Days out

I was wondering what to do with my children in the school holidays.
Has anybody else been to a farm or zoo while having chemo?
My children have asked to go to the zoo but not sure if its to risky for infection.
I thought i would be able to take them swimming but my bcn said that is too risky, i haven’t got the energy for sports such as tennis and badminton which we also like doing.
My children are 11 and 12 so any ideas would be good.
I also have a 3yr old grandson he’s happy with a bucket and spade but it would be goid to be able to take him to a farm.
Chris xx


My son had chemo when he was a toddler and although we were very careful about where we went when his neutrophils were low, we visited zoos etc. If you are in any doubt, perhaps a “petting” farm is not the best idea as you will be hands on with animals and standing in their whatnot. However, I am sure a zoo would be safe as long as you washed your hands before eating etc. What about the Sealife centres or Wildlife centres where things are more hygienic. Where abouts do you live?

Hi, Although we need to be cautious, we can’t wrap ourselves in cotton wool. Your probably more likely to catch an infection whilst out shopping.

I usually carry a small bottle of liquid antibiotic hand gel, this helps until you can wash your hands.

I would just be careful about what you touch and don’t pet any animals.

Hi Chris
I did go swimming during chemo but the pool was a clean one. What about something like science museum for kids, or any museum, not sure what is in the area you live in. If you do go to a farm take the handwash / gel etc mentioned by Samoas, and take your own food too. What about a picnic in a park, frisby, swing ball , some have sand pits etc , iceskating, you don’t have to take part just watch and enjoy the fresh air

I did everything I wanted to, zoos, swimming pools, holiday etc last time and no problem. I plan to do the same this time around.
Have some nice days out. Have fun, but also do what you feel like doing, if you don’t feel like doing too much, don’t.

Hi, my kids are 9&10, just done chemo 3, last holidays we went for day out to legoland. Also local laserquest, playparks and indoor playcenters and trip to the seaside. Probably wouldn’t do petting zoo but should be ok if you follow handwashing advice and take hand gel. With swimming depends how clean your local pool is really and if you have the energy. We decided early on to carry on with “normal” life as much as possible but everyone is different!
Good Luck, I am just keeping my fingers crossed the weather stays good for playtime outside! xxTina

Thank you all for your advice.
I’m finding it hard because of the age gap between my children and grandson…as he lives with me with his mum I have always included him in everything I do.
I’m finding it hard to do things as my mum was with me when oncologist and bcn was giving me advice about what to do and what not to do.
My stepdad died of liver cancer 3 days before my dx and she is terrified of anything happening to me so I made a promise to her that I would do everything they advised, just so she isn’t worrying about me. As he was only dx a month before he died it was a big shock to all of us. He was like a dad to me and we all miss him dearly.
I have a caravan in the lake district and there are no museums just lots of walks, wildlife park, zoo’s and the beach.
I have decided against the farm and will go on the steam trains.
I have always spent alot of time joining in the activities we have all done so feeling bad now I can’t and the children are finding it hard to.
I did buy some kites and took them on the beach they enjoyed this.
Once again thank you all for the advice
Chris xx

Hi Chris

I am sorry to hear about your step-father - what a terrible shock it must have been for all of you. I can understand your mother’s worry - and it is very considerate of you to take the tack you have chosen.

I was wondering whether the solution for your children might be to take some courses this summer - maybe a sailing course in the lake district? You wouldn’t be able to include the baby (obviously!), but it would give you some time to rest. When they were the same age as yours, my kids always did tennis courses in the summer - some residential, some local.

Also just booked my kids for a week of a PGL holiday during the summer holidays to tag at the end of my chemo to give me a chance of a week to recover and for them to let off some steam! Hope you will find what works for you during a difficult time for you and your family! X

Thank you all I have some more ideas now on what to do.
It’s just hard to focus at mo but think we will all get there.
It’s probably because I have spent so much time with my children in the past as my job has always allowed me to be at home with them in the school holidays, that I now feel guilty as I have to take a back step and let them do things on their own, maybe this will be a good thing and give them some of independence.
Children seem to grow up to fast these days or maybe it’s just me getting older and time goes faster lol.
Lets hope time goes as fast while having my chemo. 1 down 5 to go.
Best wishes to everyone
Chris xx

Hi chris,

my children are only 2 and 5, but in the first week i feel too crap to do much, in the second week i am much better and do parks and playiong on garden etc with them, and week three try and do normal stuff. This weekend is week 3 and we plan to go away to seaside for a few days as we had to cancel our summer holiday in cornwall cos of my dx. I tend to think if its outside then germs are diluted from other people, but inside i have to be very careful. The zoo would feel fine for me, but would sit in the outside cafe etc if anyone near had sniffles. I have taken a career break to spend these few years with my sons and totally know your feeling of frustration and upset at being less of a hands on mum. Its horrid. Good luck with your remaining sessions and hope you have some lovely days with your children through it,


Hi tors
I know that feeling of feeling crap I to was ill for a few days after, but thankfully my mum looked after my 2 youngest for the weekend and grandson spent the weekend at his dads.
I’m feeling much better and will be going back to the caravan tomos which is on the beach and weather forecast is good so hopefully they will all be happy fishing in the rock pools. My daughter who is 12 going on 20 thinks that this is for babies but hopefully we can entice her into enjoying the simpler things in life again.
I remember the days well when they were pre school they were so easy to please and everything is an adventure to them.
There is a wildlife park near the caravn so may take them to this at the weekend hopefully I shouldn’t be to at risk of infection by then.
I have plenty of hand sanitiser in my handbag just incase its needed.
My children seem so clingy at the mo but think this is due to them just losing their grandad and maybe thats why I’m finding it hard to entertain them. Hopefully as the treatment goes on I will get better at judging how I’m going to be.
Hope you have many happy days with your children
Chris xx