Monday, 28 August 2017

A Trip To Blackpool With Virgin Experiences.

Blackpool is a place that whenever I hear the name it takes me back 30 years to when I was little and I would visit Blackpool on the train with my Mum and Dad. It used to seem so far, like it was a million miles away when the reality was we could have reached it in less than a hour by car. I think because both John and I have fond memories of visiting Blackpool we have tried to visit quite a few times a year with the boys. You may have read a few months ago we visited Blackpool Sealife and last weekend we were back at the seaside resort thanks to Virgin Experiences. We were invited to choose an experience and we all agreed that a short break to Blackpool would be a perfect way to end the Summer. 

Looks Amazing
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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Our Summer Days - Day 16, Walton Hall Gardens

We spent a lovely day at Walton Hall Gardens on Day 16 of Our Summer Days. The weather wasn't great but it was dry so we made the most of no rain and headed out. Walton Hall Gardens is in Warrington so about 30 minutes from home. We haven't been for quite a few years now and I am pleased to say that it was so much better than I had expected thanks to a few enhancements. 


When we arrived we realised that we had no money for the parking, luckily it had the option to pay by phone. I've seen more and more of these cropping up lately, maybe no-one carries coins around with them anymore. Anyway it was £4 to park all day on a weekend, £3 midweek. 


We were greeted by an ice cream van just at the entrance to the park luckily little J was eager to get inside he completely missed it. Usually we can't walk past an ice cream van without hearing the old favourite 'I need an ice cream'. He never wants one he always 'needs' one. 


Just at the entrance to the park is the children's play area which seems to have had a big refurb as its now huge. Little J whizzed past it and wanted to play tennis first.


Since we visited Park Lives little J absolutely loves tennis now and has taken a shine to my Wilson rackets signed by Roger Federer. They are not actually signed its a pre print but I don't care I love them anyway. 


First he played with John then he wanted to play with me. We made up lots of games including Who could hit up in the air the highest? Who could catch it? and Who could do the most 'keep ups'?

It's quite odd how much fun you can have with a ball. 


After all the playing we headed to the nearest bench to eat our lunch. I'd been up since 4am (due to very noisy neighbours - but that's another story) so by 11:30 I was hungry for lunch.

I took a packed lunch but I'm sure there are places to eat at the park if you want to. We didn't see a cafe but if I remember from last time there is one. I always find it best to make a packed lunch when heading to a local park or play area as it can be a really cheap (sometimes free) day out.




Next stop was a trip to the large pond to look for fish. There were so many and we saw a few tortoises too bobbing their heads up and down in the water.




Walton Hall Gardens has a children's zoo which is free of charge. If I am being honest it isn't the most exciting children's zoo I have been too. There were plenty of goats and chickens but not much else. Most of the cages were empty even though they should have been home to degu's, ferrets and red squirrels. It took us about 10 minutes to get round the whole zoo so I think that speaks for itself.


A trip to the park wouldn't be the same without some exploring in the woods. Little J loves exploring and he gets that from his brother. They both headed off in the woods, finding sticks and climbing trees. John joined in too.





We headed to the play area next. It's huge and has lovely spongy floor which makes a big difference when choosing a play area. I prefer soft floor and don't panic as much when little J decides to climb up really high on the climbing frames. 






Last but not least little J went on a big inflatable slide. It was huge and although he was allowed 5 minutes for £2 he only managed 3 slides as it took him so long to climb up.

To finish off the day big J took little J on a Thomas train. It took them all around the gardens and mansion and looked lots of fun. 

We all really enjoyed Walton Hall Gardens, it was lots of fun. Sometimes it's nice to go to a different park and explore new woods and play on new playgrounds. The children's zoo was a bit of a let down but it didn't cost anything so we can't really complain. 

Michelle

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 06/08/2017

Highlight of the week was booking The Overtones at Christmas. Absolutely love The Overtone so roll on December.

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Thursday, 3 August 2017

Our Summer Days, Day 8 - Thorpe Park

I have mentioned it before on our blog that we are Merlin Pass Holders, and have been for as long as I can remember. Although we don't venture down South to the attractions very often we think it is still excellent value for money just for the amount of times we go to Alton Towers each year. This year we said that we would try and make an effort to go to Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures as we have never been before. Last weekend we finally made it down South and visited Thorpe Park and Legoland. 

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Monday, 31 July 2017

Theatre Review - Wicked at The Apollo Victoria, London

A few weeks ago Daddy and I headed to London for the day. We got the 6:45am train and was in London by 9am. I had booked us tickets to see Wicked at the The Apollo Victoria. It’s not a musical I had wanted to see before but Daddy really liked the sound of it so I booked them for Father’s Day.


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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Our Summer Days, Day 5 - The British Music Experience

Today we were invited along to The British Music Experience. I had no idea that this even existed until we got the invite, which is sad as its only 20 minutes from home. The British Music Experience has been open 4 months and has so many exciting things planned for the future but for now we popped along to check it out. 

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Monday, 24 July 2017

Our Summer Days 1-4

School is out for Summer which means that I have to now think of ways to keep the boys entertained for 6 weeks . . . eek! I actually love the Summer holidays and being with the boys. Whether it's days out or play days in we always have lots of fun. Here is an update our Our Summer Days 1-4.

