Half term is rapidly approaching, which means I’m starting to plan things to do with the kids. The joy of the geekdaddy working from home is that he’s around a lot, and childcare isn’t generally an issue. However when it comes to school holidays, and the kids are at home all day every day, he starts getting a little bit tetchy that he can’t get much work done. So where possible I like to take time off work during the holidays and I try to get the kids and me out of the house for a reasonable amount of time so that the geekdaddy can work and family harmony is resumed. This half term I am off work all week (yippee), and here’s a selection of things I’m considering doing with the kids during the week:
Come Into Play
I don’t mind play barns. I look at them as a chance for me to get some blogging done whilst the kids run around like loons. Our favourite play barn in the local area is Come Into Play in Stone. It’s a huge space, and the play equipment is all made of wood, so my kids always refer to it as “the wooden play barn”. There’s a good selection of food and drinks, and I can usually find a table to sit at as well.
Flip Out is a new trampolining centre that’s just opened in Stone. We had a leaflet about it through our door just before Christmas, and the kids took one look at the photo of a room full of trampolines, with trampolines up the wall, and have been bugging me to take them ever since! I’ve never been to a place like this before and have no idea what to expect, but from the website it looks like I can book the kids onto a 1 hour session and I can sit in the cafe and watch.
Audley Climbing Centre
The geekdaughter loves climbing, and Audley Climbing Centre is our nearest climbing venue. She’s not going regularly any more, as she just had too many activities going on during the week to cope with it, but I have promised that she can join in with one of their “fun climb” sessions over half term. I’m not sure the geekson will be joining in though – he’s tried climbing a couple of times, but can’t get past the instructor’s head height before declaring himself scared and coming down again!
We don’t get to our local library as often as I would like, and I have a nasty feeling there’s a huge fine racking up on the one book we forgot to take back last time. But school holidays are a great time for us to pop in and spend some time browsing the book selection, and they sometimes have special events happening as well which might be fun.
intu Potteries Kung Fu Panda 3 events
In their shopping centres across the UK, intu are offering a selection of free activities for kids over the half term all themed around the forthcoming Kung Fu Panda 3 movie. We’ve been invited to The Potteries to try out their Kung Fu Panda 3 graffiti wall. Apparently the kids will be able to use virtual spray paint, to design their own picture with Kung Fu Panda 3 character graphics to take home. This will be a good way of combining some fun for the kids with some shopping, and perhaps lunch out in the food hall!
A Trip to the Movies
The whole geek family loves movies, and half term is a perfect time for a family cinema trip. We always like to combine our trip with a meal, and have two favourite haunts – either the Odeon in Stoke on Trent with a carvery meal at the Festival Park Toby Carvery, or the Vue in Newcastle-under-Lyme, with pizza at Pizza Hut. I’ve also just discovered that there’s a new Cineworld opened in Stoke as part of the Potteries shopping centre, which we want to try as well. It looks like the new releases for kids this Half Term are Alvin and the Chipmunks and Goosebumps, neither of which appeals much I must confess. However all three chains are putting on extra kids movies for half term, and I think we’ll end up choosing between Hotel Transylvania 2, The Good Dinosaur or The Peanuts Movie, all of which are available at some point during the week. The added bonus of that is that some of those are playing as part of the cinema’s “kids club”, which means cheaper tickets 🙂
Most weeks the geekdaddy and I go out for breakfast on a Thursday morning. There’s a lovely little cafe in town, and it feels like a real treat to go out and have someone else cook me porridge or French toast with maple syrup and bacon. Yummy. When the kids are off school we like to do this as a whole family treat, and even though the geekdaddy isn’t good at getting up early in the morning unless he has to, this is something we don’t struggle to get him out of bed for!
Wheelock Hall Farm
I haven’t dared look at the weather forecast yet, but if it’s OK then we may pop down to Wheelock Hall Farm, which is a lovely place just down the road from us. There’s a great kids play area, a barn which usually has some baby animals to see (and you can buy animal feed at the farm shop if you want to feed them), and a lovely coffee shop.
Crewe Heritage Centre
Despite having lived here for 16 years now, we only ventured to the Crewe Heritage Centre for the first time last summer. The train-loving geekson was in his element looking at all the trains, but even the less-enthusiastic geekdaughter enjoyed herself. There are a couple of real train carriages that the kids loved racing around in, the miniature railway was a good ride, and I think we all had fun in the signal block where there are several banks of signal handles (or whatever the technical term is!) that you can have a go at operating.
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre
My kids have been glued to the footage of Tim Peake aboard the International Space Station, so to capitalise on their interest I want to take them to Jodrell Bank, home of the Lovell telescope. When it was built the Lovell telescope was the largest steerable radio telescope in the world, but today it has been relegated into third place. It’s still a very important scientific site, and again something we are really lucky to have on our doorstep. Through the half term the Discovery Centre are putting on science shows and “meet the experts” talks for the kids.
I appreciate that a list of 10 things to do in 7 days is highly optimistic, and I’m positive we won’t do all of them, as I also want to make sure we have time at home to play some board, card and games, and perhaps even tackle some decluttering. But I feel better having a selection of things to choose from, and it means we won’t have any days where we get up and waste the day because we can’t think of something to do!
Do you live in the South Cheshire or North Staffs area? What are you planning to get up with your kids during half term? Leave me a comment to let me know!