Surviving Half Term

If you are reading this post then I, Five in the Hive, have survived Half Term. Hoorah!

Whether you've been off with the kids this week or last week or you're a grown-up that's provided childcare while the kids have been off school then, 'High Five', you've done it. If you're a teacher then ...... well..... shit happens. Sorry. They're all yours.

I have really enjoyed parts of my week off with my three children. I have also hated parts of my week off with the children. I have scoffed more stress chocolate than I care to disclose, gained a few grey hairs and used more swear words in my vocabulary than normal BUT I have survived and in two more days, a mere 48 hours, normality will be resumed.

I made the mistake way back when my oldest daughter first started School of making the school holidays 'Super Fun'. It was just the done thing, an additional pressure that you put on yourself as a parent. A bit like breastfeeding or buying their first pair of shoes from Clarks! I made sure she did lot's of exciting things, day trips, London, Legoland, usually a few days away somewhere enjoyable and secured myself a good parenting write up in her workbook of 'What we did in the holiday's'.
Then I had another child. Money's a bit tighter and there's another body to fit into a hotel room, another bag to pack, another little person to entertain and feed but we still managed to get away or take a few trips out, or at least do lots of 'nice' things but more local than a day trip. We'd just about make it to the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester rather than 'THE' Legoland Windsor but the kids were young enough not to notice too much of a difference. Whatever we did, my second child failed to remember any of it and only ever wrote about the trip to B&Q we slotted in for ten minutes between everything else.

Six years later we (albeit accidentally) had another baby. We're brassic lint. No longer fit the criteria for a 'Family' ticket as we have an awkward number of five in our party. Hotels can't provide a 'Family' room for us anymore so we have to book two inter-linking rooms and sleep with the unsettling temptation of locking the kids in the other room so we get an undisturbed full nights sleep. We barely make it out of our front door nevermind a trip away for a few days! It's a tight squeeze to fit the five of us in our car together and that's without the luggage we'd need to pack. I remember a time when my older two used to pack up they're own Trunki, select a few DVD's, fire up their video players and off we go. Our third child has a carrier bag. Granted I did pay 5p for it begrudgingly. I'll sort this I promise, Franks. You will not be a stereotypical 'third child' all your life, Mummy's on it.

So with all of the above in mind, I thought I'd share a bit of what we got up to over the February Half Term. On a tight budget, with three kids in tow (occasionally 4 with a borrowed one) and semi-shit weather.

Medieval Mayhem

Medieval Mayhem is a brand new castle-themed soft play area that has opened near to us in Sheffield. Mayhem is right. I knew it was brave venturing out to a freshly unveiled soft play centre but I really hadn't prepared myself enough. For the first time ever I qued to get into a play centre. Luckily we went with friends who helped me retain my sanity and assisted with baby care. The play centre, on the whole, is modern and fresh, slightly smaller than I had imagined but it does have amazing slides. My children particularly liked the 'drop' slide although it only opened for a short while with staff supervision. My children are 10, 6 and 13 months and there was something for all of them to play on. The toddler section is pretty cool. It has disco lights inside which my baby loved trying to catch. She also really liked the self-contained ball pool area with one of those air blowing devices that blows the balls into the air. The older children played happily for a good couple of hours only returning for drinks and to be fed. 

What we didn't love however was the food. We waited over an hour for our food and it was obvious despite being well staffed that they were really struggling with the food orders. They serve a good menu of locally sourced produce, vegan and allergy options which I think is good to have but it is quite pricey. On the day we went we were told there were no chips, no fish, no jacket potatoes and that was at 12 o clock. They intermittently stopped serving food throughout the duration of the afternoon so you never knew whether you could order or not. I found that a little disappointing for a children's play centre and the time of day. When it arrived it was really really dry and I think it had sat under a heat lamp for quite a while.
Never the less I think this place has the potential to be a good play area once it's gotten over what I hope to be a few teething problems. If you want to know more about it I've added the link here.

Medieval Mayhem

Planet Pot - Ceramic cafe

Tuesday we went to our local ceramic cafe 'Planet Pot'. The kids love going here, especially the eldest two. I think ceramic cafes are a fab idea. I find painting really therapeutic so often paint something myself too.This time Frankie came with us so I made a tile with her handprints on as a keepsake. It keeps the children focused and they really enjoy choosing their 'pot' and decorating it. As they've gotten older they've made some really good pieces. Taking them there is also a good opportunity to spend quality time with them. It gives me a chance of keeping them in the same place for a reasonable amount of time and we get to chat and relax. They see it as a treat coming here and love to come with me or they're Granny for some one on one, or two on one 'grown-up' time without the baby, which is really important.

I like 'Planet Pot' in particular because of its quaintness and vintage interior decor. It's only small though so booking is definitely advised to make sure you get a table. They serve yummy homemade brownies and a selection of drinks while you paint. You can visit there website for more information here. Planet Pot

Lydgate Park

We were blessed with some bitterly cold dry and bright weather so we decided to utilize the outdoors and brave a park. Lydgate Park is only a small park but it's well contained and safe for children of all ages which is great when you have a wide age gap like mine. 
Getting out in the fresh air did everyone good. We really felt like we 'blew away the cobwebs,' as us Yorkshire folk say. The eldest two also played together nicely for the first time in a while instead of squabbling. I think the fresh air tired the baby out mind, as she was asleep the second I put her back in the car!

