Who doesn’t love a good nature trail, scavenging in the garden or when you head to the park? Do you fill your pockets with bits of moss, twigs, conkers, stones and leaves and carry them home like precious cargo? Children love creating cardboard box forests from collected treasures, so this year why not combine it with Halloween and try out an alternative to pumpkin carving?
Here I’ll show you how to make a secret woodland in a pumpkin cave, for some little creatures to play in. It’s a wonderful way to get small minds creating and the scavenger hunt for all your woodland materials can be as much fun as the decorating itself.
Take a pumpkin and a felt tip pen and draw a rectangular window shape. Using a serrated knife and a grown-up pair of hands, cut out the window shape. Don’t worry if you cut a little off-line; use a damp cloth to wipe away any felt tip.
Empty the seeds and loose flesh from your pumpkin. Let the children help and get messy pulling all the pumpkin’s hairy insides out! Rinse your pumpkin with water and pat the inside dry with paper towels.
Now you can start creating. Rosemary and creeping foliage make great bases for your woodland, and herbs give off a lovely scent too. Moss is perfect to balance your figures or toy animals in. Raid your toy boxes or local cake decorating shop for cake toppers, which make perfect props for your autumn woodland. Plastic horses, birds and maybe a reindeer or two would look very at home in this pumpkin shelter.
Add colour with dried flowers and pop on a window ledge or in the hallway for everyone to admire. The herbs will keep the pumpkin smelling sweeter for longer, meaning your creation has a shelf-life beyond October 31! You could add shredded paper and make a bird’s nest or even fake snow for a wintrier feel?
The only limit to this fun craft is your imagination. Enjoy!
Bring Nutmeg to life at our magical sculptures this Winter Wonderland
Unless you’ve been living under a giant ball of tinsel for the past few months, you’ll know that this year’s Winter Wonderland welcomes a very special new resident – Nutmeg the baby reindeer. So far we’ve told you all about Nutmeg and the children’s storybook created just for Center Parcs, but the fun doesn’t stop there.
At all five Villages this Winter Wonderland, you’ll find a magical, enchanting sculpture, each one inspired by a page from our book Nutmeg’s Antlers. Bedecked in twinkling fairy lights, the sculptures fit in perfectly against the scenery of snow-capped trees, cool blue skies and festive activities taking place from Monday, 7 November.
So what are they? Well, besides looking beautiful they’re the perfect spot to gather round and take a family photo to remember your break at Winter Wonderland 2016. But, with your smartphone you can also add our beloved Nutmeg into your photo too. How? Well, it’s magic of course! And by magic, we mean augmented reality.
Augmented reality (or AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on to your view of the world, in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it. To bring Nutmeg to life during your break, all you have to do is download the free Zappar app, available on Apple or Android.
How it works
1. Arrive at the sculpture (locations below – keep reading!) and open the Zappar app on your phone. It’s a really good idea to download the app ahead of your stay or in your Lodge (all accommodation now has free WiFi). Don’t worry if you forget though, there will be a WiFi connection at the sculptures too to ensure you can get that perfect festive snap.
2. Hold your smartphone over the full sign, next to the sculpture.
3. Marvel as you watch Nutmeg come to life before your eyes! Touch your screen to position, enlarge or shrink Nutmeg and take your photo with him, before saving and sharing to social media.
Where to find the sculptures
Between Tree trekking and the Sports Plaza, map ref C10. See the map.
Between the Village Square and the lake, map ref E9. See the map.
The cycle park by Dexters and the Village Square, map ref D9. See the map.
The top end of the Village Square entrance, map ref D8. See the map.
The grass ahead of Subtropical Swimming Paradise, map ref E5. See the map.
Haven’t booked your Winter Wonderland break yet? There’s still time! Take a look now.
Pumpkin spiced French toast with hot maple nectarines recipe
Add a little pumpkin spice to your life
Pumpkin spiced coffees are having a moment. They mean that autumn is here and that magical time of year is on its way when your diet can be 60 per cent mince pies and Eggnog and nobody can judge you.
Since Starbucks created the pumpkin spiced latte (or #psl if you’re that way inclined) ten years ago, they’ve shifted an incredible 200 million of the drinks.
Recreating the familiar flavour of your favourite hot beverage isn’t as simple as adding some pumpkin. It’s a delicate blend of spices including nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and ginger that combine to give you that pumpkin pie warmth.
With this recipe you get the best of both worlds. Golden silky pumpkin enriches the creamy batter, while the spice mixture makes the house smell divine once you start cooking. The thick slices of brioche take this from a simple breakfast to an indulgent treat, especially if you add the hot, luscious nectarines. You needn’t keep it to the morning either – why not try it on Halloween before you head out for a spot of trick or treating?
