Surviving the school holidays in Edinburgh with a 1 year old who won’t keep still

Schools out for the summer, well in our case nursery is.  Already we are over halfway through the holidays, blink and you will miss it. That doesn’t mean to say there haven’t been moments which have totally dragged out.  Moments I have really missed having that hour or two to myself whilst Bonnie is at nursery and Charlie naps.  There was one super rainy day which lasted forever.  A common occurrence is that it started with my 1 year old, cheeky Charlie, jumping in the shower with me.  Great – not even 8am and we already need a change of clothes.

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The car was in for a new battery and I was trapped at home with my two little people climbing the walls.  The living room was turned into softplay, the house was trashed and the sink was clogged with baking dishes. Charlie wanted to treat the baking tins like a bucket to make a sandcastle (we had our 1 hot day of the year the day previous) which resulted in loads of shouting and screaming from big sis.

 

You see,  initially at the beginning of the holidays I visualised trips to the beach, sandcastles, ice cream, lunches out, farms, castles and all sorts of adventures (can you feel a but coming?)…..BUT as mentioned above: I have a 1 year old.  A cheeky little monster of a 1 year old who will not keep still.  Lunches out look like this –

 

Our street is a little bit like Ramsey street – a cul-de-sac full of loads of kids who want to play.  It is an ideal scenario EXCEPT when you have a 1 year old who knows no boundaries.   Our little monkey will run away at the speed of lightening –

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Love our street Mummy but see ya

He would also run away at the park, the beach, the shops.  The boy is unstoppable. I now avoid supermarkets that make you put a coin in the trolley.  You can imagine my face as my radge of a son is running towards the busy road full of cars as I frantically search for a £1 coin.

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A parents nightmare

As for those adventurous days I imagined – we have not ventured too far, unless we are going to see friends and family in their homes where I can lock the doors/garden gates. Building dens is always an adventure in itself.  When he naps in one – bonus.

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Then there is the game ‘at the carwash’ where I can trap my little monkey in the one spot for a full 20 minutes.  Snacks are essential though which means the car looks great from the outside but gets trashed inside.

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For those rare sunny days I would suggest this water slide as a must have item (currently 25% off probably due to all those clouds of late).

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I would like to give a shout out to all the places that have helped to keep me sane.  Places that the kids have loved and not been able to run too far. Happy places that are quick and easy to get to (over 30 minutes in the car is currently avoided at all costs).  As for day-trips to the beach – they feel a bit overwhelming for me at the minute with a 1 adult to 2 small child ratio and I am happy with that.  We will get there.

My top 10

Craigies Farm

There is an enclosed park with lovely views, some animals to keep the kids happy and a fantastic food shop where I can purchase some of my favourite things.

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Can you spot the 1 year old crashing the big boys ball game?

We didn’t pick the strawberries and raspberries ourselves but all in good time.  Yes – they sell Edinburgh gin and Stowaway black pudding #bonus.

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Jenn’s Den 

Ah the den – top coffee, tasty food and a big open space full of fun for the kids to run wild.  They also offer daily activities which is fab.  Bonnie was delighted with her pottery session whilst Charlie’s shoe fetish was satisfied .

David Lloyd 

I love a bit of Lloydy – softplay of a manageable size, ipads full of kids entertainment and a big safe open space. They also offer classes for our 3 year old, classes and a creche for our 1 year old and don’t get me started on their outdoor swimming pool and RPM studio.  That will take care of the summer ice cream!

 

Pizza Express Stockbridge

They know us well in there now and if it is available we get the glass cube table.  This means that Charlie is fairly trapped in a little room with lovely views whilst we gobble down their super tasty pizza. He enjoys looking down at the ducks. The pizza is always to the same standard and apart from around Christmas time a deal is always up for grabs.

Edinburgh Zoo

My full review here – I just love this place.  It is calming, relaxing and a great work out. It is one of the few places where Charlie will stay in his pram to admire the animals.  Granted I do need to run after him at the parks but at least I know we are enclosed and there are no busy roads he can run out onto.

National Museum of Scotland 

I have happy memories of going here as a child.  The kids were engrossed and it is free.

It really is a cool place to walk around and not just for the kids.  It has two lovely cafes and on the top floor there is a great wee play zone.  This little pit kept Charlie amused for a good 20 minutes.

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The Botanical gardens

A gorgeous gated open space with views over the city.  The kids can run wild, feed the squirrels and the coffee isn’t too bad either.  I also have happy memories of this place – trying to ‘walk the baby out’.

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The large 24 Tesco in Corstorphine

How rock and roll am I? If I need to get the kids out the house for an hour or so this Tesco is great.  I love to kill two birds in one stone – a bit shopping and a coffee/babychino fix at the Costa upstairs.  There are no coins needed in the trolleys.  Oh and did I mention they sell krispy creme donuts?

 

Georgie Farm

I can’t believe I have not been here more.  I was there for a 5th birthday party recently and both kids loved it. Lots of animals and a fab park.  Our wee people loved getting to feed the sheep and touch all of the small animals.

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The walled garden on Corstorphine Hill

A hidden gem on the hill.  This is such a pretty and charming garden and I especially love the carved animal bench.

Carved Animals and Scottish Thsitle

It’s a lovely spot for a treasure hunt, picnic or walk around.  An hour well spent and the garden is the perfect size for smaller kids.

Ok that is my current top 10 kiddie friendly places – what are yours?  I would love to hear them x

Ps If your little one likes keys DO NOT give in and let him carry them or play with them whilst out. What was I thinking?  We got back to the car with no keys – a 30 minute search around T K Max was NOT ideal.

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