Reviews Criteria: This is How Families Magazine Conducts Our Reviews

Here at Families Magazine we LOVE to get out in our beautiful city and surrounding areas and try all the things we talk about on our website. We have a small team of dedicated professionals who write up and report on their local experiences with their family to share with you and yours. So, we thought it would be helpful to show you what the review criteria is for each of the types of events and activities and locations we visit. Using this criteria helps us to determine if a location, event or activity warrants inclusion on the Families Magazine website!

If we are ever invited to attend events we will disclose that at the top of our article. Whether we paid for the activity ourselves or if we have attend free of charge, we will always detail our experience honestly using the criteria below.

Criteria we use when reviewing family friendly venues

Autumn School Holidays at MoB

These are the things we look at when we are reporting on the suitability of a venue for families across Brisbane and South East Queensland:

  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: We evaluate the overall atmosphere of the venue to determine if it’s welcoming and suitable for families, considering factors like noise levels, ambiance, and overall vibe.
  • Entertainment Variety: We assess and report back on the range of entertainment options available, reporting on whether the venue offers diverse activities suitable for different age groups and interests.
  • Safety Measures: We investigate the safety measures in place, including staff supervision, secure play areas, and emergency procedures to ensure a worry-free experience for families.
  • Facilities for Younger Children: Our team is careful to check if the venue provides amenities and activities specifically designed for younger children, accommodating families with a mix of age groups.
  • Accessibility: We consider if the venue is accessible for families with additional needs, offering ramps, elevators, and other accommodations for those with mobility challenges. This might include noise levels and flashing lights too.
  • Hygiene and Cleanliness: Our team will evaluate the cleanliness of the facilities, including restrooms and dining areas, to ensure a comfortable and hygienic environment for families.
  • Food Options: Check the availability of diverse and nutritious food options, catering to different dietary needs and preferences within the family.
  • Ticketing and Pricing: We always try to provide information on ticket pricing, especially any available family discounts, and additional costs for activities to help families plan their budget accordingly.
  • Events and Special Programs: If the venue has seasonal activities, we will highlight any special events, programs, or themed days that the venue organises for families, adding value to the overall experience.
  • Feedback from Other Families: When we share our thoughts on our social media platforms, we will update the review to include snippets of feedback from other families who have visited the venue, giving our readers insights into our social media ‘family’s’ real life experiences so that in turn can help you to make informed decisions.

You can see information about family friendly venues we recommend suitable for families here.

Criteria we use to determine if day trips that are suitable for families

Tangalooma Resort Day Trip

These are the things we look at when we are reporting on the suitability of day trips for families across Brisbane and South East Queensland:

  • Attractions and Activities: We will detail the attractions and activities available during the day trip, explaining if there is a mix of options appealing to various ages and interests within the family.
  • Travel Distance: We will always provide a map and draw attention to the travel distance to the day trip destination, considering the convenience and suitability for families with different transportation preferences – eg. public transport where suitable.
  • Educational Opportunities: Being a teacher, I ask the team to highlight any educational aspects of the day trip, such as museums, nature trails, or historical sites, providing families with opportunities for both fun and learning.
  • Picnic Areas or Dining Options: To help you assess costs we will let you know if there are picnic areas or on-site dining options, catering to families who may prefer to bring their own meals or enjoy convenient food services.
  • Scenic Surroundings: We will also evaluate the overall environment, looking for scenic views, nature settings, or unique landscapes that enhance the family’s day trip experience.
  • Family-Friendly Facilities: As we are always travelling with children ourselves, we know the important of family-friendly facilities, including restrooms, changing areas, and stroller accessibility. We will detail these to help your day trip be as easy as possible, especially for families with younger children.
  • Events or Festivals: We love a good festival, so we will let you know of any that might coincide with the day trip, adding an extra layer of excitement and entertainment for families.
  • Cost and Admission: We will provide information on admission costs, any available family packages and discounts, and potential additional expenses, helping families plan their day trip budget effectively.
  • Interactive Experiences: We always try to mention any interactive experiences or hands-on activities that engage children and make the day trip more memorable for the entire family.
  • Accessibility for All Ages: We will consider and write about the accessibility of attractions for different age groups, ensuring that the day trip is enjoyable and manageable for families with a mix of children’s ages, needs and abilities.

You can find hundreds of days trips we have done and written about here.

