The start of the summer holidays and also the eagerness of little faces and minds as they ask the question that many parents dread ‘what are we doing today?’ (I’m doing well if I get to 7am before being asked) but the bigger pressure can be how to entertain and fill days without breaking the bank.

It’s something I considered when taking the time off work. I knew I wanted to make memories and spend the days together but I also knew it wouldn’t be trips to the cinema or soft play areas everyday. Last week I bought a picnic basket and decided that this summer it’s going to be one of our most used items.

We will pack up the car, bring a picnic, discover and explore more of what is right on our doorstep.

 

Mid and East Antrim Borough council got in touch last week to ask if I would be interested in working together on their MEAdventures campaign. It couldn’t have come at a better time. I needed a little inspiration of what is on offer in our area, get outdoors and discover areas we wouldn’t normally explore. Our council magazine, Connections dropped through our letter box last week that reminded me about Carnfunnock Country Park, we hadn’t been there since Bella had just turned one, exactly 4 years ago!

We also picked up a copy of the MEAdventure Itinerary and I was surprised at how many events are being set up and held this summer across the Borough but I especially love the Adventures check list that’s filled with simple and fun activities to entertain the family that don’t have to cost a fortune!

 

On Sunday we picked some spots that we hadn’t visited before and hit the road on a day trip adventure to the Marine Gardens (Pirate Park) in Carrickfergus and then to Whitehead to have a wonder around the sea front (who am I kidding, I got wind there was multicoloured houses in front of the sea- sign me up!).

The Park did not disappoint and perhaps before we go discovering many more places we will have a return visit! It was great that Colin and I got to actually enjoy lots of it too- big kids at heart!

We stopped for Ice cream in Mauds (which is made locally) and if you haven’t tried Mauds Ice Cream it’s a must! No one does a Choccy bear (honeycomb and chocolate) quite like them.

 

We popped into The Old Tearooms for lunch as it was Bellas birthday, a recommendation from many from my Instagram stories, it was such a quirky wee spot!

Finally we headed to Carnfunnock and I feel like the coastal drive deserves a mention on its own, we really do live in the most stunning location but somedays are just breathtaking, no wonder it’s Lonely Planets number one place to visit. At Carnfunnock we explored the walled gardens reading every plaque (anyone else’s kids insist on doing this?) and then took a run around the Maze before stopping for a little snack to let the picnic basket make it’s debut, the first of many as we explore more of what’s on our doorstep in the Mid and East Antrim area.

To find out more and to download your own Itinerary click here.

 

This is a sponsored blog post for Mid and East Antrim Borough council however it couldn’t have come at a better time. After this I will continue to share what we are up to either on Instagram stories or adding the hashtag to our pictures. Also if you are out and about in the area add the hashtag #MEAdventures on social media to inspire others and follow along too!

Here’s to a summer of exploring, adventure and making memories…

Anna xx

Images all by Ronan at Still Point Image Works for MEA Borough Council, I’m extremely grateful for these pictures of the 4 of us (on Bella’s Birthday too!) so unintrusive and a lot of fun!

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