The six weeks holiday has begun!
All you working mum's will know how you will need to turn into a circus performer spinning plates, juggling work and family.
My first summer running a full-time business. Time to work out how to balance baking cakes, maintain my business standards (have I told you I’m a perfectionist!) and then carving special quality time with my boys! I love being a Mum and it is the only job I love more than my baking! I also love to exercise but I think that one is out of the window until September!
I am trying to plan how to fit everything in. I can’t quite get my head round whether early starts in the kitchen and then time out in the afternoon with the boys then catch up in the evening with Scrumptious admin or mornings with the boys and afternoons baking through into the evening?! I may try one of each and see which works out best! I will be able to consider how much I break my own rules on how much time the iPad is on, how many squabble’s I have to referee and just how many episodes of Pepper Pig I can stand in one session.
Oh, the joys!! I will make time for the boys even if I lose out on sleep. Here are some of my favourite places I will go with the boys during the summer holidays.
First up Wyming Brook Nature Reserve.
It is a great spot for a picnic and a splash in the water. On the health and safety front this is paddling in a stream, no deep water and definitely no swimming. The current news about people swimming in lakes and rivers is exceptionally scary and something all mums need to drill into our kids. Back to Wyming Brook, grab your wellies and head on down to this beautiful; nature spot - just make sure you take a spare set of clothes and if you are feeling brave your swimsuit! Wyming Brook | Reserves | Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust (wildsheffield.com)
I had to include a soft play for those rainy days! And with our local weather we will get some rain. Medieval Mayhem is a great soft play that we regularly attend. My eldest has had his birthday party here twice which I highly recommend. The play frames are vast and include some steep slides for the fearless. The play centre is very clean and offer a good range of food and refreshments.
Within an hour’s commute of Sheffield but you need transport for this one, Chatsworth House.
I have visited Chatsworth House so many times with the boys. As I write this I am heading there again in the morning. We have the house booked first thing, then the gardens and then the adventure playground and farm.
The boys love the gardens and could spend the day in here alone. Remember to take your wellies and some extra clothes as there is water in both the adventure play and gardens. Also, a bucket and spade are handy to take with you, as in the play area there is a sand pit and water play area. In the gardens you will find a maze and many water fountains, as well as the steps where you will struggle to keep the kids out of the splash zone! The house never fails to amaze me. I do recommend taking a picnic as the food can be quite expensive however the ice creams are a must for that little treat! and why not take a brownie or two, they are heaven with ice cream
I just love days here with Farmer Rob and Farmer Dave, we love to watch them on TV and when you visit Cannon Hall you feel you know them and if you spot them on your visit, they will always greet you with a smile and have time to chat and answer questions on all the rare breeds that are on show and fill you in on any new arrivals to the farm.
I must mention that Scrumptious by Lucy will be at 5 on the farm August Bank holiday weekend so I may see some of you there, I will be taking a full range of brownies and blondies, including the August brownie flavour of the month Malteser Brownie. That will mean a visit to Nana’s for the boys and a major bake will be needed for the long weekend.
Further afield and my eldest’s favourite (he’s train mad) is Thomas Land, Drayton Manor. It is the boys’ number 1 day out they love it. Last time we visited we picked up a great deal with park tickets and an overnight stay over at the Drayton Manor Hotel. We had a great time. The hotel has a playground at the back, we were fortunate with the weather, so the boys played here for hours before bed. I would recommend the toddler and parent pass for Thomas land for those with younger children. Term time is the best time to visit as there are fewer queues if you don’t have older kids. Although I will say whenever you go with kids tall enough to ride head straight to the Troublesome Trucks for your first ride before the queues grow!!
Next up, National Railway Museum.
If your kids are as mad on trains as my boys, this is the place to go! It is only a donation to get in so the whole family can go. We catch a train from Sheffield, go off peak and on a slow train for the cheapest ticket. Head for the museum, which is at the side of York station, 5 mins walk. It is a great museum, very clean, has great facilities, and if its fine, take a picnic and you can eat outside next to a small play area and the miniature rail.
I hope some of our favourite places will become yours.
Whatever you do, enjoy the summer and who knows we may bump into one another somewhere along the way.