It’s a couple of weeks away but already I’m thinking that YES this time, I will be that organised parent who has lots of wonderful day trips planned for the family.
Typically for me, I realise far too late that the holidays are looming and end up just winging it. Badly.
So, if you are in Hertfordshire any time over the holidays then this may be a useful list for you. It includes places I’ve visited or those that I intend to visit with the girls and/or Jude. I was originally going to write a piece on places to visit with Jude over the Easter holidays but realised that this would be an incredibly short list and would involve pretty much anywhere with a lift!
Anyway, here goes…
I was thinking of this for Elsa really as it is aimed at ages 9+. I might see if a couple of her friends would like to join us as it sounds really good fun. You follow a trail around the city, looking for clues that are hidden amongst monuments and landmarks. The trail takes you around the beautiful city and includes picnic spots, the gorgeous Verulamium park and lakes and means that you are out in the fresh air and avoiding anything iPad-esque for a couple of hours. The trail only takes about two hours so great for those with an expansive attention span as well as the who are less enthusiastic.
£6.99 for a trail which you can even have personalised with your name and pictures!
Embarrassingly, I’ve never been to Hatfield House and Park but it looks beautiful. This suits all ages, has lots of gorgeous outside space, a farm, tractor rides and even an adventure playground with a mini Hatfield House included. There is the Stable Yards shops (that I’ll be avoiding) housing gift, toy and music shops plus of course the House itself that you can visit sans the children one day! The thought of Emmeline the whirlwind in a stately home makes me shudder in fear. Open from March 31st, prices start at £5 for children’s farm entry alone. Garden and park prices start at £7.
Another Hatfield one and still outdoors. Hatfield Forest is a medieval hunting forest now managed by the National Trust. There are trail guides, picnic areas and even a cafe, shops and wood to purchase for your fire at home. Parking is £6 unless you are a National Trust member.
Elsa, last year in the 100 Aker Woods
We love this place! There is a farm, a gorgeous lake to walk around, picnic areas, an adventure playground plus the 100 Aker Wood trail where you can look for all your favourite Winnie the Pooh characters. We’ve done this walk so many times and the children love it. There is also a SEND adventure playpark that we’ve never actually been to but hopefully Jude will be up for a visit this Easter. So many things go on at Aldenham Country Park, it’s most definitely worth the trip. Have a look at their website (linked into the title above) and see what you’d like to try. Parking £4, paid when you leave. Bring coins!
Jude watching Elsa walk the tightrope in the adventure playground!
I am suggesting this one as Elsa is so desperate to try archery!
It isn’t particularly cheap (in my eyes anyway) BUT as a treat, it sounds like great fun. Bows and arrows in the woods, what’s not to love? They also offer shooting experiences which I don’t entirely like the idea of. Guns scare the life out of me but the archery is fine. You have to complete the hour and a bit long introductory course (£35 for children over 6 years) before full membership will be considered. I think it will be a novelty thing with Elsa but it gets her in the fresh air and sounds great fun.
I took Jude and Emmeline here last summer and it was fantastic. There are six miniature villages to wander around plus of course the railway that both of them insisted on riding several times. We avoided the play area as it was crazy busy and I wanted to avoid any Jude situations but neither Jude nor Emmeline were bothered thankfully.
It’s just so lovely there. We parked in a secondary carpark a few minutes walk down the road but it was free so who can complain. They have fantastic parking marshals outside to assist you find a suitable spot. Ice creams, a cafe and a little shop at the end, I loved it. £10 for an adult or £6 for ages 2-15. You can buy a family ticket for one adult and two children for £20. They also offer carers tickets for £4 and concessions of £8.
A trip to the theatre is always interesting with toddlers BUT at least you wouldn’t be on your own. Peppa Pig’s Adventure is showing at our local theatre and I have this crazy desire to take Emmeline along. I remember taking Elsa to see this when she was tiny and she loved it. The only marring of our day was the fact they were trying to flog £10 golden balloons at the door as you exited so the happy faces turned to sad as many a parent refused such an offering. ANYWAY, I’m not saying this will have the same feel and I know she’d really enjoy it. So would Jude actually so maybe I’ll torture myself with an afternoon out with that duo. Tickets are £16 for adults (because you want to be there) and £15 for under 16s. £60 for a family ticket (not sure how many that includes.) Bear in mind they add a £1.25 transaction fee on each ticket if you order online.
Where are you going to visit over the Easter holidays? I’d love to hear your plans.