Summer Holidays

Morgan's Milieu | Summer Holidays: Bolsover Castle
Bolsover Castle
After a few weeks of the kids being back at school I am (slowly) getting into a routine. The little one is at nursery in the morning so, at the moment, that gives me 3 hours of childless time. In that time I’ve managed to get most of the chores done. The dishwasher has been put on and emptied, the washing machine and dryer are both going and the hoovering has been done. The house is tidy. One problem… little one is due home.

I’m sure most of you know that dread. It reminds me of a similar, yet much worse dread… the lead up to the six weeks holidays. Ever since my eldest started full-time school it has been the worst part of the year. You spend (at least) six weeks before the holidays trying to work out what you’re going to do for all that time to keep them entertained. This year was worse because the little one needs more entertainment than ever. That blissful first day back at school seemed years away and I didn’t know how I was going to cope. 

Then I remembered we had English Heritage Annual Membership and Merlin Annual Passes. These two passes meant that there was going to be plenty of places to visit. You can get into Alton Towers, Legoland and Warwick Castle, to name a few, with your Merlin Pass and hundreds of old castles and ruins such as Bolsover Castle and Hardwick Old Hall with your English Heritage Membership. 

Morgan's Milieu | Summer Holidays: Fireworks, Alton Towers
Bonfire Night at Alton Towers 
Alton Towers is one of our favourite places to visit, we must go there at least 10 times a year, more since we got the Merlin Pass. They have all kinds of things going on throughout the year and the kids love it. I think what they love most is the freedom to run around like mad and not hear me moaning at them. We most look forward to October and November when they have Halloween Scarefest and their fireworks display for Bonfire Night. The fireworks are really entertaining and they get better every year. I love being all wrapped up in our winter woolies, standing on a muddy field (usually) with hundreds of other spectators, all staring up at the sky watching the explosions while munching on the yummy hot sandwiches and chips (fries). All the time, every single one of us smiling. It’s a magical night.

The English Heritage Membership has been great this year. The kids are just at that age where they both love going off to discover a new hidden room or finding some interesting artefacts. We’ve already visited almost all of the local properties and have wandered as far as York. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t have to take up all day, you walk around as much as you like and leave when you’ve had enough. This is quite a contrast to somewhere like Alton Towers where you run around all day, queueing for rides and racing to the next one hoping you won’t run out of time before you’ve done everything. 

I don’t mind spending some time in the house during the holidays but with so many things demanding the kids attention (iPad, Xbox, DS, TV, I could go on!) sometimes it’s hard to get them to go outside. If we have somewhere we can visit, enticing them with the hunt for fridge magnets to mark our visit, it’s much easier. For the first time, EVER, I think we made good use of the holidays and, although I’m glad they’re back at school, I’m looking forward to next year!

What did you do over the school holidays? I’d love to hear your recommendations for next year!