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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

bamblolo Mon 29-Jul-13 10:40:11

every week I take my elderly father to Marks and Spencers café in Widnes. The staff are always friendly and happy to help. Whilst there last week a lady came in using a walking frame and sat down it was very hot and she didn't look well. The staff got her a drink and took her order so she she didn't have to queue. I thought this was lovely as even though they were busy they still made sure the lady was ok. I have also seen them doing this for young mums letting them sit down with young children and bringing their orders over to their table.

CMOTDibbler Mon 29-Jul-13 11:08:43

Bamblolo - you've reminded me that family friendly should be all age ranges, and not just children.

So, I'd like to give a huge acknowledgement to Waitrose in Wallingford, who look after my elderly, frail parents with care that goes above and beyond.

They volunteered the service of pushing dad round the shop in a wheelchair, getting the shopping down, then taking him back to the car and putting the shopping in. They deal with mum and her dementia with huge grace, especially when she still thought she could use her bank card but frequently forgot the pin.

Without the care of the staff there, they'd no longer be able to do their own shopping, and the tiny amount of independance for mum of going round on her mobility scooter somewhere that people keep an eye on her is immense.

Lucie1979 Mon 29-Jul-13 19:36:01

Tilgate Park, Crawley. A beautiful place, a gorgeous lake, a play park (great when not too busy for my Autistic son), nature reserve, Animals to go and see. Really is lovely and we are so lucky to have this on our doorstep! We have had many many wonderful family moments here and hope there will be many more to come! smile

lolancurly Tue 30-Jul-13 09:37:52

There is a super Malaysian restaurant locally called Eurasia that we have been going to since my daughter was a few days old. She is now 6, and when we told the lovely lady owner about the restaurant being my daughter's favourite, she promised her a free dessert every single time we visit The tables are big and widely spread, so easy for kids to wriggle and fidget without disturbing other guests and they are not fazed by spilt drinks etc The start serving food from 5.30 pm, so also good for children. We regularly meet with other family here for birthday celebrations as they so easily accommodate big family groups. On top of all this, the food is wonderful - my daughter adores it and runs in as if we live there.

CalamityJ Thu 01-Aug-13 18:53:27

Starbucks is very family friendly offering free child sized versions of adult drinks like the smoothie cooler thing my friend ordered. Her son was so proud having the same drink as mummy! Very impressed.

MadMonkeys Thu 01-Aug-13 20:08:18

Marks and Spencers in Ventura Park, Tamworth! The café is fab. Someone finds a table with enough room to park a buggy next to it when you're paying for food. They bring crayons and pictures for toddlers to colour. My friend took a bottle out of her bag to feed her baby and to her horror realised she'd picked up a dirty one instead of a clean one - a lady in M&S washed the bottle for her. There is a breastfeeding room with a lovely comfy chair. If I need a few things I choose to go to M&S as I know they will be friendly and kind and the facilities are there to cope with pretty much any baby/toddler based emergency! Fab.

CombineBananaFister Fri 02-Aug-13 10:01:47

CLIFTON PARK Roherham - huge park area for toddlers up to teens all in separate sections. sandpit with diggers. Mini theme park very reasonably priced (50p!! per ride) mini golf and free waterplay area. Also a museum. toilets clean. Lovely day out. Staff on the rides really friendly and helpful (let you help your kids on/off without seeming an inconvenience and stop ride for ones not enjoying it.) Can take a picnic so dosn't have to cost you a fortune.
also N.Railway museum York, again free (but recommend a donation) lots of stuff to see and do. they put lots of toys out during term-time for toddlers in main hall. outside park and picnic area, also inside picnic tables for your own food. Cafe has baby warming station and utensils and there are pushchair friendly toilets.

YourHandInMyHand Fri 02-Aug-13 15:35:43

I'd like to join Peacockdawn in saying we find The Deep in Hull very family friendly.

The staff are always great with the kids. They often have an interactive session near the "rockpool" and sometimes a badge making area where the staff chat with the kids and get them interested.

The indoor picnic area is right near the loos and baby change and is great for sitting down half way around and having a packed lunch/rest little legs/do a toilet stop. I too think it's laid out well.

The annual pass is great for our family budget too. You pay for one day's entry and fill out a form when you pay, then next time you go you take a little photo of each of you and it gets stamped to use again and again for a year.

lougle Fri 02-Aug-13 17:30:22

IKEA's Smalland is fantastic (Southampton branch). Not only do they offer an hour's free play for the children, but they offer 1:1 support for my DD with SN, without being asked. They never sigh if we go there and they are always conscientious about ensuring that her needs haven't changed flowers

bigreddrum Fri 02-Aug-13 17:51:45

We had a great experience with Eurocamp this year. Our group stayed at two different sites in France with 4 children under 5. Nothing was too much trouble and there was no problem with us arriving a bit early on transfer days. The kids clubs were exceptional also. Both sites were laid out brilliantly for the little ones with plenty of loos, parks and picnic spots. The pre arrival bit was great with an online area dedicated to your booking where you could check details and make changes if necessary and there was no problem with our last minute decision to change from Flying to Driving.

We all loved it.

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Fri 02-Aug-13 17:57:16

Sam's in Fowey - amazing seafood for kids and adults, and very friendly staff. DS1 is 6 and has a serious mussel-eating habit thanks to Sam's.

PurplePidjin Fri 02-Aug-13 18:30:47

I'm looking forward to taking my 8mo to this year. We've been in the past and been impressed at the kids area - bearing in mind Santa Pod is a drag racing track with a bar at most events! The organisers really go out of the way to make sure people don't have to give up going to car shows just because they've started a family smile

MrsGeologist Fri 02-Aug-13 18:51:55

We went to Lyme park a few days ago, and thy had a garden apprentice activity on for the children. It was fantastic, my DCs really enjoyed it, and the people were lovely (even with DS2, who was tantrumming about having to leave various things behind once he'd finished with them).

