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Best places to travel for February half-term with family

Want to get away with the kids for half-term? Here's our guide to the best February holiday destinations, as recommended by Mumsnetters.

By Dina Mahmoud | Last updated Sep 14, 2022

February destinations for families

February is a bit of an awkward month in the year, as winter ends and spring is ahead. But with half-term landing at this time of year, that's not to say you can't book a family holiday to escape this seasonable limbo. 

The short month can feel gloomy, so it's actually a great time to travel abroad with kids if you're able to do so. February often brings cheaper prices compared to the rest of the year, although half-term can see prices increase slightly. But don't be put off, as there's often February half-term deals you can take advantage of. 

With spring around the corner, prepare yourself for warmer temperatures with a half-term getaway as a family. We've searched high and low, with the help of real parents on our Mumsnet talk boards, to bring you the best family holiday destinations for February half-term to help you plan your next trip away.

Where to travel to in February with family: a quick look

1. Best for outdoorsy families: Crete, Greece

crete

Crete, Greece | Find a hotel in Crete

Ask a Cretan about the February weather in Crete and they will tell you that it's cold. But if you ask a Brit, the answer will be vastly different. 

While February is one of the coldest months in Crete, it is still considered mild in comparison to the brutal UK winter. February in Crete comes with plenty of sunshine and clear clouds, however, breezy weather conditions and some rainfall can be expected. 

This may seem like disappointing news, but it is in fact a welcomed forecast in Crete as the precipitation period only happens momentarily and with it comes the blossom of the island.

With fresh lemon, orange and pomegranate trees ready to be picked,  the island provides an abundance of vegetation including olives and avocados as well. February is also the time when olive picking and orange harvesting is done on the Cretan farms, and you can have the rare opportunity to join the excursion and see first hand how the process is done.

As the largest island in Greece, Crete offers plenty of activities and tours that are less crowded due to the low season. Some of the most popular tours include; Cretan dancing lessons, a tour of the battlegrounds of Chania (where the Battle of Crete during World War II took place), a trip to the local delicacies in the Food Tours of Chania Villages, a safari mountain tour and so much more. Don't forget Elafonisi beach, the pink beach of Crete!

Crete is in low-demand at this time of year, which means you can explore the picturesque island all to yourself... And at a lower cost, too! 

What Mumsnet users say

“Crete! Near Chania. It will be warm, has loads of history, loads of beaches, plenty to do, and it’s usually one of the cheaper Greek islands to get to.” HepzibahGreen

2. Best budget option: Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy | Find a hotel in Venice

The infamous Venice canal is calling your name this half-term. The incredible architecture, deep history, stunning food and rich culture are just some of the things that Venice has to offer, and is a wonderful short-haul family escape. 

Venice winters are chilly, but not as cold as the UK. Hovering around 8°C to 10°C, Venice has mild Adriatic winters and does not snow. In fact, February is the best month to travel to the ‘City of Canals’ due to its mild temperature. Touring and sightseeing the city will be made significantly easier without the discomfort of the Venetian summer humidity.

Venice is also known for its beautiful architecture and bridges, islands and of course, the charming gondola rides.

February brings the most anticipated festival of the year; the Carnival of Venice. The Carnival of Venice hosts a variety of activities and events and everyone gears up for a bonanza that will be talked about for years to come. The carnival is known for its intricate masks, 17th Century venetian dresses and the street procession. Following the carnival, you may also be able to join a number of carnival inspired events such as dinner shows, party cruises, and theatre performances.

Finally, a trip to Venice isn’t complete without a charming gondola ride to take in the incredible scenery and the magnificent sites in both directions. With an average of 10-hours of sunlight a day in Venice, there is something magical about sailing in a gondola with the family under the sun in the middle of Venice.

What Mumsnet users say

“Venice will be beautiful in February. Cheap flights from London and if you book an apartment just outside St, Mark's Square you could bag a bargain.”calamitycake

“Venice, you'll get good deals and it's pleasantly uncrowded. Just make sure that the carnival isn't on.” itsmehello 

3. Best for families of all ages: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai, United Arab Emirates | Find a hotel in Dubai

February in Dubai is the perfect combination of mild temperatures, clear, blue skies and a bout of rainfall. The futuristic emirate is a hub for all things families. From water parks, aquariums and ski parks to indoor playgrounds, museums designed just for children, the tallest skyscraper in the world and two enchanting dancing fountains, Dubai’s beauty is immeasurable and entertainment is plentiful.

February is also the month where you can experience a number of Dubai’s winter attractions, including Global Village and Dubai Miracle Garden.

Global Village offers a large village-like attraction that consists of pavilions representing 80 different cultures from around the world. It also offers endless cultural experiences, entertainment, and shopping opportunities from local and international vendors.

Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest flower garden and measures to a whopping 72,000 square metres. The garden houses over 50 million flowers and 250 million plants.

Dubai is home to some of the most luxurious malls in the world that come with loads of entertainment, kids play areas, delicious restaurants and sites and attractions that you simply won’t find anywhere else. 

The nightlife is also a fantastic setup in Dubai that is accommodating for both adults and children. As a cultural mosaic, Dubai’s restaurant scene is open late and offers different cuisines from around the world. Your taste buds will thank you as you satisfy your cravings with authentic dishes inspired from across the globe.

Age is just a number in Dubai, and families can tour the emirate comfortably knowing that there is something to do for everyone.

What Mumsnet users say

“Not cheap, but Dubai would be warm and there’s loads to do with kids.” Ricekrispie22

“I think February is a nice time to be there. I have been a few times at that time of year and it's nice. My number one recommendation for anyone going to the UAE is to get a trip up to the Musandam and go on a dhow cruise.” LambChopsMcGee

4. Best for older kids and teens: Paris, France

Paris, France

Paris, France | Find a hotel in Paris

A stroll along the Parisian streets and a delicious cup of hot chocolate under the Eiffel Tower sounds like the perfect family escape. 

Aside from the most sought after museums and art galleries, Disneyland Paris is also nearby. And what really is the best way to reward your child than by visiting one of the happiest places on Earth?

While the weather may be chilly during this time, you can expect a few sunny days along with some rainy and windy days as well. Be prepared for all weather events as Paris has unpredictable weather each day throughout February.

A walk through Paris will bring you to some of the most stunning Parisian monuments and buildings and some breath-taking cathedrals in the world. You may also stumble on one of Paris’ famous February events, Mardi Gras! The parade features a procession with masks and costumes that are inspired from ancient cultural traditions. The free event will fill Paris with music, dancing and a crowd of spectators. 

What Mumsnet users say

"Paris would still be lovely - lots of cultural museums , Eiffel Tower , science museum , day trip to Disneyland , cafes people watching or how about skiing?" bengalcat

"Disneyland is great at this age as if you leave it for when they get older the magic disappears slightly." Teddybear45

5. Best for sightseeing: Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy

Rome, Italy | Find a hotel in Rome

With deep historical influence in practically every corner of the city, there is a reason why Rome is one of those destinations that tourists never tire from.

While you may think that Rome may be busy due to the half-term break, it is in fact off-season and a great time to travel. Avoid the queues and take in all the monuments, museums and architecture without feeling the rush of the other tourists around.

With the Colosseum being completely jam packed during the peak summer months, you will understand why February is an especially attractive month for sightseeing in Rome. Popular sites such as the Trevi Fountain, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Pantheon will be great photo backdrops, without the crowds. 

Although the weather is at its worst in February, it is still not as cold as the UK with daytime temperatures reaching between 10°C to 14°C range. While the weather is fairly mild, it is common to experience a few days of rainfall in February.

However, it’s nothing that an umbrella and coat can’t take care of. During the rainy days, you can take advantage of the indoor tours and enjoy a day to wine and dine. Send your taste buds on an Italian escapade as you dig into the popular cuisine while sipping on a glass of vino.

What Mumsnet users say

“We went to Rome last Feb half-term and the weather was lovely - t-shirt weather one day!” Toomanycats99

“February would be great for a trip to Rome but remember it ‘s Carnevale period (4 weeks up to 3rd March) which means enforced jollity, pranks and kids throwing confetti or spray string.” Sgtmajormummy

6. Best tropical destination: Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand | Find a hotel in Phuket

The beautiful Phuket offers stunning beaches with crystal clear waters, a breath-taking marine life, coral reefs, and lush green foliage. As the largest island in Thailand, Phuket is a natural paradise that is pristine in every way and the perfect getaway for adults and children alike.

Known as a popular hotspot for tourists all year long, February is especially welcoming due to its mild climate during this time. With warm, dry conditions and temperatures ranging from 23°C to 33°C, you are sure to get about nine hours of sunshine with occasional tropical showers.

Bright blue waters, white sandy beaches and serenity is what you can expect in Phuket. Exploring tropical marine life and diving into a fascinating underwater adventure are also part of its allure. The oceans are warm making swimming, snorkelling and diving more than ideal for the underwater thrill seekers.

You can also visit the elephant and turtle sanctuaries or take a stroll on the enchanting beaches of Phi Phi islands. For a truly unique experience, head over to the street markets or floating markets and pick up some key ingredients for your cooking class, that offer a behind the scenes look at the delicious Thai cuisine.

