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You may think that becoming a parent means no more spontaneous weekends away, but city breaks with children can be just as fun and much less hassle than you would expect. If you’re looking to make the most of a long weekend or just fancy some quality family time away from home, follow these top tips for a stress free, family friendly city break.
When to go – If you have very young children or are able to take your kids out of school, aim to avoid school holidays and book a term time break. This will save money and will mean that attractions will be less crowded, especially in the UK.
If you’re only planning on taking a short trip away, go for a long weekend as family friendly hotels often struggle to fill rooms between Friday and Sunday so you could end up getting a better deal. Save extra money on your trip by booking last minute.
Where to go – If you’re on the hunt for a hassle free city break with children, try a new city in the UK you’ve never visited. London has plenty of things going on for kids and different things to see and do every weekend, as well as the traditional all-year-round attractions such as the London Eye and The Tower of London.
London has a wide variety of parks too, such as Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, so kids can blow off some steam in between sightseeing. If you’re dubious about mixing children with hotels, organise a house swap with a friend who has children in a different city. That way, you’ll have everything that you’d usually have at home when you’re away.
Out and about – Most cities are actually more child friendly than most of us think. A lot of major city attractions are free or discounted for kids and many museums come with small play areas or places for families to sit. Lots of museums and galleries also provide children’s activities or audio commentary so kids don’t get bored.
To save tired little legs, take a sightseeing bus tour so you can see everything you want to see without your kids having to walk too much. Even if your children are a little bit older, take a lightweight buggy in case they get tired and want to be carried.
Stock up each morning on plenty of bottled water and lots of snacks to save money and time when you are hungry and thirsty during the day. Take a picnic – children are unlikely to want to sit down and eat a proper meal when absorbed in new surroundings. Most parks and many attractions have family picnic areas where you can eat but your little ones can still run around and play.
Most importantly, remember to all have fun!