Criteria for reviewing playgrounds across South East Queensland

Hidden World - main playground 4

These are the things we look at when we are reporting on our best playgrounds across Brisbane and South East Queensland:

  • Age-Appropriate Equipment: We will photograph and explain the playground’s variety of equipment and discuss the suitability for different age groups – both toddlers and older children.
  • Safety Measures: We will discuss things like proper ground surfaces, well-maintained equipment, and appropriate fencing to prevent accidents.
  • Accessibility: We will tell you if we think the playground is accessible for children with disabilities, including ramps, inclusive swings, and other features that promote inclusivity.
  • Shade and Seating: We will report on the availability of shaded areas and seating for parents and carers, making the experience more comfortable during sunny days.
  • Hygiene Facilities: Our writers will check for clean and well-maintained restroom facilities nearby, which is crucial for families with younger children.
  • Surrounding Environment: We often tell you about the overall surroundings, looking for factors like noise levels, proximity to roads, and general cleanliness to ensure a pleasant atmosphere.
  • Picnic Areas/Cafes: We will scope out and find the nearest nearby picnic areas or benches for families to enjoy snacks or meals together. We will also tell you about the closest cafe so you can grab that needed cup of coffee!
  • Maintenance and Cleanliness: In our photos and with what we write you can assess the overall maintenance of the playground, including cleanliness, well-kept landscaping, and any signs of disrepair.
  • Parking: We will show you where to park and probably add a map! We hope this will make it easier for you when you are dealing with multiple children or for those of us who might need to carry strollers and other gear.
  • Community Engagement: If appropriate, we will tell you if there are any community events or activities that go on in that park. This fosters a sense of community and provides additional opportunities for families to connect.

You can find all our playground reviews here.

Criteria for reviewing kid friendly restaurants across South East Queensland

Chocolate fountain at Waves seafood buffet restaurant
Chocolate fountain at Waves seafood buffet restaurant

These are the things we consider when we are dining out at kid friendly restaurants across Brisbane and South East Queensland are:

  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: We assess the overall ambiance to ensure it’s welcoming, creating a comfortable and relaxed setting for families.
  • Kid-Friendly Menu: We check for a diverse and kid-friendly menu, catering to various age groups and accommodating different dietary needs.
  • Play Areas or Entertainment: We explore the availability of play areas, games, or entertainment options, ensuring children stay engaged during the visit.
  • High Chairs and Boosters: We check for the presence of high chairs and booster seats for younger children, making dining more convenient for families.
  • Changing Facilities: We evaluate the cleanliness and availability of changing facilities, particularly important for families with infants or toddlers.
  • Noise Levels: We consider the noise levels, aiming for a balance that allows conversation without being too disruptive for families.
  • Accessibility: We check for accessibility features like ramps or elevators, making it easy for families with strollers or mobility challenges.
  • Outdoor Seating: We assess the availability of outdoor seating, providing families with an option to enjoy their meal in a relaxed environment.
  • Service Speed: We evaluate the speed and efficiency of service, crucial for families with younger children who may be less patient.
  • Pricing and Value: We consider the pricing in relation to the quality of food and service, ensuring families receive good value for their dining experience.
  • Community Feedback: When we share our thoughts on our social media platforms, we will update the review to include snippets of feedback from other families who have visited the establishment, giving our website readers insights into our social media ‘family’s’ real life experiences so that in turn can help you to make informed decisions.

Want family friendly place to eat out with the kids? Try one of our recommendations!

Criteria for reviewing schools across South East Queensland

The Lakes College

We work closely with many schools across Brisbane and South East Queensland and want to share the criteria we use the highlight them:

  • Academic Programs: Every school will have an academic program but they can vary greatly across the grades, so we highlight the academic programs offered by the school, so you can ensure they align with the educational goals and preferences of your family.
  • Extracurricular Activities: We will always details the variety and availability of extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports, promoting a well-rounded educational experience for students.
  • School Facilities: We will outline the school facilities, including classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and recreational areas, to help you understand what your child will have access to at the school and within their learning environment.
  • Teaching Staff: Whilst we don’t delve into the qualifications and experience of the teaching staff, we do arm you with a list of questions to consider asking when you visit any school.
  • Class Sizes and Student-Teacher Ratio: Where known, we will share with you the information around class sizes and the student-teacher ratio to help you determine the level of individual attention and support students can receive.
  • Inclusivity and Diversity: We will discuss in our reviews, the school’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity. This can create a welcoming environment that respects and celebrates differences among students.
  • Parental Involvement: In our reviews, we encourage parents to explore opportunities for parental involvement, such as parent-teacher associations or events, fostering a collaborative relationship between the school and families.
  • Special Education Needs Support: In our reviews, we outline the SEN support that is available to show the level of support for students with diverse learning needs.

You can read the many, many school overviews on our website here.

We are committed to transparency and honest reviews

When it comes to providing information for families in our community, we understand the importance of reliable recommendations. Our goal is to help parents make informed decisions about playgrounds, family-friendly venues, day trips, dining out options and schools. We hope the above review criteria has given you an inside look at how we assess and compile our reviews to ensure that the information we offer is trustworthy and valuable for your family.