What Mumsnet users say

“Thailand, west coast. Phuket area February is the best time of year weather wise. It's not too hot, but mainly dry and the sea is like a mill pond. We went to Koh Lanta Feb. half-term two years ago- it was bliss.” TheGonnagle

7. Best for history buffs: Egypt

Egypt

Egypt | Find a hotel in Egypt

If you’re looking for an escape to a warm destination with crystal clear waters and a magnificent marine life and coral reef this half-term break, this just might be the perfect place for you. 

Yes, Egypt is a great destination for all-inclusive resorts, scuba diving, snorkelling, kids clubs and more. With the country being surrounded by both the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, Egypt is the short-haul trip with all the beach amenities and climate expectations you need. While the cities near the Mediterranean Sea will be chilly, cities that are located in southern Egypt such as Sharm El-Sheikh, Marsa Allam, Hurghada, Ain El Sokhna, and Sahl Hasheesh are all along the Red Sea and options of swimming, diving and tanning are more than likely.

With a history as old as time, you may be interested in a Nile cruise that takes you to the ancient cities of Luxor and Aswan. Here you can experience the ancient Egyptian history, monuments, mummies and more while learning about the culture of the southern Egyptians.

If you are planning to visit Cairo, the Pharaonic Village, Cairo Museum, Nile City and Islamic and Coptic Cairo are the most popular sites that will teach you about the past and the present of Egypt. 

Finally, a trip to Egypt can’t be complete without visiting the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. A pyramid excursion should only take you a couple of hours, and, contrary to popular belief, the Pyramids of Giza are at the heart of the city of Giza and not in the middle of the desert. Just a 10-minute car ride from Cairo, visiting the pyramids will only take up a small portion of your day, so you will have ample time to discover the charming streets of Cairo as well.

What Mumsnet users say

“We flew back yesterday from the Holiday village red sea and we had a lovely time. I was very pleasantly surprised in fact. The hotel is large but service is very good and food at all restaurants is varied and plentiful. Entertainment is good (especially for kids) and there are loads to keep you occupied if you wish. Weather was 27°C to 28°C and I came home with a fantastic tan. It hasn't rained in sharm for over 7 years i was told so no worries about the weather.” Hersetta

“I went to Egypt last Easter, Cairo, Red Sea & Luxor which was GORGEOUS! Great time to be going too. It won't be hugely hot so you probably won't have to worry too much about dehydration. And food wise, as long as you eat in the reputable hotels you will be fine I'm sure. We found the standard of food to be pretty good and never thought anything looked 'dodgy' or unhygienic. Roads are a bit bumpy and there aren't always seatbelts which is a bit depressing - very old cars/buses etc! And the flight is pretty short so that should be fine too. Have fun!” tonton

8. Best February destination in the USA: Florida, United States of America

Florida, United States of America

Florida, United States of America | Find a hotel in Florida

Florida in February offers visitors with warm weather, bright blue skies and loads of entertainment and fun.

As a popular half-term destination, Florida is jam packed with lots to do during your holiday. In fact, the second week of February is when Mardi Gras kicks off. You can experience parades, live music, firework displays and authentic Cajun cuisine during Mardi Gras.

The beaches also offer relaxation, outdoor adventures, water sports and plenty of activities for the little ones. And if you’re looking to treat the kids to their much deserved holiday, the attractions are endless.

Florida is famously known to be the home of the happiest place on Earth, Walt Disney World® Resort. With the great weather and being a slower month for tourism, February is the perfect time to take a trip to Disney World as the weather is comfortable and the lines will be at a minimum.

Aside from Disney, there are also a number of other attractions including the Kennedy Space Centre, where tourists can get a full-day experience of the rocket launch, amazing space adventures and views of a live launch.

Another famous attraction is LEGOLAND®. The 150-acre theme park has more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, along with the water park that is all built with kids in mind.

Visit the colourful and vibrant Crayola Experience Orlando where families can discover the magic of colour at The Florida Mall.

Finally, Florida is incomplete without an adventure at Key West. Take the hop-on-hop-off tour or sail away on a glass-bottom boat or cruise, where you could have the opportunity to see wild dolphins and whales. 

And if you’re looking for a truly unique and remarkable experience, Florida is the manatee capital of the world. At Citrus County and Crystal River, you will find hundreds of manatees eagerly flocking to the warm waters of Florida. Get a first hand look for yourself by hiring a kayak or walk on specifically built boardwalks or go on a trolley tour to see the manatee inhabited waters.

What Mumsnet users say

“Florida. easy to get to, you wont need jabs and think beyond Disney. Florida Keys are great and relaxing, anna maria island is lovely too. no worries about what to eat or drink.” mummymeister

“I've been in February. We had two weeks - one was temperatures in the late 20s, the other was more like 20/21 C. I loved it as I don't go for the really hot temperatures and I found the walking round Disney easier. The most we wore was a cardigan in the evening. The advantage at Disney was also that there were hardly any crowds and we just walked onto stuff.” Clayhead

9. Best scenic destination in February: Japan

Japan

Japan | Find a hotel in Japan

Japan thrives in February and you won't be short of anything to do during your half-term holiday in this distinctive country. 

