I have a real love-hate relationship with half term, especially May half term because the weather is never fully committed to being beautiful or being wet. Planning for May half term is tricky, so I try to pull together a few different ideas for cold, wet, dry and sunny weather and let Ryan choose what he would like to do. I’ll do a separate post about this parenting style because I find this very useful, you make the ‘main’ choices depending on what you want to do, then let Ryan pick what he wants to do for the day. He’s involved in making the plans and overall we have a nice day doing what he wants to do. But both of us parents working full-time and working shift work, sometimes half terms creep up on us, and sometimes one of us is working whilst the other gets to have all the fun (that’s me working this time, ugh). But we have a staple list of things to fall back on, so I thought I would share them with you. They’re relatively cheap, cheerful and cater for most weather types! Enjoy!
Explore The Great Outdoors
Okay, we’re really lucky to live in the South West so we’re spoilt with beautiful beaches, countryside, woods and moorland to explore, but there’s gorgeous places to be explored all over the UK. Visit the National Trust Website to find truly amazing days out including castles, old manor houses, Abbeys, gorges and more. Whats best about the National Trust is the price. You can either pay per-visit or you can buy a membership where you pay monthly / annually and can visit every single NT place free of charge. The initial cost is from only £36 per year and opens up a very big world for your little ones to explore. It’s also worth noting that many of the NT places do seasonal events such as Easter Egg hunts, Christmas lights etc.
Pick Your Own
I really enjoyed doing this as a kid, and will make sure to take Ryan this year. We have some beautiful pick your own places by us where you can pick seasonal fruits and veggies, and even pumpkins around halloween! I remember doing this with my Aunty, Uncle and Cousins when I was younger, and can’t wait to go back. Although it’s a fairly short activity, you can plan what you’ll make with your hand picked goodies and get the kids involved with that too!
Swimming is an amazing way to get the whole family together and do a bit of exercise, but it’s also super fun and can be done in all weathers. Whether you’re lucky enough to live close to the sea (and it’s warm enough) or you want to visit your local life centre, swimming is a great half term activity!
Visit A Local Shelter
As you may or may not know, I’m an animal lover, vegetarian and soft spot for anything in need of a home, so although I’m recommending this for you… I’m not allowed to set foot inside of an animal shelter without Jordan being there to prevent me from adopting every single thing there. I wish I was joking but I have a 100% track record of visiting an animal shelter and adopting (I’m looking at you, cats). Even though I’m banned, it’s a lovely place to visit and you can actually take dogs for walks or play with the cats at a fair amount of places. Always call before to enquire and avoid disappointment! Plus, who knows, you might well find a new addition to your family!
Check Out Events Near You
Social Media is a wonderful thing, and Facebook in particular makes finding events near you really easy. There’s a whole section dedicated to events, and recently I discovered an inflatable theme park that was only 40 minutes away, and even better was £5 to stay and play a long as you want! So we threw a picnic together, hopped into the car and let Ryan run around with some friends whilst us parents enjoyed an e-number filled slushy in the sun.
Visit The Cinema
I personally prefer doing this on a miserable day, and as there’s a Pizza Hut by our cinema it would be rude not to take advantage of the all you can eat pasta and pizza buffet… Wouldn’t it?
Family Games Day
This is one of my all time favourite things to do if we’ve had a busy few days and just fancy staying home, or if it’s cold and raining outside. We bought Ryan a Nintendo Switch for Christmas 2 years ago and it’s one of the best things we’ve bought, perhaps I’ll do a post specifically about our Switch because it absolutely deserves it. We’ve built up our game collection each Christmas and Birthday and now we have quite a few family games such as Mario Kart, Just Dance (a personal fave), 1-2 Switch and Mario Party so we can have games days. Like any family, we also have a ridiculous amount of board games like frustration and BFG monopoly that we love playing, and can be picked up relatively cheap at charity shops!
The same Christmas we bought Ryan the Switch, I treated Jordan to a 180″ projector screen, projector and surround sound, but you don’t need all of that to enjoy movie night! Grab blankets and snacks, turn the lights off and snuggle on the sofa with the kiddies to enjoy a family movie. You can rent loads of movie on Amazon Prime, or with a month free Netflix / Now TV pass, this doesn’t have to cost anything more than a quick trip to B&M for popcorn and chocolate.
So, how do these measure up? Do you enjoy any of these with your family already? Are there any go-to fun things you do? Feel free to share in the comment section!