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The National Trust has shaken off its stuffy stately home image and now offers a range of fun activities and events to encourage more families to visit. Alongside amazing historical houses and gardens, you'll find 'have a go' events from archery to apple pressing, as well as story-time events and tours from people in historical costume.
Bodiam Castle in East Sussex boasts a moat, turrets, portcullis and drawbridge for the youngsters to explore and during half term, it welcomes families to take part in the Knight's Trail, encouraging detectives to follow the trail around the castle to claim a special prize. Or take part in 'Dress to Impress' and see your little one transformed into a knight, princess, lord or jester using their collection of replica medieval armour and costumes.
places offer parklands and gardens with wildlife and nature trails, so it's worth visiting the website to see what's on near you.
If the weather isn't on your side, a day indoors at a museum might be a better option. Forget boring and dusty old collections. These days museums offer a range of interactive games and challenges to make learning fun. A trip to the Natural History or Science museum in London will keep the kids (and the adults!) occupied for hours.
You don't have to travel to London of course. Check what events are happening at your local museum - you might be surprised at how much is going on.
A trip to a theme park goes down well with most kids (and some big kids too). Alton Towers in Staffordshire is home to some of the country's biggest and most hair-raising rides. For little ones, there are gentler experiences and a Caribbean-themed water park at the Splash Landings Hotel, featuring a host of watery thrills.
If you've been unable to take the week off work, you could always consider treating the kids to one of the many courses held over the half-term. From crafts to acting and football, you'll find events held over the entire week or just a day or two. Check your local sports centres and theatrical venues to see what's on offer.
If this all sounds a little expensive, there are cheaper alternatives. If you live near the countryside you could take the children on a free nature walk - and give them a list of things to spot (lambs, snowdrops, squirrels etc) with a prize for the winner. Many farms also offer low-cost activities and events.
If you prefer to stay at home, why not challenge the kids to a bake-off and award (low-cost) prizes for the best decorated cupcakes.
How do you keep the children entertained at half term? Do you have any ideas for cheap or free activities? Let us know below...