Having Fun with the Family at the Races


Trying to think of fun ideas to entertain the family is not always easy. One fabulous option however is taking the family to the Races!  Many racecourses have activities and facilities to cater for the younger ones, but also have Family Race Days which are specifically geared for the whole family to have fun at.  Children can share the excitement of picking a winner, following favourite colours and names, using sweets and ice cream as currency, and developing their maths skills.

As many of you know I live in Thirsk and we have our own racecourse right here. On Race Days we can hear everything going on down there and if we wanted to go it is literally a ten minute walk. To my shame I’ve never been to the Races and neither have the boys. Lots of friends have taken their families and highly recommend it so this is something we intend on changing pronto!

There are many racecourses around the country which offer children’s facilities, but you can also attend York races family day, which is held on 4th September 2016 (my birthday and just round the corner so a perfect treat for me), set on the beautiful Knavesmire.  It is free entry for under 18’s to, and has a combination of grassy lawns, home-made real ice cream, the chance to see the amazing thoroughbreds at close quarters, and baby-changing facilities located in each enclose.  Many of York Racecourse’s race days provide extra entertainment for the family.  On Family Day there’s an appearance from a children’s favourite character, bouncy castles, interactive racing zones, and added activities provided throughout the day.

Jumping I know little about but love to watch on the TV. Jumping season begins next month at Cheltenham Festival.  It encompasses and epitomises everything which is great about race jumping, delivering an unbelievable occasion of the finest horses, jockeys, owners, and trainers, battling it out for big prize awards and the highest racing honours.  Children at Cheltenham have free entry, under 18, except for The Festival.  There is a dedicated area for parents of babies and young children, providing a suitable environment, and facilities, to rest, feed and change.  There’s no better experience than the Cheltenham Festival, but if you fancy having a little flutter, from the comfort of your own home, then why not visit Coral’s website?  It has comprehensive horse racing odds to take advantage of.

Stratford racecourse family day is held on Sunday 10th July 2016.  It’s one of the busiest and action-packed days on the calendar, with fantastic racing, lots of free children’s activities, all day in the Centre Course Enclosure, where you can park and picnic.  There are also Behind the Scenes tours, which take place before the racing begins, and jockey’s autograph sessions throughout the day.  Lots more will be on offer, but will be confirmed nearer the date.  Children under 17 have free entry, with under 18’s having free admission on other dates, and free children’s entertainment on most summer meetings.  Stratford Racecourse is one of the country’s leading small summer jumps racecourses, having a reputation for excellent levels of prize money, and has a campsite too.

Who knows, perhaps I’ll catch the racing bug and treat myelf to a hat for Thirsk’s rather famous Ladies’ Day !

13506768113_7e22191b66_mPhoto credit

Brothers Getting Along


My two are both so different and yet so very much the same. Does that make sense? With nearly five years between them and Kieran approaching teenagedom at an alarming speed I expected them to start fighting and be falling out more by now. I suspect that the age gap is working well in a way because Taylor is too young to play on Kieran’s yard at school (so can’t get in the way with his frinds) and by the time he is, Kieran will have left primary and started secondary school (that’s a scary thought that deserves a blog post all of its own).

While right now they are getting on so well, other than the odd spat here and there I’m not blinkered to the fact that when hormones start to interfere that this might not always be the case (I’m one of six siblings; my parents were saints not to duct-tape us to a lorry and let it drive off during our teenage bickering years).

I’m not quite ready to give up seeing Kieran come out of one school door and Taylor another at the end of the day, when they launch themselves at each other and hug (every day without fail) before running off to play but right now can’t see how to avoid it? Is it inevitable? Is there a way to maintain the cracking brotherly friendship they have going on now? I’m sure if brotherly war does break out they’ll become friends again once they come out the other side, me and my siblings did but if any of you have any hints or tips for making that transition easier do share!


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