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Disney Pixar Cars 3 Movie Review

Last weekend we headed to our local Odeon to watch Cars 3. It's been 11 years since the first movie was released and in the 11 years since, we have been massive fans of Lightning McQueen. Big J's first cinema visit was when he was just 4 years old and we watched Cars so its odd that Little J's first ever cinema visit is when he is also 4 but he's watching Cars 3.

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The Gruffalo and Organix Giveaway

You may have read my earlier post about us being a Merlin Annual Pass holder, which means we get to visit attractions across the UK throughout the year. One for our Summer Bucket List this year is to visit Chessington World Of Adventures for two reasons. Firstly we have never been and secondly because little J absolutely loves the Gruffalo and Chessington World of Adventures now have a new Gruffalo River Ride. Celebrating its partnership with the new Gruffalo River Ride Adventure at Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Organix are giving one lucky Playdays and Runways winner the chance to win a Gruffalo DVD and a £10 bundle of its top selling Goodies healthy snacks. 

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Sea Stars At Sea Life, Blackpool

Having a Merlin pass is probably one of the best purchases we make each year. Being a Merlin pass holder entitles us to free entry to 32 attractions across the UK after paying a one off fee at the beginning of your membership. Over the past few weeks we have visited Alton Towers, Legoland Discovery Centre and last weekend we Sea Life in Blackpool to check out Sea Stars which is new for 2017.

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Sunday, 2 July 2017

Our Sunday Photo 02/07/2017

This weekend little J and I headed to CBeebies Land at Alton Towers for a fun packed day. Keep a look out for what we got up to very soon. 

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

How Natural Playgrounds Help Children’s Development

Both boys have visited our local parks and playgrounds since they were very young. They both really enjoy being outdoors and whilst I wasn't one for swings or slides when I was younger I wanted to make sure the boys were comfortable using outdoor equipment from a early age. Playgrounds aren’t just about entertainment – they’re a key part of a child’s development. From confronting danger with climbing structures to social skills garnered by interaction in a play environment, playing outside helps children grow. I think the 'confronting danger' part for me was why I didn't like playgrounds as I never felt confident. Fortunately both boys love climbing and it's nice to see them taking risks because it is all part of development. 

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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Capital FM Summertime Ball 2016

This post has been sitting in my drafts since the Summer and I'm not sure why I didn't publish it. As time went on I didn't feel the time was right to post about something we did months ago. As the tickets for this years Summertime Ball will be going on sale shortly I thought it would be perfect to share on day now for those who are thinking of attending this year.

 Now that big J is growing up buying for his birthday isn't as easy as it was. We asked him what he would like and even he couldn't think of anything. After listening to the radio one morning he heard about the Capital FM Summertime Ball so he asked us for tickets for his birthday.

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Monday, 6 March 2017

Steps Are Back - #20YearsOfSteps

Well today when I got home and started to browse through Facebook I did not expect to see this  news trending - STEPS ARE BACK. Woohoo I am so excited. I have been a very loyal fan for 20 years so I am delighted that not only are they back with a new album but a tour too. I have seen Steps live many times and obviously their music is poptastic but they were born to perform on stage, their live shows are amazing. #20YearsOfSteps here we come.

Credit Steps
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The Gruffalo Orienteering Trail - Delamere Forest

A few weeks ago I was reading another blog and noticed that The Gruffalo Trail was at Delamere Forest. I was so excited because I knew little J would love hunting through the woods in search for the Gruffalo. It's been one of his favourite books for a few years now and last year he even had a Gruffalo birthday party. So last weekend we headed to Delamere Forest in search for the Gruffalo.

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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Jamie Raven Live 2017

On Tuesday Daddy and I headed to Southport to see Jamie Raven. For those that don't know who he is, Jamie came runner up in the 2015 Britain's Got Talent final. He narrowly lost out to Jules and Matisse by just 2 per cent of the vote. We remembered his performances and loved watching him so we were quite excited to see his live show. We have been to a few magic and illusion shows and whilst they have been okay we have always left the theatre feeling quite underwhelmed. Hopefully Jamie would amaze us and we would be heading home with confused looks on our faces and wondering "How on earth did he do that?'

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Monday, 30 January 2017

La La Land Review - City of Stars, Are You Shining Just For Me?

La La Land was a film that I had wanted to see for a few months after seeing trailers online, reading about it on Social Media and although I had an idea of what it was about nothing could have prepared me for just how fantastic this movie is. Most of my childhood saw me acting out the dance scene from West Side Story in my front living room or singing Grease songs in front of the bathroom mirror. La La Land took me back to those memories and how good musicals were and how sad it is that they just don't make movies like that anymore, until now. 

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Monday, 16 January 2017

Our New Years Eve

This is a little late, but better late than never I suppose. We ended 2016 with a visit to the Liverpool Ice Festival. It's something we did a few years ago and we thought it would be nice to do it again. Both Daddy and I aren't keen on New Years Eve so a nice day out was perfect.

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Saturday, 14 January 2017

Our Family Fortnight 14/01/2017

Our first Family Fortnight post of 2017. A quick recap of what we have got up to in the last 14 days.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Festive Menu at Beefeater

A few weeks ago we were treated to a delicious meal from the new Festive Menu at Beefeater. We have never dined at a Beefeater restaurant before so we were all excited. When it comes to eating out we do usually like to try different places but the Beefeater has never popped up and I'm not sure why as we have many close by.

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