Spring has sprung. All the best lovely (and free) recent local days out

Wow hasn’t this week been really interesting with the turn of weather?! I feel like it’s just come out of no where… one minute it was winter… next minute it’s flip flop weather?! Spring feels like it’s really here. AND I LOVE IT!

This last two weeks or so we have stayed local and haven’t left Sheffield once… that’s really surprising for us! I usually get the itch to go on a train or something after a few days… not that Sheffield isn’t great; it is… but I do love a train trip… haha

But nope, we are going to Centerparcs next week and need to save the money for that anyway, so we’ve stayed local and done lots of FREE things recently. Here’s the highlights!

It hasn’t all been fine and dandy, btw… let me just point that out! It can be really easy reading things like this and only getting one side of the story! Life with kids is… well, unexpected… this weekend for one has been not like we planned at all and with the good weather that makes it feel even more of a fail. But oh well. These things happen. Best just to look on the bright side!

In no particular order we’ve enjoyed:

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

What better day to go to Sheffield Botanical Gardens than Valentines?! Valentines Day is my mums birthday and what a lovely day it was this year. So many flowers! What can I say… I love it there, it’s one of my favourite things to do in Sheffield. My mum really likes it, too, and had a lovely birthday day.

I was surprised we came across a rock and water garden I knew never was there and it even had fish in it.

Sheffield Botanical Gardens in Spring is just fantastic… it is amazing to see all the flowers coming out and so many snow drops. Eric loves finding the bear pit, exploring along the paths and telling stories of the different plants and trees. There is even a fossiled tree which he finds quite interesting. And very friendly squirrels!

Eric ended up going to Botanical Gardens again the day after, I was busy that day so he went with Ollie. Weston Park Museum was the first pit stop, just for picnic outside and a look at all the snowdrops before onwards to Sheffield Botanical Gardens. It was Ollie’s first time at the Rocking Horse Toy Shop, what a hidden gem! They had ice cream (tip: the cafe stock the vegan ice creams Swedish Glaze!) at Endcliffe Park which was very busy but had a nice day overall. 🙂

Sheffield Canal Basin (for the 200th birthday celebrations!)

I used to live at Park Hill, opposite Sheffield Canal Basin, and used to take Eric down there to see the boats and ducks when he was tiny… so it’s kind of a nostalgic and special place for us. So when the Canal and River Trust invited us to the free birthday party celebrations I had to go.

I’ve always thought Victoria Quays have such a potential to be an exciting, buzzing hub in the city… I’m really looking forward to seeing new developments there. There’s already a new cafe and a bar.

The weather was just perfect for it… sooo sunny and felt like summer. Perfect atmosphere. Fun to go inside a few open boats and pretended to be pirates, got refreshments from Dorothy Pax bar and sat outside, met a time travelling story teller and saw a giant story book show. Eric couldn’t believe the story teller disappeared inside the story! :O

Rivelin Valley Park

rivelin valley park

I live really close to Rivelin Valley Park, just down the road actually which is really quite lucky; it’s a lovely place and one of my favourites. We love exploring the woodlands there, it’s never busy and the cafe and playground is a bonus. Throwing sticks in water never gets old.

Low Bradfield

One of the best days by far has to be at Low Bradfield. It was just the weather for it… the first real warm spring day. Lots of flowers in Low Bradfield and a friendly bee landed on Eric which made his day. Low Bradfield is a little village in S6, near Damflask Reservoir.

I think we sat down at the lovely water and ducks (Smithy Bridge) for over an hour. Just relaxing, having picnic, feeding the ducks and playing with the water. We’re sure trolls live under that bridge!

I’m not sure how it happened but nearly 4 hours we were there in total… and could have stayed longer. After our picnic by the ducks we moved to the bowling green just next to it; a big open field and found an old tractor. We sat and played for hours, made up stories and looked at flowers… then went to the little playground before getting the bus home. It was incredibly simple but really nice quality time.

Hillsborough Park & Walled Garden

Soooo many flowers are out in Hillsborough Park at the moment. It’s our local park just down the road. Hillsborough Park is home to a real hidden gem, the walled garden; a beautiful place to explore run by volunteers. All of us love it there and find it really relaxing.

The first ‘proper’ picnic of the year was in the walled garden last week. There’s a nice area with picnic benches towards the back through some arches. Eric loves exploring the walled garden and it never gets old. It’s definitely a favourite place. Highly recommend.

Millhouses Park

Going here was definitely an example of a day where we should have planned better. Millhouses Park is the opposite end of the city to us… but we thought it would be worth it. It’s a good park, don’t get me wrong, we have been before; but so busy in half term and I think there are many other great (and even better) parks in Sheffield. But, we did enjoy some time in the woods.

The playgrounds were so busy… maybe 10 minutes we were in there in total before going in the woods, then it started to rain so we got the bus back again. It wasn’t worth the journey or cost of buses. But these things happen, and it was still a good time down by the water.

Sheffield Peace Gardens

Sheffield peace gardens

Another not-so-good-planned-day was when we ended up at the Peace Gardens. No, that was the best part; the bit before that wasn’t. I had packed a picnic and made plans to go to Sheffield General Cemetery but our bus broke down, Eric got really upset and it ruined the day.

He was sad all day after that. We got the cemetery but he wasn’t interested, and didn’t want picnic… and wanted to go home. So we went back into town and ended up at the Peace Gardens just to eat our picnic. The atmosphere was nice, as it always is when the sun is out, we had our yummy picnic and Eric played with his cars. Simple, really, but just not the day I had planned. Still, it was a picnic in the sun so you can’t complain. 🙂

Have we done anything else worth mentioning? Eric goes swimming once a week usually with Ollie at Hillsborough Leisure Centre, they did that this week as usual but it’s half term and apparently had to wait half an hour to get in! and that’s not free so I’m not featuring it here :).

Earlier in the week I also took Eric to a zog read-a-thon at Stannington Library but it was sooooo busy. We didn’t stay long at all. Highlight from that day was a costa coffee date that morning!

This week my challenge stays the same…

All our days out this coming week are going to have to stay within the border of Sheffield! I’m really hoping to save as much money as possible this week by eating picnics on all our days out (the weather is just right for it, so there’s no excuse), choosing FREE over paid things again.

Some ideas I have for this week which we like are:

Not free but we are trying Mini Professors this week, too. Not sure for weekend plans yet… but it’s holiday time on Monday!

What did you love this week? I’d love to see a comment below with your highlight; my blog here gets a bit lonely with the lack of comments so send some love! I’ll reply 🙂

Have a lovely week ahead and thanks for reading.

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