29 July 2016

20 things to do in the summer holidays

The little ladies and I wrote a list at teatime the other night of all the things they'd like to do over the summer holidays. I thought I'd share our list with you in case you're in need of some inspiration over the next 6 weeks, in no particular order here it is:

1. Go to the beach
When I think of Summer I immediately think of the beach. There is something so lovely about the sea air, sand between your toes and padding in the waves. Our favourite beach is Holkham in Norfolk as even when it's busy it feels really quiet and it's so beautiful. It's a simple day out and the girls will spend hours building sandcastles and collecting shells. We always like to finish a beach day with fish and chips as they always taste so much better when eaten at the seaside!

Holkham Beach - things to do in the summer holidays
The little ladies enjoying the soft sand in the dunes at Holkham Beach

2. Go to the woods 
We love visiting our local woodland for a walk, some shade and an explore on warm days. There's also a play area, kids activity trail and cafe at the one we visit. Check out the Forestry Commission to find a wood near you. The girls love following the paths, climbing trees and picking up sticks.

Climbing trees in the woods - things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie and Phoebe hiding in a tree!

3. Go to the park 
We are lucky to have several amazing country parks nearby all with different things to offer, from wonderful adventure playgrounds, to water gardens you can splash in, to feeding the ducks and excellent cake in the cafes. Best of all they are mostly free apart from parking charges. We also have a playground in walking distance and if in doubt we often head down there with a blanket and a picnic and the girls can run off some energy.

A trip to the park - things to do in the summer holidays
Lottie and Phoebe having fun at the park

4. Visit our favourite National Trust properties 
Our National Trust membership paid for itself very quickly and it's fantastic when we're looking for something to do. Our favourites are Belton House, the Wimpole Estate and Lyveden New Bield. We'll visit all of these over the summer along with hopefully some new ones, I'd love to take the little ladies to Stowe and Anglesey Abbey. The National Trust have a fantastic booklet which you can pick up at any of their sites called 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 with lots of ideas inside.

A day out at a national trust property - things to do in the summer holidays
Phoebe exploring Lyveden New Bield

5. Go fruit picking 
This is such simple fun and the little ladies love it, we give them a punnet and off they go. I love that it teaches them about where food comes from and that they are in the fresh air and how keen they are to eat their pickings. It's really affordable too costing just the price of the fruit you pick.

6. Visit a castle
There's something really magical about visiting a castle, they really set the girl's imaginations running as they pretend to be princesses or knights. The sheer size of them is mesmerising and there is just so much to explore providing a whole day out. It's really exciting climbing the steps from the keep or looking out at the landscape from the tower windows and learning about the people who used to live in them.

7. Go swimming
The girls are little water babies and love swimming, they will happily splash around for hours. Our local pool has a wonderful toddler area with slides and bubbles and a paddling area so we'll definitely be visiting the pool along with lots of paddling pool days in the garden.

go swimming -  things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie in the paddling pool

8. Go to the cinema 
We like to save this one for one of the inevitable grey, rainy days when a trip to the cinema is the perfect treat. Many cinemas do a pocket money showing on weekend mornings and during the school holidays. Our local cinema shows a different children's film each week at 10:15am every day for just £1.50 per person which is just fantastic value. Odeon Kids is just £2.50 per person and they're showing some great films this summer.

go to the cinema - things to do in the summer holidays
A movie and popcorn is a great rainy day treat

10.  Home days, making and baking and playing in the garden 
There's a lot to be said for planned in home days and lazy mornings in the school holidays. Movie afternoons where you close the curtains and make popcorn are just the best, baking cakes or biscuits is a firm favourite in our house along with, colouring, sitting and building lego, making story baskets of our favourite books, playing in the sandpit, with the paddling pool and water table. Whatever they like doing - a mix of free play, downtime and some structured activities work best for us. 

days at home - things to do in the summer holidays
Snuggling in out play tent

11. Visit family 
For us family is really important, we'll make sure we go and visit grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and great grandparents even if it's just for a simple cup of tea and a catch up. A change of scene can be great for everyone and it's a good opportunity to distribute things we've baked or made on or home days :)

visit family - things to do in the summer holidays
A nice cup of tea and a biscuit with family or friends

13. Go for children's afternoon tea 
Dobbies Garden Centres do a very sweet children's afternoon tea for a modest £4.95 per child. I think it's really fun and such a special treat. We put it to the test and the little ladies loved their flower shaped sandwiches, cakes, biscuits and ice cream, Phoebe even had decaf tea in a china cup.

