We know the weather’s about to turn any minute now, and in some places, it’s already started. Right now, it’s the in-between stage between the joys of summer’s freedom and the excitement for winter, Christmas, overindulgence, spending time with the family, and of course, presents.
It’s also the time of year where you can feel a little lost. The kids are back to school, and you’re back to the daily grind. It’s not unusual to get itchy feet already. Thankfully, October half-term is right around the corner, so you can squeeze the last bits of energy out the year to tide you over until Christmas.
As last-minute plans go, you’ll not be able to whisk the fam away to the Maldives for a week (if only). However, there are still plenty of options closer to home to check out so you and the family can expel some energy in the run-up to Christmas.
The sudden fall of Thomas Cook may have put you off trusting in package holidays. They weren’t the only option, though. Other companies still offer excellent deals for families on a budget and not as well as being short on time. Being so close to Europe’s sunny coasts, you can jump on a plane and enjoy the surf against your toes in a matter of hours.
It’s a great way to ease yourself into the colder months, even if you won’t be away for too long. You’ll still get the chance to finish off the rest of the suncream you spent a fortune on at the beginning of the year.
If you end up where it’s acceptable to rock shorts, socks, and sandals (like a proper Dad), make sure you remember caps, suncream, shades, and any other essentials to protect your kids (and you!) from the sun.
The good news is that if you want to find somewhere the temperature is more than a little mild, you have plenty of options around the UK and Ireland. It’s this time of year where it’s still pleasant enough to spend the day elsewhere, but not warm enough that you can spend all day outside.
If you want to really get into the autumn spirit, though, there are hundreds of family-friendly activities around the country, all with a seasonal theme. You can visit apple picking farms and pumpkin patches just in time for Halloween, or take a brisk walk along one of the many National Trust trails. There’s sure to be one close.
Throwing on your autumn clothes, lacing your boots up, and filling a Thermos full of tea, coffee, or soup along with snacks for the car ride there. Don’t forget your phone, either, as the pictures of your kids reaching for apples and hiding in hollowed-out pumpkins won’t take themselves.
You don’t need to plan a whole week away. Sometimes the kids can expel their pent up post-summer energy in just a day. Taking a family day out to one of the many adventure parks and theme parks around the country is a superb way to get some fresh air and have some fun.
Places such as Conkers in Derbyshire or Drayton Manor and Alton Towers are tried and tested winners sure to have your kids begging never to leave. However, they can be a little expensive, so try to budget as best as you can.
If you want to make sure your kids learn something while they’re having fun (bonus points if you do it without them realising), you can take them to Science or History centres such as Magma. These are places that will wow them with attractions and exhibits they won’t experience stuck in the classroom.
If you’re more of an outdoorsy family, then there’s nothing better than scaling the heights around the country and taking a hike through the Peak District, Lake District, or going one step further and attempting some of the highest points in the country.
Taking a trip to Scotland or Wales will be a refreshing change of scenery for everybody and gives you the chance to get in some exercise. You don’t need to scale the whole peak, but getting high enough to show your kids the wonders of the UK that are too easily forgotten could inspire a love out the outdoors within them easier than expected.
Somewhere To Remember
No matter how long or short they are, family holidays are an excellent time for bonding and building experiences that you can look back on years later. You can reminisce and laugh, and you can remember silly accidents, great food, and fantastic adventures. Great times don’t always need lots of planning, and sometimes, the most significant times are the ones you decide to just do.