Quality time with your kids is precious, especially in this busy era. Days out with the kids offer an opportunity to enjoy an experience together, maybe learn something, or at least have fun together. Along with everything else that Mums organise, there are a few critical factors that matter to them when they are planning a family outing. So what matters to mums when planning days out with the kids?
Personally speaking, if my family plans a day out then we want to make sure we’re going somewhere that is going to deliver a great experience, offer something to everyone as we are all at different ages and stages, that there’s somewhere with nice food to eat. And that it doesn’t take too long to get to or too long to get into.
Because of our variable weather in Ireland, being able to have somewhere indoors is also handy.
Value for money is important to me too. I don’t mind spending on an entry ticket if I feel we are going to spend a long time somewhere doing things there.
Opinions of other mums becomes important when going to somewhere new. What did they think? Would they recommend it?
We Surveyed Mums about Days Out
We surveyed parents about family days out and they shared with us that:
Just under half (48%) said price was the most important factor when choosing a day out
30% say they have a day out once a week with their kids while 41% have a day out once a month
58% said they like to go to a cafe on their day out with the kids
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Factors that matter to Mums when Planning Days Out with the Kids
From our survey these were the factors that mattered to Mums when planning days out:
- Caters for different ages 54%
- Price 48%
- Proximity to Home 47%
- Discounts/offers are available 35%
- Gets everyone away from screens 34%
- Duration of activity 22%
Other Feedback About Days Out from Mums
- Kid menus are important to them.
- If they have more than 2 kids then the price starts to really matter.
- Buggy access is something that they care about.
- They like to have indoor places that can be visited if the weather is poor.
- They want to be able to go as a single parent and not worry about losing sight of the kids.
- If entrance fees are reasonable, then they have more money to spend within the attraction.
- Very often activities/events are geared towards younger children and those between the ages of 12 and 18 are forgotten about.
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What Should Visitor Attractions Do to Optimise Days Out with Kids
Here are a few suggestions based on this feedback:
Revisit ticket options
Look at ticket prices to see what can be done about price and value, particularly for families with more than 2 kids – how can the extra kids be added in for not too much more cost.
Consider ticket options that bundle activities so you can offer a bigger bundle ticket for better value.
Could you offer ticket discounts to more than one family buying at once? Often mums like to go on days out with friends and kids together.
Can you offer discounted tickets at off peak times for families of younger kids not tied to school hours? Can you do one day a month where entry is free for a limited number of families?
Could you offer an annual family membership to encourage return visits?
Look at how you can cater for different age groups
Make sure that older children are catered for as well, many families have mixed ages. Have you accommodated different ages and stages well within your attraction? For example, younger kids love dressing up and make believe play. Older kids like to be challenged with a bit of a puzzle or something unusual to work out.
Make sure buggy access is available in case there are smaller kids in the family.
Offer healthy menu options and half portions for children.
Look at low cost value add options
Why not add a themed trail to your location – this could be e.g. a science trail like Birr Castle Gardens has put in place, or fairy trails like many locations now offer. But what about something different like a Winnie The Pooh trail, a squirrel trail or something else unusual?
If your venue is very much indoor focused, then think about creating age-themed worksheets that kids can use to go around and spot things while they are visiting. Brigit’s Garden has a wonderful nature themed trail that kids complete and then come back to the shop for a small gift – a lovely way of not only engaging the kids with their gardens but also delighting the kids who love to follow the trail for a prize.
Team up with other local partners
Could you join forces with other local partners to offer a complete day out not just a trip to your attraction. If you know an average visit time is 1-2 hours then offering a complete day out with a 2nd attraction and a café so families can do both attractions + lunch.
Or can you find a hotel/self-catering partner so you can include a night’s accommodation? This could also encourage people to travel further to enjoy what you and the area have to offer.
And those partners can also sell this complete package through their channels too.
Look at ways of tapping into word of mouth
How can you get reviews and get Mums recommending to other Mums. Can you offer a free something the next time they visit in return for a Facebook or Google review?
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Connecting attractions and family oriented experiences with mothers in an engaging way through social and digital channels is possible, we do it all the time on Mykidstime. We help brands and businesses to connect with Mums. Schedule a call today to have a chat about how to work with Mykidstime.