Bletchley Park - credit Bletchley Park Trust

Every parent knows you have to have a plan to get through half-term…what’s on your survival list?

We’ve put together some hints, tips and ideas to help you get through the week-long holiday (plus the extra day, if your school has been kind enough to add on an INSET day).

Plan ahead

In this all new post-COVID world one thing that all parents need to be aware of is the need to plan ahead. Many attractions now require you to book tickets in advance, meaning a last-minute decision to go somewhere because the weather looks nice and turning up on-spec just won’t cut it these days. So have a think about where you might like to visit and check websites to book in advance.

This can have its advantages, many attractions such as Gulliver’s Land and The Silverstone Interactive Museum offer discounts for booking in advance, so it’s definitely worth checking.

Look out for deals

Apart from the advance booking deals at some places, there are other deals to be had – at Bletchley Park, home of the famous WW2 codebreakers, under 12s go free and local MK residents can get 50% off tickets, and at Milton Keynes Museum, you pay once and you can return for FREE as many times as you like for 12 months (subject to T&Cs). At Climb Quest MK they do a fantastic Climb & Dine deal which is perfect to feed to hungry hoards.

British weather

After being stuck indoors with nowhere to go for the last five months, we’re all desperately hoping for some decent weather over the half term but if there is one guarantee with the British weather it’s that you cannot rely on it to play ball. Be prepared, if you’ve booked in advance, to just go with it…take the right clothing and the right attitude, pack up the car and go with it. We’re British, the kids will get used to it!

Embrace the great outdoors

Milton Keynes is really blessed with an overwhelming abundance of green spaces from parks and woodland to lakes and rivers, and it’s all really easy to access. Kids love nothing more then grabbing a picnic and exploring the great outdoors and some amazing playparks. The Parks Trust have some really good activity ideas to help with bug hunts, nature spotting sheets and why not befriend a tree!

You can also have a go at geocaching, a free outdoor treasure hunting game using a device to follow a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at a set location. According to the official site there are over 5,000 geocaches in Milton Keynes.

Museums are not boring

We know, mention a museum and you get the dreaded eye-roll but why not give them a go and you’ll be surprised at how engaged the kids (and adults) can be. Both MK Museum and the Silverstone Interactive Museum have loads of hands-on activities for the children to get involved with and at Bletchley Park, they have a specific multi-media guide just for kids and a family trail to follow.

Something for the little ones

Over half term, it’s mainly school-age children that we’re looking to occupy but what if you’ve little ones to think about as well? Gulliver’s Land and Gulliver’s Dinosaur & Farm Park cater for the wide age range of 2-13 with rides and experiences tailored to fit. For some indoor fun, Safari MK Soft Play Centre, has three levels of play which cater for ages 0-12, so really something for everyone.

Keep active

One thing that’s an absolute must over half term is finding a way for the kids to burn off some of that excess energy, keeping active is key. In Milton Keynes there are loads of activities, indoor and outdoor, to help do just that. Head to Xscape for some indoor trampolining fun at Gravity or head to the real indoor snow slope for a spot of family tobogganing. At Willen Lake you can try some watersports, hire a pedalo or maybe brave the high ropes course at Treetop Extreme. Climb Quest MK allows the kids to practise their climbing skills and maybe take on their heart-stopping ‘Stairway to Heaven’ climbing towers!

Don’t let them get ‘hangry’

Every parent can tell that time of the day when hunger hits and the gremlins start to appear. Over half term, again look out for offers – many restaurants do ‘Kids eat free’ deals (with a paying adult) and maybe look to convert some of those Tesco Clubcard points into restaurant vouchers for family favourites such as Pizza Express, Bella Italia, Zizzi and Chef & Brewer pubs.

 

For more information and ideas for activities to do across half term visit:

www.destinationmiltonkeynes.co.uk

 

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