Having a large family is ofcourse amazing, a home full of love and laughter but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with complications. One of these set backs is trying to find things to do when taking the family out. Something that ticks all of the boxes, with the children enjoying themselves and us parents being able to relax too.
Having a 12, 10, 5, 4 and 3 year old makes it difficult to find something to do that keeps them all entertained. Whilst every family is different, I’ll be sharing my get out of the house and day out ideas that work for me and my large family of 7.
A scenic walk is my favourite day out idea for a large family
I know it’s simple, but as a parent one of my favourite things to do which gets us out of the house is a nice scenic walk. Sometimes we put on our wellies and go on a bear hunt through the woods and have fun jumping in mud, walking through shallow streams and seeing how many creepy crawlies we can find.
Other times we might go for a nice walk down a river and see how many minnows we can catch with our fishing nets, or bring our binoculars to a nature reserve and watch the birds across the lakes. I know these walks may sound boring, and the older children might make some complaints before the trip, but once out everyone is having fun.
Not only this but if you have particularly young children then as you already know, a stroll in the buggy is sooving for them which makes the adventure that bit easier. Oh and I almost forgot the best bit. Days out with a large family can quickly become expensive but it costs nothing to go for a nice walk!
A children’s soft play is a great idea for a day out with a large family
Soft play areas for children are another great idea to get out of the house with a large family, although it can sometimes be hit and miss with how well designed the soft play area is and with 5 children, we’ve tried and tested them all within a reasonable distance. For us, we need a soft play centre with 3 sections. One for the baby, one for the toddlers and one for the older 2 children. Not only this, but the layout needs to keep them safe with no chance of escape and to allow us to easily see them at all times.
As we all know, children absolutely love going to these soft play centres! And us parents get to relax to some extent too although this can depend on the age of your children.
I suppose the only downside to going to a softplay centre for a trip out with a large family is the costs involved! First you have your entry fees, then you’ll likely be purchasing food to keep everyone happy and save time later as well as the regular drink top ups. As a whole and despite the costs involved, a trip to the softplay centre with a large family is totally worth it.
Why not take the children to a zoo for an extra special day out?
I don’t know about your little ones, but mine love a day out going to the zoo! And there’s nothing better than seeing their little faces light up everytime they see a new animal they thought only existed in books. With lots of walking to do, even babies in prams will likely find the experience soothing, giving us a break from meeting their demands at home.
It’s not just about the animals either, zoos often have softplay areas, paddling areas, workshops and more, keeping your large family entertained for the entire day out.
I know that a trip to the zoo with a large family can be expensive but luckily it’s only a once a year type of day out anyway so there’s plenty of time to save. If not then there are always other alternatives such as going to an aquarium or even a farm.
Do your children have too much energy? Swimming is a great way to get out of the house
If your little ones have too much energy and you want to tire them out then why not take them Swimming? My older children go off and swim by themselves whilst me and my wife take advantage of the quality time spent enjoying the water with our younger children.
If your babies are particularly young then it’s never to late to start, although it might be a gamble on whether or not they will enjoy the water and especially if it’s their first visit to the swimming pool. With a large family of 5 children, some have been naturals and enjoyed the water from the very first visit whilst some have taken a few visits before getting use to it and being able to truly enjoy themselves. It’s never too early to take your little ones Swimming!
Always be prepared to buy food for the occasion however! As soon as your out of the Swimming pool your children will be complaining that they are hungry, which brings me to my next day out idea for large families.
If your not in the mood for cooking then why not take your large family to a child friendly restaurant?
I’ll be honest, going out for a meal at a child friendly restaurant isn’t something I personally look forward to and especially if you have particularly young children but that doesn’t mean this is the case for everyone. Afterall my wife loves going out for meals despite us having a large family, I guess she just has more patience than I do!
The secret is to make sure it’s a loud child friendly restaurant. It could be something as simple as a Pizza Hut or McDonalds or you could go somewhere with more of a traditional restaurant feel such as a Toby Calvery. If your children are anything like mine then the chances are that you’ll have an unsettled baby crying or a toddler trying to run away from the table every chance they get or even trying to jump into the next booth where another family are trying to enjoy their meal!
As long as its loud and child friendly then who cares right? Take a break from cooking and enjoy the company of your large family around a restaurant table.
A day out to a theme park might take some planning but your children will be sure to love it!
If your wanting to take your large family out for an entire day then a trip to a theme park could be just the answer your looking for. I know what your thinking, theme parks can be expensive! Fuel, rides and food, it all adds up. Luckily a theme park is only a once a year type of day out which gives you plenty of time to save!
Although expensive, a day out to a theme park for a large family is totally worth it. Yes your children will be complaining on the way there, with them continuously asking “are we there yet?” but a few games of I spy with my little eye and some treats should make the journey that little bit more enjoyable. Once there, it’s time to have some fun as a whole family. Take pictures. Build memories. Watch their little faces light up with each new ride. Us parents can enjoy ourselves. Our children will definitely enjoy themselves. If you want my advice, just do it!
If the sun is shining, why not get out of the house and hire a boat?
Once a year, when the sun is shining, me and the family go to a boat centre and hire a boat for the hour. No I’m not talking about big scary boats! These are nice little boats with most boat centres offering electric boats, pedalos and row boats. Ofcourse we always opt for the electric option. There’s no way that I’m rowing the weight of a family of 7 down the river!
The great thing about hiring a boat is the experience your children get out of it. To us adults, it may not be a big deal. And an hour isn’t really that much time. But for the children it’s a whole new experience, with each new year being just as exciting as the last. No matter the age of your children, there are no limits on who can ride in the boat (at least in my experience), although if your family is particularly large then it may be worth checking beforehand the number of seats available on each boat.
My thoughts on day out ideas for a large family
Every family isn’t different and especially when it comes to large families like mine. Day out ideas that work for me might not work for you, but even if some of my get out of the house ideas seem like hard work then my advice would be to just go and do it! To give it a go. There have been so many trips that I’ve been dragged to by my wife that I spent the coming days dreading at the thought, but I can honestly say that my wife has been right on every one of those times and in fact, I’ve ended up enjoying myself and spending quality time with the family.
No matter what you decide to do, it’s good to get out of the house. What might be hard work for you, is totally worth it when you see the joy on your little one’s faces. If you want something cheap, cheerful and a few hours away from the house then go to a local park. If you want to make a day of it and have some savings to spend then go to a theme park. Either way, your children will appreciate it all the same. Go on. Get your children ready and get out of the house!