One of the things you are bound to hear over the next week or two is people marvelling at how late Easter is this year.

This seems to be one of those great British conversational topics that has become indelibly woven into our consciousness over the years.

The fact that Easter does fall so late is a good one for parents. It’s far better to have the two-week school holiday in April rather than March. For a start the clocks have gone forward and that extra hour of daylight makes a huge difference. The kids can now play outside until bedtime, weather permitting, giving me a fighting chance of keeping the inside of the house in some sort of presentable fashion. And as for the weather, well in theory that’s getting better all the time and statistics dictate that April should be better than March. But then again, this is England so nothing’s guaranteed.

Whatever the weather, there are certainly more entertainment options for the kids now available than there were in February which is just as well – as we’ve got two weeks to fill this time.

If you’re looking for some big days out, most of the major theme parks are now open. This can be quite an expensive day though. My big tip (putting my Austerity hat on) is that if you’re planning any outings of that nature make sure that you never ever turn up at the gate and pay the full price. It’s possible to get into the majority of such attractions these days with 2 for 1 offers and various other discounts.

You don’t need to use your supermarket loyalty points to get them either. A quick search of the internet should help you find where to get them. For example I just googled 2 for 1 Legoland and discovered that most of the major brands of a well-known cereal manufacturer are giving away the vouchers in pack at the moment.

If the weather doesn’t live up to expectations or you want to do something closer to home I have the perfect day out for you right here in Oxford and best of all it’s free. Though you can of course make a voluntary donation to what is a very worthwhile cause. I’m talking about the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

My kids have recently become fascinated by dinosaurs so it seems an ideal time to visit – the museum’s dinosaur skeletons have been delighting children for decades now. I went to see them when I was a kid and that’s quite a long time ago! They aren’t the only extinct creatures in the museum either, there’s also a dodo on display and countless other displays.

The Natural History Museum isn’t the only free museum in Oxford. As well as the Pitt Rivers next door, there are many others – take a look online to find out more. Treat yourself and the kids to a free day out that’s educational too. You’ll definitely feel that you can wear your “good parent” hat with pride afterwards.

Jason Ayres is a Bicester based writer. You can catch up with his latest thoughts on Twitter @AusterityDad