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Make sure your kids make the most of the February half term holiday

Compare the best February half term holidays

February half term marks the end of the first long, hard slog since Christmas and it's a great time to get away with the family. It's an ideal time to escape for some winter sun, perhaps a trip to the ski slopes or the chance to visit one of the world's great cities. Where will you be going?

Where to go away at February half term 2014

Escaping from the winter in February can be tricky, so here we round up some great ideas to help you get the holiday you need and deserve...

With the Med still in the grip of the winter months, you need to be flying for at least four hours to get some sunshine.

The best value options are the Canary Islands, with temperatures in the mid-20s and a full day of sunshine. Heading further afield to destinations such as the Red Sea, Florida, the Caribbean, Maldives, Goa and Dubai will also give you plenty of sun to top up your vitamin D levels and give you a healthy looking tan.

Cities also make a great option for this time of year. However, for the more northern cities you will definitely need to wrap up to fight off the chilly temperatures. But with lots to see and do they make fantastic locations for family holidays. From Athens and Rome through to Berlin and Stockholm, and of course the classics such as Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona, there are plenty to choose from. And at this time of year you'll also get great holiday prices with cheap flights and hotels on offer.

If you don't want to travel overseas or are looking for a shorter break, there's also plenty to do on our doorsteps, whether you want to introduce the kids to a city within the UK or enjoy some quality time as a family on a UK cottage or holiday park break.

When is February half term 2014?

Dates for schools being closed down for the February half term break do vary. These are the dates for major UK cities...

The dates of half term holidays can vary from one part of the country to another, with some lucky children enjoying a whole week off while others may only have two or three days off.

The main shutdown periods for schools in the big cities can be found below. However, do check with your own school or local education authority for exact dates for your own children's schools. They can vary dramatically, even within the same education authority area.

• The South East - London schools break up on February 14 and return on February 24
• West Country - Bristol schools break up on February 14 and return on February 24
• The Midlands - Birmingham schools break up on February 14 and return on February 24
• The North - Manchester schools break up on February 14 and return on February 24
• Scotland - Glasgow schools are off on February 10 and 11
• Northern Ireland - Belfast schools are off on February 17 and 18
• Wales - Cardiff schools break up on February 21 and return on March 3