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Share your ideas for family adventures and getting your DCs active this summer with Route 125 and Toyota RAV4 - £200 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(87 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Jul-13 15:52:43

To celebrate National Geographic's 125th anniversary, Toyota have partnered with them to create Route 125. Here's what Toyota says about the initiative "Route 125 is the ultimate family guide to exciting activities, days out and places to explore all over the UK. Route 125 will follow National Geographic Emerging Explorer Dan Raven-Ellison and his 10 year-old son Seb as they travel the length of the UK in a Toyota RAV4 (after school and on weekends/holidays) completing 125 adventures throughout the year.
These range from delightful little discoveries to adrenalin pumping escapades, things you might never have thought of doing, far afield or close to home. There's an adventure for every family. Toyota is challenging families throughout the UK to get involved, get outdoors and get adventurous!"

With this in mind, the Route 125 team at Toyota would like to know what adventures Mumsnetters get up to with their DCs to encourage them to get outdoors. So please tell us your favourite places for family activities / adventures in your local area or even further afield, and inspire other MN families to get involved!
We'd also love you to upload any images to this thread you may have of your DCs getting involved in a family adventure or even just enjoying the outdoors.

Whatever your thoughts on adventures for the whole family, please share them on this thread. Everyone who adds their comments will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £200 Love2Shop voucher. Please note, your comments and photos may be used on Toyota's pages on MN and possibly elsewhere.

Thanks and good luck,


PS you can find out more about the Route 125 and follow Dan and Seb on their adventures across the UK by reading their blog or with #Route125 on Twitter.

CMOTDibbler Mon 15-Jul-13 16:01:09

My ds is easily persuaded that anything is an adventure tbh, and we spend a lot of time outdoors generally.

He particularly likes at the moment to do a 'triathlon' or 'tetrathlon' at the weekend - so we do a bit of a run, cycle, and then go swimming or horse riding, swimming, running and shooting (nerf gun). Things we do anyway, but calling it that makes it more grownup and exciting apparently.

I've also found that taking food with us makes things more of an adventure, so a cycle expedition which stops for a picnic means a 10 mile cycle is no problem.

This weeks adventure is going to the Game Fair, so he'll get to fish/shoot/do archery/tree stuff and all sorts of other things - its a brilliant way to try outdoor things and many of the childrens activities are free

worldgonecrazy Mon 15-Jul-13 16:43:19

We have an annual safari to find local asparagus. It's the adventure that tells us that summer is here.

But we spend most weekends travelling all over the country anyway.

ditsygem Mon 15-Jul-13 17:00:50

My DS is only 8 months, so our adventures outside are usually paddling pool based, crawling across grass, and investigating new sensations like rocks and leaves.
The national trust properties are amazing for families and Belton House near us is perfect for relaxing in the hot weather and exploring the outdoors.

ThePskettiIncident Mon 15-Jul-13 17:48:22

Outdoors is always the easiest and best day out for my toddler. He is extremely exuberant and loves nothing than running around in the sea or open gardens and fields.

We have an rhs membership so it's always a great day out for him with plenty of space to run in a safe environment.

The beaches are great too with a combination of sandcastle building, paddling and rock pooling.

Rainy day stomps in the woods are also well received.

gleegeek Mon 15-Jul-13 18:03:34

Route 125 sounds amazing!

I'm not a naturally active person (long term chronic health condition), so I'm always on the lookout for ways to get dd(9) out and about, which she can either do on her own or with dh or with me in a limited capacity.

She loves geocaching! We don't go for a walk anymore, we go on a treasure hunt. She cycles, swims - loves in the sea/streams - climbs trees, walks the dog. We have National Trust membership which means we can get out and about for free as often as we want. As a family we camp and dd has gone through Brownies and is about to start Guides, which are great organisations for encouraging the great outdoors.

We have "crazy Wednesdays" in school holidays, where we invite DCs friends and neighbours' DCs to do mad science experiments etc.
We've found the optimal mento/cola combination for explosions, we've found the best ways to drop eggs out of upstairs windows without breaking them, we had a whole day of Olympics last summer.
During term time, DS goes out on his bike before school. He plans his route from an OS map beforehand and we time him, then he works out his average speed.

BellaVida Mon 15-Jul-13 18:07:42

Our best days out are the ones we don't plan. We choose a starting point then go where the mood takes us, dropping in at attractions and eateries along the way! It makes it much more exciting for the whole family, as it is a real adventure for everyone.

On our most recent adventure we saw steam engines, tried archery, stroked and groomed animals, had an improvised picnic in a field and fished and paddled in a stream.

