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February 2016 half-term – days out on a budget

Published 15 February 2016 by

It might only seem a couple of weeks since Christmas but it’s already time for the kids to have another week off school for half-term. Your little ones are likely to be looking forward to having a full seven days off to play and run riot but if you’re on a tight budget, you’re probably worrying about how you’re going to keep them entertained without resorting to splashing the cash.

Don’t worry – we’ve put together a list of some of the best things you can do as a family around the UK this half-term, without putting too much strain on your purse strings:


The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester has an exciting half-term week planned with events centred on the city’s Industrial Revolution in Victorian times. Steam, Sweat & Sewers runs from 13 to 21 February and is free to attend with educational and fun events aimed at kids of all ages.


Imagine Children's Festival returns to the Southbank Centre for another year and this time, the theme is Roald Dahl. There’s a whole range of events planned – some more pricey than others – but there’s a host of free activities to take part in too, including making a BFG-inspired dream jar and playing instruments in a junk orchestra.

Tyne & Wear

Country estate Gibside hosts a week of Half Term Family Fun, with each day given a different theme including Explorer Monday and Adventure Thursday. The events are free to attend but you will have to pay for entry into the park – that’s £22 for a family of four – though it’s something the whole family can enjoy.


The Arley Arboretum is set to re-open on 13 February, just in time for half-term and as treat for the week off, kids go free! It costs £5 for adults and you and the little ones will be able to explore dinosaur and fairy trails, as well as checking out the adventure playground.


For a fun day out for the kids as well as having a chance to soak up some history, look no further than Pendennis Castle. The castle’s Pirates Ahoy event lasts all of the half-term week and is free to attend, although you’ll have to pay for entry (£19 for a family).


The free National Museum of Scotland has a week of LEGO® activities so if you’ve got any brick enthusiasts in the family, get them down to BUILD IT! at Half-Term. Your kids will be able to get creative and build their own models, as well as hunting through the museum for the hidden brick figures.


Your kids can help to create their own planet at the free Build-a-World event at the Wales Millennium Centre. They can get crafty with pens, cardboard and glue and put together a new world just the way they want it. The world will develop through the week so your kids might even want to come back for a second day!


The NI Science Festival might sound a bit too much like school for some unwilling kids but its programme is packed full of fun and inspiring events. Running from 18 February, the Robotics Bot 'N' Roll Workshop is a real highlight – your kids will get to help program a robot and race it round a track to see if it works.