The below recipe serves two. Simply double the quantities for four and continue scaling up if you have more guests. And if word gets out that you’re serving this up for autumn brunch, you may find people start popping round unexpectedly…
French toast ingredients
4 tbsp double cream
4 tbsp pumpkin – from a can or puréed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of allspice or ground cloves
4 thick slices of brioche – ideally a few days old
B1 tbsp of oil (for frying)
1 tbsp of butter (for frying)
French toast method
1. Whisk the eggs, then add all the other ingredients and whisk again 2. Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat 3. Carefully dip the bread slices into the batter and flip them over to give them a good coating 4. Gently fry the toast in the pan, turning once, until golden brown.
Hot maple nectarines ingredients
1 ripe nectarine
½ tsp vanilla extract
A little butter for frying
Hot maple nectarines method
1. Melt a little butter in a frying pan 2. Slice segments from the nectarine into the buttery pan 3. Cook on both sides until starting to brown 4. Drizzle in some maple syrup and vanilla, then spoon over the French toast 5. If you are feeling fancy you can add crème fraîche, cream or ice cream and a dusting of cinnamon
Here’s a little secret. If you can’t get hold of pumpkin, just leave it out. The recipe is still delicious with just the egg, cream and those lovely spices.
Back in June we proudly announced that our new charity partner for the next two years was to be Together for Short Lives, a charity that supports 54 local children’s hospice services across the UK and provide advice and support to families nationwide. With our new charity partnership we are helping five local children’s hospices, all of which allow families to make the most of the time they spend together and ensure that children have as fulfilling lives as possible.
Meet the Abbott family
The work of Together for Short Lives is vital and the Abbott family have experienced the support they provide for all members of their family.
Lee and John Abbott, parents to Noah and Amber, have received life-changing support from Keech Hospice Care, one of the many hospices working with Together for Short Lives providing vital support for families.
“No parent is ever prepared to hear bad news about their child but when we were told that our baby girl had lissencephaly I couldn’t take it in. Doctors told us that Amber wouldn’t develop beyond a 3-5 month year old. Even with modern medicine and care, we realised that our child was going to have a limited life. I stopped worrying about how long she would survive and started focusing on her quality of life.”
Keech Hospice Care
For families like the Abbott family this is where hospices like Keech Hospice Care reach out and offer a helping hand.
“Hearing the word hospice is scary. You associate hospices with death and sadness but I was amazed at just how much Keech offered and how it could help the whole family. It was nice to know there were other parents out there going through the same thing. Being able to interact with other families and share experiences and advice is amazing. Keech isn’t just about the medical side of life; it is about providing a quality of life and giving these children some normality.”
Children’s hospices provide support for the entire family and Amber’s brother Noah has experienced this first hand.
“Noah, Amber’s brother, struggled with his new sister. He loves her to pieces but is angry that he is no longer my only concern. Keech gives Noah a platform of expression and he’s the centre of attention while we are there.”
“Day to day life is a struggle but Keech makes it that little bit easier to handle. I feel better that I am armed with the knowledge of what to expect and that I have a network of people able to support me. It’s incredible to think that Keech relies on donations to stay open and provide this fantastic service. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would definitely make sure that Keech was around for years to come.”
We’re extremely proud to be supporting this life changing charity and we will be keeping you updated with our fundraising efforts along the way. To learn more about the inspiring work of Together for Short Lives and the support they offer for families all over the UK, find out more here.
I love the idea of everlasting decorations – the kind you make with the children one year, carefully store away and then joyfully re-discover twelve months later. If you, like me, can never bear to throw away your little ones’ craft projects (how could I?), then these stylish Halloween decorations might be for you.
These Halloween book pumpkins are a great way to appreciate the beauty of an old book that’s too tatty for a charity shop. They’re as fun to make for adults as they are for children, and, best of all, they don’t start to smell a bit iffy after a few days like a regular carved pumpkin!
All you need to create them is some old books that you no longer read – the dog-eared, slightly-torn, battered ones work perfectly. This is a chance for them to avoid the recycling and be turned into something beautiful.
The type of book you use is up to you – we went for the children’s un-read picture books, but old novels or musical manuscripts look wonderful, with a vintage feel.
For the stem of your pumpkin, head into the garden or your local park for some twigs. You need the straightest twigs you can find so they lie flat against your book spine. You could choose ones with a few leaves at the top or decorate with some seasonal ribbon, like we did.
Take your book and separate the block of pages from the spine
With a pen, draw half a pumpkin shape on the first page. Remember you want your pumpkin to stand up, so make sure you draw a slightly squashed circle shape with a wider base
Gather together the first six pages or so and carefully cut around your pumpkin outline. Take the next few pages and, using the outline of the last cut page as a guide, continue cutting through all the pages to the end of the book.
Open the book at the middle and flatten. Using a glue gun, spread some glue down the spine of the book and press your twig into place. Hold it down for 30 seconds until it sticks fast.
Stand your pumpkin upright and spread out the pages until it balances.
Hooray! A Halloween decoration with no carving, no mess and no rotting vegetables. A forever pumpkin. Why not make a whole set out of different sized books to sit on the mantelpiece?
