Half term days out that won’t cost a penny

Ex­hi­bi­tions, events, work­shops and fes­ti­vals... Matt Hamp­ton se­lects Bri­tain’s best school-hol­i­day of­fer­ings – with no en­trance fee

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - FRONT PAGE -

My hol­i­day epiphany ar­rived last sum­mer, amid the er­satz Amer­i­cana of the Hol­ly­wood Bowl (south Lon­don). The pre­vi­ous day, the kids had pa­tiently ab­sorbed hu­mankind’s finest achieve­ments at the Bri­tish Mu­seum, for noth­ing. Whereas I had just paid £23 for a sin­gle lane and a mad dash around the ar­cade games, where Miles and Ava shoved pound coins into slots like they were about to go out of cir­cu­la­tion. It was enor­mous fun, but it did make me ques­tion the bal­ance of pay­ments: 5,000 years of cul­tural merit, gratis, vs 30 min­utes of in­ept but ex­pen­sive bowl­ing.

Luck­ily, there is an­other way: free en­ter­tain­ment is avail­able to all; you just have to know where to look. Here are 25 ideas for starters – so you can spend your half-term bud­get on more wor­thy fare, such as park­ing and ice cream. En­joy the hol­i­days!

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