Half Term Survival Guide – On A Budget

In my experience there are two kinds of mums when it comes to school holidays. Those who can’t wait to spend the week with their little darlings and have a planned schedule of all the fun and wholesome half term activities they will be doing that week. And then there are those who think “It’s going to be a loooooong week”.

I’m the latter 🙋‍♀️

It’s hard when you’re home alone with two young boys and a tantrumming toddler.

However with time I have learnt how to manage our days so I am less likely to have a full blown meltdown by 3pm.

Here’s what works for us:

Go outside – preferably in the morning. Half Term Activities - Go To The Park

If it’s not bucketing it down with rain I try to take them somewhere outdoors. We’re lucky enough to have a big park and lake in walking distance from our house so we can go and feed the ducks and let the kids run around and blow off some steam.

I find if we go in the morning and they’ve had that opportunity to burn off some energy, they’re more likely to chill out and watch a film or do a jigsaw in the afternoon. Plus I personally find if we haven’t left the house by the afternoon, we’re unlikely to go out at all (like today! 🙈).


Go to a museum or library.Half Term Activities - meeting critters down at our local library

There are the bigger museums in the city centres which are great but there are also smaller ones in most towns. A lot of them have special half term activities on, and best of all – most of them are free!

Also check out your local library. Some are also offering activities and crafts which can keep the kids entertained for an hour or two.

Our local library recently did an event where they got to hold and learn about different critters and they loved it!

Go to the cinema.

This can be a pricey activity with three little ones but not if you can get there early. Our local Odeon and Cineworld both do a Movies For Juniors offer where they sell tickets to an older film for under £2 a person. It’s a massive saving on the regular price and there’s often films my kids haven’t yet seen.

Think outside the box.Half Term Activities - meeting the animals down at the farm

Dare to be different. If the weather is nice, where is everyone else going to go? The park, the farm, the zoo etc. Which means soft play places and museums are likely to be quieter so head down there for a morning of peace! Likewise, if the weather is a bit grim, grab your raincoat and boots and brave the outdoors.  You’re much less likely to be stuck in the half term chaos.

Play a game.
We love board games in our house. I actually have a blog post coming up about the benefits of playing them, and a list of our favourites so I’ll not ramble too much about them now. Playing board games is our “go-to” activity when our 2 year old is having a nap. It can be tricky when she’s awake and stealing all the pieces, so we tend to try and wait until she’s asleep.

Take the pressure off. 

Finally, remember it’s not a competition. Don’t be afraid to have a lazy day indoors. If your kids are anything like mine they need this break from school. They need to relax and recharge their batteries.

And let’s face it, so do I!

Sleeping child




  1. Breaking the day up into chunks is definitely the answer when you have smaller ones. One thing at a tie, focus on that and then clear it up, snack, move on to the next thing and head out too. Mich x

  2. Your point on trying to gauge what everyone else will be doing to find the less popular spots is exactly what I do to avoid the crowds! I love taking out my nieces and nephews during the school breaks, but I find the hustle and bustle a bit much.

  3. What some awesome sounding ideas for kids to do in the half term holiday, there really is so many things you can do when you think about it without having to break the bank.

  4. Some great tips here. I sometimes stay with my friend during half terms and we struggle to entertain the kids although we do love a jigsaw. I’m defjnitely going to check if our Odeon offers the same as yours

  5. Great ideas, we always try to do half term on a budget and we do the same sort of things. I agree with doing an outdoors activity in the morning, then they won’t be climbing the walls in the afternoon!

  6. Great ideas, I like the advice about thinking outside the box, I find it’s often the case that something you wouldn’t normally expect to be doing at that time of year ends up being the perfect time for it! Parks in the rain are especially fun 🙂

  7. this is me every single week. being home educator and mum to 8 , we try to enjoy as much time out as possible preferably free and as busy as possible. its actually surprising how many places you can visit free and those places do free to attend events which some have crafts and activities in too , always worth the look out x

  8. Great idea! With four children half term gets expensve for us, this year we went away on holiday which solved the issue of what to do for a week but also brought expense!

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