We’ve just arrived home from our annual Spring trip to Center Parcs and we had the BEST time. We went to Sherwood Forest in Nottingham again, purely because it is the nearest to us and literally takes around 90 mins to get to. The weather was cold but fine and only rained once or twice which didn’t really matter because we were in the pool!
This time around we went for something a little bit special and decided to stay in an Exclusive Lodge with a games room and hot tub. It was heavenly! The decor was beautiful, modern and stylish, plus across two floors so when we (eventually) puts kids in bed for the night, they were able to get a decent sleep without being disturbed. We had a pool table and games galore including a pretty fabulous wooden snakes and ladders board game, which the kids loved. The games room did have a games console BUT you had to pay £100 refundable deposit for the controllers and games which we weren’t told about before we arrived, so we ended up just leaving that. Adam totally whipped my arse at pool, despite the years of training my Grandad gave me as a child, I was no match for his miss spent early twenties in the local pub. I did beat him at a game of Killer, which was a great source of pride for me.
The hot tub, sauna and steam room were huge highlights, not just for us but especially for the boys who jumped in there every opportunity they got – stark-bollock naked, unless you count a pair of goggles?
As always we spent a pretty decent amount of time in the pool, which is always amazing for us. We adore swimming and playing in the pool. The boys take great delight in watching Daddy throw me down the rapids (jerk) and enjoyed following me down the first half to laugh at me. It’s amusing to think that in a few years time they will be able to throw me down on their own… Edith really preferred the hot tub to anything else, though she did take a few trips down the rides with her big brother and joined us in the big pool for some splashing and fun. This time we booked the boys on to a jet-skiing experience in the pool and they LOVED it. 100% a highlight of our holiday, especially for them.
As well as fun in the pool we did other things too! We have learnt over the years that there is something nice about booking breakfast passes for the adults (not the kids, they have cereal at the lodge and then play while we have breakfast) each morning we had a delicious late breakfast at The Forester, Cafe Rouge (eggs benedict with ham is lovely!) and the Sports Bar – best for value and sausages! Can’t recommend the passes enough as we saved a fortune because the sizes were so good we were full until dinner with maybe a portion of chips to share between us.
On Tuesday evening we took the kids bowling, and thy had such a blast! Toby won, closed followed by me and Daddy, but he was so pleased with himself when he scored a strike – much to his brother’s dismay!
We also took the chance to go pottery painting this time, something I ask the boys to do every time and they always refuse. I pre booked it for the Wednesday morning and after breakfast we dragged them into the studio, complete with grumbles and protests… Until they saw the things they could paint! Reuben chose a Lightening McQueen car that he wanted to make into a bat car and Toby chose a Nemo money box. Both myself and my mum decided we’d paint with the kids, I wanted a tea pot with the kids handprints on and mum wanted to make a jug to go with it using their fingerprints. Turns out they had pre-arranged to make it for mummy as a Mother’s Day gift of sorts, which I adore.
On Thursday we went Den building. It was genuinely one of the best things we have done at Center Parcs, so funny and definitely a competitive Dad activity. Needless to say, we didn’t win the pissing contest that was taking place and Adam really wasn’t fussed, but some of the Dads made the whole event the most amusing thing, I’m not kidding when I say one guy built the den, a fireplace and a BBQ with kitchen table outside! Our den was pathetic to say the least but we loved building it… In the event of an apocalypse, we’re fucked.
The whole trip was so wonderful, I can’t help but feel a bit depressed to come home. The boys are asking when we can go back already and repeatedly requesting a hot tub for the garden! I definitely recommend going mid-week as it was quieter and better value for money with the extra day you got, not to mention less expensive to begin with. I will say I am worse than the kids when it comes to coming home as I tend to have a few tears myself! I’m already looking forward to revoking, thought with our big holiday to Disney World this year I don’t know if we will be able to make it for Santa’s Winter Wonderland or leave it for next January.