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How we’re making the most of now season

We’re coming to the end of our first week of the school summer holidays … but has it been any different to every single week we’ve spent at home since March? With all children ‘definitely’ going back to school in September, we’re all trying to make the most of the limited options we have this year. As a predominantly travel-focussed blogger, my wings have been clipped this year. We did book a holiday to the Shetland Islands at the start of the year for the end of August, and (at the moment) this is still going ahead … We’ve never looked forward to a week away so much before! Apart from that though, we’re mainly at home. It’s definitely a different kind of summer. So, what are other parent bloggers doing this August? Let’s find out.

A huge garden pool, and an Airbnb on Dartmoor

We really want the summer holiday to feel special to our family – a few treats to look forward to, after the long stretch of lock down and home school. At the same time we are still being careful to social distance and avoid crowds, plus trying to budget on days out. So… we’ve bought a 12 ft pool for the garden! It’s like a holiday on our doorstep, the kids love it – I think they’ll be swimming in it every day we’re at home! It’s been a brilliant buy and I’m sure will be the highlight of the summer!

Later in the month we’re off to Dartmoor to explore the rugged outdoors together. It will be wonderful to see somewhere new, get out of the usual routine and breathe some fresh air. We are staying in an Airbnb so we can have our own space to relax, away from crowded resorts – which is peace of mind during these tricky times. Best of all, we will get to see the children’s grandparents on our way home. This will feel particularly special after a long six months apart. We’re going to make August a month to remember!

Rosie, Little Fish Blog

Local parks, stately homes, and family BBQs

I’m determined that this August is going to be amazing! Harry starts school in September and I want him to have some great memories of this summer. However, with Coronavirus and Harry’s open-heart surgery in June we just don’t feel comfortable travelling too far, but we are incredibly lucky to have such good local resources! From our many local parks and Stately Homes with incredible grounds, perfect for picnicking, to the local farm we have some great days out planned, but mostly Harry is looking forward to just spending time with the family we have all been missing over the last few months having BBQs and maybe even having the sleepovers he has been desperately wanting. I had so many plans for this summer, day trips and weekends away and things like that but honestly Corona has made me appreciate the simple things that are right outside my front door.

Kat, Raising Harry

Lodges and Yurts in the UK

Like many, our travel plans for the summer have been squashed. We were due to be flying out to Corfu on August 3rd but as our hotel isn’t planning on reopening until 2021, the holiday has been cancelled.

My husband and I toyed with lots of ideas for staycations in and around the UK to break the summer up a bit and still have a family holiday. We decided to look into the Isle of Wight as an option as it would still feel like we were ‘going away’ as we’d have to get on the ferry.

We actually managed to find a really lovely lodge in St Helens with an outdoor pool and a private hot tub. We are really looking forward to getting away and visiting somewhere we have never been before. Hopefully the weather will be lovely, but we always have the hot tub as a back up!

Then at the very end of August we are taking the children to Somerset Yurts for a glamping weekend to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. My brother and his family will have the tent next door so we plan on having an outdoor ‘festival’ style party to celebrate.

Michelle, www.whatmummythinks.co.uk

GoApe and National Trust

Since March my family and I have been shielding. The children have done really well and understood we cannot visit places, but it has still been a challenge to keep them entertained. To make August special for them and feel more like a summer holiday than an extension to lockdown I am planning on taking them somewhere we have missed visiting one day a week for each week of the school holidays.

First on our list was a visit to GoApe but unfortunately my daughter had an accident the day before and we have had to rearrange. We are National Trust members and so plan on visiting some nearby properties and we shall certainly be having a day trip to the beach. At the moment we are trying to keep our visits to outside places, as we have been shielding since March and have not entered another building since then. However, towards the end of the holidays we may venture towards a shopping centre depending on how confident we are feeling.

It may not seem like much but for us we are incredibly excited. Having not left the comfort of our home since March a new place to see and a change of scenery is what we are all looking forward to.

Leyla, This Day I Love

Caravanning in North Norfolk

We originally had a two-week cruise booked for the first two weeks of August with extended family. This has subsequently been cancelled, so we are arranging to go to our static caravan on the North Norfolk coast instead. As things are still limited compared to what we would normally do on holiday, I have been planning how to make our days out to the beach and parks more of an adventure for the kids. So, I am currently in the process of designing scavenger hunts for the kids to do whilst we are out. So far, I have designed a Summer Woodland scavenger hunt, and a Beach one. Next, I am going to work on a Rockpool scavenger hunt. I have also been checking out local geo-caches, and swatting up on fossil hunting so hopefully every day will be an adventure and something a little bit different for the kids to enjoy.

