Tuesday, February 4, 2014

How to make your tourism attraction family friendly

Often I am asked by business owners, destinations, resorts, and CVB workers for tips on how to make their
place more attractive to young families, or if I thought their destination is family friendly. 
D-man inside Bridal Cave in Lake of the Ozarks

I am often called an expert on Missouri Travel....not really an expert, but I try and I love to travel.  What I would call myself an expert at is having a full of energy family.   It is my passion to keep our kids busy, well educated, and give them a taste of culture....even in the very rural community we live in.

I spend hours looking at magazines, websites, and chatting with others about places to visit with our children, and I have found places that are fabulous for kids, places that need a little work, and places that I will never again take my kids.

If you are wanting to be a Family Friendly Destination here are somethings to take into consideration:

  • Have an open mind, kids have 10 times the energy as adults, therefore they will be nosier, busier, and messier.
  • Expect things to get broken.  Not every time a kid walks through your door will things get broken, but if you business welcomes kids, it will happen.  (it can happen with adults too)
  • Set your prices to be affordable for young families.  Folks raising kids are often BROKE or living on a small budget.....keep that in mind.   I have limited our family to one "extra" event a month, I often stash back $50 to $75 a month to pay for that event.  
  • Have a friendly staff....I can tell you nightmare stories of kids getting searched, followed, and nagged to death while visiting a kid friendly destination.....Oh Geesh!   Know that families want to be comfortable and feel at home when visiting.
  • Tell jokes, have a signature greeting to help kids and parents connect with you.   
  • Don't expect for small children to sit still through a long introduction...their attention span is like 30 seconds.  Keep your introduction short, sweet, to the point. 
  • Let the rules be known...if you don't want us to touch something, keep it out of reach.  Don't put a giant rock in the middle of the room with a "do not touch' sign....we can't read!  However, any other rules let us know, tell us no running, no singing, we must be quiet...but explain why! 
  • Have a designated snack area.   We understand that you don't want food spilled all over you place, but how about giving us a food friendly area....this kills me, because there is often a smokers zone, but no food zone. 
  • If there is a kid friendly zone, point us in that direction first! 
  • Even if you are glad to see us go, tell us that you appreciate our visit.   We appreciate your tolerance....more than you will ever know!
When another parent ask me about a destination, these are the things I think about.  I am very honest, point out what I like, what I don't like, and what I wish was different...giving them a complete view of my experience.

If you would like more advice or opinions connect with on Twitter @BeckyAdventure on Facebook The Missouri Mom, or email me at adventuresamongus at gmail.com

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