Tag Archives: day out

Our Day At The NFL Kickoff On Piccadilly With Subway® & Subway’s NFL Kids Paks

On Saturday we got the train into London as we had kindly been invited to attend the NFL Kickoff on Piccadilly by Subway® . When we arrived at Piccadilly there was such a buzz and so many people! We walked down to the Le Meridien Hotel and went upstairs to a VIP section where we had welcome drinks and canapes. We went out onto the terrace which had great views of the street below and watched more and more people arriving and listened to the steel band playing.

We walked down to BAFTA where we watched the NFL UK Live presented by Subway®  and  hosted by Neil Reynolds with his special guests Matt Forte, Paul Posluszny and Ron Jaworski. Paul is a former NFL lineback who played in eleven seasons for the Buffalo Bills and The Jacksonville Jaguars. Matt is also a former NFL player who played ten seasons and played for The Chicago Bears and The New York Jets. Ron who they call Mr Philadelphia is a former quarterback. Over his career he played for lots of different teams but is an Eagle’s Icon. He wears his Eagles Superbowl ring with pride.

During the NFL UK Live Neil hosted a few games and then told the audience if you had a star under your seat to come and play on stage. Oscar was so lucky that he had a star and went up on stage and was paired with Paul Posluszny to see if he could throw the ball into a Subway®  bucket. With a little help from Neil he got it in and won an Official NFL Duke game football, he was so happy!

We were then taken into a side room where we got to meet Neil and his three NFL guests. Matt Forte and Paul Posluszny were absolutely huge, I felt tiny standing next to them. Oscar and Archie got to have photos and a chat with them and Ron even let Oscar wear his Superbowl ring. They also signed his NFL football that he won.

We then went back out onto Piccadilly to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders perform and watch the Mascot race between ‘Jaxson de Ville’, the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot and ‘Swoop’ the Eagles mascot.

Oscar then got to take part in his first ever NFL Flag training session in partnership with Subway®. I have written about these fantastic sessions before HERE. The NFL Flag programme presented by Subway® gives children between the ages of 8-11 exposure to the sport of American Football without the helmets pads and contact. Flag football is growing within the UK and Ireland and the partnership between the NFL and Subway® will enable the game to grow at an even faster rate. NFL Flag Presented by Subway® is currently operating in eight cities including London, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol, Gloucester, Peterborough and Cardiff, with plans to roll out the programme to more cities in England and Wales plus to Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. It was great for Oscar to take part in a training session and to see what it is all about. The session was full of fun and great activities that kept all the children engaged. It would be great for Oscar’s school to do it as he had so much fun and at the end of his taster session he wanted to have another go. You can find out more about the NFL Flag sessions presented by Subway®  and register your school HERE.

Afterwards Subway® had a giant ball pit where you had to jump in and catch a NFL football and if you downloaded the NFL Events app they sent you a free photo which was great. Each person then had ten seconds to search the ball pit for one of a few silver balls to win a prize. Every person who took part was given a Subway® NFL t-shirt and a Subway® foam hand. This will be perfect to take along to one of the NFL games that are at Wembley in October. Tickets are on sale now!

We then got to watch The Vamps perform live on stage and then headed home on the train.

We had such a fantastic time at the NFL Kickoff and I have never been to a sporting event that is so upbeat, fun and family orientated. I can’t wait for the games to start at Wembley!

In Subway® stores now are NFL Kids Paks. We went to our local Subway® last Sunday in Watford and had a lovely lunch. The boys each chose from the menu where they could pick from 4 different types of sub, their choice of salad and also got a drink and a BEAR Pure Fruit Yo-Yos. Greg and I also chose our Sub and salad and a drink. With the Kids’ Pak™ menu there are 4 activities to collect. Luckily the boys got a different one each so we only have two more to collect. Oscar’s was called Passing Practise, a touchdown game where you each have a player and have to flick the ball through the ‘touchdown’ card to win points. Archie’s is a Flag Football Pairs, with lots of different cards and a neat box to keep them all in, to carry around with you in your bag so you can play anywhere.

We had a lovely lunch and the boys want to go back this weekend to try and get the other two NFL Kids Pak™ they haven’t collected yet.

