I can't believe that I'm writing this post, Elodie has been back to school after her six week holidays for three weeks already... She's now in year three, time is going so quickly! She's also just had her 8th birthday, but more about that in another post!

I never have a great deal of time to blog when she's off school, so I decided to save all our day's out to include in this roundup post of what we got up to throughout the holidays. We didn't go abroad, instead we found lots of fun things to do around the North, and we had such a great time.
Every year we spend a couple of days in Scarborough, my favourite seaside town that I have visited every Summer since I was about 7 years old. 
This year we made sure to squeeze in a couple of trips, where we took full advantage of fish & chips, ice creams and the fairground (Elodie even made me face my fear of the big wheel!) It's such a fun place, and if you've never been, it really is one that you should add to your 'must visit' list, you can easily spend a long weekend there and have plenty to do.
At the very beginning of the holidays we visited the Great British Food Festival at Castle Howard near York (which I blogged about here) and the day after we went to Saltburn Food Festival, which we always make sure to visit each year. We're such foodies, I think we'd happily go to food markets and festivals every week if we could!
Both days were so much fun, I love to try new foods, and made sure to make the most of everything on offer (that Fudge Shot was SO GOOD!) The weather was amazing for the day in Saltburn too, I could have sat out drinking Pimms all day!  
We're really lucky to live by the seaside, but I think we take it for granted a little and don't visit as often as we should! During the holidays though, we spent a few days on the promenade, eating ice creams (again!), playing on the 2p slot machines in the arcades and bowling, which Elodie loves... Playing in the arcades reminds me of doing the same with my Dad and cousin when we were young, such lovely memories to repeat with Elodie.
Elodie loves animals, so I took her back to Pet Mania in Stockton which we visited last Summer too. She got to see lots of weird and wonderful creatures like turtles, spiders, lizards and snakes, as well as getting to feed the gorgeous farm animals.
Children also have the chance to pet animals of their choice at the end, Elodie was really brave and chose a snake, a gekko and a skinnypig (which, if you haven't seen before, are the cutest things ever!)
When visiting the petting zoo which I mentioned above, I booked Elodie in for meeting baby meerkats, which was just wonderful. The ones we held were only six weeks old, and they were absolutely gorgeous! The one I held kept playing with my hair, and Elodie's fell asleep on her knee.
We're always trying to find fun, new places to visit and the Discovery Museum in Newcastle was a really great place to spend a day.
Elodie loves to learn, and it was full of things to keep her entertained... She especially loved seeing the displays of iconic things from each decade (I loved the 90's display!) and the room filled with old fashion fairground games, which you could buy tokens for and play on.
The best thing about this place, is that it's free to go in - great for families!
We spent a day in York, which is one of my favourite places in the UK and treated Elodie to a trip to the York Chocolate Story. Although it was fun and interesting, I think this came a little bit too soon after our visit to Cadbury World, as to us, it felt very similar but smaller and not as good value. However, Elodie thought it was great and loved making and decorating her own chocolate lolly.
One of my favourite days of the holiday was when I took Elodie to visit Falling Foss, which I have already blogged about in a whole post of it's own - it was that good. I love discovering new places that we enjoy and it's definitely somewhere that we'll make regular visits to as Elodie grows up. If you're ever in Yorkshire, add it to your to-do list!
Towards the end of the holiday, we had another trip to Scarborough, this time to visit the Sealife Centre.  Despite being quite expensive (book online to save a bit of money), we managed to spend around three hours there with loads to do. The staff were all great, answering any questions we had and letting Elodie really interact with the sea creatures where possible... We even got to go into the enclosure and experience walking with penguins... It was amazing, and I highly recommend it!
Sorry about the bad quality iPhone picture, but I couldn't leave this photo out of the post, it's one of my favourites of the Summer... Just look how happy Elodie looks. My normal camera on my phone is broken, so I have to constantly use the front facing camera. (Those who have seen me do this at events, will be laughing now, knowing how awkward it is to do!)
This is just one of many days we spent running around on the beach... You really can't beat playing in the sea, building sandcastles and enjoying the sun.
In one of Robbie's weeks off work, we spent a day at Lightwater Valley... The weather wasn't really on our side, and at one point we got soaked (as you can tell by my wavy hair!), but we made the most of it. Elodie loved the carousel and getting to hold the birds of prey, it's just a shame she's at a bit of an in-between height when it comes to which rides she's allowed to go on.
A place which has been on our must visit list (this actually exists!) is the Seven Stories museum in Ouseburn in Newcastle. Towards the end of the holiday we finally found time to squeeze in a visit, and it was totally worth the wait. Elodie loves books and reading, so it was ideal for her. There was story time, a place to create your own superheroes and comic strips, places to read, a crafting area, a lovely cafe (where Elodie met the tiger who came to tea!) and a great gift shop.
In the last week of the holiday we booked Elodie into the hairdressers for a new haircut ready for going back to school. She had a proper 'big girl' wash and blow dry, had around three inches taken off the length and had it cut into a slightly concaved bob. She loved having a pamper, and we're all so pleased with the cut... Doesn't she look grown up?!
And there she is, on her first day back to school, all excited to see her friends.

Did you have a good Summer?
I'm a little sad it's over, but we do have Halloween and Christmas to look forward to!
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