DP and I have four boys between us: ages 14, 13, 8 and 6.
When we are all together for access weekends it is really hard for us to find something to do all together as a family. The older two are obviously too big and grown up for things lke softplay centres and parks (which the younger two love) and the younger two are too young to enjoy the things the older two like to do such as 12+ films at the cinema or laser quest or sightseeing. Even when we splash out and go to a theme park there are arguements because the older two want to go on all the daredevil rides and the younger ones usually aren't tall enough to go on them or just don't want to.
Now whenever we are all together DP and I end up splitting up, with me taking the younger two off somewhere and he takes the older boys. This is ok sometimes, but not all the time as then we never spend any time all together as a family.
Has anyone got any idea's of fun things we can all do together (that doesn't cost the earth?)
Cycling is another one .... providing you live near somewhere off road with cycle tracks where you can hire bikes (if you don't have your own) e.g. Thetford Forest, or similarly in an area where you don't mind cycling on the road. The younger kids can go on one of those attached kids' bikes if they don't have the stamina or skill yet to cycle completely on their own.
We have 1 teenage boy and 2 young girls. Swimming is great, and bowling is brilliant (though expensive), picnics good. Cycling is a great suggestion and I would also do country walks. My friend had four boys and no money - he just used to do a huge long walk every Sunday to tire them out. Kids always get on better when they are outside I think. Board games are a good family activity that you can play together - the younger ones could be in a team with a parent.
Get your kids doing chores together if you don't already. We find it helps to bond them and helps free up your time. They also seem better at amusing themselves if the alternative is doing jobs!
Picnics are a great one, or geo-caching (if you've got an iphoe you can get a free app) YSS was only 7 when we started and they still love it.If they get on well you could get the older two to set a "trail" for the younger 2 to follow? Do they have any similar interests (cars, space, etc etc) you could take them all to local car shows (although we do this with the SS's and I'm the one kicking my feet and moaning that I'm bored).