This post is in collaboration with Subway® 

Sea Life London Aquarium Review

Yesterday we got the train into London up to Westminster to go to the Sea Life London Aquarium on the South Bank with my parents. It’s in a great location surrounded by other attractions such as The London Eye, Shrek’s Adventure and The London Dungeon plus loads of lovely restaurants. The South Bank is always such a fun place to visit with amazing street entertainers and musicians.

We arrived at around 11am and had we were booked in on one of their new ‘Behind The Scenes Tours’ at 11.30am so we made our way to -2 in the left and started our Sea Life adventure. Oscar and Archie also had a Mission Pack each on a lanyard (don’t forget to get your Sea Life pop badge) and contains all you need to be Junior Ranger. It includes Ranger accessories, a pencil, magnifying glass, Shark height chart, Activity book and Ranger Cards. Within the explorer book are different missions to complete on your way around the aquarium, these are also marked around the aquarium so you don’t miss them. The Mission Packs are a great way of getting children to really engage with the fishes and read all the information and learn as much as possible. Also with the rest of the bits in the pack, learning can continue at home. Each Mission Pack is £4.

The aquarium is so well laid out with plenty of space to manoeuvre a pushchair or a wheelchair. Each tank has information for the respective animals inside. Oscar was fascinated by the sea urchins and how they move and the newborn tank had the cutest smallest starfish I have ever seen. One of my favourite exhibits has always been the Ray pool, I just love how elegant they are gliding around the pool. The tank is huge and you can get a great view of them beneath the water too.

We then met our Behind The Scenes guide Dom at the big sign located by the Ray Pool and then were taken through a staff door into the workings behind the aquarium. In one huge room there are so many different species. Some that can’t be exhibited as they are so sensitive to light and sound, some that are in breeding programmes and some that have been rescued. Listening to Dom it was unbelievable to hear that in the last 30 years we have lost half of the World’s Coral and seeing what organisations like Sea Life are doing to help the situation is marvellous. The Behind The Scenes tour is a really informative way of seeing just how much hard work goes on at aquariums like this and how much they are doing to save our planet! My favourite thing I learned on the tour was how dangerous two of the smallest animals were; The Mantis shrimp has such a punch on it it’s like being shot. They move up to 23 metres per second and accelerate faster than a bullet! The other was a Scorpion Fish, these are found in the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean. They blend in with their natural surroundings and if you stepped on one the venomous spines would likely kill you. To go on the Behind The Scenes tour it is £8 each or £7.20 if you book online beforehand.

Afterwards we visited the rock pool where you can touch a few of the animals. As the boys had their Mission Packs on they were also given game cards to take home. Opposite the rock pools is the huge central tank that can be seen from all three floors with the sharks in it, amongst other fishes and turtles. The turtle in the tank is absolutely huge! You can then walk through the tank tunnel to get really up close to the animals.

We then went through the Rainforest Adventure, which has everything from piranhas to poisonous dart frogs. If you dare you can even put your hand in a ‘Piranhas’ mouth! We found out on our behind the scenes tour that in the rain forest there is a type of Piranha that is vegetarian and has human like teeth so they can eat nuts and fruit that fall into the water from the trees.

Next up was the penguins. They are just so adorable, some huddling together others were diving in and out of the water. There is a viewing globe where you can go in and be amongst the penguins.

On the top floor there is a shark cage that you can get a great view of the sharks in. Sea Life also now offer an amazing experience from £130 where you can swim with the sharks. You get to have a 15 minute snorkel with magnificent sharks including Sand Tiger Sharks, Grey Reef Sharks and Black Tip Reef Sharks. Oscar is desperate to this so we will bring him back so he can have ago. All participants have to be 1.3 metres tall or above. If your feeling really brave you can even propose under the sea!

We then went through the Jelly Fish section. They are so amazing to watch. I found it fascinating that Jelly Fish have no brain or heart. The biggest ever recorded Jelly Fish was a whopping 37 metres! I don’t fancy being stung by one of those!

We had such a lovely day at the Sea Life London Aquarium. There is so much to see and do and more importantly so much to learn about. Oscar and Archie absolutely loved it and its a fantastic day out for the whole family.

Admission ticket prices are £26 but if you purchase online before they are from £21. There are fantastic deals that you can purchase so you can visit Sea Life and other Merlin attractions at a discounted price. For instance you can book Sea Life plus one other attraction, you can choose from The London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds London, Shrek’s Adventure! London and The Coca-Cola London Eye and you then have 90 days to visit again and use your voucher. You can also purchase an annual Merlin Pass from £139 per person which gives you unlimited visits and access to 32 major attractions such as Thorpe Park, Lego Land and many more. You can make a huge saving!

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We were gifted entry into the Sea Life London Aquarium but all opinions are honest and my own and we loved it and had a fantastic day!

Peppa Pig World And Paulton’s Park Review

Yesterday we spent the bank holiday at Paultons Park. We have visited the park before four years ago when Oscar was four and now that Archie who is three loves everything Peppa Pig we knew it would be a fantastic day out for all of us to enjoy! Plus Paultons Park and Peppa Pig had new rides and experiences which weren’t there when we last visited.

Our Trip To Peppa Pig World In 2014. On our last trip we stayed at The Pig Hotel.

Paultons Park really has the best of both World’s for a family like ours with a five-year age gap between the boys. Obviously Peppa Pig World was amazing for Archie but there are also other areas in the park with bigger rides for Oscar to enjoy as well.

We made a weekend of it and travelled down to the New Forest on Sunday and went to Lyndhurst as Oscar wanted to look at the Ferrari garage. We then drove to our hotel in Southampton, ‘The Grand Harbour Hotel’ which is 20 minutes from Paultons. You can book a Paultons break and stay in this hotel and book your tickets and get a second day in the park free. You can book this on the Paultons Breaks website. Our hotel was lovely, we had a huge family suite and took a swim in the indoor pool. Our stay included breakfast which was lovely and we also ate at the hotel for dinner as well. We would definitely stay there again.

We arrived at Paultons Park at 9.45am to get our tickets and then went inside. The park itself doesn’t open until 10am so we waited for a bit until it was open. Whilst I was waiting I logged onto the free wifi and downloaded the Paulton’s Park app which makes it easier to navigate your way around the park. We headed straight to Peppa Pig World and went on The Windy Castle Ride which is where you sit in a cloud and go around and around. You get a great view of Peppa Pig World from up here!

We then went into Madame Gazelle’s school house and had a photo taken. Before we arrived we purchased a photo pass online which allows you to pick four photos around the park for £25 rather than £10 a single photo. You can also purchase a nice Peppa Pig World frame which Archie loves and now has pride of place in the playroom. When you purchase any photo/photo gift you get a code so you can download the photo as well.

We then played in Mr Potato’s playground and then queued up to meet Peppa and George. You can meet them at certain times during the day, by checking the app you can see easily what time you need to go to the ‘Meet and Greet’ area. Archie was so excited and couldn’t believe he was meeting the ‘real’ Peppa and George.

We then went on Grandpa Pig’s Boat Trip which was fun and then grabbed a drink from Daddy Pig’s Big Tummy Cafe. Inside the same building is the George’s Spaceship Play Zone which is a giant soft play area. There are several play areas within Peppa Pig World as well as the soft play, Mr Potato’s playground and muddy puddles which is a mini splash park where you can jump up and down in muddy puddles. As the weather wasn’t great we didn’t go in muddy puddles but when we visited last it was a lovely day and Oscar jumped around the playground in the sun.

We then went on George’s Dinosaur adventure. Oscar was big enough now (over 1.1m) to go on on his own so I watched and Archie went on with Daddy as he is less than 1.1m. Archie liked riding through all of Peppa’s friends. I was impressed at how quickly the queues go down as the staff are quick and efficient at getting everyone on and off the rides.

We then walked through ‘Little Africa’. This is a relatively new exhibit and certainly wasn’t here when we visited before. We walked through and saw Meerkats, Giant Pouched Rats, snakes, Fennec Foxes, Millipedes, Hedgehogs, exotic birds and bugs. Its a really lovely animal exhibit to walk around and is set out really nicely. We really enjoyed this and spent quite a bit of time in here looking at the animals and birds.

