A family favourite of ours is Center Parcs, me and Stu had visited there twice before we had Finn so we knew for definite we wanted to take him. We have been twice with Finn once in December just us 3 and then again in January with my in laws. We have only ever been to the Whinfell forest one in the Lake District but definitely want to try others in the future.
The first time we took Finn the ChristmasWinter Wonderland was on, this was a perfect way to spend the lead up to his first Christmas. The highlight for us was a horse drawn cart to see Santa (Finn’s first time) where we had our photo taken and Finn received a gift followed by a firework display around the lake.
The first time we stayed we decided to go for a studio apartment. I’d definitely only recommend this for people with very young babies as everything is in one room . It can be difficult if you want to put the baby to bed in the evening, but as Finn was 11 months old it was okay on this occasion. If we were to visit just us 3 again I would definitely opt for at least 1 bedroom. The second time we went with our in laws so we stayed in a 4 bedroom lodge meaning we had a separate bedroom, kitchen and living area. This was so much easier for the evening time and meant Finn had plenty of space to play. The accommodation comes equipped with a cot and highchair so is perfect when visiting with toddlers and babies.
We have ate at most of the restaurants at the Whinfell site and all of them are child friendly, with highchairs and activity packs. A few also have soft play on site, Finn loved this and we made the most of it before the food arrived meaning he was generally happy to then sit and eat. I particularly liked how some of the restaurants had child’s portions of the adults meals, as well as a more traditional child’s menu. A favourite of Finn’s was the pancake house. The apartments and lodges are also fully equipped for when you want to eat in which we did a few times as well.
As Finn was 11 months the first time we went and just turned 1 the second time we took him we didn’t really sign him up for any activities as these were mainly aimed at older children. He loved the soft play, parks and children’s disco though and combined with the pool this was plenty to keep him entertained.
Finn loved the subtropical paradise especially the shallow pools, these were perfect as both times we have been he was crawling so he was able to crawl about in them. He also loved the fountains and again was able to splash and crawl about. We have visited with older children and teenagers so would say it is suited to all age groups. The sub tropical paradise is heated so you can spend a good few hours in there, unlike at our local swimming pool. They also have play pens and highchairs so it really does make visiting with a baby or toddler easy.
We have the mamas and papas armadillo city pushchair and this was easy to use as there are plenty of footpaths. The only thing I would say is we tried to go on one of the longer trail walks and this was really difficult so would say to perhaps avoid this with the pram.
I am a massive over packer so definitely love the fact that we can fill the car up . I would also say the on site shop is on the pricier side so we always stock up at the near by Aldi, but it does have a good range of essentials if you needed anything extra.
Overall I would say Center Parcs is a perfect family holiday and it’s brilliant for toddlers. Have you ever visited? If so which one as we are keen to try others out, let me know below.