The Generation Game: How to plan a day out all ages will love
My other half’s season has kicked off which essentially means he gets to go to countries where sunshine exists and enjoy hotel rooms for him and him alone, while I stay at home with the children in the cold and try to keep us all alive. He’s currently in Dubai, training outside in the scorching sun and I’m in Woburn wondering why the temperatures are plummeting again seeing as January and February seem to have lasted for 900 years.
I’m lucky enough to have quite a few family members nearby so I can’t grumble too much; yes, I’m a solo parent for a couple of weeks here and there but Milo & Rex have an abundance of grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts etc. to torment each day and I always have someone to tag along with me on outings who I can moan to.
For this reason, I’m often on the hunt for day trips where a baby can enjoy themselves (to a point, Rex definitely just gets dragged along for the ride and has to deal with it) but also, and more importantly, places where my 73-year-old stepdad can get about. He’s not the most mobile but still likes to get stuck in so it’s just about making sure everyone’s happy and comfortable. And it nearly always involves food.
Last week we visited Greg’s grandma and took a trip to a local joint where sugar, sugar and a bit more sugar was the crux of the menu. We don’t tend to love visiting somewhere just for Milo to ingest something which will keep him buzzing for the next nine hours, but it was nice to all pick a treat off the menu and then top the afternoon off by running about outside (well, Milo was running anyway).
While the weather’s been atrocious, we’ve still tried to flex our English Heritage card as much as possible and be outside blowing out the cobwebs. I don’t think any of us mind the wind in our sails and endless runny noses if there’s a cosy coffee shop waiting at the finish line.
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve brunched with gusto, sought out the best local roast dinners, waddled ourselves round National Parks to work it back off again and nibbled cakes in plenty of gift shop cafes. We’ve enjoyed the likes of Waddesdon Manor, which holds regular family-orientated exhibitions and Castle Ashby Gardens with its romantic orangery. We’ve ridden the miniature train round Willen Lake, Milo’s tried to out-do Greg’s long jump distance on the marker in our village & we visited Hula Rescue Animal Centre to adopt a couple of cats to add to our brood (granted, you guys don’t have to do that. I just live with someone who wants to eventually own a farm). Woburn Sands (where we live) is home to two wonderful establishments (Stripes & Nonnas) which are always brimming with homemade treats and drinks hot enough to make you all forget you were ever chilly. Milo’s at an age now where provided I’ve got a bundle of teeny tiny cars in my handbag to play with, he can sit happily and let us enjoy a conversation. Rex is ordinarily asleep (at least the cold weather’s a gem for kicking off a solid nap).
It doesn’t take much to try to accommodate each and everyone in a family, it’s more about making sure we ‘all do one thing’. Yep, Milo might have to sit through the snore-fest of a coffee shop, but he’ll have had a great time legging it about a park or museum. We might have suffered in the elements or wished we could stop long enough to read a description in front of an artefact, but we get a snug end to the day and a feeling we’ve entertained our little ones and after all, that’s all we can hope for.
What are your favourite activities to help bridge the gap between the family generations? Let us know in a comment, or catch up with another blog from Susie below: