Category Archives: Days Outs

#Blogmas Day 10: A Snowy Sunday & Our Top Family Christmas Movies

Took we woke up to lots of snow! The boys were so excited, especially Archie as he has never played in snow before as the last time it snowed he was so young! As they were so eager to get outside they ate all of their breakfast up as quick as possible and then got wrapped up warm to go outside.

Today was meant to be our God Daughters christening but it had to be postponed due to the snow and the road conditions. So we spent the day playing in the garden, sledging and building a snowman.

As we couldn’t go anywhere we decided to get cosy in the lounge by the fire and watch a Christmas Film. We have watched a few over the last week or so and today watched Jingle All The Way which we loved. There are so many great Christmas classics here are a few of our favourites:

Jingle All The Way

Home Alone (1 & 2)

Santa Claus The Movie – My all time favourite!

Miracle on 34th Street

The Grinch (although Oscar hates it!)

The Snowman

Elf

Arthur Christmas

Frozen

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Oscar has gone to bed pretty excited as we had an email from his school and tomorrow he has a snow day which means more fun in the garden, hot chocolate and movies! If you have any other top Christmas movies let me know as we love a Christmas film!

Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 8: The Stick Man Live Review

Yesterday we went into London with a few of Archie’s friends and their Mummy’s to see The Stick Man Live at Leicester Square Theatre. We took the train as we thought the boys would enjoy it, but I wish now that we had driven. Getting around on the London Underground with pushchair’s is a mission, one that I will never do again! Also on the way home we were evacuated off of our train as there was an issue with a vulnerable lady trying to jump off the platform at the next station and we ended up having to get a cab the rest of the way home!

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Anyway rant about trains over we arrived at the theatre and were given our tickets which were front row seats. My friend kindly brought Archie a stick man cuddly toy which he absolutely loves and they sell them for £10 each. We then brought some popcorn, grabbed a booster seat and sat in our seats ready for the show.

What starts off as a morning jog becomes quite the misadventure for Stick Man: a dog wants to play fetch with him, a swan builds a nest with him, and he even ends up on a fire! How will Stick Man ever get back to the family tree?

We booked the 11am show which was a good time rather than lunch time when the kids would have been hungry. We also got an absolute bargain with tickets only costing £23 in total for Archie and I.

From the minute the show started Archie was completely engrossed, dancing along to all of the songs and having so much fun. There are only three people in the show and its amazing how they can pull off such a fantastic show between the three of them and not that many props. It really was an amazing show!

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The actors also interacted with the children, throwing a beach ball into the crowd, which Archie caught and threw back to them. It was really good.

The show runs for 55 minutes, which is perfect and not to long that the children get fidgety. Afterwards the cast kindly had a photo with Archie and his friends.

The show was absolutely fantastic and if your little one is a fan of The Stick Man then this stage show is a must!

The next shows are:

  • 18 – 24 DEC MILTON KEYNES The Stables
  • 26 DEC – 12 JAN BIRMINGHAM Town Hall

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Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 7: Santa Spectacular At Willow’s Activity Farm Review

Yesterday we went with our friends to the Santa Spectacular At Willow’s Activity Farm. Willow’s Farm is a fantastic farm and full day out situated in London Colney, Hertfordshire which is near St Albans. We absolutely love Willow’s and visit on a monthly basis as there is always so much to do and they run fun programmes throughout the year, so there is something new to do on every visit. We have visited the Santa Spectacular for the last three years and it has always been a fantastic day out!

We arrived at Willow’s and each child was given their Elf Passport to stamp on the way around, a Create-A-Cuddle workshop token and a token to visit Santa.

Firstly we went and watched the 3D Film; Christmas Adventure. The boys were engrossed in it as they haven’t ever seen anything in 3D before. Luckily as we walked out the Nativity Story was starting where the story is told with real animals and the children can dress up.

We then went to the Create-A-Cuddle workshop and swapped our token for a reindeer, stuffing and a coloured heart. Archie loved stuffing his reindeer and chose a blue heart to go inside. You also get given a birth certificate for your reindeer and a lovely gift box for him to live in.

After we walked to the farmyard and saw all of our favourite animals, including new baby piglets and Santa’s Reindeers.

