My 4 year old boy is seemingly obsessed by weapons. Swords. Guns. Kitchen roll tubes. If you can point it at someone, make a stupid noise, and if your mummy isn’t looking, whack your sister around the head with it, it’s the number one toy. This was not my choice. Not my intention. I’m sure if you’d asked me 5 years ago whether I’d let my children play with toy guns I’d have vehemently told you that I would not. But for our family at least, it seemed a un-winnable cause. I blame ‘magazines’. Back in the day of my mum buying me ‘Bunty’, you just got a comic. I do not remember ever receiving a piece of plastic rubbish attached the the front. For my children, particularly my son, this random piece of plastic disguised as a ‘toy’ has some kind of drug like power. I am requested to purchase magazines with ridiculous frequency (at nearly £4 a go this request is barely ever met), yet the actual magazine part is cast instantly aside in favour of the new ‘best toy ever!’. This is how the first ‘gun’ infiltrated our house. Once one was in, it was a slippery slope. Its rare we get past 7.04am without a sword related incident between siblings occurs (fear not for younger siblings….they give as good as they get!).
So what does a parent battling daily sibling sword and gun fights do….sign the family up for a ‘fencing’ lesson. Obviously.
And where would do fencing lessons for 4 year olds…Center Parcs!
We started visiting Center Parcs when our eldest was a baby. Self Catering Lodge, amazing swimming pool, a list of activities longer than your arm, family friendly restaurants and all just 50 minutes drive up the road for us. We were hooked.
We used our son’s school ‘inset’ day after half term for our most recent break. School holiday prices are a little eye watering but a weekend break tied into a school day off, booked far in advance if possible, makes it a little less wallet crunching. Activities are option add-ons, at varying levels of expense. I’m not looking forward to paying for three teenagers to go quad biking but thankfully ‘Fairy Fun Time’ and ‘Soccer Coaching’ are rather more reasonable!
The children enjoy Center Parcs because it’s fun. All go. Activity packed.
The husband enjoys Center Parcs because its active. He sits at a desk 5 days a week. He likes that for us it’s all about the kids. He gets a whole holiday to play. Be crazy.
I love Center Parcs because it is easy. Self catering means we have somewhere for kids to nap, to wash out nappy blow out clothes, that breakfast is instantaneous without a wait till the buffet breakfast is open. I love that it’s kid friendly, loud and un-precious; I’m not worried that my darlings are talking a little too loud, or just can’t remember to walk not run. I love that I don’t have to think; there are suitable food places, toilets, and bordom reducing activities around every corner. I love that they have a creche so I can take the big kids to the pool without having to always hold the baby. I love that even when you don’t have activities booked there is more than enough to do; parks, games arcades, a land train and a whole lot of space to run around.
Our trips to Center Parcs are busy, hectic, loud and crazy but they just feel easy. And easy means relaxed and relaxed means I actually feel like I’m on a break from the daily grind of motherhood of 3, which is pretty tough when you take them with you!
And how did Fencing go, I hear you ask….well basically we taught two kids effective sword fighting techniques. Maybe we didn’t think this quite through. But if you can’t beat them, join them hey!