De gokkasten in Center Pars zone ‘House of Games’ worden steeds meer vervangen door behendigheidsspellen. Dat liet uitbater van de speelzone ‘Alrecrea’ weten aan de website meneercasino.com. Een exploitatie zonder gokkasten zorgt voor een lagere inzet van personeel.
Bij de behendigheidsspellen worden geen prijzen in geld maar in tickets uitgekeerd. Met die tickets kunnen deelnemers speren voor prijzen. “Dit soort spellen valt niet onder de categorie gokspellen” laat roel Veltmeijer van Alrecrea aan de Meneer Casino weten, “Bovendien willen we sowieso van het gokimago af”.
In samenspraak met Center Parcs
Het is voor Center Parcs niet ongebruikelijk om voor onderdelen van de exploitatie op het park samen te werken met externe partijen. Zo is de hele foodservice op de Nederlandse en Belgische parken uitbesteed aan Albron. Voor de exploitatie van ‘House of Games’ wordt samengewerkt met Alrecrea uit Sittard.
We vroegen aan Center Parcs in hoeverre zij invloed hebben op de koerswijziging van Alrecrea? Een woordvoerder laat weten: “Vanzelfsprekend verloopt iedere aanpassing in een concept, dus ook in het concept ‘House of Games’, in samenspraak met Center Parcs. We zijn continu met onze business partners in gesprek over vernieuwing in de beleving van onze gasten, zo ook met Alrecrea.”
Is er veranderende rol van het House of Games concept binnen Center Parcs? Center Parcs: “Voor wat betreft de kansspelen is er een aantal factoren dat een rol speelt. De invoering van het rookverbod een aantal jaren geleden, de opkomst van online casino’s én het uitblijven van innovaties op het gebied van machines maken dat we gestaag een daling zien van de populariteit van kansspelen bij Center Parcs.”
Over mogelijk samenvoegen met ander concepten is Center Parcs duidelijk: “De House of Games is vandaag al een ‘open’ afdeling in onze Market Dome of Action Factory en is goed zichtbaar voor onze gasten, maar is wel een concept dat op zichzelf staat. We hebben geen plannen om deze te integreren met andere concepten.”
Aqua Sana Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, will be hosting pop up spas from three different product houses across six months from January to June 2017.
VOYA, [comfort zone] and ESPA will each have a four week slot in the retail space and use of a treatment room at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest. The three product houses offer a different approach to spa, giving guests the opportunity to learn about new brands, new products and experience treatments from their own specialised therapists.
VOYA 27 January - 23 February 2017:
Hailing from County Sligo, Ireland, VOYA harnesses the natural goodness of seaweed in all their products. Founded by the Mark and Kira Walton over 10 years ago, VOYA is the world’s first certified, organic seaweed based skincare range. The Irish seaweed is hand-harvested to create over 50 products that utilise the minerals, vitamins and bioactive compounds which make up 80% of seaweed. A highlight of the VOYA pop up spa will be the chance to experience the 300 year old Irish tradition of a seaweed wrap.
[comfort zone] 24 March - 20 April 2017:
Italian product house [comfort zone] was established in Parma by pharmacist and cosmetic chemist Davide Bollati in 1996. After studying innovative approaches to anti-aging, Davide was inspired to create products that combined a soulful, healthy, sustainable lifestyle with advanced science-based solutions. [comfort zone] focusses on a mind-skin connection and places emphasis on overall wellbeing, which spa guests can learn about during workshops and seminars on diet and lifestyle as part of the [comfort zone] pop up spa.
ESPA 19 May - 15 June 2017:
Founded by Sue Harmsworth in 1992, ESPA takes a tri-active approach to spa – blending plant extracts, marine extracts and essential oils to create their range of products. ESPA products specialise in delivering immediate and long-term skin care benefits, as well as multi-sensory, immersive experiences through therapeutic treatments. As part of their pop up spa, ESPA will offer guests ‘10 minute treats’ and workshops ranging from ‘Mindfulness & Breathing’ to ‘Body Cleanse & Revitalise’ to showcase their holistic philosophy.
Kay Pennington, Aqua Sana Group Spa Manager said;
“We’re really excited about VOYA, [comfort zone] and ESPA running pop up spas at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest. Each product house is unique in its approach and offers different types of treatments and products for spa guests to learn about and experience. It’s a first for Aqua Sana and something completely new for our guests – we can’t wait to see what they think.”
Details of each pop up spa at Aqua Sana Woburn Forest will be available online at www.aquasana.co.uk/woburn for four weeks before each slot. All treatments, workshops and seminars on offer can be booked by spa guests online in advance or on the day (subject to availability).
If there’s something that little ones love to do more than painting, I’d like to hear it. Combine that with covering their feet in the stuff and you’ve got a winning craft idea for Halloween!
