Tuesday, 29 October 2019

TRAVEL // Center Parcs {A Perfect Winter Break}

Center Parcs Family Holidays

Every January my family take the time to spend five days at Center Parcs. As my family own a florist shop the rest of the year is pretty full with weddings, but January is always a time when the shop is quite quiet. We started going the year after Etta was born and I’ve made sure to book it into my diary every year since. I never knew a January holiday would be so needed. In fact sometimes I think we look forward to Center parcs more than we do Christmas. It is just the most easy break for us all.

I always think the Center Parcs adverts on TV really capture what it’s all about; getting away from reality and finding peace in nature. There is just something about being able to walk through the trees to an activity that brings such satisfaction. And in January the coldest and greyest month of the year, it is nice to find peace and prettiness in the outside world.

I don’t know if Center Parcs is great value for money as it is very cheap in term time and very expensive in the holidays but like all holidays you just have to decide how much you need a break. Depending on the size of family if you get different size chalets and depending on how much a luxury you want you can go from basic to almost penthouse style living. The thing is as always with travel and holidays that you make your own fun, you make your own experience and you make the holiday what you want it to be.

For us, we are swimmers, our children are water babies and all they are really interested in is the time at the pool. And for Rob and I it's pretty much the same; we could be at the pool from opening till closing every day if you wanted to enjoy the warm atmosphere, the fun rides and just playing together. With food available, and this spring, a whole new children’s area, Tropical pool is the best venue for us to spend our time. This year we went to the sports centre and played tennis with loads of other options of activities available but for us it was extra expense when our kids didn’t really require the additional entertainment. However it all looks fun and all looks like you could spend days trying out new activities and developing your skills.

Usually my entire family goes on this trip. It’s hard for my sister-in-law who is a teacher and simply can’t leave school in term time. When there are eight of you though there’s always going to be one sibling that can’t make it to everything; it’s not very often we are a full unit but it doesn’t stop us all having fun when we see each other. Now with seven children between us it changes how the holiday works and it changes how we eat and socialise with each other. We have three chalets due to the number of us and we play between all of them sharing drinks and food when we can. There’s always one night when the boys head off to the sports bar for pool and chicken wings and to be honest I think by the time the evening comes round us girls are exhausted and usually end up in bed first.

We often find taking plenty of board games is a good idea and Mexican train seemed to be the winner this year. If you haven’t played it, it is a great domino game totally worth getting to entertain for hours.

Most of my photos from the trip are based in the swimming pool because that is where we spend most of our time and we are happy with that arrangement. What’s nicer than being in warm air and having water that you can just run into and splash about for hours. Especially when you can hear the rain pouring down outside. Nothing is more satisfying than that!

I know that Center Parcs has just opened a new park in Northern Ireland and has about five or six up-and-down the country. Center parcs also has parks in France, Germany and Denmark which I would love to try out as I hear that they are amazing! At least we would know what we were heading for and if it’s just a case of catching a ferry across the waters to spend a week in the German forests I will be there in a flash. It’s definitely worth looking into though.

A break in January is honestly perfect to get away and spend some time just with family living life simply; it really focuses me for the coming winter months. I find that I’m in a much better mood and that January is not as dull as some other people find it. In fact there is nothing nicer than having something after Christmas to look forward to.


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