Free Festive Fun: Places To Visit (Hertfordshire and Beyond) 

We have visited lots of garden centres and a few shopping centres this season to enjoy the festive displays. So I thought I would write a round-up of some free places to visit this season. Ideas range from places to pop to briefly when you are short on time, to places where you could easily spend several hours, or even make it a whole day out… and it won’t cost you a penny! (Except parking in some cases).

Please note additional activities such as ice skating, grottos etc… mentioned are NOT free, there is generally a charge for these activities.

So here are our suggestions…

Christmas display with title 'Free fun festive places to visit (Herts and Beyond)'

Garden Centres

Crews Hill, Enfield

This is a whole row of garden centres, most of which have some festivities. One in particular has a large display, an ice rink, snow globe, grotto with train ride and real reindeer. Crews Hill is somewhere that you can easily spend most of the day if you wanted. You can also soak in the atmosphere in an hour or two though if you are pushed for time.

An interactive elf display at Springtime Crews Hill

Christmas lights at Springtime Crews Hill

A Christmas display at Crews Hill, Enfield

Van Hage, Great Amwell

This is another of the larger garden centres. It has an ice rink (bookable in advance), grotto and lots to see generally. It also has an animal garden onsite too.

Christmas display at Van Hage

Snowman Christmas display at Van Hage, Great Amwell

Notcutts, St Albans

Great for popping into briefly if you are passing or are nearby. The giant snowman is fab! Have tea or breakfast with Santa has a fun alternative to a grotto. (Book in advance, costs apply).

Notcutts, St Albans, Christmas door display

Notcutts Christmas section

World’s End Wyevale, Wendover (Bucks)

We visited this garden centre for the first time recently. There is a mini funfair and a huge Christmas shop, plus a grotto and winter wonderland (entry charges apply). Even if you don’t pay to go into the wonderland, as we didn’t, it is still worth a visit. It has a nice Christmassy feel generally.

Worlds End Wyevale Garden Centre Christmas display

Vanstone Park, Hitchin

This is a fun place to pop to if you have a short time to spare for a quick whizz around. There is a woodland train ride too.

Vanstone Park garden centre snowman festive Christmas display

Burston Garden Centre, St Albans

We popped here for the first time a couple of days ago. Cute displays, worth a brief visit for a little while.

Christmas door Burston St Albans

xmas display at Burston with Christmas trees and seals

Colourful festive Christmas display Burston Garden Centre St Albans

Aylett Nurseries, St Albans

This has lovely displays and some nice little interactive activities too. It is perfect for soaking in the festive atmosphere while on a time limit.

Aylett Nurseries St Albans xmas display

Aylett Nurseries festive display

Aylett Nurseries Christmas small world display

Aylett garden centre xmas festive small world display

Shopping Centres

St Albans

St Albans centre has a nice little display in Christopher Place, a traditional style Christmas Market in the Vintry Gardens next to Abbey Cathedral (with a timetable of events and activities), and there is a fun Nutcracker Trail across the city too.

Santa in a sleigh with reindeer and christmas tree in Christopher Place festive display St Albans

Centre MK, Milton Keynes

Whilst many of the activities here are at additional cost, such as carousel, train rides, grotto and helter skelter, there are also some pretty displays and a brilliant festive atmosphere generally. Plus a little snow area!

Centre MK festive display with igloo

Centre MK festive train ride

Squiggle playing in fake snow at Centre MK Milton Keynes

The Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

I have saved the best until last! This is my top pick this season because I love the theme; Santa’s Waste-Not Workshop focuses on recycling and green living. With awesome displays and cool activities that educate and inspire during what can be a very consumer-based and wasteful time of year, I think this is genius! Squiggle loved lighting up the tree using energy she generated from cycling – such a clever idea. Well done to whoever came up with this, it gets a big thumbs up from us!

Squiggle cycling to light up clean energy Christmas tree The Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

Santas Waste-Not Workshop, Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

Upcycled festive display at Santas Waste- Not Workshop, Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

Snowman display at Santas Waste- Not Workshop, Marlows, Hemel Hempstead

Seasons Geetings everyone!

