I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again… I love the school holidays! Yup, I’m not one of those parents that groans about how long the holidays are or wishing the time away before they go back. Sometimes in fact I wish they were longer so I could fit more in. But the fact is kids do need some level of entertaining and finding things to do that are different and exciting for them can be a challenge. So I thought I would put together five of our favourite things to do in the South East of England and hopefully it will give you some inspiration this half term if you are having a staycation.
Not just the home of wealthy footballers, also the home of Brooklands Museum! This is a great place to go with kids from 4 and up as there is loads to see and do. We are taking my grandaparents this half term and I just know they are going to love all the old cars and bicycles and all the memories. The museum is a collection of sheds and buildings with old cars, racing cars, planes and it even has a stratosphere chamber! In school holidays there is usually extra activities put on too. In previous visits we have raced up test hill in a vintage race car, played in handmade pedal cars and taken a trip in an old double decker bus. The price to get in is £11.00 for an adult, £6.00 for a child (5-11) with under 5s going free. You can also pay for membership starting from £33.00 per year which gives you year long access and queue jump privileges, we tend to do this as we visit at last 8-10 times in a year!
Priory Farm just won Surrey Life Magazine Farm Shop of the Year award and is well worthy of the accolade. I have been going here with Harry since he was just able to walk and it is one of the best places to meet friends for a catch up. Not only is the day out technically free but it is a wonderful setting with fantastic facilities. There is a huge wooden pirate ship for the kids to play on with a green, a well equipped play area outside the café and also a discovery nature trail which we love! The Discovery Walk is £2.75 per person but is enjoyable, purchase some duck food for £1.00 from the kiosk too! This half term they also have a scarecrow trail on the discovery walk which is £3.75 per child.
The café itself is nice serving a decent cup of jo and a range of lunches, in busy times getting a table can be tricky though. The gift shop and farm shop is well worth a look especially if you are on the look out for a gift for someone!
I cannot sing the praises of this place enough! It is well laid out with loads of information and plenty to do for the kids as well as the grown ups. At £25.00 per adult and £23.00 per child for the visit it is not cheap. However, this ticket then gives you free entry for the remainder of the year and the ability to go to the return visitors queue which trust me you will be glad of in the holidays. When I visited Portsmouth as a child it was pretty much HMS Victory and that was it. Now there is more ships to visit, including the restored Mary Rose, the harbour tour showing you the modern destroyers and the history of the harbour. You also get free entry to the Naval Museum and the Explosion museum over in Gosport with a free taxi service on the waterbus. Kids love the Action Zone where they can go on a climbing wall, learn to fly a helicopter, dress up, try out a simulator and loads more all included in your entry ticket. We can easily spend 6 hours here and not have done everything!
Fishers Farm is one of those places that has something for everyone. I love the animals and searching for gems in the mines! Harry could spend hours in the soft play and in the outdoor adventure playground. As well as these there are tractors rides, story time in the teepee, a go kart track, pony rides and adventure golf. There is so much to do that it can be a little overwhelming but so much fun it’s worth it. The pricing works on whether it is high, low or mid season. This half term it is high season so is £15.75 per person and is the same price for adults as well as kids. You can pay for just the soft play at £7 per child and £3 for an adult, also tickets bought online save you £1.
5. Duvet Day in your living room, Home
I promise I’m not cheating with this one! Every holiday we try to have a duvet day, usually the last sunday before school starts up again. It is the perfect way to unwind and gives me a chance to make sure everything is ready for the new term and I am ready for work again. It generally goes like this; We lay in until we feel like getting up, Harry tells me he is not very good at lay ins so I convince him he needs the practice, but to be fair he rarely wakes up before 8am so I am not complaining! There are plenty of snuggles in mummy’s bed before we trundle downstairs for breakfast, this is almost always pancakes either with bacon and maple syrup or honey and yoghurt, yum! It is at the point I usually realise we have run out of milk and I have to get dressed and run to the shop next door. We then decide our plan for the day including which film we want to watch, who is going to win at MarioKart and which games we will get out of the cupboard. With Harry being that little bit older now games like Whats Up and Junior Monopoly are big hits. Duvet Day is also the perfect time for us to spend quality time together, it is blissful and lovely so an easy addition to my top 5.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about what we like to get up to in the holidays and it has inspired you to go somewhere new. If you know of any hidden gems please comment below and I would love to share them with other parents.
Enjoy your half term!