We can all assume, that sadly, trick or treating will be out of the question this year. Whilst children may not fully understand why they’re not allowed out on one of the most exciting nights of year, it doesn’t mean they can’t have fun. It’s up to us as adults to make sure we devise a special Halloween for them. They can still get dressed up and there are heaps of creative and spooky things for them to do and eat. From simple, yet effective paper ghoulies to a haunted house grand designs (cardboard edition). From Halloween pizza to something that looks a bit gross in a bowl.
At Lady’s Mile here are some of our top picks for family friendly Halloween crafts and recipes. These are extras, because it goes without saying that pumpkin carving is always top of the list.
Paper Bat or Ghost Garlands
We’ll be honest here; these are more cute than scary.
For a bat garland, all you need is some black paper, string, a bat stencil (simply Google bat stencil), scissors, and a hole punch. Draw round the bat stencil as many times as you like, cut out the individual bats, punch a hole, and string them up around the house. Quick and fun Halloween decorations. For a ghost garland, it’s the same process, but with a ghost stencil. Kids will love this because it’s straightforward and has instant results.
Spider Web Wreaths
This is a step up in difficulty from the garlands above and requires vague origami skills. However, the finished product is brilliant. Take two sheets of black paper, and fold each like you’re making a paper fan (concertina). The folds should be around 1.5”. Then diagonally cut the top of the fold, creating a pointed end, and cut three rectangles out of each segment half an inch apart. Finally tie both pieces of paper together at their centre folds and glue between the edges of the web. If all has gone according to plan you should have a creepy spider web to hang from your window. Now all you need is a rubber spider.
Cardboard Haunted House
This is a free form project and a good way to recycle old cardboard boxes. How big, crookedly shaped, or gothic you make your haunted house is up to you. We suggest going for the classic turreted house, perhaps leaning to one side with a leafless cardboard tree in the garden. You can use paints to make it look great. Yellow and orange give the impression of light radiating from the windows and silvery grey works well for roof slates. As a project this is more than just a bit of fun. Working out the dimensions of the walls and features requires practical thinking which is a useful skill for children to have.
Melted Crayon Pumpkins
Perhaps the easiest craft on this list. This involves gently meting old crayons with a hair dryer and pouring them over pumpkins, or the various odd squashes available in autumn. Sometimes Halloween can be dominated by black, orange, and the crimson of fake blood. With your rainbow squashes you’ll be bringing a wave of colour kids will appreciate. It doesn’t have to all be sinister and dark, eh?
Wholesome & Scary Halloween Pizzas
There’s nothing more satisfying for a parent than a healthy meal, but one which the kids find delicious. Even better if it has a spider in the middle and all the scary excitement of Halloween. Win, win, and win. Cue, Halloween spider pizzas. The dough for these is half and half (white and wholemeal) and you can top them with peppers, courgette, sweetcorn, or meat (or all of it)—whatever you fancy. The caveat is that in the centre of each you must arrange an olive spider. A whole olive for the body and strips for the legs. Eeeek!
For the full recipe visit BBC Good Food.
Jack O’ Lantern Stuffed Peppers
Whoever thought of these had a stroke of genius. When you think about it, peppers look a bit like pumpkins, so therefore, why shouldn’t you carve grinning faces into them? More edgy than serving them in a salad. Much like a pumpkin, horizontally slice the top off a pepper and hollow out the seeds and white pith with a spoon. Then carve a suitably macabre leer into its frontage. Lastly, fill your pepper up with bolognaise or a veggie nut roast, top with cheese, and pop the top back on. Now bake until the pepper is tender.
Decorate Your Own Spooky Biscuits
Children adore being artistic and munching on biscuits. So decorating Halloween biscuits is a no brainer. For this you’ll need a simple shortbread recipe, food colourings, icing sugar, piping bags and nozzles, and cocktail sticks.
We recommend giving round biscuits a black or white iced base the kids can work from and printing a few ideas from the internet to help. These could include, but are not limited to; bats, spiders, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, black cats arching in graveyards, and disembodied eyeballs. Cocktail sticks dipped into runny icing are perfect for getting the terrifying details.
