Soooo, this week has been half term and we had a little list of things planned to do with the boys but this week has been bleurgh. Scatty Dad and I have both been ill and we’ve not taken the boys out as promised which I feel really sad about. Now Spud is at school, he doesn’t see his Dad as much as he did because of the shifts he has to work so I was really looking forward to us all going out for the day. We only have tomorrow left so I’m hoping we are able to drag ourselves out together for a couple of hours and we’ll have to make up for it the next time Scatty Dad has a weekend off.
Somewhere we had hoped to go is to a National Trust property. There are a number close to us and I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the activities and facilities they provide for children. Most have a fab play area and if you keep an eye out on the National Trust website you can find out about the special events for each property. The vast majority of the activities you can enjoy at these special events are free of charge after your admission fee.
I thought I’d do a little round-up of the National Trust properties we visited last year and I’ve not already featured on the blog…
Erddig has always been a firm family favourite and one, very hot, beautifully sunny day, we dressed up as elves and went to their Magical Event.
Spud won a prize for coming along in fancy dress which he was really chuffed about. Even if you hadn’t dressed up beforehand, there were lots of lovely activities to help make your day magical…
We followed the Fairie Parade to the Wolf’s Den play area where we were greeted by a beautiful fairy and were entertained by the Wizard and his helpers. The Wolf’s Den is a brilliant, natural play area with den building, a rope swing and other obstacles and because it is on the edge of a wood, you are mostly in the shade which was great as it was REALLY hot on this particular day.
The boys planted magic beans, decorated fairy wings, elf ears and looked at bird’s nests under the microscope. Granny and I had a bit of fun too and had a magic wand made each…
You’re never to old for a bit of magic ;)
The next place I wanted to share with you is Lyme Park (Where the infamous Mr Darcy emerged dripping wet from the lake in Pride and Prejudice) which is a further drive away from us but was well worth the car journey.
We went in the October half term to have a go at the Halloween activity…
That’s Spud looking a bit too spooky since I’m now keeping his beautiful face off the blog now. It has been more difficult taking photos without showing his face as he’s more keen than Pooh Bear to stop for a photo lately.
The Crow Wood Playscape is really fab. The main equipment was a little bit old for Pooh Bear who was two and a half when we went but he was happy to give everything a go with our help and even if we’d not done the Halloween Hunt in Crow’s Wood, we’d still have had a brilliant day in the woods and stream.
The surrounding woods were full of gorgeous Autumn colours and I can’t wait to go back at different times of the year.
The last property we visited last year was Chirk Castle. It was a miserable windy and wet day but the boys loved roaming around the castle and taking part in the Christmas activities. They both made a glittery red beeswax candle and Pooh Bear would have stayed to do all the other crafts but it was a bit busy to stay all day and we had a date with the big man in the red suit.
The Christmas trees were absolutely lovely and I felt really festive walking around. The only down side was the long wait for Father Christmas in the drizzly weather with a tired Pooh Bear. It was a real shame about the cold weather which meant I didn’t really get my phone out as often as I normally would. The boys have been to Chirk Castle with my parents a number of times with their knight’s armour and they love it so we will definitely be returning in fairer weather this year.
These are just three visits we made over the last year but we’ve also enjoyed Speke Hall and Penrhyn Castle and will see if we can find some new places in 2014 too. If you’ve not already seen 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 then I suggest you pop along and find out what it’s all about. We need to fill in what the boys have done more recently. They’ve done den building and eating an apple form the tree in Erddig, bug hunting and hill rolling at Speke and I think we could do with wrtiting a little list of what we’d like to achieve this year too.
This post is being linked up with the fabulous Country Kids from Coombe Mill which will be full of half term fun in the UK and beyond so please pop over and see what all the other bloggers have been getting up to.
***Please Note: We have paid for our annual National Trust Membership this year and have NOT received any payment in order to write this post ***