Top 10 free things to do this February half term

No one likes the February half term. Everyone is still recovering financially from Christmas and it’s freezing, meaning the usual free outdoorsy activities seem very unappealing (though we have included some, everyone needs a bit of fresh air we’re told.) 

 

If you’re trying to keep a lid on costs this half-term, but can’t bear the prospect of a cranky, bored family, take a look at our top ten free activities for you to try this year;

 
1. Visit an animal sanctuary. Unlike pricey farm days out, this is generally free, though there may be a small donation request. There are usually a range of animals at sanctuaries, such as cats, dogs and rabbits, or you can visit a dedicated sanctuary for horses and donkeys. Don’t blame us though if you end up with a new family pet… 
 
2. Feeling particularly tough? Brave the weather for a treasure hunt in the park. This takes some pre-planning to create a map and possibly an adult accomplice to hide the ‘treasures’. Hot chocolates at home all-round after this. 
 
3. Crafts. Unfortunately we’ve just missed Valentine’s Day, but you can make cards for the grandparents or create your own board game. One family favourite is to make stamps out of halves of potato, cover the table with paper and let everyone go wild. 
 
4. If the weather allows, collect shells on a beach. Toddlers especially love this one. Collect them all in a bucket and add to a bowl of pot pourri when you get home, or stick onto crafts. 
 
5. Visit a library. Calming and free, get your child his or her first library card and take some adventures home with you. Libraries often run free groups and activities so make sure you have a look at those too. Children’s libraries are also very forgiving if your child hasn’t quite mastered their “quiet voice” yet (or temporarily isn’t inclined to use it). 
 
6. Duvet day. Everyone gets to wear their PJ’s all day, put on their favourite fluffy socks, pull the duvets off their beds, get all the cushions out and relax. Stick on a DVD from your collection and read all those books you got from the library. Everyone needs a day like this now and again.
 
7. Window shopping. No really. Allow your child to decide on all of the things they want as you walk around and ask them to add up how many ‘pennies’ they have to save to buy their favourite item. Great for teaching kids about budgeting and money, whilst you get to do your errands. 
 
8. Following on from the above, set your child a list of doable chores with a reward if they complete the list. This can be financial so they can buy what they saw as you were window shopping. This is technically not free, obviously, but does teach them about saving! Alternatively reward with treats such as sweets, choosing the film that evening or a sticker. 
 
9. Get one or two of their school or nursery friends round to play. Everything seems more fun when you have company. Suddenly those dress-up boxes and unopened Christmas gifts will take on a new lease of life, whilst taking the pressure to entertain off you. Bonus: You can return the extra children at the end of the day.
 
10. Teddy Bears' Picnic. Use all those packets and tins everyone has lying about in the cupboards to make some random but fun lunchtime fodder; jam sandwiches, cheese in chunks, crisps in a big bowl, sausage rolls, yogurt pots and biscuits…Get out the picnic rug, set up in the front room, everyone grab a bear and put some music on. Dancing is optional. 
 
We hope this helps make your half term a little bit more fun and cost-effective. We haven’t included museums because although they are brilliant, the intrigue is generally lost on younger children and some aren’t free. 
 
If you’re struggling raising a family due to debt, you can speak to one of our advisers on 0800 043 40 50 in complete confidence, 6 days a week.