Centerparcs.. with a toddler

After an amazing trip to Centerparcs in Woburn when Maddie was 5 months old, we decided to book another trip. This time Maddie was 20 months old and we went to Elveden Forest for a long weekend. All of us had the most wonderful time – we went in June and we were lucky enough to have glorious weather for the whole stay!

We booked a two bedroom woodland lodge and this worked much better than the apartment we had last time (click here to see the review of our trip to Woburn). The lodge is all set across one floor and is a lovely open plan layout with an outdoor patio and BBQ area. A highchair and cot is provided as well as bedding (for the beds but not for the cot), towels, and pans and plates etc in the kitchen.

We hired two bikes and a trailer for Maddie to sit in, it’s definitely the best way to get around and we had so much fun riding around in the sunshine. There are bike parks everywhere and you get padlocks with your bikes.

On our first day we arrived mid-afternoon and cycled around in the glorious sunshine. We explored the village square which has a handful of restaurants as well as a couple of shops including the Parcmarket which stocks all the essentials that you might need during your stay. We then headed back to our lodge for a BBQ on our patio – my favourite way to cook when at Centerparcs.

There’s a lovely outdoor play park which is great, perfect for toddlers (and there’s a great section for older children too) and Maddie had lots of fun climbing the equipment and going on on the swings. There are plenty of activities for every age group at Centerparcs too. We booked Maddie into a “Mucky Pups” messy play session which was great – she had lots of fun doing painting, sticking and getting very messy. We also had a boat ride on the river which was great fun, and a really relaxing way to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine.

We went swimming every day during our stay. The subtropical swimming paradise is amazing, and is literally a child’s dream (plus lots of fun for adults too!) For a visit with a baby or toddler, we much preferred the pool at Elveden over the pool at Woburn, simply because it’s bigger so there’s more space to swim with the baby. At Woburn we found that when the wave machine was on, which happened frequently, we had to get out of the pool as it was too busy/choppy, and then the only other place to go was the lazy river. Whereas at Elveden there is the pool with the wave machine and a separate area where the water is calm, as well as another separate smaller pool too. The toddler area “Venture Cove” is absolutely fantastic at Elveden and Maddie had so much fun running through the sprinklers and going down the slides.

Centerparcs is such an easy break for a family – throw everything in the car and off you go. The lodges are perfectly set out for family living, and the park has everything on site that you could need for a few days away. You can do as much or as little as you want during your stay and there is something for all ages. Spend the day relaxing in the beautiful woodland and chilling in your comfortable lodge, or you can have a jam-packed day full of activities, from watersports, to bowling. There are restaurants if you want to eat out, or you’ve got a kitchen if you want to cook. It really does make the perfect family staycation!

Have you been to Centerparcs? What’s your favourite thing about it? Check out all my Centerparcs tips here!

Sophie x




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