All you need is black card, a hole punch and fun ribbons to embellish your greetings card, white paint and a black pen. Oh and a pair of willing feet!
For little feet, fold your black card in half to make a portrait style card. Using the hole punch, make two holes. Now you are ready to paint your feet.
Dip the foot into a shallow bowl or plate and if you want to, use a paint brush to even out your white paint over the sole of your foot. Place your foot on top of the black card and press down to make a painty footprint!
Leave to dry, then add your ghostly eyes and mouth. Thread two pieces of ribbon one at a time, through your pre punched holes and tie in a knot or bow. Now write a spooky message and send to a friend to wish them a Happy Halloween!
For bigger ghosts footprints, hole punch two A4 pieces of card and tie them together with your ribbons.
How about making a family of ghost feet? Get everyone involved and on a larger piece of card each make a painted footprint. Hang with ribbons on your front door to welcome trick or treaters.
You could even add a little sparkle and sprinkle white and silver glitter on your wet ghosts before the paint dries.
When I think of autumn, I think of apples. It’s the time of year when they’re at their best, when the apple trees shake off their wares and baskets appear outside homes in our village, piled high with fruit, hand-written signs saying “Delicious apples, please take some!”
For the best pies, I mix soft, tangy Bramleys – which cook down to a rich sauce – with little cubes of crisp eating apples to add bite. You can absolutely make these with shop-bought pastry (and I have, several times) but this sweet and short pie pastry is so delicious that they become utterly irresistible. Add in a spoonful of dulce de leche (or heaven in liquid form) and you have a handheld, warm dessert that’s as perfect round a bonfire as it is as a mince pie substitute for currant dodgers.
Terrific Toffee Apple Pies
Makes 10-12 pies
2 large Bramley cooking apples, peeled and slices
2 eating apples (Pink Lady or Granny Smith work well), chopped into small cubes
70g golden caster sugar
1 tbsp milk mixed with 2tsp cornflour
1 tin of dulce de leche (you could make your own, but the tinned is just as good. Find it next to the condensed milk)
Mini butterscotch piece (optional, but amazing)
Sweet Pie Pastry
175g plain flour
75g self-raising flour
50g icing sugar
175g fat (I use 125g butter and 50g lard)
1 egg, whisked with a dash of milk
1 batch of homemade pie pastry or 1 pack of ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry
1 beaten egg mixed with 1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp Demerara sugar
Filling 1 Place your Bramley apples and a tablespoon of water into a pan with a tight lid 2 Cook for around 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften 3 Add your diced eating apples, replace the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes 4 Add your sugar, stir, taste (add more if you feel it’s needed) 5 Add your cornflour and milk 6 Cook for a few minutes to thicken the filling, then leave to cook
Sweet Pie Pastry
1 Mix the flours and icing sugar then lightly rub in the butter and lard 2 Add most of the milk/egg mixture and stir (or pulse in a food processor) until it starts to come together 3 Pull the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes
Assembly 1 Roll out your pastry on a floured surface until the thickness of a pound coin 2 Cut out circles a little bigged than the space in a fairy cake tin 3 Press your pastry into the tins 4 Spoon in some cooled apple and top with a heaped teaspoon of dulce de leche (sprinkle in your butterscotch pieces here if using) 5 Cut out slightly smaller circles and press them on top, sealing the edges 6 Brush with the milk and egg mixture, sprinkle with brown sugar 7 Bake at 175°C for 16-18 minutes until light golden brown 8 Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then carefully remove to a cooling rack
Amy van der Plas is geswitcht van Center Parcs naar social marketingbureau C2B. Bij C2B zal Van der Plas leiding geven aan het social content team en deze afdeling verder uitbouwen. Bij Center Parcs was Van der Plas social media manager en verantwoordelijk voor alle content voor Nederland, België en Duitsland.
Robert van Meer, Managing Partner bij C2B: “We zijn heel blij dat Amy ons team komt versterken. Met het binnenhalen van haar krijgt C2B er een stoot ervaring bij, die past bij de visie die we voor onze klanten hebben. Amy weet als geen ander fans te verbinden aan een merk door middel van interactie en betrokkenheid. We delen de visie dat teveel merken (zelfs op de social kanalen) nog teveel aan het ‘zenden’ zijn. Met Amy halen we de expertise en creativiteit in huis om onze social content-afdeling naar een nog hoger niveau te tillen.”
Accounts waar Van der Plas voor aan de slag zal gaan, zijn onder andere STARWARS, PostNL, BIC®, HEKS’NKAAS® en SPAR supermarkten.
Property development44.439.2+13.2% Total Q4497.6 470.8+5.7%+3.2% Tourism 1253.4 1180.7+6.2%+5.0% - PV Tourisme Europe609.4594.5+2.5%+0.3% - Center Parcs Europe644.0586.2+9.9%+9.9%
*Adjustment for the impact of the acquisition on 13 April 2016 of "La France du Nord au Sud", a recognised player in the market of online distribution of holiday rentals in France and Spain.