We grabbed some lunch at the Queen’s Kitchen which was hot dogs and pizza and then decided to head out of Peppa Pig World as it was really busy and return a bit later on. We went on the Victorian Carousel and the Viking boat ride then took a walk through the woods on the nature trail and saw the birds of prey, hornbills and the tropical birds.

We came out buy the little explorer playground in the Lost Kingdom. We went on the Dino Chase roller coaster which Archie could go on too and both the boys loved it. It was pretty fast!

Just outside the Lost Kingdom is the Water Kingdom which is a huge splash park and play area and we stopped here for a coffee and a play. It’s a shame it wasn’t a brighter day as the splash park is fantastic. Next time I am packing swim shorts and towels for the boys.

We then headed back to Peppa Pig World but on the way stopped off at the Wave Runner water slide. Oscar went on with Daddy and I think the photo says it all…….

We grabbed an ice cream from Miss Rabbit’s Ice Cream Parlour to eat in the queue of the next ride. We went on the Queen’s Flying Coach ride. This is one of two new rides that have opened this Summer in Peppa Pig World. It was very popular and we had to queue for about 30 minutes. You sit in individual coaches as a family and take a tour up above the park and it starts in the Queen’s castle.

By this point it was quarter to five and our feet were killing us, so we decided to pick one more ride which was the other new ride, Grampy Rabbit’s sailing club. You go in a little boat underneath the Queen’s flying coach ride circuit passing Peppa and her friends. It is a lovely ride and a perfect way to end our day out at Paultons Park!

We had such a lovely couple of days and Peppa Pig World was really magical for Archie, just like it was for Oscar when we came when he was younger. You could see when walking around the park how excited all the children were. Oscar really enjoyed it too and loved the Lost Kingdom and Little Africa. It’s a fantastic day out for the whole family and we can’t wait to go back again. It’s a really special day out with so much to see and do!

*This post is in collaboration with Peppa Pig World. We were gifted entry to the park but all opinions are honest and my own. Its a fantastic day out and we loved it!

Cassiobury Farm & Fishery Open Day

Yesterday we went to Cassiobury Farm and Fishery as they were running an open day event. Cassiobury farm is a beautiful place set in the heart of the woods of Cassiobury park in Watford, next to the canal and has a private collection of exotic animals and birds and has its very own rare breeds farm. I saw the Summer open days advertised on Facebook and booked tickets for the four of us and it came to only £26! £8 an adult and £5 a child over 3. Under 3’s are free. I had wanted to book last Summer but we were away when they were on.

So I made the mistake of putting the actual farm address in google maps and ended up down a single track to the farm where there is no parking. It does tell you this on the website but I didn’t read it beforehand. The best place to park is in the Cassiobury park car park which is free with a ticket for six hours. You then just walk through the woods which is sign posted to the farm, it literally took five minutes. Disabled Parking is available on-site, but you must call the Farm to reserve a bay in advance.

An arrival I couldn’t believe the farm and fishery was, I think it’s around 15 acres. For years it wasn’t open to the public at all but now they have several open days a year. It first opened to the public in 2015 and when we went yesterday I couldn’t believe we hadn’t brought the boys here before. Firstly we saw the Pelicans which were huge! You can walk around in their enclosure with them and they are very friendly.

They had little boats on one of the old watercress beds and we paid £3 for Oscar to have a go for ten minutes. They were great fun! There is no age limit, your child just needs to be able to swim if they tip out. It is so shallow though and the supervisor is walking in the water by the boats.

We then saw different monkeys, wallabies, love birds, cockatoos and macaws. It was lovely to see them so close up. It was hard to believe we were in the middle of Cassiobury park and behind these gates are so many amazing animals.

I absolutely loved the Black Swans that were on the water, the look so elegant gliding over the water. I don’t think I had ever seen one before.

We then walked to the rare breeds farm which have Gayal, Hungrian Steppe Cows, Soay Sheep, Gloucester Old Spot Pigs, Pygmy Goats, Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Miniature Horses & Donkeys, Turkeys, Pheasants, giant rabbits and many more animals. The miniature horses were my favourite and the miniature pigs.

The private collection of exotics includes Binturong, Flamingos, Meerkats, Marmosets, Wallabys, Crested Cranes, Pelicans, Macaws, Raccoon Dogs, Arctic Foxes, Civets, Gents, Squirrel Monkeys, Reindeer, Capybara, Tortoises and more. Oscar loved the Silver Fox which was absolutely beautiful! It was lovely to see an Arctic Fox up close too!

