[AD] This blog post is part of a paid partnership with McDonald’s UK and BritMums, but all words and opinions are my own.
Who doesn’t love a McDonald’s? It’s a firm family favourite in our house, and as a child myself I remember gleefully getting my Happy Meal when we used to visit.
If I’m honest, as parents, we used to see it as just a convenient pit stop to grab a quick bite to eat for us and the kids. But not anymore! Over the Summer holidays McDonald’s have been putting on fun family events in their branches across the country and the best thing is they are completely FREE!
We were lucky enough to be invited, along with the kids school pals, to our local branch of McDonald’s in Braintree to try out their family event.
You would think that it would be difficult to keep eleven children entertained whilst in a restaurant for over an hour and a half, wouldn’t you? But honestly it wasn’t! The minute we got there the kids started on the colouring-in table cloth, whilst staff members did face painting and balloon modelling to keep them entertained.
The staff were brilliant! They really engaged with the kids, made sure they were all having fun and that no one was missing out. The lady doing the face paint had to contend with requests of monkeys, butterflies, dogs, horses and even a flamingo, but took it all in her stride. Even I had some flowers painted on my face.
One of the things I love about McDonald’s is the recent introduction of table service. As a parent, particularly if you’re on your own with the kids, this is fab. No queuing with hangry kids, or struggling to navigate trays of food, kids and bags to a table. It makes the whole experience much more relaxing. Simply order your food at the touch screen order point, take a table number and take a seat, that’s it! Food is bought to your table with no fuss or dramas what so ever.
It wasn’t long before the food arrived. McDonald’s are celebrating 40 years of the Happy Meal (nearly as old as me!), and you can see why they’re called that. The look on the kids’ faces as the iconic red boxes arrived at the table says it all. There is so much choice now for the kids, even for my fussy seven year old! Not only the classics like burgers and chicken nuggets, but now they can have chicken wraps, fish fingers or the new veggie wrap. With the addition of sides of fruit bags and cucumber sticks there really is something for every child.
The balloon modelling was a big hit with all the kids, and I have never seen quite so many variations. Balloon hats, swords, poodles, monkeys, and even little spotty ladybirds, which I think were my favourite.
At one point three members of staff were all making balloons to keep up with the very demanding requests, but they looked like they were having as much fun as the kids.
Eleven happy children, with painted faces, hordes of balloon animals to take home and full tummies. Then they discovered the tablets in the restaurant! Literally none of them wanted to go home.
All the children (and us adults) had such a great time. When I eventually managed to prise my kids away no sooner had we got in the car, they were asking me when we could go back.
These free fun family events are happening in branches of McDonald’s all over the country throughout the year. For more information and to find out what’s going on in your area visit their website, or ask in your local branch.