I’m Still Here, and It’s Half Term Already! (Boredom-Busting Ideas for the West Midlands)

My new year’s resolution was to post more frequently. So that’s going well.

Seriously, though, I really am struggling to open a blank document and start typing lately, and although I have approximately 317 ideas for possible blog posts and things to do in the name of blogging (a parenting parody song, for example, if I can organise myself enough to complete it!) but either I lose confidence in my own voice or opinions, or I simply get sidetracked by life and the numerous nappy changes and tantrums that go along with it.

But, here I am!  Kneeling before the computer (because we don’t have a computer chair and I can’t be bothered to go and get a dining chair), adamant I’m going to provide you with a chuckle, a bit of reassurance, an interesting tidbit or maybe all three.

Hold on, change of location, now I’m in bed (not watching Hot Fuzz. Alright, I am watching Hot Fuzz) and typing on my phone as the hubby is savagely ripping a hard drive out of my laptop and the tablet is dead because I’ve been charging it for two days…through the headphone jack.  I’m tired, ok!?

How about Half Term?  The concept is still a bit absent for me as Sophie isn’t yet of school-age, so we do all the fun stuff during term time when soft play centres have 2 children in them and coffee shops have mostly empty seats, but it occurs to me that a lot of you out there have a week to fill with fun to keep the whining at bay.  Here are some fun places I can think of (around the West Midlands, I don’t tend to stray further than that), hopefully they’ll help you out!

Dudley Zoo, Dudley

Dudley Zoo are running a promotion at the moment where every full-priced ticket purchased before the end of February will entitle you to a free return visit before the end of July, plus, under 3s are free!

Highlights – Get up close to goats, rabbits, lizards and more at the Farm and Barn, save your legs and appease your train-mad mini human with the land train, and make sure to grab a timetable and hit all the feeding times while you’re at it!

Jungle Bugs, Blackheath

You know the drill, soft play, things to climb, slides to slide down, flashy blinky machines to play with (whether you put money in or not, they love those things). Prices starting at £3 (under 1s free) which is pretty decent for half term.

Highlights – Nice long list of food available at the on-site cafe, fairly cheap too.  It’s a decent size, not too big to get lost in but big enough to please those on the more energetic side. Nice to know – the toddler session during term time comes with a free hot drink and biscuits included in the admission, winner winner!

Rainbow Street, Halesowen

Sophie had an amazing time here, it’s the perfect place to indulge their imaginations with a pint-sized street featuring a shop, cafe, construction site and more. Priced at £4.95 for a child and one adult, you get 90 minutes of play but can stay longer to eat at the onsite, life-sized cafe!

Highlights – Phone ahead (see the website linked above for details) to book a slot as they limit numbers for the best experience.  The on-site cafe is great to nip into for a cuppa if your little one is happy to play (it’s all attached anyway so they can’t escape!), and has some delicious stuff on offer, made fresh to order! Remember to take your socks!

Ultimate Outdoors, Merry Hill

Here’s your freebie! Not quite as full-on as Jungle Bugs or similar, the Merry Hill branch of Ultimate Outdoors features a cafe with a 3-storey soft play, great for a quick hot drink and half an hour to blow off steam after the trauma of Merry Hill at half term.  Also if you’re the outdoorsy type, they apparently sell stuff for that.  Who knew.

Highlights – The food is nice! Stretch the cuppa to lunch and grab something tasty if Eat Central is just too much for you right now, honestly I don’t blame you.  Kids love tents?  Great, they’ve got about a hundred display models, I nearly lost Sophie in an 8 man.  Super swirly death slide – great fun, but wear long sleeves.  Yes, I’ve got the mother of all friction burns 🙁 (I HAD TO GO DOWN OK SHE’S ONLY LITTLE THAT’S MY EXCUSE) Nice to Know – Pop your vehicle reg into the computer at the door as they have a time limit on the car park otherwise.

Look at that, I did it!  Hopefully these little snippets of entertainment will solve at least one of your rainy/whiny days and bring you one step closer to the next half of term.

Have fun!

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