Childrens afternoon tea at Dobbies
Children's afternoon tea at Dobbies

14. Go for an ice cream or milkshake
The little ladies love nothing more than walking with their dolls in pushchairs or scooting into town for a milkshake or ice cream at our favourite cafe. It's such a special treat and they literally jump for joy when we suggest it and it can really break up long days.

a treat in a cafe - things to do in the summer holidays
A treat in a cafe

14. Visit the zoo
Like most children, the little ladies love animals so a visit to the zoo is definitely on the cards. It's great fun as well as educational and everyone gets something out of it. If you shop with Tesco you can swap your clubcard points for tickets to several zoos across the UK (or other days out) which can make an otherwise pricey day a very affordable one.

visit a zoo - things to do in the summer holidays
Lottie and Ellie watching the penguins

15. Visit Bewilderwood 
Whenever we have been in Norfolk, the little ladies have picked up a leaflet for the magical Bewilderwood, an outdoor adventure playground in the forest with so much to do.  It's such a fun place where children and their imaginations can run wild. You can read our review here

16. Visit a theme park
Last year we went to Legoland in Windsor and it was all kinds of amazing. We've also visited Peppa Pig World in the past which was also fantastic. This summer CBeebies Land at Alton Towers is on our radar before Ellie gets too old for it.

visit a theme park, legoland - things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie, Phoebe and Daddy at Legoland

17. Visit The Dinosaur Adventure Park
We went to Dinosaur Adventure when Ellie was two and she still remembers it. We'd love to go back as there is so much to do there and we know the little ladies would love it. There is are several brilliant play areas, a dinosaur trail, a farm and a new water play area. This is another place which accepts Tesco Clubcard Vouchers which is just fab.

Dinosaur adventure park - things to do in the summer holidays
Ellie at the Dinosaur Adventure Park

18. Have friends to play
We love having our friends to play, last year we created a playroom in what was Daddy's office and there's lots of fun to be had in there with friends. Things like our play shop and play kitchen and colouring area get well used during play dates as do the big boxes of duplo and plastic animals. It's lovely for me too as I get to see a friend too and drink tea and eat cake.

have friends to play - things to do in the summer holidays
Playdates are fun for everyone

19. Visit London 
London is such an exciting place to visit with so much to see and do - the girls love the train journey too. On our London to do list this year are: The Natural History Museum, The Princess Diana Memorial Garden in Hyde Park (both free) and then dinner at Rainforest Cafe or Disney Cafe in Harrods. We'd also love to take the girls to see a matinee show in the West End.

A day out in London - things to do in the summer holidays
A trip to London

20. Go to the farm
The little ladies love going to the farm and seeing all the animals, they all have their favourites and it really wears them out as they walk around the farm and play in the play area at our local one. I like that it's fun and educational for them and that they're in the fresh air.

visit a farm - things to do in the summer holidays
Phoebe meeting some sheep at the farm

I hope you have a fantastic summer with your littles whatever you are up to. You can keep up to date with our adventures over on my Instagram and i'll be popping some reviews up on the blog of the places we visit over the course of the summer. If there's somewhere you love and would recommend to other families do let me know in the comments below.

Happy Holidays!

Me x

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  1. what a lovely family you have x

  2. Lovely ideas in there, thanks for sharing! We are currently favouring the paddling pool in the garden with friends round to play :)


    1. You can't beat the paddling pool in the garden :) the peppa pig express looks fun too! X


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