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What is the ideal holiday for a 19 month-old?

(25 Posts)
InTheZenGarden Thu 16-Jul-09 10:47:14

Wise mumsnetters, advice please.

We want to go on holiday in November (earliest we can do it ), DD will be 19 months then.

The options as I see it is a shorthaul flight e.g. the Algarve, or CentreParcs, which is 45 minutes up the road from us.

When I put it to DH, he said "yes, but what will we do all week, won't DD get bored?"

If it's the Algarve, we will be in a SC villa with no pool, so I guess it's beach and beach and beach. I worry we will all get bored. (DH certainly will!) Neither of us are keen on the Holiday Village type complex with lots of people and pools and entertainment. I'm sure they are a lifesaver when the kids are a bit older, but we have never done that kind of thing before, it would be a bit of a shock to the system and DD isn't old enough to get much out of it, I don't think.

CenterParcs - I have only been twice and that was pre-DD with a group of friends, so a very different holiday. Is there enough to do to entertain a 19 month-old? Bear in mind it will be November, so no guarantees on the weather.

Thanks for any advice. Would just be really interested to know what your DCs were into at this age and if they enjoyed any holidays you took them on or (be honest!) they just tagged along on the holiday you wanted to go on (I'm worried we'll end up doing this and none of us will have the great time we want)

Sorry for the ramble blush

Twims Thu 16-Jul-09 10:53:06

Best holiday I went on with a toddler of that age was to a farm, we had a self catering cottage, right ontop of the animals so we would wake up have breakfast, head over to the farm to see/feed the animals, then back to the cottage for a quick play and cup of tea then head out for the morning - back for lunch/sleep then see the animals - and back out again for a quick afternoon/tea out before the bath and bed routine.

Think Centre parks would be fab for that age.

InTheZenGarden Thu 16-Jul-09 11:02:24

Thanks Twims - farm sounds fab We have recently been to a cottage in Cornwall and that was a huge hit, but a bit monotonous - beach every day! But that was because we were lazy and didn't want to get in the car and drive to another attraction when we could walk to the beach grin

I'm tempted by CentreParcs, but not sure how long she'd play in the water for? What do we do after she's "done" that?

mrsjammi Thu 16-Jul-09 11:07:45

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Pyrocanthus Thu 16-Jul-09 11:09:03

In November I'd be tempted to go somewhere reasonably warm, and try and combine a bit of beach, walking (do you have a backpack?) and sightseeing. Remembering our DD at that age, she would go along with anything that was out of doors and didn't involve too much sitting still, though she was very well behaved eating out as long as meals didn't go on for too long.

We went to Wales at about that time in DD's life (not in November though!) and she enjoyed Caernarvon Castle, Portmeirion, a fair few National Trust gardens and Anglesey, as well as the beach.

I really wouldn't worry about going to a very family/activities-oriented resort yet. She will be happy to be with the two of you and doing and seeing new things.

mrsjammi Thu 16-Jul-09 11:10:18

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AmazingBouncingFerret Thu 16-Jul-09 11:14:32

Best one we went to was in Devon. The campsite was great had a playground, soft play area and swimming pool and there was loads of things to do in the surrounding area, Penneywell Farm was one of the best farms we have been to!

Pyrocanthus Thu 16-Jul-09 11:15:47

Interesting, mrsjammi - we took by now much older DDs (then 7 & 9) to Barcelona for a couple of days en route to Menorca and agree that it was fabulous. A city break was a new experience for our yokel children, and we couldn't have found a lovelier, friendlier, more interesting place to start.

Gaudi architecture is guaranteed to enchant youngsters, and there's a chocolate museum. smile

I'm sure your 19 month-old would love it, ZenGarden.

InTheZenGarden Thu 16-Jul-09 11:17:55

Thanks for that.
I never would have thought of Barcelona - I have been on a girls weekend, but DH has never been. And DD does like a beach.... I didn't really look for child-friendly parks when I went before wink, does sound great.. and I think she would like tapas grin

We do have a backpack, did a few coastal walks in Cornwall, she tolerates it for a while, then gets a bit wriggly. But we just did shorter walks than we would have done pre-DD, and it was fine

Pyrocanthus - you're right, I think she will just want to play with us. That is enough of a treat for her.

Am off to look at Barcelona - Mrsjammi would you recommend where you stayed? If so, could you tell me where? Good to hear the weather was good in November

mrsjammi Thu 16-Jul-09 11:22:25

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InTheZenGarden Thu 16-Jul-09 11:23:43

AmazingBouncingFerret - Devon and Cornwall are always visited each year, but I think November would be pushing it! May check out that farm next year though!

