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Tell Direct Line what makes the perfect family day out – £150 John Lewis voucher to be won. Plus 20 MNers will win a year’s free membership to the Let’s Go website! NOW CLOSED

(105 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Apr-14 17:08:21

With summer just around the corner, Direct Line would love to hear from Mumsnetters about the perfect fun filled family day out.

Here's what Direct Line have to say, "To celebrate our launch of 'Let's Go', a new rewards programme offering an exclusive range of free and 2-for-1 deals across the UK, we're on the hunt to find out what elements make a great family day out."

Do you have a fail-safe formula for the perfect outing? Or is this just a distant dream because there are chores you need to finish before you can enjoy fun and frolics with the family?

So whether it's oodles of good value activities for you and the kids, someone to look after them while you relax or simply time away, get in touch and let us know what you think.

Everyone who adds a comment will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £150 John Lewis voucher.

20 Mumsnetters will also win a year's free membership to the Let's Go website, giving you access to hundreds of free and 2-for-1 family days out across the UK (both local and major national attractions) - all year round!

Thanks and good luck,
MNHQ

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 14-May-14 12:25:38

Thanks everyone for posting your thoughts. This thread has now closed and the winners have been chosen. Congrats to tiredandsadmuum who won the £150 John Lewis voucher!
And congratulations to the following 20 Mumsnetters who won a subscription to the reward scheme Let's Go!
craftynclothy
Cheesecakefactory
GrasshopperNchipmunk
Bubbles85
starlight36
vestandknickers
threepiecesuite
Quidgetmidget
WhoAteAllTheEasterEggs
MakkaPakkasSponge
EatSleepRaveRepeat
CointreauVersial
k8vincent
Petal7
GoldenHares
Spirael
Moonegirl
Iwantavuvezela
ErnestShufflebottom
Moneyone

Moogdroog Mon 05-May-14 07:35:47

The perfect day out for me and my family involves fresh air, a good bit of exercise to tire out the kids, a picnic and an ice cream later grin

I especially enjoy spending time showing the kids the places I used to go to as a child, as we've recently moved back to my neck of the woods. I get to feel like a kid again.

moneyone Sun 04-May-14 20:49:29

Our formula is going somewhere far away enough for the DC to nap en route, somewhere outdoors where they can frolic and toddle, a good picnic area, clean loos and an icecream parlour.

kelandab Sun 04-May-14 09:11:00

Our favourite family day out is always when the extended family comes along & we all sit with a yummy picnic, the adult generally chat & gossip, the kids love to build a den in the woods & often we will finish up with a very competitive game of rounders or football & the best part is it's pretty much free!

glmcall123 Sat 03-May-14 20:55:51

The perfect family day out for me would be one that has short or no queues. Reasonably priced, kid friendly food and picnic benches. Lots of varied activities so there is something for all ages and a gift shop with pocket money prices. The best place we've been to so far that ticks all the boxes for me is Knowsley Safari Park.

FrontForward Fri 02-May-14 20:46:57

Outdoors!!! Sun and exercise. Nice food so I like either a nice packed lunch or to eat out. A cycle ride or a good walk

LaTrucha Fri 02-May-14 14:42:48

I have just learned to drive so am venturin gout for the first few trips with my little DCs. Everything, but everything has been a success so far. I think things that make it really good are:
Good picnic area
Clean toilets
Variety
Don't try and do everything
Have a clear sense - as a parent - of what you are willing to spend money on and what not. If I have it clear in my own mind, I sound far more decisive and we don't get into argy bargies - or not much.
I will not set foot in a gift shop with small DCs after a busy tiring day unless I have won the lottery or lost my mind. I used to ADORE them when I was little with such a passion that I know I will see it in the DCs and cave. I wonder how long I'll be able to keep that one up! grin

ErnestShufflebottom Fri 02-May-14 09:53:48

If it's a theme park not having massive queues for the rides. DS gets stressed and then stroppy and it ruins it for everyone. Good value, preferably homemade food with a clean cafe and plenty of tables. Lots of free parking which is close to the attraction. Clean toilets with changing facilities.

MrChow Fri 02-May-14 00:52:44

Something these days that can suit Both a toddler and a nearly teenager with an 8 year old in the middle!

Not expensive, if food is available not just big standard chips and rubber burgers with a huge price tag (longleat fails on this).

I like the option of indoor and outdoor so if the weather isn't so good we can nip in.

missorinoco Thu 01-May-14 20:25:20

A perfect family day out.
Some where we can take a picnic. it means we aren't queueing for food that the DC may or may not eat that eats into the budget of the trip.

Not too far away, under 2 hrs drive. If a distance we like to go early and enjoy the whole day.

Depends on the weather, if it might be dodgy venue needs indoor facilities.

Ice creams for the DC and a decent cup of tea for me.

Had a number of great days out recently where poor weather didn't matter, so where I previously would have said good weather I have finally become more flexible.

iwantavuvezela Thu 01-May-14 15:56:09

To focus on doing less! So on a day out to choose one thing to do, be it visiting an aquarium, a musuem, a theme park and not try and pack in another couple of things with that. (Quality over quantity of activities) This makes dragging children around tired and irritable! I have to remind myself that having children along slows things down, and it is better to lower owns expectations about what can be done in a day!
The to remember (this is for me of course) to go with childrens flow as well, if we are on a day out, to have some sort of an idea (i.e. where we are going, what we will do) and then allow for whatever might come up. When my DD was a toddler i was often rushing her somewhere instead of just letting her be interested where she actually is.

I don't drive so ease of access is my main priority - I need to be able to get there by public transport.

After that, value for money so anywhere that has extortionate entry fees or shoddy over-priced food is immediately written off.

