Despite us only having weekends to really do many activities, I feel like we managed to cram in a lot over the holidays. Sometimes free is best, and perfectly suitable for young children.
N loves going to the park, and with no splash parks or good parks in town, we quite often head to Stratford-upon-Avon for an early morning play and relax. We usually pop N’s bike or scooter in the boot too, so there’s plenty we can do at the recreation ground as well as the playground itself.
Our latest visit was in the summer holidays. It was a grey start to the day, but meant to warm up, so we packed N’s swimming trunks and towel, and headed over nice and early. The only costs are the parking, which are expensive in the recreation ground car park. The alternative is a cheaper all day parking at the marina with a little walk to the park, but the spaces are tight and even in my old Focus I used to find it a little squashed to get in and out of the car once it was full.
The playground was empty, but N’s first priority is always a circuit of the recreation ground fields – this time on his scooter. I get a commentary from him as he scoots but it’s great seeing him happy to just go off ahead and decide the direction. I just get to up my Fitbit steps!
This time N decided we were heading up towards the cycle path, and decided we’d try and look for some blackberries. There weren’t many, but it was a nice straight flat walk, and not too busy. I tried to persuade N to stand and look cool for a graffiti shot, but he wasn’t really playing ball for photos.
With N leading the way, we always end up all the way up the river and round the mile walk back to the playground. I’m always amazed that he never seems tired on his scooter. It’s definitely a great way to get children to move along quickly without moaning like I get when we’re walking.
Once back at the car N spotted the gym equipment. He wasn’t put off by the fact it was for adults, he was straight in wanting to try it all out. It was so funny watching him, especially when he made me get on the cross trainer with him, with me making his legs go really fast!
As soon as he spotted the ice cream van turn up at 10.30, N was ready to go to the playground. He had a bit of a run around, spent time digging in the sand, and wandered round asking questions before he decided an ice creams were needed. Damn the routine of the ice cream van.
Once eaten, he was bursting to go in the paddling pool. I knew it was going to be cold as the sun still wasn’t burning down, but he wasn’t put off. Especially when 3 other older children had leapt in. 15 minutes in and he realised that I was right and it really wasn’t warm enough to stay in. I think if it had been a deeper pool and he could have gone in fully and tried some swimming he’d have been fine, but just wandering around (because yes, yet again we’d forgotten to take play things for the pool) wasn’t warming enough.
A quick wander into town via the narrow boats and gardens around the RSC theatre to get some lunch, and then we were heading back home again after a lovely morning out.
Followed by a stop off at the pick your own on the way home for some raspberries.
If you’re near Stratford-upon-Avon I’d definitely recommend the park. Although I shouldn’t really, because it already gets busy in the summer with all the tourists!
Do you have any splash pools in parks near you? Do you have a regular park you visit, or do you mix it up?
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