Easter 2018: 12 cheap and free things to do with the kids
Check out these things to do during the Easter break without breaking the bank.
The Easter holidays are nearly here, and that means time off for the whole family. So, if you're looking for some ideas on how to have fun on a budget, look no further!
Go on an Easter egg hunt
If you’ve got kids why not try an Easter egg hunt? There’s bound to be one going on near you, or you could try putting one on yourself! All you have to do is wrap up some eggs and place them around the garden, park or any area with sneaky hiding places.
For the eleventh year running Cadbury is teaming up with the National Trust and the National Trust for Scotland to put on egg hunts at over 300 locations across the UK. Find your nearest hunt.
Travel for less
If you’re keen to get out and about over Easter, you can save if you need to use the train.
Children under the age of five travel on trains for free with a fare paying passenger and those aged five to 15 get a 50% discount.
If you're travelling in and around London, your train ticket can open up a host of two-for-one offers at attractions via the Days Out Guide website.
You can also save on a trip using a railcard.
The Family & Friends railcard offers a third off fares for adults and 60% off for children and you can also get you two-for-one offers via the Days Out Guide website. You can even get savings ahead of the Easter weekend. When you buy a Family & Friends railcard, enter the code EASTER20 at the online checkout and you'll nab the card for £24 instead of the usual £30. Make sure you get one before 11:59pm on Friday 30 March.
If that's not for you, the 16-25 railcard offers a third off rail fares and the Two Together railcard also gives you a third off.
National Express often has some cheap journeys to other parts of the UK so it's worth checking out the site. At the moment you can get 50% off children's tickets if you pay a full adult fare.
Save on the cost of the Easter break with a cashback credit card
Do a spring clean
The four-day weekend is the perfect opportunity for a massive clear out. Plus, if you manage to sell your unwanted stuff you could earn a bit of extra cash to fund some more exciting activities.
With the weather warming up you could try a car boot sale. You can find one going on near you at Car Boot Junction. Read How to be successful at a car boot sale if you've never done one before.
Or alternatively you can sell from the comfort of your own home using sites like eBay or Gumtree. Read How to sell successfully on eBay for some tips or if you have an unreasonable amount of DVDs you need to get rid of, head over to Selling DVDs: Musicmagpie versus Zapper, CeX, Ziffit and Momox to find the best places to flog your old media.
Watch a film
Most cinemas have special viewings set up for kids over the Easter holidays. But that doesn’t mean the grown-ups can’t catch a film too!
There are plenty of ways to cut the cost of going to the cinema, like redeeming Nectar or Clubcard points for cinema tickets. Check out How to get cheap and free cinema tickets for more.
Alternatively, why not give one of the many streaming services a go? Netflix and Amazon Prime Video both offer 30-day free trials initially while Now TV offers a 14-day free spin, so whether you’re after a recent big budget blockbuster or a classic, you won’t have to pay a penny!
Have some farmyard fun
The Three Counties Showground in Worcestershire is hosting Countrytastic this Easter holiday.
There will be donkey rides and kids can even bottle-feed lambs, take part in cooking workshops and plant their very own mushroom log to take home with them.
In the 'Ask the Farmer' theatre visitors can learn about sheep from a range of experts and Farm Kitchen will be putting on demonstrations for children to learn how to press cheese.
Countrytastic will be happening on Thursday 5 April from 10am to 5pm. Tickets are £8 for adults, £5 for under 16s and children under three go free.
If you're more down Cornwall way, head over to Healeys Cyder Farm. Children will be given a map and encouraged to roam around the free access areas of the farm to find Easter egg-shaped signs containing a letter. Collect all the letters to discover the Easter-themed word and nab a festive treat.
Follow it up with a Peter Rabbit-themed afternoon tea at the Mowhay Tea Rooms. They're themed on Peter's Cornish Afternoon Tea, Jemima's Scrummy Scone Selection and Benjamin's Treats.
It runs from 24 March to 8 April and best of all, it's free!
Cooking at home is an ideal back-up plan in the event of unexpected downpours (which, let’s face it, are quite likely).
Even the most basic baking ingredients will do the business with Mary Berry’s vanilla cupcake recipe on our sister site, loveFOOD.
Visit a museum
Make some time to check out your local museums – many of which are free.
If you’re based in London, there’s the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. Or why not pop along to the V&A Museum or Tate Modern?
Alternatively, check out the dofreestuff.com website which allows you to click on your area and find out which museums and attractions are free nearby. For example, if you live in the West Midlands, you can pay a visit to the Coventry Transport Museum or the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
Visit Britain also has a great list of free museums on its website.
Help someone else
Take advantage of countless volunteering opportunities up and down the UK – it'll make you feel really good.
Start by visiting Do-it, Volunteering Matters and NCVO to find out what’s going on in your area, be it working with children, animals, homeless people or environmental projects.
Volunteering Wales and Volunteer Scotland have a whole raft of activities too so be sure to check those out.
If you’ve got more specific skills to offer like accountancy, marketing, law, mentoring or IT, try Reach.
Catch a show
Going to the theatre doesn’t have to be expensive.
You can find great deals on websites like lastminute.com and cheaptheatretickets.com .
Alternatively you can have a cracking time at a comedy club. Get money off tickets to comedy clubs around the country by using websites like Vouchercodes and Vouchercloud.
Don’t forget your local council’s arts website to find out what’s going on near you for even cheaper shows you could try.
See our guide to Cheap theatre tickets for more.
Get down to your local sports club or leisure centre and work off all of that choccy!
Encourage the sprogs to get on the pitch with free holiday football coaching which is available at various skill centres around England.
For a little more exploration, the National Trust has a wealth of cycle and walking routes (even some for little legs) that the whole family can enjoy. Websites such as nationaltrail.co.uk and walkingbritain.co.uk have lots of free routes to try out as well.
The Woodland Trust website has more than 1,000 woodland sites which are free to visit across the country. The website includes a selection of downloadable woodland walks.
For something a little more fast-paced they can do a junior parkrun. There are 2K runs happening every Sunday at 9:30am across the country – find out where your nearest one is.
If you want to make a splash, some local councils offer free swimming over the Easter holidays. Visit your local pool to see if you can bag a free swim for you or the kids.
Have a cheap meal out
If you fancy a meal out over the Easter break, it doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet.
There are loads of discount vouchers around at the moment, although many are restricted to the long weekend itself.
For instance, kids can eat for £1 at Prezzo as long as they're accompanied by a full-paying adult.
Check out Vouchercodes, Vouchercloud and MyVoucherCodes to see what you can get.
Make your own entertainment
It doesn’t take an awful lot to make your own fun at home, and it’s always memorable.
Use some of those discarded Easter egg boxes to make a robot, doll’s house or puppet theatre. All you need is some scrap paper, some PVA glue and some crafty bits and pieces.
Alternatively, you can take the less messy route and build a blanket fort in the living room or one of the kid’s bedrooms.