The summer holidays have begun and the first two days have been miserable. Rain, rain and more rain. I’m hoping it clears soon (though it doesn’t look likely) as I have a wish list of activities that I hope we can get through before Oliver’s back to school and I have to focus on going back to work! I’ll be crying for sure come September!
We have some activities planned already which feature in this wish list, but some I have yet to plan in.
Grace is 10 months old and we still haven’t taken her swimming. When I was pregnant I said I would take the baby swimming loads, but then it was winter and I didn’t want to have her all damp in the cold, and now? Well I just haven’t done it! I’ve decided one day when Dan’s off the four of us will go swimming. I don’t think I could manage the first time alone, with Oliver and Grace, so a family day out it is!
We have annual Beamish passes (thanks Mum and Dad for the Christmas present) so we will be heading there a few times over the holidays. Beamish is an open air museum showcasing the history of the north of England. It has different areas which focus on 1820’s, 1900’s and the 1940’s. There is always loads on, especially in holiday times, and for the price of an ice cream or some sweets from the traditional sweet shop its a good day out. I’ll stick a packed lunch in and we’re ready to go.
Monk Park Farm is a family farm attraction near Thirsk. It’s a bit further than some of the other activities in my wish list, but we have family in York so this is a good half way meet up point. I’ve been here once before, when Oliver was little, and I remember it was huge and lots of fun so hopefully we have a good time again. Just like Beamish, I’ll be packing a picnic which will save me some money and hassle while we’re there.
We’re really lucky that, within about a 30 minute drive, we can get to several lovely beaches so if we get a good day we’ll head over. We love the fun fair and the 2p machines at South Shields and Oliver loves searching for glass in the sand at Seaham. Can you get better than chips at the seaside?
The Sealife Centre
Although we do have an aquarium in Tynemouth, I really fancy a day trip to Scarborough to The Sealife Centre. I’m hoping I can persuade Dan to go here when he has a week off, although it is almost a 2 hour drive… maybe the penguins can do it?? I’ve looked online and you can save quite a lot on the entry price when you prebook tickets, so if we do go I’ll be doing that for sure.
Dan’s family are going up to Alnwick for a week and have invited us to go to Alnwick Castle with them. I haven’t been since I was pregnant with Oliver, and he LOVES Harry Potter so I think this will be a winning day out. As with The Sealife Centre you can prebook tickets to save money, and I think I’ll probably take a picnic.
We went to Hamsterley Forest at Easter and it was lovely. We did a “chocolate walk” last time but there’s so much to see there I would like to go back. I think it would be great day out with another family so Oliver had friends to play on all the climbing frames, and the Gruffalo trail would be loads of fun. The forest is free, you do have to pay to park, but you could easily spend hours there.
Newcastle City Centre
There’s so much to do in Newcastle, so I’m tempted to brave the shoppers and spend some time over there. There’s lots of free activities around the city centre, I like the Discovery Museum and we haven’t been for ages so that’s a possibility. The Centre for Life is a great day out but can be pricy… the Dino Jaws would definitely be a winner with Oliver though.
Broom House Farm
I’ve just found out about Broom House Farm and its not far at all from us. It’s advertised as “Fun, Food and Farming” and sounds great. I think Grace will enjoy the animals and Oliver would enjoy the cake in the cafe! This will be somewhere we can easily call in to for a change of scenery.
Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street is a great, free day out close to us. There’s a large play area and it has the only splash pad in County Durham. We’ve only been to the splash pad once, last summer, as it gets really busy but Oliver had a great time even though the weather wasn’t that warm. You do have to pay to park, but its near enough that we can just pop down for an hour or two so won’t cost much.
We went to Saltwell Park in February half term (I wrote about it here) and had a great day. It’s another free day out so we will definitely head back to explore a little more. It’s such a big park, that with a ball, a blanket and some food you could spend the day there easily.
The final thing I have on the list, and its the thing I wish for most of all is…
I hope it stops raining so we can be out enjoying plenty of different things, instead of going stir crazy in the house. Can someone send some sun?
So there you have it, my Summer Holiday Wish List. I hope I get to tick some of these off, I’ll make sure to tell you all about where we end up. Do you have any suggestions of other places we should put on the wish list?