Family Day Out -Planning Tips

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Summer is here!

When you have young kids, it can be stressful trying to occupy their time never mind the thought of taking them out somewhere.

Check out out 101 summer activities post with planning guide to help you out

Where will you go? Is it child-friendly? How long is the total journey? Are there going to be facilities there?

There’s so many issues that can make the day a complete disaster, so it is important to be prepared beforehand to avoid any stress.

You can also look at my 5 tips to have a stress free summer with kids

So, Where To Go For A Family Day Out?

This will depend on how old your kids are and their interests, some of our favourites include river walks, animal farms, woodlands, beaches and zoos or adventure playgrounds.

So, keep look out for fun activities too such as;

  • Wherever we go, we try to pick up leaflets that advertise new places to try.
  • We check out websites like which gives you a run down of activities by category for your area
  • We also check out to see what offers they have available as some of our unexpected wonderful days out have come from here.

We live in an age where people have an opinion on everything so check reviews online to help find out what others think.

Try something new like rafting down a river on your next family day out.

If you’re not sure if your family will enjoy a particular activity that you have planned? Read some reviews and find out how other people enjoyed it.

You might find that the reviews specifically mention something that would cause an issue for your family or likewise may put your worries to rest.

We usually try to find places to take our dog, so reviews help us work this out.

Reviews are really easy to find, you can check 

Plan A Stress Free Family Day Out

Wherever you are planning on going, whether it’s near or far, it is important that you plan your journey carefully.

Try your best to take the shortest route possible or plan regular stops to avoid having to deal with cranky kids.

Family day out to roast marshmallows
Roasting marshmallows to end a wonderful family day out.

If you are taking your car, you’ll want to make sure that you plan the route so that you can regularly stop for toilet breaks. 

This is very important as your kids will definitely need to go to the bathroom on a long journey.

We like to have games or activities in the car, such as

  • Sing along karaoke, 
  • Car bingo, 
  • Portable dvd players, 
  • Colouring books
  • Snacks to try break up the time.

‘Be Prepared’ On A Family Day Out

If your kids are accident prone like mine, then it’s a good idea to make sure that you are totally prepared for the day ahead.

  • Bring a first aid kit with you in the car for easy access. This way, you’ll know that you are ready for anything that is going to happen on your day out and you won’t have to go too far for a plaster.
  • If the weather’s not great, keep a change of clothes in the car so kids don’t need to sit or travel in wet clothes. These clothes are our favorite.
  • We also like to pack lunch with us. This helps keep the costs down and avoid kids waiting in long queues for food they don’t like. It also means we can splash out on ice cream or other treats if we want to without the whole day costing far too much.

Depending on your activity, you may need things like

  • Towels, 
  • Wellington boots, 
  • Binoculars, 
  • Sun cream
  • Bug Spray 
  • A phone to Geocache or Pokémon Go with,
  • Drinks etc

Check out other apps kids love to do on the go

Make a list before you go and use your car as a base. If any of it is needed you can return to the car and not have to drag it all with you.

Maybe a coolbox would be an idea to keep in the car as a place to keep cold drinks or food for a barbeque.

River fun makes a fun day out with adult supervision of course
Fishing for minnows can be a great family day out

We keep a coolbox in our car that simply plugs into the cigarette lighter socket. It keeps everything lovely and cold until we’re ready for lunch.

We do have a few items we always carry with us to make things run smoothly with our kids.

In a lightweight backpack we carry on our family day out

  • A small First aid kit
  • Tissues or wipes- usually both
  • A bag for collecting rubbish to take it home
  • Sun cream
  • Bug spray. (Smidge is wonderful)
  • A Map or leaflet from the attraction
  • Nappies and wipes
  • A camera or phone for pictures or using apps
  • Drinks
  • Small snacks like granola bars, jelly sweets and some dried fruit. These are good for keeping up energy on a long walk and a good distraction especially for little ones.
  • A few little toys to distract our toddler like an inflatable ball, kids binoculars, or even an extendable fishing net for catching minnows frogs or even butterflies.
Family fun days out sitting on a bench in the woods.
My wonderful family on a walk through the woods.

I also try to have a few activities ready. Simple things we can pull out as we drive or walk around. Things like

I also keep our copy of 365 outdoor activities for kids book

Before You Go On An Amazing Family Day Out

Talk to your family.

Make sure everyone knows the plan, and set expectations for behaviour.

I like to remind everyone that they can’t run off and have to stay within sight of me and when snack or break times are etc.

When we get to a place we have never been before, for example an adventure playground. We find a spot we can identify as our meeting place should anyone get lost and the where the bathrooms are.

Usually, we work out our route around the park depending on what are our must see parts. This way we see the important parts first so if we run out of time we haven’t wasted time on bits we didn’t need to. If we get around and there’s time left we can go back to other areas.

You can also work towards creating an outdoor lifestyle for you and your family where you grow together in the great outdoors.

So, there’s our list to make a family day out with the kids easier for everyone.

Keep a bag pre packed in the car that you can add specific bits to and it’s makes heading out on a fun adventure so much easier for everyone.

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