Getting outdoors with children; Deer Park, New Forest
Getting out and about with your children is great for all the family. It helps get rid of excess energy from children and I used to find slowly pushing the pram around would calm my screaming babies long enough for me to grab 5 minutes of sanity restoring time! It doesn’t have to cost money to go out and about, and we’re really lucky in the UK to have some fabulous free parks! Mamas and Papas know the importance of getting out and about easily with your child, and have produced a wonderful infographic on the best parks to visit in London! But it’s not just in London, there are places all over the UK you can visit for free, and enjoy the great outdoors!
One of our favourite places to visit is Deer Park, Boldrewood, New Forest. We love it as there are great paths to push a pushchair around, or for the toddler to potter along easily with reins on. There’s plenty of parking, and there are toilets next to the car park – essential if you’re trying to potty train! On sunny summers days an ice cream van usually appears, but there are no other catering facilities. Pack a picnic, and enjoy the picnic/bbq area, it’s a fenced in area, away from the new forest ponies so you can really relax while you eat.
In the summer sunshine, we have often enjoyed a walk as the trees provide cool shady areas enabling you to be outside even when it is very warm. I have a great changing bag which I load up with sun cream, hats and plenty of drinks for the day. We usually enjoy a picnic after our walk, and then play a game of catch on the grass.
If it is pouring down with rain, my children each love getting their wellies and coats on, and jumping in the puddles!
Yes, they do get a little muddy, but a good pair of waterproofs or a spare change of clothes solve that problem! The boys aged 5 and 7 love playing “pooh sticks” and have had a go at den building in the woods! They also love nature spotting, and there were great squeals when we spotted this caterpillar!
There’s a wonderful Forestry Commission information hut on site, which is great for older children, they will explain lots about the deer, and show the children things like deer antlers! Deer Park is rather special as their is a wonderful viewing platform from which you can usually see a large herd of deer. They’re still wild, free, animals, and you are requested not to cross a fence which keep the deer within the conservation area, but it is quite amazing to see such a big herd relatively close up.
You don’t have to travel far this summer to enjoy getting outdoors and having fun with your children, the fun can be closer than you think!
Disclaimer; In collaboration with Mamas and Papas, all words and images are my own.