7 Tips to Help You Plan an Awesome Family Fun Day

So, you’ve been given the task of planning the corporate family fun day and you want it to be awesome. There is pressure from above to stick to the budget, while ensuring everyone attends and has a great time.

Unlike the company AGM or Christmas party, the corporate family fun day needs to cater for… children. And not only that, you also need to ensure your colleagues, who are feeling a little nervous about bringing along their (potentially wild, picky and unruly) children to a “work event”, are not going to regret it.

Success is all in the planning. To make life easier and reduce costs, don’t start from scratch, use a venue that is tried and tested for the family market. Aquariums, zoos, attractions and theme parks are the perfect solution for planning awesome corporate family fun days.

To find out exactly what you need to do to plan a successful (and fun) Family Day, we caught up with the experts from Merlin Entertainments, one of Australia’s leading attraction groups. Their events team shared with us their top tips on hosting the best corporate family fun days.

1. Create a warm welcome and easy arrival

Before the guests even arrive at your event, make sure they are ready. Sending maps and tickets in advance of the day means there’s no confusion on arrival.

On arrival have the venue arrange for a VIP entry. Instead of paper tickets, use wristbands so guests can easily skip the queues and waltz right in.

Finally, make sure the venue has mobility and pram access and ensure there is plenty of pram parking too.

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2. Kids get hungry and so do the adults – cater for everyone!

Ensuring that the food provided is family friendly is a must. Don’t over complicate it.

A popular favourite is a great Aussie BBQ station. It can cater to all dietary requirements, is easy to manage and can provide a substantial lunch meal.

In addition, adding some young-at-heart favourites like fairy floss, ice cream or a sweets station will make the event feel extra special. This is also a great opportunity to add some branding – perhaps some branded lolly bags or cupcakes.

Remember, the event isn’t only about the kids… providing a beer or wine for the adults during lunch will be a welcome addition.

Finally, make sure you book a designated or reserved area so families can mingle and adults can chat.

Catering for everyone | Aussie BBQ station

3. Make the attraction or entertainment suitable for all ages

Save money on entertainment by choosing a venue which will be interesting for all age groups.

For example, at Merlin Entertainments they offer something for everyone. From sharks and penguins in SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, or the Koalas and massive Croc (Rocky) in WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, to the celebrity figures in Madame Tussauds Sydney, where guests can meet celebrity figures from Australia’s history, sporting greats or modern pop icons.

At Merlin, you don’t have to limit your guests either – you can arrange access to all three attractions for the day.

In addition, have the Animal Keepers and expert Guides tailor their talks to both kids and adults to make sure everyone is entertained and learning too.

Another great idea is to create treasure maps or challenge sheets to add a little extra fun throughout the visit.

Activities suitable for all ages

4. Give VIP access or experiences to make guests feel extra special

If you want to make the event extra special for your guests, book an exclusive experience that they cannot get by being a general visitor. This could include VIP tours, animal encounters, entertainers, face painters, masterclasses for adults or discovery classes for children.

Behind the scenes VIP experiences

5. Wet weather plans…

For events with an outdoors element, always, always have a wet weather plan. Cancelling on the day is not really an option, so think ahead and have a contingency plan in place.

If the venue you’ve chosen is majority outdoors, arrange for branded ponchos or umbrellas to be on stand-by. Remind guests of what can be done in the case of wet weather to encourage attendance.

Or better yet, pick a venue that is undercover, like Merlin Entertainments’ venues at Darling Harbour.

6. Flexibility for families

The best feedback on family days and the best attendance comes when you make the schedule flexible for families of all ages and sizes. Give your guests all day access to the event. This means people with younger children can time their visits around naps or those with older children can come after morning sport activities or around other family commitments.

Another great family-friendly tip is to arrange for the lunch service to be over a 3hr period. This encourages families to come at the time that suits them best, without the stress of a set time/schedule.

At Merlin guests can choose which attraction(s) they visit, so families can go with their preference. SEA LIFE and WILD LIFE are popular for all ages, specifically young kids. Madame Tussauds is perfect for teenagers.

7. Everyone loves a gift bag!

Putting together a gift bag for your guests to take away at the end of their day out is a great idea. It will make the children feel extra special and also provides you with additional opportunities for branding.

Tailor the gifts to different age groups – a teenager doesn’t want a teddy bear.

At Merlin, they can create gift bags with gift shop items. This also relieves pressure on Mum and Dad to buy a toy on the way out. Gift bags start as low as $5 per child and are an easy add-on to make the day even more memorable.


Choosing to host your corporate family fun day at a popular attraction is an easy way to create an awesome day out for all ages. Using venues that are experienced at hosting families, catering to large numbers and entertaining, means you can sit back, relax and enjoy the day yourself.

By taking on board the tips from the Merlin Entertainments Event Team, you can ensure your next corporate family fun day will be a huge success.

Merlin Entertainments have venues in Sydney and Melbourne that are perfect for corporate family fun days.