Updated: Nov 7, 2019
Im sorry .... I am on of those Mums now, that likes to stay busy and I love school holidays and summer. It stems from when I was a nanny, having my wee one free all day everyday for an extended period of time was bliss to me. No classes, expectations having to stay in for lunch , etc. It like the weekly rules went out the door. Me and the other nannies would get together a week or two before holidays and get the diaries out, or a large A5 sheet of paper with crudely drawn dates grid on it. We would pencil in plans. All day outings to farms, zoos, playdates, days to the park with the water fountains. Steam trains. When they were older plays for kids, summer classes. Especially when wee bit older, tennis clubs and drop offs. But that comes later. We would fill in our days for the holidays till the pages were dripping with ink. Everyone had a playdate at their house , so everyone did a lunch at some point, so costs were shared. Lots of free things to do as well. But we would have something to do, every couple of days, if not every day....... It can be lonely for Mums with wee ones when classes all shut down for the break. But a bit of enthusiasm and ice breaking ( and I don't just mean summer cocktails ) with friends and you can get some dates in the diaries.
I fully intend to do that here , so if you know me, get ready I will be calling to get some dates into the book ! ImDreaming so looking forward to exploring the area. We live in such a beautiful bit of the emerald isle. It has sea, and vast landscapes and quaint towns and hidden away cafes and ice-cream places, so many wee gems ! This time last year I was heavily pregnant and I sat in what I am being told was a freak summer sun for this time of year and or area ! Dreaming up what I was going to do next year with little squirmy one in my tummy. And now we are here.....
Some ideas to get out and about
Get Lost, In The Ports - all of them from Portrush to Portballintre, Ballintoy to Ballycastle, all have in parts a nice walk around them , good cafes, a playground somewhere and ice-cream ( a staple for a summer jaunt )! You can even if feeling adventurous almost walk from Portstewart to Ballycastle. Well maybe not, but there are huge chunks of coast that you can walk around especially up and around the Giants Causeway ( the tram line )
Get touristy. I definitely found that if you live in and around the place, you don't tend to do the tourist thing. But you should. Imagine you were a tourist or you have guest not been here before, where would you go. The Train to Derry , have lunch there , walk around a bit and back again through the countryside. Ballintoy where GOT was filmed, wonderful wee old Fishermans cottage on the harbour to get sweet treats from. The train from Bushmills to Giants Causeway. The Lough Foyle Ferry over to Donegal. Things as locals you ignore or disregard.
Get wet. There are so many beaches , even if you just dip a toe they are still lovely to wander , even in the wind and rain ! Get a buggy with BIG WHEELS and go explore the sand and dunes, with bigger ones the rock pools and caves. From Downhill and Castlerock, that are pretty much empty to the Ports and White cliffs. Also I saw that the water play is up and running again in Portstweart playground, hot day , uv suit and bubs can quite happily sit in a puddle to cool down. All the leisure centres are open for business but do go early as it can get manic.
Get athletic. I mean get a bike, pop a baby seat onto back and off you go ! So many cycle lanes out there and wonderful country side to explore. Use the big wheeled buggy mentioned above to get out and about in your local area or drive to somewhere you can get the breeze in your hair and sun in your face and bubs will sleep deeply while you have aforementioned ice-cream !
Get on my FACEBOOK, shameless plug but people send me stuff about what is on in our area, there are classes, farm days, pirates in the ports, big wheels , school fares and bun sales. Camps for older kids and fun days out.
Get friendly, those with kids are busy, and especially older ones, who are now off school. So give them and call and reconnect. Invite everyone over, put out a blanket and snacks, let the kids go feral and you have a good natter. More the merrier !
Support Local, garden centres, cafes, libraries, softplay centres, all manor of businesses. Arrive on mass, on just on your own. There are a lot of kid friendly places that you will be bound to see a familiar face or bring one. But helping our local businesses and encouraging them to have space for buggies, mummy's and mess is good for all of us !
So again , Im sorry but I love FREE TIME as such. I love the whole day stretching out and having somewhere to go. I love letting my bubs sleep in the car or the buggy for her naps if we are out and about and living our best life ( stole that from the Americans ) Getting sandy or dirty, wet, or sun kissed, outside with friends or inside on a mass playdate. Im getting my juices flowing to get the pen to paper and round up my ladies.... When are you free?