Archive of ‘Days Out’ category

Festival Camping Tips – To Make It Feel Like A Holiday!

nozstock family festival

The Tent

You need somewhere to sleep right? but your tent options can be totally overwhelming so it’s important to think about what you really need for your festival camping trip. We needed our tent to be practical and affordable. Struggling to put a tent up and watch a toddler – No Way! Spending a small fortune on top of our family festival pass? No Thanks.

So we found this amazing number from Regatta.

cheap festival tent

This tent was spacious enough for 2 fully grown (and not so small adults) and a mini person (AKA 2-year-old toddler).

It’s ridiculously easy to assemble. You remove the elastic strapping and *POOF* as if by magic, the tent pops out and is ready to be pegged down. Perfect. There were no camping arguments, no need to occupy a toddler while the tent went up and we absolutely maximized our festivalling time because it was so easy.

 

Storage

Storage is KEY for any camping trip and even more important if you are trying to pack light (can that even happen with kids?) Well here’s what we did.

With a small but perfectly formed tent, we used a big plastic trunk to store the majority of our gear and two plastic trug buckets.

Inside our trunk I used a selection of waterproof ‘Dry bags’ to store each of our belongings, this made them easy to grab and use and I knew they would be kept dry.

camping storage

We used inexpensive trug buckets that we already had at home to store a selection of Fred’s toys and also some cold drinks and snacks.

*Tip* – We fed a guide rope from the tent through the handles of the trug before pegging them down and securing them to our home for the weekend.

Our little tent came with a few handy internal pockets that I was able to use to store a drink for Fred overnight and a few other essentials.

Just be as organised as you can, think about what you need, when you will need it and separate those packs up accordingly.

 

Be Prepared For All Weathers

In the UK you can expect to see all weathers in one festival weekend so it’s important to be prepared.

We always go for light layered clothing which makes it easy to move around and essentially some killer waterproof gear.

Regatta makes this easy. Their stylish gear and won’t break the bank. This lightweight coat is easy to store but will help if all that dancing brings on the rain.

cheap womens jacket

For kids, you can’t go wrong with a puddle suit. It will do well in the British rain but is light enough to be rolled up and shoved in your rucksack and the best part, you’ll be getting use out of it long after the festival ends.

cheap kids rain suit

Wellies are totally essential – and here’s a top tip, grab some gel or padded insoles and put a spring in your step all day. Likewise, wellie socks mean that even if the weather brightens up, you can still rock a dress or shorts but keep your feet dry and comfy!

wellies like joules

 

Entertainment

When you travel anywhere with kids you know you need a whole library of goods to keep those little critters entertained and festivalling is no different. You have a huge new space to explore with a million different options to entertain small humans BUT beware boredom and think ahead for entertainment. We packed a small size aquadoodle for Fred, this kept him entertained and within site when we just wanted to grab a coffee. He also adores small cars so we kept a stash in the tent pockets and in our day out rucksack.

 

 

Home Comforts

Hitting up a festival with the family doesn’t mean that you have to leave all your home comforts behind. We always take camping chairs. These are lightweight and portable but mean you can enjoy your morning coffee or late night post gig beer in comfort. Having a childs chair always keeps the little ones interested as well so it’s a great investment. Fred even uses his at home.

cheap camping chair

A door mat was a top tip from one of the readers on our Facebook page. This makes it easier to keep muck outside of your tent which really helps when you are short on space.

Snuggly layers for night time – you want to be warm, so fashion can kind of go out the window but I always camp with a onesie. I will shove it on to lounge around outside the tent and I can also grab it for sleep if the temperature dips too much for my liking.

My own ‘home’ pillow – I always camp with my own pillowcase. It makes it more familiar and comfortable and I do the same for Fred too.

And finally, add in your own special touches. I personally LOVE good coffee so I buy ‘coffee bags’ – It makes all the difference to me in the morning. I also stock pile travel size toiletries because it feels like a treat when you aren’t in your own home comforts to have some snazzy products to use.

We hope you find this little guide really helpful if you are considering a festival with kids. Remember, Kid’s are far more adaptable than we give them credit for. Just relax & enjoy the moment.

