Tag Archives: London

AD. Our Trip Down Regents Canal With GoBoat London

Last Thursday we took the train into London to Paddington to go on our first ever GoBoat London self drive, powered boating experience. In Central London is Paddington Basin which is a beautiful place we had never visited before with lots of nice restaurants all on the canal. We picked the perfect day for it and the sun was shining, the boys even splashed around in the fountains on the canal side.

When we were kindly asked by GoBoat London to come along and set sail I knew the boys would absolutely love it! Crazy as it sounds I have obviously seen and walked down the Regent’s Canal lots of times before but never knew you could take a trip down it yourself without having a canal boat.

The GoBoat London experience is very easy to find and you are asked to arrive 15 minutes before your sail time so you can go through the safety briefing and the children can get their life jackets, balloon, sticker and Captain hats. The adult life jackets are on board under the seats if you need one and you are given a map to take along with you with all of the points of interest so you don’t miss anything on route. The staff were so lovely and friendly and showed us our route and then we were taken aboard our boat for a test run.

The boats themselves are lovely and clean and each have a picnic table in the middle with seating all around the boat. Each boat takes up to 8 passengers comfortably. The boats are really sturdy and I loved that 80% of the volume of the boat is made from recycled plastic and they are completely electric to ensure no noise or environmental pollution. It really is such a lovely, clean way of travelling through London.

We started off from the base location at Merchant Square and headed down the canal past Paddington Station, along the way searching for giant Easter Eggs that had been placed along the route. The boys loved spotting these and each one we found we had to take a photo of to claim a prize on our return. We sailed through Little Venice and then joined the Regent’s Canal which has so many beautiful canal boats all the way down it. Everyone is so friendly on their boats waving to everyone that sails by.

We got to Maida Hill Tunnel which is only big enough for one boat width so you have to wait if someone is coming the other way. The tunnel was very dark and cold and is 250 metres long and Oscar and Archie loved going through it and hearing their voices echo. Archie loved it and said it was like being in the film ‘Flushed Away’ which he loves!

We sailed on and then you go through a much shorter 48 metre tunnel called Eyre’s Tunnel which brings you out to a beautiful spot where lots of house boats are moored up and lots of Moorhens had their nests. Along the whole boat trip its amazing how much wildlife you see and just how peaceful everything is.

You then sail past nine breath taking villas in Regents Park that back onto the canal. They are ginormous houses with the most beautiful kept gardens, some of them are worth a eye watering £120 million pounds! You then continue through Regents Park and past the zoo where you can see the African Hunting Dogs and the giant bird aviary.

We then reached Cumberland Basin where the famous Chinese Restaurant boat is moored and then head up the canal towards Camden Lock. This area of the canal was much busier with lots of canal boats and people in canoes. There were lots of birds nest as well along the sides of the canal and we saw so many eggs and baby birds. When we got to Camden Lock we turned around and headed back on route we came on. Our boat ride this far took around an hour.

We had booked a 11.30-1.30 slot so that we could have a picnic lunch on board. You can’t stop the boat to eat lunch but we slowed the boat right down and enjoyed our lunch whilst sailing through Regent’s Park and The Villas. Oscar and Archie really enjoyed being able to steer the boat themselves with Greg’s assistance and I sat back and enjoyed the ride.

GoBoat is honestly one of my favourite days out in London. Normally we are in town in the midst of the hustle and bustle but on the boat it was so relaxing and such a beautiful way to travel through and see London in a completely different way. We spent two hours on the boat but to be honest I could have sailed up and down the canal all day. The whole journey from start to finish is so picturesque and full of wildlife.

For a boat which can hold 8 people for 2 hours costs £109 (weekends and bank holidays) and £89 during the week. I think this is great value for such a lovely experience and if you have the full 8 passengers on board it only works out just over £13 each on a weekend or £11 during the week. You can book the boats for 1-3 hours at a time.

The GoBoat base location in Merchant Square is well situated as it is a 5 minute walk to Paddington Station, there are coffee shops and restaurants right next door and also a M&S if you need to pick up any last minute picnic essentials. There are also toilets in the coffee shop to use before you set sail as you cannot stop the boat and get off of the boat throughout the duration of the boat ride.