As winter comes to an end, a traditional event in Japan, Setsubun, allows for locals to gather at shrines and throw soybeans at people dressed as demons or bad spirits, as a way to ward off the past and look ahead at all the possibilities that the new year brings.

The infamous and efficient bullet train, Shinkansen, will take you to the town of Otaru in Hokkaido and offers a stunning beautiful candlelight festival. With more than 120,000 candles covering the snow covered streets of Otaru, it will truly feel like a magical winter wonderland. With its 1950s aesthetic, the picturesque Otaru is notably one of the most beautiful sites in Japan in February. 

The famous Sapporo Snow Festival is another great event that is celebrated in Sapporo city every February. The event features incredible artwork made from snow and ice variations and snow filled roads that will give you a glimpse of winter like you’ve never seen before.

If you fancy some warmth, a trip to the hot springs of Ginzan Onsen is a nice change that will keep you relaxed and rejuvenated as you embark on your one-of-a-kind Japanese adventure.

What Mumsnet users say

“Japan is incredible. Easy to travel around once you're there and some magnificent parks, trains and food that suits all ages.” EmbarrassingMama

“I spent almost 2 weeks there. It was not enough. Stayed 4 nights in Tokyo, 3 in Kyoto, 2 in Hakone, 1 in Hiroshima and 2 in Osaka. I think the tea ceremony is overrated. The bullet train is amazing and Kyoto is better than Tokyo.” Pictureiswonky

10. Best luxury option for families: Maldives

Maldives

Maldives | Find a hotel in Maldives

It goes without saying that the Maldives screams relaxation, fun, and beauty beyond belief. Out-of-this-world beaches, sparkling blue waters and white sand presents extraordinary marine biodiversity, stunning coral reefs and complete peace of mind for anyone visiting.

With resorts packed with entertainment and activities for the children to enjoy, Maldives is the type of holiday where you can put your worries behind you in this extremely safe country and rest assured that every member of the family will be entertained under the hot sun.

Speaking of sun, the weather in Maldives in February is fantastic. The dry climate brings an average temperature of about 29°C and fluctuates slightly. The warm weather makes for wonderful swimming and overall water experiences, as the sea temperature is also warm and the climate makes for a perfect beach outing.

Water sports and activities are abundant here. While snorkelling, windsurfing and fishing may sound appealing, consider deep water diving to see underwater marine life including manta rays, sea turtles and barracudas through the colourful coral reef. You can also have the rare opportunity to swim with whale sharks who tend to lurk peacefully around the reefs and the resort lagoons.

What Mumsnet users say

“I think the Maldives is the best place because there are many places to visit and you can enjoy the sea view and other sports activities with your kids. I went there with my family and enjoy it, but please check out the offers and holiday packages. There are lots of offers available.” lylamorris

“There are plenty of larger islands which cater for families - it’s an amazing holiday for honeymooners and as a family holiday (we visited for both). Definitely don’t go to a smaller, more romantic island.” SerenavanderWoodson

Where is the warmest weather in February?

February is not only the shortest month of the year, it is also a fairly quiet month. With the half-term being the most exciting part of the month, elevate the excitement by booking a February family holiday to one of these warm destinations where mild temperatures, bright blue skies and sun kissed skin is only a click away.

Where in Europe is it hot in February?

Europe in February is mostly cooler temperatures, so short-haul destinations for hot weather can be a hit or miss. In this case, planning and doing your research is crucial to finding the warmest February weather in Europe.

While you likely won’t experience scorching temperatures, you will have a chance to at least experience warm weather and sunshine and perhaps a light breeze. Here are the warmest European destinations in February:

Where is hot in February in the USA?

February in the USA is dicey. The north is still relatively cold, while the south experiences mild, sunny temperatures. Although travelling to the USA isn’t a short haul flight, it is well worth it for the beautiful temperatures that the UK is longing for.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations by real parents

Before choosing any destination for our roundups, we first consult the Mumsnet forums. With over 10 million users per month, there’s a lot of suggestions by real parents who have been there, done that when travelling in February with the family. 

Expert guidance and traveller reviews

After we’ve collated our hotel picks, we then turn to the experts and consult the likes of TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and Expedia to see what their recommendations include for family holidays here. 

Here we’ll also check what travellers are saying about the best places to visit in February on these sites, taking into consideration both the positive and negative points of their trip to bring you a well-rounded and honest guide. 

Celebrated destinations

Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best family holiday destinations in February that had won the most awards and recommendations across the board. We feel there’s something here for everyone, to suit every budget.

Why should you trust us?

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.

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