Maybe it is because when we plan, we are more rushed, everyone's expectations are higher and you get the infamous 'are we nearly there yet'.

As a child I had some amazing adventures practically on my own doorstep and others around the world. They are all wonderful memories now and I want to do the same for my children.

apatchylass Mon 15-Jul-13 18:13:09

Route 125 looks brilliant - thanks for that!

We live near Oxshott Woods, so often cycle and walk in them, and DC used to make mud slides into the river when younger, and rope swings.
We set challenges, like climbing a steep hill (Box Hill) or a mountain.

We also love Go Ape style adventures, and go to any that have junior courses.

We're members of RHS Wisley, just off the A3, where DC can build dens in the children's area or climb trees down by the logging area. And nearby NT gardens at Claremont now have rowing boats on the lake - that's on our list for the summer.

DC also like fruit picking at Garson's Pick Your Own farm in Esher.

We use local lidos - Guildford or Hampton.

Where we are it's safe, so DC can now they are older, roam around a fair bit on their own, on biles, scooters, go-karts and skateboards.

There's lots of local team sports such as cricket and football but my DC and most of their friends aren't so keen on that - they prefer to be out exploring and building.

stealthsquiggle Mon 15-Jul-13 19:31:23

Adventures for my DC are things like being allowed to walk to the farm shop (about 1.5 miles on footpaths across fields) alone (10yo) or being let loose I my parents' bloody freezing outdoor unheated pool. We did buy DH a canoe for his birthday, though, so some family adventures are being planned with that.

Off to check out the website now...

Catmint Mon 15-Jul-13 19:38:14

The three if us have formed Den Club with badges & everything. I would tell you more, but the first rule of Den Club is, don't talk about Den Club.

(But we go into various woods and build dens and then play in them ).

TheFutureMrsB Mon 15-Jul-13 20:40:53

My children can be really lazy but my 6yr old loves to go for a walk around the ponds close to our home, he will make a real adventure out of it and make himself a little den in the tree's to eat his sandwiches! We always have to walk the long way home too as he insists on going to see the horses in the fields further down, but he enjoys it and we do it quite often.

He makes an adventure out of everything though, even the walk home from school!

BikeRunSki Mon 15-Jul-13 21:01:07

DS is 4 and really into cycling. DH and I are both mountain bikers and roadies and DS can now do 5 miles or so by himself and come back on a Tagalong type thing (we got a great one that attaches to the adult bike and can be clipped out of the way when you don't need it but is there for when the child's legs tire). DD is still small enough to go in the baby seat, so we are trying to make the most of this summer before she wants to be on a balance bike! We are enjoying taking DS out on canal paths, forest routes and Sustrans routes. He's also got really into it and goes to kiddy coaching sessions at DH's club and has found the local BMX track too! So basically, this summer is all about bikes, and all the different places we can ride them. And when he is feeling tired, DH will do anything for an ice cream or jelly babies. DD has also gone and got herself sponsored, as 18 months, and is trialling a Toddlebike. We have National Trust membership, which helps us find new places to ride and explore by foot.

BikeRunSki Mon 15-Jul-13 21:07:42

We have also just had our first family camping trip and DS (nearly 5) and DH are working up to an overnight bike trip.

TiredFeet Mon 15-Jul-13 21:34:49

DS is 2.5 and one of my favourite adventures since he first started toddling has been just to head out of the house and let him decide where we go and what we look at. when he was tiny this might mean just staring down gratings or looking at a cat. recently we went out and he led me down a little track and then we went off the track through some trees, climbed a fence and ended up in a wild field full of long grass, there was a little path through it but the grass was far higher than his head and he thought it was amazing!!

this last weekend we borrowed a friends boat (dh is a very experienced sailor) and let ds be the 'captain' and sail the boat and tell us where to go. he found it incredibly exciting! I'm also really impressed at how sensible he was and he listened to all our instructions and was very good about wearing his lifejacket etc.

ouryve Mon 15-Jul-13 21:44:49

We're not particularly into adventure, as such, but the boys love a good walk. We can't go and sit on the beach. We have to walk, and walk, and walk and walk... and then walk back again. We find lots of things to look at, on the way. We love the Northumberland coast for this, since there's not too many people to trip over!

MaxinePeakedistrict Mon 15-Jul-13 21:46:32

We're off on holiday and will be sailing and kayaking. dd isn't terribly sporty but these are done mainly sitting down! She also enjoys quad biking and segwaying for the same reason.

I hire her as my Under Gardener and she gets a pretty good workout weeding and hedge trimming in the fresh air. She's got a good camera so that gives bit of a focus when we're out for a rare country walk.

