Cost of school holidays: Tips on making the most of half-term on a budget

Around nine in 10 parents in the UK are spending less on activities and eating out

THE cost-of-living crisis has already taken its toll on working families across Wales and this half-term will be no different.

As the cost of childcare increases and parents look to entertain the little ones, here are some tips to take full advantage of this week on a budget.

If taking a week off work is not an option for you, then you may be eligible for support through the Welsh Government’s Childcare Offer which, unlike most schemes, offers free childcare out of term time.

During the holidays, the average price of childcare was £138 per week in the UK as of 2018.

If you have the time but not the money to keep the kids busy, Cardiff has dozens of free or low-cost attractions that you can take advantage of.

Llanrumney Hall is doing its bit this half-term, running free workshops for children. Volunteer Kath Hinton explained: “We’re working with Cardiff and Vale College to get kids busy for free this half-term.

“Today is family learning day where parents can join in and learn together with their children. We’ve been fully booked or had walk-ins.”

Llanrumney Hall offers free activity based classes for kids every school holiday

The hall is also running arts and crafts sessions, and even a TikTok inspired class for teens.

Ms Hinton added: “We’re always looking for more volunteers because the number of people struggling is always on the up.”

More information and how to sign up can be found here.

Aside from all the free natural beauty spots Cardiff has to offer, there are some free events running this week:

  • National Museum of Wales, 100 years of the BBC: Here you can explore the history of the BBC, from its birth in the 1920s to how it’s still shaping the future of news. For the little ones, they’re also showing some of the most well-known characters from over the years at the BBC, including Doctor Who and The Tweenies.
  • St Fagans National Museum of History, Voices of The Red Wall: To celebrate Wales qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, this exhibition shines a spotlight on some of the people and communities of The Red Wall supporters.
  • Mermaid Quay, Space Club: One of the more hands-on experiences will be at Space Club, which is offering a free virtual reality experience as well as a treasure hunt around Cardiff Bay.

According to NimbleFins, the personal finance site, a family of three will spend around £160 a month on eating out, up 15% on this time last year.

But nine out of 10 parents say they are spending less than they did a year ago.

If you do want to eat out on a budget however, here are some of the cheapest places to go in Cardiff this half term:

  • Morrisons: Kids under 16 get a free meal and drink if an adult buys themselves a meal worth at least £4.99.
  • ASDA: Kids under 16 eat all day for just £1. Free baby food is also available if the little one gets hungry during your shop.
  • Sizzling Pubs: Pubs such as The Nine Giants and The Village Inn are offering £1 meals to kids under 16 from Monday to Friday.

Children who receive free school meals during term time can still get them during the holidays. More information can be found on the website.