Tips and Ideas For Free Days Out – Because Days Out As a Family Don’t Need to Cost a Penny

While it’s true that we all have various commitments as members of a family – adults need to work, children need to go to school and then there’s the household chores etc., life as a family isn’t all about the day to day stuff.  Along with taking holidays we need to make time in our busy schedules to spend together doing fun and interesting things as families.

In this country we are still suffering the after effects of the economic crisis, but that doesn’t mean that it is not possible to get out there and have family days out.  Yes, it is nice to go to a theme park, the cinema or something else that costs a lot of money, but if your family budget is not flexible enough then these activities are just not an option.

The upside of it all though is that there are plenty of things that you can do as a family in this country that are either completely free or very inexpensive.

National Galleries

The vast majority of national galleries in the UK are free of any admission fee.  A simple search online will give you all the information you need about the ones that are in your local area.  Even if you have been to them in the past, you could still take another visit to them with a specific goal in mind.   If there is one that is a little further away you could turn it into a day trip by making pack lunches up, driving off early and visiting the gallery and having a walk round that particular town once you have finished.

Museums

Similarly to the UK’s national galleries, many of the country’s museums are free to enter and look around.  Even if there isn’t a large one in your local town or city, it is likely that there will be smaller ones that maybe offer some interesting insight into the history of your local area.

National and Local Parks

Unless there are specific events or fairs being held, most national and local parks are free to enter throughout the year.  While many of the parks are just parks with small playgrounds and a bit of water with some birds; others are huge landscapes that have skate parks, bike lanes and other activities – some even have small petting zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.

Regardless of what is actually available at your local park, you can make it in to a fun day out for next to no extra money by taking along a picnic hamper of goodies, a frisbee, a ball and even a kite if the weather is windy enough and enjoy a nice day together in the fresh air.

Geocaching

Geocaching is like a modern version of a big old treasure/scavenger hunt and although it requires the use of a GPS device, most modern phones and satnavs that we already own have this as a feature.  All you have to do is look online at the Geocache website and find items in your area, put the co-ordinates into your GPS device and then get out there and explore.  The only real cost, like many of the above, is petrol/diesel and some food to eat while you are out.

There are plenty of other things you can do, depending on what your interests as a family are.  Nature and rambling trails do not cost anything and even just a trip to the beach is a very cost effective way to spend the day.

It doesn’t really matter how much money you have to spend on a day out, the most important thing is that you get out there in the great British countryside and enjoy time together as a family!

Date Nights: Tips and Ideas for Getting the Best Out Of Them

As parents, our lives revolve around our children with most of our days being spent earning money to look after them, spending time with them, playing, reading and just being there for them.  That’s what we signed up for when we became parents.  However, that doesn’t mean that we are bad parents for wanting a bit of time away from our kids from time to time.

Date nights are a chance to recharge and have a break from the strains and pressure of being parents.

When you first started dating, the aim of time spent together was to get to know each other and have a nice time doing it.  There is no good reason why this should stop just because you have kids in your life now.

If there is something we the editors of Parent Slate, have learned through personal experience about date nights, is that planning ahead is vital, while staying flexible.  That way, when things don’t go according to plan, and this happens frequently, all is not lost and you can still have a nice time.  is nds and lovers.u’n idea to do something that to the cine

As a rule of thumb, we would recommend organising a date night at least one a month.  While not adding unnecessary pressure on either of you, it also helps you to get back into the habit of spending quality time together alone.

Enlist the help of a relative or close friend as babysitter for the little rascals, set a date and time and get out there.  There is no limit to what you could do for a date night, as long as it is something you both are comfortable with.

Some couples we know (Phoebe and her partner for instance) take turns deciding where they are going to go and what they are going to do for date night, which may work for you.

A classic date night combination is one activity either preceded or preceded by a meal.  So, if you both love movies, you could go to the cinema and then have a meal afterwards, while if you both really love music, your date night could consist of a nice meal and a gig.

It’s important not to worry though if you can’t afford anything too extravagant as it is possible to have a perfectly fun date night from the comfort of your own home.

You could even arrange for your babysitter to take your kids out for the evening or even better overnight and have a nice home cooked meal.  A nice twist on things is to both choose a different course to prepare and keep it secret so there’s an element of surprise and perhaps work on the dessert together.

If you don’t fancy cooking though, you could just get some of your favourite takeaway and spend the night snuggled on the sofa in front of the TV.

Perhaps when you feel a little more comfortable with the idea of being away from the kids for the night, you could play a night or two away in a hotel, glamping or B&B.

We are always keen to hear from our readers so we want to ask you, what do you do for date nights?  Tell us your ideas and stories below!

 

Pets and Children: Choosing the Right Pet for Your Family

Most parents at some point consider getting a pet for their children.  Many families already have pets before they have children, so they just continue keeping that type of animal.  However, if you are at the stage where you don’t have any pets and are toying with the idea of getting one or two as companions for your children and a way to gently teach them about responsibility then you might need to think long and had about what kind of pet would be best.

At Parent Slate, all three of us think it is really beneficial for children to grow up with pets in their lives and to help you decide in the following post we will look at most popular choices and the kind of children an environment they would be suit.

Dog

Dogs are real pack animals and therefore a dog would suit children who are very gregarious and sociable.  The bond between humans and dogs is particularly strong.  Remember though that dogs require more care than other animals, and as parents this is something you need to bear in mind when your children are too young to walk a dog on their own.

Goldfish

Although it is true that goldfish do not do much more than swim around and swim around, eat, poo and swim around some more, they do make great starter pets.  Goldfish can live for many years in just a cold water bowl without any fancy filter or heater.  Most premature goldfish deaths are caused by feeding too much or the wrong food.

Cat

Cats are very comforting, both Raymond and Phoebe have always had cats and love how comforting they are to stroke and to listen to when they meow and purr.  As cats are known for being aloof a lot of the time, they would suit children who want something to take care of but who won’t mind if their pet ignores them from time to time.  The main concern with cats is allergies.  Around 30% of people are allergic to cats.  However, the chance of your child developing allergies can be reduced if you have cats in your home before your baby comes along.

Bird

Birds, whether you get one of the more impressive vocally breeds such as parrots and cockatiels, are great pets for children who have a real deep love for animals.  They can become very sociable, active and have very pleasant personalities; but a lot of training and patience is required to get them to that stage, so that is something you have to take into consideration.

Gerbil/Hamster/Rat/Mouse

Rodents are clever, furry, small and generally very harmless animals who require a reasonable amount of care and attention, but not too much for most children to handle.  These are ideal if your family is desperate to have a pet, but don’t have the space or aren’t ready to commit to something bigger like a cat or dog.

They are also great for families who are out of the house a lot during the day, because most rodents are nocturnal and sleep during the day.  It is worth remembering though that their cages will need cleaning out regularly, and even if you do get into a good routine doing that, there may still be a whiff of ammonia in your house.

Although we have just scratched the surface with the type of animals you and children can keep as pets, we hope we have given you enough to think about.