Easter holiday deals and discounts to help parents entertain kids on the cheap

Keeping the kids entertained over the Easter holidays can be costly. There’s only so much egg painting over fives will put up with, after all.

But with a little know-how, you can still take them out for lunch, to the cinema or even a theme park for less than you’d expect.

Across the country, brands are launching deals and discounts to help parents facing cost of living pressures during the school holidays. And to save you some precious time, consumer watchdog Which? has rounded up some of the best offers out there.

All that’s left to do is choose some Easter eggs and pray for sunshine. You’ve got this.

Eat out for less

Planning a meal out? It’s worth checking if any nearby restaurants offer discounts for children.

The whole family can grab a free bowl of cereal when they ask for a ‘Kellogg’s Breakfast’ in all Morrisons Cafés from April 3rd – 24th whilst stocks last. The supermarket café is also giving away free meals for kids when a parent spends £4.49 or more on a lunch/dinner.

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Over at Ikea, you’ll find children’s meals from 95p, while Asda is offering kids’ meals for £1 all day with no adult minimum spend required – you can also add a free piece of fruit with kids’ hot meals.

Bella Italia offers children’s meals for £1 with any adult main between 4-6pm, Monday to Thursday. Yo Sushi offers a free kids’ meal for every £10 spent by adults and at Bill’s restaurants, up to two children can eat a meal for free all day, if one adult orders any main dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

See a discounted theatre show

Although usually an expensive outing, it’s possible to bag cheaper theatre tickets throughout the holidays.

Every Monday at noon, a number of tickets for Disney shows (such as The Lion King or Frozen) are available for £25 through Disney Tickets but, beware, they get snapped up quickly.

Some shows, including Hamilton, run daily lotteries to enter, with winners able to purchase tickets for between £10 and £35 for a performance that week.

Often, seats at the back of the theatre cost less, but it is worth checking if the view is obstructed. Seatplan allows visitors to check out the view before purchasing tickets. You can often also find cheaper deals by visiting the theatre’s website directly, rather than buying tickets via third-party websites.

Get thrilled at the theme park 

It can pay to check the prices at attractions in advance. For example, Which? found an adult day pass bought on the day at Alton Towers costs £68, but only £36 when bought in advance online – a 47% saving.

Shoppers can also save money on days out at theme parks and attractions up and down the country when purchasing groceries.

Some Kellogg’s cereal packs and snacks are currently offering an ‘adults go free’ voucher for Alton Towers, Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures, Sea Life aquariums and sanctuaries, Madame Tussauds and other Merlin attractions. The offer is valid until June 2023, but tickets must be booked in advance, and some theme parks aren’t open yet, so check opening times in advance. 

Tesco Clubcard holders can convert Clubcard points into vouchers worth up to three times their value with reward partners such as Thorpe Park, Legoland and Alton Towers. From 14 June, Clubcard points with reward partners will be reduced, so it’s worth converting your vouchers sooner rather than later.

Save money on travel

If you aren’t travelling by car you could save by getting the train or bus instead.
Some bus fares are currently capped at £2 until the end of June, so it might be cheaper to get to a chosen destination than by train or car. 

Train companies Southeastern, ScotRail, Chiltern Railways, London Northwestern and West Midlands Railway will allow children (aged 5-15) to travel for just £1 on a single or return journey when joined by an adult during off-peak times.

National Rail also offers two entry tickets for the price of one at a huge number of attractions nationwide, including The London Dungeon and Sea Life locations across Great Britain.

Watch the latest movies for less 

Some cinema chains offer discounts for family films at certain times, usually in the morning. 

Cineworld’s ‘Movies for Juniors’ screenings offer children’s tickets for £2.50. Odeon Kids has a deal where the adults pay the same price as a child, with the deal running every day during the school holidays, as well as every Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, Vue has ‘Mini Mornings’ screenings from 10am during the school holidays. Tickets for both adults and children cost £2.49 each.

Film fans can also get cinema discounts with dining cards Gourmet Society and Tastecard. Both offer up to 40% some cinema chains. 

Anyone who buys a policy through the price comparison website Compare the Market will get 2-for-1 cinema tickets on a Tuesday or Wednesday for a year – those who may have bought a policy recently should check if this offer is available to them.

Learn something new at the museum 

Many UK national galleries and museums are free to enter and are an easy way to entertain the family for a day out. For example, Manchester Museum has a free self-led family art activity celebrating UK wildlife during the Easter holidays, and the Natural History Museum in London has a new exhibition opening on 31 March called ‘Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur’ – but you’ll need to buy tickets for this.

Just remember they may need visitors to book a free ticket before arrival.

Burn off the Easter chocolate with some sport 

There are many free sporting activities available up and down the country during the holidays. It’s worth checking local council websites for opportunities, some offer free swimming lessons for children, for example.

Alternatively, Parkruns are free weekly events, held every weekend in hundreds of locations around the UK. Tennis for Free also offers free tennis sessions for all ages in public parks around the country.

Visit a city farm 

Many city farms around the UK offer children the chance to get close to animals, from goats and chickens to alpacas and ponies. Some city farms even run special activities during school holidays. Search online to find city farms near you and check their websites to find out if they are running any events over the holidays. 

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