10 tips for having your best October half term yet

Competition winner Carol Welfare shares her indispensable advice for a half term that’s happy and hassle-free.


Last month we ran a competition to find out your top tips for keeping the little ones entertained and the grownups sane during October half term. With a bumper prize from our Center Parcs shops up for grabs, you responded in your hundreds.

We picked Carol as our winner because her tips were accessible and easy to put into practice. Here’s her run down for having the best October half term break:

1. Start now

If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend the school holidays with your children, plan your activities in advance so you don’t end up wasting half the day deciding what to do.

2. Make the most of it

Make it your aim to spend as much time together as possible in half term. Children are only young for such a short time, and even though we all get fed up sometimes (nobody is Super Mum), the holidays are precious.

3. The ‘fun bargain’

The more fun you have with your children, the more likely they are to behave. Of course, they’ll still have their moments, but hey, so do parents!

4. Frugal frolics

Half term doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The great outdoors is a wonderful place and autumn is a particularly magical time. Wrap up warm and head to the park – it’s amazing how long a pile of autumn leaves will keep children entertained.

5. Make a splash

Swimming is a great holiday activity that needn’t cost a fortune. Find your nearest leisure centre and see when they have special sessions for children. You won’t be in the way of serious swimmers and they may bring out inflatables and toys to play with.

6. ‘X’ marks the spot

Plan a treasure hunt; it’s easier than you think. You can pick a short route anywhere – through the city, round a park or even down your own street. Set clues to places and objects along the way and have a small prize for completing it.

7. Invest in activity

Whenever possible, keep energy-filled children active. It can seem exhausting at the time, but it pays dividends at bed time when they’re finally tired out.

8. Find free fun

Check local magazines, newsletters and circulars for free children’s activities. There are usually lots on during the school holidays – everything from sports sessions to story hour at the library.

9. Have a bad weather plan

On rainy days you can’t beat at-home activities like crafts, cooking together or even starting your own band. Kitchen cupboards and wooden spoons make a great drum kit if your (and the neighbours’) ears can stand it.

10. Don’t overthink it

If all else fails, curl up on the sofa with your little ones, a great family movie and some popcorn.

Carol is the winner of our bumper half term prize bundle. Keep an eye out for our next competition coming soon.

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Maddy Potts

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Maddy Potts

As Marketing Executive at Center Parcs, I’m lucky enough to hear all the amazing stories that come from our guests, our Villages and the wider travel industry. I’ll blog about the best ones, bring you some fantastic competitions and update you on all the exciting new activities and goings on at Center Parcs.