**Adjustment for the impact on accommodation revenue:
- of the net reduction in the portfolio operated in the PVTE division, due to the non-renewal of leases (seaside sites primarily in Q4) and withdrawals from loss-making sites.
- the opening of Domaine Center Parcs du Bois aux Daims (as of July 2015)
Under IFRS standards:
- Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015/2016 totalled €483.6 million (€445.9 million for the tourism businesses and €37.7 million for the property development businesses) compared with €463.2 million on a same-structure basis in Q4 2014/2015 (€435.5 million for tourism and €27.7 million for property development).
- Full-year 2015/2016 turnover totalled €1,372.6 million (€1,225.8 million for the tourism businesses and €146.8 million for the property businesses), compared with €1,395.6 million on a same-structure basis for 2014/2015 (€1,168.9 million for tourism and €226.7m for property development).
In Q4 2015/2016:
Revenue from the tourism businesses rose 5% to €453.3 million (+2.3% on a same-structure basis) relative to Q4 of the previous year, in a backdrop in France significantly affected by terrorist threats and action.
Accommodation turnover rose 1.5% to €290.0 million, adjusted for supply effects and 3.6% excluding Adagio, even though the summer of 2015 was a high reference basis.
Pierre & Vacances Tourisme Europe contributed €145.5 million, up 2.3% excluding supply effects and Adagio. This growth was driven by the healthy performances from seaside destinations (+2.7%), which benefited notably from momentum at the Spanish residences, growth in net average letting rates and high occupancy rates (84%).
With more tourist than business customers over the summer period, Adagio continued to suffer from the backdrop in France (near -10% decline in sales over the brand's entire scope).
Center Parcs Europe contributed €144.5 million, up 4.5%, driven by increased activity at the Domains located in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium (+6.8%). Net average letting rates rose 6.1% for all of the Domains.
For the full-year 2015/2016:
Revenue from the tourism businesses totalled €1,253.4 million, up 6.2% (+5.0% on a same-structure basis) relative to the previous year.
It won’t be sunhats and sun cream this October half term break, but it will be wellies, warm clothes and cosy woolly hats. With plenty of adventure and activities to get up to at Center Parcs, be prepared for a fun-filled break no matter what the weather. Here are our top five essentials for a Center Parcs break this half term.
A warm coat for long walks in the forest
Slowly but surely we’re finding ourselves heading to the wardrobe to put on more and more layers as winter gradually approaches. This October half term, ensure a waterproof coat is on the top of your Center Parcs check list. All our Villages are set in acres of beautiful, leafy woodland, so step outside, enjoy the fresh air and marvel as autumn takes over the forest. If the weather catches you out then Spirit offers a range of seasonal clothing for both adults and little ones, from brands such as Fat Face, Crew and Joules.
Wellies for splashing in puddles
If the rain decides to join you on your break then a pair of wellies are a must this half term. From splashing in puddles to muddy walks on the forest trails, wellies for little ones and big ones are an essential item to pack. Center Parcs is the perfect setting for an outdoor adventure so put on your wellies, wrap up warm and head to the forest to explore.
Swimming essentials for fun in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise
Our Subtropical Swimming Paradise is open all year round and heated to 29.5 degrees, so whatever the weather is up to outside, you can enjoy a slice of summer inside. Each Subtropical Swimming Paradise at all our Villages is home to child-friendly pools for little ones and jaw-dropping slides for big ones. So whether you’re coming for a morning dip, a moonlight swim or you decide to spend the day, the whole family can join in the fun. Forgot something? Swimming essentials from towels, goggles, floats and swim costumes can be found at Aquatique.
Board games and playing cards for fun in your Lodge
After a long day of activities, nothing can beat relaxing in your Lodge, as you sit by the fire surrounded by family and friends. For an evening of entertainment (where pyjamas is an acceptable dress code), board games and playing cards are perfect for creating family memories. So prepare to gather round the table or kick back on the sofa, order a takeaway from Dining In and get competitive with a traditional game of cards. Don’t worry about digging out and dusting off your old deck of cards, at Just Kids you can choose from a range of fun-filled games and at The Store Room browse an excellent range of retro games.
A camera for capturing special moments
A Center Parcs break is perfect for capturing family moments all year round. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, Center Parcs in autumn is bursting with colour, creating the perfect backdrop for your family photos. Take it from us, Center Parcs is a haven for wildlife, so if your camera’s to hand you will get some extraordinary photos. If you want to take tips from the pros then check out Sherwood Forest Conservation Ranger, Mike Hill’s photography tips.
To find out what you could get up to on your October half term break, check out our guide to activities for all ages, marvel at our Outdoor Activity Centre activities video and if you’re packing for little ones, watch our video of essentials to pack.
Beleef de magie van Winter Wonderland bij Center Parcs.
