Quality time with the kids. Is there anything more important nowadays? Time seems always to be running away from you, especially if you are running a busy family. With Feather Down it's time to be hitting the pause button in favour of the adventure button.
One you get to the farm you don't really need to have a lot in place to enjoy each other's company in the absence of distractions from phones and tablets. With our nearly 20 years of experience in family holidays on the farm, we would love to share our top tips so you hit the ground running (literally) when you get there.
1. Gaze at the stars
Find yourselves a spot where it's pitch dark. Away from the city and the street-lights. Enjoy the countryside sounds and the millions of stars shining in the sky.
2. Go electricity free for a day
Mobile phones off, no TV, no central heating - it's all switched off. We are so used to having all manner of devices close at hand that there is a mass out-break of panic when wi-fi goes down. But off-line is the new luxury! Time to get those board games out and deal out the playing cards.
3. Play hide and seek with your children
Three, two, one...coming if you're ready or not! Surely this is the most exciting game from back in the day. Free your inner child and let your canvas hideaway and all its nooks and crannies become your new playground.
4. Learn a new recipe together
Running from pillar to post after work, from after school club to ballet classes and back home again. Not a minute to cook anything beyond the quick, the tried and the tested. Take the time at Feather Down to take your time. Why not learn to cook a new recipe together on the wood burning stove, that slow cooker par excellence? You will impress yourselves with what you can do with such a simple set-up.
5. Learn to make a fire
Have yourself a Robinson Crusoe style adventure in your canvas hideaway. Can you do it without matches or a fire-lighter? Don't worry, the whole family can pitch in. And once the fire is on, it can be marshmallow time!
6. Learn how to milk a cow
If you're lucky enough to choose one of our dairy farms like Billingsmoor in Devon or Hollings Hill in the Malverns, then you'll be able to get up close and personal in the milking parlour. Of course, there are machines involved - it's not a question of a milk maid (or man) sitting on a stool behind the cow's udders. But there's nothing like seeing first hand where your food and drink comes from.
7. Organise a barbie for your neighbours
How well do you know your Feather Down neighbours? Many life-time friendships have been formed down at our farms, both young and old. Light up the outdoor barbecue and invite the neighbours over from the next canvas hideaway. Hand them a beer and let your children go off and play together whilst you do.
8. Enjoy the rain together
You never quite be sure about the great British weather, can you? There's no need to worry though - Feather Down Farms is an all weather product. Go splashing about in the mud - most canvas hideaways have their own showers. Dirt is good. Especially if you're equipped with kit from our partners at Muddy Puddles, the children's outerwear experts.
9. Watch the sun come up
The longest day of the year is not far off. If you are lucky enough to be on a Feather Down stay at this time, then why not get up at first light. Not only will you have the landscape to yourselves (except for the farmer who'll be up shortly), the dawn chorus will be yours. You don't have to know which bird is singing which song - just sit there and let the music of nature wash over you.
10. Build a den
Most of our UK farms have woodland nearby. There's sure to be evidence of den building at a Feather Down farm. Take a ready-made one and customise it, or build your own from scratch. Either way, you'll get a great sense of satisfaction from crafting something with your own hands as and absorbing yourselves in the moment.
Did you enjoy our top ten tips for your children? I know are a bit biased but you should be able to tick them off on your Feather Down Farm stay - an escape to a simpler life for you and the whole family.