Where to take the little darlings this half term
Still searching for something to keep the kids entertained this October half-term? With the longest school term finally underway (after what we all know has been the longest break ever - I am sure you are all enjoying working from home with some peace and quiet!), now is the time to get booking.
Read on to find some great holiday ideas to wow the kids with action-packed adventure days, combined with a relaxing overnight retreat for the entire family! Live your best life! (with the kids in tow)
1. Theme Parks!
Top five that we know and love:
Peppa Pig World for the little ones has 9 rides, muddle puddles and a playzone to bring a massive smile to all those little (and big) Peppa Pig fans. Located in Hampshire and open all year round (apart from Jan 2021)
Legoland, Windsor for the ultimate Halloween surprise for the kids? Legoland are hosting their annual Brick or Treat event during the half-term holidays, with so much for the kids to get involved with, including live-shows!
Alton Towers, Staffordshire - When the classroom closes, get yourselves down to the Alton Towers Halloween Playland! Bursting with colour, the kids can enjoy four shows full of laughter and fun, for Patch’s biggest yet Halloween Party plus with loads to do with the younger ones too!
Chessington World of Adventures - our list would not be complete without this one of course. With over 40 rides and attractions to choose from, your day will be filled with adventure. But, unlike other theme parks, you can also interact with over 1000 animals in the Zoo and Sea Life Centre - what more could you need! Then... last but not least -
Thorpe Park - not for the faint hearted! The live-action horror experiences and night time roller coaster rides are all part of the infamous Fright Nights! With a horror themed Escape Room to tackle, we would definitely recommend this one for the older kids - 13 and over!
2. Center Parcs
If you want to keep the children busy, but still have plenty of time to relax and unwind yourself, then this is the place to be! With adrenaline fuelled fun for all ages there is a wide range of activities to choose from. Why not explore the forest on two wheels and rent a bicycle, try your hand at archery, or splash about in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise - a wet and wild water park that is heated all year round! If you are looking for even more thrills then it’s definitely worth giving the Aerial Adventure a go, with a spectacular finish on the zip wire! But, if like me you prefer to indulge in some me-time whilst the kids are enjoying themselves, then the Aqua Sana Spa is the place to be!
This massive 600 acre site, is home to Kent’s largest animal wildlife park, bringing the African Safari experience right to us here in Britain. Visit during half-term to see over 900 different animals, including the UK’s biggest herd if black rhinos, gorillas, tigers, lions, leopards and many more!
With so much to do and see, you will definitely want to stay a night or two - with plenty of options to choose from, you could go for a luxury boutique hotel, or perhaps a panoramic bubble pod (perfect for stargazing!). All profits made by the park from your stay are put straight back into the animal conservation charity work, so you can enjoy your stay knowing that you are making a difference!
4. Pick your own pumpkins!
We all know that carving pumpkins has become a household Halloween tradition here in the UK - but why not take this one step further, and pick your own pumpkin first?! With plenty of patches to pick from, we have hand selected three of our favourites, across the UK.
Starting in the South, why not pop to Secretts of Milford, Surrey? With over 150 acres of farmland, there will be plenty of pumpkins to choose from, and some fantastic recipes to try out before you recreate them yourselves (you can cook, whilst the kids are carving!).
Moving Slightly North, we would highly suggest a visit to Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham - the BBC’s Adam Henson’s own family farm! With pumpkin picking a farm favourite in October, there is plenty to see and do whilst there. All visitors, young and old, can interact closely with the animals and learn about farming, before heading to the café to try out some of the home-grown produce.
Our final favourite is up in Scotland: Arnprior Farm, Stirling, a dedicated pumpkin patch! With more than 10,000 to pick from, the kids can choose from a variety of giant Cinderella pumpkins, green bobbly pumpkins and even stunning white pumpkins - you are sure to find the perfect pumpkin for your spooktacular centrepiece!
