The Family Friendly Roadmap To Freedom


Hugging, kids’ parties, soft plays, cinemas, indoor attractions, museums, holidays and going inside a restaurant are all on the massive list of roadmap changes from May 17. And I’m here to walk you through what’s reopening, so you can tell your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews to get excited!

As a general overview from the 17 May, hugging between people from different bubbles will be allowed for the first time in 15 months, but be aware not everyone wants to be hugged. I have been specifically told by a mum friend of mine not to hug her when I see her as she knows I’m a “hugger” and doesn’t want me smothering her with love. So perhaps just bear that in mind … know your audience!

Here’s a family friendly rundown of England’s lockdown changes from May 17, 2021, just for you!

You can sit inside a café, restaurant or pub

Fancy bribing the kids with a meal at their favourite eatery (aka McDonalds!), well the rule of six or two households indoors applies equally to hospitality venues. Groups seated outside may have up to 30 people.

The same rules as before will apply, that’s masks indoors, table service only and scan in on entry using the NHS Covid-19 app. But there is no need to order a “substantial meal” with a drink anymore, which is a relief as the whole order a scotch egg with your meal thing was getting ridiculous.

You can go to museums and children’s play areas

Indoor entertainment, such as museums (STEAM is planning to reopen on May 27) and children’s play areas are back on the agenda. Hello Kidz About, Jolly Rodger and Butterfly World – oh how we have missed you.

You can go to the cinema – but don’t forget your mask!

Cineworld Regent Circus, Cineworld Shaw Ridge, and Empire Greenbridge are finally opening again, which I know will be something a lot of children will be looking forward too. But it might be worth managing their expectations as children and adults will have to wear masks whilst inside unless consuming their food and drinks. Peter Rabbit 2 and Cruella should bring a smile to your kids’ faces!

You can go to parent and child groups - and kids won’t count towards the limit

Parent and child groups can resume with up to 30 attendees. Babies and children under five do not count towards the 30-person limit in these groups.

Go shopping with the kids

The Designer Outlet, the Brunel Shopping Centre, Old Town’s independent shops, Greenbridge Retail Park, Orbital Shopping Park and Mannington Retail Park are all open, so lots of opportunities to shop for kids’ summer gear.

Stay in one of Swindon’s great hotels

Visitors can stay overnight with people from different bubbles on May 17, that means Swindon’s hotels, B&Bs and other holiday venues like hostels can reopen, which is great news for people trying to book away for the school holidays; no more staycations only.

So, there you have it, a guide to the next stage of children’s entertainment, and hopefully the lockdown will soon be just a memory.

Claire Phillips
Blogger and Magical Mummy