Spending the day out as a family is a wonderful way to wind down and remember how to enjoy each other’s company. We’ve put together this guide to fun days out for kids so that you don’t have to worry about all the planning.
Just pick somewhere you wouldn’t normally go, or something you wouldn’t normally do, get out there and have fun together! And remember – dirt is good, so don’t worry about doing something a bit messy or muddy – Persil small & mighty can help treat those stains and get your laundry fresh and clean.
Getting the most out of family days out
Spontaneous trips are some of the most enjoyable – after all, what can be more exciting than having an adventure and discovering new places as a family? But if you have younger kids you’ll already doubt the wisdom of taking a plunge into the unfamiliar: where will you be able to change nappies; where your child will nap; will there be somewhere your kids can just run around? Thinking a little ahead is always a good idea and will help to take some of the unwanted stress out of family day trips.
When preparing for your family day out you might want to keep these things in mind:
- Be prepared: see if you can book tickets for venues or activities in advance to avoid waiting in long queues, and reserve tables at any café or restaurants in advance. If you’re going to something like a theme park, look at a site map ahead of time so that you’ll have a general idea of where to head for food or bathroom facilities.
- Queuing, especially during the summer months when family days out are in great demand, may be inevitable. Keep little ones occupied while you wait with small toys and games – puzzles, like a Rubix cube, cup-and-ball, or (for younger kids) a finger trap, often work well. If there’s something to lean on, word searches, quizzes, and colouring books are helpful too.
- Sometimes, great days out for kids involve a slightly longer car ride than usual, so use games to make the journey go faster: the AA have a few suggestions with handy downloads here. Challenges that involve spotting things outside the car, like the classic I-Spy, are also great for travel sick kids – according to the NHS, keeping your eyes on the horizon can help alleviate the problem.
- Pack wisely. A fun family day out often hinges on small details, like having snacks and water on hand to keep energy levels high during the day, sunscreen in case of unexpected hot weather, and lightweight waterproofs in case of rain. Wet wipes are often a parent’s best friend, particularly if you are going to have a picnic. While you probably already have a basic first aid kit on hand, extra plasters and antiseptic cream in case of scrapes can also help.
- Make sure you have Persil small & mighty back at home to help remove some of the inevitable stains from a fun family day out!
Fun Days Out for Kids: Where to go and what to do
Here are some ideas for fun days out for kids that parents will enjoy too. If you really want to go all out, try making crafts, or playing fancy dress or role play games based on our suggested themes (in brackets) during the run up to your big family day out to get your kids excited about the destination.
- Castles or country estates (historical; knights). A number of great locations across the UK make history vivid with actors and realistic models. Mountfitchet Castle, a medieval Norman Castle rebuilt on the original site, has a number of ‘Horrid History Weekends’: actors give tours and bring the castle back to life. Past events have seen the castle struck by the plague, hosting courtly combat, and conducting witch hunts. Visit England suggest other great castles here.
- Geo-caching (treasure hunts; orientation). Try something different with your day out by hunting for treasure left by other geo-cache aficionados! Once you’re given the location of the cache, seek it out, sign the logbook, and even leave something of your own for the next treasure hunter – some caches are pretty unique and surprising! Find out more about this great day out for kids here.
- Museums and galleries (specific themes; creativity; imagination). While the bigger UK museums and galleries have a lot to offer, try something a little niche during the summer months to avoid the crowds. The Ragged School Museum runs a Victorian Classroom experience, where kids can wear period clothing and sit in on a lesson with a Victorian Schoolmistress. The Guardian offers some other suggestions for great family days out here.
- Working farms or ‘Pick your own’ farmer’s shops (animals; nature; agriculture). Picking your own fruit and veg as a family is a great way to teach kids about nature – and they’ll love eating the things they harvest! To make the most of a trip to a working farm, why not download one of our Nature Activities for Kids worksheets before the day?
- Giant mazes (puzzles, riddles, the Minotaur myth). There are a number of truly impressive mazes scattered all over the UK; from the Forbidden Corner in Yorkshire, made up of weird and wonderful chambers, tunnels, and follies, to the Amazing Cornish Maize Maze, created with (you guessed it) maize. Find some other great mazes here.
- The beach (seaside; water; pirates). Sometimes a classic family day out is exactly what you need. Shake up the usual beach trip by taking a boat trip, or travelling along the beach in style on a pony trek! Check out our article on beach games for more ideas!