Where is your favourite festive place to visit?

The Best Places to Find Birds on a Rainy Day

Here in Britain, we’re well accustomed to the rain and wet weather; and sometimes it takes a  little bit of extra work to find wildlife on a drizzly day. Despite this, with a keen eye and a touch of willpower, you’ll be able to spot some of the fantastic wildlife our country has to offer!

If you’re keen to spot a few birds on your next winter walk, the bird enthusiasts over at Kennedy Wild Bird Food are here to help! They’ve generously offered their top tips on where to find birds on a rainy day, to help you make the most of your next wildlife adventure. Read on to discover their helpful hints…

Take a look in nearby trees and bushes

Two birds sat in a tree full of red berries.

Birds are designed to withstand a range of different weather conditions, which is part of what makes them so brilliant! However, sometimes they need a helping hand to protect themselves from the cold temperatures when it rains.

In wet weather, you’re more likely to find smaller bird species nestled in the branches of trees. Small birds lose body heat more quickly, and therefore they have a higher risk of catching hypothermia. Staying tucked away in bushes and trees allows them to hold on to as much body heat as possible when it’s raining.

Check your bird feeder

A small bird next to a large hanging bird feeder.

When looking for birds in wet weather, they may be closer to home than you think! No matter what the conditions are like outdoors, birds need to eat regularly to give them enough energy to survive.

Unfortunately, this means that many birds will have to endure getting a little bit wet whilst feeding, but their bodies have some clever adaptations that make them highly water resistant!

Their feathers are made of a protein that makes them both flexible and resistant to water. As well as this, birds have an oil gland at the bottom of their tail. This is used to put a water resistant coating over their feathers, so the water glides right off in the rain – amazing, right!

Keep an eye on the sky

If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see a few birds flying from branch to branch when it’s raining! This is more tricky because birds usually only fly very short distances when it’s raining.

In heavy rain, the downpour may make it more difficult for birds to fly, therefore it’s safer for them to stay sheltered in trees and bushes. However, should they need to fly from A to B, their oil-coated feathers can protect them from the wet weather conditions.

A picture of a bird on a thorny branch with the title 'The Best Places To Spot Birds On A Rainy Day' and blog address.

It’s important not to be deterred by Britain’s rainy weather, as you’ll miss out on some of the best wildlife! If you’re taking the time to do some bird spotting this winter, don’t forget to log your sightings in the Kennedy Wild Bird Food BirdSpotter map!

*This is a sponsored post.

How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder: Protecting Birds in Winter

As it is starting to draw closer to winter and food for wildlife is becoming more scarce, I thought it would be a good time to share this simple, fun activity we did at home recently.

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How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder

You Will Need…

  • Apple
  • Twigs – Thick enough to be a perch but thin enough to fit through an apple.
  • String or raffia
  • Peanut butter
  • Seeds

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    Step by Step Instructions

    Step 1

    Core the apple.

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    Step 2

    Carefully push the sticks through the apple. You might need to use a knife to help make a hole first.

    Step 3

    Tie the string through the apple. Use it to also hold the sticks in place if possible.

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    Step 4

    Use the peanut butter as ‘glue’ to stick the seeds on.

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    Step 5

    Hang it onto a tree branch. Then just sit back and observe the birds enjoying their treat!

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    Do you feed the birds in winter? What type of feeder do you have?

    #EveryMomentCounts Photo Challenge with Families Online

    Families Online set us a photo challenge to capture a special moment every day for a week, on a different theme each day. This is the compilation post of our #EveryMomentCounts challenge.

    Families Online have set selected bloggers an #EveryMomentCounts photo challenge to capture a special moment daily over this past week, with each day having a different set theme. The aim of this campaign is to remember that even the seemingly ‘little’ family moments throughout each day are precious and actually do matter. Every moment really does count! The themes for the challenge are as follows…

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    I don’t think these are ‘official’ rules of the challenge whatsoever, but I also set myself the additional challenge of picking just one single photo for each day. Each ‘moment’ captured was on the actual day of the challenge too – no throwbacks – because for me personally, I felt the point was to focus on being ‘in the moment’ and embrace those special little moments as they actually happen. That was just how I chose to interpret the challenge though, and also I felt this is how I would get the most out of doing it as well. 