Zodra u het park binnenkomt voelt u het al... u bevindt zich in een waar Winter Wonderland! Laat u onderdompelen in een sfeervolle, winterse ambiance. Allerlei fonkelende lichtjes en bijzondere winteractiviteiten, zoals de betoverende Kids Winter Parade door het park, Winterse Voorleesverhaaltjes, Glitter Tattoos en schmink, en de Kids Workshop waarin u samen een souvenir maakt.
What’s it all about: Join in the witchcraft this Halloween by getting creative and making your very own broomstick. Witches and wizards of all ages can join us for this fun-filled activity, where your little ones can accessorise their costumes with their very own broom.
Who’ll love it: Little ones who are feeling creative
Halloween Cupcake Decorating Workshop
For who: 8-11 years
Where: All Villages
What’s it all about: This fun and creative session is perfect for those wanting to create a spooktacular treat in time for Halloween. Take to our master class to learn tips and tricks on how to decorate six delicious Halloween cupcakes. The question is, who will you share them with?
Who’ll love it: Those wanting to create a sweet treat for family and friends
Spooky Chocolate Chefs Academy
For who: 3 to 7 years
Where: All Villages
What’s it all about: For trick-or-treat goodies like no other, come along to our Spooky Chocolate Chefs Academy, where you will put on your chef’s hat, tie on your apron and get to work as a master chocolatier. Create a range of scrumptious Halloween treats, join in the fun and games and design your own spooky, secret recipe.
Who’ll love it: Mini chefs looking to try something new and create something spooky
For who: 3 years +
Where: All Villages
What’s it all about: Perfect for all the family, join us for this traditional Halloween activity as you design, carve and take home your own pumpkin lantern. Will you carve a ghoulish frown or a spooky witch? The choice is yours.
Who’ll love it: Families wanting to spend time together making memories
Halloween Treasure Trail
For who: All ages
Where: All Villages
What’s it all about: Our woodland trails are the perfect setting for our special Halloween Treasure Trail. All the family can take to their bikes and explore the twists and turns as you keep your eyes peeled along the way and complete the Treasure Trail.
Who’ll love it: Families who want to explore the outdoors
Halloween Night-Time Tree Trek
For who: Minimum height 1.10 metres
Where: Elveden Forest and Woburn Forest
What’s it all about: Be the bravest of them all as you take to our treetop canopy in this unique activity with a spooky twist. Make your way around our aerial course, climbing the ascents and descents of the treetops. The twist? You’ll be up in the trees when the moon comes out, so make sure your head torch is on full beam.
Who’ll love it: Daredevils with a head for heights
Halloween Party Time
For who: 3-7 years
Where: All Villages except Sherwood Forest
What’s it all about: This is a Halloween party you won’t want to miss! Calling all witches, wizards, ghouls and goblins to join us for our very special Halloween Party Time. This exciting session will involve games, makeovers, music and creative activities for your little ones to enjoy, all followed by spooky snacks after a busy day playing with new friends.
Who’ll love it: Those with plenty of energy to burn
For more activities during your break, check out our guide to activities for little ones or our guide and video to the Outdoor Activity Centre.
Platina en tweemaal goud voor Katwijkse Kids Disco cd’s
Het entertainment team van Center Parcs heeft donderdag in vakantiepark De Eemhof een platina en twee gouden cd’s uitgereikt gekregen. Kids Disco 1 bereikte onlangs de grens van 40.000 verkochte exemplaren, goed voor platina. Van Kids Disco 2 gingen zowel de Nederlandstalige als de Duitstalige versie over de gouden grens van 20.000 verkochte exemplaren.
De Kids Disco cd’s werden ontwikkeld in samenwerking met de Katwijkse kinderpopgroep Minidisco, bekend van o.a. Tsjoe Tsjoe Wa, Klap Klap Stap Stap en Cowboy Johnny. Zij schreven voor het project ook het themalied Kids Disco.
Gouden en platina platen worden tegenwoordig vooral behaald op Spotify en i-Tunes. Bijzonder aan de Kids Disco albums is dat ze alleen op cd verkrijgbaar zijn. Volgens Didi Dubbeldam van Minidisco is de verklaring simpel. ‘Voor kinderen is een cadeautje dat ze vast kunnen houden toch nog altijd het allermooist.’
Latin Weekender: 3 dagen latin feest bij Center Parcs Limburgse Peel
Van 25 tot en met 28 november wordt op Center Parcs Limburgse Peel 3 dagen lang een groot latin feest georganiseerd: Latin Weekender. Er is een uitgebreid programma van vrijdag tot en met zondag met natuurlijk veel muziek, dansen, een kizomba workshop, lekker eten en drinken en een coole poolparty.
Kijk maar eens naar het uitgebreide programma! Tip: op vrijdagavond wordt het latin weekend geopend met het ¨carnaval tropical¨. Ervaren Salsa, bachata en kizomba DJ's heten jou welkom met heerlijke tunes.