As we were walking around the farm we looked out for the 9 reindeer pictures to write in the Elf Passport to complete the reindeer hunt so we could collect our magic Reindeer food from the gift shop on the way out. As we also completed the Elf Tasks 1-7 in the Elf Passports and collected the stamps Archie became a fully fledged Willow’s Elf!

One of Archie’s favourite things about Willow’s is taking a ride on Tristan the Tractor and even he had had a Christmas make over. On board there were bells for everyone to shake and he played Christmas songs the whole way around. The festive wood ride had been decorated with Christmas decorations and snow and the kids loved it!

We then walked back up to the Grotto to meet Santa himself. The grotto was decorated beautifully with lots of twinkling lights and a lovely place to take a beautiful photo. We waited in line chatting to Holly the Elf and then went off to meet Santa. He was really nice, asking the children what they would like for Christmas and chatted away to them. He then gave each of the children a golden key which allowed them to pick absolutely anything from his Toy Shop. There were so many toys to choose from and finally Archie chose a Doctor’s kit which he hasn’t put down since and even took to bed with him.

We had a lovely day at Willow’s Farm and the Santa Spectacular is amazing with so many fun things to do. You can save money by buying your tickets online instead of on the day. Tickets are £18 per adult and £34 per child (2-15), under 2’s are £19.50 when booking online. The all inclusive price includes:

  • Meeting Santa and receiving a golden key to his Toy Shop where children can choose one of the hundreds of gifts piled from floor to ceiling to take home
  • Create-a-Cuddle workshop runs all day and children can make their own reindeer cuddly toy to take home along with a naming certificate and special gift box
  • Attend Elf Academy and learn some of the basics on becoming one of Santa’s elves including how to tiptoe like an Elf and the important letters of the Elf-a-bet
  • Pop your glasses on and take off on a 3D adventure with Santa in a 3D film
  • Join in the fun at the Christmas shows including Christmas Storytime, our Elf Sing-a-Long and special Nativity performances featuring some of the farmyard animals
  • Write a letter to Santa and pop it in the post box to receive a free reply delivered to your home and make other Christmas crafts
  • Glide around the synthetic ice rink with ice skates available to fit all sizes
  • Hop on Tristan the Runaway Tractor for a ride around the festive wood
  • Meet Mischka, Santa’s reindeer and all of the other Farmyard animals

Obviously all the usual Willow’s things are included to; Festive Funfair Rides, Cotton Tail Village, Woolly Jumpers indoor play barn with spectacular slides and soft play and the Peter Rabbit playground.

It really is a spectacular day out for all over the family to enjoy this Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 5: Our Annual Trip To Harrod’s Christmas Grotto 2017

Yesterday we picked up Oscar from school and drove into London to go to the Harrod’s Christmas Grotto 2017. Every year in September I eagerly await the email to let me know when I can book our visit. This year the bookings opened in October and at 9am I got my email and by 9.05 our slot was booked! When booking you pay a £10 deposit per child over 3 years old, under 2’s are free. On the day of your visit to the grotto you get your deposit back to spend on your Harrods reward card. The boys then get to choose a new decoration for the Christmas tree with it.

So we picked Oscar up from school and drove into town and parked in our usual spot. When we got to Harrods we walked around the outside and looked at all of the decorated Dolce & Gabbana windows. They were really good, and had a photo by the huge Christmas Tree. We were a bit early so we then looked around the Toy Kingdom on the third floor which is every child’s idea of heaven.

When we arrived at the grotto which is located right by the Toy Kingdom Oscar presented our ticket and then we went into a roped off area that had Christmas colouring, mini golf and other games and lots of friendly elves to play with. The boys were given green bells to look after and then when the green bells group were called we went through a red curtain into a beautiful room with a huge Christmas tree and two of Santa’s elves.

They told the children all about the magic of Christmas and every child got an ‘Official Elf’ badge and a Harrods gold chocolate coin. The elves were really friendly interacting with the boys asking them what they would like for Christmas. We were then called through to meet the big man himself and Oscar and Archie knocked on the door and Father Christmas greeted them.

