5 Free Activities To Entertain The Little Ones Over The Summer Holidays

5 Free Activities To Entertain The Little Ones Over The Summer HolidaysAs much as the kids are excitedly anticipating their six weeks of freedom, away from school and homework, you are probably dreading it! Not that you don’t want to spend time with your children, but several long weeks of trying to find something to keep them constantly entertained can not only be stressful but also extremely costly.

These costs can range from £450 to £4,762 depending on how you choose to spend your break; it goes without saying that holidaying abroad will raise the costs significantly.

But what if you could keep them entertained without breaking the bank? Worry not, for here are five free activities that both you and the kids can enjoy over the summer holidays:

Arts and crafts
The ideal summer holiday would be day after day of sunshine and warm temperatures! Unfortunately the reality is that we often end up with several grey and rainy days. These days it becomes even harder to entertain the kids; you can’t just stick them in front of the TV all day everyday. But what do you do?

In preparation for such days, stock up on craft supplies from Craft Superstore, then the kids can cut, glue, stick, paint and colour, with endless possibilities of what they could create! Why not help them make something that they can continue to play with; a rocketship or superhero outfit perhaps?

Enjoy your garden
With a second heatwave expected this summer, and temperatures set to rival those of the Mediterranean, be prepared to make the most of it! These days, when the sun is shining fill up the paddling pool, turn on the sprinklers and dig out the beach ball. Then sit back and relax, top up your tan, read a good book, all whilst the kids have fun and keep cool. Who needs to be on a beach in Spain when you can do this in your own back garden?

Free attractions
Make the most of the attractions across the country that both you and the kids can enjoy without spending a penny! From museums where the kids will have so much fun they won’t even realise they are doing something educational during their break from school, to festivals, farms and parks! There are a variety of different things to explore, that we often don’t think to do because they are on our doorsteps, that won’t cost any money!

Cycle to the park
Dust off the bikes, pack up ham sandwiches and sausage rolls, and gather together some activities. Then cycle to the park and spend the day flying kites, kicking a football and feeding the ducks!

Document the holidays
Keep the kids entertained across the entire break by having them document their summer. This could be in the form of a scrapbook or diary. Take photos on days out, then get them to write, draw and stick in memorabilia they have collected on their break. This will not only be a fun way to keep them busy during part of each day, but also something they can look back on for years to come.

With so many free activities to choose from, there is no need to let the summer holidays rinse your bank account this year!

What do you like to do with your kids over the summer break?

*Post in collaboration with Craft Superstore

Pet Travel – UK Dog Friendly Hotels

Pet Travel - UK Dog Friendly HotelsDogs are part of our family and it is hard to leave them behind, even if it is to jet off to the sun for a week or two! Particularly when they give you those puppy dog eyes; the ones that quietly beg to be taken with you and ultimately make you feel like the worst doggy parent ever when you don’t.

But what if you didn’t have to leave them behind? Pet travel is currently one of the fastest growing sectors of the travel market, with many hotels now not only welcoming dogs, but also offering unique packages to make their stay as comfortable and enjoyable as yours.

If your holiday just wouldn’t be the same without your four-legged friend, here is a taste of some dog friendly hotels across the UK, so both you and your pet can have a break this summer!

London
If you are after a city break there are several hotels across London that not only welcome dogs, but ensure they are treated just as well as you are. If you are looking for luxury then The Milestone Hotel is the place for you and your pup! In the heart of London with views across Kensington Gardens and Palace, The Milestone provides you with a pet preference form in advance so you can request their favourite food and book grooming services.

Your dog will also be provided with a comfy bed and turndown treat, as well as concierge services such as dog walking. However, if it is a budget stay you are after the Travelodge in Battersea or Waterloo welcome animals but with no extras available so you will need to take everything they need. The cost will be £20 for the stay, far cheaper than that of kennels or pet sitters.

The Cotswolds
If you are looking to head out of the city and enjoy a countryside break with your hound then The Cotswolds is the perfect place. Surrounded by meadow walks is The Old Swan and Minster Mill, situated in the pretty village of Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire. Here your furry friend can dine with you and even take part in Canine Etiquette Classes if you wish.

Devon
If you like to be beside the seaside and take your four-legged friend for long walks along the beach, then check out The Cary Arms in Babbacombe. The area boasts dog-friendly beaches and costal walks, your pup can join you for meals in the bar and they will even be provided with a bowl, bed, treats and meals themselves.

Scotland
Fancy a spot of golf at the host venue of last year’s Ryder Cup? Why not take your pooch to Gleneagles so they too can experience the best golf resort in the world? Here your dog will experience complete luxury staying in a state-of-the-art indoor heated kennels, with a king-size bed complete with a deep, comfortable mattress. The staff will clean out, feed and water your dog as well as walk it if you wish. Or alternatively use your personal kennel door key to access your pooch and enjoy a walk across the beautiful countryside that surrounds the hotel. It’s a dog’s life!

Wales
How about a spa break at Lake Country House Hotel and Spa in mid Wales? The beautiful rural setting is perfectly situated to explore the countryside with miles of walking routes around the ground for your dog to enjoy. Resident dog Molly is always on hand to play chase around the 50 acres of ground or to lie by the fire in the evening.

