Friday 27 July 2012

What to do in the School Holidays - part 2

How about some free things going on during the summer, all those days out can work out quite expensive.

Abingdon Museum has just reopened after a refit and the excellent cafe throwing buns has opened buns in the basement. The museum is on our to do list this summer as we haven't been since its reopened.

Ashmolean Museum, oxford, has museum pick and mix every wed and Thursday up to 16 August and a Friday tour and draw up to the 17 August. Few others things going on so have a look at their family whats on page

Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, has various family drop-in sessions and also activities for older children

Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers have joined forces with some joint events an Olympic adventure trail every day, Tuesday and Wednesday backpack activities and 23-24 August Museum Masquerades.

The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, is one of our favourite in the area, there is always lots to see and do for the children. During the holidays there are lots of activities for a small fee.

Take a splash, with the sun still shining why not take a trip to the Abbey Meadows in Abingdon or Hinksey Park in Oxford to splash in the water feature, or take your swim suits and have a dip in the pool.

Get into a book, check out whats on at your local library this summer, activities on at most libraries and they are all taking part in this summers story lab summer reading challenge

Oxford Family Sports Day 2012, will be at Bury Knowle Park, Headington on Sunday 12 August. This sounds like a great day to try something new, or watch the demonstrations.

Back to the paid things again:
Botanic Gardens, Oxford, have a different family friendly event every Thursday afternoon

Harcourt Arboretum, Oxford, has a different arboretum Olympics each Tuesday afternoon, and also from now until 2 September a geo-caching treasure hunt. Explorer backpacks are also available to borrow every day from the ticket office.

Oxford Playhouse has one production on this summer for the kids, wheels on the bus on the 13/14/15 August. Shows at the Playhouse are always excellent and this one is worth a visit with young ones.

Monday 23 July 2012

What to do in the School Holidays - Part 1

The school holidays have started and while the kids are having a great time some parents are already wishing it was September. So what is there going on in Oxfordshire over the next 6 weeks, here is a short round-up of things local to us.

BBOWT have family fun days at some of their larger sites, different themes each week. Examples are animal games, wild about dinosaurs, remarkable raptors, Bug Hunt Safari, wildlife detective and many more. Take a look at their whats on page to see whats near you some are free and some a small donation. 

Earth Trust have a summer clumps club, forest school for preschoolers, family bushcraft day and a night time bat walk, check out their whats on pages for more info 

Millets Farm the maize maze is due to open this weekend... little bit late due to the weather but better late than never. We've never actually been round the maze before, maybe a visit with our preschool friends is in order before they all go onto school. Each Wednesday during the holidays there is a different themed activity at at cost of £2.99 per child. I like the sound of the wildlife wooden wind chimes. Events page for more info.

Mostly Books wheres wally hunt finishes this weekend July 28th... so better get skates on with this one. There will be a party on the 28th. One event I think I better get a ticket to is Rescue Princess Party with author Paula Harrison on the 7th August, this is just up Charlottes street. 13th August is 'Hugless Douglas' creator David Melling doing drawings and activities.

Part 2 of this post is to follow... so many things to do!!!

Legoland, Windsor

We love Legoland so much that we seem to return every year, and this year Charlotte was now tall enough to go on the big rides. Mummy doesn't do rides very well but Daddy happily obliged on all those I couldn't stomach. We loved them all, the big ones, the scary ones, the more sedate ones, something for every age. I think our family favourite ride is Atlantis, the submarine ride. This is excellent but over so quickly... I wish it was longer. The fish ponds at the end for the kids to feel the sea urchins and crabs were excellent. We got really soaked on Pirates Fall which was Mummy's favourite, Daddy's favourite ride is The Dragon roller-coaster and Charlotte's was the L-driving school. At 4 she is still 2 years off the bigger driving school, and I can't wait for her to be old enough for that. When my brother and I were younger we went to Legoland Denmark and I still remember the driving school there, and I've kept my driving licence.
New for 2012 was the amazing looking Legoland hotel, living only an hour away we had no reason to stay but I would have loved to sneak in and look around. Also new was the Star Wars miniland experience, or geek central for Daddy! Mummy doesn't do star wars but Daddy and Charlotte said it was excellent.
The weather was a bit unpredictable the day we went, but thankfully we managed to time it so when it rained we could dive into the theatre for a 4D experience. This was the first time we have done this and it was excellent, so well done conveying all the emotion with no words just expression and with the added 4D extras.
We had reviewed Legloand last year, but its just so much fun that I thought I would do another update.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Bekonscot Model Village and Railway, Buckinghamshire

We had a really lovely day at the very popular Bekonscot Model Village. Bekonscot is one of the oldest original model villages in the world with quite a history that you can read about on their website or whilst going round the site. I don't remember the numbers but whilst there I read a notice about model villages dying out and there being so many less than a number of years ago, so its great to see this model village so busy and they also donate a lot of money to local and national charities.

The area around the model village is a housing estate, and limited car parking is provided on the church grounds opposite or local roads.
When we arrived we headed straight for the lake and played with the little power boats and then onto the children's playground which is really well designed (this is meant to be at the end of the village, but we went the wrong way around!). Beside this was the cafe with indoor and outdoor seating (some covered areas if it rains) where we had our picnic, we did buy ice creams in the cafe and the selection of food looked really nice.

We then spent ages going around the model village, you could easily walk around 2 or 3 times and spot something different. There is also a raised platform for an aerial view. There is a very complex gauge 1 model railway running around the site, which all the kids got excited about watching them going into and out of the tunnels. A few highlights are:  a miniature Bekonscot village with some great puns for the shop names, a lovely traditional fair, look for the lady washing her windows, a coal mine (very popular with the children), a burning building, ascot race course and a working water mill. Even the gardens are amazing, with minature trees and plants all trimmed to scale.

An extra cost to the entrance fee is a trip on the narrow gauge railway, which was a fun but short experience.

The site is really child friendly, and no problem at all for pushchairs. We had a really great time and could have spent a lot longer wondering around looking at everything.