Wil je dit ook een keer beleven? een De cottages tijdens Latin Weekender in Center Parcs Limburgse Peel zijn beschikbaar voor groepen van 2 tot 8 personen. De prijzen zijn afhankelijk van de accommodatie die je boekt. Let wel even goed op wat inclusief is en niet - zo moet je drankjes en eten wel zelf betalen.
Ballymahon community celebrates after Longford Forest planning approval
It was a day of celebration and exciting plans last week as the community of Ballymahon came together to welcome Center Parcs CEO, Martin Dalby.
In the first visit since planning approval was granted, Martin paid a visit to the site that will soon become our sixth Village, and our first in Ireland.
A legion of community representatives, residents, councillors, senators and local businesses attended a special community reception in Ballymahon to officially welcome Center Parcs to County Longford. By Martin’s side was Mary Mitchell-O’Connor, T.D., Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, beaming with anticipation at hearing the next steps in the journey to bring Center Parcs Longford Forest to life.
Unveiling the Village map and mock-up sign, Martin Dalby says: “As we enter this next phase, we are one step closer to the economic transformation of the midlands and sharing the Center Parcs experience with families throughout Ireland. Our commitments to the local community and our neighbours here in Ballymahon will remain at the core of the project through our new Center Parcs Community Forum.”
Longford Forest at a glance
Center Parcs Longford Forest is due to open in 2019
The build will create approximately 750 jobs and a further 1,000 once open
The Village will have capacity for up to 2,500 guests
Once operational, the Village will add approximately €32m annually to the Irish economy
Longford Forest will feature the staples of a Center Parcs Village, including Subtropical Swimming Paradise, Aqua Sana spa and watersports lake
Before you pack your bags, load the car and head to Center Parcs, check out our guide to activities you must try on your short break this October half term. Whether you are with family or friends, there are many activities which all ages can get involved in on a Center Parcs break and we’re here to give you a glimpse of just a few.
For who: All ages – person over 18 must be present
Where: All Villages
What it’s all about: Your putting skills will be tested in this family activity that will have you practicing your eye for precision as you keep your cool and battle it out to be the winner of your group. Watch everyone’s competitive side come out as you take to our themed golf course in this fun and family-friendly activity. Will you be the first one in your family to get a hole-in-one?
Who’ll love it: Perfect for all ages and abilities if you have a spare afternoon
Indoor Climbing Adventure
For who: Minimum height 1.10 metres
Where: All Villages
What it’s all about: Have you got a head for heights? Tackle our Indoor Climbing Adventure and climb your way to the top of our colourful indoor climbing walls. Depending on the Village you will find yourself conquering a snakes and ladders inspired wall, climbing up a chess board or making your way through space. With various paths you can take to climb up these walls, remember once at the top, there’s only one way down.
Who’ll love it: Families who want to try something new together
Pottery Painting Studio
For who: All ages – person over 18 must be present
Where: All Villages
What it’s all about: All the family can get involved in this creative session that will have you choosing and painting your very own piece of pottery. Pick from a range of pots and then get to work painting, splodging and crafting your masterpiece. Our staff will glaze your pot overnight so remember to collect your creation the very next day.
Who’ll love it: Those who are feeling creative or looking for a relaxing afternoon
For who: 6 years +
Where: At Sherwood Forest and Whinfell Forest
What it’s all about: Perfect for both children and grown-ups, our Caving Adventure caters for all abilities with our instructor-led session tailored to your needs. This realistic experience will have you twisting and turning as you make your way through a series of tunnels in our indoor caves. Check out our Caving Adventure video to find out more.
Who’ll love it: Adventurous types craving new experiences
For who: 8 years +
Where: All Villages
What it’s all about: Take to the water and make a splash in this unique activity that will have you embarking on an underwater adventure. Dive to the depths of our pool with the use of a Seadoo and zip through the water in this exciting aquatic adventure. This fun activity is like no other and is one that little ones and big ones alike will love.
Who’ll love it: For families who love spending time in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise
For who: 10 years +
Where: All Villages
What it’s all about: The goal is simple, hit the target to earn points in this competitive activity that will have all the family battling it out in a series of games to fight for that top spot on our leaderboard. Who will claim victory in your family?
Who’ll love it: Competitive family or friends
For who: Minimum height: 1.22 metres
Where: All Villages
What it’s all about: Prepare for a thrilling adventure as you climb up into the treetop canopy to complete our aerial course. With guidance from our instructors, make your way over a series of obstacles before finally making an exhilarating descent by zip-wire that will have you flying through the trees.
Who’ll love it: Daredevils with a head for heights
Den Building and Decorating
For who: 3 years +
Where: All Villages
What it’s all about: What better place to make a den than in the heart of the forest. Get the whole family together and get stuck in to this fun and creative activity that will see you building your own woodland den out of leaves, twigs, fern and other natural resources. Our den masters will guide you along the way as you build, decorate and test out your family den building skills.