He was really nice, congratulating Oscar on learning to ride his bike since he had last seen him and asked him about school and his friends. Archie wasn’t so sure to start with but within minutes was giving Father Christmas a high five and telling him he would like a blue car for Christmas. We then had our annual Christmas photo taken with him (this is our eight year at Harrods).

Oscar and Archie were then given lovely red gift bags with a Harrods teddy inside as their gift. They were over the moon. We said our goodbyes and went to view our photo, which we brought to go with all the others which was £14.50.  The boys also posted their letters to Father Christmas in the special postbox outside.

We then went and brought our Harrods 2017 bear decoration (we buy one every year) and Oscar also chose another bauble. We had a great time and its just so magical and we love it! We always then walk around to Pizza Express for some dinner then drove home. Needless to say the boys were shattered by the time we got home and went straight to bed!

Merry Christmas!

#Blogmas Day 3: Jump With Santa At Energi Newport

Last Sunday we went to Energi Trampoline Park in Newport, Wales to attend one of their special Christmas Jump With Santa sessions. If you are looking for something special to do with the kids in Newport this Christmas, then Jump With Santa is for you!

Energi Leasuire Parks

When we arrived we were given our special Christmas edition jump socks and were briefed by one of the Energi Elves and we watched the safety video. The children were then allowed onto the trampolines, then a fun video of Santa arriving at the park was played on the big screen and then when all of the children turned around Santa was standing behind them on top of the stairway to heaven.

The children ran over to him in excitement then Santa made a spectacular entrance by flipping into the huge Christmas airbag.

The boys had so much fun jumping, dancing and playing with Santa. It really is something for all the family to do together and enjoy. Sessions are exclusively for Jumpers aged 2 -16 years old. (All Jumpers aged 2 – 4 years must have full parental supervision on the Trampoline Arena). It’s a great way to get your older kids, who wouldn’t normally visit Santa to have some Christmas fun. A few of the older boys were having a dance off with Santa like you can see in the video I made below.

Santa and his Energi Elves danced along with the children, they all joined in to do the conga and the staff kept the kids entertained the whole time. Santa played dodgeball, challenged the kids on the ninja assault course whilst the adults with older children sat back and relaxed in the cafe with a coffee and a slice of cake.

At the end of the session each child were given a cute soft toy! All Jump with Santa Sessions are one hour and priced at £12.95 per child and will include admission to the Trampoline Arena, Christmas Socks and gift from Santa himself. There are limited spaces on these #JumpWithSanta sessions so book online now to avoid any disappointment. The remaining sessions are on:

Sunday 3rd December 11am & 2pm

Sunday 10th December 11am & 2pm

Sunday 17th December 12pm & 3pm

Friday 22nd December 4pm

Saturday 23rd December 11am & 2pm

Don’t worry if you have little ones under 2 as they also have a lovely soft play area too. There are also Jump With Santa sessions especially for toddlers on Friday the 8th of December 10am & 11am and on Friday the 15th of December 10am & 11am. These exclusive Toddler Sessions are £7.95 per Toddler including a gift and jump socks with one supervising adult attending free of Charge. All Children must be aged 2 -4 Years.

There are also lots of other fun things going on at Energi Newport this Christmas!

FESTIVE BEATS!

Join in on Friday 22nd December and Friday 29th December for their fantastic Festive Beats sessions which will be accompanied by the best Christmas Hits, Party Tunes and all your favourites. During the sessions the lights will go down and the music up as we party like it’s going to be 2018! Admission is £7.00 per Jumper and the following age restrictions apply:

6pm -7pm 5 -11 Year Olds

7pm – 8pm 5 -16 Year Olds

8pm -9pm 11 -16 Year Olds

CHRISTMAS CRAFTS AND GIFTS!

On Sunday 10th December they are hosting a Christmas fair full of local craft and gift suppliers in the Cafe Area to showcase their products and be a perfect venue to pick up some fantastic last minute gifts without all the hassle of going to the shops whilst your children jump and have fun! Stress free shopping!

CHRISTMAS EVE AND NEW YEARS DAY FAMILY JUMP

On Christmas Eve and New Years Day they are running Family Jump Sessions all day. Family Sessions are suitable for ages 2 – 100! and are priced at £7.95 per jumper. An ideal way to burn some energy so your little ones get to bed early on Christmas Eve and a great way for you to relax in peace with a cuppa and a cake on New Years Day whilst the kids have great fun! (Jumpers between 2 – 4 years must be fully supervised on the Trampoline Arena.)

