We spent fathers day at Lotherton Hall, near Leeds. I love nothing more than escaping for the day with my little family, forgetting about the stresses of the never-ending to-do list, housework and just everyday life. We have been so busy recently with our allotment, that time together has been really limited. Either Mr T or I have been working at the allotment most weekends and evenings. When we are at home, with our structures and routines, the days seem to pass so quickly. Even more so now we have two children in full-time school. We all miss Mr T when he is at work, and James and Lily when they are at school. It’s nice to spend time together at the weekend, just enjoying each others company.
We decided to spend the day at Lotherton Hall. I used to visit Lotherton Hall as a child and I have fond memories of spending hours walking around the garden and playing games on the lawn. I hope that one day our munchkins will take their children there, and hopefully they might invite us too!
A surprise day for the munchkins.
We decided to keep the day-out a secret from the children, and told them we were going to our allotment. I thought they would suspect something when we put the girls in their new dresses and sandals, we usually insist on old jeans and wellies! They suspected something when we headed in the wrong direction but we managed to distract them. They eventually realised when we parked the car that we had come to explore and enjoy the day!
Our first task was to find somewhere to eat our picnic lunch. We found some gorgeous huge solid wood picnic tables in the middle of a huge park, what could be better? The children managed to eat one sandwiches and they decided that they were full and there was exploring that needed to be done, so we paused the picnic to try the zipwire.
The zip wire, and our picnic table in the background.
Bad Parent Alert…
After a few million turns on the zipwire, we decided to continue with the picnic. We don’t often give the children fizzy drinks, so they were completely over the moon with a can of fizzy cola. James has been asking for a ‘full can of cola’ to himself for a few weeks, and we said he could as a treat. Our little family have a rule where we treat everyone the same, so not giving the girls a can too, would have resulted in mass meltdown! I was a bit reluctant to give 3-year-old Amy one, if only for the fear she would bounce home on the E numbers… but luckily she didn’t drink more than half and only bounced a little!
When I first had children I vowed that they would eat nothing but healthy food, but parenting is a little different from what I imagined it to be! Now I am a huge fan of
keeping them quiet so we can relax teaching them about moderation, and the benefits of eating healthily. I am pretty sure the at least one member of the parenting brigade were out and about though 😉
The Bird Garden
We set off to explore the bird garden, really enjoyed the it, especially Ava, who loves animals. I think the flamingos were our favourites. It was really spacious with lots of room to see all the animals. We chose to be pushchair free for the day, and I wrapped Ava on my back. which gave her an excellent view of all the birds. It was so nice being pushchair free, leaving us free to hold the children’s hands. I even got to hold Mr T’s hand for a few fleeting moments!
Avas favouite part was the ‘Into Africa’ exibit, a walk in aviary. She really enjoyed being close to the birds and watching them move and fly.
The second park
Next up was a trip to the second park, which James had talked about non-stop all way through the bird garden! There was so much to do, and the equipment is nicely spaced out so it doesn’t feel crowded. The play areas are covered with the safety tarmac, that’s so bouncy its almost trampoline like!
We decided to walk back through the first park, towards the car at hometime.
The beautiful gardens.
I really wanted to explore and take some more photos in the gardens, but by that time Ava had fallen asleep and it was starting to rain, so we had to escape back to the car. We also didn’t get a chance to explore the edwardian style house, or the deer park, which was a shame.
A Family Photo
My favourite photo for the day has got to be this one. We have been working so hard recently, it was nice to slow down, explore, talk and laugh with the children. It was nice to forget about the housework, endless to do lists and everyday stresses. It has been a timely reminder to slow down and make the most of what lifes all about, these guys.