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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

MadMonkeys Sat 03-Aug-13 14:33:05

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.

Blatherskite Sat 03-Aug-13 15:20:27

We had a really good time at the little cafe outside of Tunnels Beach in Ilfracombe last week. We'd had a great day on the beach and were looking for food. The cafe has a small menu but there was plent for children to choose from and everything we had was really tasty. What set it apart was the huge pirate ship play area though. It was in the centre of the benches so that all the parents could see their children and kept the children happy and amused for well over an hour - and we didn't even try the indoor play area!

beanandspud Sat 03-Aug-13 21:37:53

We love Yo Sushi! at Meadowhall when we go out with DS. The staff are fantastic, very friendly and the food is instant grin. We see loads of families there, it's one of those places where you can have a good meal but without needing a children's menu.

Hopezibah Sat 03-Aug-13 21:43:17

We had a stop for food at "The Wagtail" in Wincanton on our way to and back from holiday to Cornwall recently. They did a good selection of food and had a lovely outdoor play area for the children as well as a lovely little indoor play area for under 5's. They were so family friendly on our first visit there that we deliberately made it our stop-off point for the way home too!

ThreeBecomeFour Sun 04-Aug-13 12:00:03

For me our local Prezzo wins my award for family friendly. They have great high chairs with a tray that my 9 month old can sit in and eat safely (unlike many restaurants who offer a booster seat or high chair without a tray): the children's portion is so big that at least 3 small children could share it easily. The staff happily provide bottle warming and, best of all (for me that is) they have delicious gluten - free pizzas available so we can all eat happily as a family. Makes for a very happy family indeed.

unquietmind Sun 04-Aug-13 12:59:55

Giraffe is fab and has loads of great stuff for dd and always very respectful of her

Children's adventure farm trust in cheshire - excellent centre for children with additional needs. My dd loves it and can't wait to go back and stay for a week - they managed her needs superbly.

BeCool Mon 05-Aug-13 10:14:15

London Wetlands Centre - it's very family friendly.

Not just as an attraction in itself, but it's a sanctuary for city kids - no cars, bikes or dogs - which means as a parent I can relax more than in say one of London's parks (cyclists all over the parks paths and dogs galore means parents with young children can't really relax there).

Fantastic playground, loads of easy parking, plenty of changing areas, picnic areas, cafe, and lots to see and do whatever the season.

We've been so many times and yet there are still new delights on each visit.

FreelanceMama Mon 05-Aug-13 15:50:49

Last week we went to Squires Garden Centre near Storrington, West Sussex. I was really impressed with their cafe - reasonably priced healthy options for children, colouring materials and books - and they've just had a play area built with lovely soft play and outdoor play equipment. They're only asking for donations to a local charity at the moment but even when they start charging it will be one pound for an hour, which is a bargain.

lollypopsicle Mon 05-Aug-13 16:37:28

The staff at our local cafe Nero are always very accommodating when we go in with the kids. They help make room for the buggy, will bring my drink over if I'm on my own and will hold the door open to help me get in. usually I don't even ask, they just do it.

gazzalw Mon 05-Aug-13 18:36:14

Well we had a very good experience at Chessington. Due to combined dimwittery or a common-sense failure, we ended up locking all our belongings into a locker and weren't able to retrieve them. The staff (and it only took us a minute to find one) were very helpful, quick and really couldn't have been more accommodating - especially as I think we were entirely to blame for the mess-up....The whole problem was resolved in about ten minutes and they even offered us use of the locker for the rest of our stay! All of the staff were very friendly, efficient and professional.... Spot on!

whattodoo Mon 05-Aug-13 20:20:01

We've just been to the Lake District and we couldn't have had better service in the many cafes we stopped off at. all were child friendly, patient, great food and welcoming facilities.

SleeplessInBedfordshire Tue 06-Aug-13 10:13:03

Pizza Express are a great family friendly restaurant. Someone always offers to help with my pushchair if needed, and its one of the few places I feel comfortable taking the baby along for an evening meal (as most people there also have their kids with them).

FoxPass Tue 06-Aug-13 12:07:44

Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston is a great family day out. it has both indoor and outdoor activities, plenty of green space and well looked-after animals that you can pet. its clean, with plenty handwashing facilities and helpful, friendly staff. entry is good value for all day entry, but yearly membership is particularly good and we save loads using it as we go at least once a week smile

dahville Tue 06-Aug-13 13:23:57

Ask restaurant in Wells gave us very good service; even though a large group had ordered before us they got our meals out to us first, realising that we had a young toddler, I was pregnant, & we probably didn't want to wait!

The servers were all very helpful, friendly, & attentive to our son which made the meal go very smoothly.

That same day we had been at @Bristol where we also received very good service. We were supposed to be visiting @Bristol weeks earlier but our son had come down with the chicken pox - they rescheduled our visit without any trouble at all. The day we went was less expensive and they even gave us a refund on our tickets (which we had said we didn't expect or want but they insisted!)

