Family half term holidays ideas

Family half term holidays ideas

The summer holidays are now a distant memory, and now it’s time to turn our attentions to half term. Don’t let this week without school runs and routines slip you by, instead, let me tempt you with the idea of being footloose and fancy free this half term with these family half term holiday ideas!

Rome, Italy

With the summer months bringing extremely warm weather and flocks of tourists, October is a great time to visit Rome. The weather is cooler but you can still feel the sunny warmth on your skin, and the number of visitors is a lot less overwhelming. Here are just a few fun things for the kids to enjoy in Rome:

  • Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage – plenty can normally be found around St. Peter’s, the Pantheon or Castel Sant’Angelo.
  • Visit the many fountains that are found in Piazza di Spagna, Piazza della Rotonda and Piazza Barberini to name just a few!
  • Enjoy some gelato, Italian ice cream, from a traditional gelateria stand!
  • There are plenty of souvenirs to take home, including Pinocchio figurines, toy gladiators and bright, colourful jewellery.

Places to visit outside Rome on a mini road trip:

  • Tivoli – About 20 miles outside of Rome, Tivoli is a small town with plenty of scenery. Hire a car and set off on an adventure to enjoy the ruins of Villa Adriana, once a retreat for Emperor Adriano. The town’s thermal baths are a popular attraction for visitors.
  • Anzio – A beautiful seaside village with cliff tops to walk along and caves to investigate. A great trip if you fancy some swimming and sunbathing after plenty of sightseeing in Rome.

Lisbon, Portugal

The Mediterranean weather in Lisbon provides fantastic weather in autumn, warm enough for family but not too hot. Amongst seven hills, there’s plenty of scenery to cast your eyes upon, and some fantastic architecture, too including:

  •  Enjoy some roasted chestnuts from a street stall – autumn and October is the perfect time of year for them
  • Jardim Zoológico – a zoological garden in the centre of Lisbon, with around 2,000 animals including sea lions, monkeys and giraffes!
  • Explore the Castelo de São Jorge, a historic castle steeped in history that the children will enjoy exploring.
  • Take the hippotrip – a land and water tour of Lisbon!

Places to visit outside Lisbon on a mini road trip:

  • Drive about 20 miles to Sintra and enjoy a cycling trip or a walk around Sintra Cascais natural park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park offers all kinds of scenery, from woodland to ocean views. Head to Cape Roca, considered the westernmost point of Europe.
  • Portinho da Arrabida – just under an hour’s drive from Lisbon, you will find a beautiful bay with white sands and azure oceans. This is a fantastic spot for snorkelling with the family.

Brussels, Belgium

If you’re looking for something other than sun and beaches, Brussels is a fantastic place to take the family during October half term. While the average temperature is around 12°C, the crowds are fewer and you can really enjoy some of the best attractions….

  • There are plenty of museums around Brussels that the children will really enjoy, including the comic strip centre, mini Europe, the toy museum and even the children’s museum (a museum of their own!)
  • Visit the Grand Place in the evening – a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site in the city centre. The light show that is put on when dark is beautiful, so enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the show.
  • Spend the day at Oceade, a fantastically fun water park. No matter the age of your child, there’s all sorts for everyone to enjoy here.
  • A trip to Brussels isn’t complete without devouring some chocolate and waffles (and beer for us adults)!

Places to visit outside Brussels on a mini road trip:

  • Waterloo in Brabant – About 11 miles outside of Brussels, it’s a fantastic place to take the children and teach them all about the Battle of Waterloo.
  • Huizingen Domaine – A short 10-mile drive will take you to the beautiful chateau and gardens of Huizingen Domain. Plenty of walking opportunities here, as well as swimming pools, playgrounds and a mini zoo to entertain the children!

What are your plans for the forthcoming half term? Are you inspired to take a trip abroad, or even a road trip?

*This post is in collaboration with

Picture credit: Designed by Freepik


  1. If you can get there Rome is a fantastic place to visit on a short break. There’s so much culture there it’s amazing so I think it’s ideal for a short half term break!

  2. What fabulous ideas, and all places that we would love to visit! Sadly due to having so many kids and a small budget we shall be hiring a caravan for a week in Lincolnshire, but I’m sure the kids will have a fab time. Me? I’d rather be going to Rome!!

  3. I would love to go away during the half-term week especially since we didn’t go abroad this year. Hopefully, my husband will have the free time to go-away too. Would also love to go to Italy and Brussels, also thinking of Amsterdam 🙂

  4. Fab post! We’re going to Europe this month, including Rome for a few days. I had no idea you could go on a horse drawn carriage. Definitely adding this to the list of things we need to do whilst there. x

  5. Ahh, I think we’ll be sticking around home this half term but hopefully we’ll be able to take Pickle abroad soon. I’d love him to be a well travelled, cultured child. Just need the money to be able to fund it now…! Easier said than done sometimes, isn’t it?

Leave a Reply