Overall as you can probably tell we absolutely loved our GoBoat experience and we had one of the best family days out we’ve had in long time! It was lovely to have fun with the boys whilst relaxing in the sun taking in some of the most beautiful sights of London. To be honest when your on the boat sailing down the canal you feel a million miles away from the busy city that is all around you. We will definitely be back again soon! You can book your trip HERE! You can even buy a trip as a gift, which would be such a special present to give.

Disclaimer: We were gifted our two hour trip thanks to GoBoat London in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and my own and we absolutely loved it!

 

 

AD. The New Captain Marvel At Madame Tussauds, London

Last weekend we were kindly invited to Madame Tussauds, London to see the brand new Captain Marvel figure and interactive experience. We had never visited Madame Tussauds before and were really excited to see what it has to offer. We got the train to Baker Street which is a one minute walk from the attraction itself.

We had a lovely breakfast that was put on for us and then got to see Captain Marvel herself. Both Oscar and Archie love superheroes and were so excited seeing their favourite ones and having photos taken with them. The Captain Marvel figure is so life-like and the experience was great fun on the interactive screen.

We then started the main tour in the Party Zone and I had seriously underestimated how many figures there would be. From movie stars, World leaders, sports people, musicians to the Royal Family, they have figures of everyone! We started by having a photo with Harry and Megan. You can buy a photo pass or keep your tickets and purchase at various points around the attraction. There is also a new Dua Lipa, Glow Room experience where you can perform with your favourite singer, Archie enjoyed the dancing!

We then walked through the film zone which Oscar loved as he had his photo taken with James Bond. Archie liked ET and Shrek.

Next was the sport zone and Oscar got to hold the ‘World Cup’, posed with Mo Farah and Usain Bolt. Greg’s favourite was definitely Mohammed Ali. The fashion zone is by the sport and has a fun catwalk you can strut your stuff down for London Fashion week and the famous model Kendall Jenner.

My favourite was the Royal Family where you can pay for a photo with them and there are also Historical royals like Queen Victoria and Henry VIII.

There is a section for World Leaders/Politicians and the culture zone. Oscar has just been learning about Vincent Van Gogh in art so had a photo with him to take into school after the Easter break.

In the Music Zone there are famous musicians from all over. The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Kanye West, Michael Jackson, Will-I-am, Lady Gaga, One Direction and Amy Winehouse and many more.

Also in this zone is the Royal Afternoon tea experience which looks great. You can sit at a garden party and have a delicious afternoon tea with her Majesty the Queen. If you book your Standard Ticket entry ticket with full “Royal Tea” afternoon tea you can save 20%, (adults £44, children £39.50).

We then took part in the Sherlock Holmes Experience where we all turned into London’s finest detectives to help Dr Watson solve the mystery to find Sherlock himself. Oscar really loved participating and answering questions and found the whole experience really exciting.

In the ‘behind the scenes zone’ I found it fascinating to see how each wax figure was made and how much work goes into each one. Developing and making each figure is a long process.

The ‘Spirit of London’ ride was really good. In pairs you sit in a London Taxi and go on an  exciting journey through the London’s history. You will journey through all the historical and cultural events that have shaped London into one of the greatest cities in the world. It is very educational and a fantastic ride. Over lunch later on Oscar had lots of questions about London, he had done a project on the Fire of London a couple of years ago and visited St Paul’s and now we are going to make our way around all of the historical landmarks over the Summer so he can learn all the history of London.

We made our way back into the Marvel Zone which all the children love! Children around us were so excited to see their favourite Super Heroes. You can have a photo with the brand new Captain Marvel and have ago on her interactive experience, Spiderman, Hulk, Nick Fury, Wolverine, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Captain America. On the way out of the Marvel Zone is the Marvel 4D cinema. The cinema is a huge 360 degrees screen and throughout the short film based right here in London, there are amazing special effects.

You exit the 4D cinema into the Star Wars Zone. My Brother was a huge fan if Star Wars when we were children and watched the films over and over again. Oscar has only just started watching the films but knows who all the characters are from his Star Wars Lego sets.

As you exit Madame Tussauds they have a huge shop with lots of London, Marvel, Star Wars and other goodies to purchase. The new Captain Marvel section seemed very popular!

