Make the most of the long weekends

Make the most of the long weekend

Inspiring ideas for ways to relax so your bank holiday weekend doesn’t disappear under a pile of laundry and chores.


It’s time to treasure the great British bank holiday. Here are a few ideas to help you get 100% more fun out of 50% more weekend!

Make a plan of action

• Tick off the boring stuff. The supermarket shop, bed changing, vacuuming – get it all sorted by Saturday lunchtime so you still have a luxuriously long weekend for chilling out. If possible, get your tasks done on Friday night. The effort’s worth it – we only have eight bank holiday days a year and three of those get swallowed up at Christmas!
• Don’t wait to be asked, organise your friends or family for a get together. Don’t feel like tidying your house for visitors? Book a restaurant. Don’t want to spend too much cash? Go to a park café where grown-ups can catch up over coffee and the kids can run about.
• Get your children to draw up a timetable of things to do. They’ll have no trouble filling three days with fun for you all!

Create new bank holiday traditions

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• One way to enjoy long weekends is to establish a few little annual habits that you and your family really look forward to: maybe staying up late on Saturday for a family movie night tucked up in mum and dad’s bed; brunch with neighbours on Sunday; and a family games tournament with board games and Playstation challenges on Monday (complete with a homemade trophy for the champ). You’ll find more ideas in our feature Family fun: weekend projects.
• Weather on the early May bank holiday is often still a bit too chilly for picnics, so why not start Monday morning with a refreshing walk and treat everyone to a long lunch out – no mention of school or work allowed! Every year you can seek out somewhere special and different for your bank holiday ramble. To get you started, take a look at our pick of 5 brilliant weekend walks.
• The late May bank holiday is usually warmer. Why not make this the day in the calendar when friends and family know you always host an open house? You can turn it into a garden party or just keep things casual with jugs of mocktails, nibbles set out in the kitchen and the chance for guests to swing by whenever they want. We’ve got some great tips for Fab summer party themes and Mediterranean party food recipes.

If it rains

•It’s not that long ago that the UK had snow in May! Have a few nifty ideas stashed away in case the sun refuses to shine – like the suggestions in our Fun rainy day activities for kids feature, for starters.
•One way to beat rainy day blues is to embrace the wet – take everyone swimming to an outdoor pool. You’re going to be soaking anyway! Or check out our 5 tips for hassle-free muddy play days.
•Indoor attractions are going to be really busy if the weather’s bad, so have fun recreating a bowling alley or basketball court at home. Get the kids to paint homemade skittles using rinsed out juice and milk cartons or improvise nets with waste paper baskets – that’s actually how basketball was originally invented, after all! From blow-ball to flashlight tag, find more ideas in our article Old fashioned games your kids will love.

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