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Share your ways to make more of family days out during the summer hols with PizzaExpress - £300 Love2Shop voucher to be won! NOW CLOSED

(212 Posts)
EmmaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 18-Jul-16 16:19:34

With the long school holidays stretching out ahead of us, the thought of filling every day with entertainment is enough to exhaust any parent. So how to take a few simple activities and extend the fun across the full six weeks?

This summer, PizzaExpress is teaming up with Ice Age: Collision Course to give families great days out. Here’s what PizzaExpress has to say: “Come and visit our family-friendly restaurants across the UK and try our delicious new summer menu. We even have lots of gluten-free dishes and kids can try our Piccolo menu which features mini plates of grown-up favourites – for even the fussiest eaters.

While you wait for your food, your children can enjoy completing our Ice Age: Collision Course activity pack and even enter a competition to win a 5-day holiday to Hollywood! Simply visit a restaurant and draw a picture of your favourite Ice Age character with a pizza to be in with a chance of winning the holiday to Hollywood, Ice Age toys, goody bags, Pizza Making Parties and much more...”

PizzaExpress would love to hear your tips for making family fun last a bit longer - without constantly dishing out cash.

Could you encourage your children to do some creative writing based on a film they've watched - or put on their own performance after a trip to the cinema? Perhaps you come up with crafty activities which tie in with places you've visited or things the kids have seen? Or even encourage your DCs to cook by recreating recipes from a meal out? If you've arranged a day trip, do you extend the adventure by using different forms of transport to get to your destination? Maybe you make the preparation for a day out- like making a picnic and packing bags for the day - all part of the fun?

Please share your tips for making the most of days out and finding ways to make holiday fun last all summer long. Comment below and you will be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnetter will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck!


Standard T&Cs Apply

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 18-Jul-16 17:16:52

When mine were younger they liked to collect souvenirs from days out in the holidays and stick them all in a scrap book; tickets, photos, shells, postcards etc.

hermancakedestroyer Mon 18-Jul-16 17:38:36

We use the pacer app to count steps to encourage the Dcs to come out walking. We have an informal competition as to who can do the most steps in a day and then we add them up over the week and the winner gets to choose a small treat. You can also build on how many red cars you see on your walk for example or how many white things can you see on your trip.

PSG1968 Mon 18-Jul-16 17:47:27

Normally a trip to the beach one (with no with no amusements) we take a picnic and a beachball smile or to the local woodland park again with a picnic we are quite lucky round here (kent) as there are quite a lot of places to take the kids without laying out loads of cash smile

MummyBtothree Mon 18-Jul-16 18:09:24

We have alot of picnics in the summer holidays and nice walks in the countryside. My sons also love setting up our tent and 'camping' in the garden. We also look on local classified ads for people selling tickets cheap for days out etc.

CopperPan Mon 18-Jul-16 18:43:50

When we go for a day trip to a different town I look up offers on Groupon and other voucher sites to see if there are deals for any attractions or restaurants there. We also use Clubcard vouchers for days out and eating out, which makes them more affordable. I'm signed up to most local museums/attractions email lists and they often do mailouts during the holidays about free activity days for children. Our council organises a lot of free activities for children, and I also check out the activities run by nearby councils as well.

foxessocks Mon 18-Jul-16 18:50:28

Packing a lovely picnic is always a winner here and saves money too so win win! Days out also have to involve an ice cream at some point. When I was younger I liked doing scrapbooks to show where we'd been and I'd collect little souvenirs like napkins from cafes or shells from the beach to put in my book. My dd is too young at the moment but hopefully she'lldo something like that too.

Belmo Mon 18-Jul-16 19:10:36

At the mo my dd is enjoying looking for Pokemon blush Treasure hunts have always gone down a treat though - we make a checklist of things to try to spot. Never forget emergency water and snack!

HodorHoldthedoor Mon 18-Jul-16 19:12:06

My child is only young so I have lots of things for entertainment. I normally stockup on treats in cheap shops and split them to last longers. Everywhere we go I always take a picnic it has always saved cash. Instead of the getting icecreams I always have a lollypop in my bag for dc its grabs the attention away from the icecream and also less mess. You get about 10-15 in a bag for a 1.00. Whether we go to the beach or park I will always have the bucket and spade. I dig the moat dc fetches the water then we build the castle together. We also go exploring for seashells and stones and when we get home pull the sandbox out and bury them dc then hunts for the buried treasure endless fun. Bubbles are a godsend a cheap alternative for the expensive things in gift shops. Water squirters endless hours on a hot summer day. The cinema doesnt cost much if you go during the kids our and bring your own snacks. I alwaus huntfor vouchers before any bug day trips they will either be 3for2 or paying adults with free child saving money always.
The pound shop is a godsend bat and ball skipping rope paddling pool football your outdoor sports arena for pennies. Coloring books keep children entertained on long journeys especially colour wonder no mess no fuss fun fun.

