Making memories: Holiday fun inside and out
For lots of us, half-term is just around the corner. If you’re a parent or carer and have kids for the week, we’ve got some great ideas for things to do. If it’s not because of half-term specifically, but you’re simply having a few days off anyway, hopefully you might still find some of our suggestions worth considering. Take a look and be inspired.
1. Plan a theatre trip
The theatre world has caught onto the fact that kids love a good show as much as adults - and there are plenty to choose from if you do a little research. If you live in or near London, you’ll have lots of choice, and there are some really unusual options, too. Take for example, “The Trial of Josie K” at the Unicorn Theatre, Tower Bridge (running until 19 February). It’s Kafka for kids, aimed at 9 to 13 year-olds and promises to be a little bit different for sure.
2. …Or a movie day
If you love the idea of theatre but it’s not an option for whatever reason, why not have a movie day at home instead? Make it extra special by getting the kids to make tickets for the showings, and provide healthy snacks for them to enjoy as they watch a suitable family movie (you can find lots on various streaming channels like Netflix and Amazon). Close the curtains or blinds to give a real cinema feel and have blankets handy to keep them cosy. No kids? No worries - do it anyway.
3. See what’s happening locally
You don’t usually have to travel too far to find a holiday / half-term activity to do with the kids, and you might be surprised at the amount of things going on nearby. Perhaps a local cafe is putting on an event, or the local school is offering a holiday club. Be sure to check online in local Facebook groups too, and in the windows of your local stores and restaurants to see if anything’s happening that you think you’d enjoy.
4. Plan a trip to Southbank
For something a little different, and to get you out and about, consider a trip to London’s Southbank, where the Imagine Children’s Festival will run from Thursday 8 February to Saturday 18 February. It includes a range of play experiences and exhibitions as well as music, art and literature - perfect for whiling a few hours away.
5. Get arty at home
Finding a little time for creativity is always worth doing if you have a few holiday or home days spare. Get out the paints and paint brushes, or even just colouring pencils and have a morning or afternoon getting crafty. If you’re unsure of what to draw or paint, copy a favourite postcard / painting (which you can find on Google).
Or why not try a still life? Find a few objects from around the house to create a tableau. Or use your imagination to come up with something totally abstract. It’s not about the end result so much as being lost in the moment.
6. Do some baking
Another one you can enjoy with or without little ones around. Cooking can be really relaxing as well as bonding if you’re doing it with someone else. And it means you get a delicious treat to enjoy once you’re done. We’ve got a series of vegan recipes you can try, including asparagus quiche and carrot cake doughnuts (yes please).
7. Be with nature
Nature is such a wonderful tonic, so if there’s a nearby park or nature reserve you can get to easily enough, we highly recommend it. If you’re with young kids, get them to take an activity sheet along where they can tick off the variety of wildlife they see as they walk (a squirrel, a bird, a leaf, a snail etc). If you’re near a park with ducks, be sure to have some bread handy to feed them with if you’re allowed.
8. Skip the plans
With the busy lives most of us have, sometimes having a timetable isn’t what we want. So if you have a day or two to yourself and want to plan absolutely nothing we say - go for it. Having a few ideas at the ready for those out-and-about days is great, but every now and then being spontaneous is just what you need. So don’t be afraid to say you’re not sure quite what you’re doing tomorrow - and see what happens.