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Oct 15

10 FREE things to do this autumn half term

Reading Time: 5 mins

Struggling to think of cheap things to do with your kids this Autumn half term?

Then consider all the great National Trust locations which offer healthy, active ways to spend the day.

There are hundreds of adventurous ideas for all the family to enjoy, including hunting for bugs, flying kites and even finding creatures in a rock pool.

Here are the National Trust’s top 10 cheap things to do this autumn half term.


Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool

autumn half term

What’s the weirdest looking thing you can find lurking in a rock pool this summer?

All you need is a plastic tub, bucket or net to help scoop out your finds. Challenge your family to see who can spot the most unusual rock pool creatures.

Top Tip: Pools closest to the sea edge will be better – look at these first and move inland as the tide comes in.

Top Place: South Milton Sands, Devon


Fly a kite

Family flying a kite together

A windy day is the perfect time to fly a kite.

See all the different shapes, sizes and colours of kites flying in the skies above your head.

Top Tip: For your kite to really fly you need a nice clear sky and a large open space so beaches and parks are perfect.

Top Place: Dunstable Downs, Bedfordshire


Go bird watching

Little girl bird watching with binoculars in the woods

Stay quiet so they don’t fly away before you identify them.

See if you can spot them in a place where birds like to fly or search for food.

A pair of binoculars and a camera will help you see what birds you have spotted.

Top Tip: Why not make a list of all the birds you have seen so you can compare it with your friends.

Top Place: Kingston Lacy, Dorset


Jump over waves

Little girls in wellies playing in the sea

Beaches serve up a never-ending supply of waves: big or small, all waves are fun to jump over.

See how many different jumps you can make over the waves and make a big splash.

Top Tip: Pick a spot where you know how deep the water is so you don’t jump in too deep!

Top Place: Compton Bay and Downs, Isle of Wight


Build a den

Children standing in front of den made of sticks

Branches, twigs and leaves make surprisingly cosy dens.

Find a place with lots of natural materials to help you get creative with your den building so you can hide out in the woodland.

Top Tip: Choose a flat, dry spot for the most solid den. Make a start by leaning sticks against a low tree branch so it looks like a wigwam.

Top Place: Lyme Park House and Garden, Cheshire


Catch a crab

autumn half term

With the right bait and a piece of string it’s easier than you think to catch a crab.

Dangle your line in the sea and when you feel the string tugging, pull it up and see what you have caught.

Count up all the legs and claws on the crab and make a sketch of it before putting them back in the sea.

Top Tip: Scraps of bacon and fish make really good crab bait.

Top Place: Plas Newydd, Gwynedd


Go stargazing

Young girl looking through a telescope at the night sky

Choose a clear night with few clouds and a place with no street lights and you could be gazing into the Milky Way.

You don’t need a telescope. You don’t even need binoculars.

On a clear night there are a lot of exciting things to be seen with the naked eye.

If you’re lucky you might be able to make a wish on a shooting star.

Top Tip: Stargazing is best done before the moon is full, so look up the new moon dates before planning your stargazing evening.

Top Place: Tyntesfield, Somerset


Create some wild art

autumn half term

Set your creativity free and make some wild art with leaves, twigs, feathers and seeds.

All you need is some paper and some glue or a flat dry spot to make your masterpiece.

Top Tip: Try to gather materials that vary in colour and texture so you have lots of choice and can make something really individual.

Top Place: Sheringham Park, Norfolk


Hunt for bugs

Ladybird on a twig

Search for bugs under rocks, in the mud or on the bark of fallen trees and see how many creepy crawlies you can find.

There are all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures are out there, waiting to be discovered.

Top Tip: Remember you are a giant compared to these little beasts so be gentle – take a look before you touch.

Top Place: Hardcastle Crags, Yorkshire


Climb a tree

Little boys climbing a tree in the autumn

Grab your trainers or boots and see if you can climb a tree this summer.

Choose a tree with big strong branches you can reach from the ground and once you’re off the ground give everyone a wave and check out the view.

Top Tip: Keep three of your arms and legs on the tree at all times so you don’t fall.

Top Place: Wallington, Northumberland




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