Thrifty ways to keep everyone happy during half term week

There are many low or no cost ways to keep children entertained during the half term holiday. Going

There are many low or no cost ways to keep children entertained during the half term holiday. Going for a cycle ride in one of the many forests in our region is just one of them. Picture:SONYA BROWN - Credit: Archant

It may only be a week but February half term can present something of a challenge to parents, especially those on a tight budget.

It’s cold out but that doesn’t mean you have to remain cooped up indoors or spend a fortune to keep everyone entertained.

With a little planning you can enjoy a host of low or no-cost activities that will make the week race by.

Here are just a few suggestions:

Fossil hunting: Parts of the East Anglian coast are fossil hotspots. In north Norfolk you may be able to turn up a variety of finds.

Suffolk may not be as rich in fossils but shark and fish teeth can be found at Ramsholt. It’s also one of the best counties to collect fossil molluscs, apparently. In Essex, head for Walton on the Naze. Find out more here.

Staying outside, why not fly a kite at the beach or visit Thetford, Rendlesham or Tunstall forest? Hitch up a bike and get some exercise too.

Other outdoor activities include geocaching, which you can do for free at the National Trust’s Dunwich Heath.

Find out more about geocaching in Norfolk here and search for geocaching. There’s also geocache treasure to find along Arthur Ransome’s walking trail, starting at Pin Mill on the Shotley Peninsula.

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Museums: Many museums are free or low cost, including the Ancient House Museum in Thetford; The Burston Strike School; Christchurch Mansion and Ipswich Museum.

Animal sanctuaries: Redwings Horse Sanctuary has several free-to-visit sites in Norfolk. Visit their website for more.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for free holiday entertainment, head to

Libraries: Borrow some books, loose yourself in a story and time your visit to co-incide with one of the many free or low-cost children’s events being staged at our libraries during the holidays.

In Suffolk you can choose from a range of activities including Harry Potter craft to storytime, Lego-themed events and even the odd puppetry performance and workshop.

Find out more at You may also be able to borrow a jigsaw to take home and complete for free – I did just that at Stowmarket library recently.

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