10 things to do during half-term

After the long summer holidays the October half-term can whizz by without you leaving the house but with a little planning you (and your children) can have as much fun during half-term as you did in the summer.

All those activities you did during the summer are still valid, you just have to prepare for colder weather. 

Chester Zoo

We visited Chester Zoo in the summer holidays, the day we chose to go it poured with rain but it didn't make much difference to our day. We took coats and an umbrella and wandered around the zoo. The great thing was that the weather had put people off so there were less people than would've been there if it had been sunny. That meant we could walk around and see the animals without lots of people blocking LP's view. Chester Zoo even have an indoor picnic area so you can still take a picnic with you. Win!

10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Visit Chester Zoo to see the tigers.
I love seeing the tigers - they're so majestic.

Chester Zoo is open from 10am until 5pm every day apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day. During half term the entry prices go up a little, for a family of four (children aged 3-15) with all day monorail passes (adult: £3.50, child: £2.50) it costs £83.80. This may sound like a lot of money but it is so worth it, your family will have a wonderful day at Chester Zoo and you'll give your children the chance to see tigers, leopards, and rhinos!

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.

Martin Buber

Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Old Hall is run by English Heritage and I would highly recommend the audio tour when visiting. You learn so much about the history of the building and Bess of Hardwick and your children may even enjoy wandering around such an old building. When we visited the boys had a great time and they still talk about it now. Being able to walk around the Old Hall while listening to someone talk about the history is a much more practical way of learning and it works wonders on the children!

10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Visit Hardwick Old Hall and learn about history.

You can also visit the New Hall which is run by the National Trust. We have yet to visit the New Hall but I've heard great things about it. 

For a family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) to visit Hardwick Old Hall it costs £15.60 and for a family ticket to visit Hardwick Hall and walk around the house and gardens it costs £32.75.

Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey is a home trapped in time, it is filled with historical artefacts and walking around the house is both interesting and strange. From grand halls to spooky corridors Calke Abbey has it all. Visiting the Abbey in the colder months is fine because there's things to see indoors, but there's also Calke Explore for the children. At Calke Explore there's log trails, rope walks, and climbing areas to keep the children busy.

10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Visit Calke Abbey and venture into the woods.

For a family ticket to visit the whole property at Calke Abbey costs £31.90.

Nottingham Contemporary

If it's art you like I'd recommend Nottingham Contemporary, there's always something on for the children to enjoy and you get to see lots of art. Visiting Nottingham Contemporary would probably take up a morning, so you don't need to plan for an all day thing, and best of all entry is FREE.


We love Blackpool, while it's quite far away the boys love travelling for the day and walking along the beach or going in the arcades. Visiting Blackpool can be as cheap or as expensive as you like, there's the Sealife Centre, the Blackpool Tower, and Madame Tussauds to visit too. Not to mention all the seafront stores filled with candy floss!

All I would say is prepare for the cold. If you're used to being inland (Midlands) then going to the coast during the colder months might come as a shock. It can get very cold during autumn/winter so make sure you take scarves, gloves, and a warm coat.

The Heights of Abraham, Matlock

10 Things To Do During Half-Term | The Heights of Abraham are a great place to visit with your kids.

See amazing views, walk through the caves, and wander around the town. If you're based in the Midlands it's a great place to visit and won't necessarily take up the whole day. There's a restaurant if you require one but the most interesting part of visiting Matlock is the caves. Be sure to check them out.


The weather might not be great but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy a picnic, all you need to do is make sure you prepare for the wetter, colder weather. Perhaps take a small tent with you so you can all sit inside and eat your food, take a flask filled with hot chocolate, and wrap up warm with coats and scarves. Oh yes, and don't forget to take a board game so you can have fun despite the weather.

Visit a local restaurant

10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Get out and enjoy a good meal at your favourite restaurant.

As a treat during the half term why not take your children to a restaurant? In Nottingham there are so many to choose from and it really depends what kind of food you're after. If you'd like to try something new you could try Thaikhun or if you want something different check out Barburrito

Trick or Treating

Of course during the half term you must prepare for Halloween. Costumes can be a pain, especially for boys but it's all part of the fun. Decorate your home with pumpkins, cobwebs, and skeletons, and make sure you have lots of sweets in the house ready for other little monsters who come a'knocking.

When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween.


Movie Night

As it's the October half-term you can prepare a scary movie night for you and your children. Movies like Goosebumps, Ghostbusters, or even The Witches are great for a Halloween themed movie night. Snuggle up together beneath a blanket, with popcorn and spooky treats at the ready, and enjoy a brilliant movie night as a family.

10 Things To Do During Half-Term | Enjoy a movie night in the house.

Whether you're an active family or prefer to spend time at home there's always something to do.

Is there anything you'd add to my list?


  1. We went to Chester Zoo not long ago. the gremlin was so not impressed and so I hope her sister is a little better! We want to start visiting more English Heritage as they look amazing. I'm also a massive fan of eating out. Hope you have a great time and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

    1. English Heritage is great, there are so many properties and they're filled with such history! xx

  2. Some brilliant suggestions hun. If we are ever in the are I'd love to visit you (of course) and take a trip to Matlock, it looks beautiful and I think the boys would enjoy exploring those caves. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime

    1. Oh Catie I'd love you to visit us! Your boys would LOVE Matlock, the caves are great and the tour guides are very informative. :)

  3. Oh I haven't heard of a lot of these places. I have been to Blackpool however and look forward to taking my kids there when they are older - old enough to withstand the car journey that is. It's a bit of a trek for us too. We have lots of picnics and I always think these are a fab addition to a simple trip to the park. Some great tips here thank you for sharing them with us at #familyfun xx

    1. Thanks hun. Yes the journey is a bit tough but preparation is key. :)

  4. What a fun post! This is exactly what Britain looks like in my head (I've only visited London) and the picture of that tiger looks so majestic. #familyfun

  5. So from your list I'd really love to go to Blackpool and Chester Zoo! I dont have school age children yet so half term is kinda a non event for me at the moment. Needless to say that we love to get outdoors so walking, maybe geocaching and other things like that would be good for us! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    1. Before long you'll be nodding along when we all worry about half term! But while you can enjoy that time with little Robot, he'll be at school before you know it! xxx

  6. What a great collection. We managed a few of these over half term. Great list. Have a great half term x

    1. Thanks Susan, hope you're having a great half term too. xx

  7. These are great ideas. The kids and I love the zoo and I like any kind of hiking or touring.

    1. Thanks Julie - hope you get to enjoy the half term. :)


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