5 Fabulous budget friendly ideas for days out this February Half-Term

Thursday 05th January 2023

Stumped on where to go this February half-term?

There are so many exciting activities to enjoy across the North and Scotland, whether you’re searching for a delightful day trip option or somewhere to visit for a few nights away as a family. Fancy heading outdoors to enjoy the fresh early spring weather? Or how about making the most of the UK’s top museums at one of the fabulous cities along our network? To give you a hand choosing, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite things to do in the February half-term with children of all ages. And the best bit is they’re all brilliantly budget-friendly…

1. Craft your own delicious treats in York

When it comes to where to go for a February half-term escape, York is always high up on the list. The picturesque city is delightfully compact yet brimming with lovely attractions for all ages.

While a trip to the Jorvik Viking Centre is a must-do and costs just £39 online for a family of four, you could enjoy an equally wallet-friendly excursion by heading to York Cocoa House. The city is famed for its chocolatiers, and this charming chocolate shop offers affordable workshops for both adults and kids alike.

Get stuck in creating your own chocolate lollipops or whipping up wonderful chocolate bars featuring loads of tasty toppings and flavours. You could also indulge yourselves with a chocolate tasting tour that’s just £5.50 for kids or £9.50 for adults (under 5s go free). Tuck into tasty treats and enjoy enticing discounts on edible souvenirs from the shop. 

Machine making chocolate

2. Make the most out of the North's fabulous free museums

For a February half-term activity that’s equal parts fun and educational, consider a museum day out. There are so many UK cities that are jam-packed with world-class, free-entry museums – and many of them are likely just a short train ride away from home.

Liverpool is our top pick for wannabe historians thanks to its collection of heritage-focused venues like the International Slavery Museum and the Museum of Liverpool. Scotland’s major cities also pack a punch with their family-friendly museum offering. Edinburgh is awash with options, from the Dynamic Earth science centre (the interactive volcano exhibit is unmissable) to the National Museum of Scotland which features life-size models of dinosaurs.  

Let’s not forget Glasgow either. The grand Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is a treasure trove of intriguing artefacts, with its displays ranging from models of fearsome wildlife to a suspended Spitfire dating back to WWII.


3. Cruise down the River Mersey in Liverpool

If the little ones are a bit young to wander around Liverpool’s museums, why not enjoy an adventure on the River Mersey instead?

The city’s riverside has so much history and is lined with eye-catching sights, including the elegant Three Graces buildings and the space-age façade of the Museum of Liverpool. Across the water is the wonderful Wirral region that’s also studded with historic attractions, sandy beaches, and countless family-friendly venues, such as the Eureka! Science + Discovery Centre.

There are several river cruises you can grab cheap tickets for. The Mersey Ferry River Explorer cruise is 50 minutes long (just enough time to keep the kids entertained) and is led by a knowledgeable local guide who will have plenty of fun facts to share about Liverpool. You can choose to disembark across the river in Seacombe to tick off some of the Wirral’s attractions or head straight back to Liverpool to stroll around the iconic Royal Albert Dock. Family tickets for the River Explorer cost just £32, plus it’s free for those under 5 years old.

Cruise boat in a harbour

4. Be at one with nature

If the weather is fine, why not spend the February half-term in the great outdoors? The North is blessed with no shortage of gorgeous green spaces, from breath-taking National Parks like the Lake District to stunning public places like Glasgow Green.

Hop on the train to Carlisle, Penrith or Oxenholme for easy access to some of the best walking and biking trails in Cumbria. You could also journey to Scarborough for breezy yet beautiful walks along the coastal path. Prefer to stay local? Lush green fields, fun play areas, fascinating history, and amazing nature await in city locales like Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park, Liverpool’s St James Mount and Gardens, and Sheffield Botanical Gardens.

Botanic greenhouse

5.See the amazing marine life at SEA Life Centre Scarborough

Is there ever a bad time of year for a day at the seaside? And if you travel to Scarborough on the east coast you’ll find a bounty of kid-friendly things to do this February half-term.

As well as meeting the swans and geese in pretty Peasholm Park or playing some old-fashioned penny drop games at the arcades along South Bay, you could pop into the SEA LIFE Scarborough. Situated at the top of North Bay Beach and featuring epic sea vistas, it’s home to some truly magnificent marine life.

Say hello to the resident sharks, stingrays and seals or have fun spotting SEA LIFE Scarborough’s cheeky penguins and playful otters. There are huge aquariums filled with colourful fish too, plus an awesome outdoor viewing area where you can use binoculars to see all along the Scarborough coastline. 

Advance tickets cost £19.95 for adults, £17.50 for those under 14, and are free for under 3s. There’s always a range of wonderful promotional offers to enjoy too. Look out for free tickets in selected packets of Kellogg’s cereal or use your Tesco Clubcard points to pay for entry.

Row boats and dinosaur pedalos

Planning a February half term trip in 2023?

Remember to check before you travel and book your train tickets in advance on our website or the TPExpress app.

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