I received an email this week from a parent who was preparing for an Isle of Wight holiday with children aged nine, 14 and 18.
Florida was off the cards thanks to Covid, so plan B was a trip to the Isle of Wight. Needless to say, the pressure to compete with Florida was weighing on my mind.
The challenge is to find activities which are simultaneously interesting for a nine year old and an 18 year old that don't involve staring at a screen. I've had similar emails from other people before who are trying to occupy toddlers and teenagers at the same time. Do you just accept that one person in the party will be bored or find a middle ground that might please nobody?
We've written guides to days out for toddlers, junior school age children and teenagers but combining ages is more difficult. Fear not though, weary parents, it is not impossible.
Here are my suggestions of what I would with a nine, 14 and 18 year old on an Isle of Wight holiday.
I've crammed a lot in to each day, you might want to enjoy a slightly slower pace.
You can change the order of the days round to fit in with the weather, surf and tides.
Day One - Tapnell Farm Park, Isle of Wight Aqua park and Freshwater Bay
Day Two - Sandham Gardens, Dinosaur Isle, Wildheart Animal Sanctuary
Day Three - Alum Bay and Compton Bay
Day Four - Monkey Haven, Cineworld and Go Karting (ideal for a grey day)
Day Five - Watersports at St Helen's or Dunroamin
Day Six - Amusements and Minigolf in Shanklin, Treasure Trail in Ventnor
Some other options
There are a few big name attractions missing from our itinerary and you may well find that they do the job nicely for your family.
Some of the bigger Isle of Wight attractions that I haven't mentioned include:
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog