10 cheap things to do with the kids this half term

21 October 2011

1. Eureka, Halifax


Call into the national children's museum, designed to inspire children to find out about themselves and the world though thousands of hands-on exhibits. The whole museum has been transformed into a Halloween ‘spooktacular' this half term, with all sorts of scary characters at large.

The standard price for adults and children age 3 plus is £9.95 per person, which entitles you to a year pass, but you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers or a Yorkshire Pass to claim a discount (in which case the ticket will be valid for one day only). More information at eureka.org.uk

2. Free sport, across the UK


There's nothing like a lot of running around in the fresh air to keep your sports-mad children's tempers sweet at home. Tesco is sponsoring free football coaching taster sessions around the country: check out your nearest opportunity at tescoskills.thefa.com/.
Or try Asda's Sporting Chance scheme at your.asda.com/sporting-chance/.

3. V&A Museum of Childhood, East London


Five days of fantasy and enchantment linked to the current Magic Worlds exhibition at the V&A's special childhood museum in east London. The half term week's entertainment features drop-in arts, crafts and storytelling, with walkabout magicians, shadow puppet shows (10.30am, 11.15am, noon), a trail and the chance to make a magician's hat (2-4pm).

Suitable for all ages; no charge.  More details at vam.ac.uk/moc/.

4 National Rail Museum, York


Free entry and nine days of toys, models and rides, from pedal train driving to model layouts and mini rail rides, hands-on model workshops and play sessions. You might even win a £150 toy voucher with the Big Train, Little Train quiz.

Find out more at nrm.org.uk/NRM/PlanaVisit/Events/octoberhalfterm2011.aspx

5 National Trust, across the UK


There's lots of wonderful autumn colour and spooky goings-on at National Trust venues all over the country.

Try Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire for autumn crafts (24-28 October, 12-4pm) and an outdoor Halloween hunt (29-30 October, 2-4pm).
Or – if you're brave enough – try the Halloween trail at Castle Drogo in Devon (22-30 October, 11-4pm).

Other venues with family action in the coming week include Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, Claremont Gardens in Surrey, and Quarry Bank Mill and Styal Estate in Cheshire.

Find out more at nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-events/w-events-october-half-term.htm

6. Go Ape, across the UK


Teenagers and older kids (not to mention their parents) can discover their inner Tarzan in Go Ape's treetop adventures using high wires, ladders, walkways and zipwires, in more than 25 forest settings around the country. It's not exactly cheap, but if you go in half term week you can save 31% on the normal price.

Discount applies 23-28 October; normal prices adults £30, kids £20. Over 10s only. Full details at goape.co.uk/treat-no-tricks.

7. Animal Magic, Teddington (South West London)


Head to the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington, in South West London for a week of animal-themed action for kids aged 3-12. Sessions include dance and drama, singing, printmaking and the Big Draw.

Prices range from £2 per child for the Big Draw to £12 for sculpture session. Find out more at landmarkartscentre.org/whats-on.

8. Museum of London Docklands


There's a week of free fun for little ones at the brilliant London Docklands museum, with a punchy pirate theme to complement the major exhibition, the Captain Kidd Story, which closes on 30 October. Stories, making sessions and a ‘how to be a pirate' game should keep them busy.

Go to the website for full details of what's on when and where to go: museumoflondon.org.uk/Docklands/Whats-on/Events/FeaturedEvents/HalfTerm.htm

9. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Huddersfield


Families can spend a great day outside for free in this dramatic open-air art gallery. During half term there are various extra events.
Young explorers can check out the special Hidden Myths trail all week. 

Or if it's raining, join the Me and Other Creatures Big Draw Family Workshop: combine your favourite creatures with a self portrait in this enjoyable workshop. 26 and 27 October, 10.30am and 1.30pm. Adults free, children £4 each.

Further information: ysp.co.uk/events/category/ysp-family

10. Fit for Sport, across the UK


A range of day ‘camps' for active kids will be running at venues all over the UK during half term week, with a ghoulish Halloween theme. Kids can choose from a range of sports and activities, including some with a twist such as terror tennis, broomstick racing and pumpkin bowling! There are also arts and crafts and sessions on how to live a healthy lifestyle.

Find the venue nearest you at fitforsport.co.uk; per day prices vary according to venue, but are discounted if you book for the week.

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