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STEVE CANAVAN: Hard truths and sage advice for fathers-to-be: part two

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It’s half-term week when the school gate is closed and every parent becomes chief entertainer.

Having the children for a week can become costly with trips to the cinema, days out and eating out. But with some thought and planning it really doesn’t have to be.

In Portsmouth and the surrounding area there are so many things my daughters and I enjoy doing that doesn’t take a single penny out of my wallet.

There is Southsea beach, which even in winter can provide entertainment for my daughters Caitlin and Alyssa. They enjoy ‘playing’ with the waves, following the receding water then running away from it when it comes crashing back in their direction.

Then there’s Canoe Lake with its park and play area nearby where it’s my job to push my girls on the swings.

Just around the corner is the Portsmouth Natural History Museum with its resident dinosaur. Four-year-old Alyssa once asked if it was real.

All this free fun in Portsmouth. How cold is the Solent at this time of year? The girls have asked to go swimming.