FourGates Mon 15-Jul-13 21:57:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AndHarry Mon 15-Jul-13 22:03:25

Our two are 3yo and 8m so we spend a lot of time outside anyway burning off energy! Our favourite destinations at the moment are the splash parks in St Albans Verulamium Park and Stevenage Fairlands Valley Park (a bit more of a trek but the water is heated). They love running and crawling around and staying cool in the water. Anything involving water at the moment is a big hit, from playing in the paddling pool in the garden to going out in canoes on holiday. Top tip there is to have your own lifejackets as some centres don't have baby and toddler sizes.

Other favourites are 'going on a bear hunt' in Ashridge Forest and tackling the new forest play-trail at Dunstable Downs. DS will go anywhere if he's promised a picnic, which makes life very easy. He will also go anywhere that involves going on his scooter.

AndHarry Mon 15-Jul-13 22:04:44

P.S. There's no option to upload photos for me on this thread. It worked on the Mothercare thread on the same phone?

sharond101 Mon 15-Jul-13 22:10:58

My DS is only 13months but we spend most of our time outdoors and do lots of walking and cycling with him. We bought a Croozer, a trailer for DH's bike which DS sits in. He loves it. He also gets out in his trike every day and gets to walk around barefoot on the grass.

We are not an active family particularly - sports do nothing for us (though I do like horse riding). DS1 (5) wants to learn to skateboard though.

For us, a dog is the thing that gets us out and about. I don't walk for fun, and nor do my boys, but a trudge around is livened up with a dog to chase, to throw toys for, to watch swim. Both my boys love chasing our dog and she loves it too.

We also want to take both boys swimming regularly so that we can start DS1 in lessons come September.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 15-Jul-13 22:53:01

Our summertime adventures involve BlackBerry picking and taking the bikes out to tide to where the biked take us.....

There's always room for an adventure any day..

DD (3) loves imaginative play so we turn our small suburban garden into a jungle, a rainforest, a zoo and she loves to get out there and go bug hunting, picking flowers, messing about with water. We have a resident hedgehog who we leave bowls of water for and a bumble bee nest that we keep an eye on. We also have fairies, pixies etc. No persuading needed here, just a bit of imagination and encouragement

cleoowen Tue 16-Jul-13 09:01:56

We go to the water lido in street,Somerset. It's an,outdoor swimming pool with lots of shoots,slides and fountains. Fab.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 16-Jul-13 09:09:35

Luckily for us, our children are self-sufficient when it comes to play so there's no need for us to try to jazz it up with themes etc <phew>. They get annoyed with me if I'm in the garden with them and overhear their games smile. At this time of year they're outside at every opportunity. An adventure for them is being sent to the corner shop for bread grin.

One of their favourite days out is to the adventure playground at Chatsworth. It keeps them amused for hours so is really good value for money.

supergreenuk Tue 16-Jul-13 09:30:55

Burghley house is great. We visited yesterday in fact. We haven't been in the house but The Garden of Surprises and Sculpture Garden is lovely. The garden of surprises has many fountains and interesting areas to explore and you can take there swimming stuff and they can get as wet as they like. The sculpture garden is lovely and peaceful and has plenty of shady trees to picnic under. The sculptures as scatter around the large grounds in dips and under trees and the children spend time trying to find them. Then the coffee shop has lovely ice cream to finish the day.

Chopstheduck Tue 16-Jul-13 09:35:23

We try to leave the car at home! We've found routes through the forest around us to get to places mostly avoiding the roads, and go for long bike rides, with picnics packed up. It doesn't need to be complicated - they love a good pine cone battle!

I also think that sometimes kids lack freedom these days, and now my youngest are 8, the kids don't always need structured activities - they love to pack up their own picnic and go off without me for a few hours.

ShatnersBassoon - I've heard of that adventure playground, you are lucky it being so close! We live MILES away but my oldest two have been with their year 6 residentials.

IncaAztec Tue 16-Jul-13 09:38:25

My little one and I love being active. The park, swimming - adventure playgrounds anything outdoors is great.

