It didn’t feel like I did much travel with my pre-schooler in 2019. Certainly not much that I felt warranted a blog post. This is my personal reflection on the travel we did, along with days out in the UK. It actually adds up to quite a lot when I look back on it. Just not much that was worth writing about. Either because I had written about it before. Or because there are already so many blogs on the venue that I didn’t feel the need to add another.
January to April
We spent January to April in St Anton am Arlberg for the ski season. I have previously mused about how best to spend a ski season as a family and described a typical day for those who may be thinking of doing the same. And to be honest, I didn’t really have anything new to add.
St Anton am Arlberg is a beautiful, challenging place to ski. If you are heading there for a holiday, here is my guide to my favourite pistes and how to ski from Warth to St Anton. Along with my tips of what there is to do in a ski resort with a baby if you are considering your little one’s first ski trip.
We took the same road trip back, stopping off at our favourite glamping spot in Belgium and at Wildpark Pfortzheim for a lunch break. (Although I don’t recommend the room at the glampsite. A mouse in the roof kept us awake. The glamping pods are much more serene!). I suppose it’s not a bad start to a year of travel with my pre-schooler to spend four months skiing!
May to July
Early summer saw us take a number of day trips in London. First up was the The London Museum of Water and Steam. I had been meaning to visit here for a while as it is pretty local to us. And…it was a pleasant enough day out. But with so many free museums in London I struggled to get too excited about one I had to pay for. Full price tickets are currently £17. So with the cost of lunch at the onsite cafe added, it wasn’t the cheapest place to visit. I fully appreciate that the fee is needed to maintain the steam machinery, but I am not a steam enthusiast. Museum Mum gives a comprehensive guide if you would like to know more about visiting with kids.
I also finally got round to taking Daisy to the Natural History Museum. This is a very popular free museum, so therefore busy. And much blogged about. We had a fun visit and I would recommend it for pre-schoolers. Just Google ‘visiting the Natural History Museum with kids’ for 101 blogs on the topic (I don’t feel the need to add another one!)
We also indulged in some parkrun tourism. This time at Longrun Meadow in Taunton, Somerset. This is a mostly buggy-friendly course in the summer. Off road, but fairly decent tracks and completely flat. It is, however, a different story in winter, I believe. The course is on a floodplain, so prone to flooding, mud and enormous puddles. Which could be challenging with a buggy…
July to September
There are actually a number of fabulous trips we went on during the summer months. I have already written up our day out at the Acton Depot open weekend. Watch out for pending posts on a lovely spot in Devon for a weekend camping and our summer trip touring round Corfu. (I blame the delay on three becoming four in October…)
I also braved the Citadel festival in Gunnersbury Park as a solo parent. It was actually great for little ones, with a special area for them and entertainment put on. However, it did feel like I had spent rather a lot of money to go to a toddler group as I only watched one and a half bands. And that involved bribery in the form of a lurid blue drink.
We had another day trip to Margate, which I have written about previously here. We also made the most of summer days by checking out some new (for us) playgrounds in Regent’s Park and Battersea Park. Both have sizeable playgrounds with adventurous frames for all ages. There is also a Go Ape Treetops Challenge in Battersea Park, if you are feeling particularly adventurous.
October to December
October saw my tour of ‘places that I really should have taken Daisy too already, but really am now before we move out of London’! This included trips to the Horniman Museum, Kew Gardens (post forthcoming), British Museum and Gunnersbury Park Museum.
The Horniman Museum was a bit of a trek from us in West London, hence why we had never made it down there before. It was a good size for a pre-schooler, although her favourite part was the temporary Lego exhibition, not any of the permanent exhibits! Again, there are already loads of blogs about visiting this museum with kids and I have nothing fresh to add.
The British Museum isn’t an obvious choice for young children. Mummy Travels has a handy top tips post on how to get the most out of your visit. I thoroughly recommend downloading one of the kids trails to take with you. We spent an hour or so here; one of the advantages of free museums is that you can dip in and out of them.
Gunnersbury Park Museum is a free local museum. They have done a lot to make this fun for little ones, including a number of hands on toys and dressing up props. It is of course situated in the park, which has two decent playgrounds, a cafe, and is a pretty park for a walk. This means that even though the museum is small, in nice weather you could make a day of it.
The latter part of the year did not see that much travel. Our hands were rather full with moving to Devon and the arrival of a new little one. We did squeeze in a couple of day trips to Exmouth. It has a buggy-friendly parkrun along the seafront and a massive sandy beach that I cannot wait to visit in the summer. There is also a good playground on the seafront and a reasonably priced soft play centre for if the weather is not so great.
So in review, I did achieve a fair amount of travel with my pre-schooler in 2019. Now looking forward to another ski season in St Anton am Arlberg in early 2020. Where did I put that post on packing for a ski season with a baby…