9 fresh and exciting ideas for half term family fun

October half term is the last chance for a break before the exhausting run up to Christmas. It’s also a hard week to fill as often you don’t have enough family funds to go away but you still want to make sure the kids have a fun-filled week before term starts again. We’ve put together some fun budget-busting ideas for family half term fun so you can make the October break the best one yet.

1. Hit the pumpkin patch

Halloween is just around the corner and a great family day out is to go pumpkin picking at your local farm. It’s so much fun roaming the fields to pick out a pumpkin for everyone to carve. Many pumpkin patches have added activities for families and you can spend a good while enjoying the day. Once you get home you can get the kids to start thinking about what designs they will carve on their pumpkins for Halloween.

2. Go brambling

At this time of year the bushes are still ripe with juicy brambles that are good for the picking. Arm the kids with a basket each and pick as many blackberries as you can. When you get home you can have fun getting the kids involved in turning your handpicked harvest into yummy treats to make jam, blackberry tart or apple and blackberry crumble or blackberry muffins.

3. Head out on an autumn walk and spend the afternoon crafting

Autumn is a fabulous time for family walks with leaves to crunch through, autumn sunshine and pine cones and conkers to collect. Head out on a walk and gather some autumn treasures and then when you get home spend a happy afternoon making some beautiful autumn crafts. We have some gorgeous ideas here. The little conker bugs are super cute.

4. Make a family boredom jar

At the start of the half term holidays, sit all the family down and ask each to pick new activities they would love to try. Write them on lollipop sticks and pop them in a jar, which will become your family boredom jar. It’s perfect for those days when no one can decide what to do (or you’ve simply run out of ideas). Simply pick a lolly stick and head out to do the activity written on it. When writing your ideas as a family encourage a mix of activities that you can do both inside and outside the house.

5. Explore hidden corners of your neighbourhood

You may have lived in your neighbourhood for years and years but, chances are, there are still new corners to explore and places you’ve always meant to visit but haven’t quite had the time to do so. Look online for ‘hidden gems’ in your town, city or local area and plan to visit at least one or two new castles, visitor centres, beaches, walking paths, hills or maybe even caves or mazes that you have never been to before. We’d love to see the hidden gems you discover in your neighbourhood. Share your photos on Facebook and make sure you tag us @BarnardosFamily and use the hashtag #BFHiddenGems.

6. Turn bored tweens/teens into mini-entrepreneurs

If you have older children who are mooching about the house muttering ‘I’m boooored’ then harvest that untapped energy (and a tween’s desire for more pocket money) and brainstorm ways they can earn a bit of extra cash over their half term break. Perhaps they can wash neighbours’ cars, walk neighbourhood doggies, do some baby sitting or have a clear out or a craft session and set up a stall to sell their wares at the end of the garden/street? They’ll no doubt enjoy creating posters to advertise their services and will enjoy earning a bit of hard earned cash.

7. Go on a torch lit walk

Fun doesn’t have to be limited to the daytime. If you’ve all spent a day mooching about, scoop everyone up, arm them with torches and head out on a dusk walk. You can add in a bit of extra excitement by preparing a torch lit scavenger hunt of things to spy.

8. Hit the museum

When did you last visit your local museum? Chances are there are some fun family activities and events on over half term or special family friendly displays and attractions. Or there might be a museum that you have never visited before that you can visit. The best thing is – they’re mostly free.

9. Visit the seaside

Yup – we KNOW it’s not summer but actually beaches are fab out of season. They are less crowded for a start and there’s still plenty of fun to be had on an autumn trip to the seaside. You can paddle in the sea in wellies, collect shells, build the ultimate sandcastle, go rock pooling and feel the wind in your hair. Wrap up warm, enjoy the fresh autumn sunshine and have fun at the beach.