Money-saving Monday: Free and cheap things to do over the February half term

Which? is advising families on how they can save money over the February half-term holidays with these handy hacks for free or cut-price activities. 

  • Take advantage of ‘kids eat free’ offers

Many restaurants and supermarket cafes run ‘kids eat free’ offers or discounts during the holidays including Bella Italia, Hungry Horse and The Real Greek. Which? also found several supermarkets offered discounts at certain times, including Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.

For example, Asda will be offering children a free warm breakfast in its cafes across the February half-term holidays. Children can get a free bowl of Quaker porridge from 8 am to 12pm. This is in addition to Asda’s current £1 kids main meal deal.

  • Learn something new at a free gallery or museum

Many UK national galleries and museums are free to enter and are an easy way to entertain the family for a day out. Which? members gave high ratings to St. Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff, Beamish: The Living Museum of the North in County Durham, the National Railway Museum in York, the Royal Air Force Museum in Cosford, Shropshire, and the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Just remember they may need visitors to book a free ticket before arrival.

  • Watch the latest movies at a discount

Some cinema chains offer discounts for family films at certain times, usually in the morning. Odeon’s ‘Odeon Kids’, Vue’s ‘Mini Mornings’ and Cineworld’s ‘Movies for Juniors’ all offer discounts for both adults and children. For example, Vue ‘Mini Mornings’ tickets cost £2.49 or £2.99 if you buy online (£3.49/£3.99 at the venue).

Film fans can also get cinema discounts with dining cards Gourmet Society and Tastecard, with both offering up to 40% off some cinema chains. Gourmet Society currently offers a 60-day free trial, while Tastecard gives you 60 days for just £1.

Anyone who buys a certain policy through the price comparison website Compare the Market will get 2 for 1 cinema tickets on a Tuesday or Wednesday for a year – those who may have bought a policy recently should check if this offer is available to them.

If you prefer to watch films from the comfort of your own home, Which? also has tips for saving on the cost of subscriptions. 

  • Take advantage of local libraries

As well as borrowing physical books for free, most libraries allow users to borrow e-books and audiobooks. Some can also grant access to digital magazines and newspapers. Check local library offers via the local council website and sign up for free.

  • Explore the great outdoors

Take advantage of the free parks up and down the country. Check out Which?’s guide on the best national parks in the UK. Alternatively, plan a walk using Which?’s guide to the best UK walks. Those in search of adventure could try geocaching – tracking co-ordinates on a smartphone app to find hidden boxes known as ‘caches’. The National Trust has 10 places to try this activity.

Reena Sewraz, Which? Money Expert, said: 

“With the rising cost of living taking its toll on household finances, millions of families are looking to cut down on their spending. However, there are plenty of fun, cheap and free activities during the school holidays that don’t need to break the bank. 

“There are offers for children to eat for free at some restaurants and cafes, and many cinemas and theatres also offer discounts for children. Try exploring the great outdoors or visiting libraries and museums that are free to enjoy at your leisure.”


Notes to editors:

  • Over the coming months, Which? will be highlighting free and useful money-saving advice every Monday to help consumers manage the ongoing cost of living crisis. The series will cover a range of topics, from how to save money on household bills, to childcare and travel. 
  • Which? My Money Health Check
  • Which? Money Podcast

About Which?

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