We’ve made it – it’s the end of the school year, and what a rollercoaster this one has been…
After negotiating a long stint of home-schooling followed by the uncertainty and childcare chaos surrounding bubble closures, it’s fair to say that most of us are very much in need of a break right now and are ready to make the most of summer!
With six weeks of holidays stretching ahead, many of you will have already lined up a stream of fun activities for your children to enjoy. But, have you spared a moment to think how you will grant yourselves, as parents, a stress-free slice of the summer break?
We all need – and very-much deserve – a chance to refresh and reboot too, so here at Inloco we’ve compiled a few ways for you to carve out time to unwind from the stresses of recent months and enjoy the summer ahead with your partner or friends:
Watch a play or movie under the stars
What better way is there to enjoy the long summer evenings than to sit back under the setting sun to watch a live theatre production or the latest cinema release?
The open air Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank is celebrating the return of full-capacity audiences this summer with a line-up of some of Shakespeare’s greatest works, while the Oxford Shakespeare Festival, held in the Castleyard of Oxford Castle & Prison, also plays host to three of the Bard’s most iconic plays. But if Shakespeare is not your thing, you can also catch Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre or head to the Underbelly Festival, this year located in London’s Cavendish Square, to sample the eclectic live performances, bars and street food stalls on offer.
Alternatively, after more than a year stuck watching movies from your sofa, why not seek out a change of scene and a screen upgrade? Head to Blenheim Palace to enjoy a classic film under the stars in front of a stunning heritage backdrop, or Luna Cinemas also have screens popping up across the south east this summer, including at Waddesdon Manor, Ascot Racecourse and numerous locations across London.
Tantalise the tastebuds
Since jetting off to enjoy a great bottle of wine whilst on holiday in southern France or Italy is fraught with extra complications this summer, seize the opportunity to sample an array of delectable wines closer to home with a tasting tour at your local vineyard. Living in the south east there are plenty to choose from, including Daws Hill Vineyard in Radnage, the organic Sunnyhill Vineyard in Horspath, South Oxfordshire, Brightwell Vineyard in Wallingford and Oaken Grove Vineyard in Henley-on-Thames which all run regular tasting tours around their estates.
Take an arty stroll
Without having to worry about the onset of tired little legs, take your time to meander around the City of London spotting the latest artworks from the Sculpture in the City installation. Then head east and walk The Line – London’s first public art walk following the Greenwich Meridian between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2 – featuring 17 installations including ‘A Bullet From a Shooting Star’ fashioned from an upturned electricity pylon and 22 shopping trollies transformed into a DNA double helix. As the sun sets, you can then marvel at the light displays created as part of the Illuminated River project, with the installations unifying bridges up and down the Thames and creating the longest public art commission in the world, at 3.2 miles in length.
Gaze in wonder
Armed with plenty of snacks, blankets and a friend or partner who can while away the hours with great conversation, take to your local rural hills to spot the Perseids meteor shower this August. Referred to by Nasa as “the best meteor shower of the year” with up to 150 shooting stars every hour at its peak (12-13 August), the Perseids will not disappoint for those seeking a zen night off.
Create time for ‘Ma’
If complete downtime is what you need, why not book a night away in a hotel for some precious ‘Ma’ time – what the Japanese refer to as a pause in time or interval enabling growth and progress. Whether you use this time to read a book, listen to music, go for a walk with the sun on your face, go for a run or to do some yoga, creating defined space for yourself is essential.
Ultimately, however you decide to treat yourself and relax this summer, the most important thing is that you make time to do it.
And Inloco is here to help cover your childcare needs. Whether it’s a date night, nights away, or a daytime treat, Inloco childcarers – recommended by your trusted circle of friends and family – can take the childcare reins.
So, how will you be relaxing this summer?
Comment below with any other great ideas you have for child-free timeout this summer…