Often large employers will sponsor a family day. This is a nice way to recognize that family is important and it is nice for kids and spouses to get a chance to meet and greet their respective counterparts. In the past I have attended annual picnics at various amusement locations and skipped several as well.
I had the chance to be a guest of my wife’s this past weekend along with our girls in tow. The event itself was very well organized with bouncy castles, water play, and even a climbing wall. It was apparent that along with the food, tents and other items it was put together at substantial expense and volunteer effort. The food was really good as well. In addition to burgers and hotdogs, there was BBQ and even ribs to go along with chips, potato salad and cookies. There were also plenty of booths to pick through and develop a swag bag of marketing goodies.
The obvious downside is that our girls are still young for these activities. I think the prime time ages are from about 5 years old to about 10 years old. At that age kids can play by themselves and know that it is important to stay close and not get lost. They also have the attention span to wait for their turn and are excited to ask questions of a fireman, rather than just point and say fire truck.
Our girls did seem to enjoy themselves. Our older daughter ate a hotdog and a popsicle. She also played on the bouncy mat and even got to splash around in the duck run. The younger one was not quite as enthused, but was in a good temperament and let some of the other guests hold her without freaking out.
The crowd is usually pretty light hearted as well. Sometimes it is just a matter of dressing down and having a beer that puts people in a good mood. While it was nice to attend and touch base with some of the other families, any activity with two little ones is stressful. Even a simple trip to the park needs some planning and packing in addition to a vigilant eye for risk.