We had a fantastic day out at Madame Tussauds and its a perfect day out for a family. Greg and I enjoyed looking at the figures just as much as the boys! I cannot believe we haven’t been before but will definitely be going back soon.

 

Disclaimer: We were given complimentary entry to the Madame Tussauds attraction.

 

 

How To Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World

Yesterday we were so lucky to be invited into Islington, London to watch a special immersive screening of  How To Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World which is in cinemas next Friday, the 1st of February 2019.

Oscar and Archie were both really excited when I told them last week that we had been invited and recapped by watching the first and second films back to back. Rewinding back to 2015, Oscar was five years old and absolutely obsessed with How To Train Your Dragon. He had all of the toys, dress up costume and his 5th Birthday was themed around it complete with his very own Toothless cake. I even remember when he was 4 and I was pregnant with Archie, Oscar wanted to call the baby Hiccup.

So yesterday morning we drove into Islington, to the most amazing venue, Collins Music Hall which had been completely transformed into the Isle Of Berk. Firstly Oscar and Archie had to complete their Dragon training which they found great fun! Afterwards they were awarded with their certificates graduating them from the Dragon Training Academy. (They now now officially own a Dragon!)

We then continued on our adventure through Berk where Oscar had his face painted and both the boys had a go at the Sheep Dunk game where they had to throw the Sheep through the Dragon holes to win their very on Viking hat and poster.

We got out snacks and drinks ready for the film and then the Viking horn sounded and we made our way down the stairs to the Hidden World. When we reached the bottom and took our seats the whole room was decorated as the Hidden World. The film was introduced by the Film’s Director, Dean DeBlois and the producer Brad Lewis who have been a part of all three of the movies.

In the film The Hidden World, Hiccup and his fellow Vikings are under great threat of loosing their Dragons as their enemies task Grimmel the infamous Dragon killer and killer of all other Night Fury’s to capture Toothless, the Dragon’s Alpha and then all the other Dragons would follow him to their land so they can have them as their own Dragon army. Grimmel uses the Light Fury to distract Toothless.

Hiccup decides to follow his Father’s dream of finding the Hidden World, which is the place at the end of the World where Dragon’s can live in peace. After Berk is attacked by Grimmel and his men everyone from Berk decides to go off on a quest to find The Hidden World. They stop off on an island to rest and set up camp but Grimmel is not far behind them.

Toothless falls in love with the Light Fury and follows her to the Hidden World. Hiccup follows and can’t believe that the place that his Father dreamed of not only really existed but they had finally found it, a place where their beloved Dragon’s would be safe. Toothless brings Hiccup and Astrid back from The Hidden World as they were in danger but on their return Toothless and the Light Fury are captured by Grimmel and all of the other Dragons follow them. With only Viking power left, Hiccup feels defeated but Astrid reminds him of what a great leader he is and using their gliding suits they rescue all of the Dragon’s and defeat Grimmel.

Eventually Hiccup can see that it is best for the Dragons to go and live in The Hidden World. It is a heart wrenching moment when your see the Vikings say goodbye to all of their Dragon’s as they fly off into the distance. It teaches Hiccup he can be just as strong as a leader with or without his Dragon and his best friend.

The film ends on a lovely moment where Hiccup and Astrid get married to rule the Isle of Berk together and go onto have children of their own. A few years later you see them on a longboat as a family and they see Toothless, the light fury and their children and all fly together. Its a lovely end to the film and the story of Hiccup and Toothless and their journey together.

It is another fantastic 5* DreamWorks Animation from Universal Pictures and we are so grateful for the invite to this amazing Immersive film experience. We had such a fantastic time!

Oscar and Archie were also given a lovely gift bag each with a book, DVD’s and one of the new Mystery Dragon toys which are available at Smyths Toys Superstores. Smyths have a huge range of How To Train Your Dragon Toys and computer games available. Oscar’s birthday list has now got most of it on it!

 

This post is in collaboration with Universal Pictures UK.

Blogmas Day 2: Room On The Broom Live Review

On Friday we took the train into London with our friends as we had been invited to the Lyric Theatre to watch Room On The Broom Live. Archie loves the book and we reread it again on Thursday evening in bed so it was fresh. We arrived at the Theatre and got our tickets and in the foyer they have snacks and ‘Room On The Broom’ merchandise for sale. We got each of the boys a Witch soft toy which was only £8. We then made our way to our seats.

