It’s Christmas! Hasn’t the year gone quick?! December has been a whirlwind of shopping, festivities and food. We haven’t been hiking much but we certainly got out and about this month. Here is our December round up.
Sunday 1st December
Most people are decorating their houses ready for Christmas and making things look pretty. We were in the throes of knocking out a fireplace and completely turning the living room upside down! A few trips to B&Q got our steps in, and disagreements got us worked up over which wallpaper we should choose. In all, a homely weekend and some time spent indoors as a family.
Sunday 8th December.
Tree day! Our annual visit to Cannock Chase forest was upon us. We got ourselves ready early to beat the queues and went to choose our Christmas tree. I love the smell of a real tree, and the tradition of picking it and having a festive day makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
The kids selected and carried out a Norwegian Fir, which they were very proud of! It made it’s way home, shoved in the back of the car, occasionally sticking it’s branches in the back of the kids heads!
We got home for an hour and started to decorate the tree, then had to make a swift exit for another annual tradition of lunch with family.
After our carvery, another family event called us. Dicky’s cousin is part of the local NHS trust choir and they put on a show of carols and hymns. This topped off a wonderful day of Christmas celebrations and put us in a merry mood.
Thursday 12th December.
School is closed due to the General Election so I whisked the kids away from politics to get out in the fresh air. I tried to find Dudmaston Hall but got flustered with the satnav. We ended up in Comer Woods instead, which is part of the Dudmaston estate and is a National Trust property. Parking is free with our membership card.
The weather was wet, but warm, and we made our way around the muddy paths and trails. We came across a hut with toilets and what appeared to be a small cafe. Nothing looked to be open apart from the toilets.
The kids had broomstick races and ran around without a care in the world. They absorbed the fresh air and rain water, which makes for the reddest of cheeks. We got back in the car happy and refreshed.
Friday 13th December
Panto time! This may be a new tradition forming as we saw a pantomime last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I booked for us to see Jack and The Beanstalk at ‘The Place’ in Telford. The kids loved every second and were very involved. The cast were highly entertaining and catered for adult jokes as well as children!
Saturday 14th December
Himley Hall were holding an outdoor lighting event, similar to one we had attended at Weston Park last year. We enjoyed last years foray so decided it would be nice to try a different surrounding.
Although Himley Hall has a great deal of gardens and woodland to be explored, we couldn’t manage to find our way very far. The lights were pretty and the cafe was nice, but Himley definitely fell short of expectations. You can read our full review here.
Sunday 22nd December
Our last family hike of the year was spent around Carsington Water. There are so many trails to follow around the water and lots of other activities too. We will definitely be back to explore the water sports! The wildlife around the waters edge is lovely to sit and watch, and there are a few hides around the perimeter for serious bird watching. We could have sat there for hours picking out all the different species, but the light was fading fast and kids get hungry quick!
We spent some time around the shops and had a sausage roll, then made our way back home ready for Christmas to begin.
Sunday 29th December.
HikerKidz 5 took place at Mam Tor. What better way to end the year than a hike with other like-minded families. The weather was beautiful. The sun shone down and was actually lovely and warm in places. The kids instantly connected and were chatting away like old friends. Even the ones who were here for the first time. A very successful walk with 22 children who left very happy and re-energized!
And so, the year is out. I’ve had a look on the year just gone and can’t believe how many adventures we have had. I’m looking forward to so many more next year, with new friends and places yet to be discovered.
Happy New Year everybody!