Yukky Bug Slime Jelly Cups
There must be at least one unpleasant looking Halloween food. These jelly bug cups are that. Amazingly simple to make too. All you need is a few packs of bug sweets and some green liquid jelly. You know the rest.
Kids will go giddy with glee slurping “slime” and bugs. Can you blame them though? What a wonderful age, where the best part of the day is being totally grossed out.
Half Term Holiday at Lady’s Mile
Summer may be over, but the beauty of the South West is everlasting. Why not take a break from the stresses of the everyday and pay a visit to the relaxing South Devon coast? Just you, your nearest and dearest, and quiet beaches. Think cosy nights in playing games, wonderful comfort food, and refreshing time spent in the great outdoors.
Click here to find out more.
When the full force of the summer sun beats down, the beach calls. We long for the delicious cool of sea blues and coastal breezes. Let’s go camping! But, while delightful, the reality can be less than relaxing. Often involving heinously early mornings, as you wake up groggy, slick with sweat in a canvas oven. Then to lather up with factor 50. Great for transforming the kids into sand monsters— and real ones if it gets in their eyes.
Autumn is a delicious season. There’s an excitement and a busy hum to the beginning of the new school year, the return to routines after the summer. In Devon we often get an Indian summer, with the clearest blue skies and the gentle glow of low-lying, rosy sunshine. Then the leaves turn, trees wrapped in warm, honeyed tones that glow red and gold in the light.
It’s a magical time, and perfect for a caravan holiday. You’ll want to spend the beautiful days outside, but darker evenings and the new freshness in the air will make your caravan a welcome sight for cosy nights.
Here are our top reasons to book an autumn caravan holiday.
Make waves this autumn
If you think water sports peak in the summer, think again. Steadily, from March until September-October, the sea locks in the sun’s heat. And the waves, always friendly in south Devon, have a bit more bite in the autumn.
Sure, the air temperature is cooler. You’re unlikely to think ‘I must cool off in this water’, but that’s not what catching waves is about. The thrill is in zipping up a thick wetsuit and running into the spray. You’ll be much more at home in the autumn, when the waves have enough oomph to make you forget the cold. Afterwards, there are plenty of cosy coffee spots to warm up in, and a blanket strewn sofa to snuggle on in your caravan.
Caravans are extra cosy
After a crisp walk crunching on leaves around Powderham Castle, or breathing in the salty sea-air on Dawlish beach, come back to your caravan and get cosy.
You know that moment of calm relief, when you’ve pressed play on a favourite film and everything and everyone is still? No distractions, just pure relaxation. We’re not saying you’ll want to spend your whole holiday doing this, but it’s nice to have the option.
And in the evenings the soft glow that emanates from your caravan is a truly inviting sight. Curl up on the sofa with a good book, a blanket and a glass of wine. This is your time to relax.
Swap balmy evenings dodging midges for cosy games nights. It can seem a shame to sit in when it’s light outside, but the extra hour of darkness is a nudge to dig out the board games and hot drinks. And all the snacks. Why not dollop salsa or sour cream and melt plenty of cheese over some tortilla chips for a scrummy snack?
Camp, but in comfort
This isn’t to undermine the fun of camping. Dashing out in the middle of the night to find the toilet block. Getting dressed in an odd crouching position in your pod. Waiting for the camping stove to heat the water for your morning cuppa.
It’s great fun and the stuff of fond memories. But. It’s lovely to go away and know you can enjoy the best of the outdoors whilst having a sofa, a real bed, a kettle, and a bathroom. And you don’t need to worry about bad weather— it’s just as nice hearing the pitter patter of rain on the roof.
Embrace all elements of autumn
August rain is no fun. A proper summer storm, now that has its share of drama, but we mean those listless and muggy summer days when the sun refuses to shine. We’re just not in that headspace.
No, give us the crispness of autumn. The curious scent of cold air, which we had forgotten but remember the instant it hits us. Familiar and loved again.
