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

CMOTDibbler Sat 20-Jul-13 16:26:48

288 Bar and Wok in Cheltenham - they are so family friendly, without making it a childrens restaurant. Plenty of clean high chairs that fit over the benches so children can be sat anywhere, placemats that double as colouring and activity sheets (same for everyone), big jars of crayons brought over immediatly as standard, the offer of a plastic bowl and childrens cutlery for the very little to just share off parents plates, trainer chopsticks, and no childrens menu just the offer of small portions of anything.
But most of all, genuinely lovely staff who are happy to have children eating there, and an owner who has 3 little girls of his own and gives the children real attention. Last week he was giving out free icecream, and has previously played my son at 'Hey thats my fish' during lunch service for free drinks.

Yonilovesboni Sat 20-Jul-13 18:23:54

Heeley (sheffield) city farm is fab! Family friendly and all staff very helpful. Free entry and there's a wonderful cafe with homemade and organic produce.smile

ballstoit Sat 20-Jul-13 18:49:50

We enjoyed an extended family day out at Bewilderwood in Norfolk today. We had 9 children aged 15 months - 10 with us. It is the only place we visited on holiday that catered for everyone and had activities that all the children (and adults!) could be involved in and enjoy.

DoodleAlley Sat 20-Jul-13 20:35:21

Anglesey Sea Zoo are consistently fantastic. They may not have the scale of places like the Deep or Blue Planet but there is plenty to entertain and is more than made up by the enthusiasm and expertise of the staff who are generous with their time for visitors.

The lobster nursery with its inch long lobsters has to be seen to be believed and a free sea themed bouncy castle in the play area tops the day off.

blondieminx Sat 20-Jul-13 21:04:46

Another vote for Pizza Express here: every branch, every visit the staff are consistently very child friendly and DD loves it there!

CheeryCherry Sat 20-Jul-13 22:58:13

Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley is so child friendly. There's a lovely play/picnic area, tons of animals to see, many to feed and plenty to pet. Very friendly staff. Good Facebook page for updates on new arrivals in the farm. Really recommend it.
Also we love the farm and park at Chatsworth, the cafe is splendid grin

MrsShrek3 Sat 20-Jul-13 23:27:45

Tatton Park, Cheshire. we have visited many times but the most recent visit was with two.friends an between us nine children aged 5 to 19. Every single one of them was happy. Awesome play area to finish...after visiting all of the grounds, walled garden etc. it has good (toilet and cafe) facilities too.

firawla Sat 20-Jul-13 23:36:19

was very happy with legoland when we went recently, and the access pass given for sn children. had heard lot of people say they make it hard to get etc but they didnt, it was very simple and very helpful and all staff made the whole day v easy. overall v good
also ask restaurant, good with kids

MrsYamada Sun 21-Jul-13 00:28:18

Crealy Adventure Park (Devon & Cornwall). Brilliant theme parks, playgrounds, soft play, animals and more. All my children love both parks. My eldest child has ASD and loves rides, these parks are big enough to meet his requirements, but not too big for queues and crowds to be a big issue.

polosareverynice Sun 21-Jul-13 00:28:59

My vote is for paradise wildlife park in Broxbourne Hertfordshire tickets are a bit on the expensive side but no more than most other attractions, plus they accept clubcard vouchers from tesco. But there's loads of things for children to do there's softplay a petting zoo, other animals and birds a park area woodland walk areas for food a picnic area (great if you want to take your own food) they do talks on the animals as well good for when you want a sit down ;) and all in all a great day out in fact there's such a lot of things to actually do I didn't actually manage to get around to everything in a day and the only other downside is things like ice cream and tea and coffee can be expensive so it pays to be prepared!

Maybe it's just our local one, but I find café rouge a nightmare. We have walked out before now having been sat for 15 minutes without even a menu arriving and the service is always excruciatingly slow. That said, we haven't been for a few years precisely because of this.

ASK, OTOH, was fantastic until they closed our local branch. Great service, great children's menu, great staff, and the best colouring pencils anywhere. I coveted those pencils smile.

For small independents, I would nominate Eastnor Pottery in Herefordshire. Fantastic activity for all ages, and Jon (aka the flying potter) is an amazing teacher.

gerbilsarefun Sun 21-Jul-13 10:30:51

Wentworth Garden Centre, in Rotherham, South Yorks. is worth a visit. Not just a garden centre, there is a maze, a garden, a play area, a little farm as well as restaurants, pet shop, gift shop, cafes etc.

MalcolmTuckerSwearsBy Sun 21-Jul-13 11:38:44

I wentto Berny Riviere near Paris and stayed with Canvas in a three be caravan. It's the first time n several years that my oldest DC, aged 20, has holidayed with us.