Looking to pick more than just a pumpkin? We also have a great list of Best of Britain’s PYO Farms, for all of your fruit and vegetable needs!
The Grove Hotel is one of our personal favourites! With so much to do, whatever the weather, you can easily keep the whole family happy. There is an array of amazing activities to choose from, including Swimming, Archery, Woodland Hawking, Tennis, Laser Clay, Golf Camps and you can even explore The Grove’s beautiful ancient country estate on an exhilarating Segway ride through the winding nature trails.
In need of some relaxation time? The Grove offer a fantastic kids club service at Anouska’s new lodge, a self-contained area with a private garden and play park, with a dedicated activity programme perfectly designed to tire your little diamonds out! This allows you a little time to yourself in their amazing spa and swimming pool.
Take the ultimate stay-cation to Celtic Manor Resort, it has something for everyone!
The five star resort is located Newport, South Wales. You can book into the resort hotel or one of the secluded lodges, either way it's the perfect escape!
Celtic Manor is home to Ryder Cup so if you have a family member that enjoys golf, this will keep them busy for days! There is also a spa and pool in the resort and kids activities such as; treasure hunts, high ropes, adventure golf, tennis, archery and many more!
If all of the above is a bit on the chilly side for you - take a look at the INSIDE fantastic options here:
OUT but IN!
1. Museums - Natural History Museum, Science Museum
Just because the children are on holiday, doesn’t mean they have to stop learning. But, let’s face it, most kids don’t exactly want to stand around looking at statues and reading old books, they want to interact and get hands-on, and quite frankly we don’t blame them!
Here are just a few of the fantastic museums in the UK that allow them to do exactly that!
London’s Science Museum has plenty of games, and interactive exhibitions with the new Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery to experience this half-term. With different zones to explore, they can see lightning strike, play with forces and even travel through space!
Thinktank in Birmingham has over 200 science and technology displays for the kids to get involved with. With four floors to explore, you are sure to have a fun day experimenting, including talking to robots and visiting the new 4k Planetarium. (set to reopen in September). Looking to entertain the younger ones?
Eureka in Yorkshire, provides a unique and interesting way for children under 11 to learn about all aspects of life, not just science! With 6 individually themed zones, this is the UK’s only fully interactive museum, dedicated to offering a day full of fun!
We all know that we can’t exactly rely on the weather in October, sometimes leaving us with no option but to entertain the kids indoors! Going to the cinema is a great way to get out of the house, but not get stuck in the cold and wet rain. Many cinemas offer dedicated timings for the kids, and have some fantastic offers so that you don’t have to break the bank.
Vue host ‘Mini Mornings’ everyday in the holidays, with tickets for you and the kids at only £2.49 each if you book online.
Cineworld offer discounts for ‘Movies for Juniors’, with weekly screenings of the latest kids films, with prices varying dependent on location.
‘Odeon Kids’ screen family favourites everyday in half-term starting from £2.50
‘Curzon Kids’ take things one step further, screening a film and then offering a craft session for you and the children to create something inspired by the film.
Are your kids 13 going on 30? Send them to the ‘Indoor City, Run by Kids’! With a range of fun activities and experiences to combine learning and playing, let them run free in a range of role-play job professions.
They can be whatever they want for the day… a Firefighter, a Banker, a CIA Agent, a Dance Teacher and even a Uni Student (don’t worry… the fee’s are significantly lower!). Getting a fun filled insight into the real world, they earn the kidZo currency that can then be spent on a range of things to do.. Or perhaps they can start saving them and even open a bank account and get their very own bank card - why use yours when they have theirs!?
4. Flip Out
With over 24 locations to choose from, and another 12 on the way, you are never very far from one of Britain’s best trampoline parks. It’s not always easy to get the kids exercising when the weather is rubbish and you are avoiding the rain - but Flip Out offers a great combination of fun and fitness, without the kids even batting an eyelid.
Many of the centres now also include slides, inflatables and even indoor assault courses… so there is definitely fun to be had by everyone.