The long summer holiday lies ahead. How to fill all those endless days? Even those going away on holiday will have a few stretches in which child entertainment must be provided or at least supervised. Instead of the purgatory of the playpark, SMM brings you six ideas that, as in the picture of my good surfer dude self, mums and kids can enjoy together.
NB: All activities are improved if friends are included.
1. Eat breakfast out
Stuck in the daily routine, Team Minted’s in-house chef (ie me) rarely makes a cooked breakfast. Fresh pancakes or a full English is a lovely treat to set you up for the morning. You may be so full there’s no need to leave the house again for the rest of the day.
2. The Serpentine Art Gallery, London
‘Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!’ runs here until the end of the school hols. It’s in the middle of Hyde Park which is great for picnics, ponds and the added incentive of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground. The show is wittily fabulous and small enough to drag kids around without too much protest. It’s also free.
3. Independent cinema
Stack up the kids with drinks and popcorn and poke them into Despicable Whatever while mums go off for coffee, chat or a sneaky wine. This is more for slightly older kids who can work a mobile phone in a crisis.
4. Get on your bike
Put the cycles on the roof and get down to Brooklands Community Bike Park in Weybridge or similar. The Brooklands site is an old car-racing track which kids can go around safely on bikes or scooters. Parking is limited but there’s a Tesco nearby: useful for stocking up on coffee, tin-gin or snacks. Let the kids go off (there’s no four-wheeled traffic) and catch up on your emails/Grazia/paperwork.
5. No picnic beside the seaside
Get on the road early to Ferring near Littlehampton where the Bluebird Café is waiting to take your delicious breakfast or yummy lunch order. The beach is sandy at low tide and shallow, great for paddling or a swim. Along the back runs a wide, grassy space edged with jaw-dropping, elegant mansions, most available to rent. Let the kids play football while you gawp at the properties and dream. Then head back to the café for ice-cream: no food preparation required.
6. Family rave
Relive your younger and wilder days at a parent and child afternoon rave at various venues around the UK. Forthcoming dates include 22 July at Alexandra Palace, London and 30 July in Norwich. Children under eight are preferred but older siblings are welcome. See www.bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk.