We recently visited a very special castle in England near Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm. It had the MOST wonderful activities and adventures for children. This was where we discovered the 50 Things to do Before You’re 11 3/4. Welcome to the Magical World of Wray Castle.
It all began when we pulled up and saw 3 shovels in a pile of gravel. I thought that was where the adventure began and of course nothing was stopping our boys from grabbing those shovels and digging. I didn’t think we’d even get inside the castle because this was enough fun for them! A few kind men showed up to finish their job and were grateful to find helpers. Our boys shoveled all of the gravel into a wheelbarrow with the guys. It was so sweet and special and they took the task at hand quite seriously.
After they finished their job, we entered the castle. The very first room was filled with huge, foam blocks. You can imagine the joy on their faces when they first entered this room and as they built huge castles and knocked them down. We just enjoyed witnessing their enthusiasm and happiness!
Our next stop was a room upstairs filled with costumes, swords and castle tents! They both dressed up as knights, grabbed their shields and swords, got on their horses and played their little hearts out! Dana and I looked at each other and had one of those moments…
Our boys are dressed up like knights and playing castle games…in a CASTLE…in England. It was a special moment, indeed.
It is in these moments and so many others that we realize the magnitude of our journey and the role it is playing during these formative years for our boys. We are a family that is always together, all the time. This is what we choose and how we choose to parent. We know this way of living, with this kind of constant closeness, is not for everyone. We are always striving for balance and many times we achieve it. Many times we don’t. Even with the ups and downs we face, we wouldn’t change a thing.
Our intention for this trip was to gain perspective as individuals, a couple and a family. We wanted to share and experience the world and taste all that unfolded daily. This is exactly what we are doing every, single day. We are so thankful for this opportunity and for each other.
Ok, back to the castle. After playing knights and dragons, we moved over to the craft room. The boys cut out crowns and decorated them with glue sticks, markers and tissue paper. They were so proud to leave the crowns for the king and they hoped he would stop by for tea.
We went outside and made mud pies, swung from tires hanging in trees, hiked down to the beautiful lake and built rock forts. It was a perfect day. Yes, I’m using the word perfect.
I’ll never forget our 5 year old walking down the stairs at the end of our visit and throwing his arms up in the air. He enthusiastically exclaimed, “Now that was an AMAZING Day!” What more can I ask for?
Thank you, Wray Castle for being so child-friendly and for giving our family such special memories.