Hi all, I’ll jump write in. The 8th of January is “the best day of the year” as it is Jordan’s birthday! However, unlike the rest of the world’s population, my better half’s birthday is adamant hers is actually a birthday-week… or so I’m told haha.
It is becoming a tradition since the arrival of our little man that we spend the week at Center Parcs, Sherwood. This would be our 3rd visit in as many years.
As always, we prebook Archie’s activities as well as our tables for dinner well in advance of us going there. This helps to save money and to make sure we get seated as it can be extremely busy as we learned from our first visit. The week’s itinerary for Archie consisted of; Balancer bikes, A toddler party, A teddy bears picnic, soccer play and a couple hours visit to the creche to give me and Jordan a rest. This list does not include the hours to be spent at the children’s discos, the soft play areas, meal times and the huge swimming pools and slides that Center Parcs holds. Needless to say, we knew it was gonna be a busy week for the little man.
After a 3PM check in on our first day, we headed straight to the Italian restaurant for dinner. To Archie’s amazement, there was a real vespa scooter just inside the door that you could sit on… we opted to sit Archie to wear he couldn’t see it during dinner haha. After eating body weight in pizza, spaghetti and a huge calzone, we headed for the sports bar where we knew there was a small soft play area for Archie to burn off some energy. He’s currently got this thing where he prefers playing with older children rather than toddlers, it was therefore hilarious watching him trying to fathom the rules of “Tig”.
The cabin/ villa we were staying in this year had two bedrooms. This was due to Archie being too big to sleep in a travel cot so now he had his own “big boy bed” in his own room. We were slightly worried due to the fact he hasn’t been sleeping too well recently but to our surprise we didn’t hear a peep from him all night… most nights ha!
Tuesday only consisted of the one activity for the day for Archie, and did we know about it!!! After a fry up made by Jordan in the villa, we headed to the sports hall where Archie would be taking part in the ‘Teach me balance bikes’ activity. We’ll just say he wasn’t too keen. To our embarrassment, he basically just screamed at the bike for an hour and despite the staff’s best efforts, the most he would do was to walk around the course with the bike and pretend to wash it with a sponge! (It looked a good little activity though for anyone else thinking of taking their toddlers haha).
Later that evening after a decent curry at the Indian restaurant we decided that we’d take Archie to the kiddie disco. Here, he was in his element as he was able to show his moves. Me and Jordan managed to find a table at the front of the dance floor to sit and let him get on with it… he didn’t want us to ruin his vibe anyway. Unlike a normal kiddie disco that lasts for about an hour or so, this one started at 6PM and finished at 9.30PM!!
Waking up with hangovers Wednesday morning, including Archie, we got ready to take Archie to another party. This time it was the ‘Toddler party hour’ activity in one of the sports hall rooms. It consisted of a few different musical games with prizes, of which, he won “musical bumps” and had the choice of sweets, chocolates or raisins – he almost went for the raisins and I swear to god I nearly disowned him… he had a pack of chocolate buttons in the end.
The little man was booked into the Creche on the Wednesday afternoon for a couple hours. For anyone planning on going to Center Parcs, the whole children’s area is extremely well set up and safe. During the two hours he was there, me and Jordan headed to the bar for a couple drinks not far away just incase we had a call saying he was upset. After half an hour we concluded that he was fine and we ended up heading back to the villa for a nap haha. In previous years, we used the time to book into the cave diving experience there which is also very good.
On the morning of our final full day we had our breakfast and got Archie ready for what we knew would be his favourite activity ‘soccer play’ in the morning followed by the ‘Teddy bear picnic lunch’ activity at midday. We arrived at the sports hall again, Archie this time donning his England Kit. The activity organiser had set up various small warm ups and drills with many cones. It was only gonna go well with a group of 2-4 year olds though surely?? … To our surprise it actually did.
Archie especially enjoyed the drills and you could see him really concentrating on what the staff member was explaining what to do. Eventually though, our fears came true and it did just turn to a free-for-all with all the children running around with their footballs. Archie has now got to the point where he is that fast at running that you actually have to run yourself to catch him, dammit!
After soccer play, we headed back to the villa to get Archie changed for the teddy bear picnic and to of course pick up ‘Mr Bunny’ to take along with us – “rabbit” really does come everywhere with us haha. It just so happened that the organiser for this activity was the same woman who helped Archie a couple days before with the balance bikes, she immediately recognised him and gave him a big fuss, which was nice. Each of the children received a small Centre Parcs teddy and eventually also got a small lunch box with jam sandwiches, crisps, juice and raisins inside that they had to collect from ‘Bramble’ the bear.
Before all of that though, they all had to find him by going on a bear hunt which is one of Archie’s favourite stories so he got really involved with the rhymes and actions. Bramble was eventually found hiding in a bear cave which looked very similar to a broom cupboard!? I can only imagine how long he had to sit there before we found him hahaha.
All in all it was yet another fantastic week at Center Parcs and I’ve not even really touched the surface with all that happened. From seeing squirrels everywhere to going swimming on our last day. Recommend it to anybody, but remember to book mealtimes and activities before you go!
Thanks for reading!
Tom, Jordan & Archie x