Wednesday, 18 June 2014

getting the kids out

I'm trying to make sure, that before the school holidays start next week (YAY!) I am fully armed with ideas for places to visit and things to do in the summer holidays.  I thought I'd share my list with you, and see if you can come up with any other ideas?

So here goes:

Out and about:

Exploring local history.  There's bound to be something interesting to go and have a look at in your local area.  If you don't know what it is, then head to the Tourist Information, the Library, or a local museum.  Personally, I'm looking forward to visiting Largs' Museum and Skelmorlie Aisle (a local graveyard which is generally kept locked), and the Ancient Burial Site.  I must admit though, I still haven't found the Museum.  Where is it?

Kelburn castle
Local walks.  Even if you live in a city centre there is bound to be a nice walk not too far from you.  Going with kids will no doubt make your walk longer than without, but it can also make you look at things a whole new way.  Over the holidays I'm looking forward to going for walks around the Kelburn estate, up to the viewpoint, to Greeto Falls, and up Knock Hill (I'm going to attempt to not get scared off by geese this time).

Off to the park.  Our favourite park in Largs is Makerston Park.  But all parks are a good way to keep the kids entertained and active for a while on a nice day.

Swimming.  We love to go swimming, but I need another grown up to take all three kids, so it's not an everyday activity.  That said, I'm planning on regular trips to Vikingar! swimming pool, as well as occasional trips to Hamilton Water Palace.  I've also still not been to the Time Capsule, because the queues are horrific, but we might remedy that this summer.  I'm sure I read something that said that kids swimming is free in North Ayrshire during the summer holidays, so it's a great way to cool off.

Having fun at Finlaystone (thanks to Gillian for the pic)
Active days out.  I think most places have somewhere not too far away with places to play outside and explore nature, and some have the added bonus of a castle.  We have a few.  To start with, we are so lucky to have Kelburn Estate on our doorstep.  They've got lots of things going on in the holidays, and there is so much there to do, indoors and out.  Further afield there's similar at Finlaystone, Eglinton (for free) and Dean Park (again, free).  I've also had Balloch Castle Country Park, by Loch Lomond, recommended. Of course, you don't need to head to a particular destination for an active day out.  You can get on your bike and head off for a picnic, or even take the family to cycle around Cumbrae.

Museums etc.  I'm talking about big ones here.  Many museums are free (you hear that, York), and can provide a great day out.  In Edinburgh there's the National Museum of Scotland (free), which is fab, plus lots of other museums and Galleries.  In Glasgow, again, there are loads, but special mentions must go to the Glasgow Science Centre, the Transport Museum (free, but do pay for your parking or you'll get a hefty fine), and The Lighthouse, because it's unusual, and a nice space in the city centre (plus you can do a double whammy with GOMA).

Pigs at the Museum of Rural Life (see my blog post
about it here)
For more outdoorsy museums check out the Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride or Sumerlee (free) in Coatbridge.  Then there are farm parks.  We don't have many around here, but I've heard that Heads of Ayr is good, and I intend to go there over the holidays.

Castles.  My kids have told me that they're not that interested in castles, which is a shame, because I am.  Here are a few on my list for the holidays: Newark Castle (Historic Scotland, Port Glasgow), Mount Stuart (privately owned), and Rothesay Castle (Historic Scotland), both Isle of Bute; Bothwell Castle (Historic Scotland, nr Glasgow), Dundonald Castle (Historic Scotland), and maybe a biggie like Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle or Linlithgow Palace (all Historic Scotland).

Walks further afield
I asked around to see what walks were recommended, and here's what I've got.  I've not checked them out yet.
  • Start at Cardwell Bay garden centre, and walk the path along past Lunderston Bay at Cardwell heading towards Inverkip. Good for a family amble and the beach and rocks are fun.
  • Head over to Arran. Leave the car behind and get the open top bus to Brodick Castle  (National Trust) or walk along the beach path. 
  • Around Ayr there is Belleisle park and Rozelle park in Alloway, Greenan beach, Croy beach and Dunure Castle all three just past Ayr. 

Rainy days.  In the extremely unlikely event that you get a rainy day in a Scottish summer, there are still lots of things to do.  Museums (see above), Soft plays, Swimming, Ice Skating (Scotland has loads of skating rinks), Cinemas, or, and this may well be a popular option after you've been on all the day trips I've suggested above, you could just stay at home!  You could have a PJ day and watch films, or play computer games, or get out the Scrabble (if you don't have a little girl who likes to hide the tiles), but personally, I'm looking forward to popping the mattresses on the stairs and seeing if I still have the courage to slide down!

Phew!  I'm sure we're going to run out of things to do though.

What about you?  What have you got planned?

Other posts you might like:

The book challenge
Words at 20/6/14 - 90,500.  Yay!  I've broken the 90,000 barrier!
51,500 words done since the challenge began! 9,000 this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 20.
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