We’ve had a jam packed weekend this week involving lots of outdoor family fun. The weather was kind to us with only one or two very small light showers which didn’t dampen our spirits although our poor legs are certainly feeling the strain from all the miles we’ve walked! After our first outing on Saturday morning I learnt my lesson (cue an overtired 4 year old!) and took the Yippie Yo crossbuggy with us for the kids to hop in when they got tired for the rest of the weekend. It was an absolute lifesaver! I’m so glad we have it for them to sit down when they are tired and also for piling all our gear on to, including the picnic and raincoats!
So what did we get up to? Well, on Saturday we headed over to Bullcroft Park in Wallingford and (after getting lost and walking an extra half a mile to find the entrance!) we took part in Xplorer orienteering which was a free family event. We were given a map showing the park and positions of colour coded markers for the 2 different challenges (red and blue).
We decided to do both challenges so set off around the park to find them. The red markers had a picture of an animal which you needed to name on your challenge sheet, while the blue markers had the name of a bird as well as a question for you to answer about the bird (choosing from answers A,B or C).
We spent over 1.5 hours exploring the park and finding each marker and by the end of it Cody was exhausted! Both he and Lois were however very pleased to get a sticker and certificate at the end for completing the challenge. There are more Xplorer events due to take place (including Halloween and Xmas themed ones I am told!) so do have a look on their website to find an event near you: http://www.xplorer.org.uk/
After a pit stop at home to refuel (have lunch!) we headed to Milton Manor for their annual Storyfest event. We went last year after hearing good things about it and really enjoyed ourselves. This year was no exception and with the weather staying dry this time we had a great afternoon exploring the Manor grounds. The event costs just £1 per person which goes to charity. Children are given a card with pictures of children’s story books on and they must find the characters around the Manor and get their card stamped. The characters move around a lot so its not as easy as you might think to find them all, especially as there are so many and not all of them are on every card! We gave it a valiant effort but unfortunately didn’t manage to complete our cards (we didn’t last year either!) Finding the characters was Lois and Cody’s favourite part of the day though and they enjoyed getting the stamps.
Another highlight of the Storyfest is meeting the visiting authors and poets who give talks on their work, do illustration demonstrations and readings from their books. It’s a great way to inspire young readers and budding authors. This year we saw David Melling (well known for his Hugless Douglas stories) , Chris Mould (known for his Pocket Pirates stories) and poet John Foster. We loved seeing David Melling and Chris Mould drawing some of the characters from their books and were lucky enough to be given one of the pictures! It will be framed and put up on the wall. We also had one of our books signed by David Melling which was very exciting and will be treasured.
Other activities at the Storyfest included pony rides, tractor rides, Mad Hatters tea party, fire truck, alpacas, tree house, gruffalo trail, the list goes on! There was loads to do and at £1 per person its a bargain of a day out! Plus you get to have cuddles with Hugless Douglas 😉 Looking forward to next years event 🙂
On Sunday we put our National Trust passes to good use and went to the 1940s living history weekend at Hughenden Manor in High Wycombe. We enjoyed seeing a rather noisy demonstration of the various weapons of that era, plus vehicles, music, punch and judy shows, war memorabilia and a fly-over of a spitfire and hurricane. We also enjoyed watching a small skirmish re-enactment which Cody thought was great.
We listened to a fascinating talk about the paratroopers and got to see lots of their equipment and weapons as well as hear some real life stories from the war. I love the fact that our annual passes get us into these events for free and we can just head off wherever we like at the weekends. The membership is so worth the money, especially now lots of our friends have got them too so we can enjoy free days out together in the school holidays. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of these special events as we love living history ones.
So that was our jam packed weekend. We certainly earned our take away on Sunday night, especially after pulling the crossbuggy around! On the plus side all that exercise has meant that I’ve lost 2lb!! Woohoo go me!