Staying home isn't an option with a nearly 2 year old so using a bike with a buggy trailor attached is a great activity for us all!

mrsclarke123 Tue 16-Jul-13 10:53:43

I have an 11 month old and his favourite adventure is going on the swings (that, or putting his hands all over the tv which I'm not sure really counts)
But I think the thing to remember is that really, to a small child at least, everything can be an adventure!

iwantavuvezela Tue 16-Jul-13 11:09:16

Adventures for us as a family include going camping ... choosing a beautiful spot, enjoying cooking outdoors, walking and just been outside for a period of time.
Other options, are walking though forests; or our nearby cemetary which is lvoely and overgrown and full of "minibeasts".
Further afield, we have been on a safari in Africa which is the ultimate "adventure". Been around wild animals, and seeing them in their natural habitat is for me an all time best adventure. I have a strong desire to make sure my daughter has a link to nature, and in doing that we try to be outdoors, or visit beautiful spots in England where possible.

dahville Tue 16-Jul-13 11:14:02

We like searching for dinosaur footprints along the UK coastline - our local place to look is The Bendricks in South Wales. It certainly gets the imagination going!

Witchesbrewandbiscuits Tue 16-Jul-13 12:11:09

national trust membership is a must. you can be outdoors everyday with one of those and it doesnt matter if its raining.

trips to the river, seaside, park etc are also high on the list with picnic in tow.

free events such as scarecrow festivals go down well.

swimming is a good one too.

when all the above have been exhausted, purchasing online tickets for days out are a must. farms, theme parks etc. booked online will save at least 10%

GladbagsGold Tue 16-Jul-13 13:07:49

DC do lots of outdoor stuff, camping, cycling etc. Their fave adventure so far has to be climbing up Goat Rock in Devon (don't ask me it's real name!!) - getting to the top, feeling the wind and looking way down at the sea, waves crashing into the rocks, just us, some goats and a lot of goat poo!

DoubleMum Tue 16-Jul-13 13:15:29

I would love to take my DCs on the drive to Skye from Aberdeen, every corner with an even more amazing view than the last. One for the future perhaps.

NettleTea Tue 16-Jul-13 13:47:22

we run Forest school and other activities at our farm, so our kids are often involved in all sorts of stuff like that. In addition bike riding, horse riding and general exploring. we also like eating outside and picnicing in different places

hermancakedestroyer Tue 16-Jul-13 14:31:03

I like to get outdoors with my DCs as often as possible. We enjoy walks in the wood, days on the beach, participating in go ape, picnics, swimming in the sea, playing football, camping in fact anything we can do to get out in the fresh air!

Babycarmen Tue 16-Jul-13 19:42:33

Today we went to see a local attraction, Duffus Castle. It is great for kids to run about and explore and learn a little about history too which is fab!

We like going to the beach and poking around the rockpools, going to local country parks and making dens in the bushes!

At home, we've been doing lots and lots of gardening and learning about bugs and beasties. DD is enthralled grin

There's always plenty of friends over in summer and the kids are all knackered by the end of the day.

Here's a picture of DD in her 'den'.

aristocat Tue 16-Jul-13 20:22:11

My two DCs love cycling and go as much as possible with DH, we have a tracker app which shows their route for the day and they love seeing this.

We also love going to the seaside, boating on the river, long walks, trips to the local farm and National Trust visits are a fave too. DS has just returned from his school residential at the Pioneer centre and he loved it. A new favourite is Archery.

Merlin membership is good too, in 2012 we visited either Alton Towers or Warwick Castle every weekend grin It didn't matter if the Park was busy because we just went again the following week!

Will go check the Route125.

Picture is from a day out at Brixham ..... we were waiting for a boat.

NowWhatIsit Tue 16-Jul-13 20:37:09

This is such a great thread.
We have had brilliant holidays in the New Forest cycling with kids 8,6,2 (in buggy thing at back) but I am nervous about them cycling on roads & find it really hard to find places to take them, or circular routes. We live in NW London, if anyone can recommend places or cycle activities/club for kids nearby, or good places for weekend, would love to hear.

Also love to walk to 'big things' - seems to appeal to boys - like Agglestone rock in Dorset, or cow & calf in Yorkshire..

Hopezibah Tue 16-Jul-13 20:49:03

Things we have tried recently and found to be fantastic adventures (wish we had done them sooner) are:

Powerboating on the Thames (suitable for absolutely all ages even babies can go along - yet it is a thrilling and fun ride!),

Go Ape (junior course at certain locations for age 6 and over),

Walking tours (we did a murder mystery one in London - great fun and educational)

Body Boarding - even my 15 month old joined in - being pulled along by daddy.

Lots of parks and playgrounds can be great for adventures, as well as exploring the countryside, forest and coast - Geocaching is next on our to do list too!

GetKnitted Tue 16-Jul-13 21:06:59

Geocacheing is great outdoor fun with a huge element of adventure. and now that your smartphone has gps, no special equipment needed!

