I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive so we can get out and about a bit more with the girls. While I do make sure they get plenty of fresh air and we take lots of walks in the fields near our house, day trips are no fun when you’re freezing, so we spend much more time stuck inside during the colder months.
Days out with a four and one year old can be tricky to manage. We don’t want to spend too long in the car and activities need to meet both girls’ needs. We recently visited Paultons Park which is home to Peppa Pig World, which the girls absolutely loved. Myself and Warren however, although taking great delight in the girls enjoyment, left the park feeling scarred by the Peppa Pig theme tune which played over and over and over again…
This got me thinking, there must be plenty of theme parks around the country that would interest the whole family. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and have wanted to go to the Warner Bros Studio Tour just north of London for some time.
While I know Aria isn’t going to give two hoots about being surrounded by props from the famous film series or walking over the original stone flooring of The Great Hall, I’m pretty sure she’s going to enjoy running up and down Diagon Alley and be excited to see steam bellowing out of the Hogwarts Express. Sienna is also far too young to be interested in the magical world of Hogwarts but I know she will take delight in self-stirring cauldrons and the chance to ride on a broomstick. The bonus? I’ll be jumping up and down inside over the fact I’m standing in Dumbledore’s Office and the Gryffindor Common Room.
Parents often spend all their time looking after the kids and completely forget about themselves in the process, but it’s of vital importance to treat yourself once in a while too. Quality time that is enjoyable for the whole family is much more beneficial to your household’s well-being. With a little organisation and preparation, family days out can be stress-free affairs with memories you and your darlings will cherish for years to come. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way…
Entrance tickets to theme parks and attractions can soon add up so plan ahead and look for money off vouchers or book in advance for discounts. Many places give free entry to little ones under 4 and offer plenty of free activities once you’re in. We all know how pricey cafes and restaurants at attractions can be too, so pack the family a picnic, spread out a blanket and half the cost of your day out in an instant.
Sometimes taking the car is the easiest option as you can pack the boot full of essentials and extras. If you’re travelling for some distance and likely to incur traffic though, public transport can offer a stress-free alternative. My girls love to ride on trains and we often turn the journey into an exciting part of our day out. Booked in advance or with a family railcard, public transport can also be a more economical option. Children under 5 travel for free on most rail networks in the UK too.
While some parenting apps seem inherently pointless, there are a few which really do make days out much simpler. If your baby or toddler is still in nappies, the Nappy App, which uses GPS to identify your nearest facilities, will save you from those roadside changes in the back of the car. If you’re stuck for somewhere to park, the NCP app will help you find your nearest car park as well as making a note of exactly where you left your car. And when the kids finally start getting angsty and bored of travelling? A few child-friendly game apps can also be a Godsend.
What are your top tips when travelling with your little ones?
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*PR collaboration but all thoughts are honest and my own.