THE weekend’s here, and if you don’t get the kids out of the house then you’ll end up strangling at least one of them.
Here are the seven places you can take them, all of which you’ll loathe:
CINEMA: Whether it’s the fourth time through The Greatest Showman with your daughter or marvelling at the new depths of hatred you feel for James Corden watching Peter Rabbit, the cinema is all the worse because in quiet moments you can hear the film you’d actually like to see on the screen next door.
PARK: Your local park, a minefield of dogshit studded with broken glass, is somewhere you’d hurry through trying not to catch any of its denizens’ eyes if alone, but if the kids need a run it’s nearby and free. Amuse yourself by reading the obscene grafitti covering the climbing frame.
SOFT PLAY: In theory you could enjoy an hour or two’s peace with a newspaper and a coffee here, but while other people’s kids let them do just that yours never do, do they? No, they demand you contort yourself up a tower then leap in a ball pool that turns out to be back-breakingly shallow.
MUSEUM: It’s free, it’s educational, and you’ve been coming here for six years and know every informative label by heart. You’ve gazed into the eye of the stuffed hare with the moulting, mangy fur for so long you’ve begun to identify with him.
SWIMMING: Not only do children love swimming, it completely knackers them out. But the price to pay for having them sprawled lifelessly on the sofa for the rest of the day is exposing your pasty post-parenthood body in a pool of chlorinated baby urine.
NATIONAL TRUST: It can be quite pleasant strolling around the grounds of a rich person’s country home, imagining how horrified they’d be to see you in your Adidas swigging Dr Pepper. But that’s in sunny weather not this relentless drizzle, so you’ll be inside looking at dull paintings while the kids do some interminable educational trail.
PROPER ATTRACTION: You’ve had enough of cheaping it every weekend so take the kids to a theme park, zoo, aquarium or other paid attraction. They’re still done in two hours and it’s cost you £150, not including lunch and petrol. The rest of the day is spent with your head in your hands, feeling dazed.