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From £1 breakfast to holiday clubs – six cheap and free ideas for February half term | Personal Finance | Finance

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From entertainment to food ideas, has rounded up all of the free and cheap activities that should keep parents and their little ones out of trouble.


Is it just me, or when the kids are home does the fully stocked fridge seem to empty every other day? However much I plan and stock – they just keep eating.

The break in education means that you also have to foot the full bill for this – which can be petrifying. There are some amazing offers to keep an eye out for. For example, at ASDA (for the next six weeks) families will be able to access both a free children’s breakfast and a main meal for just £1 in their cafes.

In fact, a huge number of places offer very cheap (or free) kid’s meals over half term – some even don’t require an adult meal spend.

This has a good round-up of places kids can eat for £1 and hopefully feel assured that your kid’s belly can be full over the break.

A trip to the cinema

It’s Oscar season, so there are a lot of great new movies vying for your attention. There are heaps of kid-friendly offerings from Vue, with both adult and child tickets from only £2.49 per ticket.

Vue’s Mini Morning sessions give both adults and kids the chance to experience big screen entertainment for a very small price, and run every Saturday and Sunday morning from 10am, plus every day in the school holidays (with availability likely to change depending on when your child’s holidays occur).

Keep up to date with cinema deals here.

Go to the Zoo

London Zoo is offering £3 tickets for anyone currently receiving Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The £3 tickets are available for the whole family and under 3’s go free. Tickets can be purchased from the admissions kiosk on the day, from 11am, every day of the week. Just bring proof of benefit letter (electronic or paper).

Swim for Free

All children 16 years old and under can get free swimming sessions across the UK. Find out how to sign up, and where they can swim.

In fact, go to the website for your local leisure centre and see what offers they’re running for free swimming, as this is the time of year when many of them have something to offer.

Days Out

If you are in London, Badlands could be a good option for family days out in the capital. There are so many suggestions of free stuff with reviews.

Did you also know that 250 of the 400 sites run by English Heritage are free to visit? From remote stone circles to ruined abbeys, and Norman castles to Roman temples, you can explore thousands of years of history for absolutely nothing.

Most towns have blogs now dedicated to free days out in each area, so check out what the locals do and if you are on Instagram, check out those hashtags.

Join a Club

Free holiday clubs run across England, supporting parents with childcare costs over the Christmas, Easter and summer holidays by providing free, nutritious meals and enriching activities, such as football, play sessions and cooking classes.

Figures show that around 600,000 children benefited from the scheme over summer 2022 across over 8,000 clubs, events or organised activities in England.

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