what are you Planning For Half Term?
Is anyone else excited about half term? I have to admit, I’m one of those Mom’s that’s struggling to cope with not having constant access to my son’s time. He recently started school (how dare he)! We did SO much as a family when he was a toddler! My husband is self-employed and I was on very long-term sick leave from a part-time job and am now self-employed too, so we’ve been really spoilt for time together – until September last year.
So, much like when I attended school as a pupil, I find myself living for the school holidays again. We love to travel and experience new things as a family, so for months before each school holiday, I’m desperately looking for things to fill the precious week(s) with.
Prize wins and school breaks
As you know, I’m a complete comping nut, so a large proportion of my holidays and day trips are luckily, at least partially, funded by my addiction. As yet, I haven’t been lucky for the February half term though. My Easter and May Half Term breaks are completely sorted, with holidays in Wales and Spain respectively from competition prizes. But, for the fast approaching February half term, I’m a little bit lost. I wouldn’t usually leave planning this late, but just hoping that my impending operation isn’t set for that week would probably be a bit frivolous.
Despite trying to put off planning completely until I have a definitive surgery date, I couldn’t wait any longer for FOMO on the deals! I thought it might be helpful to share my findings with those parents that don’t have the luxury of ‘planning’ their half term week. I’m also running a giveaway alongside my suggestions for those of you that are either currently unable to fund trips out or unable to take time off work. I’ve put together a little at home fun pack for you guys, so read on for entry requirements!
February Half Term on a Budget
February is actually a weird time for a school break. It’s still really cold and dull and theme parks/attractions are not open properly yet. I certainly haven’t saved enough to go abroad yet and England is currently a bit cold for the glamping option within my budget. Having said all that, the low season nature of February means that there are some fantastic deals to be had!
Last year I was lucky enough to win a Merlin annual pass from the ongoing Kellogg’s prize draw. To say that we have put this to good use would be a bit of an understatement. I’d highly recommend investing in one of these if you have kids aged 4-15!! Even without an annual pass, Merlin have some pretty attractive deals available this half term and I will be adding a couple to our wish list.
Legoland Windsor – Junior builder week
We have a 5-year-old boy, so Lego has been in our lives for a couple of years now. We’ve visited Legoland resorts in Orlando, Windsor, Manchester and our very welcome new home town Discovery Centre in Birmingham. Despite being a bit pricey, there is such a lot to do at all of the Legoland sites we’ve visited. This half term, Legoland Windsor, like most theme parks, are not fully open. The hotel, however, has gone all out to ensure that little ones can still have a fun lego-filled break away. Junior builder week offers a wide range of hotel based activities such as building a rollercoaster, discos, family speed build challenges and treasure hunts. An overnight stay can be booked for half term week for as little as £38 per person.
Chessington World of Adventures – Animal Adventures
Chessington have gone a similar route as a lot of theme parks for half term, in that they’re partially opening and putting more effort into the few attractions they open. Chessington’s offering “Animal Adventures” looks to be a lot of fun. They have a live interactive “How to be a zookeeper” show which sounds amazing. Also, some of the little kids’ rides, like The Gruffalo River Adventure are open. Their overnight package for half term starts at £141 for a family of 4 and I can highly recommend the hotel. I love a good themed hotel (cal me tacky) and they really pull out the stops Chessington.
I’ve been entering competitions on the LittleBird website for some time now and in the past week, noticed their family club membership. They currently have a trial period, which I have taken up, of just £1 for 30 days. This will last through the half term break if you sign up now and gives you a great opportunity to check out the benefits, before you decide whether to commit. Please note that you will need to cancel if you do not want the trial to auto-renew!
Here are a few of littlebird’s great money-saving half term offers (no membership required):
Horrid Henry: Here’s something a little bit different! There is a Horrid Henry event at BFI with preview screening, Q & A session and an animation workshop. Ideal for fans of the popular tv show and books – use this link for 20% off, from just £3.25 each!
Kidzania: is another very popular London-based attraction for kids aged 4-14 years. It’s described as a city run by kids, so make of that what you will! There is a ton of interactive fun to be had though. You can save a whopping 50% off through this link!!
Deals included with Family Pass for £1 trial, which I will definitely be taking up are:
- 50% off Drayton Manor Tickets – it’s worth the £1 literally just for this deal – especially if you have little Thomas the Tank fans!
- 50% Off Chessington World of Adventures day ticket – great if you’re local
- 40% off at most Vue Cinemas – Hello Lego Movie 2!!!
- Kids eat free at La Tasca, Las Iguana, Bella Italia and much more….
stay Local to save even more
We often tend to stay quite local when we haven’t had any wins, to keep costs down. We’re lucky enough to live in a big city with lots of attractions for kids, so it’s pretty easy to find cheap or even free things to do. If you’re based in or around the Birmingham area, I would highly recommend Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for a free day out. They always put so much effort into planning for kids events throughout the school holidays too. This February there is junk modelling (£1), weird and wonderful object handling (free) and mask making (£1).
You will usually find that museums, galleries and lots of heritage attractions are free entry and provide a fun, educational way to spend time with the family. Money Saving Expert are a great site to find free activities. Here are a list of over 170 free museums throughout the country, why not see if there is one local to you!?
As promised, for those of you unable to book breaks or day trips this half term for whatever reason, I’ve put together a fun little busy pack of activities for one lucky winner and their kids. This has a range of items to keep the kids entertained if they’re staying at home, with grandparent’s throughout half term. I will aim to post this out on Saturday 16th February, but please keep an eye on your inbox, as I will need address details quickly to allow for this!
The prize consists of:
- Power Rangers Interactive Figure for use with mobile App/Game
- The Secret Life of Pets Moving Characters Craft Kit
- Grafix Craft your own Lady Bird Stepping Stone
- Disney Frozen Ink Stamping Set
- Disney Cars Glitter Art Picture Set
- Marvel Ultimate Spider Man Glow Wand
- Star Wars Wild Space Pencil
Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I receive a small fee if you decide to purchase via any of my links. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.