Nozstock – An Interview With Founder Ella

festivals with kids

Amongst the melee of music, magic and mayhem at Nozstock this weekend, I managed to grab some time with Ella Nozworthy. Ella is the daughter of ‘Farmer Noz’, who lends his name to the festival. She has a two year old daughter and is expecting her second child later this year. We chatted about festivaling whilst pregnant and with kids and how Nozstock came about.

ella nozworthy

You’ve just organised a festival with hundreds of acts for crowds of thousands of people. And you’re pregnant! How do you feel?

Tired! Though I’ve timed it better this time, because last time I was pregnant I was eight and a half months by the time of the festival, so there was very much a contingency for what would happen if I went into labour whilst the headliner was on! I’m feeling a lot better this time round! Not quite so heavy and waddly round the festival site this time!

I’m obviously having to slow it down a little bit more, and a few of our support staff are having to take on a little more than normal this year. Actually, I’ve tried to use it to my advantage! You’re not expected to walk as much, and if any of the crew sees you carrying anything they take it straight off you. Last year, when I wasn’t pregnant, I was a bit like ‘no lift? Oh fine! I’ll walk to the top of the hill myself then shall I?’ The bands and the artists are also always more friendly when they see you waddling around backstage!

What advice would you give to pregnant mums-to-be who are planning to go to a festival?

Definitely do it – just make sure you’re comfortable! Make sure you’ve got somewhere comfy in the shade to just crash and relax when you need to. But there’s no reason why you should be able to enjoy it and have just as much fun as anyone else.

How has having your own children altered the way you approach running a festival?

It does change the way that you see festivals and Nozstock has changed since I’ve had my baby. It’s enabled me to scope it out from a different point of view. Before I was pregnant I was always keen that there should be loads going on here for kids, but you don’t necessarily think of the logistics. Before my daughter, when people would say ‘should I bring a buggy?’ I would always think, ‘I don’t see why not!’. Now I know from experience how hard it can be to push a pram on grass…or mud!

Nowadays, I’m much more like ‘no! That music must stop at a certain time because the children need to sleep!’ So hopefully, my own experiences of being a parent here are helping to make it easier for families that visit.

nozstock family festival

More and more parents are bringing their kids to festivals. Why do you think that is?

Festivals have generally become more inclusive. If you think of festivals 20 years ago, there was still very much that image of either hippies in a field or moshy music-lovers and that’s what it was all about – standing in a field and watching a band. Whereas now a festival isn’t entirely about the music, and it’s more about the experience. There’s always going to be great headliners, but you can go to a festival now, without even wanting to watch any of the bands, and still have a brilliant time because there is so much to do. I think this appeals to families. And I think families now are more willing to push the boat out, try new things and experience new things as a family. Festivals are catering for that now.

And what makes Nozstock unique?

For Nozstock, right from the start, it was very much a festival we wanted everyone to go to. I couldn’t run a festival I didn’t want to attend! Because as a family, the Nozworthy’s are all very different anyway, so to appeal to everyone it was always very eclectic and all-inclusive for that reason. At the first Nozstock, I was thirteen and Nan was in her 80s, but we both loved it! Maybe in different ways and for different reasons, but why shouldn’t you be able to bring your whole family to a festival and all have a really good time? Logistically, things have improved as the festival has evolved to make sure it’s as inclusive as possible. To this day, everyone at the festival still feels like they are part of our big family!

Nozstock – The Hidden Valley Festival (With Kids)

nozstock family festival

Mud, Sweat and (not so many) Beers. Here’s what happened when we took our toddler to her first music festival

nozstock festival

I like to think of myself as pretty ‘festival-savvy’; I know that dry shampoo and hand sanitiser can see me through just about any weekend in a tent, and I can navigate my way through a field of guy ropes in the dark with minimal face-plants.

However, I’m not remotely outdoorsy. My usual definition of ‘roughing it’ involves staying in a budget chain hotel with a low-tog duvet and only Freeview channels on the TV. When you throw a toddler into the whole festival camping mix, I really am completely out of my comfort zone.

But with its ‘family-friendly’, relaxed reputation and as it’s less than 90 minutes away from Cardiff, Nozstock in Herefordshire seemed as good a place as any to introduce our daughter Emily to the full festival experience.

