We are fairly spoiled in and around Gloucestershire when it comes to stuff to do with the kids – there is always so much choice. My kids don’t really appreciate the fact that it will be half term just yet as they are both still at nursery/pre-school in the holidays, but as a teacher I am very much looking forward to a week off and the rare chance to spend some time to myself as well as with the family. So what exactly is on offer this February half term?
- Lambing Season at Cotswold Farm Park (open every day from February 16th)
Visiting Cotswold Farm Park is one of the most vivid memories I have from when I was a child and so naturally it is somewhere I love going with my own children. The park re-opens on the 16th February this year and has already got a jam-packed calendar of events, starting with the annual lambing season which runs through until the end of April. Whether you go for the animals, the fab play areas or perhaps the chance to bump into park owner, Adam Henson, a great day out is always guaranteed!
*We have been gifted a family ticket from Cotswold Farm Park and will be visiting over half term – check out my Instagram stories to see what we get up to!*
2. Snowdrops at Rococo Gardens, Painswick (open every day)
There are a few options of places to go and see snowdrops in the Cotswolds but one of our favourites is Rococo Gardens in nearby Painswick. Beautiful scenery aside, the gardens are set up really well to keep little ones interested throughout your visit. We went last year and absolutely loved completing local artist Hannah Shaw’s trail which has been set up again this year. Whilst you can get a pushchair around most of the gardens, I would maybe put very little ones in a baby carrier to make your day a little easier.
3. Light Up Cheltenham, Cheltenham Town Centre (now until 24th Feb)
A bit of a different choice now in terms of half-term activities, but one not to be missed. Every evening until the 24th February, iconic buildings across Cheltenham town centre will be lit up in various colours. We took our two girls for a lovely evening walk spotting all the different colours and finished off the night with a ride in the Giant Wheel which is currently in Imperial Gardens. A week on, we are still being asked on a daily basis if we can go back on the ‘the wheel giant’ so it has obviously left a good impression!
4. Zog Activity Trail, Forestry Commission England – Westonbirt Arboretum and Beechenhurst (between now and June)
We have been Julia Donaldson fans for a long time in our house but since the Christmas premiere of Zog on the BBC, there is one dragon who is a true favourite in our house! Following on from the success of other activity trails (The Gruffalo, Stick Man and The Highway Rat) the Forestry Commission have recently launched their new Zog trail where you can find your very own golden stars dotted around the forests. Whilst this is nationwide, you can take part locally at Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean or at Westonbirt Arboretum (of which we are members). Whilst both places have fab cafes we always enjoy taking a picnic as there is normally plenty of room to sit and eat.
5. Soft Play Centres, across the Cotswolds.
If you’d have asked me this time last year, I would have very reluctantly added soft play of any kind into this list but I have found a few local places which I actually don’t mind going to, and more importantly the kids love! I reviewed Cotswold Clubhouse on the blog a few months ago after being seriously impressed with the new centre in Bourton-on-the-Water. We have visited several times since and the girls always seem to have a great time. More recently we tried out Rugrats and Half Pints in Cirencester (what used to be MagicLand) and I have to say it was brilliant! I imagine both places will be busier over half term than we are normally used to but if it rains, I’m sure we will be heading to one of these in a heartbeat!
And for the Parents….
Should you be lucky enough to have some respite from the kids this half term, what would you spend your time doing? I’m hoping to find time to finally finish my amazing book, Heroes by Stephen Fry, and who knows maybe I’ll treat myself to a hot chocolate or a coffee – my favourite place has to be The Find in Cheltenham. The last time I had some time to myself I even managed to get in a cheeky spa day at the wonderful Hatherley Manor Spa. I’m not sure I’ll get round to that this time as I have some decorating plans at home, but if I’m really lucky I might treat myself to an IKEA trip! It really is the simplest things!
Whatever you get up to, I hope you have a fab time! If you are in need of any more ideas make sure you check out Cheltenham Rocks and Gloucester Rocks for some wonderful ideas to entertain the kids! They are my go-to website when I’m looking for a way to spend the day!