Long car journeys can be tough with the children. We know this only too well with 6 of our own and a visit to the grandparents taking upwards of 4 hours before adding stopping time. One way to make light of a long journey is to split it up with a fun and active trip along the route. For us there are many different routes to take to Sussex and we have stopped before successfully at the Tank Museum http://www.tankmuseum.org/ and the Fleet Air Arm museum http://www.fleetairarm.com/ both of which the children thoroughly enjoyed so Marwell Wildlife had a lot to live up to with the children on the way home from our Easter visit to Yia – Yia (Greek Grandma).
We had barely arrived, Guy was just guiding us towards the giraffes, when Nick heard a strangely familiar voice from behind
“There’s Farmer Nick!” Would you believe some of our previous Coombe Mill guests were there for the day and spotted Nick. Just the most extraordinary chance meeting!
Marwell have a great selection of all the more exotic animals from Africa and Asia that the children were keen to see. The giraffes and Rhino stole the show for us but Nick picked up plenty of future ideas for the farm, as if our Wallabies weren’t exotic enough!
In true thrifty and outdoor style we had packed a picnic. Something we nearly always do on a day trip https://www.coombemill.com/blog/post/2011/09/09/Picnics-a-favourite-with-the-kids.aspx Definitely the answer here as there are so many lovely picnic benches and even some large indoor tents in case of rain! We opted for the ones next to the play area where the children soon took over the big tyre. Sometimes I think our 6 descending on somewhere can be a little intimidating to other children, however if they are, they are very unaware of this and mean no harm.
Farmer Nick had tractor envy when he saw the size of this one pulling their trailers!
I thought this was an idea we could copy for Coombe Mill farm using a large photo of some of our animals with the faces cut out.
We were lucky enough to enjoy a great 4 hour break at Marwell, http://www.marwell.org.uk/ give the children plenty of exciting run around time and arrive back at the car for the last of the journey just as the heavens opened. It really felt like we made the best of a long journey and a showery April day! It is located off the M27 between Chichester and Southampton so if you are visiting Coombe Mill from East Sussex or Kent makes a perfect stop.
Marwell Wildlife has not sponsored this post in any way. We paid full price for out tickets and felt it was money well spent.
What have you been up to with the kids in this showery weather? Hope you can grab the badge and link up to share your ideas for fun outdoors.
My cooking style is a little of this, a splash of that and a sprinkle of what I like. It is always quick and easy, sometimes healthy rarely from a recipe book and if it is, I can never stick to the instructions! Consequently when things turn out really well, I have to back track to cobble together instructions and quantities before sharing.
This Flapjack recipe is one I experimented on a while back, I like the fact I can prepare and cook it quicker than I could go to the nearest shop (well I do live in deepest Cornwall) and it is packed with natural wholesome ingredients. They are perfect for school packed lunches too.
Preparation 10 minutes, cooking 10 minutes
Crunchy Peanut butter – 2 table spoons (tbs)
butter – 1 tbs
Sugar : any kind 3 tbs
Golden Syrup 3 tbs
Rolled Oats approx. 450g
1. In a saucepan melt all the ingredients except the oats over a medium heat without allowing the mixture to boil.
2. Remove from heat and stir in enough oats to fully absorb the mixture
3. Transfer to a small roasting tin lined with greased baking paper, lightly press into the corners
4. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes till just golden (too long and they will be too crunchy)
5. Remove and score into squares while warm then leave to cool.
6. Turn out and enjoy
I sell these in our reception shop, when the children don’t eat them all first! I imagine the basic idea is fairly adaptable and I rather fancy experiementing with dried fruits such as cherries and apricots, coconut and other nuts or chocolate chunks. I will be sure to fill you in on the combinations and quantities that work, as tested by my kids!
Farmer Nick is half Greek and come Easter time we do like to join up with family and friends for a traditional Greek Easter party. “Christos Anesti” is the welcome message (“Christ is Risen”); my Greek doesn’t extend much past this, but the traditions are legendary. My amazing 76 year old Mother in Law hosted this year’s festivities in her in beautiful Sussex garden. It made a lovely break for us staying over for a few days and the children loved catching up with all their cousins.
Food and Drink is the staple of the day, including a full spit roast lamb kept us going for days after!
The children bounced away all their calories away, the same cannot be said for the grownups; hang on, is that Farmer Nick on the bouncy castle there?
Painted hard boiled eggs are played rather like conkers
An English touch with an Easter Egg hunt
My children in the local town of Lewes were like the original country bumpkins, there may not be trees but they are happy climbing the buildings; fortunately there is a gorgeous park too or we may have been sent back to Cornwall!
What outdoor fun have you been up to with the children? Please join my quest to encourage healthy outdoor play; grab the badge so others know where to find you then please link up and share your adventures.