After the initial excitement, for parents (and grandparents) the school holidays can stretch on interminably; many weeks wondering how to keep everyone occupied.
This year, in the Davenport house we have given our hols a theme: 25 Days of Adventure!
This doesn’t cover every day – some days will be spent at home doing very little (except for mum, working feverishly of course) but it’s an achievable number when we can enjoy a bit of ‘adventure’ each day even if it’s only for an hour or so.
We have brainstormed as a family, done some research, and come up with our list of adventures.
My adventures were a bit more realistic (and affordable!) than some of the children’s and definitely more interesting than my teenager’s ‘ironic’ suggestions (eye roll). Obviously, our list is unique to us, our locality and our interests, but I have generalised the list with some ideas for everyone to have their own adventures. Have fun!
Find your nearest lido.
This will be easier for those in the South as you have more to choose from, but some do exist up North too. Our local is Nantwich Brine Pool – the only inland brine pool in the UK – but there are also northern lidos in Yorkshire and the Peak District.
Antique ‘treasure’ hunt.
Give everyone a small budget – £2 or £3 each is plenty. Peruse your local charity shops to find your own pre-loved ‘treasure’. It’s nice to explain to the children how the charity helps others as you exit each shop. Take your Dairy Diary shopping bag with you (free with every order for this month only!)
Explore a castle.
Visit sites such as the National Trust or English Heritage, Cadw or Historic Scotland to choose where to go. Also, if you’re a member, you’ll go free.
Plan a local circular walk
Look at Ordnance Survey or online maps together and plan a local circular walk – stopping for a snack halfway.
Explore a local museum.
Living history – peruse your local museum; indoor or out. Discuss what you see/hear; fuel their fervour for discovering the past. We plan to re-visit Blist Hill Victorian town, which my children found so fascinating they want to go back. I think the old-fashioned sweet shop adds to its appeal!
Visit a beautiful garden
Wander around a beautiful garden and marvel at its colour and tranquillity. I got a 2 for 1 entries card with Gardener’s World magazine which I think you can still order online. Visit gardenersworld.com for information. My teenage son is opting to stay home for this one (another eye roll!)
Explore the brown tourist signs
Spot a brown sign? There’s one for a ‘Venetian marina’ that we have passed countless times, yet we have no idea what it’s like, so it’s on our list to finally discover. Take note of tourist signs near you and follow.
Walk the river and canal paths
Stroll the paths of your nearest river or canal and see what passes you by. There are boats (with amusing names) to spot, wildlife to observe and the relaxing sounds of the water. Of course, a delightful beer garden along the way doesn’t go amiss either. Visit canalrivertrust.org.uk for information.
Challenge yourselves in an escape room.
This is a great idea for teenagers, who are often difficult to entertain. There are loads dotted around the country, and often money off vouchers on Groupon and other voucher sites.
Try something more adventurous.
Maybe a high-ropes challenge, zipwire or perhaps a theme park. Take a look at cereal packets, your mobile phone site, or loyalty points websites, such as Tesco and Nectar. Many offer deals and discounts on theme parks and other attractions.
Create a ‘kindness project’ or two.
Take a walk around your locality for inspiration – who and how could you help? It may be offering to replant the village flower boxes, mow the lawn for an elderly neighbour, make a cake for someone who needs a cheerful gesture, or help the local wildlife . Visit rspb.org.uk for information. Obviously, for younger children, simpler gestures are easier. My younger ones are baking for the neighbour and painting (and hiding) pebbles for others in the village to find. More on this is another blog…
Watch the sunset.
Bake something delicious together (my three have their firm favourites from the Dairy Book of Home Cookery) and take your goodies with a flask of hot chocolate to a lovely vantage point from where you can watch the sun go down. This may mean a later bedtime than usual, but it may also mean a lie-in the next day!
I post regular blogs featuring food, family and fun. Ideas for days out, crafty makes, health and home, plus giveaways and, of course, delicious recipes that I think you will find irresistible.