They have a few more apprentice days throughout the summer, and I'll be going to them.

poppy1973 Fri 02-Aug-13 19:34:29

I have found Techniquest in Cardiff Bay a pleasure to visit. Their prices are really reasonable for a family and offer hours of pleasure for all ages. I am a less stressed parent after visiting Techniquest. I find the children from baby age to older children are catered for and the staff go out of their way involving all the children in the activities and offer support for older children.

The staff in the cafe at the centre are really friendly and make fantastic drinks too.

I love the opportunity of the toddler days that they offer where the prices are even cheaper for an adult and makes a lovely morning activitiy to take the little ones to.

Changing facilities are good, well signposted and really clean. They have an area for buggies and coats and really support and welcome young families.

GetKnitted Fri 02-Aug-13 21:18:33

John Lewis shoe department in Nottingham has kids dvd's running throughout the summer, with a heap of bean bags for kids to sit in while waiting to be measured or while their brother/sister gets measured. theres a little table with colouring too. It kept the kids busy and happy

TiredFeet Fri 02-Aug-13 21:27:06

Marwell Zoo is great, it is a lovely safe environment for children and my son loves the 'tractor train' and the two different playgrounds. I love that there is plenty of indoor / outdoor picnic space so we can take our own food even if the weather is unpredictable, and also that their café and restaurant have also always been fine about me feeding ds his own food in there if I want to buy food or a drink for me (he has multiple severe allergies so purchasing isn't an option)

Hopefully3 Fri 02-Aug-13 21:44:23

Um, the local library is a treasure shrine of things to do!

Silverlace Fri 02-Aug-13 21:45:26

We spent a night in York and I was very impressed with the children's backpacks available to borrow in York Minster. They had a magnifying glass, torch, binoculars, compass, tape measure , mirror, pencils and notebook as well as 3 well designed activities. My 7 year old DS loved it and was very engaged with it and learned so much about the Minster. All the staff we met were brilliant with the children (most were volunteers). A great place to visit.

delegate203 Fri 02-Aug-13 21:59:50

We love Claremont NT gardens in Esher. They give the children big bags of bird seed for a small donation, which can be used to feed the ducks, geese or white doves that will even eat from your hand if you're patient.

Children can visit the summer house where Queen Victoria played as a child and try out hoops and sticks (DC loved them - why can't we get them anymore?) and hobby horses etc. there's a small children's playground with a wooden fort and bridges - perfect for playing knights or princesses. Great cafe with lots of cakes and genuinely pocket money priced souvenirs (DC collect the semi precious stones and dinosaurs teeth - all about £1.50)

There's a pretty walk around the lake, a hill to climb to tire the DC out, at the top of which is an old fashioned skittles game. Also a tower which is occasionally open. It's a great place to roam around, get lots of fresh air and exercise and for DC to let their imaginations run riot. Also now have rowing boats on the lake in high season.

delegate203 Fri 02-Aug-13 22:00:33

Forgot to say, they do paper quiz trails. Not my DC's cup of tea so we don't do them, but have seen lots of children running round answering clues.

GetKnitted Fri 02-Aug-13 22:09:31

Posted this in the ASDA thread and realised that Nottingham Contemporary totally need to be recognised in family friendly, is there a local category?

"Nottingham Contemporary art gallery run free activities for kids, they are just brilliant. They are every day in the summer and weekends all year round with a different theme every season to complement the proper art. this season is aqua topia with an enormous projection of an aquarium on one wall, and another projected on the floor, with fishing nets for the kids to go fishing, dress up like a pirate and have your picture taken, make fish to line the walls, or just play in tents, pretend a sandcastle and read books."

ataraxia Sat 03-Aug-13 09:12:17

I went to a cafe called Allans in Mayfair - very reasonably priced, especially for the area! There was a group of 8 in my family and even though we could have squeezed in, the owner asked some other diners to move so it would be more comfortable for all. He gave them free cake to compensate them so everyone was happy!

GetStuffezd Sat 03-Aug-13 09:16:23

There's a farm just outside Durham called Broom House Farm and it's just brilliant. I don't have children but am a teacher and I took my class there last month. It's totally free and the staff allowed us to pet the pigs and chickens, and they even put us all in a trailer and drove us round the fields.

There's a gorgeous picnic/decking area with hay bales for kids to play on, and a brilliant mini wood with zipwire, climbing acitivites, etc.

Would recommend it to anyone.

Dylanlovesbaez Sat 03-Aug-13 09:20:56

Bills in brighton is so family friendly. The staff are always so helpful and just lovely towards children. They never see them as a hassle as some places seem to. Lovely, friendly, helpful staff, great menu and even if its a squish they will accommodate you.

katiewalters Sat 03-Aug-13 10:45:19

we vistited heart park as a family, which is on meridan rd, warwickshire. we'd never been before, but knew it was going to be hot, and it sounded good. we had a fantastic day. there was myself, my partner, my 4 year old son and 5week old daughter. under 5s were free to get in, adults were £9 each. we were there from 10-3, took a picnic, weather was glorious. the main attraction was the man made beach with lake, which the kids can swim in. we had took my sons swim shorts and bucket and spade. there were deck chairs to sit on. there were 2 big marquees with table and chairs, to eat under, which i thought was great as we could get some shade as it was very hot. entry included free use of bouncing castle, trampoline, big slide, train ride. could pay to go on pedalos and tractor ride. staff were friendly, helpful. there was baby changing facilities. was a little shop which did drinks, snacks, ice creams. will definately be going back

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