It seems like only last week that the Christmas holidays were finishing and now it’s half term already. The good news is that all of those places that shut down for winter a starting to reopen! Make sure out check out the reviews of cheap and free places to visit for holiday inspiration.
Important note; term dates vary between different LEAs. This means that half-term actually covers two different weeks. Before visiting anywhere double check which dates they’re open.
So, here is my list of the top cheap and free things to do during half term. Some of them are old favourites and some are places you may not have come across before. I’ll keep adding to the list so keep checking back or follow my facebook page for lots of new events.
Wendover Woods – As well as all the normal fun you can have up the woods, they’ve just opened their Zog trail. If you want the pack it’s £3 per child but you can walk the trail for free. The new play trail is also open now too and it’s amazing. For my review of the woods (including pictures of that incredible play trail) click here. I’ve added a separate review of the Zog trail as well. You can find that here. These posts both when crazy when I first put them up so I’m guessing they’re going to be popular over the holidays!
Cliveden have set up a fully accessible Snowdrop walk around the gardens. It’s a free, self-led walk along hard-paths that’s even dog-friendly. Once you’ve seen all the beautiful flowers you’ll be able to explore everything else that Cliveden has to offer. Entry is free for NT members.
If you love snowdrops then Stowe is also a great spot to find them. There’s a downloadable map on their website with all the best spots. They are also doing half term events, but more about that later.
Rushmere Country Park is running two events – one of which covers both half terms. Their Clever Cones trail, all about how evergreens disperse their seeds, is £2 per child. Follow the clues and claim a prize.
Tring Natural History Museum’s half term activity is running across both weeks (12/2 – 14/2 and 19/2 – 21/2) and it’s all about reptiles. There are specimens you can touch, a feely challenge and a make and take craft. £2 per child. Entry to the museum is FREE
February 16 – 24 (Bucks, Oxon, Herts half term)
Waterperry Gardens – Waterperry Gardens are based about halfway between Thame and Oxford. I’ve driven past the sign I don’t know how many times and they’re definitely on my to-visit list. From the 16th to 24th February they will be hosting an I Spy in the gardens. Entry is £8.50 per adult and children under 16 are free
Wycombe Museum host regular forest schools during term time but during the holiday they open the sessions up to under 7’s. Sessions are on
22nd February 10:00 – 11:15 and 1:00 – 2:15. Entry to Museum is free and tickets to the forest school are £6.50 per child. Book your tickets here
Charlecote Park – This has got to be my favourite half term trail prize – a ceramic welly to take home and decorate! Charlecote Park is running the Welly Wander from 16th – 24th February. A dog-friendly, cross-country trail around the parkland, you’ll probably get mucky but you’ll have fun doing it. The cost is £3 per trail (plus normal admission but entry is free for NT members). It takes just over an hour to get to Charlecote from Aylesbury but it’s a nice, easy drive up the M40.
Intu Milton Keynes are running free dinosaur related activities including a fossil trail, excavations and meet and greet with a dinosaur from 15th February – 24th February. Whilst I doubt this will be worth a special visit to MK, if you’re in the area or fancy a bit of shopping yourself then it’s worth checking out.
Kenilworth Castle and Gardens, Warwickshire have not one but two events going on over half term; a free Castle Quest and “Knights & Princesses” where the kids get to be a young royal for the day. Entry is free for English Heritage members.
Auberge du Chocolat are running chocolate making workshops in Chesham on the 20th February. It’s £10 per child and you get to take the chocolate home with you. There are two groups; 2-9’s and 9+. Click the link for all the details and to book.
St Tiggywinkles have got a packed programme of activities throughout half term. They’ve got feedings, talks and crafts. Apparently it’s also a great time of year to see their Deer. Entry is just £14 for a family ticket and Blue Peter badge holders get in FREE as well.
Amersham Museum is holding free, drop-in craft sessions inspired their doll’s house on the 20th and 21st February. Once you’ve finished you can have a look around the museum as well. Entry is just £3 per adult.
It’s all about puppets this half term at the Bucks County Museum. There are shows, puppet making workshops and a family craft workshop. Entry to the museum is free, but additional charges may apply for activities. You can find my review of the museum by clicking here
There’s a Roman bath under the A1(M). Who knew!??! On the 18th February they’re running a bird bath mosaic activity. Adult entry is £3.50, children under 16 are free. The activity is £3.50 per child.
The River and Rowing Museum is running a Fire and Ice workshop on the 21st February. It’s FREE with admission. Adult tickets are £12.50 and children are £9.95. Under 4’s are FREE. Tickets are valid for 12 months.
The Lookout Discovery Centre have their Under the Sea show running at weekends and throughout half term. Book tickets on the day (£1.95 per person). Normal admission fee applies £20.40 for a family ticket.
9th to 17th February (Beds half term)
Rushmere Country Park is a firm favourite in this house (read my review here). They are running free Xplorer sessions on the 14th February for all age ranges and you’ll be getting outdoors, reading maps and finding markers. Entry to the park is free, just pay £3 for parking.
Wrest Park in Bedfordshire are running Awesome Archeology workshops from 11th to 15th Feb. Sessions are free with normal admission fees (Free for EH members)
Moggerhanger Park are running spring craft events from Monday 11th to 15th February. Suitable for ages 5+ session are £4 per child. Booking is strongly recommended. Entry to Moggerhanger Park is Free.
The Forest of Marston Vale are running a forest school on the 14th February. Tickets are £6 per child for a 2 hour session of den building, fire lighting, crafts and more. Entry to the forest is FREE but parking charges apply.
If you think there are any places or events I should be adding to this list then please get in touch contact @freetimewiththekids.com