Get jumping and have fun!

Merry Christmas!

Our Morning At The PJ Masks Halloween Party

We had such an exciting morning yesterday I drove the boys into London to the Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly for a PJ Masks Halloween Party. Oscar and Archie dressed as Catboy and both watch the show so they were very excited.


When we arrived we went into a room full of PJ Masks themed activities. The boys made their own masks on the craft table, Oscar had his face painted, had balloon swords made and got to play with the new range of PJ Masks toys which are all on Archie’s Christmas list. He kept picking up all of the toys and saying “me home”. He wasn’t very happy when we had to leave them in the room. We then got to meet Catboy, Gecko and Owlette. All of the children’s faces were a picture as they were all so excited to meet their favourite TV heroes.



The children also got to take part in a Diddi Dance class which was great fun who are now in partnership with PJ Mask’s and are holding a Super Dance Party in all of their classes across the UK from Monday 30th October to Sunday 5th November to raise funds for the Youth Sport Trust  which is a national children’s charity dedicated to transforming the lives of children and young people through the power of sport and physical activity. For more
information about how you can take part, head over to:

https://www.diddidance.com/pj-masks-super-dance-party

We then went into the cinema and got a sneak preview of two brand new unseen episodes and the trailer from the new series. With fantastic new adventures and exciting new characters this is set to be an amazing series. You can catch the brand-new episodes on Disney Junior every day at 5.45pm and on Wednesdays throughout November and December! Don not miss it! I’ve already set up my series link on record!


There is also a range of fantastic new PJ Masks products are launching at retailers nationwide and will be in stores ready for Christmas. The boys were so lucky to receive a ginormous bag of PJ Mask’s goodies with some of the new merchandise inside and a PJ Mask’s balloon sticking out of the top.


They each were given a PJ Masks Twist Top Bottle which is RRP £4.49. A copy of the PJ Masks Magazine, which is a monthly magazine which is £2.99 with bumper issues at £3.99. A copy of the PJ Mask’s 2018 annual which is RRP £7.99. I used to love getting an annual at Christmas! A PJ Masks Time to Be a Hero Fleece Blanket which is RRP £9.99 and is super soft and snuggly. The PJ Masks: Time to Be a Hero DVD which will have already watched three times! It is RRP £9.99 and would make a perfect stocking filler. PJ Mask’s box of puzzles which are 3+ and perfect for Archie as he is really into puzzles at the moment. The box which contains four puzzles is only RRP £5.99.


Much to Archie’s excitement they were each given a PJ Masks Vehicle & Figure Assist Pack and got the Catboy version so he was very pleased to have his own PJ Mask’s toy. The rest he will have to wait for Christmas to get. The pack is RRP £13.99 with five different ones to collect.


Also in the goodie bag was an Owlette PJ Masks Bean Plush toy. It is the perfect size to cuddle in bed and also fit in a bag to take around with you. Characters available include the fast and agile Cat Boy, the high flying hero Owlette, the super climber with super strength Gekko, and villains Luna Girl and Romeo. They are RRP £8.99 each.

Last but not least was a PJ Masks Blind Bag. These are great at only RRP £2.69 they are nice little treats and each bag containing a surprise character. You can collect all the characters in the PJ Masks world and look out for the ultra rare character!


Everything is available at all major retailers and online on Amazon.

Like I said we had the most fantastic day and the boys absolutely loved it! We can’t wait to see the rest of the new series! Thank you PJ Mask’s!

Willow’s Activity Farm Santa Spectacular 2017 Competition

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I can’t believe were nearly in November. Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE Christmas. After all it is the most magical time of year and I do my best to make it as magical as possible for Oscar and Archie.

Last Christmas we visited Willow’s Activity Farm and met Father Christmas during their Santa Spectacular event. The boys had an amazing day and their were so many activities to do as well as meeting the big man himself! Every child will have a chance to meet Santa in his spectacular grotto and receive a golden key to Santa’s Toy Shop, they can then choose from hundreds of toys. The excitement on the kids faces when you go into Santa’s toy shop is amazing.


