The normal open days however were after hours and much more informative
Totally disagree - these ae designed to 'sell' the school - a visit in a normal school day will tell you much more about a school.
I agree with Guest55. Although the evening Open Days were more "fun" due to the number of experiments/activities/food science offerings, the ones in the day were very much more representative of what being in the school is actually like.
We visited in Year 4 and 5 - to do all the ones we wanted in Year 5 was too much hassle as they're usually all in a short space of a week or so. Didn't see the point of taking a Year 6 child to an Open Day in September, as it was after the exam but before the results. My DC needed a rest from everything 11+ before the Indie exams so wouldn't have gone then anyway!
Post results, the decision was made by visiting during a typical school day. Changed our opinions completely compared to visiting in the evening.
I would never visit a school without DC. A close friend of mine refused to take her DD to any Open Days as she didn't want to "stress" her child but my DC found it a great motivator.