And if the seasonal gales whip through, we’re ready. The mood has changed, and battening down the hatches feels right. Like the warm sugary whiff of cinnamon apples in September, and the succession of new shows coming to Netflix. They know we want them.
Stay at Lady’s Mile
Tempted to get away from it all and have an autumn adventure? Enjoy long walks along the coast path, visit quiet beaches, and warm the cockles by the fireside of village pubs. Book a caravan on the south Devon coast as your home from home to return to.
If there’s one thing we Brits love, it’s a summer BBQ. We smell someone else’s wafting on the breeze and we’re scrabbling for the nearest sausages. There’s something timeless about a smoky grill, feeling sunburn creep on the neck, and wishing the drinks had been in the fridge longer.
The thing is, we get so excited by the thought of a BBQ we often splurge on expensive food, without paying much attention. “Look, these burgers are the posh ones, and I bought 30. So, if you could eat four that’d be great”.
But—with a bit of forethought a BBQ needn’t be expensive to be delicious. Here are some top tips, the whole family will love.
Use chicken thighs not breasts
We’ve conditioned ourselves to think that breast meat is the only part of a chicken worth eating. Yet we routinely overcook it and get left with a dry, chewy dinner. On a hot day, with the BBQ blazing, no one wants that. Chicken thighs on the other hand, are wonderfully succulent. This is because they’re on the bone and still have skin—locking in moisture to the meat. They taste richer too and contain monounsaturated fat which helps lower bad LDL cholesterol.
If that isn’t enough, chicken thighs are often cheaper than breasts and go further when cooking for large groups. Try marinating them in some per peri sauce or mix cumin, paprika, garlic, oregano, and lemon juice—and rub all over. Once the skin is crispy, these will be mouth-watering.
Make your own burgers!
Burgers are the backbone of any good BBQ and you don’t have to buy them premade. There’s better value in forming your own. All you need is minced beef, chopped onion, and an egg (one per 500g of mince). Avoid lean mince and go for some with a bit of fat (that’s where the flavour is). Simply mix the ingredients together and form your patties. Then for an authentic taste brush them with sticky BBQ sauce.
And if you fancy upgrading your burgers, this is cheap and easy. Why not add some crispy bacon, cheese, and pickles. Finally serve with sliced tomato and fresh iceberg lettuce. It doesn’t get much better.
Gourmet hot dogs
Sausages are another BBQ staple and expensive if you go for top quality ones. But this isn’t necessary. Even ones with a lower pork content will taste fantastic if you make sure they have lots of trimmings. Try fried onions, sriracha mayo, and of course…cheese. Kids might prefer a condiment without the zing of sriracha sauce. Ketchup, American style mustard, and BBQ sauce will always be firm favourites.
Veggie kebab skewers
Meat eaters, sorry, can sometimes overlook the basic pleasure of grilled veggies. Especially with a plate full of indulgent food a veggie kebab is a refreshing and healthy addition to any BBQ. They’re colourful too and really look the part.
Veg that works well includes peppers, courgettes, onions and mushrooms. Cut into chunks and alternate on a skewer, then drizzle with some oil before cooking. The taste of chargrilled veg is irresistible and a perfect way to get your family’s five a day (and minimise burger guilt).
Homemade guacamole & tortilla chips
Having side dishes and snacks are a moreish way of bulking up your BBQ spread…and will keep the kids quiet while the burgers are flipping. Guacamole is cheap and takes about two minutes to make.
All you need is a ripe avocado de-stoned and peeled, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper, and chilli flakes (or not). Whizz this together in a blender with a large spoon of crème fraiche—this lightens the guacamole and ekes it out. Serve with crunchy tortilla chips or carrot sticks.
Simple wholegrain mustard spud salad
Potato salads can be as complex and or as basic as you need them to be. Either way, they’re filling and delicious. The simplest way to make a potato salad with wow factor, is to use good quality waxy new potatoes, mayo, crème fraiche, wholegrain mustard, and salt and pepper. As with the guacamole the crème fraiche takes away from the heaviness of using just mayo and the mustard adds a welcome depth to the flavour. Job done.
