Bank Holiday Ideas For Families

The first Bank Holiday of 2016 is almost upon us. Yes, Easter arrives this week, and families everywhere are looking for ideas and activities that will keep their little ones occupied, whatever the weather. As a mother of a very active, 7 year old boy, I know how tiring it can be keeping children who are used to being busy at school, occupied once they come home. But there are things you can do, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

  1. Indoor picnic and movie day.

Yes the weather isn’t great, so grab a duvet, pick your favourite dvds – Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks are always great, and then all you need is the movie snacks to have the perfect afternoon. Tesco Direct have a range of offers just in time for the Bank Holiday so you should be able to make some savings on all your family favourites. You could also do an adult version of this which you can read about here.

2. Make use of your local park.

Whether you take a football, a bat and a ball or the dog, local parks are a great way to pass the time away. They cost nothing to use, you can take your own picnic and they can be used in a myriad of ways, from playing on the swings and slides, to taking part in a nature trail. If you have just the one child, parks are a lovely way of letting your child meet and play with new friends.

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3. Visit a castle.

All children love the romance and beauty of castles, they fuel the imagination in so many ways, transporting kids to a land of Kings and Queens, Knights and battles. Warwick Castle is an amazing example of a working, intact castle, but castle ruins can be just as much fun. We visited Criccieth Castle in Wales last year and had great fun running around the ramparts with a wooden sword. Entrance was less than £5 and the views were spectacular.

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4. Soccer Camps

If your child has a love of football, it may be a good idea to check out one of the many soccer camps that Professional football clubs run. My boy is a West Bromwich Albion fan, and spends at least part of his school holidays playing football in soccer courses that are organised and run by The Albion Foundation coaches. These are brilliant for keeping children active and engaged, and the presentation ceremony at the end of the week sees all children leaving with a well earned trophy.

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5. Swimming

It may not be beach weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make use of your local pool in order to enjoy some water based fun. Some pools will have additional activities and inflatables during the school holidays that make sessions twice the fun. (We enjoyed a total wipeout style assault course at our local pool which was hilariously funny – even if you were just spectating.)

What will you be doing this Bank Holiday?

 

Easter – Essential Movie Viewing

Easter is almost upon us, but it looks like my favourite bank holiday of the year is once again going to be marred with wind and rain. We are heading off to Wales, my favourite place for rest and relaxation, but one that seems to be permanently wedged under a rain cloud, so I’m planning on catching up on some of my favourite dvd’s, eating lots of chocolate, and generally chilling out.

If you are planning on doing the same, both home or away, the best way of viewing your favourite movies is on a Panasonic 4k TV, which offer the best viewing experience due to crisper, clearer pictures (four times the resolution of HD). This can make old movie classics look as clear and bright as they did when they first hit cinemas, which is perfect for an old movie buff like moi!

Here’s what I will be watching this Easter.

Harvey

Now, this is not strictly an Easter film, but as one of its stars is a six foot rabbit, I think it can be excused. Elwood P Dowd is one of life’s innocents, a gentle drunk with a six foot rabbit called Harvey as his companion. Elwood’s sister wants to cure Elwood of his rabbit fixation, but things do not go to plan. Harvey is simply wonderful, heartwarming and funny, and with the totally irristable James Stewart in his most loveable form. Watch it, and spend the day smiling. (I saw it on the stage last year and it was amazing, you can read the review here.)

Harvey (1950)

Harvey (1950)


Donnie Darko

Another huge rabbit, but this one is a far more sinister bunny. A harbinger of doom in fact, the end of the world. I don’t mind admitting that Donnie Darko is one of the weirdest films I have ever seen, but Jake Gyllenhaal is incredible in this, and it is worth seeing for a very different Patrick Swayze than the one from his ‘Dirty Dancing’ days. Great for those dark, wet Easter days when it feels like you will never leave the house again without a canoe.

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko

Easter Parade

This is my total escapism, no brainer movie when it comes to essential Easter viewing. Easter Parade stars Judy Garland, Fred Astaire (already sold?) and contains the best Easter song ever – a genre that never quite took off like the Christmas song to be honest. In glorious 1940s technicolour, this is a gorgeous slice of nostalgia that will go down nicely with a Malteasers egg.

Easter Parade

Easter Parade


What will you be watching this Easter?

This is a collaborative post.

Just in time for Easter – Paw Patrol release Pups and the Pirate Treasure

Paw Patrol is quite a hit when it comes to the children in my family. My two year old niece Renee is a huge fan of the series, her favourite pup being the very cute Skye. Renee will literally watch Paw Patrol on a loop if allowed, and the toys were top of last year’s Christmas list. My son Joe is 7 and is far too cool for Paw Patrol now, except he can often be found watching it at breakfast time, while he eats his corn flakes and gets ready for school. Yes, Paw Patrol is a real favourite in my family.

March 14th sees the release of a brand new Paw Patrol DVD. This comes just in time for Easter, and would make a great alternative to yet another chocolate Easter Egg. Called Paw Patrol: Pups and the Pirate Treasure, this new dvd contains six all new episodes, which will absolutely delight your little Paw Patrol fans. With a running time of 89 mins, this is great for quiet time, or for a wet day when outside play is not possible.

The video is great fun, with episodes Pirate Treasure, Ghost Pirate, Save the Bay, Save a Goodway, Pool Day and Circus Pup.  Renee was totally glued to the whole of the DVD, and has since watched it on a further two occasions. Joe quite enjoyed it too, thanks to the pirate nature of the whole DVD. You can currently find it on the HMV website for a very reasonable £6.99, making it a great gift idea for pre-schoolers. It also has a video storybook, something else to enjoy with your child.

Paw Patrol: Pups and the Pirate Treasure £6.99 Click to visit HMV

Paw Patrol: Pups and the Pirate Treasure
£6.99 Click to visit HMV

 

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Paw Patrol is a lovely programme for young children, and if your child is already a fan, they will be sure to love this DVD.

*I was sent a copy for review purposes.