    So here are my moments throughout the week…

    Day 1 – Together

    Monday was a tough day. But for days like that, it is even more important to capture and remember the special moments.

    We don’t often spend time at home all playing together (it is usually either one or the other of us with Squiggle when we are at home, not both) so it was lovely to grab a few minutes together. I particularly love this photo because I captured Squiggle affectionately stroking her daddy’s stubble too.

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, together, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 2 – Tradition

    I struggled to imagine how I might find much tradition in a regular Tuesday in September to be honest. But I decided to just get on with our day regardless, and see how it all worked out. After all, I feel that the whole point of the challenge is to just be in the moment, enjoying family time, and making every moment count!

    As it turned out, we found ourselves outside embracing the beautiful signs of Autumn, collecting acorns and leaves. Of course this is a tradition! We do it every year, ever since she was tiny. I remember spending many afternoons during my childhood doing the same with my parents, as no doubt they did with theirs, and one day maybe Squiggle with her own children too.

    However, I chose this particular photo, which is taken in the same spot we collected our autumn treasures just minutes later, because it is my favourite moment of the day. Squiggle had the biggest smile as she carefully jumped on and off the moving roundabout. And look at that lovely traditional style play area! They had those same rocking horses that you can just see in the background when I was her age, they were one of my favourites infact. Fun times!

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, tradition, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 3 – Laughter

    On this morning I could hear lots of giggling from my bed, as Squiggle played with her daddy whilst I caught up on some rest. It is lovely to hear her enjoying precious moments, even if they weren’t mine to share with her! But ‘the moment’ I chose for Wednesday was when Squiggle was delighted to discover that the paddling pools are STILL open at one of our local parks (brrr lol!) and ran through them, giggling and laughing happily. This photo really captures that. Love it!

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, laughter, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 4 – Three Things

    Continuing on with our Autumn exploration from earlier in the week, on Thursday we visited a beautiful local park that we hadn’t actually been to before, for a lovely nature walk and Autumn hunt. We found these 3 little treasures which we collected from different trees (obviously!) within a few metres of each other. We paused under a gorgeous horse chesnut (conker) tree with huge fabulous branches to take this photo of our little collection.

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, nature, autumn, three things, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 5 – Colourful

    We had a day at home on Friday and we actually used the theme as inspiration for one of our activities. Squiggle and I went into the garden with the challenge of getting as many beautiful natural autumn colours into one photo as possible.

    I adore this photo because of the vibrant red and orange berries on bold green leaves against the bright blue sky with gorgeous yellow and brown leaves in the background. So much colour at this time of year!

    I really loved this moment of our day because it’s a great reminder that not only is it important to savour precious moments, but that sometimes we need to take the time and effort to actually create those special moments too!

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, colourful, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 6 – Love

    Of course this picture would include Squiggle, whom I love more than anything! And this particular photo captures us outdoors in nature, which is one of our biggest loves.

    But beyond that, this moment also captures us watching some charity fundraisers and volunteers at the park – an act that no doubt comes from a place of love. And even though these people were random strangers, we felt grateful that we were able to witness this for a few moments too.

    So lots of love in this moment from Saturday, in various different forms.

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, love, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 7 – Reflection

    For the last day of this photo challenge, how better to end it than with a moment of reflection. I stood on this bridge, looking out at the water, and took just a moment to myself to reflect on the wonderful moments we shared as a family throughout the week.

    As a busy parent, taking a moment to myself is sometimes just as important as those precious family moments, hence why I chose this particular photo. I am grateful for the rare moments alone, as well as the many I share with those I love!

    (By the way, we spent lovely quality time together as a family, right before and after this particular moment for myself, going for a wonderful walk in the warm sunshine. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday!)

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, reflection, peace, one moment, parent, photo challenge, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    I really enjoyed taking part in this challenge; I loved how much it helped me to really be in the moment and focus on, and celebrate, those ‘little things’ each day. It amazed me how I noticed things so much more than I usually would, depending on the theme for the day, and generally too. I practice mindfulness anyway, but I am still genuinely surprised by how much difference taking part in this challenge made!

