My perfect day at Center Parcs Then and Now

cp1As I have mentioned in previous posts about Center Parcs I have holidayed in Center Parcs a lot! As a child I didn’t go abroad until I was 16. My parents took the decision that they would rather my sister and I have an extended (14 day) holiday in the UK with money to spare for meals out and fun activities as opposed to having a shorter budget blowing holiday abroad. So that’s what we did, every summer for years and years we’d load the car, strap our bikes to the back and head to Sherwood Forest for two full weeks. I didn’t realise until adulthood how special this was as it meant my parents had booked a consecutive weekend break followed by a midweek break, twice!

After a break in visiting Center Parcs for university and holidays abroad I’ve recaptured the love of Center Parcs as an adult myself, with my extended family trying to get together there at least once a year. Therefore as my entry to the “my perfect day competition” I thought I would tell you what my perfect day at center parcs is now, as well as what it was back when I was teenager.

Then:cp3

Wake up in our cabin excited for the day ahead. Quickly get dressed, gobble down breakfast grab my swimming bag and head out of the door with my older sister. We’d unchain our bikes and go for a quick cycle to the pool so we are standing outside ready for it to open : ) Mum and Dad at this point are probably just getting out of bed, safe in the knowledge that the park is safe and secure for their two teenage daughters to go off on our own without getting into trouble.

My sister and I will rush through the changing rooms and head straight for the rapids. Here we will spend the next few hours almost constantly going around and around and around the rapids (once new swimming costumes had to be purchased as we wore the bottoms out of them going down the rapids to often!)

When hunger started to strike we’d go down to the swimming pool seating area where we’d find our parents had finally arrived and had sent up “camp” on some loungers and chairs, packed lunch and all. My mum with a cocktail in hand pretending she was in the tropics (I don’t think they serve cocktails in the pool now, but they did back in the day) Lunch would be had by the pool.image2

On many days we’d stay in the pool right up until dinner time. But on others we’d go back to the cabin for a quick change and then head out to the sports center. As a whole family we’d have a game of badminton, mum and dad would stay for a coffee and to read the papers and Nicola and I would be off again on our bikes again, cycling round the grounds and stopping off at various play grounds along the way.

We’d meet up as a family in the cabin for our tea, and then spend the evening playing board games the family favourite being Risk, before crashing for an early night into our beds completely worn out and very happy.

My favourite memories from these times are the freedom my sister and I had to go off and explore and have our own adventures. Then when we did get together as a family we really enjoyed each other’s company.

Now:DSC05131

Wake up, probably still quite early as the baby will dictate as such, we’ll stay in our PJ’s playing in the living room and watching the ducks and squirrels outside on the patio whist we eat sausage sandwiches for breakfast. We’d get up and dressed at a very leisurely pace and then put Jake in his pram and be out the door for about 11am, first point of call is Starbucks for two large lattes : )

We’ll then go for a long walk around the park grounds with our coffees in hand. Stopping to take pictures by the lake. We’ll head back to the cabin for lunch and for Jake to have a nap. In the afternoon we’ll go to the paint a pot studio (picking up another Starbucks on the way) and spend an hour or so painting a pot, Jake currently has two money boxes and a Santa plate courtesy of the center parcs paint a pot studio : )

We’ll then go for a quick swim in the pool spending our time in the warmth of the baby pools and the wave pool. After swimming we’ll go back to the cabin give Jake his dinner and get him in his PJ’s, he’ll go to sleep really well thanks to all the fresh air he’s had! Then we’ll order a massive Indian takeaway and enjoy it with a couple of beers. Usually we’re at center parcs with extended family so Jamie can go off to the sports bar to watch some football, and I can stay in the cabin reading a stash of girly magazines and painting my toe nails, ahh bliss.DSC05191

We’ll go to bed relaxed, calm and happy. Ready do the exact same thing the next day. wonderful.

P.S I hope you enjoy the photos of me a Center Parcs through the ages! (Sorry about the quality of the older pictures)

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 January challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest. My favourite part of the Center Parcs advert is the family going down the rapids : )

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