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Great days out for the family that won't cost you a penny; gemma jaleel checks out some of the best places to take your children for some half-term fun.

IT CAN be a pain trying to find something new and exciting to do with the children, especially when you have a few days over the school holidays to fill.

It's even harder when you haven't got a huge budget to play with.

So, we've rounded up just a few free family-friendly places, activities, events and workshops you and the children can enjoy over the February half-term in and around Liverpool.

The Asparagus Trail, Formby Discover the story behind Formby's famous asparagus with the Asparagus Trail. From the 1800s, local families worked to level areas of Formby's sand dunes, specifically to grow asparagus, and it has remained popular ever since.

The outdoor trail, which starts at Formby's National Trust site, is fun for all the family - even your four-legged furry friends. | Victoria Road, Freshfield, Formby, Liverpool, L37 1LJ Hoylake Beach, Wirral Head to Hoylake Beach, in Wirral, to fly a kite or explore the Grace Darling driftwood pirate ship. A short walk along Hoylake shore lies an area known as Red Rocks, where rock pools support a small population of natterjack toads, while there are wild flowers, butterflies and skylarks to be spotted.

| North Parade, Hoylake, Wirral CH47 2BU The Mermaid Trail, New Brighton If you're looking for an enchanting trek across New Brighton, then try the Mermaid Trail. The halfdozen colourful creations are inspired by the Black Rock Mermaid, which is said to have appeared to a sailor in New Brighton in the 18th century.

You can find the mermaids at Kings Parade, Seabank Road, Vale Park, Promenade, Victoria Parade and Black Rock Mermaid. | New Brighton Merseyside Maritime Museum - Free events From story-telling sessions to creative crafts, animal mask making to creating your own hat, there's plenty on offer at the museum. No need to book, either - just drop in. | Albert Dock World Museum Celebrate Chinese New Year learning about the Chinese lunar calendar, the animals it features and what each represents. You can even make your own mask - and it's all linked to the msueum's major exhibition, China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors.

| William Brown Street, Liverpool Rice Lane City Farm, Walton Rice Lane City Farm might just be Liverpool's best-kept secret.

With 24 acres in total, there's a long list of reasons to pay a visit, from the rare breed animals along with goats, pony, ducks, geese, rabbit and chicks to the recently refurbished chapel and tranquil cemetery.

The farmyard is made up of a stable block, pig pen plus for younger children there is a petting area, and older children may be interested in some of the work of the farm's youth group.

It's well worth a visit with your little budding famers.

| Rice Lane City Farm, Rawcliffe Road, Liverpool L9 1AW

CAPTION(S):

An impressive sculpture of an asparagus picker lets you know you're on the right path for the Formby Asparagus Trail

The pirate ship on Hoylake Beach is always popular, whatever the weather

One of the six colourful mermaids you can hunt down in New Brighton

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 14, 2018
Words:504
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