Then it needs to be safe and preferably a place where I can let the kids run free while I oversee from the cafe.....

solastyear Thu 01-May-14 12:32:21

Perfect day out would be outdoors on a lovely, dry, sunny day. Somewhere with plenty of (preferably free) safe car parking. Clean toilets are essential and a reasonably priced cafe is always a bonus. Love the Yorkshire Sculpture Park but it does fail on the car parking - can be a struggle to get parked there on nice days. Also enjoy going to the beach but need to set off early or you get stuck in horrendous traffic jams unless you take the quite scary unclassified roads!

TheGinSoakedBoy Thu 01-May-14 09:53:30

Our perfect day out means, an early start so we get the whole day wherever we're going. I always pack a picnic and drinks as our budget is small, especially if we have to pay a hefty entrance fee.
Places that charge more with a year 'free' re- admission drive me crackers. I wish it was just cheaper on the day. The cost of petrol or public transport is so high it would be unlikely we'd return to get our moneys worth!
We like lots of open space to walk, run, play games and picnic.
Nice clean loos are a must.
My children are as happy with a visit to the local outdoor paddling pools as with a theme park visit. I often think we adults need to lower expectations and enjoy the simple pleasures more.

mrshuggybear Thu 01-May-14 09:39:54

My perfect day out involves lots of fresh air and space to run around, good food in a child friendly environment and beautiful surroundings. Like the Dorset countryside where we live. We visit all the castles, beaches, parks and tourist attractions here and feel so lucky to live here. We don't spend a lot of money and have had a better time out walking by the sea and having a picnic than visiting a theme park.

LaundryLegoLunch Thu 01-May-14 09:33:58

Agree with those that say anything can make a great day out. Ime, lowering your expectations really helps. Especially on those days out which to adults seem amazing (Legoland, Alton Towers etc) as kids just enjoy what's in front of them whether that's a trip to the local park followed by lunch in the local caff or a day costing £150 planned months in advance.

And yyy to flexibility. If nobody is enjoying what you've planned then change the plans!

Cataline Wed 30-Apr-14 22:10:31

Flexibility, compromise, willingness to try something new, dressing appropriately for the weather/activity, somewhere to get a decent coffee and cake, value for money and a sense of humour are all vital!

LindseyandMatthew Wed 30-Apr-14 21:29:26

As soon as the sun comes out we head to the beach or a local park. We pack a picnic and enjoy ice cream whilst we are there. I love nothing more than sitting on a picnic blanket on the beach watching my children have fun and just enjoying the warmth.

moonegirl Wed 30-Apr-14 20:52:13

good weather, short car journey, somewhere to eat a picnic to save on food costs and the feeling we have had value for money.
one of our favourite days out is Bolton abbey nr skipton, we can park for £8 and stay all day going on lots of lovely walks, playing on the small beach and admiring the wildlife.....providing the weather is good.

stealthsquiggle Wed 30-Apr-14 19:10:24

Oh FGS I wrote a long and meaningful post and then must have pressed cancel on the silly app..

What was I saying? Something about a great day out being characterised (largely with hindsight, as I am very very cautious of over-hyping any day out as they generally then don't live up to expectations) by being able to describe it as "carefree" - which is a combination of mood, weather, and the facilities meeting our needs (enough space, not too crowded, no minor annoyances like being ripped off for parking before you even get in to a venue, good food at not too ridiculous prices). Some of the most unexpected days (like a day spent at the village fete, more out of duty than any great desire to go) have turned out to be those perfect carefree memories which I treasure.

worldgonecrazy Wed 30-Apr-14 15:48:43

A perfect day out for us would be somewhere within an hour or two's drive, with a gorgeous cafe serving home made delicious food, a wander around a stately home, ice cream, then DD falling asleep in the car on the way home. Luckily we do get to do this quite often.

CrewElla Wed 30-Apr-14 12:34:20

Getting the practical things organised - diaper bag, extra clothes/jacket, food packed , makes it enjoyable for me. Then I sit back and enjoy whatever adventures might present themselves. I will enjoy any family day knowing we are all comfortable and fed!

A sense of spirit and openess means it doesn't what we do. Each new experience as a family is exciting.

Lurleene Tue 29-Apr-14 20:39:34

My favourite days out usually involve a train ride - I hate being stuck in traffic so a town with a station in walking distance of everything is ideal.Winchester for example is great because the shops, restaurants, museums, parks etc are all close together. You can cram a lot into one day!

I also wish that attractions would stop having artificially high admission prices so that you have to seek out money off vouchers. I wish they would just be cheaper in the first place instead!

ouryve Tue 29-Apr-14 18:57:42

A great day out for us is one that's not too crowded and not overly complicated. The boys like a bit of trudging (even DS2, who won't walk, if it's busy) so if we go to the beach, it needs to be a large, quiet one that we can walk the length of and back again. They like a little bit of something to look at - cars and fish tend to go down well. DS1 also likes somewhere he can spend some money, but that tends to add a bit of stress to the day, to be honest!

If it's a purpose built place, then loos need to be clean and there's needs to be food options other than crap burgers and chips, which seems to be the staple of a lot of theme parks. There also needs to be a loo where we can change our almost 8yo's nappy, if needs be, so a clean floor and hanging hooks in a disabled loo is a must at a minimum - a fixed rather than hinged changing station if he happens to do soil is a must. Not many baby change facilities have these and a lot of baby changes are too public for a growing boy. Unless the situation with his continence improves in the next eyar or so, we're going to have to take a list of changing spaces, wherever we go.

For us, it's all about it's about time and space. Time to just be together, explore, chill, play and eat. And space, ideally finding our own little place to set up camp and do our thing. Preferably away from the madding crowds!

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