from theatre tickets, to eating out and visiting well known attractions – check out a website like Money Saving Expert for discounts on everything from Legoland to the Bournemouth Oceanarium.