Kerry, Blissful Domestication

Dorset beaches, and a lot of fish and chips!

The Summer holidays this year may not be quite what we were expecting, but as a family, we have decided to embrace a slightly new tradition to us. Each week of the Summer holidays we are trying out a different beach in Dorset to enjoy fish and chips.

We have been lucky with the weather so far, and whenever we spot a nice evening, we are sourcing a new takeaway to enjoy our fish and chips from. There really is something about eating chips on the beach isn’t there, and any excuse to have the whole family together enjoying some quality time is a win too!

Dorset has so many amazing beaches, each with its own character and unique appeal so I know we won’t run out of new places to explore this August. We may just have to do lots of walking to burn off the chips!

Angela, Exploring Dorset

Holiday cottage in Cornwall

Lockdown with two young children hasn’t been easy. Homeschooling, entertaining a 2-year-old, not being able to be as outdoorsy as we usually are, have all take their toll on us all which is why I am over the moon that our family holiday to Cornwall can still go ahead. We booked the picturesque holiday cottage last year, before anything had happened and we have spent months wondering if it would be cancelled. We last visited Cornwall back in 2015 when we only had one small person so we cannot wait to explore more of this area with two boys in tow.

We are such an active family and Cornwall has so much to offer with its gorgeous coastline walks, stunning sandy beaches, waves that are perfect for surfing or bodyboarding as well as places of interest such as The Eden Project (which is at the top of my list!) To be able to escape the house, to be able to stop staring at the same walls and make some memories with my family is helping to keep me focussed and positive after all we have been through with lockdown.

Emma, Emma Reed

Staying local

We’re going to be local tourists! Tapping into all the little local things that we never get time to do and will be making sure to take time off from work so we all have quality time together. I’ve found that Instagram can be a great source of inspiration – follow a hashtag for your local town and see what other people are up to – I’ve discovered two new parks already this way.

If you don’t already, follow your local council or tourism board on social media – they are all supporting local attractions and local parks. You’ll be amazed at how much is on your doorstep or within a short drive!

Jodie, Maidenhead Mum

Competitive veg growing!

As a family who have dedicated so much of our lives to travel, the restrictions bought about by lockdown have been challenging. Plus, I know many families are still travelling, albeit very cautiously and with their destination options vastly limited. However, we decided the right thing for us was to postpone our plans.

I’ve always wanted to start a vegetable garden, it’s such a fulfilling project to with kids of any age. Travelling made it difficult in the past, so this gave us the ideal opportunity. The preparation of the garden gave us all plenty of exercise, fresh air, and was a great opportunity for the kids to get mucky! They loved the planting of the seeds and the watering. The weeding? Not so much!

Each child got their own “patch” of the garden, to grow whatever they wanted. The only conditions being, that they had to tend it themselves, and keep diaries with details of what they were doing. This certainly triggered some healthy competition!

We have been rewarded with a wonderful selection of glorious and delicious, organic veg. Harvesting the produce is something everyone loves to be part of to, but the best bit? The eating, of course!

Vikki, Family Travel with Ellie

Croatia holiday, and a move to Chicago!

In mid-July we had the chance to take an unexpected break to Croatia for 16 nights and so we will still be in the beautiful city of Dubrovnik for the start of August. However, soon after we will be making the much-delayed (by 7 months!) move across the pond to Chicago. Travelling in a pandemic has felt slightly odd but surprisingly safe also! Croatia has such a low number of cases, and safety precautions have all been taken really well wherever we have visited.

We are moving to Chicago for my husband’s job but my daughters have actually already started their Chicago schooling thanks to virtual homeschool! An upside to the fact that everyone has been virtually learning I suppose as they have already made friends and met their teachers!

What started as a terrible year in many ways – coronavirus aside, I lost my Mum to cancer – is now starting to become the exciting adventure we had planned for 2020. I’m still extremely nervous to move to a new country but I’m hoping that August is just the start of an incredible new chapter for us all! It’ll certainly be a busy month!

Danni, Monkey and Pal

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