Nozstock was founded by ‘Farmer Noz’ nineteen years ago. What started as a little garden party amongst friends and family has, over the years, grown into a weekend of music, comedy, cabaret, circus, crafts and film. With acts spread out over 11 stages, the festival now welcomes around 5,000 visitors each year and is considered one of the best ‘boutique festivals’ in the summer calendar.

As soon as we arrived I was relieved to see how small the whole set-up was. Anyone who has parked their car at Glastonbury or Leeds / Reading Festival will tell you that if you forget anything in the car when you’ve already made the arduous journey to your campsite – whether it’s a bottle of vodka or life-saving insulin – you’d rather do a handstand in the festival latrines than walk all the way back to get it.

festivals with kids

In the surrounding farmland of Nozstock, you can park your car and be at your tent within a couple of minutes. Handy if you’ve got crates and crates of beer. Or, like us, if you’ve got crates and crates of toddler crap.

My husband and I are not ‘seasoned campers’ and I definitely got the impression that for the majority of the families in the designated ‘family campsite’, this wasn’t their first rodeo. There were high-tech family camper vans, huge communal gazebos and outdoor furniture sets everywhere we looked. This was a lifestyle.

In contrast to this, Tom and I nearly divorced over which side of the tent was ‘the outside’. Our marriage was only just saved by two very obliging young Oxfam volunteers who managed to fit it all together just before the rain started to hit.

nozstock family festival

Despite this, everyone we camped with – and everyone we spoke to at the festival, come to think of it – was extremely warm and friendly. Some of these families had been coming here for years. For a lot of them, it wasn’t really about the music. Some of them were keen to see the headliners, but all in all, they came for the relaxed vibe and the inclusiveness that makes Nozstock a perfect camping option for families with young children.

Walking around the festival site and seeing people from all walks of life – from toddling babies to elderly couples – is testament to how inclusive this festival really is.

There was always something to see and do that catered for all ages and tastes. I heard such a diverse range of music; from free-form-jazz to indie-girl-rock and experimental electronica to folk-metal. There were secret passageways and tunnels to different stages, trippy sculptures and artwork augmented by quirky cabaret dancers and performers who would meander their way through the crowds all day long.

best family music festival

Emily enjoyed the Little Woodland Kids Area; a cordoned-off part of the field dedicated to the mini-festival-goer. They hosted workshops and craft-making, mini-yoga sessions and drum circles throughout the day, but most of the activities were a little too old for our toddler. Instead, she busied herself in the sandpit and played with the blocks and toys provided, as well as helping to make a huge fake bonfire out of pieces of orange fabric.

Despite the plentiful entertainment, Emily’s favourite activity of the weekend was tracking and following one of the chickens that was ambling about the festival site. She hasn’t stopped asking where the chicken is since we left!

music festival with a toddler

Nozstock feels like ‘old-school’ Glastonbury; quirky, hippie, trippy and friendly. Everyone there seemed to share a collective intention to suspend real life for the weekend so that they can have fun and enjoy themselves as much as possible.

The compact, intimate nature of the festival meant that walking from the tent to the main festival site, even with a toddler who insisted on trying to unzip every tent we passed on our way, took us less than 10 minutes. Great for tired legs. Not so great when you’re trying to sleep in a tent with a toddler whilst the rave rages on a couple of fields away.

Luckily, Emily was so exhausted from all the excitement and fresh air that she would pass out at 10pm and sleep solidly until the morning. But nothing is louder than a rave you can’t go to. After having a few beers outside the tent whilst the baby slept, we called it a night ourselves by midnight. It felt completely strange to listen to the festival whir around me whilst I, rather than downing a bottle of vodka and dancing til dawn, lay in my sleeping bag next to a snoring toddler. The times, they have changed.

The only thing worse than lack of sleep at a festival is the infliction known to many as ‘toilet dread’. I have seen some truly harrowing scenes in festival toilets that will forever be burned onto the back of my retinas. But I’m pleased to say that the loos at Nozstock didn’t bring on any ‘Vietnam-style’ festival toilet flashbacks for me. In fact, they were some of the cleanest festival toilets I have ever seen. For me, this alone is a good enough reason to make Nozstock my festival of choice for life!

nozstock the hidden valley festival

We packed up at the end of the weekend feeling totally wind-wept, shattered and filthy. Yet despite this, it was one of the best family weekends we have ever had. Would I do it every weekend? Absolutely not. But the whole experience was so rewarding. I learned that Emily is even more adaptable to different routines and ways of life than I have given her credit for.

