Have you ever been to Center Parcs?

I’m sure if you have a young family, many of you will have been once or twice. Recently we took a trip with our extended family to Center Parcs, Elveden. I have been to Center Parcs a few times and always come away feeling refreshed and relaxed. I think it’s the combination of walking around in the fresh air among the trees, swimming and generally being active.

This particular trip I was interested in what they had to offer for creative pursuits. When you book a break at Center Parcs you can book activities to do there before you go. There are a whole range of sports and activities, outdoors and indoors – which is very useful in a UK climate! I was keen to have a go at some of the craft activities on offer.

On the website it offers making hobby horses and teddy bears for little ones or jewellery making and painting pottery with the family. There are also cake decorating and making workshops available for Bake Off fans. There are many opportunities for getting creative it seems. I was pleasantly surprised to even find some of The Makery‘s kits in The Store Room shop.

makery craft kits makingforliving

Pottery Painting

Some of our party decided to do some pottery painting. You pay a studio fee when you book and then you pay for the item of pottery that you are going to paint. Prices start at £10. The studio is well set out with tables, colour tiles, brushes and paints on a carousel.

painting pottery makingforliving

I was pleasantly surprised at where the room was located and it’s size. It overlooked the lake with large windows all the way round, there was also a friendly peacock who seemed to like to sit right by the window that was great for visual inspiration!

In fact you are not short of inspiration from nature all round at Center Parcs. We had squirrels and deer come up to the chalet for breakfast.

Natural Inspiration

squirrel makingforliving

woodland makingforliving

deer makingforliving

Back to the pottery painting! – we used different ways to get our designs on to our pottery, freehand drawing, carbon paper tracing and stencil.

carbon trace makingforliving

pencil draw makingforliving

spoon rest makingforliving

The end results were great except for my sister-in-law’s plate which got spattered in paint between her leaving it to be fired and picking it up. It was a shame as she had painstakingly painted on a beautiful hummingbird and flower design.  

bird plate makingforliving


painted pottery makingforliving


jug makingforliving

painted spoon rest makingforliving

Creative with nature

Being in the forest, when the weather is good, is great for getting creative too. You can do an organised activity of den building but we had ready-made ones outside our chalet, which previous guests had made. The 5 kids in our party added to it and my sister-in-law even brought along a camouflage net that they used. The kids loved making little fir cone fires (pretend) in it and decorated the den with found feathers on twine and fir cones. They even sat inside the den to eat their lunch one day.

I brought along some wool and tried some stick weaving and decorating with embroidery thread.

stick weaving makingforliving

pencil fence makingforliving

I love the pencil fence at Elveden.

In summary

I have always had a good experience on Center Parcs holidays but was disappointed with a couple of things this time. First we had to make the beds in our chalet when we got there, which is not a biggie and probably just a small mix up but a faff when you are not expecting to. Secondly our family photo experience was cancelled which was a shame as we were looking forward to it. We have had family photos taken before on a joint Center Parcs trip and were looking forward to the updated version 5 years on! These things happen I suppose. Also it was a shame that my sister in laws plate was ruined.

Overall we had a great family holiday and I would recommend Center Parcs as a great place to take a break. I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried any of the other creative pursuits there.

(This is an honest review for which I received no payment.)

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Center Parcs – a creative holiday review

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