While the holidays provide a nice break from the monotony of the daily school run, if your kids feel the constant need to be entertained, it can be taxing trying to think up ways to keep them occupied (without causing more damage than good!)
Finding enough activities to fill the days can be tricky for even the most organised parent. Plus, getting to and from attractions can be difficult and costly.
However, there is a way that your PTA can help relieve some of the stress of the summer holidays – by organising group visits to local attractions.
How can group visits to places benefit parents?
There are several worthwhile benefits to organising group visits to local attractions.
Find some company
The first benefit of group visits is that you will have other people around you. That means that the kids can make new friends or spend time with existing ones, and just as importantly, parents can have some much-needed adult interaction and sane conversation.
The second benefit is that it is often a more cost-effective way of having a day one. Many attractions offer discounts on entry prices for large groups if you book in advance. This may make them much more affordable, especially for larger families. Even if an attraction doesn’t advertise group discounts, it never hurts to call and ask.
What about transport?
Although your PTA could ask families to make their own way to the attraction and arrange to meet there, by organising transport you can make the visit accessible to a greater selection of parents. Those who don’t drive or have access to a vehicle, or those who find it difficult to use public transport, may feel isolated during the school holidays.
Depending on the number of families interested in the trip, you could look at hiring a minibus or coach to transport the group, spreading the cost between those attending.
C’mon – it will be fun!
Again, it is worth trying to negotiate prices with the providers you choose, in case they can offer a school/PTA discount.
If hiring a vehicle isn’t possible then you could also look at public transport as an alternative? Many rail services also offer discounts for groups.
Where can we go?
Some PTAs and similar organisations already offer group excursions. Check out these ideas…
The PTA at Y Ferch o’r Sgêr Primary School in Wales held a very successful summer trip to West Midlands Safari Park
26.7.14 PTA Summer Trip to West Midlands Safari Park. Slip & payment to school in a clearly marked, sealed envelope by Wednesday 16-7-14— Y Ferch o'r Sgêr (@ysgolyfos) July 9, 2014
Poynton High School PTA organised a coach trip to various landmarks in the North East.
The PTA at All Hallows offered a truly magical excursion – a trip to the Harry Potter studios!
PTA organised a trip to Harry Potter Studio in London. We were all mesmerised by the experience. Special effects and props were brilliant!— All Hallows (@AllHallowsCC) March 1, 2017
This school in Hong Kong enjoyed a family outing to a local island that offered plenty of activities for everyone
15 May is International Families Day we are celebrating this Sunday with a family outing to Lamma Island organised by the PTA, great fun!— JC Ti-I College, HK (@jctic) May 15, 2014
There really is no limit to the types of places you could visit. Some of the best ideas we have seen include:
– Leisure centres/outdoor pools
– Theme Parks
– Local farms
And when winter rolls around, why not consider holding a family outing to the pantomime, just like the PTA at Sandfield Close
Sandfield Close watched the Sleeping Beauty pantomime at the Peepul Centre. Thanks to the PTA. Great family outing.— Sandfield Close (@SandfieldClose) December 14, 2014
If you are still looking for further ideas for locations to visit, don’t forget to add this to the agenda at your next PTA meeting. You can also ask families at the school where they would most like to go.
PTAsocial makes organising events super-easy and inclusive by allowing volunteers to pick out a specific, manageable task. It’s completely free, so just start an account for your school right now in 2 minutes.