And I learned that I could simultaneously rock out to a band whilst changing a pooey toddler nappy. Wins all-round!

Festival Fun (not too far if you live in South wales)

female role model

I was a tad too serious for my own good in Uni and I don’t mind admitting that it wasn’t till a few years ago that I got into festivals.

Here in Wales we have some lovely events to go to. Festival No 6 up in Portmeirion, The Greenman Festival in Crickhowell & the beautiful Brecon Jazz to name a few but another Festival has just started to appeal to me and there is good news if you are Welsh 7 have younger festival goers.

Nozstock

nozstock

Nozstock – The Hidden Valley is returning for its 19th year this July from Friday 21st to Sun 23rd. The Festival is located near to Bromyard in Herefordshire which is a toddler approved driving distance from my South Wales home.

The festival takes place on an idyllic-looking working farm with glorious countryside surrounding it. I’m sure, that come rain or shine the place will look heavenly.

My personal struggle is the child-friendly aspects of festivals. I want to make sure that the smaller, most demanding people in our party are well taken care of so I was really keen on the fact that Nozstock has the small humans taken care of. Their Little Wonderland area is all set up for a weekend of fun, magic and inspiration for all ages and best of all, no nasty hidden charges for any of the kid’s activities. That’s a weight off my mind already.

Nozstock has just finalised their line-up for this July. I’m adding Seasick Steve, Happy Mondays & the Sugarhill Gang to my list along with my Welsh Faves, Goldie Lookin Chain.

If you fancy getting in the festival mood, check out this video

I’m so excited to be attending the Festival this year as a guest & I’m going to be blogging all about our preparations and our experience at the festival. If you want more information on Nozstock – The Hidden Valley or want to grab some tickets please check out their website here

Best Family Days Out in Wales

Family Day's Out Wales

There are so many amazing family days out in Wales that I recently decided to ask the amazing creatures in our This Welsh Mother Facebook Page what were their ultimate list.

We are always looking for great recommendations, new places to go or even to travel to so I loved putting this amazing list together and I know I am going to enjoy checking some of these off in the coming months.

Barry

barry island with kids

(Image courtesy Gordon Young)

Charlotte from the Blog Musing Mum lives in the seaside town of Barry and recommended her stomping ground as a rocking day out in Wales. I have to agree. I have fond childhood memories of days out on ‘the island’ going on fairground rides, eating chips and playing on the beach. Now we live a short drive away we often visit to pass a few hours and it’s very child-friendly. Loads of improvements have been made to the area and being by the sea always makes me feel great.

Tredegar House

tredegar house

(Image courtesy National Trust)

Tredegar House is a wonderful property maintained by The National Trust, It’s really easy to get to as it’s located just off the M4 in Newport, South Wales. If you have an NT membership or are willing to spend your hard earned pennies you can take a tour around this gorgeous property and learn about the dark arts, riotous parties, and even crocodiles? But if staying outdoors and letting the kids run free is more your thing, Tredegar House still has plenty to offer. With beautiful walled gardens and over 90 acres of parkland, you will be gasping for a cup of tea in no time. Suggested by the lovely Sian Ford

 

National Museum Cardiff

cardiff with kids

It’s open Tuesday – Sunday, 10-5 pm and is FREE to enter. Now, It may not be the hugest Museum you will visit but it does have plenty for you to look at and a lot to keep your kids occupied.

It’s great if you are visiting Cardiff City Centre as it’s easy to get to and totally less stressful than dragging smaller people around the shops.

Suggested by Claire Wade

 

Beachy Days Out

Claire also highlighted the wonderful coastline we have available to us!

welsh beaches

(Image courtesy of Visit Swansea Bay)

The Welsh coastline has some spectacular places to visit, whether you want some secluded bays or full on beach resorts you will be able to find something that suits your needs.

It’s also up to you how you spend your time and money, take a picnic, grab some traditional Fish & Chips and let the kids run wild! Jolene from Newtown also loves taking her kids off to the coastal areas in Wales but said that because there were so many great spots to choose from, her broos are visiting two beaches a day!