CelticPromise Tue 06-Aug-13 14:18:21

We had a great weekend camping at Wellington Country Park. Camping is not cheap but you get free access to the park all day and after hours which is more than worth it. There is loads for kids to do there.

MakeTeaNotWar Tue 06-Aug-13 16:08:17

Without doubt, The Book Nook in Hove. Independent children's bookshop with cafe and a pirate ship! Regular NCT coffee mornings as well as fabulous story times. Can stay there for hours!

afromom Tue 06-Aug-13 16:56:20

Cattle county in Gloucestershire is a favourite with us. Great for children from toddler to teen and the adults can get involved too! Loads of soft play, death slides, canoe safari, biggest climbing net in the UK (built by DS's friends Dad!), lots of space for picnics and loads more. And what's even better is that pretty much everything is included in the entry price, which isn't bad value for a day out.

As a child one if my favourite holiday days out was the Dart Country Park in Devon! We went loads of times over the years and never got bored!

xalyssx Tue 06-Aug-13 17:24:07

Nasons department store in Canterbury is amazing for service, the staff are always willing to help but they don't go overboard. The man in the toy shop is always very friendly and jokes about with the children. It truly is a pleasure to purchase things from there and my son always looks forward to visiting.

Mandy21 Tue 06-Aug-13 18:15:48

We love Manchester Aquatic Centre. It caters for little ones with a very shallow pool, with slides, water shoots. Its right in the centre of town, very cheap, has a lovely café where you can take a picnic and was really welcome during the hot spell. For more competent swimmers the main pool is huge and its just a really family friendly place.

ineedtogetoutmore Tue 06-Aug-13 18:23:55

mines a slightly different family moment about how my husbands workplace have helped us so much over summer.

I'm pregnant and found out at 13 weeks pregnant I needed to have an operation this was booked in for 2 days later. my dh's employer is a small employer and have to plan holidays well in advance in order to meet deadlines.

despite having no notice his boss allowed him to take 2 weeks annual leave so he could be with me and care for our dd. even though this meant the company had to deal with custoners who were pretty upset at being delayed.

since my dh has gone back to work even though he has used up all his annual leave his company have allowed him to still attend any scans and appointments with me as I'm currently not able to drive allowing him to make up time by working from home in the evenings or weekends.

because of how great my husbands boss has been we have been able to attend scans etc as a family and as they've let him catch up on work from home we haven't missed out on any time together as a family.

Chopsypie Tue 06-Aug-13 19:40:12

Seven stories centre for children's books in Newcastle. I know it's aimed at kids anyway, but every thing was amazing. Artwork was low on the walls, baskets of books ad dressing up stuff at random points and exhibits which were engaging for all ages. Toilets came in 3 sizes and I was given a cushion and offered a glass of water whilst breast feeding in one of there dress up areas. Always an amazing day out, and the staff are always helpful and spoke to the children as well as the adults. I can't praise it highly enough

poachedeggs Tue 06-Aug-13 20:20:47

DH was in Carphone Warehouse last week with both DC in tow, and the assistant gave them a demo phone each. They came home 'texting and taking calls', delighted with themselves - I thought that was really nice and way beyond what I've come to expect from high street phone retailers who I now avoid due to terrible service. I've had a rethink about Carphone Warehouse though!

MimsyBorogroves Tue 06-Aug-13 20:47:35

Family friendly and basic human kindness - my aunt and I went out for lunch to a family run Chinese restaurant in my home town. I'd had 6 weeks of DS1 crying with colic and having problems with breast feeding after labour complications.

The moment we sat down and ordered, DS woke up and started yelling for a feed. I fed him and then tried to wrangle baby and duck wraps.

The owner of the restaurant came over to us and told me I had a beautiful baby, and how much she missed her own grandchildren as they were in China. She said she had some accounts to do on the table next to us but that she would be honoured to hold DS and chat to him whilst we ate. I could have sobbed. She sat near enough to us that I felt DS was close, but o that we could still have a bit of privacy. She then ordered desserts for us on the house "to help with the breast feeding". It was the best customer service I have ever had, and just what I needed at the time.

Suffice to say it is still my restaurant of choice.

Mumtochops12 Tue 06-Aug-13 21:48:04

Creswell crags in between Mansfield and Worksop, Nottinghamshire is a brilliant place for kids! First visit there last week and thoroughly impressed. Lots of information on the crags and you can even go inside the caves on a guided tour. Lovely play area for children and throughout the holidays they seem to have activities going on. Also really nice little cafe, quite pricey as visitors centre cafes usually are but food looked nice, can only comment on the coffee we had there! It's a free day out, all they ask for is a £2 contribution to help maintain the area, well worth it. Brilliantly clean baby change facilities too, you can't say that about a lot of places these days!

fie181 Tue 06-Aug-13 22:19:18

Seven stories in Newcastle upon Tyne. Seven story building of fun, books, exhibitions, story time, craft sessions and not the greatest but ok .

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