    Thank you to Families Online for inviting me to take part in #EveryMomentCounts 

    Sylvanian Families Cake Shop Review and Giveaway

    We love Sylvanian Families; we think they are so cute and collectable (and also have educational value too!) Squiggle has a huge ever- increasing collection and loves looking at the website or browsing the catalogue to see what she can add to her wishlist next! So I think I might have been nearly as excited as she was when we received the fab Sylvanian Families Village Cake Shop to review…

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    The cake shop comes with the mum of the Toy Poodle family, who is the shopkeeper, and alot of lovely little accessories to stock up the shop with. There are 90 bits in total, including the figure, shop, till, cake stands, counters, various cakes, boxes, piping, tongs and other cool stuff. Not everything included is pictured in my photos because Squiggle inevitably spreads half of it across the floor within 10 seconds of opening it… but that just makes it all the more realistic – after all, you wouldn’t expect such a delicious cake shop to be fully stocked at all times, would you?!

    Sylvanian Families, village cake shop, Poodle Sylvanian, review, giveaway, toys, imaginative play, gift ideas, Living Life Our Way

    Sylvanian Families, village cake shop, Poodle Sylvanian, review, giveaway, toys, imaginative play, gift ideas, Living Life Our Way

    Sylvanian Families, village cake shop, Poodle Sylvanian, review, giveaway, toys, imaginative play, gift ideas, Living Life Our Way

    Anyway, back to the review….

    What I really love about this set – and other Sylvanian Families sets too – is the quality and attention to detail. Squiggle said “I think it’s very cool the way the cake stacks up to make a big cake.” When asked what her favourite part of the set is, she said “Those strawberry filling cakes looked very yummy!” It is also great for fine motor skills, as you will see when you watch the video…

    (I just love her giggle too!)

    Sylvanian Families Village Cake Shop (rrp £39.99) is available in stores now.

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    Sylvanian Families Village Cake Shop Giveaway!

    One incredibly lucky reader can win their very own awesome cake shop. To be in with a chance to win this fabulous prize, simply enter via rafflecopter below. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Ends 6th October 2017. Open to UK residents only. Other T&Cs apply.

    *Disclosure: We received the village cake shop free of charge for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

    Aylett Nurseries: Celebration Gardens and Butterfly Corner

    One of the free places we have visited a couple of times recently over summer is Aylett Nurseries in St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is good for kids; sometimes they have activities and events specifically for children, and generally is family friendly. 

    At the moment, they currently have a butterfly corner but you will have to hurry – it closes on 17th September! It is very small but is still a lovely little experience that adds to the visit. It is interesting to watch the butterflies feeding on the fruit and having them fluttering around you. Here are some of my favourite photos taken in their butterfly corner last week…

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    According to the website, the Celebration Gardens are open all year round but the best time to visit is when the flowers are in bloom of course. We have only just discovered the Celebrations Gardens over the last month, which was perfect timing! Their multi award winning Dahlias are particularly beautiful, and we also love the wild flower section too. Here are a selection of photos from the Celebration Garden in August…

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

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    Celebration Gardens, wild flowers, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    For more information about opening hours, news and events see Aylett Nurseries website.

    Our (Sub)Urban Nature Walk #30DaysWild 

    To mark the end of 30 Days Wild, Squiggle was given the choice of what nature activity to do. (Making it a totally random act of wildness for me!!!) She chose to go on a nature walk to the ‘burbs, so we set off on our ‘final’ adventure (of course it isn’t really – we will #StayWild and continue #LivingLifeWild as we always have!) 

    We took our time, stopping to take photos and study the beautiful plants, flowers, insects and other nature along our way. We then stopped for a quick play in the park, which we were delighted to find had been left overgrown and wild, before heading back.