We had great seats, not to far from the stage and used the theatre booster seats provided so the boys had the perfect view. The show started at 11am and runs for one hour, which is perfect for little ones.

We were really impressed with the show and how only four people managed to pull off such a great production. The show itself is recommended for children aged 3 and above and started on the 23 November 2018 and is running until the 13 of January 2019. Then the show will be at the Hertford Theatre on the 22nd and 23rd of March 2019.

From start to finish I loved the added humour for the parents in it which made us giggle. The story of Room On The Broom is a lovely book written by Julia Donaldson and is about A Witch and her cat flies through the wind and loses her hat and comes across a dog who wants to know “if there is any room on the broom for me?” The Witch, the cat and the dog fly on but the Witch loses her hair bow in the wind and a birds finds it. Bird then wants to then know “if there is any room on the broom for me?”. The Witch flies on with her cat, the dog and the bird but let go of her wand. A frog then finds it and wants to know “if there is any room on the broom for me?”. The Witch flies on with her cat, the dog, the bird and the frog but the broom is overloaded and snaps in two. The Witches half broomstick flew on with the others falling out of the sky and the Witch gets chased by a Dragon who wants Witch and Chips for tea. But just as the Dragon was about to eat, out of a ditch rose a horrible beast. The beast was really the cat, dog, frog and the bird who covered themselves in mud to save their Witch from the Dragon. They then all do a spell together to get back home. “Iggety, ziggety, zaggety, ZOOM!” Out of the cauldron rose the most magnificent broomstick and they all flew home together.

After the show we were kindly invited to a Room On The Broom tea party where we had a lovely lunch and then got to meet the talented cast members of the show.

Room On The Broom is such a fun and captivating story for little boys and girls and the stage show compliments it perfectly. We really had a wonderful time. You can book tickets online with tickets costing only £15 with both morning and matinee performances available.

We were gifted the tickets to watch Room On The Broom. 

Warner Bros Studio Tour London, Hogwarts In The Snow Review

Last night we were kindly invited to the press preview for the ‘Hogwarts In The Snow’ event that is running over the Christmas period at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London. For any Harry Potter fan the studio tour is absolutely mind blowing and amazing but when it undergoes its make over each Christmas for Hogwarts In The Snow it becomes even more magical!

We are so lucky that we only live ten minutes away from the studio, so we picked Oscar up from school and headed straight there. The boys were so excited, especially Archie who hasn’t been since he was a baby so it was all new for him. Oscar is so lucky and has been a few times now. When we arrived we were greeted by a giant Christmas tree outside and in the entrance hall is a beautiful tree. It gets you really in a Christmassy mood. We had welcome drinks and then entered the tour.

At the beginning you watch two short videos about how the books were made into the amazing Worldwide famous films that they became. We then gathered around the giant doors of the Great Hall and Oscar was lucky enough to be asked to open the doors. The doors opened to the Great Hall which was dressed ready for a Christmas feast. It is amazing to think that they really filmed in there. The food props looked so real but were made from resin and then we were shown the special effects of the Christmas puddings on fire.

The stage in the Great Hall is set up for the iconic Yule ball from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which is the celebration of the Triwizard tournament. Decorated with beautiful trees and the orchestra.

Other sets around the studio were also decorated for Christmas, such as the Gryffindor common room and Harry’s dormitory. Opposite these rooms was also a great wind and fire kiosk and a lovely member off staff explained to Oscar all of the materials they used in the films to make snow and fire. He found this really interesting and spotted all of the lit fireplaces around the tour which were made by using a combination of water vapour and lighting effects. I must say all the staff throughout the tour are so lovely and enthusiastic and full of Harry Potter facts and were more than happy to answer all of Oscar’s questions.

Oscar and Archie had photos on the green screens where they were transformed into Wizard’s. They also tried out the other interactive activities around the tour, like learning wand combinations and getting a broomstick to rise up and down.

We then walked through one of the newest attractions, the Forbidden Forest where you can see some of the creatures from the films and play around with the special effects and make a thunderstorm or wind.

You then walk through a small gift shop and onto Platform 9 ¾. Archie’s little face when he saw the Hogwarts Express was a picture. I have seen it a few times now but each time you are taken aback as it’s just an amazing sight. You can walk through the train and then sit in a carriage and have your photo taken and then watch a video of a short train journey.