Sundae's Gelato

If you've read my previous post, Bittersweet Sundaes, you will have seen that we went to a place called Sundaes Gelato. It was an absolute disaster and by far the worse day of the school holidays, though no fault of the Gelato place. You can read about it here if you haven't already done so, just click the link

Wentworth Garden Centre & Historic Walled Gardens

We teamed up with my Mum, Sister and the children's Cousins for a day out to Wentworth on Friday. Wentworth is a fantastic family friendly place with plenty to do. It has a beautiful shop with magnificent homeware display's, gifts, clothing, books and the obvious plants and garden supplies. Separately there is a pet and aquatics shop and a small courtyard with independent retail units and a butchers. One of my favourites is a small boutique children's clothes shop that sells my favourite designers like Sarah Louise, Pretty Originals and Frugi. 

Wentworth also boasts a large cafe with delicious home cooked foods and cakes. Some of the cakes are to die for, I highly recommend them. We often have a trip out to Wentworth just for some lunch.

Aside from the retail parts, there is a small farm that you can pay to enter. Its only £2.50 for an adult and £2.25 for children, under 2's go free. It's only small but it has a good selection of animals that the kids can feed, a sandpit area, a pets corner, small toddler play area and a larger park for older children. We had a thoroughly lovely afternoon and not one of the children complained. 

If you like being outdoors Wentworth Gardens are beautiful for a walk around or for children to explore. I believe there is a bear in there if you fancy 'Going on a Bear hunt'. They're free to enter which is a bonus too.

You can find out more about Wentworth here

So as you can see we did manage to have some fun in half term despite not spending too much money and a few stressful moments here and there. We spent time with friends and family too at variable points, house hopping, which is a great form of 'Free' entertainment.
Even if my three are grumpy at home they still manage to cheer up if we change to someone else's four walls instead of ours! 

I hope you all had a great half term too. Only 5 weeks and we have to do it all again.

If you enjoy my blog please do subscribe via your email using the box on the right-hand side menu bar. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram. Id love for you to share, tweet like or follow if you have a moment to spare.

* Please note all of the above are places we have visited as a family by choice this half term. They are my personal opinions as always and I did not receive any sort of benefit for writing this post.

My Random Musings

Pink Pear Bear

3 Little Buttons

Cuddle Fairy
Bringing up Georgia
Mum Muddling Through

you might also like

The Children


  1. You have packed so much fun into a week, I think you deserve all the cake you can find! #AnythingGoes

  2. I am there now. A week off with a 7 year old. Already I am hearing I am bored! We have loads of activities planned! #anythinggoes

  3. Whatever you do they always moan of being bored don't they! Little monkey's x

  4. You call this *surviving*?? I call it thriving! Well done, mama!

  5. I always found Half Terms crept up on me and were a challenge when my children were in school. You did so well with so many memories made #BigPinkLink

  6. Awww it sucks that you can't get a family ticket for 5 people. But the current place looks ideal for different ages X #triumphanttales

  7. Sounds like you had a good half term. I never realised that family tickets didn't cover 5 which seems a bit meh. Not all families have two kids

  8. It looks as if you did loaf over Half Term! You wait until you get day ‘out’ is for me! #bloggerclubuk

    1. Nooooo, I daren't think of them being teenagers. They are going to stay small forever haha. x

  9. I absolutely loved reading this!! You've still managed to pack in so much!!! I love your description of having three kids! We hope to have 3 one day and I know we'll be exactly the same. Your youngest having carrier bag really made me chuckle ;) xx #fortheloveofBLOG #DreamTeam and #BloggerClubUK xx

  10. OMG, how much stuff did you do? We managed a haircut and a couple of trips, and it still felt like a three week half term!! #BloggerClubUK

  11. Sounds like you had a good half term. We spent most of it at home, the boys loved it because they got to play games the whole time! 5 weeks til the next one?! Oh boy... better get planning now then. 😉

    1. Thanks for reading, you really can't beat family time playing board games. x

  12. You totally nailed half term! We endured soft play hell too (it was really wet down here in the south east). I LOVE pottery cafes so much ( to the point I have considered opening one, but wouldn't have a clue!) so that's a big thumbs up from me.
    All looks super lovely, and it's definitely all about balance right? balance and survival ;-)

    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    1. Aaaw thank you, I'm not a fan of soft play on the best of days but for some reason the kids seem to love them. Thanks for reading :-)

  13. I honestly can't wait to start doing more interactive stuff like this with Ivor...although I imagine the half term crowds will annoy the hell out of me...

  14. I love those places where you paint ceramics! Glad you survived the school break. #DreamTeam

  15. Well done you, you not only survived half-term but aced it!!! Sometimes the break from routine and the bonding does wonders for everyone!

  16. Wow, that sounds like a pretty amazing half term to me! I think that the idea that you have to do something amazing every single day actually just ends up in lots of exhausted snappy days out. Sometimes a nothing day is the best thing you can give school tired kids! Thanks for linking up to the #bigpinklink this week.

  17. Crikey, you were busy. You make me feel really lazy! I'm glad you managed to enjoy yourself without getting too stressed, and don't worry about the chocolate, you earned it! Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales, please do come back on Tuesday to celebrate our 1st Birthday, we have a surprise in store!

  18. I used to live in Thorpe Hesley which is about 2 mins from Wentworth Garden Centre! I live nearer to Leeds now but we still visit regularly as it's such a lovely afternoon out! It sounds like you made the most of your holiday to me and high five for surviving mumma! Thanks for linking to #DreamnTeam x

  19. Sounds like a lovely half term packed full of fun #CoolMumClub

  20. It sounds and looks like you had a great half term with the kids, and packed in so much. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x