Things to do in Kent during half term - special offers and how to save money

by Lauren Abbott

Every parent knows how expensive it can be to take the family out.

From admission prices to drinks and ice creams, or the cost of petrol or public transport to get there - the price of just one outing can very quickly add up.

We take a look at some ways you could save during this February's half term break:

Look out for special offers
Look out for special offers

Booking online in advance

Deciding where to go and booking your attraction tickets online ahead of your visit is often a way to save.

This February half term Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne are both offering visitors big discounts to book online in advance. Both parks are taking 20% off ticket prices and the offer is open to you until midnight before the day you want to visit.

And they aren't the only attractions to offer discounted entry if booked in advance. At Chatham Dockyard adult tickets are £3 cheaper when booked in advance, Diggerland takes £4 off an adult ticket, Leeds Castle tickets are reduced by £1 if you book online and Hever Castle also offers a small amount of money off.

It is always worth finding out if the attraction you want to visit offers a discount for tickets bought online before you visit.

Diggerland offers discounts when tickets are booked in advance online
Diggerland offers discounts when tickets are booked in advance online

Look out for special offers

As parents we can be pretty savvy so always keep an eye out for special offers ahead of a school break!

For example this half term the Spa Valley Railway is bringing back its 'kids for a quid' £1 tickets for children, which greatly reduces the cost of a family outing on the railway.

Another popular offer is Southeastern's 2FOR1 offers, which entitle you to a buy-one-get-one-free deal on tickets to a large number of attractions both in Kent and London if travelling by train. You can learn more about that here.

Travelling by train can entitle you to discounts at some attractions
Travelling by train can entitle you to discounts at some attractions

Buy a ticket and visit all year

Both Leeds Castle and The Historic Dockyard grant unlimited repeat visits for the cost of a day ticket. For the same price as your regular admission ticket you can make unlimited return visits for the next 12 months which means you not only get good value from your admission price but - crucially - it enables you to return time and time again with the kids over the next year during their school holidays or at weekends.

Some terms and conditions are attached and special event days are often not included or may require an additional fee. But all details can be found online. For Leeds Castle click here. For The Historic Dockyard in Chatham see here.

Chatham Historic Dockyard
Chatham Historic Dockyard

Take out a membership

If you love an attraction and return time and time again, often the way to get the best value is to buy an annual membership.

Dreamland members are able to enjoy unlimited rides at the fairground, roller skating and priority booking on some events while Wingham Wildlife Park offers an annual membership to enjoy unlimited visits to the park.

Memberships are often more than the cost of an annual ticket - for example at Wingham an adult ticket on the door is £18 and an annual pass is £47 but if you are a regular visitor or think you'll make more than a couple of visits over the course of the year then the annual pass is economical. You can also sometimes pay monthly to spread the cost even further - for example at Wildwood a family annual membership is a monthly cost of £8.50 a month.

A National Trust membership will give you access to all properties
A National Trust membership will give you access to all properties

English Heritage/National Trust membership

If spreading the cost of an annual membership sounds like a good way to guarantee a year of outings but you don't want to be tied to just one place to visit - both English Heritage and National Trust offer memberships giving you access to all of their properties, grounds and attractions.

Each has a large number of places to visit in the county and an annual membership will to enable you to visit the lot as many times as you like throughout the year and sometimes the cost of an annual pass is not as much as two separate visits.

For example - Dover Castle is £22 an adult and £13.20 for a child for the day (including gift aid) whilst an English Heritage annual membership giving you unlimited visits to its attractions, including Dover Castle, is £99 a family for the year or £8.25 a month.

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