Keeping the kids occupied over the October half term break can be a costly time for parents, with cinema visits, day trips and eating out all adding up.

However, with a little bit of planning and research you can get out and explore your local area, or further afield, with your brood for pennies.

There are plenty of places across the UK where you can enjoy the school holidays and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to visit.

Prep for the impending break with our wallet-friendly round up of all the best cheap and free events – they’re guaranteed to keep boredom at bay (and help you keep your sanity too).

5 easy ways to save on family days out

  • Look for handy group travel discounts, railcard savings and split fare hacks, which will help reign in any unnecessary extra costs. We’ve listed a ton of ways to pick up cheap rail fares in our guide.

  • Plan ahead – booking in advance can save a small fortune as many top attractions, train operators and travel booking sites offer huge earlybird savings. A little research goes a long way.

  • Do your research and use parent forums like, money-saving deals sites like and voucher codes sites like to help cut the cost of your day trip.

  • Use free cashback sites like Quidco and TopCashback which allow you to earn cashback on purchases from hundreds of retailers, top attractions and booking sites. It’s a great way to save a bit extra on something you would’ve bought anyway.

  • Opt for packed lunches instead of dining out – it’s far more cost effective to pack sandwiches and snacks for a day out with the brood than fork out over the odds on overpriced food at a tourist location. Make it fun for the kids by getting them to help you make lunches the night before.

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Get cheap tickets to top UK theme parks

Cash in your supermarket loyalty points for extra discounts on theme park tickets

There’s no shortage of great theme parks across the UK but finding cheap tickets during the school holidays can be a chore.

Luckily, if you’re a Tesco Clubcard holder you can convert any loyalty points into tokens where you can get up to four times the original value of your points to spend on tickets to Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures.

Online booking site also have a range of discounts on tickets to top theme parks, including money off tickets to Alton Towers and discounted trips to Cadbury’s World and Legoland Windsor.

Best deals and voucher codes to UK theme parks including Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and London Zoo

Sign up for a National Trust membership

Get the family out and about for less

Getting a family National Trust membership is a cost effective way to get access to hundreds of fascinating places up and down the country all year round.

The membership is valid for one or two adults and up to five children, and prices start from £5.75 a month.

You’ll also get a free pair of binoculars when you set up a monthly direct debit to purchase a National Trust membership, which you can do here.

Visit a free museum

Free museum trips are a great way to get the kids out the house on a budget

Fancy something a bit more educational than a pricey theme park? Why not try a muesum.

There are a number of world-renowned museums across the UK that offer free access to exhibitions year-round.

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Our highlights include the National Football Museum in Manchester and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, which offers weekend family arts sessions for £2.

Take a trip to the theatre

Nothing beats a fun theatre show in the West End – just look out for ticket deals to make it a lot cheaper

Experience some fun and entertainment with a trip to the theatre with your little ones.

There are plenty of ways to ensure you get the cheapest possible deal on your desired seats, you’ll just need to do some research and shop around.

It is also worth regularly checking websites like Ticketmaster, ATG Tickets or AXS for a wallet-friendly ticket deals.

They all regularly host seasonal discounts, flash sales and packages throughout the year that will save you a packet – make sure to sign up for alerts so you don’t miss out.

Take a hike in the countryside

Happy family walk
Go into the wild…

There’s no better time to celebrate the beautiful British countryside than in the sunshine of the warmer months, which is why planning a little hike with your tribe is an ideal way to keep them occupied during the school break.

Pack a picnic and you can keep costs to a minimum, plus the walk itself will tire them out, and get them exercising – killing three birds with one stone.

Travel site TripAdvisor have a range of trails and walks you can search at locations near you – just head to and enter a location. Alternatively, take a look at our guide to some top walks across the UK.

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Half term ideas for 2018

Look for days out deals and offers online

There are hundreds of deals on Groupon and Wowcher

There are plenty of great deals sites that offer an unlimited source of inspiration for things to do with the kids, with reduced decent prices. Online marketplaces like Groupon and Wowcher are jam packed with deals on activities, travel, dining out in your local area.

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Visit Virgin Experience Days, Buy a Gift and Red Letter Days are experience gift sites that often offer packages for families that work out much cheaper than buying tickets directly or individually.

Head to the coast

Oh we do love to be beside the seaside!

Everyone loves a day at the seaside and if you plan in advance you can save on travel fares, making it a cheap yet fun adventure for the whole family. It’s guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs.

Not sure where to go? Check out TripAdvisor’s list of the best beaches in the UK for 2018.

Go to the cinema for under a fiver

Catch a morning movie for £2.50 a ticket

Major cinema chains like Vue and Odeon offer cheaper morning and daytime tickets for children’s screenings.

Vue Cinema runs a £2.49 ‘mini mornings scheme’ which is great value for money – especially if you have more than one child. While Odeon offer £2.50 tickets on kids screenings on weekends and during school holidays.

Spend some time with the animals at a city farm

    Visit a city farm near you for free

    There are plenty of city farms over the UK, where the kids can spend the day meeting animals.

    In London take a trip to Mudchute City Farm, home to over 100 animals and livestock, visit Surrey Docks City Farm to see the freshly hatched chicks, or learn how to care for horses at ‘Own Your Own Pony Day’ at Vauxhall City Farm.

    There are also plenty of great options beyond the capital too – from Edinburgh Gorgie City Farm in Scotland, Bath City Farm in the southwest of England and Stonebridge City Farm in the East Midlands.

    Try one of these ten attractions under a tenner

    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the Palace Theatre
    Take a walking tour of London for less this half term

    Review and rating website TripAdvisor has put together a list of the top attractions available for under a tenner on their website. The attractions are available across the UK, so you’re sure to find something your family will love.



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