CMOTDibbler Mon 18-Jul-16 19:46:05

Rather than shelling out for lots of drinks, or having to carry lots of water bottles, I use a Camelbak water pack which is filled with water and ice at the beginning of the day and dh, ds and I all share drinking from it. On a really hot day, dh and I will both have one so we have 6l of water between us, and its super easy to carry in a rucksack

RockingDuck Mon 18-Jul-16 19:48:32

picnics are always a winner, take plenty of drinks, keep 1st aid kit in the car, flask of coffee too for the adults: make nice food for yourself too so you enjoy the day just as much.
We're lucky enough to have a good sized garden so can spend a day there- always have bats balls, cricket set, footballs etc.
I keep the scooters and a football in the car, so always prepared if there's a change of plans.
Tell them in advance if there's a gift shop they have to use their own pocket money,
sweets in the car good for longer journeys
go with friends/meet people there as more fun to play together, and share the picnic - throw it all in the middle and dig in.

ButterflyOfFreedom Mon 18-Jul-16 20:13:27

Picnics are good - get the DC involved in buying the food, making the sandwiches, packing it up, setting it out and of course eating it!
Can be done in the garden, park, woods, city centre etc.

Also, if going out for the day or doing an activity include getting there as part of the fun. Even though the car is usually the easiest way of getting around I try to walk or go on public transport when I can.
My DC have had a 'day out' to the shopping centre which involved a ride on a bus, tram & train! They loved it - and it took up half the day but hardly cost anything!

Catsgowoof Mon 18-Jul-16 20:28:05

Make the journey fun, rather than driving get the bus or train, or find somewhere interesting to stop on the way

finova Mon 18-Jul-16 21:16:42

Drive slightly further from home.
Eg 90 minutes, there will be loads of places you've not been before eg National trust, beaches, woods etc
Don't just stay near to home (especially if you're not going on a 'proper' holiday).

timeforabrewnow Mon 18-Jul-16 22:17:08

Do something different - we got an inflatable canoe and some life jackets and have paddled out to the middle of Coniston! Good fun, and nice paddling in the lake too. Canoeing appealed a lot to our teenage lads.

MakeTeaNotWar Mon 18-Jul-16 22:22:26

We make scrapbooks of with souvenirs of places we've been to - ie a leaf from the park, a feather etc. We do the summer reading challenge at the local library and we've just received our Invite a Tree to Tea pack from the Woodland Trust that looks really fun and interesting.

Haffdonga Mon 18-Jul-16 22:38:37

Challenges e.g. how many types of fungus can you find or who can decorate the best bracken crown help to keep kids entertained for free in a woodland picnic.

asuwere Mon 18-Jul-16 23:09:51

Picnics are always good, doesn't even need to be fancy or too prepared, a quick stop at tesco for rolls, ham, crisps and juice, before heading to the beach works! Makes the day a bit longer and much cheaper than eating out!

We also try to remember to print any photos we take. Either the DC can help to create collages online or order the prints and they can put them in an album. Means they can relive the fun they had a few days before.

itmustbemyage Mon 18-Jul-16 23:14:33

We invested in a large electric cool box for the car years ago and it has paid for itself many times over. It holds up to 2l size bottles of water if needed and your drinks and picnic foods are always cold (especially good in the summer holidays when kids hate warm, drying at the edges sandwiches and fruit stays fresh) it's also handy if you do a bit of shopping while away for the day( perhaps at a specialist local food shop for special treats). We also have coloured cups, bowls and plates and everyone has their own colour DS1 - blue DS2 - green DH - red and me yellow it stops a lot of arguments.

gazzalw Tue 19-Jul-16 06:37:32

Use public transport and use that as part of the treat. And just pop on a bus route you've never been on before and see where it takes you - you may discover things you never dreamed were so accessible! (This is in London, mind you).

Pace holidays. It's too much (and expensive) to be out and about doing big days out every day. Plan two or three in a week and use the rest to factor in trips to the park, library and free things going on much closer to home (if indeed not at home!).

Sierra259 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:20:44

Art projects that can be spread out over a couple of days - things that need paint or glue to dry halfway etc. One "big" day out a week and then local park visits the rest of the week. Weekly visit to the library for the reading challenge (or more often if they want to!). We save movie afternoons for if the weather is rubbish. When the DC are a bit older, I really want to try geocaching with them.

I love the idea of the photo collages above!

darlingred Tue 19-Jul-16 07:51:03

We go out for a walk everyday usually to the park. My two love the park and ask to go everyday. I try to break it up a bit by going to different parks in the area sometimes we take the car or get the bus. We enjoy seeing friends. They come to our house or we go to theirs.

forkhandles4candles Tue 19-Jul-16 09:10:33

Do trails in places you visit. You can find them online and they open up destinations in new ways and make the wandering purposeful.

purplepandas Tue 19-Jul-16 10:43:38

Walking in woods. Making things from sticks etc as activities for the woodland trip.

GloGirl Tue 19-Jul-16 11:34:08

We're looking forward to making a scrap book of our ideas, my little girl will be missing school in the holidays so it'll be nice to keep practising her writing and she'll have fun gluing etc.

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