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.



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.



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.


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.


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.

Easter Gifts for Her that don’t Involve Chocolate

If you’re looking for a special Easter gift for the very special lady in your life, but have perhaps been sworn off from buying her chocolate; maybe if she’s aiming to perfect her bikini body in time for her holiday etc, then you may need to get creative. After all, Easter is all about all things chocolate, so you’ll need to think out the box if you want to find her a great gift.

But have no fear, as we’ve come up with some great Easter gifts for her without a pinch of chocolate in sight.

A piece of jewellery

It’s a given that you definitely can’t ever go wrong with jewellery, so we thought we’d start with this one. From modern or costume jewellery to more timeless and special antique jewellery, you’re sure to find a piece that will put a big smile on her face this Easter. You could even opt for a jewellery box instead if you’re unsure of what to go for, and if she seems to have it all!


A bouquet of flowers

Likewise, you can never go wrong with flowers, especially if you’re on a slightly tighter budget. You could have the flowers ordered directly to her door with an Easter card to go that extra mile on the day, and to give her a really big, nice surprise. With spring upon us, there are some truly beautiful flowers in season at the moment, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting them.

A cuddly bunny/chick/lamb

If she’s a big kid at heart, something soft and cuddly could definitely appeal to that side of her. Sticking with the Easter theme, why not opt for a cuddly toy version of her favourite out of the main Easter staples – a bunny, a chick or a lamb? You could wrap a bow around it and put it on her bed or her favourite chair and leave it for her to find, or even have it as the main prize at the end of an Easter egg hunt instead of an egg!


A candle

Candles always make a lovely gift, and you can even find some Easter themed ones which make them even more relevant and sweet at this time of year. Opt for something with a fresh scent to coincide with spring; such as a floral one which would be perfect. This is also a great way to pay homage to the real meaning behind Easter if she celebrates it in terms of religion, too.

Easter themed bath gifts

That’s right; we even came across some amazing Easter themed bath gifts on our hunt for inspiration. Our favourites have to be from Lush Cosmetics, as their collection includes a bunny shaped bath bomb, a glittery golden egg bath bomb and carrot soap. They’re all reasonably priced too, and you can mix and match the items to make them into more of a gift set as well.