As some of you will know I’ve been to Blickling Estate with Miss Belle earlier this year, and having been wowed by their bluebells display and their other pretty gardens, I was desperate to head back over the summer. Like many National Trust properties, there are loads of free activities for children in the school holidays. Last Thursday was my birthday and I was looking to go somewhere with a friend for a nice picnic and somewhere the kids could be entertained. So, we decided try out some of the summer family fun activities at Blickling Hall.
Norfolk Learning Arts and Crafts
Every Thursday throughout August Norfolk Learning have put on some arts and crafts activities for children. The activities are free, but usual admission charges to the property apply. We arrived at around 11am and headed straight for the area in the Parade part of the gardens. There were some giant outdoor games, such as skittles, dominos and connect four. And a great big open space which Miss Belle and her friends just wanted to run around in like loons!
Norfolk Learning had set up a big tented area with different Indian themed arts and crafts set out on different tables. It took a bit of encouragement to get the kids to come and see what was on offer. Bearing in mind we had a three, two and one year old between us, the kids were perhaps a bit young for sitting still, but we had a go at some Indian themed crafts. There was a table set up to make Rangoli, an Indian type of art which are different types of patterns. Templates and glue were provided, then we used coloured rice and lentils to decorate them. Miss Belle did enjoy getting quite enthusiastic with large handfuls of rice!!
We left our artwork to one side to dry whilst they carried on playing with the outdoor games.
There were a couple of other tables of colouring in for older children, and something I wished we could have tried – making Indian Elephants using milk bottles. I’m not crafty, so I never have these sorts of ideas, but when they’re presented to me I’d love to have got stuck in! Sadly Miss Belle just wanted to run around and I think these were really for the older children anyway. But I snuck a great pic of a group of others work!
We then walked back round the gardens and to the car to collect our picnic. The gardens are really pretty at this time of year.
Sow and Grow
On Tuesdays there are also free “Sow and Grow” activities for children. I really wanted to make it to one of these but so far have run out of time in the holidays. But, if you’re looking for something to do for the next two Tuesdays, there are special Sow and Grow sessions running in the Walled Gardens at Blickling Hall. This is a chance for children to plant something themselves to take home and watch grow. A great idea if your little one likes digging, and it’s educational too.
A whole range of other activities are put on offer for families over the summer until 6th September. From family tours, to dressing up and special 1930s cooking days. I know we are near the end of the summer holidays now, but if you still have time, or are losing the plot and need something to do over the last few weeks, check out their online holiday calendar for more on what’s on. There’s lots of information on the main Blickling Estate website too.
National Trust Family Days Out
We will definitely be checking out what our other local National Trust sites have to offer during the next half term. For Miss Belle’s first Halloween we headed to Sheringham Park for a Halloween trail. She was only nine months old so really it was more for the adults to enjoy a nice walk. But now that she’s older I’m sure she’ll be up for doing some sort of activity. Witch and pumpkin outfits at the ready…
Have you visited any National Trust properties over the summer? Let me know if so, I’d love to hear from you.