Pyrocanthus - there's a chocolate museum?? shock We never found that! But then we did find lots of Cava, it was sooo cheap! And I suspect that meant we missed quite a lot, though we did do Gaudi to death! I loved the Sagrada Familia

DD loves chocolate, I suppose I could force myself to go just to keep her entertained wink

InTheZenGarden Thu 16-Jul-09 11:25:43

Oh thanks mrsjammi, those sites look great. I will look more thoroughly later - poorly DD has just woken up, so I think my MN time is ended for now!

Pyrocanthus Thu 16-Jul-09 11:26:57

Just a little one.

Fennel Thu 16-Jul-09 11:27:18

We've been to Barcelona with 2 toddlers. They rioted so exuberantly that we had to leave the outdoor tables of a child-friendly restaurant and ended up taking refuge in some awful pizza hut type place where they crawled on the tables. They also fell asleep for most of the feted round-Barcelona-on-open-top-bus ride.

Paddling pool, beach, and nothing too challenging. That's what we found worked best with toddlers. You have to totally forget any prior-to-children expectations of holidays being relaxing or interesting, then you might manage something vaguely tolerable. or you could just stay at home instead. Our motto for holidays with toddlers "if in doubt, do less".

mrsjammi Thu 16-Jul-09 11:27:51

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mrsjammi Thu 16-Jul-09 11:31:46

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nursenatty Thu 16-Jul-09 11:40:16

CP for sure. Lots of indoor activities, messy play, music etc. Its easy and stress free, great creche too. Downside is having to spend a little time beforehand pre booking stuff and organising itinerary, but worth it

Orissiah Thu 16-Jul-09 12:55:59

Did your toddlers all sleep well on holiday? Did they share your room? If so, did you have to creep around after they went to bed?

Also, did they go back to sleeping okay at night once they returned home?

Pyrocanthus Thu 16-Jul-09 13:01:15

No, we wasted good money on a 2-bed cottage.

DD1 did struggle with sleeping away from home when she was little, but was fine when we got back.

MiniMarmite Thu 16-Jul-09 13:01:29

We took DS to CP (Longleat) at 10 months and we all had a great time but we thought we would have an even better time next year when he is slightly older.

We wanted an easy holiday where he could have fun and so could we. We used the creche one afternoon and went to the spa together which was fab.

I do think the charge for the under 3's activities is a little too much (£5) but the activities were good none the less and to be honest we mainly did cycling and swimming anyway.

Pyrocanthus Thu 16-Jul-09 13:03:09

DD2 was always fine though, come to think of it, and she'd always been much more trouble at home...

cockles Thu 16-Jul-09 13:08:08

I think winter holidays in the UK can be a bit grim, but our toddler has loved wherever we've been. He is an urban child so rural holidays are more exciting. At that age I would carry him most of the time on my back & just walk - more outdoor stuff than indoor. Sleepwise, he slept in a cot in our room, his bedtimes were always rubbish, naps went to pot, and he always took (takes) ages to settle down again when we got back.

ilikeyoursleeves Thu 16-Jul-09 21:08:59

We went to Menorca when DS was 18 months old (only 2 months ago) and I'd really recommend it. Not our usual type of holiday pre-DS (we would go long haul and go on road trips across the USA type of thing) but it was really relaxing for us and DS adored the beach. We would spend the mornings on a beach (we hired a car so went around the island so we didn't get bored) then tended to go back to the hotel for DS's nap and for me to rest (I was 30 weeks PG then) and DH hired a bike and would go out cycling.

Stayed SC so ate out in different places each night. DS loved being in a different place and had so many new experiences. We avoided the hotel pool and organised activities though, why go abroad to sit 10 metres from your room all week?!

Flight was fine too and not too far, accomodation fab too. Good luck!

Caz10 Thu 16-Jul-09 21:16:01

We are looking at hols for October when our DD will be about 22mths ZenGarden, and we are currently thinking of Lake Garda area - we are looking at campsites which I guess would be closed in Nov, but there would be some self catering stuff open. Dunno what the weather will be like then, but we are working on the assumption that dd will be happy pottering around on pebbly beaches whether that be in her swimsuit or in her wellies! Also plenty of pizza/pasta/garlic bread which she loves, hopefully child friendly eateries and plenty of coffee and cake stops! Boat trips too maybe?

InTheZenGarden Thu 16-Jul-09 21:23:05

ilikeyoursleeves - we have been to Menorca a couple of times pre-DD, but to go diving, not to do the package holiday thing. DH did suggest it, but a) I'm not sure how great the weather would be in November and b) we have only ever dived there, so never seen the island, just one tiny part of it. Don't know what there is to do....

Caz10- Lake Garda appeals, but again, not sure about November? Friends of mine have just got back from the/a Eurocamp there, had a fab time, it may be something we do next year, when we can holiday at a more convenient time!

DH could possibly be talked into Barcelona!! He isn't 100% convinced, but says it is the best thing I have suggested so far! But I am shock at the prices of apartments. I do realise it is a city, I just rarely stay in them!! Am searching for somewhere cheap!! grin

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