Daily Archives: May 23, 2013

Try Something New With Your Family During National Family Week

Try Something New With Your Family During National Family Week
Do you spend enough time with your family? As our schedules get busier and budgets get tighter, enjoying real quality time with our loved ones seems to have become something of a luxury, never mind using that time to do something really memorable. However, there’s a great reason this May to clear your diary – National Family Week, which encourages families to get together by highlighting the importance of family time, and organising hundreds of family-friendly events across the UK.
Taking place between the 27th May and 2nd June, there’s bound to be a fantastic National Family Week event in your local area, but there’s no reason why you can’t just hold your own! National Family Week is also a fantastic time to try something new with your family to make the week really special, and create some memories that will last a lifetime. Here are four great ideas to get you started.
Try a New Restaurant
If there’s an exciting-looking restaurant that’s opened up in your area, National Family Week is the ideal time to give it a whirl, and enjoy some tasty grub with your family – now that’s a good excuse to leave the office early! Alternatively, if money is short, try cooking a dinner together and getting the kids involved. They’ll get to learn a new skill or two, and you’ll all have a wonderful time.
Have a Craft-ernoon
There are few things more fun than getting your hands dirty, so this National Family Week, set aside an afternoon for the whole family to get stuck into some crafts. If your children are very young, help them to make cress heads or painted pasta jewellery, or for older children, you could all collaborate on a larger project such as making a scrapbook, creating teacup candles, or even using decoupage to decorate an item of furniture. As well as enjoying some crucial bonding time, you’ll all have a keepsake to remember the day by.
Send a Smile
Do you remember when you were young, and everyone had a pen pal? In the age of email and texting, writing letters has fallen by the wayside, so get your family together to put pen to paper during National Family Week, and send a note to those faraway family members. You could invest in a beautiful letter-writing set or just pick up some funny cards from the greetings card specialist Hallmark but don’t forget to include some rib-tickling stories and a photo or two.
Get Sporty
Don’t let the summer pass you and your family by! Grab a Frisbee or football and get outside in the fresh air during National Family Week, or even better, why not organise a ‘Sports Day’ for your family and friends? You can hold an egg and spoon race, a bean-bag throwing contest, and of course the obligatory sack race, and ensure an unforgettable afternoon of fun that you’ll want to hold again and again.

Tips for visiting Thorpe Park from Cass at Frugal Family 3

We are booked to spend the weekend at Thorpe Park this weekend and Cass at Frugal Family visited with her family a couple of weeks ago, so I asked her to let me know what I needed and her tips. She was also kind enough to pop them in a blog post to share with you too!

The frugals at Thorpe Park

When I heard that Jen and the boys were off to Thorpe park this weekend, I was so pleased for them as we had a lovely weekend there a few weeks ago.

We planned our trip carefully as we wanted to get the most out of the weekend and I had loads to tell Jen about what she needed to do when she got there. Being a typical blogger, Jen told me to write her a post about what she should be planning for so here you go….

Before you go, make sure you’re getting the best deal possible as there’s lots of offers out there at the minute – Friij, Coke and using your Tesco vouchers are the main ones that I know of at the minute.

Getting there is really easy which is always a bonus when travelling with children! I know that Jen is driving down from the North East but we went by train which meant we arrived at Staines train station. There’s a bus that runs about regularly between the train station and Thorpe Park which costs £3.50 per adult return or £2.50 per child return. If you’d prefer though, you can get a taxi which is £2.50 each way (minimum of four passengers).

When you get to the park and you’re through the gates there’s a brilliant locker room downstairs in the dome where you can store your belongings in a large locker for £1.00. I had an empty carrier in my handbag so I literally took out everything that wasn’t essential for the day, popped it in the carrier and left it in the locker. There’s nothing worse than wandering around with a heavy bag!

If you’ve bought the fast track passes (which are excellent) make sure you know the time slots that you need to be at each of the rides and plan your visit around that because some of them are quite far away from each other.

One thing to be aware of are the height restrictions in place at Thorpe park as the minimum height restriction for the larger rides is 1.4m – very sensible decision to me looking at the scare factor of the rides but very unfair in the eyes of an eight year old who is just under the height and had to watch as his dad and sister went on some of the rides without him. I think the height restriction is higher here than in some parks we’ve been to but the rides are in a different class to the ones we’ve seen before. There’s plenty for all ages to go on though so don’t worry if your children are under that height – it really is just the larger rides they won’t be able to go on.

We saved a fortune buying two refillable drinks for £6 which we shared between us and carried round all day getting them filled from time to time. We also took a picnic to eat which would have been great as there were lots of places we could have sat except we ate it on the train on the way!

Oh, another thing. You get very, very wet on the water rides so it’s worth having a few pound coins so you can use the dryer things that they have near each ride. I would usually say that things like this are a waste of money but they were great and stopped any whinges about being wet.

If you’re staying at the Crash Pad, make sure you book a table for tea – we forgot to and the only bookings left when we arrived at 7pm to eat were for 9pm. Luckily the coffee shop sold some rather delicious carrot cake so we weren’t that gutted that we had to wait 😉

Also, make sure you take advantage of the early entry into the park if you are staying at the Crash Pad – the staff are great and literally start the ride as soon as you get strapped in so you can take full advantage of the 20 minutes or so before the park officially opens.

The App is great too – it tells you what the current queuing times for each ride are so don’t forget to download that before you go.

I can’t think of anything else but I’m sure Jen will have lots more to tell you when she gets back.

Have fun x x

I have to say we only told the MiniMads of our trip last night and they were jumping around with excitement If you have been I would love to know your top tips and be prepared to see lots of pictures and tweets marked #ThorpeParkMums over this weekend!