Entertain the kids this school break with these fun half term family activities:
Family bike ride
There is no better way to explore the countryside than on a family bike ride. Whether you want a short cycle route for little legs or a mountain biking trail, there are many beautiful cycle routes across the UK.
Devon in particular offers a range of terrains and route lengths: Plymbridge Woods is a 10 mile cycle trail following an old railway track, the Killerton park ad Killerton to Boradclyst 3 mile cycle routes feature quiet roads through rural Devon, and the Mortehoe cycle route looks around a rocky headland lighthouse on a 2.75 mile trail.
You can find more stunning cycle routes on the National Trust’s Family Bike Rides page
Go on a walk
Walking is a simple but fun way to get out and enjoy the countryside. The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is an exciting walking experience that makes the most of Ireland’s Outstanding Natural Beauty. Although you’ll need hiking boots to tackle this rocky terrain, there are four family-friendly walking trails, with the green trail safe for little ones and buggy friendly.
It’s advised to book tickets to the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in advance. These cost £8.50 for an adult and £4.25 for a child, with Under 5’s and National Trust members going free.
Have a look at the National Trust’s list of Top 10 Family Walks for more stunning walking trails.
Outdoor play areas
Pack a picnic, shake out your blanket and head to an outdoor play area this half term – the kids will entertain themselves for hours!
The Strawberry Castle Adventure Play Area at Gibside in Tyne & Wear is a excellent outdoor play area designed by kids, for kids. It is based on the mystery of Gibside’s list Strawberry Castle folly and has four sides, teams swings, an adventure castle, wildlife hides, and a zip wire. There is also a nature playscape with log bridges for children aged 3-10 and a woodland rope challenge for older children.
Check out these alternative play areas from the National Trust for a great day out.
Children SwimmingSwimming is a brilliant half term activity whatever the weather outside. Make swimming fun for children by taking advantage of the events going on this school break. Leisure centres have a range of half term activities to entertain the kids, with dedicated pool times for children to splash around with floats and inflatables. Children of all ages can enjoy the water and parents can get involved too!
Everyone Active leisure centres have Swimming Lesson Crash Courses over half term, ranging from Under 5’s Beginners to Diving and stroke specific lessons. Look up your local leisure centre online to find a half term activity calendar and see what your pool has planned.
Kids love climbing, so if the weather is good why not take them outdoor rock climbing. The Lake District is an amazing natural landscape for clambering over rocks, with various locations providing a whole hose of climbing activities: Climb trees with ropes, knots and karabiners at Fell Foot Park, abseil down The Keswick Climbing Wall, go bouldering at Great Langdale campsite, or try scrambling for beginners at Cam Crag Ridge.
Go Ape is another fantastic activity for half term, with Tree Top Adventures, Zip Trekking and Forest Segway adventures for adults and juniors. Prices start from £17 and vary with activity. Find your nearest Go Ape.
It might not be cold enough for snow but you can still enjoy skiing activities on dry and indoor slopes. Snozone at Milton Keynes, Hemel Hempstead Snow Centre and Castleford is an indoor snow centre with real snow and loads of activities for families, beginners and experienced skiers.
Family fun sessions include sledging and ice sliding which costs from £12.99 for juniors and £15.99 for adults for a 30 minute session. Sno-play is also available for really little ones to have fun in the snow – this is £3.00 per child for up to 30 mins and free for adults.
Find a ski slope near you.
Archery is an unusual but fun way to occupy the kids for a day. Inclusive for all ages and abilities, children can learn a new skill and it’s a fantastic activity for all the family.
Black Mountain Activities in Brecon, South Wales provide half day archery sessions costing £30.00 for an adult and £25.00 for a child. They have a range of bows for all sizes and a instructor will teach you the basics before you are let loose on the range.
Use Archery GB’s club finder to find an archery center near you.
It can take some practice but roller skating is a fun kids’ activity. If the weather permits, the local park is perfect to skate around, but if it’s raining there are plenty of indoor places to let the kids loose on eight wheels. Local leisure centres often have skate sessions in the sports hall and littler ones are usually welcome to bring their scooters so they can join in too.
Roller City in Welwyn Garden City is a specialist roller skating centre with a range of skate sessions. Whether you want individual tuition or just a free-for-all Family Skate, there is something for everyone. Ticket prices start from £6.50 for a 90 minute skate with skates and safety equipment provided.
Whether you’re trying it for the first time or are a seasoned paddler, canoeing is a great family activity. Go Canoeing! offer Starter Sessions if you have never done it before so you can learn the basics before setting off.
You canoe on almost every body of water, from rivers to canals, lakes and the sea. Deciding on a paddling route depends on the age and attention span of your children and you can make it as easy or difficult as you like to suit your needs.
Go Canoeing has an activity search so you can find canoeing events in your local area.
Go to the Park
You don’t have to spend a fortune to have family fun this May half term. Why not go to your local park and make your own fun? Take a Frisbee, play football, fly a kite or organise a rounders game with some friends.
Teaching your kids to ride a bike is also a perfect activity for the local park. Whycycle? has some expert advice on how to teach children to ride a bike.
The open park space means the possibilities are endless, so let your kids use their imagination. As it is local you can pop round for an hour or so whenever the weather is nice, or take a picnic and stay all day.
Whether it’s a helmet, a harness or sports insurance, make sure your family is protected this May half term – we have got you covered.