Canvas now have a Family Extra club, which is open to any age.

Which means all activities in thas section are open to any age. Yep, six or 60 you can take part in the olympics, water fights, body zorbing, water walkers etc.

It's an excellent idea, and Ds might even come back with us next year.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 22-Jul-13 22:59:17

Cafe Nero in Weston Super Mare- they don't charge for their Babycinos and treat my kids like paying customers when they go up and order their fifth one own. Makes them feel really special.

IncaAztec Tue 23-Jul-13 09:15:05

I went to Pizza Express in Norwich (The Forum) recently with my daughter (age 2) and massive baby bump.

The staff could not have been more accomodating. I was on my own (needing a quick bite with a hot toddler) and they sorted out a cold water for both of us and the dough balls were quickly on my table!

Staff were welcoming and friendly with my toddler (who isn't exactly the best eater) and came over to giggle with her when she was pointing and shouting.

Thanks Pizza Express!

Punkatheart Tue 23-Jul-13 19:31:57

The Alto Lounge in Caversham has got to be the friendliest, most welcoming places for parents. There was a crying baby in there recently and the father had two little ones. The owner came over to try and help and she was unbelievably sweet. My daughter has various phobias and one is eating in public. The Alto is the only one she can cope with - because they are kind.

ratbagcatbag Wed 24-Jul-13 07:34:57

Carsington water in the Peak District. One of the best baby change facilities I've attended, clean all the time. Staff in the cafe bend over backwards to accommodate the pushchair and downstairs the interactive area about water is fascinating for adults and children alike. One of the best play areas I've been too and amazing for walking, seeing wildlife, having picnics and bbqs too. smile

Clawdy Wed 24-Jul-13 10:32:10

Belle Vue Inn in Papcastle,near Cockermouth. Lovely little country pub,delicious lunches and very child-friendly.

Cherrygrape Wed 24-Jul-13 12:20:30

The first place that came to mind was the one snowymum21 mentioned.
We went on a day trip to all things wild, (nr evesham, west midlands)as it was cheaper than lots of other attractions around the area and I wasn't disappointed.
There's indoor and out door play areas, go karts, themed crafts, animal petting, educational areas etc. after 3 hours we were all still having fun and had lots to do.

lorisparkle Thu 25-Jul-13 15:11:18

We went to the Corinium museum in Cirencester. The museum had lots of hand on things for the children to do and was spacious and airy and not too busy. They also had a special children's activity which DS all enjoyed. A lovely afternoon especially on a hot day when you want to cool down!

mummyofcutetwo Fri 26-Jul-13 01:38:35

The Riverside Cafe in North Shields is great. The staff are lovely. If I go in with the two boys on my own they know I could do with a bit of a hand, and sort out a highchair etc for me.

They have sippy cups and little cutlery for the little ones and a great menu for the slightly bigger ones, with healthy food which actually appeals to them. The food there is delicious. I can highly recommend the breakfasts and the yummy healthy lunches.

The warm, friendly atmosphere of the cafe makes it a place you want to go with the children.

fudge65 Sat 27-Jul-13 16:45:47

Tropical World at Roundhay Park is a fantastic place to take little ones. Very reasonable admission price too. Lots of animals to see: meerkats, crocodiles, snakes, little monkeys etc. Don't go on a red hot day though - sweltering temperatures! Great gift shop too and lovely little cafe. Good playground opposite too.

Turnipvontrapp Sun 28-Jul-13 23:11:53

The swan hotel in Newby bridge is very child friendly as is the North Lakes hotel in Penrith. I would love to go back to the Swan but now we are a family of five we would need 2 rooms and it would work out a bit too expensive.

mummyofcutetwo Mon 29-Jul-13 07:16:28

I know that softplay places should be child/family friendly by their very nature, but I don't think that's always the case. Kiki's Kabin in North Shields is definitely one of the good uns.

The staff are great - they remember the children between visits and talk to them as customers (other softplay places just talk to the adults). They are friendly and helpful, and always cheery (but not falsely so!).

The play areas are great fun and toddlers have a really fun area to play in safely.

The whole centre is kept clean (the staff go around with little vacuum cleaners to keep everything spick and span).

The food is excellent and not overpriced (also different to many other softplay places who seem to see adults as a captive audience and charge the earth!).

I'd definitely recommend Kiki's Kabin to anyone in the area who is looking for a good value activity for the children. I just can't fault it.

AlphaBetaOoda Mon 29-Jul-13 07:54:33

Giraffe in Bath was v good service. Good kids food, waitress made a colouring picture for dd3.

Pizza express waiter cut up my pizza as I was bf ds and dh had taken dd3 to the toilet,

La tasca kids menu is really good mix of Spanish style food & familiar food

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