Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Family Days out. Thing of the past?

The BBC Breakfast Show that filtered through to me this morning whilst eating Bran Flakes and tackling three mini people was that more attractions are apparently stopping free admissions. This Thursday marks 10 years since most admission fees to museums and more were scrapped to ensure that "culture was for everyone", this led to in some cases a 200% increase of visitors. Surely this is great news?

Apparently not. Instead it has led to tourists taking advantage of the bargain day out. Many of the popular attractions abroad charge admissions and reap the awards of tourists bringing in the money. I could completely understand the argument of the rising numbers visiting the varied free attractions means higher costs of running, but surely the public would lose out too right?

I find it sad that its noticed that fewer families are in that significant rise of visitors, the UK economy can't be blamed for it surely? Are good old English family day's out no longer a common thing? The weather sure doesn't help, but wouldn't that mean more families would be taking advantage of the free admissions?

Some of our best days out so far as a family have been to the free museums, castle ruins and attractions that are on offer. Yes admittedly you still have to fork out the rising cost of travel to wherever your fancy takes you, but a packed lunch and a flask of tea lowers that outlay and you are giving the children some great memories. Only this past weekend we took advantage of the Fitzgerald Museum in Cambridge.

It was also mentioned that some adults when they were younger were not taken to these kind of places and therefore have not passed the experience on. My husband and I both did have the experience when we were children and by no means because we were privileged as we certainly wasn't.

Ashridge 2011

Some of my fondest memories are of my Mum collecting us from school and taking us for a picnic dinner one the Dunstable Downs or in the National Trusts Ashridge Woods. We would regularly have a mystery tour trip to somewhere new to explore or a trip to the Science Museum, we always were on new adventures. Its something that as a Mother I feel is important to pass on and my husband is just the same. We often enjoyed trips to places steeped in history before our babies arrived and its something we just didn't stop even when our babies arrived and we will continue to the point when they refuse to join us!

London 2008

 Even when my sisters have helped us out on a babysitting duty day they too have done the same, a trip to the woods. We can't wait for our trips to the seaside as a family if and when Summer ever arrives.

Norfolk 2010

Winchester 2009

Perhaps the problem is that fewer people are not willing to donate money to wherever it is that they are taking advantage of visiting, I will hold my hand up to that. Everyone is feeling the pinch financially in one way or the other but whats a extra £5 at least? That would only work out as a £1 each for my brood. I have no issues with paying to visit somewhere at all, that's not my point. But it does anger me when you find the popular places charging inflated costs that alienate families, air shows and zoo's always anger me as they are the types of days out that require some families to save for. However in light of what I watched this morning I will think twice before leaving a 'free entry' attraction without adding something to the donation box, with the hope that inflated prices don't return to some of our favourite attractions.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree. Mr J and I went on our 2nd date of the year ( the British Museum. We had a fab few hours in an incredible building soaking in the exhibits. And it was free! Amazing. On the way out we donated a tenner - it was the least we could do. Sadly though in the donation box there were also sweet wrappers and tissues! As we walked out we talked about how good it was and that we'd paid about $50 each last year at the Art Institute in Chicago. Mr J ran back and put another £10 in the box - it was still great value at £20 for the both of us! x