Our family can be a logistical nightmare: ferrying the 14 year old to town to hang out with his friends whilst getting the 12 year old over to his mates house to play on the PlayStation, then herding the 8 & 9 year olds to a football match – meanwhile, poor little Casper gets dragged along on the promise of a jammy dodger. My point being, keeping all 5 boys entertained in one place is a huge ask. So when I started talking to Thomson Holidays about our latest family holiday (see more details here), my biggest challenge to them was to keep our brood so busy for a week, in the sun, that they wouldn’t pick up their iPad or whinge about not having their beloved PlayStations.
Thomson’s new Family Life concept ensures every generation in a family will have something to keep them busy/happy during your stay – so we put it through it’s paces with our boys aged 1-14. Not only did Thomson do it, they did it well. So here’s just 10 of the awesome ways Thomson Holidays kept our kids entertained for Summer half-term…
We stayed at the Family Life Lagoon Princess. With a whooping 5 pools from and a trio of water slides the kids were in their aquatic element. During the day there was a lifeguard at the main family pool, so if I needed to concentrate on the baby for more than 30 seconds I could rest assured no pushing, shoving, drowning or heavy petting would go unnoticed.
2. Kids’ Clubs
Aka parental nirvana! From baby club through to the teenage Hang Out, there was loads on offer. The enviously enthusiastic staff put on a packed timetable of activities from water polo to beach bbq’s. The kids’ club (6-11 yrs) ran two sessions a day and three evening sessions during the week from 6pm – 9pm, allowing us to have dinner in relative peace (Casper hindered this slightly!). Although our boys weren’t wholly convinced by the slightly wide age group of 6-11, they all loved The Hangout activities aimed at slightly older kids.
What holiday’s complete without the making of new friends? I’m pretty sure before we’d even checked-in our boys had initiated some equally energetic tweens into their gang. This is just another bonus of a family orientated resort at half-term, an abundance of potential friends at every turn.
Green & Grill. Whilst a restaurants might not strictly be considered entertainment, The Green & Grill most certainly was. One of the hotels 3 main restaurants, for the evening meal we got to select our cuts of meat, then grill them in the open air ourselves (with the help of a chef). The kids loved it – harking back to their cave man instincts coupled with that child-like desire to do everything yourself meant they ate every scrap – win win.
5. The Beach
With its own sandy beach just a couple of minutes walk from the main pool (and most rooms), we would take the kids down there to unwind from the e-numbered fun at the family pool. With beach volley ball, sand sculpting (or trying to mold a turtle & shark out of sand with interesting results) and skimming stones aplenty all the boys were content to chill beach-side for an afternoon or two.
6. Greek Towns
Sani Marina or Nea Moudania, both fab towns to go explore and only a short taxi ride away. With markets, restaurants, shopping and culture, it was great to get the kids out to experience the real Greece and buy some obligatory toot from the stalls.
Football, tennis and basketball. The hotel had courts and pitches galore – the tennis courts were available whenever the boys fancied a game (rackets and balls provided) and every evening they’d pop off for a game of footy with other kids and staff – this was perfectly timed for getting ready and having a shower without 4 big boys asking where their shorts/t-shirt/flip flops are for the 38th time.
8. Water Sports
What’s not to love about pedalos with slides, a wave skimming UFO and paddle boarding?! All available on our hotel’s beach.
9. The Play Park
One might be fooled into thinking that a play park might considered “babyish” for four boys 8+, but apparently the after dinner rush for the slides, swings and fireman’s pole proved otherwise. Casper (suitably aged) also loved it!
10. Free Wifi
I’d love to be able to tell you that the boys completely forgot about their iPads, but I’d be telling fibs. Once we’d finished sunning, swimming, eating and playing for the day – the gadgets would appear for 20 minutes to play games (via the free wifi) with their friends 5 rooms away!
I never imagined in a million years that all our boys would be kept busy enough that I’d never hear the words “I’m bored” for a whole seven days – it was quite the opposite, often being berated for giving them too many options and not being able to do them all. Obviously it was all my fault!
Want to see all the action in glorious technicolour – head HERE for our Days in the Sun video from our holiday.
A huge thank you to Thomson Holidays and all the Family Life Staff for making our first family holiday with all the boys, dare I say it, easy!