Last minute half-term deals
Around the country, sweaty-palmed parents with knitted brows are gulping down Sauv Blanc while frantically scrolling through dayoutwiththekids.co.uk. It can only mean one thing - half term is almost upon us.
Don’t waste your time with expensive day trips to nearby National Trust properties you’ve visited so often that the volunteer greeters know you by name. Book a last-minute deal and head for somewhere the kids will make memories that last them a lifetime. Somewhere you’ll be free from small voices shouting “this is boring” or “can we go home now?” every five minutes…
Here are our five top recommendations for last-minute half term breaks that will wow the whole family.
Have a Scream at a Florida Theme Park
OK, so you might be put off by a long-haul flight with stir-crazy children clambering all over you, but buckle them up with a tablet and make your way to the theme-park capital that is Orlando. It’s one of the USA’s top holiday destinations, and rightly so, with attractions like Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando and Gatorland beckoning.
You could even throw a bit of education into the mix, with a visit to the Kennedy Space Center where you can ride in a shuttle launch simulator and learn about how man first went to the moon. Or head for Discovery Cove and swim with dolphins, or take a trip down Wind-Away River where you’ll pass through jungles and waterfalls.
It’s got to be better than a rain-whipped day in Bognor Regis right?
Catch Some Rays in Majorca
If your budget won’t stretch to a week in Florida, why not head to Majorca, where you can find cheap all inclusive holidays from holidayhypermarket.co.uk? With your basic costs like food and drink included in the price of the holiday, you can afford to get out and about and explore one of Spain’s premier holiday destinations.
Along with glorious beaches (don’t forget your suntan lotion), there are water parks galore where the kids can whizz down slides and kick up their heels in the splash pools. Try Aqualand in Palma, or Western Water Park in Magaluf for some watery fun in the sun. Or spend some time in the natural wonderland that is La Reserva Galatzo, with its waterfalls and canyons.
A Capital Visit to London
Want to stay closer to home? Why not visit our magnificent capital city? It’s jam-packed with kid-friendly attractions like the Harry Potter Studios, where they’ll be wide-eyed as they experience the magic of Hogwarts. Or how about exploring the gruesome history of the Tower of London, and oohing and aahing at the Crown Jewels?
Get creative and invent your own transport tour of the city. Start off on the tube, then take a ride on the overground Docklands Light Railway to the O2, where you can catch a cable car to the Greenwich Peninsula. Hop on a boat and travel back into town on the River Thames, passing iconic landmarks like Tower Bridge on the way.
Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace or head out of town to Windsor Castle. If you’ve got a budding scientist on your hands, take them to the Science Museum – and the adventurers in the family will love the dinosaurs and volcanoes in the Natural History Museum.
If you’re up for a short flight, then Barcelona is a city break that the kids will love. A hop-on-hop off bus tour will solve the problem of moans about tired legs as it takes you to the city’s main attractions. Kids will love the sea creatures swimming above their heads in the underwater tunnel in the Aquarium, or if you prefer to be in the water, head for family-friendly Bogatell Beach.
Even a walk down the street can provide hours of entertainment. The most famous in the city is La Rambla, with its many street artists, including human statues and painters. And make sure you visit the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, by the Palacio Nacional. Go there at night and see the fantastic water and light show, a 20-minute extravaganza you won’t want to miss.
Everyone needs a bit of Disney magic now and then, and a half-term trip to Disneyland Paris will earn you big brownie points with the little people in your life. From Donald Duck to Dumbo, Sleeping Beauty to Star Wars, you’re bound to see your favourite Disney characters at this awesome theme park.
Have breakfast with Mickey Mouse, before finding out how the magic is made at Walt Disney Studios Park. Or watch a parade and explore the five lands of Disneyland Park. Whatever you choose to do, you'll have very happy campers returning to school at the end of the holiday.
Make the most of half term – get away from it all, have lots of fun and do some serious family bonding on your last-minute break.