10 free things to do with the kids this half term

group of children smiling

group of children smilingCan you believe it? We’ve only just packed away the tinsel and baubles and February half term is upon us already! Start planning your week now, taking inspiration from these free, family-friendly activities from around the country.


Listen to the tales of a Victorian Egyptologist and learn all about burials, tombs and curses at Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland, Sunday 12 February, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 at 11am and 2pm (nms.ac.uk/0300 123 6789).

Northern Ireland

Spot a seal at Strangford Lough in Co Down, one of the UK’s three designated marine nature reserves, and admire over 2,000 species of marine animals and plants (ntni.org.uk/028 4488 1411). Or take a walk in the 6,000 year-old sand dunes at the Murlough National nature reserve at Dundrum (ntni.org.uk/028 4375 1467).

England: North

Tales of sails, whales and sea are offered at Durham Cathedral along with sea-inspired crafts. From 9.00am in the Education Centre (durhamcathedral.co.uk/0191 386 4266).


Enjoy the antics of Littlefoot and his chums in the film The Land Before Time at the National Museum in Cardiff on 11, 12 and 14 February at 2pm, and attend one of the daily Dinosaurs in your Garden activities (museumwales.ac.uk/029 2039 7951).

England: Central

Visit Dylan, Felicity, Rumpel, Will and dinky pony Wensley plus more than 50 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys at Redwings’ Oxhill Visitor Centre in Warwickshire, Saturday 11 to Wednesday 15 February. Take a guided tour, watch a demonstration of horse care and make a fuss of the residents! (redwings.org.uk/0870 040 0033).

England: London

The V&A are offering a variety of fun family activities inspired by the museum’s collections at the Imagination Station from Saturday 11 February through to Sunday 19 February. Watch a play, have a go at making a creepy spider, listen to a story and more! (vam.ac.uk/020 7942 2000).

England: East

Almost 20 nature-themed story telling and craft events are scheduled at libraries throughout Kent during half term week. Find your local venue at kent.gov.uk/leisure_and_culture/libraries.aspx/08458 247200.

England: South west

Join in with Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s winter rock pool rambles at Looe (1pm) or St Agnes (2pm) on 12 February, or on 13 February at Fowey (2pm).  Don’t forget your wellies! (cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk/01872 273939).

England: South

Visit Westgate, formerly Winchester’s debtors prison and the only remaining medieval gate into the city. On Sunday 12 February, children can marvel at the muskets and pikes on view at the Civil War Muster and learn all about being a soldier back then. 11am-3pm (visitwinchester.co.uk/01962 869 864).

England: South east

Check out Robot Invasion at Hove Museum and Art Gallery. Robot animation workshops are on offer for children aged 8+ on 11 and 18 February, while on 14 February, kids aged 11+ can build their own robots before racing them around a giant maze (sessions at 10.30 or 1.30). (Brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/03000 290900.)

Pre-booking is advised for many of these activities so do contact your chosen venue ahead of your visit to avoid disappointment. Happy half term!