Who’ll love it: Those looking to get into the wilderness and experience the outdoors
For more activities available on your Center Parcs break, check out our guide to activities at the Outdoor Activity Centre or check out our activities website here.
Why an October half term break is better than staying at home
October half term means a whole week off school and what better way to fill that week than with a Center Parcs break with your family? No need to fret about filling the days with ways to entertain the young ones, we have something to keep everyone happy no matter what the age. So, to convince you why a break at Center Parcs is better than staying at home this half term (although you probably don’t need convincing), carry on reading to find out our top five reasons.
Your Lodge will be equipped with everything you need and more
Deep in the heart of the forest, your Lodge will become your home away from home. Our specially designed accommodation comes equipped with everything you will need for a family break away, from open plan living to a family-friendly outdoor space. We all know the importance of relaxing while we’re on a break, which is why we feature a few helpful extras such as a daily maid service and dishwasher in some of our Lodges, so you can forget about the daily chores and enjoy time with your family.
You can be daring and try something new
Whether it’s your 1st first break or 21st break at Center Parcs, you will always find something new to try. With new activities such as our Indoor Climbing Adventure, Off-Road Explorers, Adventure of the Senses and more, as well as new restaurants such as Las Iguanas set to open this October at Longleat Forest, there is always something you and your family can explore and enjoy. So keep your eyes peeled whilst on a break this October.
Everyone can dig in and experience a range of restaurants
With plenty of restaurants at all our Center Parcs Villages, you will be spoilt for choice whether you’re dining out for breakfast, lunch or dinner. At all our Villages you will find The Pancake House, where you can drool over sweet and savoury pancakes, enjoy authentic Indian cuisine at Rajinda Pradesh or sit back, relax and enjoy a casual family meal at Sports Café. If instead of dining out, you want to dine in the comfort of your Lodge, there needs to be no family compromise on choice of takeaway. At Dining In you can choose from Indian, Chinese or pizza, so we’re certain they’ll be no family quarrels when it comes to dinner time.
You and your family can spend quality time together
Those who are young and young at heart can come together and enjoy Center Parcs as much as each other, with cycle trails, adventure playgrounds and the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, grown-ups can have as much fun as their little ones whilst playing together. So this half term get back to the basics of spending quality time together as a family. Whether it’s with a game of cards in your Lodge or a family badminton tournament, a Center Parcs break is designed to bring families together.
You can head to the outdoors for an adventure
There is a family adventure waiting around every corner at Center Parcs, whether you’re taking on an activity or simply going for a walk in the forest. For an adventure you won’t forget, head over to Action Challenge for a treetop challenge, The Boathouse to conquer the waters or the Outdoor Activity Centre for a forest adventure. Team up and work together or go it alone, whatever you choose, you’re sure to have memorable moments to take away.
Convinced? Find out more about October half term breaks or, if you already have a break booked check out our range of activities.
Kinderen inspireren bedrijfsleven en politiek met creatieve oplossingen voor energiebesparing
Afgelopen weekend vond de vierde editie van Kids Climate Conference (KCC) plaats. Het initiatief van Center Parcs en het Wereld Natuur Fonds (WNF) is uitgegroeid tot het grootste duurzaamheidsevenement voor kinderen in Nederland en België met als doel om creatieve oplossingen aan te dragen aan het parlement en bedrijfsleven voor een duurzamere leefomgeving. Ruim 175 kinderen tussen de 8 en 14 jaar bogen zich over duurzaamheidsvraagstukken rondom het thema energie door middel van workshops van onder andere Staatsbosbeheer, Klimaatverbond en Nederland Schoon. Ook vond er een dialoog plaats onder leiding van Laurentien van Oranje vanuit de Missing Chapter Foundation. De jonge deelnemers presenteerden 14 creatieve oplossingen om zoveel mogelijk energie te kunnen besparen. Deze oplossingen worden eind november overhandigd aan de Tweede Kamer.
Initiatiefnemers WNF en Center Parcs
Kirsten Schuijt, directeur Wereld Natuur Fonds: ‘Om de aarde door te geven aan volgende generaties staan we voor enorme uitdagingen. Hoe zorgen we bijvoorbeeld voor behoud van bossen en schone oceanen? De eindeloze creativiteit van kinderen kan ons op weg helpen naar nieuwe, verrassende oplossingen. En dat is precies waarom de Kids Climate Conference ons zoveel energie geeft.’
Jean Henkens, bedenker van KCC en bioloog bij Center Parcs: ‘De Kids Climate Conference 2016 zit er op, het was een bijzonder weekend. 175 jonge mensen hebben samen de wegwijzers uitgezet naar een betere wereld. Aan de beleidsmakers, de mensen met verantwoordelijkheid , zou ik willen vragen: werk met dezelfde energie en passie in alles wat je doet, dan komt het goed met onze aarde en is er een plek voor alles wat leeft. Voor mensen, planten en dieren en voor geluk.’