Cost of living: Budget-friendly ideas for family fun this half term
As half term approaches, lots of families in Shropshire will be planning ways to keep busy and have fun together without stretching their budgets. We have compiled a list of some of our favourite free and low-cost activities across the county with links to many more.
Looking for a cosy and inviting space with endless accessible entertainment and friendly experts on hand to help? February half term is the time for libraries to shine. Recipes, crafts, adventures to blow your socks off and comics for every age; surprise yourself with something new.
You could easily wile away a whole afternoon browsing the books and finding a quiet corner to lose yourself in a good book, but Shropshire Council’s libraries service are hosting a whole range of additional events as well.
Free activities include crafts, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) club and board games plus lots more. Find out what is on in your area here: Library events | Shropshire Council
Shropshire Wildlife Trust list more than 40 nature reserves on their website; some that are well known for their fascinating and diverse habitats, and a few little-known gems too.
If you fancy heading away from the beaten path, why not try a spot of birdwatching in the hide at Charles Sinker Fields in Whixall, or explore Lanymynech Rocks near Oswestry for some wild and wonderful ancient history.
Remember to take your litter home with you, keep dogs on leads and be considerate if you are parking a car.
See the full list here: Nature Reserves | Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Also from Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Fabulous Fossils is a free drop-in event for budding young geologists at the The Cut visitor centre in Shrewsbury. Talks will be held throughout the day on Thursday 23 February 2023, with opportunities to see real life fossils from around the county, learn more about the weird and interesting creatures that formed them and dive into Shropshire’s fascinating geological past.
The days are starting to feel a little bit longer and a little bit brighter now, which always makes us want to head outdoors and make the most of it. Shropshire is great for families who like to cycle, with plenty of circular routes to choose from, wherever you live. You can use the search tool on the Shropshire’s Great Outdoors website to find family friendly rides near you: Cycling search results | Shropshire’s Great Outdoors (shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk)
For secondhand, refurbished cycles or affordable bike servicing, take a look at Shropshire Cycle Hub, a community charity focused on improving access to healthy, sustainable transport for everybody.
Pick a dry day and don’t forget gloves.
Shropshire Archaeology Day
Visit Shropshire Museums Collections Centre in Ludlow on Wednesday 22 February to their Shropshire Archaeology Day, where you can gain hands on experience and learn about Shropshire’s amazing archaeology. The event runs from 11am – 2pm and is completely free, just drop in.
Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery is conveniently located in the centre of town, and is accessible by bus for people all over the county. Entry is free and a special exhibition all about the moon is launching this weekend. Relive historic moments in lunar discovery and exploration, and encounter astonishing objects including real, touchable Moon rock.
Tuesday 21 February will also include a free astronomical storytelling session with Jake Evans, aimed at children aged 3+.
The fun doesn’t need to stop once the sun goes down. February half term is a great time to wonder at the night sky and spark the whole family’s imagination. The dark skies in our rural county are perfect for spotting constellations and marvelling at the universe. Early evening is a great time for this in winter; wrap up warm, bring a flask and gather some some friends to join in too.
Use the Go Stargazing website for tips, advice and find the best dark sky sites near you: Go Stargazing – find stargazing locations and stargazing events
Fun at home
Not every day needs to be an adventure, and everybody’s batteries can be running a little low by February half term. We love these creative ideas for those slow days at home, which can be every bit as special as a family day out.
There are lots more ideas on the Shropshire Family Information Directory, which you can visit here: Search Results | Shropshire Family Information Directory (openobjects.com)