Big Night In – In the Paddling Pool

Staying in is apparently the new going out, which is a bit of a relief as I have definitely become more of a ‘staying in ‘ fan over recent years. Going out is overrated isn’t it?  Not to forget the expense of course.  Once you have children, you are lucky to have the energy to stay awake past ten o’clock, let alone have the energy to stand in a busy bar or dread to think a night club.  Someone recently asked me if I wanted to go on a ‘mum’s night out’ to a local night club, I laughed so much that I nearly became a Tena lady and she assumed correctly from my demented state that the answer was a no.  Added to that, having four children means that babysitters run very fast in the opposite direction, so if we do go out, it’s everyone or no-one.

Having said that, we enjoy our nights in; whether it be snuggled up in front of the television watching a film and stuffing our faces with pizza and popcorn or just a meal around the table with some family or friends.  As long as you have good company, something fun to do and some nice food, a night in can be better than going out.

So the lovely people over at Money Supermarket set me a challenge to have a big night in and they even sent me the princely sum of £50 to do exactly that – have a night in and to blog about how I got on and spent the money.  £50 to spend on what I liked for a night in!  As excited as I was, it didn’t come to me straight away and then with the lovely weather forecast, it hit me – a pool party!  So, as much as a real pool would be nice, that would cost a bit more than £50, so I went and bought an 8ft paddling pool from Tesco and told the children that Saturday afternoon and evening, we would be having a pool party.  It was on offer for £20 and what a bargain.  Whilst it was gently filling with water, we all spent half an hour making pizzas to have for tea, along with home made lemonade to drink and then after tea we made sundaes before all piling out into the garden to chill out and play in the pool.

So how did I spend my £50?

  • Paddling pool £20
  • Food and drink £20
  • 3 Super Soaker Water Guns £9.60
How did it go?  See for yourselves…
We cooked, ate, drank, splashed, had water fights and played until everyone was exhausted and then got up on Sunday morning and did it all again.  It was so lovely to have some nice family time outside in the lovely weather.  
So what would be my top tips for spending a big night in?
Firstly, get everyone involved in the planning.  If you want it to be a family thing, let everyone have their say and then hopefully everyone will have a good time.
Secondly, get everyone to help with the preparation.  By doing pizzas and sundaes, I set everything out on the table and then everyone could make their own pizzas and puddings and it cuts down on the work you have to do and again hopefully everyone will be happy.
Finally, add a bit of music and relax.  Having a night in should be fun and it doesn’t matter if the kids stay up a bit longer or if they want to dance in the paddling pool, it all adds to the fun.
A big thank you to Money Supermarket for sending us the £50 for this challenge, as you can see, we had an amazing time.


  1. July 7, 2013 / 8:33 pm

    Great minds think alike 😉
    I wonder if Tescos are still doing that offer because I’d really like to upgrade to one of these 8ft ones! xx

  2. July 7, 2013 / 9:37 pm

    looks like a great night & very similar to ours – once the pool was finally filled!

  3. July 8, 2013 / 12:33 pm

    That looks like a very enjoyable night in. The pizzas look very nice!

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