Yonilovesboni Wed 17-Jul-13 07:25:09

Our favourite days outs have been created by the DC simply saying 'I'm bored'!
I make everyone a backpack with lunch and drinks, we then walk to a lot of the different villages in the area searching out new parks, streams and woods. We take a little jar incase they find any interesting creepy crawlys on the way. We often stop off. At the local pub on the way home, which keeps me and DP entertained while the children play on the last climbing frame.
I have also been known to get the DC to draw a map off where we have been in great detail while I have a afternoon snooze when we get back!shockwinkgrin

lorisparkle Wed 17-Jul-13 11:19:25

My DS love going to castles - old ruined ones in particular. We have National Trust membership and English Heritage membership so have fantastic free days out exploring and pretending to be knights!

Arcticwaffle Wed 17-Jul-13 15:20:39

One of our favourite family "adventures" is to go camping wild on Dartmoor, we've done this since the youngest dc was 4. We pack up backpacks and then we walk into Dartmoor, for a mile or two, and camp by a stream, put up the tents, make a campfire (depending where we are), and spend the night totally away from other people. We've done this once or twice a summer for the last few years. It feels like a "proper" adventure, these days the dc think camping in a campsite is a bit tame.

angielou791417 Wed 17-Jul-13 16:08:04

Hi I have four chilren and also am a childminder so have to have a whole summer of adventure planned!! We have theme weeks and build around that and also have many other activities planned. I'm bit old school and have a small budget but the kids love all the simple things we did as children--- we make raincatchers from half a pop bottle with food colouring in we make birds nests with mud and straw we go into the fields with blankets and string and build shelters and make massive art projscts from ceral boxes bottle tops and string. The best plan we have this year is to meet other childminders and friends at a local park and fields every tuesday when we would usually be at toddler group. We are setting up our own playtime group we will all take tols tents balls bubbles hoops tunnels and picnics and will play games have a sports day and generally have fun x if anyone interested in the themes and activities linked to them inbox me and I will send you some ideas x. Have a lovley summer everyone x

unadulterateddad Wed 17-Jul-13 17:07:04

Anything outdoors makes my DS smile and leap off the sofa, whether it's making bows and arrows and spears to hunt dragons in the woods or hunting mini-beasts in the wetlands with the dog (who usually manages to inhale anything interesting).

If it involves getting dirty, wet or exploring something new, then he is in.

manfalou Wed 17-Jul-13 18:18:10

We're really lucky that we have SO many places to explore around us and each place offers a variety of adventures to be had!

At Chatsworth our eldest can paddle in the river, track down the sheep and deer and get muddy in the muddy puddle (peppa pig style!)

At Rufford park theres a play area, lake and abby to wonder around... it great for all the family!

We also have carsington water near by which again offers some water based adventures. And Rother Valley country park.

We're about 40 minutes away from Sherwood forest... the home of Robin hoods tree! So when we go there DS dresses up and Robin returns from the dead for the day! He loves it!

Sherwood pines offers numerous trails to follow which are all bike friendly and you can hire bikes there too, its pretty flat so great for pushchairs... we often collect pine cones to paint and decorate when we get home.

The local woods has blackberry bushes galore so we collect those to make some crumbles! ( give to grandma to make crumbles anyway)

Clumber park is near by, again with a river and grounds to wonder around.

Both me and my partner are scuba divers so water is a very important part of many of our adventures! We are trying to get DS to wear a mask and snorkel to join is a little bit... can't wait to do it with DS2 when he's older too!

ataraxia Wed 17-Jul-13 20:22:16

Living in a city on a budget, one way of getting to enjoy the outdoors is to look at a map and go to the tiny green spaces - they often turn out to be 'hidden' squares and parks with not many people in and space to relax or play

maximum4 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:51:12

We go geocaching with friends. Generally it means we end up visiting new local places that we were totally unaware of. Modern day treasure hunting! Free and fun!

PeterParkerSays Thu 18-Jul-13 08:56:43

DS is 3 so any new outdoor experience is an adventure for him, particularly if yoy don't tell him where you're going in advance. We've recently been to a pick your own fruit farm, which he loved and ate is own weight in raspberries, and a steam rally and we're going camping next month which he's never done before. He discovered this morning that the tent won't have a TV confused.

Agree with manfalou about Clumber park and Rufford Hall which are fab - woodland always makes a good adventure. We have a small wood near us with a stream through it, so recently spent an afternoon there, having a picnic on the banks of the stream, padding up the stream in the cold water and adventuring around the woods, pretending to be pirates.

