We are back from our weekend at Center Parcs. I always like to reflect back on our trips and it is great to put my thoughts into my blog to document our time away. Being a little family makes me want to remember every special family moment…and all those moments in between.
From start to finish the time away was brilliant. It is actually only 5 minutes away from our house, but 3 hours away for my parents and brother to travel. That said, for us it still felt like a break and it really was like being in a little bubble for 4 days.
We arrived at about 1.30pm so we could have a wander around to find out where things were. We could get in to our villa from 3pm. I had booked bowling for the late afternoon so once we had unpacked our bags and the copious amounts of food and alcohol we walked up to ten pin bowling.
Little man loved it, and the staff were so accommodating. He even got his own lane to play around on….or to try and run down anyway!
It was lovely to be on holiday but still be in the UK. I find that choosing holiday destinations with a little one is so difficult and I want something as stress free as possible. It was perfect as we could go back to the villa, pop little man to bed and then relax with a glass of wine for the evening.
The weekend followed a mixed pattern of activities and eating. The boys ie. Hubby, my dad and brother went off every day to play squash, badminton and tennis so that kept them busy and mum and I went out for a couple of runs. I also treated myself to a massage at the Aqua Sana Spa which was lovely.
Little man had such an amazing weekend with lots of swimming, roaming around in soft play areas, helping us play adventure golf, watching the squirrels and just generally having so many laughs.
I would recommend Center Parcs for a family break to anyone. The fact that it was near our home is irrelevant – as I already mentioned, we were in a little bubble of fun for 4 days. There are activities to suit every family member which is why it really is a perfect family getaway.
My top tips for making the most out of a break at Center Parcs are:
- Arrive at about lunch time – you can get in at 10am (villa at 3pm) but you can be queuing in your car for an hour plus to get to check in. If you get there at lunch you have less queuing time and you can familiarise yourself with your surroundings before unpacking in your villa
- Try and pre book a few activities before you go – there is an amazing app that you can book everything on, so it will give you an idea of what’s available. It is great when you are thinking about fitting in little ones lunch or nap time schedule.
- It can be as cheap or expensive as you wish – if you book lots of activities every day and eat out all the time then yes it is expensive. There are great catering facilities in the villa so you can cook meals instead. We had breakfast out once and an early dinner, but the rest of the time we ate in (excluding that Starbucks Hot Chocolate every day)
- Make use of the pool as much as you can – it is lovely and there is so many different elements to it including toddler pools and cafes. It is also free to enter as many times as you like!
- Go to the Pottery Painting Studio – they do imprints of your little ones hands and feet, and you can also paint a piece of pottery and they will set it overnight for you to pick it up the next day. This isn’t free but it is worth doing as it isn’t too expensive and provides you with a unique memento of your trip away.
- All restaurants are equipped for little children and have colouring packs – some including the sports bar and Huck’s Restaurant have play areas too which are such a huge help when keeping little ones entertained whilst waiting for food.
So I will be researching our next family trip to another Center Parcs in a different part of the Country soon. Family time is so important especially when you live so far away from them all. With no distractions other than the activities we choose to do, its a time I will look back on fondly.
Signing off for the day
Busy Working Mummy XOXO