We recently embarked on our annual trip to Center parcs in Holland. Now there are plus points going to a Center Parcs abroad as its a lot cheaper, the car trip and ferry is exciting for the kids (maybe not so much the parents) as you can treat it like a mini cruise.
So over the last four years of holidaying with children I have now accepted it’s not going to be relaxing, next year we are definitely going somewhere with a kids club! I brought these “This Mama does” milestones cards to capture the highs and the lows.
Scorchio/Rain rain go away – It definitely was not hot, but this actually didn’t really matter as when you are at Center Parcs there is loads to do inside and the trees are a good shelter, there is also nothing like whipping out your mum’s borrowed pac-a-mac in all of its purple patterned glory.
Happy Campers – Holidays are about doing stuff but sometimes everybody needs some “down time” so the iPad can be brought out, which in our house is a holiday treat.
Are we there yet? – The classic car trip to holiday but it all adds to the fun, the excitement building up in the car as you cruise through Europe listening to French radio (Joe fm). Even if the sat nav says 10 more miles add on an extra 7 miles for the detour round the small villages that the sat nav has sent you on to avoid that 30 second traffic jam.
Scream for Ice Cream – The whole family could scream for this but this year we were more scream for M&M’s that Joe and Grace enjoyed helping themselves to in the fridge door.
Picnic Party – No picnics on this holiday, the ground was too wet or covered in bugs so it was a packet of mini cheddars in the villa.
A bit of culture/Day Tripping – It would seem Grace is not on the blogging corporation band wagon yet and can not hold a card. We did visit a national park in Holland called De Hoge Veluwe where there is free bike hire, and a museum with Van Gogh paintings, obviously we didn’t get to go in there but the restaurant and play park were great.
Water babies – Joe and Grace enjoyed a jacuzzi bath every night and even made the seat bits into their own slide. I would like to say I enjoyed a jacuzzi bath but it was a bit loud and would have woken the kids as it sounded like a plane taking off.
And Chill – For about 43 mins then you end up falling asleep as you are so knackered but it is quite nice because you don’t have the daily things to do and that endless to do list can wait.
Living the dream – Having a BBQ is living the dream for Joe, so off we went to the nearest town to purchase a disposable BBQ for €1.99 and Joe’s dream came true.
No washing up – We did venture out one night to the buffet that meant no washing up and the chocolate fountain and the ice cream machine were amazing.
This is not relaxing – We waited for 15 mins with the mini carousel going round and round but they loved it, even though myself and husband where on catch Grace when she tries to jump off duty.
Happy Hour – Clearly we were not going to be taking advantage of the happy hour but breakfast was our happy hour it consisted of bacon, sugar, honey, lemons and blueberry pancakes.
Holidays are go – When your kids go on safari and try to drive a small jeep round a dirt track, everyone’s patience was tested but actually pleasantly surprised and I think Joe might be a better driver than me.
Holiday Spam – Joe on his 1st big boy bike and loving it, he was really good and actually cycled really far.
Beach Life – There isn’t really a beach at Center Parcs its more round a lake than the sea. It is also next to the farm where this little cheeky goat would escape and try and eat everyones food, despite our efforts with two soaking wet children and goat trying to eat all our food we abandoned our picnic lunch on the beach and headed back to the villa.
Cabin Fever – There was a bit of cabin fever towards the end especially when the kids gave in and realised they were just going to have to watch Paw Patrol in Dutch or the BBC News channel. Next time I need to take DVDs!
Siesta time – Such a beautiful time on holiday when the “uncontrollable one” decides to have a nap and the other one wants to watch the iPad. Mainly we had naps in the villa everyday and that meant we could take in in turns to nap too, AMAZING!
This family does – Center Parcs bowling with our free activity vouchers they seem to give to you. We love a bit of bowling and also another good activity when the sun isn’t shining.
Center Parcs is great and have everything for all ages I’m sure we will be visiting many more European Center Parcs in the future, if not for anything but to feel like you are actually in Dirty Dancing as it definitely gives off that vibe!