No sooner do we get over the expense of Christmas that Easter is upon us. Most adults see Easter as a weekend of DIY, to sort out the garden ready for the spring bulbs, or simply for spending time with family and friends. If you have children you might find the Easter break a little bit more taxing. Here we have a few ideas of what to do and how to save money but still have an enjoyable time.
If the weather is nice during the school holidays why not head to your local park with a picnic. Take a few activities like balls games, bikes etc., so the children will be kept entertained. Why not ask friends if they would like to come and join you. This is a great way to enjoy the fresh air and let off steam, and best of all it’s free, as long as the ice cream van doesn’t turn up. Parks are a great way for you to spend time together as a family or as a group and it’s free to stay as long as you like.
Normally, theme parks work prove very expensive during the school holidays. However, sometimes retailers offer savings on entrance fees. WHSmith have in the past offered 2 for 1 entry on a number of UK top attractions including Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Legoland and Chessington World of Adventures. Plus take a look to see what Tesco Clubcard offers, as you can often double or treble your vouchers to gain free entry to top attractions. Most vouchers are only valid for a limited period, so planning is important and at Easter you can be caught out by the weather, so don’t leave it until the last minute to use your voucher.
And finally, why not pack a picnic, as food prices at these venues are usually overpriced and not terribly good?
If the weather is not good, then why not take the children to the cinema? There are usually age appropriate films showing during the school holidays. Like most forms of entertainment cinema tickets can work out to be very expensive so look around to see what deals you can get. Matinee sessions are usually cheaper so choose your time carefully and cinemas often offer special rates of the holiday season. Skip the popcorn, sweets and drinks – take your own and save a fortune!
Great Days Out
There are so many places of interest to visit nowadays from castles, stately homes, great parks, rivers and museums. Some charge and some don’t, so look around in your local area to see what you can during the holidays – some of these places offer a fun educational experience. Take a picnic and see if friends want to come with you to make it a more fun day out. You really don’t have to travel far to find something to do – you will be surprised at what is on your doorstep!
A day out in London is always a magical experience, especially for children – travelling by train, going on the tube, or a London Bus can be the highlight of their day. Train travel has increased dramatically over the past few years but there are offers, depending on the time you travel, or if you book in advance. Chiltern Railways offer special off peak family travel and heavily discounted entrance prices for top attractions.
Travel off peak, usually after 9.30am, and get a travel card which will allow you to use the trains, tubes and buses across the London travel zones – make sure your destination is covered by the zone chosen before you buy.
Once in London there is so much to do. Top attractions include Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square. Why not take a trip on an open top sightseeing bus, which will take you past many of these? There are art galleries and museums, many of which allow free entry to their permanent exhibitions.
A trip to London can be as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it, so check out special deals beforehand to ensure you get the best value for money from your big day out.
Many families use the Easter break to escape to the sun for a week or two. There are some great last minute deals available on websites such as Lastminute.com, Mercurydirect.co.uk, Expedia.co.uk and even Easyjet have some great holiday offers.
Booking last minute can save you £100’s giving you extra spending money or money to towards something else. Be careful of holiday insurance charges, read one of our other pages telling you how to find the best deal.
The Easter Eggs
Like most seasonal holidays, the marketing departments of the big retailers go into overdrive, with Easter Eggs on the shelves as soon as January begins. As Easter Day approaches most supermarkets offer special promotions on Easter eggs, so remember to keep an eye on what’s going on in-store. Don’t go overboard on the size of egg you buy especially if you have children – friends and family tend to buy for them so don’t be surprised if they end up numerous eggs. If they do get too many why not melt a couple of them down and make rice crispy chocolate cakes that can be shared around and not eaten by just one mouth!
If you are keen on DIY then the run up to Easter is a great time to visit your local hardware store to see what special offers are available to help with the cost of your latest project. Homebase, B&Q, Wickes always have great promotions in the run up to any of the bank holiday weekends, but these are usually even better at Easter.
Plan your DIY project in advance and make a list of everything you will need. Ensure you have given yourself enough time to complete the job in the time available – you don’t want to be living with a half finished project until the next bank holiday comes around! Compare the prices of the materials needed across the various websites to make the best savings you can. Hmm I hope my husband reads this section!!
Easter is often the first time you will have a chance to get out in the garden to do the first cut and prune of the year. If you are doing the first cut of the lawn make sure you are not still experiencing night time frosts, or that the grass isn’t too wet. A sharp frost will ruin a fresh cut lawn and a wet lawn will simply tear rather than cut neatly. Most garden centres will have promotional deals to entice you, but only buy what you need. Plan the work you need to do before your visit – try a Garden Bargains promo code for extra savings.
Check out the special deals before you leave home to make sure you aren’t paying over the odds and don’t forget it doesn’t have to cost a lot to have fun!