Willow’s is somewhere we visit a lot as its only 10 miles from where we live. In fact we went last week with our toddler group.

This festive season, Santa Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm is the only event for families looking for a truly magical day out. Starting from 22 November – 24 December, you can enjoy the ultimate festive experience in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.

You can join in at the Elf Academy, learning the basics of how to be an elf from Santa’s elves all the way from the North Pole – including the Elf-a-bet! The Create-a-Cuddle workshop will also be open daily, allowing little ones to make their very own reindeer cuddly toy to take home, all included in the entrance price.


The popular 3D film is back, with children able to take off into the skies on an adventure with Santa, this was super impressive last year! Then try a real life magical ride in the Willows festive wood on Tristan the Runaway Tractor. Tristan the tractor is Archie’s favourite! Indoors there is the synthetic ice rink, Christmas shows including an Elf Sing-a-Long and Nativity performances featuring farm animals. Plus, meet Mischka, the Alaskan Malamute and Santa’s reindeer. It is a seriously jam packed fun filled day out for the whole family to enjoy!


As well as all of the above the usual activities are open as well; The Farmyard, Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground™,  the indoor soft play areas, the funfair rides, bouncing haystacks, Peter Rabbit woodland play trail, the big dig, trampolines, cotton-tail village and so much more! As well as plenty of places to grab something to eat or drink.


The lovely team at Willow’s Activity Farm have kindly given me a family ticket to be used during their Santa Spectacular (22 November – 24 December) and have a magical day out! So enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hitchin Lavender Farm

I have wanted to go to Hitchin Lavender Farm for a few weeks since I saw lots of beautiful family photos amongst the lavender rows on Instagram but as the weather has been so awful we hand’t got to go. So on Sunday as the Sun was shining we decided to make the 30 minute journey. I packed my new Olympus Pen 8 and tripod and off we went.


Hitchin Lavender is a lavender farm attraction close to both London and Cambridge and they have 25 miles of lavender rows which you can walk through and pick your own fresh flowers from. When we arrived we parked up and paid only £11 for the four of us to get in and we got given a bag and scissors to pick and collect our own Lavender. Adults are £5.00 (picking included), Under 14’s are £1 and Under 5’s are free. You can buy additional bags to fill for £4.


The farm is open from 10am until 5pm every day throughout the season which runs from mid June until early September.


As soon as we got to the field, the smell was amazing! I love the smell of Lavender. The boys enjoyed picking their lavender and filling up their brown bags and we took so many great photos. You can also pay £50 for a professional photo shoot but if you have a good camera and a tripod you can get some great pictures.


We had a great morning, captured lots of great photos and it was a really cheap and fun family day out. We will be going back next Summer and making our family photo in the lavender rows an annual thing!

 

Enjoy A Splendifirous Summer With Mr Kipling & Roald Dahl

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Last week we were invited to the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Aylesbury to celebrate the collaboration between Roald Dahl and the delicious Mr Kipling cakes who want you to Enjoy A Splendifirous Summer With Mr Kipling & Roald Dahl. Mr Kipling has added a touch of magic to their range of cakes with new limited edition Roald Dahl packaging that is exclusive to Tesco until September. With every pack you purchase there is a unique code inside that you enter onto the Mr Kipling website and see if you have one of many amazing prizes.


Mr Kipling and Roald Dahl know the importance of spending quality time together, especially over the Summer with the children on their holidays, which is why they are trying to make your Summer more splendifirous by winning amazing prices and sharing a packet of their delicious cakes. The wonderful prizes include tickets to see the wonderful West End stage show, Matilda the musical, a trip to Buckingham palace, a selection of Roald Dahl books, family tickets to the Roald Dahl Museum, a BFG jump squiffling giant jigsaw and lots lots more. Even a family trip to New York for two adults and two children! You can see the full list of prizes here.

The limited edition packaging can’t be missed as all the Mr Kipling cakes now have a Roald Dahl twist. There are fantastic french fancies, enormous crocodile croc-olate slices, gloriumptious cherry bakewells, delightful Viennese swirls, scrumptious mini battenbergs and Dory-Hunky angel slices. Also on the website is an ‘inspire’ page full of things to do for families over the Summer.


