If you’re not careful, keeping the kids entertained during half-term can put a dent in your bank balance that will last till Christmas. So check out our frugal family fun suggestions.

Magical museums

Visited a museum recently? If not, you might be surprised by the experience. Because they’re not the imposing institutions they once were – all stuffed with dusty artefacts and fusty fossils. Far from it.

The museums of 2016 are interactive… digital… hands-on… with jaw-dropping displays and eye-opening exhibitions. And best of all, most of them are free!

People come from all around the world to visit our marvellous museums. There’s The National Football Museum (Manchester), The National Railway Museum (York), The Science Museum, British Museum and Natural History Museum (all in London) , The Maritime Museum, Slavery Museum and World Museum (all in Liverpool) and The Royal Armouries Museum (in Leeds).  There’s even a  Lawnmower Museum! (in Southport, but it’s not free)

So if you fancy a free day out with the family, do a little online research and find a museum near you.

Play them at their own game

Instead of banishing the kids to their rooms to play their latest video game, why not join them? Because if you’ve never scored a goal at the Nou Camp Stadium, or been on a secret mission with special forces, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Whether you build a castle and fight off scary skeletons, or race a stolen car through the streets of L.A., it’s the perfect way to get closer to your kids - because you won’t have to suffer the usual moans and groans, even from the grouchiest of teenagers. You never know, you might even enjoy it. And even if you don’t, at least you’ll learn more about the world your kids live in. And hey, you might even beat them at something. Yeah right!

Just a word of warning. If your partner tells you to switch off the console and tidy your room, jump to it! Or you’ll be banned for a week and sent straight to bed.

A bargain break

For most of us, the October half-term is the last chance to enjoy a break before winter closes in. And it’s actually a great time to get away. If you head for the coast, you’ll find the summer crowds have gone and the beaches are empty. And if you fancy a paddle, the waters around the UK are as warm now as they were in July. But best of all, the prices have plunged!

You can enjoy a long weekend in a mobile home for a fraction of the summertime cost. Plus you won’t have to waste half your holiday queuing to use the facilities. There’s usually plenty to do without ever opening your purse or wallet – most leisure parks have a pool with water slides, indoor or outdoor sports facilities, a children’s play park, and maybe mini-golf or a nature trail.

In the evening, avoid the pricey restaurant and keep the kids away from the amusement arcade.

Cook your own meals, and take some board games or your favourite DVDs. Then you can show the kids what life was like before broadband.

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