National Botanic Garden Wales

(Image courtesy of Vist Wales )

Hayley who writes the Winging It With 2 Boy’s Blog wanted to recommend The National Botanic Garden Wales. Her two boys loved discovering the butterfly house and all that the space has to offer.

 

Ynysangharad Park/Dare Valley Park

(Photo courtesy Aderdare Online)

Sian Smith Loves the parks that are available in the Aberdare area. Both Ynysangharad Park & Dare Valley Park have play areas, cafes, lakes, walks and tons of wildlife. Perfect for a nice day out with the kids.

Cosmeston Lakes, Penarth

Days Out Wales

(Picture courtesy BBC Wales)

This Welsh Mother reader Ruth, highly recommends Cosmeston Lakes, Penarth. With a picnic area for a lovely no-fuss snack/lunch and plenty of ducks & swans it would be a great place to spend a few hours on a Spring/Summer day.

Hendrewennol Fruit Farm

Fruit Picking Cardiff

(Photo courtesy Families Online)

If you are looking for a full day of fun then you could head out to Hendrewennol Fruit Farm. Hayley Griffiths who writes Mam In The Mountains Blog has enjoyed fruit picking, playing in the sandpit & on the hay bales and you can even check out a treasure hunt through wildflower fields. Sound heavenly.

 

So there we have it, Proof that you have some fabulous things right on your doorstep. I’d love to feature more days out across Wales, so feel free to let us know about your favourites in the comments section.

 

Things To Do With Kids in North Wales

things to do kids north wales

North Wales is a vast area of utterly outstanding beauty. If you are visiting the area or just looking for some great family days out in North Wales. We’ve compiled a list of attractions to suite all tastes and budgets.

 

things-to-do-with-kids-in-north-wales

(Image credit – Go North Wales)

Do you have kids that are train obsessed? If so one of the top family days out in North Wales has to be Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways.

things -to-do-with-kids-in-north-wales

They say “The Ffestiniog Railway takes you on a 13 1/2-mile journey from the harbour in Porthmadog to the slate-quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. We are recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest railway company in the world, being founded in 1832. We still build steam locomotives and carriages in our own workshops and the world’s oldest steam engine, Prince, is still in regular use today – more than 150 years after it was built. Our historic trains climb over 700 feet from sea level into the mountains through tranquil pastures and magnificent forests, past lakes and waterfalls, round horseshoe bends (even a complete spiral) clinging to the side of the mountain or tunnelling through it”

 

History buffs will love Caernarfon Castle, nestled on the seafront in this gorgeous North Wales town.things-to-do-with-kids-in-north-wales

The castle is widely regarded as the most beautiful in Wales and dates back to 1284.

If a North Wales seaside break is more your thing then Llandudno may be exactly what you are looking for. One of the huge attractions is a trip up the Great Orme but if you already know that you don’t fancy dragging the kids up behind you, then the Great Orme Tramway may be just the ticket.

things-to-do-with-kids-in-north-wales

If you are wanting to visit in peak season then it may be worth booking in advance as it can get pretty busy.

 

We’d love to know what your top day’s out in North Wales are as we are currently adding to our list. If there is something you love to do please let us know by emailing thiswelshmother@gmail.com

Mum and Baby Groups in Cwmbran

mum and baby cwmbran

If you are searching for mum & baby groups in Cwmbran this is the place to be. When I first became a mother I was scared to head out to groups because I didn’t know anyone, double edged sword, I didn’t know any other mums because I wasn’t heading out into groups.

These groups are perfect for mums and babies, toddlers and are generally based in the Torfaen area comprising of Cwmbran and Pontypool. The area has great bus and train links but also lot’s of small groups are listed so there should be something in your general area.

The most up to date resource I found for classes is a Facebook group you can request to join here.

They helpfully post each evening to alert you to available classes the next day. This helped me be more organised and able to get up and out in the morning – we all know it can be a struggle.

The group shows a great mix of classes both morning and afternoon with some weekend classes available as well.

If you are unsure what to take with you to a mother and baby group in Cwmbran, keep reading for my tips.

