The six week break from school has officially commenced. Last week it was hardly believable, but now as we tumble into Tuesday after a long weekend, the tiredness is settling in and parents nationwide are trying desperately to make fun-filled days. Obviously DS does not attend school at his age and I am not a pro-rata worker, but I do sense a slight comradeship with parents who do fit into the above categories. As I said farewell to Canterbury last week and have embraced motherhood once again, I somehow feel that this is only a temporary adjustment and in the next six weeks, normality will resume.
In the spirit of summer holidays and celebrating our newfound time together as a family, we have been on various days out. We ventured to Bodiam Castle on Sunday, which was an hour drive away. The scenery was stunning and the castle was extravagant to say the least. We have a ‘young persons’ (13-25 year olds) annual membership each with the National Trust, which works out cheaper than individual or ‘joint’ memberships. We have a vague interest in history and the stories that follow, but we mainly signed up for the memories we would make. Magnificent buildings and the extensive open space pose great potential for good photos. DS loves running freely in the open space, swinging his arms side by side as he toddles along.
It is worth looking into annual memberships for the National Trust and English Heritage, as it brings variance to your trips and spurs you on to actually get up and go. On both websites, you can locate on a map where your nearest National Trust/English Heritage sites are; it is important to research this before committing to a membership to ensure they are within a distance drivable from your home, otherwise it may be a bit of an effort to get your money’s worth. It is a great way to get kids interested in history, architecture and keep their minds stimulated.
I have been researching into various play centres and fun days out for DS, but it is difficult at this time of year as the activities are mainly aimed at older kids. Another issue I have come across is trying to find cost-effective outings, as businesses often use school holidays as an opportunity to squeeze parents dry. I did discover A Whale of a Time, which advertises ‘£1 Mondays’ on their website, however upon arriving yesterday I found out this is only valid during term time. Disgusted at the 500% increase to £5, I decided against this and took DS to Bluewater‘s outdoor play area instead which I did not have to pay for. This change of heart would have been impossible if DS was any older, but oblivious to the world at 19 months, he did not care too much about walking away. £5 is an extortionate rate for under 4’s, especially charging a baby who would rather chase a ball. Do not be afraid to walk away for any reason, you should not have to compromise yourself.
I will review various attractions I have visited in my next post, giving my overall rating on service, level of enjoyment and cost. I will also comprise a list of places I wish to take DS in the coming weeks. Watch this space.