After exploring the whole farm we sat down on the large meadow area and had our lunch. In the central area there is a bouncy castle, face painting, fishing, crazy golf, mini-tractor rides, climbing frame, stalls and animal encounters. There is also a hot food counter that serves lovely food.

We then walked through the giant tortoise enclosure, I absolutely love them and am trying to talk Greg around to getting one for a pet. There was also a bug enclosure where two people were teaching the children all about the different bugs.

Last but not least we saw the flamingos which was lovely and then we headed back to the car. We were at the farm for about three hours and had such a wonderful time. All the animals were so well kept and the whole farm was lovely and clean. You can see all of the love and attention that has gone into it.

There is only one Summer Open Day left this season which is on Saturday the 1st of September, 10am until 5pm. So if you like local, do not miss it! You can book online or pay on the door, the price is exactly the same. It really is a great day out for all the family!

Our Day Out At KidZania, London

A Couple of weeks ago I drove into London with my friend Claire and her son to visit KidZania which is inside the Westfield shopping centre at White City. I had read so many great reviews about KidZania and what a fantastic day out it is so I couldn’t wait to take the boys but just wanted to wait until Archie was a little bit older to enjoy it all.

We booked online a few days prior to our visit. If you book online earlier you can then print off your ticket or use the QR code on your phone on arrival. For Oscar, Archie and myself it was £62.  Archie cost slightly less as he is under 4. The prices vary depending on which day and time slot you pick. Our slot was booked at 11 and as we arrived we were greeted by a huge British Airways aeroplane and then we had to go the escalators to the departures lounge where the boys got their ID wrist tags were given their 50 KidZos. As Archie is under 4 he wasn’t given any. We also purchased a money holder that goes around your neck so the boys didn’t loose any of their KidZos. This was about £5.

As soon as we walked into the main KidZania town I was completely blown away at how amazing and realistic it looked. When we first got inside it wasn’t too busy so we took the boys straight to the hospital bit where Henry and Oscar performed an operation.

The general idea is to earn more money by doing jobs but you can also pay to learn new skills and take part in different activities. Each child over four years old it’s given 50 KidZos to start with and the aim is to leave with more KidZos than you started with and then you can spend them in the shop on the way out. As Archie is under 4 he didn’t get any KidZos and could only take part in certain things. In hindsight as he is nearly 4 I should have said he was 4 and paid the higher price as he could have easily joined in with all the activities the older boys did. On a few occasions he got upset that he couldn’t join it which was hard to explain to him.

There is a younger area upstairs for the under 4’s which wasn’t great to be honest. Downstairs there is the Supermarket which Archie could shop in. He loved the Supermarket where he filled his trolley and then paid for his shopping.

We then went upstairs and the boys learnt to become pilots in the British Airways flight school and then also became members of the BA cabin crew. It was nice that we got asked to go and actually be passengers on the plane.

We then headed to the Cadbury factory which you have to pay with your KidZos to take part. Oscar kindly gave Archie some KidZos so he could take part too. They got to learn how to make chocolate and at the end was given a voucher to exchange for a chocolate bar when we left.

We then went to the storage company and the boys were given 3 boxes and a checklist of locations where the parcels needed to be delivered around the KidZania town. The lady kindly gave Archie a jacket too so he could join in.

At lunchtime we headed to the Gourmet Burger Kitchen restaurant. For Henry and Oscar we paid £4 each and they actually got to make their own burger in the kitchen whilst we ordered our own food and sat outside and ate it. It was great that we could get a nice meal for lunch without actually leaving KidZania itself and having to go back into the main shopping centre. Within KidZania there are a few different places to eat.

We then headed to the fire station and the boys got to wear a fireman outfit and then go off in the fire engine and put out a fire. The burning hotel looked so realistic and the boys had a great time. Henry and Oscar kindly gave Archie enough KidZos so he could take part as well. He loved going in the fire engine.