A real "creating memories" afternoon but so easy to do.

al88 Thu 18-Jul-13 11:34:28

We go Geocaching, usually with a picnic. We've discovered some great local walks doing this, and wherever you are there is always a geocache nearby.
Also we were given National Trust membership for Christmas, and its probably the best present we've been given.
DDs like scooting too.

lolancurly Thu 18-Jul-13 12:34:55

Camp Building in The Woods! When the weather is hot, as it is now, then we often head off into some local woods and build camps from dead branches, bracken etc The family like this so much, that a couple of years ago, they actually decided that this would be my birthday treat! The great thing about it is that all the family can join in, from the smallest to the biggest (my burly husband). We don't wreck the woods, but just use what's lying around. The trees are a wonderful cooling canopy in hot weather and even if it rains, the trees protect you from getting too wet. Take a rug and a picnic and huddle together in you hand built wooden hut!

janekirk Thu 18-Jul-13 15:13:46

Spot the animals on woodland walks, also build dens in the local woods.
Often take the train to countryside parks as there is usually so many things to do.

ratbagcatbag Thu 18-Jul-13 15:49:35

The best thing my stepson and his dad have done is go coasteering in Wales, they throw themselves off cliffs into whirlpools and waves and its all instructor led.

We all go walking and geocaching as a family, treasure hunts feel fab, although I think me and DH get more excited than said 15 year old step son.

Another awesome day out is battlefield live, like paintball but with laser guns, charging through the woods playing capture the flag, kill the hostage etc, two hours of mental lose yourself escapism.

Kveta Thu 18-Jul-13 20:47:04

My DC are both still very young, so to them, any outing is an adventure - DS even thinks visiting a charity shop armed with a 50p piece is an adventure grin

I have found that the best days are those with no clear plan - just going to a park with a picnic, and letting them run around. Days that are too planned tend to be a bit disappointing, as I think I get too excited about them and the reality is never quite so great.

DS (3.9) says his best day recently was the police station open day in our local police station - it was just a chance to amble round the station and see inside a police car, but for a small child it was fantastic! And it was free - bonus!

I'm looking forward to them being older though, so we can do more adventurous adventures, but for now, little local days out are perfect smile

IwishIwasmoreorganised Thu 18-Jul-13 22:00:49

We love geocaching. In this weather I've been trying to find ones in woods and then taking a picnic and tarpaulin then we build a den to have our lunch in!
Ds's walk far further when there's a cache at stake than without!

daisybrown Thu 18-Jul-13 22:11:11

Where possible let them use their bikes/skateboards/skates to save their poor little legs, so the kids tell me.

majjsu Thu 18-Jul-13 22:13:15

My little girl loves adventures, a good chunk are helped by make believe. The beach is great for shell collecting, searching for sea monsters and pirates. There are some great National Trust properties, Seaton Deleval Hall has dark cellars and my little girl loves turning the torch on and off; Gibside has a wonderful play area. Seven Stories is a childrens book museum, it has dressing up, crafts, lovely displays and so much fun.

elizaco Fri 19-Jul-13 06:47:38

My family love geocaching - basically a technical treasure hunt. Either download the app onto your phone or use a GPS device/ website. We have found the girls are more keen to go on a family walk if there's something to aim for at the end. They love being the one to find the box and swap their "treasure". We have discovered many walks/footpaths which we never would have otherwise.

poppy1973 Fri 19-Jul-13 07:36:22

Well, we are quite fortunate to live on the edge of National Trust land which is a great excuse to get the children outside no matter what the weather is. I have a preschool and child in primary school - so try and get the children out as much as possible. If the weather is too hot then we go exploring in the woodlands - building dens, climbing trees etc. or we will go walking up the hillside and take kites to fly. If we want to go a little further in the car then we take the children's bikes and go off cycling and take a scooter for one of my children.

Love the holidays and try and get the children out as much as possible.

Cherryoats Fri 19-Jul-13 07:47:50

We love the beach and surfing/ body boarding, dd sits on the body board and gets pulled smile We are national trust members and have lots of days out exploring mansions and gardens. We hike a lot and put dd in a carrier, or she walks with us, we always seem to find amazing things. Just find a place on the ordinance survey map and off we go!
We cycle routes around the country whether long or short and dd comes on the back and loves it!
Our family loves adventures and spend a lot of time, camping and just being outside smile

Geocashing is on the to do list!

I like to make the most minimal of plans, just taking along a packed lunch/snacks, suitable clothing in case of the usual confused British weather, and let the children inspire the day's adventure.