Lake District
Overwater Hall was named in the ‘Top 10 Places to Stay with your Dog’ by the Telegraph in 2014. It is set in 18 acres of grounds and surrounded by spectacular scenery and lakes, perfect for long dog walks! Dogs are allowed in all areas on the hotel, but a dog sitting service is also available. There is no extra charge for bringing your dog.

If you don’t own a dog but have been eyeing one up in Freeads, now is the time to add that new addition to your family. Then you can book dog-friendly hotels and add extra enjoyment to your British breaks.

Have you discovered the perfect pet friendly get away?

If we wanted a short break where do you think is the best place for us to go with our two hounds?

* This is a collaborative post.

Why are families choosing to venture further afield when holiday planning?

If you’re thinking about jetting off somewhere unique and exotic this year, you’re not alone. Many of us are now choosing to go further afield when holiday planning but why is this? What has made a large proportion of us want to pack up and travel long distances for an adventure?

Why are families choosing to venture further afield when holiday planningWell, there are several reasons, including:

Excellent family-friendly accommodation

When you first became parents you might think your days of going on holiday were over –after all, leaving the house becomes a mission in itself. Luckily, this phase quickly passes and you soon realise that it’s possible to go almost anywhere in the world with kids in tow – especially as companies like Tots Too offer a range of luxury family holidays which really are worth travelling to. Countries that might have once seemed too far away or daunting to visit with youngsters have now become not only much more accessible but actually preferable holiday destinations thanks to the array of family-friendly resorts and package deals available.

Many countries are cheap to visit

While many long-haul flights can be costly, it is possible to grab a bargain if you get an early bird discount or keep your eyes peeled for offers. What’s more, aside from travel costs, many people are becoming more adventurous as countries further afield tend to be cheap to explore. Take Thailand, for instance. Food and accommodation is cheap there and it’s easy to see the country without breaking the bank. The same applies to many Asian countries meaning you don’t have to spend years working hard and saving cash just to have an adequate amount of spending money.

The pound is strong against the Euro

Back in the day, many families used to holiday in the UK. Britain’s coastlines were a haven for people longing for some fun in the sun but now many Brits are heading elsewhere in the Eurozone. Why? Well, it might just have something to do with the fact that the pound has just hit a more than seven-year high against the Euro. Sterling has recently risen one per cent to hit €1.40 for the first time since December 2007 meaning UK holidaymakers will have just over 15 per cent spending power compared to a year ago. This is good news for anyone with a sense of adventure as now is the perfect time to visit countries like France, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Better transportation

These days, there are many different airlines, train/bus companies, taxi firms and other forms of transportation to choose from, meaning people can compare and contrast prices to find something within their budget. What’s more, with low-cost airlines flying to many destinations worldwide, people are more inclined to get out of the UK and explore somewhere new. Sure, many of the cheap flights offered are short-haul and within the Eurozone, but with companies like Ryanair offering an extensive route map it gives budding travellers more of an option than a few decades ago.

Travelling is fun, exciting and an excellent way to learn about the world, so why not get thinking about your next adventure?

* This is a collaborative post.

42 Days of Summer #Sweeet Challenge

42 Days of Summer #Sweeet Challenge

McVitie’s BN Biscuits in connection with BritMums have challenged bloggers to write about their 42 Days of Summer. The brief was very open – tips, ideas and inspirations, whatever you do to make it fun was allowed. I wanted to be the part of it, so here I am.

At first I was thinking about making a day out post, or maybe some fun summer cooking recipe or something crafty, but finally I settled for a kind of tip / advise post.

So how do we assure that the 42 Days of Summer are actually fun?

Well, let’s start with making a list and listening to the kids. Put on the list all those small things that they have always wanted to do. Ok, I must admit that most kids will have a Disneyland or a Legoland trip at the top of their list, but when you really ask them want they want, you might be surprised by some of their choices.

Kids think differently and their pleasures are totally different from ours. They might really want that PJs party you never got around to throwing during the school year, or a movie night with friends, when they can just lounge around in their onesies and stuff their face with popcorn or maybe they still didn’t fulfil their desire of building a den under their bed (I would not advise this if you have a standard bed, we have a mid sleeper so it is doable). A nice family picnic is a great day out and it will not cost a fortune. How about a trip to the woods, this can be very knowledgeable, walking around the trees, picking all the gifts from nature, which later on can be used in crafts or some lovely handmade decorative arrangement.

Evening at the Greyhound Racing Tracks
Evening at the Greyhound Racing Tracks
Day in perfecting homemade sweets
Day in perfecting homemade sweets
Day with the nature, picnic included :-)
Day with nature, picnic included 🙂

Every family member is supposed to make a list – short or long – this is up to you, then try to pick at least 5 things from each list to do over the summer.

This way everyone gets something they wanted and we can learn from one another and hopefully discover something new and exited we never thought we would enjoy.

Maybe your other half wants to go fishing, so we all go. Who said that fishing can’t be fun? Learning about different rods, different type of fishing and not to mention the excitement when you finally hook a fish.

Summer is always a great time to plan for the future; check out new clubs, try new sports… who knows maybe that one trip to the swimming pool you just took will result with your child regularly going to a swimming club after school or becoming a great swimmer?

So, whatever you do over summer, remember that it is all supposed to be about fun.

42 Days of Summer #Sweeet Challenge.

* This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1mRpMCL