    So I will leave you with a small selection of the photos we took…

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, bee, insect, wildlife, pollinator, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Rock Hunting: Nature’s Answer To Pokemon Go! #30DaysWild 

    Have you heard of the new craze? Painted rocks have been hidden all over our local area to encourage people to get outside and explore to find them. And to spread some love and positivity around; like a little act of kindness for the person who finds it. What an amazing way to put a smile on peoples’ faces! Of course, we could not wait to go out on a rock hunt to see what we could find!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    It turned out to be much harder than we thought! We knew very rough locations, and had vague picture clues, but looking for small rocks in a very large area is… well… abit like looking for a needle in a haystack! But that just encouraged us to look more closely, stay out longer, walk further and explore different areas – which is great!

    Just a little note to anyone considering doing this as a set activity (e.g. home educators or organised groups for example): it would be easier, and an awesome educational activity, if they were mapped out in advance. Great for developing old school map reading skills too! (I guess this would make it more of a geocaching style activity). Of course this would rely on people not removing, or relocating, any of them. (Hopefully no one will remove them anyway though obviously, as it is meant to be an activity for everyone to enjoy!)

    Also, if you were doing this, a handy suggestion might be to map them out with a small circle radius rather than a precise location, so that it still gives abit of freedom to rehide them elsewhere – as long as it is within close proximity to the original spot. I say this because Squiggle was really keen to move one to a new hiding place so we compromised and she hid it right by the next tree instead, less than a metre away!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Anyway, they are just little tips if anyone is thinking about doing it as a home ed activity or setting it up as an ‘organised’ event. But back to our fun of rock hunting…

    We were incredibly lucky to find not just one, but two painted rocks! Squiggle was delighted that she spotted them!!! The first was a beautiful heart rock…

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    The second was a pretty colourful rainbow…

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    We had so much fun! It is such a lovely activity and a brilliant, creative, inspired idea – love it!!! Thank you so much to the wonderful people who came up with this initiative and organised it in our area. We are so grateful! For more information, check out St Albans Rocks UK.

    We then also painted our own rocks when we returned home, so we will be hiding those in our local park soon too! Thanks again!!!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Happy rock hunting! 

    Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire: A Magical Place To Explore

    Today we visited Gobions Wood in Hertfordshire for the first time, which we discovered from a useful list of local nature reserves on Herts Wildlife Trust website. 

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    The first section of our walk took us past beautiful meadows, where moths and butterflies fluttered around us as we walked. 

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    We then reached the entrance to the wood…

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    Honestly, I have never felt quite so overwhelmed (and almost intimidated!) walking into a wood. I literally got tingles down my spine and a surge of excitement in my tummy. 

    Two huge ancient trees guard either side of the path as you enter, towering above everything, watching over the rest of the woodland…

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    It looks like something out of a film; like walking into a Lord Of The Rings set or somewhere…

    The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

    The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

    I love the colours and the way the lower leaves create a whispy appearance, almost motioning to the path…

    The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

    Squiggle found this and asked me to take a photo…

    She loved exploring…

    The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

    The Wildlife Trust, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, nature reserve, nature, wildlife, natural environment, woodland, outdoors, get outside, childhood unplugged, visit Herts, places to visit, Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire, things to do, family fun, explore outdoors, Living Life Our Way

    It is a magical, enchanting place to explore and we hope to return soon! 

    Pick Your Own: Fruit Farm Visit #30DaysWild

    Today we visited a local pick your own fruit farm. We love growing our own food at home of course, but we also love the fun of visiting the PYO fruit farm too! It had only just opened for the season so there were quite alot of people there, but there was an abundance of delicious fruit that was ripe for the picking! I took some pictures of the fruit, which you can find in my photo gallery. And here are some of Squiggle collecting various fruits…

    childhood unplugged, fruit farm, pick your own, PYO, places to visit, Herts

    childhood unplugged, fruit farm, pick your own, PYO, places to visit, Herts

    childhood unplugged, fruit farm, pick your own, PYO, places to visit, Herts

    childhood unplugged, fruit farm, pick your own, PYO, places to visit, Herts

    childhood unplugged, fruit farm, pick your own, PYO, places to visit, Herts

    By the way, does anyone else see a smiley face strawberry with a big nose…

    strawberry, smiley face fruit, fruit farm, pick your own, PYO, places to visit, Herts

    What have you been doing so far this weekend, and what plans do you have?