It is often when you venture off the beaten track that the most fun is to be had - whether that involves impromptu den building in local woodland, or scavenging the seashore for tea time treats. There is nothing better than spending a day in the open air, then returning home with shellfish and tasty seaweeds to pop in a pan and enjoy for dinner smile

I always take spare clothes as activities can get messy, and the worst end to a day is a day that ends early due to clothes that are wet and children who are consequently miserable thanks to muddy puddles/stream splashing/rock pool misadventures.

finleypop Fri 19-Jul-13 12:29:26

Our favourite day out to the Crocky Trail in Chester. So much fun without even knowing that you are getting a pretty good work out (until the day after lol!!)
Climbing, shaky bridges, spiders nets, tunnels & slides, amazing fun!

lucyhome07 Fri 19-Jul-13 14:03:04

Explore attractions your local area, rather than schlepping miles across the country, everyone getting stressed about the traffic, the fighting children, who's turn it is on the DS...

Your children just want your time and attention; they'll be as happy playing and picnicking near to home as they will at a theme park- as long as you get involved!

lolancurly Fri 19-Jul-13 17:43:48

We love to go to Hastings old town; this is a lovely thrifty day out as in addition to the pebbly beach and sea, there are Fish and Chips for lunch! We love to scout round the junk shops and marvel at the weird and wonderful vintage stuff for sale. Best of all, we take a big bag of 2 pence coins and hit the arcades for an hour or so, seeing how many silly plastic toys we can win. You can shovel lots of 2 p's and still not spend much money! You can take a ride on the funicular railway that takes you up a cliff and look over the marvellous view and wander through George Street which is full of coffee shops and ice-cream parlours. And don't forget the crazy gold and pitch and putt! We have a tradition of going every News Years Day, and it certainly blows the cobwebs away. You can't beat throwing pebbles into the sea, with a bag of chips.

katslo77 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:13:17

We love anything outdoors so take every opportunity to get out and about! My kids love geocaching and the local forest has an orienteering course which gets a big thumbs up from them. Mine seem to like a good old fashioned scavenger hunt too - loads of fun, free and easy to create smile

LackaDAISYcal Fri 19-Jul-13 21:49:55

We are going to do some geocaching this summer. There are quite a few within walking distance of the house, and some further afield that will require a longer day out and maybe a few bus journeys or cycling to get to them.

We've seen a few interesting moths and butterflies recently as well, so are going to do a bug spotters guide, with photos and diagrams etc, so our adventures looking for the geocaches will give us the opportunity to hopefully find some varieties we haven't seen before.

We're also off to Staithes in N Yorkshire for two weeks, so will spend a lot of our time exporing the shoreline looking for more fossils to add to our growing collection, and we have booked into a National Trust event with a local artist where we will be combing the beach and then making artwork with the things we find. Really looking forward to that one! We'll also do a b it of tramping across the moors this time; we're going for two weeks instead of one, so will have more time to explore the moors and not just the coast.

DD, 6 and DS2, 4 are now both stabiliser free on their bikes, so hoping to get a bit of cycling in with them as well.

DS1 is 11 and off to high school in September, so I'm hoping he will be a bit more free ranging this summer and entertain himself!

Off to check out the Route 25 website now smile

pussinwellyboots Sat 20-Jul-13 05:37:02

We love being outdoors as a family.and life certainly runs more smoothly if our boys age 3 and 5 get lots of fresh air! Having the right clothes is a most and their waterproof puddle suits help us to enjoy being outside.
we love national trust properties but also paddling on rivers and going to find various farm animals on walks. Now both boys are on pedal bikes this is also becoming a form favourite.

pussinwellyboots Sat 20-Jul-13 05:45:14

Forgot to post a photo so here's a family bike ride.

Thevelveteenrabbit Sat 20-Jul-13 09:15:15

Hoping to get out and do some bike riding over the holidays as my twins have finally mastered two wheels. My eldest dd wants to do the Preston Guild Wheel - not sure if we will manage it all in 1 day but should get all the way round over the holidays.
We do a fair bit of walking in the Lake District - letting the girls lead the way/map read keeps them occupied - also cameras binoculars are good for rest stops! and plenty of snacks!

pipsicles Sat 20-Jul-13 21:22:48

I've always enjoyed the outdoors, but, I'm ashamed to say, only if I'm in the right mood! Rainy day romps in the wood are not always up my street. However, having an extremely energetic 2yo DS, I have been needing to just get over myself!