We then had dinner in the backlot cafe, we had burgers followed by Butterbeer ice cream which was delicious. The Warner Bros Studio Tour London is one of only four places in the World that serves Butterbeer. You then walk outside and can have photos by the Knight Bus, the covered bridge of Hogwarts Castle, the flying car and in Sirius Black’s motorbike. You can also go in side the iconic house that is number 4 Privet Drive.

Back inside you can see lots of props and costumes and then walk through Diagon Alley which is the cobble stoned street shown in the films. There is also a display set up here where you can see how they magically make footprints appear in the snow when nobody is there.

This leads you to all the detailed plans and drawings off the sets within the films, its amazing to see just how much work goes into every last detail of the films. Last but not least you walk into the room which takes my breath away each time, where you see the most amazing statue of the Hogwarts Castle and during the Hogwarts In The Snow event the whole Castle is covered in snow. It really is the most magical sight and for me, with only 34 sleeps until Christmas coming to the Hogwarts In The Snow event has been the most amazing start to this years Christmas festivities.

In the huge gift shop there are lots of Harry Potter themed Christmas decorations and it is full to the brim of gift ideas for any Harry Potter Fan. With the launch recently of the Harry Potter Lego, Oscar has four of these sets on his Christmas list all which they stock in their store here.

We had the most magical evening and the Hogwarts In The Snow event is not to be missed! The event is running now until the 27th January 2019 and all tickets must be pre-booked online at www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

This post is in collaboration with Warner Bros Studio Tour. We were gifted the entry tickets but all opinions are honest and my own. We loved it!

Our Visit To The Cutty Sark & Their New Toddler Time Sessions

Lats week we drove into London to Greenwich to visit The Cutty Sark. The Cutty Sark is somewhere I remembered visiting as a child and when I mentioned to different people about us visiting almost of all of them said they remembered school trips there as a child too.

We parked very easy about a three minute walk away and strolled along the Thames past the Old Royal Navy College and the Naval College Gardens which was lovely. As we approached the ship itself Oscar couldn’t believe how big it was. We got our tickets and the boys were given an explorer trail booklet to read and stamp around the ship. I also brought them a Royal Museums Greenwich Kid’s Handbook which is full of games, facts, quizzes and stickers.

The Cutty Sark is one of the top tourist attractions in London as it is the World’s last surviving ‘tea clipper’ ship which was built to carry tea from China to Britain between 1870 and 1878. It belonged to a man called Jock Willis who took over his Father’s shipping company in 1862. The Cutty Sark was one of the fastest ship’s on the seas at the time reaching speeds of 17.5 knots thanks to her sleek, narrow design. The ship also transported Wool and in December 1883 she left New South Wales and made it back to England in just 82 days! She carried other goods too such as beer, coal, candles, cork, clay, pickles, perfumes, pianos, paper, sugar, shoes, shark bones, screws and wine.

We started on the Lower Hold. When you walk in their is still a smell of tea in the air and this space would have been full of chests of tea from China. On the floor there were words written in Mandarin, as Oscar has just started to learn Mandarin at school he managed to read a few words himself, much to a group of tourists amusement, they couldn’t believe it! On each floor of the ship, facts are written all around and there is so much to learn about it. Not forgetting to get our booklets stamped on each floor too.

We then went up to the Tween Deck which has really low ceilings and this is where they would have stored most of the cargo. There are lots of interactive things to do on this deck. Oscar and Archie both tried to sail the ship to see how long it would take them to get back from Australia. Archie liked playing with the model ship and there was also a story telling time going on which the children loved.

On the Main Deck there was so much to see and learn about. This is where the crew lived, work, ate and slept. We went in the cabins which were very snug, obviously the Captain and officers cabins were much more comfortable. Animals would also be kept on this deck, mainly chickens in a cage. We went up to the Stern and Oscar got to ‘steer’the ship. He couldn’t believe how big the Ship’s wheel is. He then went on to ask a member of staff ton’s of questions which was nice to see as he is at the age now where he takes everything in and wants to learn about all that he sees.

