Playdates Are Back: New Rules Allow Households To Meet Again

From 29th March kids can see their friends outside of school.

Three months; no playdates. Such has been the law in England in 2021. But, from Monday 29 March, things start to get better. In a significant move for families, the law will change to allow certain types of socialising. Kids can see their friends again outside a school setting.

What Can We Do That We Couldn’t Do Before?

Your household can meet with others outdoors. This can be in a garden, or park, or other outdoor space. The meeting is limited to either six people from multiple households, or any number from two households. And everyone should remain socially distanced as much as possible.

Bit Confusing… Please Break That Down A Little More

So, you can meet in groups of six from different households. This could mean, for example, that you can arrange a playdate with children from three different houses (one parent and one child from each). So long as your group is no bigger than six (including kids), then it doesn’t matter where they come from. 

It is possible to meet in groups larger than six, but in that case the people meeting should come from no more than two households. 

Remember, all of this applies to outdoor meetups. You’re not allowed to meet other households indoors yet, unless they’re part of your bubble. It’s not expected that this will be possible until at least 17 May.

What Else Is New?

Outdoor sports facilities, like tennis and basketball courts and outdoor pools, will be allowed to reopen. People can also take part in formally organised outdoor sports without restrictions on group size.

Childcare and supervised activities will also now be allowed outdoors for all children, while formally organised parent and child groups will be able to take place outdoors for up to 15 attendees. Children under 5 will not be not counted in this number.

The ‘Stay at Home’ order will also be formally retracted. The details of what this means are a little vague. We’re still encouraged to stay local, work from home if possible, and keep travel to a minimum - so no great radical change.

And What Happens Next?

After this milestone, the next key date is expected to be 12 April. If the virus remains under control, then we should see non-essential shops reopen, cafes and restaurants offering outdoor catering, the return of hairdressers and other personal services, and the reopening of zoos, theme parks and other outdoor attractions. Indoor sports facilities such as pools and gyms will also reopen, as will libraries. Finally, UK holiday homes will also be able to operate again.

For more details on further proposed lockdown easing, see our earlier article.  

What To Do On Your Playdate

For many families, simply meeting up with friends again is all the entertainment they’ll need in the first wave of playdates. If you are looking for something more adventurous, though, try our list of games to play in the park, these low- and no-contact alternatives, and these further ideas perfect for spring.

You should also consider how to make the occasion as safe and socially distanced as possible. See our article from last summer for tips on how to do that. Finally, anyone for a picnic?



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

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