Pulled pork (a classic)
Slow cooking a shoulder of pork elevates it from a cheap, tough to eat cut of meat into something out of this world. Pulled pork is another family favourite. The secret to great pulled pork is what you rub into it. Brown sugar, cumin, paprika, and salt is a tried and tested mix. Just remember to get going early, or risk having it as a midnight snack.
Serve with slaw and jacket potatoes for a thrifty and filling meal.
Grilled herby cheese pizza
There’s no reason why pizza can’t join the party. Very few people dislike pizza. With the smoke and BBQ grease (yes, grease) pizzas taste even better. Cooking them outside and sharing with family and friends is the way the Italians intended. Social and supremely kind on the taste buds.
The catch is that you can’t buy them ready made. They won’t taste or look anywhere near as good. You’ll not regret it, because dough is one of the least expensive, and simplest things to make (strong white flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, and water).
Also, the tomato sauce is shamefully simple and takes about 20 minutes. Blend up a tin of chopped tomatoes with salt and pepper (and garlic if you want) and reduce in a frying pan until you have a spreadable puree. Pop this on your pizza base with shredded mozzarella, cheddar, and mixed herbs. The result is pizza so scrumptious you’ll not look back.
Baked choc bananas
Now on to desserts. Never was there a more fool proof and delectable BBQ afters. This requires two things: bananas and flakes. That’s it. Cut a slit in the bananas with the skin left on and fill with crumbled flake, wrap in tinfoil, then place on the grill until soft and caramelised.
For maximum appreciation, serve with a big scoop of super cold vanilla ice cream or a spoon of yoghurt. You’ll be surprised how something so simple can be so lush.
Whilst adults may prefer the baked bananas, you can be sure kids will buzz around in excitement over marshmallows. This is as basic as dipping toasted marshmallows in melted chocolate. You don’t need a fire either. You can toast marshmallows in a gas BBQ with the lid closed on some tinfoil.
Family fun at Lady’s Mile
Here at Lady’s Mile holiday park we’ve made it our mission to ensure you have a wonderful holiday. If you’ve found our BBQ tips handy, why not check out some of our other useful blogs? From the best family beaches in South Devon, to rainy day activities—we have you covered.
So, you’re on holiday or about to be. The question is, how to make the most of the great outdoors this summer? Here are our top ten outdoor activities for your family staycation. Picked to suit kids of all ages, and their adults too, so you can make fantastic memories on the South Devon coast.
HAVE A PICNIC
One good thing to come out of lockdown is that we have rediscovered picnics. They’re finally getting the love they deserve, because they really do deserve it.
When you eat in the fresh air, the food seems to taste even better. Plus, they’re the most low maintenance way to feed little ones. No more vetoes on couscous or French stick. Messier the better. Who cares if crumbs go everywhere?
You can choose your spot and make it as far away from anyone else as you like. A bit of space is always appreciated, but it’s paramount now. On the South Devon coast there’s no shortage of it, and the views are pretty good too…
SWIM IN THE SEA
You can’t beat a dip in the sea. Having crystal clear turquoise water beside you makes a hot summer’s day infinitely more enjoyable.
Refresh yourself with a paddle or a burn some steam with a swim, then lie out to dry on warm sand. Heaven.
GO BODY BOARDING
Before surfing in the UK, ‘bellyboarding’ was all the rage. Now called body boarding, it has all the thrill of surfing, but with far less technique.
Catching your first wave is the hook, after which you’re away, whizzing through the spray. The water’s resistance as you wade out to get the next wave is a real thigh-burner, too.
PLAY BEACH GAMES
Sometimes we want to simply be on the beach. Snoozing, sunbathing, reading at a push…but there will be times when a good beach game comes into its own.
Two person, four person, twenty person games…there’s something for every group. Our favourites include the classic bat and ball, which is as close as any of us are getting to Wimbledon this year. Rounders is great for involving big families, as is Kubb, a Viking game which tests your aim.
