It’s the start of my annual leave and it is my mission to become a thrifty mum and save myself some pennies. I’m determined to give Noah a good week as I work full time and really want to make my time off with him special and memorable 😍. I genuinely love spending time with Noah when he’s not been miserable or going though one of ‘those phases!’ You know the ones that make you completely question yourselves and quickly crush any ideas of ever having another child!! 😂
Anyway Monday came around too quickly as normal but for once I didn’t have those Monday morning blues! 5 weeks annual leave is definitely never enough so I was feeling particularly motivated despite a pretty rough night with Noah’s teething. With Mummy dosed up on coffee and Noah dosed up on calpol, we were ready for that days adventures. I was intending on taking a bus trip into town which Noah absolutely loves and it kills a good chunk of time. I think because I always drive everywhere, different modes of transport are particularly exciting. We were going to the Seaside in the Square event in Southampton to make sand drawings, however the days plans soon had to change when I realised that Neil had gone off with my purse in his car. Eurgh! First drama of the week at exactly 10am Monday morning! Luckily I’d bought a few things from Poundland the week before to keep him entertained! These includes: some kites for our beach trip, a ribbon streamer and some patio chalks!
The patio chalks kept him entertained for absolutely ages!! He was happy as drawing everywhere on the patio and kept looking at me like he’d done something naughty… bless him! I also set up a mini ball pool using his paddling pool and opened the sand tray to prompt him to use it. I found that giving him set activities made him enjoy the day so much more as he didn’t get whingey at all. This also meant that I could do the housework which, not going to lie, made me feel like we both had a great start to the week!! Clear house, clear mind and all that!
So Tuesday, I decided with fuel in the car and a picnic in tow to venture out to the New Forest. We decided to go the New Forest Reptile Centre with my mum, 9 year old brother and her dog. The Reptile Centre is small and we were only there for half hour or so. Noah enjoyed looking at the snakes, frogs and a lizard which I’ll be honest were an absolute mission to find.
They also had a small learning area with fossils, bones and antlers there which were really good as Noah got to hold and feel them. He was particularly interested in the bugs they had in little jars until he emptied one out on the floor. 😂 cheers Noah! After I profoundly apologised to the friendly staff, we decided to venture out to the woodland walk. There was a decent walk that took around an hour with dens located in the woods and lots of wildlife to be seen. They had a reptile hunt along the way which is better for older kids as Noah was more interested in frisbeeing the information sheet!
Back at the start of the walk, there is a small picnic area that we went to once we returned to enjoy our lunch… Noah’s favourite part of the day!!! There were picnic benches, grass areas, toilet facilities and even an ice cream van there that day! We had a great couple of hours and it cost absolutely nothing. The Reptile Centre including parking is free but obviously donations are welcome! It’s a great place to get outside, check out some wildlife and enjoy a nice walk and I’d definitely go again!
After that we saw my grandparents for a quick cuppa and headed out into the forest to pick some blackberries. We collected a whole tubs worth to make our crumble with later in the week! After this day, I had a very tired but happy boy who enjoyed spending the day exploring the world!
On Wednesday we went to Lepe beach. If you haven’t been there since they’ve refurbished it then you really should. There’s a beautiful cafe with a look out to the sea, a sensory garden and a decent play park. We took our picnic and ventured out there despite the fact the weather wasn’t great. Noah flew a kite for the first time, which he absolutely loved!! I bought the kites from Poundland and to be honest, they did fall apart about 42 times but for a quid I didn’t care, it just got binned at the end of the day. We enjoyed our picnic on the green area while Noah kicked his football around and played on the play park.
After our picnic, we spent the afternoon on the beach. The weather wasn’t great so it was more of a welly afternoon rather than freezing to death paddling bare foot! Noah absolutely loved splashing about and hunting around in the sea as the tide was out. He spent well over an hour collecting stones and even found a crab!! 🦀. There really is nothing better than a beach trip, costs nothing and so much learning and experiences to be had!
When we woke up on Thursday, the weather was absolutely miserable! Typical that is decides to piss it down when we have plans. With wellies, rain coats and towels in tow, we decided to carry on with our plans for the day and hope the weather turned around. Luckily it did!! We had an absolutely lovely day with our best friends Hanna, Darcie and baby Ernie! (If you don’t already follow @littlesnippets go and do it now!!!) We went to the Children’s Pleasure Park at Southampton Sports Centre. It was a very traditional play park that actually ended up being really cute. I saw on the local news, that the business was struggling which was so sad to hear after the family have owned it for years.
Anyway it’s not the biggest fairgrounds but there’s various slides, go karts, carrousels, swings and trampolines. It cost £10 for 16 tokens (each ride is 1 token.) You can also keep the tokens if you didn’t use them all for another day! This is what happened to us only using 6 tokens. We enjoyed a picnic on the nearby field and there’s also a play park next to it for a lunchtime break. I would definitely recommend giving the Pleasure Park a go if you’re local, they’re currently repainting everything to it and it’s actually super cute and a pretty cheap day out indeed!
Friday, we ventured up to Andover to meet some of our mum friends that I met through a social media network. Our toddlers are all really closely in age and we have met up quite a lot since they were born. It’s actually amazing to have such a fab network on mums that I can share, laugh and moan with about our horrible children! 😉. Anyway, we went to a messy play class which Noah absolutely hated for the first 10 minutes! He gets really overwhelmed sometimes despite the fact he socialises a lot, goes to nursery and does a lot of different activities… I’m hoping it’s just an age thing and he’ll grow out of it. Once he’d stopped screaming the place down shouting ‘muuummmyyyy’ he actually really enjoyed it.
They had water beads, magic sand, painting, water play, ball painting and just normal toys out so lots of different options for them to play with. The class cost £5 and it’s worth that just to get up and walk away from the mess! I love messy play, in fact Noah’s first birthday was a messy play party, but I can’t cope with the mess. Or the fact that it takes longer to set up and tidy then it does for them to retain their attention on it. After the class we walked to my friends house and had a play date. It was lovely for the kids to play while we gossiped and had a good old chit chat!
Saturday, we had a super lazy morning ready to head over to my mums in the afternoon for family day! And when I say family day, I mean drinking lots of pink gin while the kids play. Winning situation if you ask me.
Let’s just say Sunday, Mummy and Daddy weren’t feeling their best so Daddy treated us to a McDonald’s and we spent the afternoon snuggled up on the sofa watching films! There really is better way to spend a Sunday then snuggled with my boys! ❤️
I’ve had a lovely week off with my special dude and have really proved to myself you can do lots of activities without costing money. I already did my food shop and filled my car up so that helped massively but other than that I spent a grand total of… £21!!!
£10 for the pleasure park but I still have token lefts so that’s another day out sorted!
£5 for the messy play class.
£3 for a Tesco meal deal after I forgot our packed lunch on Friday! 🙄
£3 on pick and mix… this one wasn’t for Noah! 😂
And because I saved so much money this week, even treated myself to a bottle of pink gin which I’m definitely not going to count in the budget! I mean I deserve it after this week right?!
If you have ideas for low cost days out with your little ones, then please send them my way! Always looking for new things to do to entertain my high energy toddler! 💕