Tell us about your Family Friendly moments and win £100 Matalan vouchers NOW CLOSED

(115 Posts)
carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 16-Jul-13 14:14:36

We now have more than 20 companies signed up for Mumsnet's Family Friendly programme and we'd love to hear about any Family Friendly moments you have this summer - this could be great service from a company, store, family attraction, travel company etc or something in your workplace that's made family life better or easier for you.

Everyone who posts on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win £100 Matalan vouchers. (Thanks to Family Friendly members Matalan). Closing date August 18th 2013.

Thanks and good luck,
Family Friendly Team

We go there every summer, but we had great service at Portavadie Marina Restaurant last month.

We have stayed at the marina regularly since DD was 6 months old because the facilities are so child friendly.

They have nice child changing rooms, clean and spacious play areas and the rooms in the lodge are a great size so it means there's no travel cot squished in that you are constantly tripping over.

The restaurant in particular is lovely though as it's great quality food and the chef will arrange anything for you if you have any dietary requirements or just plain old fussy eaters .(I do.)
The staff were also very friendly without it being fussy and good at interacting with the kids- handing out crayons and colouring etc
They even made a picnic for us to have at the beach on a sunny day.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend away, so peaceful and beautiful, and DD loved it too.

threepiecesuite Tue 16-Jul-13 21:08:49

Bents garden centre in Glazebury, Warrington (www.bents.co.uk/)is super family-friendly. It has the best children's equipment in the café - so much more than just a gesture to younger visitors. Their outdoor play area is outstanding, I had to drag DD away after 4 hours!
The toilets are child-friendly and the staff are genuinely keen to assist. I love going there as a family.

sharond101 Tue 16-Jul-13 22:09:30

I think the Hamilton Townhouse Bookbug is amazing and they had a Summer Teddy Bear's Picnic which made a Summer memory for us to treasure.

snowymum12 Wed 17-Jul-13 14:25:02

If anyone in the West Midlands is looking for a decent day out then I would wholeheartedly recommend Everything Wild near Evesham. I went as I was looking for somewhere local to take my little girl but was anxious as TripAdvisor had some less than favourable reviews. It was great. There are lots of animals, both domestic birds and more exotic creatures. I really liked the indoor play rooms, with facilities for babies as well as craft and soft play for older children. It really is a lovely day out.

peacockdawn Wed 17-Jul-13 15:16:20

The Deep in Hull is a brilliant day out with a 4 year old and an 11 month year old. Lots to see - many aquariums, lots of interesting facts to share with the children, lots of interactive games and an ice wall to touch and a soft play area for the 11 month old too. Space for the 4 year old to be independent and a little area where there is an interactive floor with projections on (sorry dont know technical term!). Great staff and layout is really simple - guess queues an issue on a busy day but we choose carefully. There is a picnic area (where you can still get a coffee) and a cafe for afterwards and we usually have a walk along the river before getting back into the car. Wonderful day out with very tired children afterwards! BEst bit is, you buy a ticket and can go free for a year - brilliant, lots of days to remember - and always something different!

manfalou Wed 17-Jul-13 18:24:59

Our local family owned pub the Tellemere Lodge is THE most kid friendly (privately owned) pub ever. They have books, paper, colours etc for the kids to use, there kids menu is lovely, they have a playground outside as well as a couple of donkeys, rabbits, goats and guinea pigs. When DS1 was a baby we went there on a saturday night meal as he usually slept in the car seat but this day he cried cried and cried some more once dinner had arrives. I overheard a lady saying that it was wrong to bring babies out at this time of night (it was only 7:30?) and was going to leave DH to eat his dinner and take DC into the car. The owner of the pub must have seen how flustered/upset I was and came over to me. All she said was 'this is a family pub, you are a family, babies cry. You stay here, they can leave if they have a problem'

It made my day and I was so grateful to her for saying that!

superbagpuss Wed 17-Jul-13 18:28:14

wyevale garden centre in little Marlow.

they have a car washing service with friendly men, a nice coffee shop and small soft play area. the perfect place to meet a friend for a coffee and catch up and the staff are always friendly and helpful

maximum4 Thu 18-Jul-13 00:07:29

For us it's Thomson Al Fresco - have holidayed with them twice now. Booking staff on phone line really friendly and helpful. Reps bend over backwards onsite to assist. Caravans clean and well equiped. A1 service.

Maggietess Thu 18-Jul-13 19:40:22

I'm sure it's a common one but Pizza Express are for me the most family friendly restaurant in our area. Not somewhere I'd choose for a quiet romantic meal as half the restaurant is always under 8, but a perfect background level of noise that masks your own kids playing up!!
Add to that the easy and good value children's menu and a couple of the waiters in our local branch who know that we're there to get in, get the food, keep it coming and head home! There's one in particular who knows that we like the kids desserts to arrive half way through our adult meals as with a baby and 2 other kids under 6 we are on a short timer for a dinner that works for everyone!!

sealight123 Thu 18-Jul-13 20:02:01

Cannon Hall Farm!!! http://www.cannonhallfarm.co.uk/
Not only is it a wonderful place for your children to learn about animals and get to stroke and hold them, but the staff are all perfectly fitted for their jobs in the way that they are great with the kids. It has a large (and i mean large) adventure playground, loads of picnic areas, outdoor cafes, ice cream stalls and of course lots and lots of animals. We went for my daughters 2nd birthday and we will definitely be going back smile

majjsu Thu 18-Jul-13 20:58:21

The Zoo softplay at Concordia Cramlington is fab with bouncy castles, slides, building blocks, so clean, great staff and a cheap friendly cafe. It is such a shame it is only open April to August.