HAVE A BBQ (OR 3)
You would think the way we cook 90% of the time- indoors, with an oven – would be the best. Nope. Modern ovens are reliable, and the chances of frazzling yourself and your food are low, but nothing beats a BBQ. Hot coals and open flames taste best, and satisfy our inner caveman (or woman).
A BBQ means no business. It’s what you do when you have all day and evening to relax. Get adventurous with the fare – few things aren’t improved by a light charring – and let the delicious sizzling and smoky-sweetness fill the air.
Under the sea a whole other world awaits. It’s vast and mysterious, full of otherworldly creatures and landscapes. Did you know the tallest mountain in the world is Mauna Kea in Hawaii? You probably didn’t, because we can’t appreciate its height. Although it’s nearly a mile taller than Everest, over half of it is submerged in the Pacific.
All this lies outside of our reach, but a rockpool gives us a fresh and close-up view of what the tide leaves behind. Look out for crabs, prawns, mermaid’s purse (otherwise known as dogfish eggs: hold them up to the light to see the embryo inside), anemones and even starfish.
BUILD A DEN
You can build a den anywhere. Let your imagination run wild. You could find a spot in the woods and build a tipi out of sticks, or dig a giant crater on the beach and use the surplus sand to form walls around it.
Fun, hands-on and absorbing, den building is a great group activity and will certainly let the kids blow off some steam. You might want to get stuck in too, or sit back as the kids sort the construction. They can give you a moving in date.
DAM A STREAM
Take on the water, and be defeated. Damming a stream is as fun and absorbing as building a den, with the added excitement of a constant, slippery opponent.
Choose a shallow river or stream, or try to stop the tide in its tracks.
GAZE AT THE STARS
South Devon is a great place to stargaze. With clean, unpolluted skies and fresh ocean breezes, we see some of the most breath-taking displays in the country. Wrap up warm, pack a flask and head to Dartmoor or the cliffs for the darkest skies- and the brightest stars.
Summer beach holidays are stripped back to basics. Plenty of fresh air, sunshine and salt water. And the chance to ditch your shoes to be barefoot on the beach. Being barefoot is good for our balance and natural posture, but it also feels great. There are 7,000 nerve endings in each foot (one of the most sensitive parts of our body) and when we walk barefoot on sand or grass, they tingle. It feels nice, like reflexology.
If you’re looking for somewhere with nature on tap, Lady’s Mile is the place for you. We are in the heart of South Devon, with our own sandy beach and a nature reserve full of wildlife.
We are in unprecedented times for sure. We never thought for a moment we would be forced to close our holiday park.
That said, life goes on. While the NHS and key workers do all they can to look after us all, we should remember the many things that are still ongoing. This is a time to check in with our loved ones – near and far – enjoy the beauty of nature in the first days of spring, and look on the bright side of communities rallying together and the pace of life slowing down.
With this in mind, we’ve had a think about what you can do during your self-isolation, particularly if you are a family with children.
With so much to see and do all over south Devon, we thought we would start by highlighting some of the attractions within easy walking distance of Lady’s Mile Holiday Park so you can start planning your next family holiday with us.
Happy Blue Monday, said no one ever. The “most depressing day of the year” is here. We won’t argue with the sentiment. Put mildly, the whole month grates. It feels like life is buffering. Unable to download.
Continue reading “Blue Monday Checklist” »
There’s nowhere quite like Devon, for many reasons. For a start it’s arguably the prettiest county in England, with endless rolling hills, a ruffled blanket of green stretching to the horizon. Secondly it has some of the finest coastline to be found anywhere in the world. This is no understatement. Continue reading “Top 10 Family Beaches to visit in South Devon” »
‘The English Rivera’ enjoys warmer weather than the rest of the UK, but the green rolling fields give away that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. We get our fair share of rain. Luckily, there is plenty to do in all weathers. From world-renowned marine centres to adventure parks with a difference and rural petting zoos. Continue reading “Where to take the kids on a rainy day in Devon” »