 

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranChange
The price of groups vary and sometimes they simply ask for a donation so I always like to keep some change in the front of my changing bag that I could grab at a moments notice.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranFull change bag
Though Cwmbran itself is well stocked with shops it always makes you feel like you are parenting on all cylinders if you have all your stuff together. Check for spare clothes, nappies, bags, wipes, a drink or feed, snacks if needed (if only just for you) and a couple of your own distraction toys.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranCardi/jacket
I’ve frequented many a church hall playgroup. Somehow they are either freezing or tropical so I try and put light layers on the young one and always go in prepared with something to wrap up in of the temperature is icy.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranOpenness
I’m not going to lie and tell you I’ve made lifelong friends at mum & baby groups, I’ve not. But it does make me feel like I’m less alone. It helps to tire my boy out and also makes me feel like I’ve done something with him = a little bit of a better parent. Just go in open. I’ve had deep chats with older ladies, laughed with peers about my lack of sleep and generally always leave feeling lighter. Remember, we are all in the same boat.
So if you are looking for mother and baby group in Cwmbran please click here to join this ace Facebook group that is going to keep you right up to date and remember to enjoy it. it should be fun for you and your little one(s).

Know any other resources that keep mums up to date? Feel free to let us know here

Mum and Baby Groups in Pontypool

mum and baby pontypool

If you are searching for mum & baby groups in Pontypool  this is the place to be. When I first became a mother I was scared to head out to groups because I didn’t know anyone, double edged sword, I didn’t know any other mums because I wasn’t heading out into groups.

These groups are perfect for mums and babies, toddlers and are generally based in the Torfaen area comprising of Cwmbran and Pontypool. the area has great bus and train links but also lot’s of small groups are listed so there should be something in your general area.

The most up to date resource I found for classes is a Facebook group you can request to join here.

They helpfully post each evening to alert you to available classes the next day. This helped me be more organised and able to get up and out in the morning – we all know it can be a struggle.

The group shows a great mix of classes both morning and afternoon with some weekend classes available as well.

If you are unsure what to take with you to a mother and baby group in Pontypool, keep reading for my tips.

 

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranChange
The price of groups vary and sometimes they simply ask for a donation so I always like to keep some change in the front of my changing bag that I could grab at a moments notice.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranFull change bag
Though Pontypool itself is well stocked with shops it always makes you feel like you are parenting on all cylinders if you have all your stuff together. Check for spare clothes, nappies, bags, wipes, a drink or feed, snacks if needed (if only just for you) and a couple of your own distraction toys.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranCardi/jacket
I’ve frequented many a church hall playgroup. Somehow they are either freezing or tropical so I try and put light layers on the young one and always go in prepared with something to wrap up in of the temperature is icy.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranOpenness
I’m not going to lie and tell you I’ve made lifelong friends at mum & baby groups, I’ve not. But it does make me feel like I’m less alone. It helps to tire my boy out and also makes me feel like I’ve done something with him  a little bit of a better parent. Just go in open. I’ve had deep chats with older ladies, laughed with peers about my lack of sleep and generally always leave feeling lighter. Remember, we are all in the same boat.
So if you are looking for mother and baby group in Pontypool please click here to join this ace Facebook group that is going to keep you right up to date and remember to enjoy it. It should be fun for you and your little one(s).

Know any other resources that keep mums up to date? Feel free to let us know here

Mum and Baby Groups in Torfaen

mum and baby groups torfaen

If you are searching for mum & baby groups in Torfaen this is the place to be. When I first became a mother I was scared to head out to groups because I didn’t know anyone, double edged sword, I didn’t know any other mums because I wasn’t heading out into groups.

These groups are perfect for mums and babies, toddlers and are generally based in the Torfaen area comprising of Cwmbran and Pontypool. the area has great bus and train links but also lot’s of small groups are listed so there should be something in your general area.

The most up to date resource I found for classes is a Facebook group you can request to join here.

They helpfully post each evening to alert you to available classes the next day. This helped me be more organised and able to get up and out in the morning – we all know it can be a struggle.

The group shows a great mix of classes both morning and afternoon with some weekend classes available as well.

If you are unsure what to take with you to a mother and baby group, keep reading for my tips.