There is a local cafe called Coffee Plus at Backworth, nothing is too much trouble, everyone is so friendly and there is a section partitioned off for young children, with lots of toys. Eating here is a treat.

The botanic gardens in Edinburgh is great, lots of lovely gardens to wander in with big wide paths ideal for pushchairs and prams, and the cafes have great changing facilities for babies.

AllThatGlistens Fri 19-Jul-13 10:00:16

The Cheshire Ice Cream Farm is outstanding!

A brilliant dairy farm with the best ice cream ever, huge safe, spotlessly clean play areas, gift shop, lovely cafe, soft play indoor area, big games room, farm animals, mini golf, a treasure hunt and under 3s fenced off play area.

My DCs love it there. The one downside is that they don't allow picnics because they rely on their cafe for profit but its well worth it, the staff are always lovely and there's so much that's free to do it doesn't have to cost the earth.

Did I mention the ice cream is amazing?? grin

My all time favourite place in terms of family friendliness, is the White House Hotel on Herm Island. Herm is one of the smallest of the Channel Islands, and going there is like stepping back in time. No cars/traffic/noises, just beautiful coastal paths and beaches. The small hotel is amazingly family friendly, with children staying absolutely free most of the year on a half board basis. They have a special children's high tea so that the adults can eat in the restaurant later in the evening. They have baby listening in all the rooms, and can also arrange babysitters.

There is a very well priced children's menu for lunches, a well stocked games room with lego, jigsaws and puzzles as well as board games, and an outdoor pool which is safe and warm and has the most amazing views from it. The staff adore children, and possibly the best time to visit is Easter Sunday, when the Easter bunny himself visits, and there is a huge (free) Easter egg hunt throughout the hotel gardens. The staff love children and are so welcoming. It really is a lovely place to stay with children.

Without going so far afield, I think that Morwellham Quay is one of the loveliest places to visit with children. I took my DCs there aged 6 and 8, and we all enjoyed ourselves so much. Learning is very much disguised, so as the children have fun exploring the site (and the fun of the narrow gauge railway), they are also being exposed to a huge amount of history. There is the opportunity to dress up which is always a hit. The cafe serves delicious, healthy, home cooked food and is clean and comfortable.

If I wasn't due DC3 any day, we would be heading back there asap!

hermancakedestroyer Fri 19-Jul-13 17:27:05

I always find cafe rouge very child friendly. Talking to my children as individuals and making sure they have a colouring pack to keep them amused. As a family we always feel very welcome there.

Doogle2 Sat 20-Jul-13 09:45:38

The Trattotoria Italiana restaurant in Bexhill gave us brilliant family service.
There is a waiter there that does a bird whistle every time he sees children. My boys cheekily requested to see the chef and they went in the kitchen and came out with a handful of goodies.
It is run by a family and gave a feeling that children were very welcome and valued there.

My dcs love Bents in Warrington too. Also Whythenshaw Park. Great play area, loads of open space, green house trails, gardens, a cafe and a city farm. There's free parking too.

SisterMatic Sat 20-Jul-13 09:53:23

We really enjoy going to tam oshanters farm in bidston, wirral. Lovely day out, beautiful surroundings..lots of animals. It is free to get in but we leave a donation. Can't wait to go again.

Lyme park is great for families, especially the Crow Wood Playscape. Lots to climb on and through, great for all ages.
Dunham Massey have a new play area called the Logpile. That's enormous fun to play on.

IceNoSlice Sat 20-Jul-13 12:17:47

Umberslade Farm Park near Redditch. It's in a lovely setting with lots for various ages kids to do and see - small animals to hold, sheep and goats to feed, ducks, hens, horses etc. there is an indoor play barn with various sized John Deere tractor toys to play on an a soft ball area (hard to describe, not a ball pool but good for little ones).

And the cafe is lovely. Lots of space for pushchairs, lots of high chairs and yummy reasonably priced food (and cakes!)

Only minor criticism is the baby change could do with an upgrade.

IMST where exactly in Dunham is the Logpile? When did it open? I must have missed it.

sunnyshine Sat 20-Jul-13 13:34:27

My family love Finkley Down Farm in Andover. I have been going there since I was a child and I have fantastic memories of family days out there. My own dd's love it as do there cousins. Fantastic play park , animals, indoor play and animal touching sessions. We could spends days there smile

The m shed in Bristol. The cafe was very toddler friendly with healthy lunchbox choices at eye level and less healthy at more of an adult level.
They said it would be fine to take toddler and settle her before choosing what I wanted and they'd come over and take my order rather than me having to go backto the counter again.
V friendly staff

aristocat Sat 20-Jul-13 14:55:59

We love Amerton Farm & Craft Centre in Stafford. It is definitely a great day out for everyone, with lots to see and do for all ages.

The staff are always friendly and genuine, with extra activities during school holidays ~ last year it was a race to see who could make the best scarecrow with a prize for the winning team.

You can visit the Playbarn, see the Wildlife rescue centre, go on fairground rides, see Farm animals, there is also a Tea Room/Bakery, Garden centre and lots more. It really is a full day out ..... good job it opens at 9.30 smile

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