When I had just one child planning days out was a straight forward affair – I simply applied the ‘Will she enjoy it?’ rule on the basis of if she is having a nice time then so will we! Fast forward to now and I have three children ranging from three to eighteen. You might think the 18 year old would have outgrown family days out and be happy not to come, but no, she is bereft if we go without her!
So now I have to find place to go that will entertain a 3 year old, an 11 year old, an 18 year old – and preferably us adults too! Of course one place where it is easy to find things to keep all age ranges entertained is London, and even if that seems like a long way to go, Flybe offer budget flights to London which can knock hours off of travelling time.
The key to keeping everyone happy is knowing who wants what from a day out:-
The Three Year Old – fresh air, the ability to be noisy and preferably messy, buttons to push, chips and ketchup.
The Eleven Year Old – Science stuff, cool geeky stuff, access to technology, chips and ketchup.
The Eighteen Year Old – Access to wi-fi, or at least 4G as if it isn’t snapchatted/instagrammed it didn’t happen, stuff she can take interesting photographs of, chips and ketchup.
The Adults – seeing the kids having fun, an occasional sit down, a cold, preferably alcoholic drink at the end of it.
Using my internal scanner of reasonably priced stuff to do in London I reckon our ideal combo for a day out there (or to be honest in any town!) is to start off with a museum, followed by a park that offers a play area and preferably some sculpture for the teen to photograph while her younger brothers let off steam, then a pub for dinner – chips for the kids and a well earned beer for the grown ups!
When looking for the perfect museum to satisfy a range of ages I make sure they have at least some of the following features:- hands on activities, quiz sheets, a cafe, wi-fi, a variety of areas to satisfy different interests. London of course offers plenty of options that fit these criteria.
For us the Science Museum is always a winner. The youngest can have a whale of a time in the interactive zones, my middle one has a huge Space area to explore and learn in, and the various huge machines and cog mechanisms make for some really quirky photo opportunities for my photography mad teen. This is followed closely by the Natural History Museum and the Museum Of Childhood.
For the best London park to suit our needs I would plump for Kensington Gardens – the Diana Memorial Playground offers ample play opportunities and the gardens also have beautiful landscapes and plenty of statues and sculpture to admire.
And as for finding a good pub – London is rammed with them, easy peasy!
So in short my top tips for pleasing all your kids on a family day out are:-
- Consider everyone’s needs and try and make sure the attractions you visit offer something suitable for each family member.
- Try and mix up indoor and outdoor activities – younger kids especially really do need a dose of fresh air after some time spent in stuffy air conditioned buildings.
- Make sure everyone stays fed and hydrated – if there is one lesson I have learnt in my 18 years of parenting it is that hungry/thirsty kids = grumpy, tetchy kids. It took me many a painful year to notice the correlation, but since I have, life has been much smoother!
- Relax – don’t over schedule, have a general plan but not a timetable. Allow room for spontaneous adventures!
What are your tips for a great day out?
Love Miss Cisco XXX
Disclosure: This post is in association with Flybe