Given the current beautiful weather, we recently took DS to the seaside and he hasn't stopped talking about it since! He LOVED running in and out of the water and is all about swimming. We live in Surrey, so a fair distance from the beach. I can usually placate him with a park with a paddling pool, but yesterday we made a amazing little discovery - a beach in the middle of the countryside! Frensham Great Pond has a gorgeous little beach and (obviously) fresh water 'sea', so almost better than the actual beach! I believe that there are some beautiful walks in the area also, but I had no chance of exploring those yesterday! Also, loads of parking, which is free during the week and £3 at weekends. I'm desperate to take DH, but now the summer holidays are here, I'm almost certain it will be packed!

CheeryCherry Sat 20-Jul-13 22:54:09

We have a lot of amazing places here in Yorkshire. Ilkley moor is great for a ramble, as are Brimham Rocks. Paddling and picnics are fab at Knaresborough and Bolton Abbey. We also do a lot of walking around Hardcastle Craggs and Haworth moor.

We've done a 'hat dip' box this year in which we've written all the things we want to do and we pick out one a day, we've included things like Woodland Trust walks, gardening etc, so we do get a bit of exercise as well as some more exotic things 'throw mummy in a glider and make her fly it' (cheers kids) hmm


MalcolmTuckerSwearsBy Sun 21-Jul-13 11:29:28

Spontaneity is the key - last week it was too hot to sleep so at half ten at night we dug out DS's festival tent and my DD and I slept in the garden. Hd we pre-planned ut DD aged 16 woud have hated the idea, instead she loved it.

MalcolmTuckerSwearsBy Sun 21-Jul-13 11:31:34

I'm a try anything type when in holiday seem frumpy and staid at home though grin

I amazed myself when I did this recently, and also tried archery, took up swimming lessons and am desperate to try wild camping

SarahAndFuck Mon 22-Jul-13 13:38:34

This summer holidays we are having 'Park Fridays' with a group of friends we met when the boys were babies and are now all four years old.

The idea being that we meet at a local park, convenient for everyone to get to, with a picnic and bring a selection of activities to do, as well as just let the boys run around and enjoy the playground.

Everyone has to bring something along to do, even if it's just the idea for a game we can play without equipment (British Bulldogs etc), or something that's just fun to have along (like a tent).

So this first Friday we will be taking space hoppers and water guns. I think someone else said they might bring a tent and another said they would bring a set of boules.

And I've had DS working on a treasure hunt for next week, cutting out pictures of things to find in the park and sticking them onto sheets I can laminate, so the boys can tick them off as they find them.

It's a nice way to meet up with friends we don't get to see all the time normally, and it should mix things up a bit so there's something fun and different to do every week.

We're even planning to meet at a different part of the park every week to keep the location interesting.

We are lucky, we live opposite a wood so we can go on bear hunt walks and attend the special events for children days they have at the visitors centre, and we've checked what's on at the local museum etc as well.

SarahAndFuck Mon 22-Jul-13 13:42:07

We've also got a couple of camping trips in mind.

And DS loves the beach. We've had some amazing days at Danes Dyke with just buckets and fishing nets to explore the rock pools with, or going on the beach at Bridlington, Scarborough or Cleethorpes and hunting for crabs, collecting unusual rocks and shells, building sandcastles or drawing things like hopscotch grids and race tracks in the firmer sand.

We usually attract a small group of children to join in.

lucifee Mon 22-Jul-13 16:46:59

We live right next to the woods so my 2 and 6 year olds both love to go for long walks, especially as they are owned by the MOD and the Sandhurst military academy train there so my boys always hunt for bullet casings and play spot the soldiers in camo gear hiding all over the place!

bakingcakes Tue 23-Jul-13 12:47:43

DD is into mini beasts - armed with a Sherlock Holmes style magnifying glass, plastic tub and fishing net we go pond dipping and spy all the amazing creatures. Water boatmen , newts, leeches - you name it... Waiting in the weeds to be discovered. Hours of fun drawing them when we get home too. Snibston in Liecestershire is a nature park with lots of ponds perfect for little dippers!

Snog Sat 27-Jul-13 08:48:42

We are doing a staycation and will be cycling to get places and enjoy the delights of our home city!
Punting and swimming in the river are featuring big this summer.

hammyhunter Sat 27-Jul-13 12:14:16

We love going for walks around the Forest of Dean

hammyhunter Sat 27-Jul-13 12:15:09

We love splashing in muddy puddles!

hammyhunter Sat 27-Jul-13 12:24:09

we love exploring the Countryside!

manfalou Tue 03-Sep-13 21:07:34

We love to go to the local country parks, forests etc... here's our eldest on his Balance bike at Sherwood Forest just after seeing 'the big tree' ... he loves exploring the woodlands too and was on the lookout for elephants in the bushes and owls in the trees =D

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