Fun for all the family
It's going to be a scorcher! Make the most of your kids' summer holidays
Yes, it can be hugely entertaining having your face slapped in paint while you try desperately to supervise four out-of-control children hell bent on causing as much mayhem as possible.... but it's still not the sort of thing you want to do every day.
Then again, you won't get another chance to see your kids grow up, so here's a few ideas for making the most those precious family days out in the open air.
Getting around on the cheap
With petrol prices sky rocketing, it can be pretty expensive just getting to where you want to go even before you've paid to get in.
To help, Thamesdown Transport have introduced a summer dayrider special:
Unlimited travel on one day
One adult + up to 3 children (under 16) = £4.00
Two adults + up to 3 children (under 16) = £6.00
Get down with the animals
With Swindon being surrounded by countryside, it's no surprise that one of the most popular locations for family on a day out is Roves Farm. You don't even need your wellies to enjoy it.
Take a walk on the wild side
Just up the road you'll also find some animals slightly more exotic than the usual.
Take a day to see the lions, tigers, zebras, elephants.... tortoises, parrots, fruit bats and more!
A taste of the tropics
Take the family to Studley Grange Leisure Park where you'll find a fascinating range of the world's most beautiful butterflies.
It's the perfect answer to a family day out - take the grandparents with you, and they will be entertained all day at the craft centre.
Another advantage of living in Swindon (gosh, aren't they're so many!) is the chance to get out and have a nice, sedate bike ride round the towns and villages that surround the town. First you'll need to kit the family out on two wheels, though.
On the beach
Believe it or not, life really can be a beach in Swindon.
Located just a few miles down the road is the Cotswold Water Park, where there's so many activities on offer we can't possibly list them all here.
Plus, there's an actual man-made sandy shore to enjoy, as well.
Not quite Bondi, we admit, but pretty brilliant all the same when the sun's at its hottest.
Whether you're a young person or a parent just wanting a go, this summer you can go and try your hand at tridives, sailing, windsurfing and much more at Waterland.
Click on the link below for more details.
Parents, you can sit back and let the little ones do all the hard work (for the first 20 yards anyway).
Wet 'n Wild
Go on, give them a thrill they won't forget in a hurry - ringo riding.
Push the boat out
There aren't many better places for taking a stroll, or just lying back and soaking up some rays while the swans and boats float by.
But why stop there?
Hire yourself a boat for the day (or overnight if you're feeling adventurous) and take in the scenery at your own pace - you'll find loads of places to tie the ropes and take to land for a picnic!
Or take the easy way out and join a river cruise - you can relax while someone else does all the hard work!
And if something more relaxing is your cup of tea, why not take the kids on a cruise down the river in Lechlade? Then stop off at the Riverside for a drink.
Dads. If it's sunny outside, why not take the boy(s) out for a spot of fishing in Swindon?
Remember though: children under 12 don't require a rod license, but adults do at nearly all locations such as Coate Water and Stanton Park.
For those who really want to go for the big stuff, trout fishing at Lechlade is the place to be.
Put the kids to work
What an idea! Putting the kids to work! If you can stop them stuffing their faces with strawberries, this one really can be a good laugh. And at Lotmead Farm you can also watch the cows being milked at 2.45pm and 4.15pm at no charge!
Take in a bit of history
Swindon has a whole number of stately homes and gardens nearby. All at their best during the summer months.
Well worth an afternoon out, we think. Who knows the kids might just learn something.
Get the kids all revved up
The summer means the speedway season in Swindon. So why not take the kids down to the Abbey to watch the Robins?
Take a train ride
Open weekends and bank holidays, trains run between 11:00am and 4:00pm.
On 24 & 25 August, there's also a Children's Treasure Hunt, with Tubby the Talking Engine making an appearance on 19 & 20 July.
Pitch 'n Putt in Swindon
There are 2 great pitch and putt courses to try - one at Coate Water, the other in Highworth.
Both offer a simple course (the Coate Water one over 18 holes) where beginners of all ages can have a go without fear of embarrassing themselves.
Festivals, comedy and more...
Don't forget our other section on 'Big Events' in and around this summer, nearly all ideal for families. See link below.
If a trip up the river, or a game of golf doesn't inspire you, then don't worry.
We've loads more ideas of things to do with the kids in our sections on 'Holiday Activities' and 'Rainy Days' below including museums, cinema and plenty more.