You’ve finished the summer vacation, and the kids have returned to school. They’ll be gone for another week before you know it. October is the most difficult month for parents financially. If you’re wondering how to keep your kids entertained on a budget during the October half-term, Hot Voucher Codes UK has compiled a list of inexpensive and free activities.
Stay Active: Don’t let the rain deter you from staying active. Whether it’s swimming, playing tennis, or indoor climbing, engaging in exercise is a fantastic way to get your heart pumping and ensure a good night’s sleep. Find your nearest leisure centre for indoor fitness fun.
Pinecone Bird Feeder: Enjoy a 2-in-1 outdoor activity by going on a nature walk and collecting pinecones. Transform these pinecones into eco-friendly bird feeders. It’s a simple, enjoyable, and cost-effective project. Just spread peanut butter on the pinecone, sprinkle birdseed on it, tie twine or string around the top, and hang them from a tree or hook. Then, sit back and watch the various birds that come to visit.
Bowling Fun: If the weather isn’t cooperating, head to your local Tenpin for a special promotion running until November 1st. You can book two bowling games for the price of one for adults and children from Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
S’mores Delight: Savor the delicious American camping treat, S’mores, right in your backyard. Roast marshmallows on a stick over an open campfire (using eco-friendly firelighters), and when they’re gooey and nearly falling off, sandwich them between two chocolate digestives.
Host a Halloween Party: Throw a spooktacular Halloween party with classic games like apple bobbing, pumpkin carving contests, and mummy-making. Create your own decorations, and find free spooky playlists on YouTube and Spotify. When it comes to sweet treats, shop smart by comparing prices at various supermarkets to score the best deals. Aldi, Lidl, and Asda are solid options for budget-friendly shopping.
October Reading Challenge: Challenge yourself to read scary books throughout the week. Most libraries offer free ebook, audiobook borrowing, digital magazines, and newspapers. Check your local council website for library offerings. You can also save money by swapping books with friends and family or downloading free ebooks online.
Tax-Free Childcare: Don’t overlook the tax-free childcare scheme, where the government contributes 20% of childcare costs, up to £500 every three months. This financial support can be used for holiday clubs or other childcare services, potentially reducing your expenses. The scheme is available for children up to age 11, or up to age 16 if the child has a disability.
Pumpkin Adventure: Turn pumpkin picking into an all-day family outing. Pumpkin patches now offer mazes, hay bales for climbing, picnic spots, bouncy castles, and Halloween games. There are pumpkins of all shapes and sizes waiting for you. Check for a nearby pumpkin patch to make this a yearly tradition.
Build a Hedgehog Hideout: Help our spiky garden buddies by constructing a safe shelter. With the assistance of an adult, an old wooden box, and some dry leaves or straw, you can create a cosy haven from the cold and potential predators. BBC Gardener’s World has a step-by-step guide to assist you.
Grandparent Assistance: If you have family members, especially those without work commitments living nearby, consider involving them to help with childcare. Grandparents can be valuable resources in providing care and spending quality time with grandchildren, which is beneficial for both generations.
2-for-1 Discounts on Days Out: Make the most of your train ticket by unlocking savings and Hot UK Deals on days out. Some rail companies offer £1 tickets for youngsters when you purchase an adult ticket. National Rail provides two-for-one entry at numerous attractions nationwide, such as the London Dungeon, Sea Life locations, and ZSL London Zoo.
Go Conker Collecting: Enjoy the autumn weather by going conker collecting. Consider exploring the best UK countryside walking routes, as rated by Which? Also, don’t miss the chance to claim a free single-use National Trust pass on their website (not available in Scotland) for use by October 20th.
Free Animal Workshops: Pets at Home offers free animal workshops for 4-11-year-olds, complete with activity sheets, animal encounters, and certificates. This month’s workshop is themed around the new Paw Patrol movie, with daily events from October 21st to 29th. Be sure to book a spot in advance on the Pets at Home website.
Learn Something New: Visit museums and galleries, many of which offer free admission. Look for exhibitions designed for children, often featuring interactive displays. Some museums also host activity sessions and craft events during school holidays and weekends. It’s wise to book in advance for these engaging learning experiences.
Whether you prefer to use a digital app or a notebook, keeping a record of how much you plan to spend will help you keep to your budget and avoid the urge to splurge on impulse purchases. This includes where you are thinking of going and what you are planning to eat.
DIY Halloween Costumes: Get creative by making your own Halloween costume. Use stuffed tights for spider legs or a cat’s tail and an old bedsheet for a quick ghost costume. Find inspiration online for unique costume ideas using everyday makeup, or consider shopping for costumes on second-hand marketplaces to reduce environmental impact. If buying from a store, ensure it’s safe by checking for a visible CE or UKCA mark on the label or packaging.
Discounted Cinema: If your kids are too young for Halloween horror movies, you can catch family-friendly films like the latest Trolls movie or Paw Patrol. Major cinema chains offer special deals during school holidays. For instance, Odeon Kids allows adults to pay the same price as a child every day during the school break, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays.
Optimise Subscriptions: If you’re planning a cosy night with the family, make sure you’re making the most of your subscription services. Consider adjusting your Netflix plan to save money or alternating between different subscription services each month to reduce costs. If you prefer not to pay for a subscription, you can find plenty of free films to watch on ITVX, Channel 4, and BBC iPlayer, as long as you have a TV license.
Discounted Children’s Meals: With the cost-of-living crisis putting a strain on families, going out to eat can feel like more of a luxury than usual. But several supermarkets and restaurant chains are offering Discount Codes UK for children’s meals this half term. Remember that terms and conditions are likely to apply, so check these before booking.
Free Learning Resources: Keep your child engaged with learning during the break by utilising Amazon Study, which offers a wide range of free math and science resources designed for primary and secondary school kids. Many museums across the UK offer free admission, making them an excellent combination of learning and fun. Check out the Kids In Museums website for a helpful list of top museums.