As the afternoon went on the queues to take part in each activity got bigger and bigger and I said to the boys we will return when they have a day off when other schools don’t as I’m sure it would be much quieter and less queues. This meant we didn’t actually manage to get to go on everything today. By the end of the afternoon we were queuing about twenty minutes on each activity.

Upstairs the boys then earned money by being window cleaners. Once again Archie joined in with this activity.

The boys had an absolutely fantastic day out and in all the places we have visited for a day out with the kids this is 100% one of the best. It is well worth the money and we spent 5 hours there and had a fun filled day out. Parking in the shopping centre only cost £8 for the whole time too which wasn’t bad considering we were in London. We can’t wait to go back!

Our Amazing Day With Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Today we drove into London to a really special event hosted by Yellow Zebra Safari’s. If you haven’t heard of Yellow Zebra Safari’s before they are an award-winning luxury and adventure travel company specialising in African Safari’s. Taking Oscar and Archie on Safari has always been on our bucket list and as I have never been on one myself I just can’t wait to go! Taking your family on Safari is a trip of a life time with memories that are made that will last forever. Both our boys absolutely love animals and wherever we go a bag of Schleich animals comes along too. Oscar has said for a couple of years now that he would love to be a Zoo Keeper. So when we were invited to a fun-filled Safari day out I knew the boys would be so excited!

‘The opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat, to watch a herd of elephant walk past their vehicle, to spot a cheetah with its cubs, or listen to a pride of lions roaring at night. It is a magical experience that they will never forget.’

When we arrived the Safari themed room looked amazing. We had been told before hand that we would have a chance to meet some animals today. We met Safari Pete who Oscar and Greg couldn’t stop asking him questions. He knows everything you need to know about animals and safari’s and is a fountain of knowledge. Safari Pete is a wildlife adventurer and conservationist and works closely with the Yellow Zebra Safari team. His stories of his adventures are amazing and his knowledge of animals is amazing.

We were fortunate enough to meet several of Pete’s animals; Gumbo the Toad, Pinchy the Scorpion, Juliet the Barn Owl, two lizards, Boo-Boo the Monitor Lizard, Jay-Z the Crocodile, a snake, Lady Gaga the Tarantula and Steve and Baby Bear the Meerkat’s. Oscar was so lucky and got called up to hold the crocodile. We also got to see the lizards, snake and crocodile catch and eat their prey, which was really amazing. I had never seen this up close before. It’s incredible how quick the crocodile reacts to his prey and how the snake is able to swallow his meal whole.

We then sat down to our Safari themed lunch which was very yummy!

When booking a Family Safari with Yellow Zebra Safari’s you know you are getting the very best of everything. They will recommend to you based on the ages of your children where is best to travel too. Their team is made up entirely of professional safari guides, camp managers and people who were born and raised in Africa so you are getting the best knowledge and advice when designing your perfect trip. For example if you go on to thier website, we are a family of four with Oscar who is 8 and Archie who is 3. Archie being Under 6 they advise to stay somewhere that is malaria free. For us at this time a Safari in South Africa would be perfect for us. The Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands offer epic ‘Big Five’ viewing, while the malaria-free safari reserves of ‘SA’ cater well for families. The accommodation choices all look out of this World, from lodges to hotels there is the perfect stay to choose from for everyone.

When Archie is 6 we can then all go to Kenya which is home to Maasai Mara National Reserve which is the place to visit if you are looking for a safari, super size. In Kenya is a hotel in particular that has been on my bucket list for a few years now and I know the boys will love it. It is called Giraffe Manor,  most of the hotel grounds incorporates the Giraffe Centre of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife and a group of giraffes lives in the Manor’s grounds, they even put their heads through the windows to say hello.

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 ‘EUROPE’S LEADING SAFARI TOUR OPERATOR’ IN 2015, 2016 & 2017′

After lunch we got to meet the Meerkat’s again and Oscar and I had one of them on our shoulder. They are Grandad’s favourite animal so he will be very jealous!

Oscar and Archie then got to choose a ceramic animal to paint which was great fun and now has pride of place in the playroom.

We had such a lovely day with Yellow Zebra Safari’s and can’t thank them enough for the wonderful experience the boys had meeting all of the animals and a big thank you to Safari Pete too. I am definitely booking one of his animal parties for Oscar’s next birthday! It was also lovely to catch up with Ruth and her family from Rock ‘N’ Roller Baby Blog.