Downstairs in the dock there is a lovely cafe that serves all sorts of food and afternoon tea. In the Dock there is a nice children’s corner with cushions and books where Archie sat for awhile whilst Oscar listened to all of the fact phones about this level. There was also a workshop on where you could draw and cut out your own characters/animals and make them into an animation, Oscar really enjoyed this.

We also looked at the different figureheads and learnt that Cutty Sark means short shirt in Scots and Nannie the Cutty Sark’s figurehead is wearing one. I was blown away that in 1869 when the Cutty Sark was first built it cost £16,150!

Also in The Dock they have a lovely toddler session called ‘Toddler Time On Board Cutty Sark’ which runs Wednesday during term time from 10-11.30am and 1.20-2.50pm. You can bring your little sailors along to enjoy stories, playtime and sing along to songs with the groups theme changing each week. Such a lovely group in the most amazing setting! The session is for Under 4’s and can be purchased on the day at the admissions desk. It costs £5 for an adult, with under 4’s being free or if you sign up to an annual membership for only £44 you will get these sessions free.

An annual membership gives you fast track and free entry to four world class attractions; The Cutty Sark, The National Maritime Museum, The Queens House and The Royal Observatory plus lots of members perks.

We really enjoyed our visit to The Cutty Sark last week and it’s somewhere we will definitely visit again along with the rest of the Royal Museums Greenwich attractions. A fun and educational day out is always a win from me!

This is a paid collaboration with the Royal Museums Greenwich.

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!

Image result for list of merlin attractions

 

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!

Fearne By Fearne Cotton For Boots Mini Club Autumn/Winter 2018

Yesterday we drove into London as we were invited by Boots Mini Club to come and see their new Autumn/Winter 2018 collection and the Fearne by Fearne Cotton collection exclusively designed by the gorgeous Fearne herself.

When we arrived there was a huge art and craft station for the kids to get creative at and add their own artwork on a lovely jute bag. Whilst Archie and Oscar were decorating their bags I walked around and looked at the new collection of clothes.

I started off in the baby room which was full of warm and cosy items ready to keep you little ones warm as the weather gets colder. So much extra detail has gone into the baby clothes; everything is 100% cotton for extra softness on delicate skin, everything also has nickle-free poppers to prevent any irritation and inside so you never miss a popper out again one is coloured copper, so you know to ‘always start with the copper popper’. So clever! I can’t tell you the amount of times I did poppers up wrong on sleep suits when changing the boys when I was so tired. One collection has little penguins on it which is so cute and the elephant cuddle robe is just adorable and super soft. For baby girls there are pretty dresses and tights sets and for boys lovely dungarees sets. My favourite is the knit dungarees set its so cute. There is also a Mickey and Minnie collection which is 0-24 months, A Wild World collection full of warm, soft hooded jumpers, bright prints and cosy knits. As well as all of your newborn essentials coming soon to Boots Mini Club is a super delicate premature baby range. I couldn’t believe how tiny the clothes were. I spoke to a lady who was representing Bliss Baby Charity about the importance of soft fabrics and velcro fastenings on premature baby clothes. The clothes open fully flat so you can dress your baby carefully. This will be in stores from the 17th of November.

The Toddler range (18 months to 6 years) again is full of beautiful brightly coloured clothes with bold prints and designs. There are lots of hoodies, cardigans, dress and tights combos, cool tshirts, jeans and jeggings. Everything you need to keep your little one layered up and warm over the colder months. Archie loved the water resistant puddle jumpsuits that neatly fold into itself to make a backpack.

Dare I mention it, Christmas! The Christmas collection and occasional wear is gorgeous. Lovely Christmas jumpers, Christmas pyjamas and party wear for the big day. The Christmas Moments collection also has the cutest bits for babies first Christmas; Mr and Mrs Claus all in ones, my first Christmas sets and Christmas jumpers. Everything you need to dress your little ones up over the festive period.

Ok, I have saved the best until last! The Fearne by Fearne Cotton Autumn/Winter 18 collection. I just love it! You can really see Fearne’s cool, quirky and bold personality in her designs and I am very jealous that she has adult versions of some of the pieces, especially the leopard print tracksuit!

Her baby range goes from 0-12 months and everything has bold prints and slogans on it. When she introduced her collection to us she said she wanted to get across creativity in children, fun and positivity. You can see just how much thought has been put into the designs and the way in which Fearne spoke about her pieces you could see how proud she is of her collection.