When we arrived at the Roald Dahl museum we went up to the Mr Kipling room for a cup of tea and some cake and was given a talk on the exciting new collaboration. We then went around the museum, I had never been before but Oscar visited with his school earlier on in the year when they were learning about chocolate. The museum is fantastic and as a fan of Roald Dahl as a child it was nice to share something I loved as a child with Oscar as he is now reading the books too. He is currently reading the Giraffe, the Pelly and me. We learnt lots of fascinating facts about Roald Dahl.


We then went on the village tour and I was fascinated at how many of Roald Dahl’s books are based around the small village of Great Missenden. From the library in Matilda, to the Tudor looking building he then envisaged as the orphanage in the BFG, the supermarket in Fantastic Mr Fox and the petrol pump station in Danny The Champion of the World. We also then walked up the hill to the village church where Roald Dahl’s grave is. It has the BFG’s giant footprints leading up to it and is set under a beautiful tree with a bench with his grandchildren’s name on it.


We then walked back to the museum for story time and then went and had a lovely afternoon tea with Mr Kipling. I hadn’t had a battenberg in ages and now I am totally addicted, I have had a fair few packets since last week.


We had a lovely time at the Roald Dahl Musuem thanks to Mr Kipling and will be going back very soon as it is so local to us.

Our Day Out At Paw Patrol Live

Yesterday we went to the SSE Wembley Arena in London to watch Paw Patrol Live. Oscar has loved Paw Patrol since it first aired on Nickelodeon a few years ago. He has every toy available and when we went to Canada a few years ago, as it’s a Canadian show we managed to yet lots of toys that have never been available here in the UK. On his sixth birthday he had a Paw Patrol themed party as well. Archie over the last six months has really got into it too and both the boys were so excited when a parcel came for them a few weeks ago full of Paw Patrol goodies and a VIP invite to the show. Archie was also very excited as it’s the first time he has been on a train as I usually drive into London.


We arrived at the arena at midday and went for a VIP Paw Patrol themed lunch complete with balloon making, face painting, a yummy lunch with Paw Patrol cookies and slush drinks. We had great fun and we saw some familiar faces which was nice and then headed down to the arena to get ready for the show. The boys were also each given another Paw Patrol goodie bag each with a mask, wrist band and fuzzy felt. Archie loves fuzzy felt!


We dropped off the pushchair to the designated area (I would recommend leaving some time to do this as the queue was quite long) and headed our seats. Our seats were fantastic, right near the front and the boys had an excellent view. When the show started all the children around us were dancing as the theme tune played and when the pups came out there was cheers of excitement. The costumes were amazing, sometimes when a TV show goes on the stage it can be completely different, Paw Patrol was spot on and was just like watching the show on TV they were that realistic.


When Mayor Goodway and Chickaletta cannot run the Great Adventure Bay Race due to a sprained ankle the pups come to the rescue. Ryder, Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, Skye and Everest race against Mayor Humdinger to get the three clues hidden around adventure bay to make it back to the finish line before the sun sets. The sets are fantastic and the pups adventure leads them to The Lookout, Seal Island, Farmer Yumi’s Farm and Jake’s Mountain. All around Adventure Bay.


At the end of the show the Pup’s win the race and then sing their victory song. All the children got up and ran to the front and were dancing by the stage and in the aisles. We have been to lots of children’s shows over the years but Paw Patrol Live is by far the best and we had so much fun!


After the show the boys were lucky enough to go up on stage and meet Skye, Ryder and Chase and have a photo taken. Oscar looked really chuffed and couldn’t believe he was standing on the stage at the SSE arena!


The show is still on at the SSE Wembley Arena  today and tomorrow and is not to be missed. The rest of the tour dates are below. Tickets range from £16.80 – £39.20.

Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham – August 9th

Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham – August 12th and 13th

Echo Arena, Liverpool – August 16th and 17th

Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle – August 19th

First Direct Arena, Leeds – August 23rd

Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff – August 26th and 27th


Disclaimer: We were gifted tickets to attend the show but opinions are totally honest and my own! We loved it! It’s Pawsome!