 

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranChange
The price of groups vary and sometimes they simply ask for a donation so I always like to keep some change in the front of my changing bag that I could grab at a moments notice.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranFull change bag
Though Cwmbran itself is well stocked with shops it always makes you feel like you are parenting on all cylinders if you have all your stuff together. Check for spare clothes, nappies, bags, wipes, a drink or feed, snacks if needed (if only just for you) and a couple of your own distraction toys.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranCardi/jacket
I’ve frequented many a church hall playgroup. Somehow they are either freezing or tropical so I try and put light layers on the young one and always go in prepared with something to wrap up in of the temperature is icy.

mum-and-baby-groups-in-cwmbranOpenness
I’m not going to lie and tell you I’ve made lifelong friends at mum & baby groups, I’ve not. But it does make me feel like I’m less alone. It helps to tire my boy out and also makes me feel like I’ve done something with him = a little bit of a better parent. Just go in open. I’ve had deep chats with older ladies, laughed with peers about my lack of sleep and generally always leave feeling lighter. Remember, we are all in the same boat.
So if you are looking for mother and baby group in Torfaen please click here to join this ace Facebook group that is going to keep you right up to date and remember to enjoy it. it should be fun for you and your little one(s).

Know any other resources that keep mums up to date? Feel free to let us know here

Things to do with kids in Abergavenny

things to do with kids abergavenny

I love this town so I am always looking for things to do with kids in Abergavenny. It is such a gorgeous place to walk around but if your kids are anything like mine, a quiet stroll doesn’t tend to keep them quiet so I wanted to put together a few family activities you can enjoy if you have kids in tow.

 

Abergavenny Castle & Museum.
This is a new one on me. In all the years I have lived here and visited Abergavenny I am ashamed to say I’ve never visited the castle. I was reading a great blog post on Abergavenny Kids this weekend (a great site for more info on the area) and this was listed as an activity so I wrapped up the little one and we headed off.
This is located in the heart of Abergavenny with a large local authority (aka pretty cheap) carpark next to it. We visited on a Sunday when parking was free.
The castle itself is lovely for exploring. we had fun dancing around the trees complete with knitted covers and exploring the garden area with willow features.
It is free to have a wander round and we passed nearly two hours playing – very worthwhile.

things-to-do-with-kids-in-abergavenny

The Tithe Barn at St Mary’s
Fancy a tour round an almost 900-year-old barn. This is great if you have older kids who may love a little ‘horrible histories’. Entry to the gorgeous barn is free but you can make a gratefully received donation towards upkeep and then follow off all that history with a memorable snack at the cafe area. home of truly gorgeous cake – trust me. I also always feel a million miles away from a busy market town here so it makes a nice gentle stop. They’ve always been very accommodating to myself and my pram.

Geocaching
I guess it was kind of a big deal last year. All of my friends seemed to be after the nearest ‘cache’ but if you’ve got kiddies and this is unknown to you – look it up. Geocaching is like a big treasure hunt, only via and app and with the use of GPRS. You are shown the locations of various bits of treasure in your area and I personally know that Abergavenny has a few good finds. I’ve hunted with the baby in his buggy, it passes time and you feel like you are in a secret club.

things-to-do-with-kids-in-abergavennyLinda Vista Gardens
Right in the heart of the town centre is a small parcel of calm. Linda Vista Gardens. I stumbled across this site when parking for the Post Office on a hot summers day and somehow ended up with a book, an ice cream and a few hours stretching out in front of me – Bliss. The gardens are really well laid out and they have some gorgeous plants to look at year round. if you are looking for a safe clean spot to walk with kids, Linda Vista is perfect.

things-to-do-with-kids-monmouthAbergavenny Sports Centre.
The town of Abergavenny has quite a large sports centre if you have a few hours that need filling. The have a good sized pool to make use of and fun activities scheduled throughout the school holidays.

things-to-do-with-kids-in-abergavennyMarket Hall & Town Centre
Abergavenny is a small market town. it’s pretty enough to wander around and see what you happen to stumble across. a section of the town centre is pedestrianised and parking is plentiful. Abergavenny market hall is worth a visit. It drags me back to my childhood in Mid-Wales in an instant. The building itself is gorgeous and whatever day you happen to stumble in there you will find something, from a lady selling homemade pickles to a full on flea market.

So those are just a few things to do with kids in Abergavenny. The town itself is pretty small with lots to do in the surrounding areas also. Abergavenny has lots to offer the family and the views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular.

Have you visited or do you live in Abergavenny? We’d love to hear what you think we are missing on this list. Please do let us know here.

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