*This post is in collaboration with Yellow Zebra Safari’s

Our Trip To Alton Towers & Stay At The Enchanted Village

Last Sunday after Oscar’s football match we got in the car and drove the two and a half hour drive to Alton Towers. The boys had no idea where we were going, we just told them we were going somewhere and staying away for the night. They were so constantly asking where we were going the whole way there and when we finally drove into the park and noticed the ‘Alton Towers’ sign they were so excited! We followed the signs to the Enchanted Village parking and headed to the reception to check in. Check in was really quick and then we walked to our Woodland Lodge.

The Woodland Lodges are really cute and the Enchanted Village really does look magical. Our Lodge had two bedrooms and a bathroom and everything you needed for a comfortable nights stay. We chucked our bags in to the lodge and headed to the Extraordinary mini golf course and played 9 holes. Oscar managed to get a hole in one on the first hole! It was great fun. We then walked to the monorail station and took the short ride to the theme park.

As it was already around 3pm we decided to head straight to CBeebies Land. Archie’s face was a picture when he saw the rides with all his favourite TV programmes on. We went on the Postman Pat ride, the In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride and on the Get Set Go Tree Top Adventure. It started to rain so we walked back to the Monorail to head back to our lodge. As it was 5pm and the monorail is also used to get back to the car parks as well as the hotels the queue was massive. We had to wait around 45 minutes to catch the monorail. By the time we got to the other end it was tipping down, we ran the usual 5 minute walk back to the lodge and got absolutely soaked.

Back at the lodge we showered and got ready to go to dinner. I booked the Secret Garden restaurant a few days before our stay as the restaurants get booked up really quickly. We walked to the Alton Towers Main Hotel where the restaurant was. The food was really nice and the staff were really friendly. Oscar and Archie loved the ice cream factory where they got to make their own ice creams covered in sauce and sweets. Dinner for the four of us with drinks was around £50.

If you are staying on the resort there is entertainment in the evenings (check the entertainment board and your hotel reception for details). After dinner we caught ten minutes of the entertainment before getting an early night ready for a full day in the park the next day.

Day 2

We headed to the Crooked Spoon for breakfast at 8.45am, again I booked our breakfast before we arrived. The breakfast was really good and then we checked out and out the bags in the car and then walked to the monorail station as with our stay we have early access into the park. We got the monorail at 9.30am and again the queue was absolutely huge so we decided to walk to the park instead of wait. The walk took about 15 minutes. When we got to the park we headed to CBeebies land to finish off the rides. We went on the Go Jetters ride and the Octonauts rollercoaster. We found that as Archie is 0.9m he could go on a lot of rides in the park throughout the day.

We then walked to the Katanga Canyon and went on the Runaway Mine Train and the Congo River Rapids. Both of these Archie could go on too. He loved the the Runaway Mine Train it was really fast, I was so surprised as I thought he wouldn’t like it. Oscar loved the fast rides and was even tall enough to go on the Wicker Man but when he saw how big it was decided to save it until next time (phew!) We headed into the Haunted House instead which was an interactive game where you have to shoot the Zombies.

We headed to the Rollercoaster Restaurant for lunch as I left it too late to book it for dinner for the night before. It is an absolute must, the experience is great fun. You order your meal and drinks and they get delivered to your table on the rollercoaster. The boys loved it, it really is a great restaurant. For the four of us to eat it was about £60 but worth it just for the experience.

We took the Cable Car ride back to Mutiny Bay and went on the rides there and got soaked on the Battle Galleons. Then we went to Cloud Cuckoo Land. After grabbing a drink at one of the many Costa’s at about 3pm we got the monorail back to the car park and started our journey home.

We had a great stay at Alton Towers and would really recommend it. The Woodland Lodges are lovely and the restaurants were great too.

A stay at one of the Woodland Lodges which includes breakfast, 2 days in the Theme park, early access into the park on Day 2, free car parking, evening entertainment and 9 holes of the Extraordinary Golf costs around £277. You can also add a waterpark ticket at the Splash Landings hotel for a day who around £50 for four people.

Below our two videos I made of our days at Alton Towers…..

#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 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!