For boys and girls aged 12-7 years the creativity focus comes across in a cute pencil design dress, cool tshirt designs and slogan tees such as ‘Make Create, Ta-Da.’ The collection just oozes ‘cool’ with double denim combos, gender neutral jeans, leopard prints, animal prints and the most gorgeous girls party dresses and fur coats. It’s super trendy!

The collections are available online and instore now. Everything is reasonably priced and so well made. Head to Boots Mini Club now to get everything you need for your little one’s Autumn/Winter wardrobe now. A word of warning though…. Your kids will be way trendier than you!

Dinosaur World Live Stage Show Review

Yesterday we got the train into London and took a short walk to Regents Park to the Open Air Theatre to watch Dinosaur World Live. We hadn’t told Oscar and Archie where we were going, so it was a huge surprise when we arrived at the theatre and they saw the huge Dinosaur poster.

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I had never been to the Open Air Theatre before and as we walked inside I was surprised that hidden in Regent’s Park is this really cool theatre with a restaurant and a bar covered in natural foliage and pretty plants to stay in keeping with the park itself. As we took our seats in the open air theatre it instantly felt more of a chilled out and relaxed environment which you want really when at the theatre with children.

The stage set looked great, it was an old American city that had been destroyed and taken over by the Dinosaurs. As soon as the show started we were introduced to Miranda who moved to the deserted Dinosaur inhabited island as a child with her parents her were both Paleontologist’s and their team. She then grew up around the Dinosaurs and raised and trained them so that she could introduce us to some of them on the stage.

Throughout the whole show Miranda kept the audience captivated with her energy, humour and passion for Dinosaurs. Firstly she introduced us to Juliet, a Segnosaurus which is a herbivore Dinosaur and she invited a little girl on to the stage to help her feed her. Then we met Orlando, the cheeky Microrapter that flew around the stage. Once again a little boy was invited on to the stage to brush his feathers. The way Miranda got all the children involved was lovely.

Next up came baby Beatrice a Triceratops who was fast asleep and after the whole audience shouting ‘Wake up Beatrice it’s Christmas’ she woke up to say hello. Shortly after we were joined by Brutus, the adult Triceratops. Archie’s little face lit up as this is his favourite Dinosaur. He even has a huge version in his bedroom that he rides and calls his pet. He loves them! Brutus was huge! 12 tons to be exact, which is the same weight as three hippos!

Next we met baby Tamora the little sister T-Rex of the almighty Titus. She was cheeky and maybe needs a little more training as she didn’t like taking commands off of Miranda. Although she was very well behaved when a little boy from the audience put her on her lead and took her for a walk.

Miranda was hesitant to unleash the almighty Titus on us. After all he is a 9 ton Tyrannosaurus Rex with a bit of a temper. Smoke pumped on to the stage, followed by the biggest roar I have ever heard and out came Titus. He is huge! Oscar couldn’t believe how big an adult T-Rex actually was.

Throughout the show we had been keeping an eye on a Dinosaur egg that kept making movements and then suddenly, Crack! A tiny Giraffatitan baby popped his head out of the egg. His Mother Gertrude then appeared and they went off to bond.

Now I know what your thinking, she’s gone mad! They are puppets! But how I have written it to you is exactly how the children saw it. All around the theatre the children were transfixed on the stage in sheer amazement as each Dinosaur came out. Next to me was a very sweet little boy, I guess only about four and is reactions were adorable. He knew every type of dinosaur and obviously was Dinosaur mad. This is the reaction this show has on the children, it’s absolutely magic!

After the show every child can meet a few of the dinosaurs and give them a stroke with was lovely. Obviously the Dinosaurs are puppets, but they look absolutely brilliant and the actors and actresses that make the noises of each dinosaur were so accurate and life-like.

Dinosaur World Live is every Dinosaur Lovers dream show. It is not to be missed! It is currently at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until the 9th of September. You can find out more information and book tickets HERE. The show is for all the family, but recommends for children age 3 and upwards. All tickets are £16.50 and there are two shows, one at 10.30am and one in the afternoon at 1pm. Do not miss it!

We were gifted the tickets to watch Dinosaur World Live but all opinions are honest and my own.

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!