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Gift Guide | Easter

30 March 2019

9 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

If you are looking for some Easter gift ideas this year then I have popped a few of our favourites into our Easter Gift Guide.
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Closed Giveaway | £100 Sainsbury's Spend

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We are giving you the chance to win a egg-cellent prize this Easter, giving one lucky reader the chance to win £100 gift card for Sainsbury's. You will be able to buy lots of treats for all the family and maybe even for yourself.
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Our Favourites | March Bedtime Stories

27 March 2019

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Here's a look at our top five favourite bedtime stories this month.
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Visiting Play Factore, Manchester

25 March 2019

22 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted tickets for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Play Factore Manchester
Last week we were invited to Play Factore to try out their Virtual Reality attraction.  Play Factore is located right underneath Chill Factore by the Trafford Centre and is part of the Beyond entertainment complex.

Play Factore Manchester
Play Factore is the UK's largest family entertainment centre, and boasts Europe's tallest standing indoor slide.  The first thing I really noticed about Play Factore was how they have used the space so well, with each activity in its own zone, and lots of seating for those not taking part right in the middle of the centre.  The activities are big enough for all ages to attempt, with most areas aimed at 5-16.  Adults will have no problems accompanying little ones and there is also a specific toddler zone too.

We headed firstly for the giant red slide. This involved finding our way up the climbing structure to reach the top corner, which was lots of fun with obstacles to climb over, slide under and dodge as you go higher and higher. You can see down below over the rest of the centre from the structure and Little J couldn't believe how high he had climbed.

The slide had a staff member at the top for safety instructions and we needed to fold our arms across out chest and head down. Big J went first and literally flew down the slide.  It didn't look too fast so I took Little J down next to me.  We discovered that looks can be deceiving!  We bounced over the bumps and Little J found it hard to keep his arms crossed with the speed we moved at!  The slide really is so fast and lots of fun, but not for the faint hearted.

Play Factore Manchester
Next it was onto the football area. This is a short climb up the structure and is a great area with two goals and netting all around so the balls can't go missing.  Football is always a hit with us and we spent a good amount of time playing.

Play Factore Manchester
Big J and I tried out the Virtual Reality game next.  You are in a small arena with two staff manning the area from the outside. You wear a backpack containing the tech needed to run the game, a headset and hold on to two handheld devices that act as your guns.  The staff set you up and two play at a time.  Finally your headphones go on and the screen loads up.  You have a short training exercise to complete which is really useful as it gets you used to the controls and how to move around quickly and then its onto the main game.

If you haven't tried VR before then you are in for a surprise.  Even if you have just tried the VR headsets that you can put your phone in, this is a different class. It's amazing too look all around you and be in another environment, and actually feel as though you need to be careful when walking across platforms in case you fall.  The game consists of three main sections, involving shooting down drones, moving up and down a hangar bay, and the final battle to destroy a reactor.  The game lasts around 7 minutes or so in total, however feels longer, and you do become immersed in the game as there are no distractions or anything else in your vision or hearing.  We both really enjoyed the experience and will be looking to try it out again on out next visit.

Little J wanted to go on the Go Kart area whilst we used the VR and this was fun as he could drive the kart himself around the track. It isn't fast and perfect for the littler ones.  Big J also got to sit on the back of the kart on his next go around.

pizza
We then took a short break for some food from the restaurant. Play Factore employ 5 chefs as they prepare and cook every single dish on site using the best locally sources ingredients. The pizza is cooked in a traditional stone bake oven, and this is impressive for a play area!  We really enjoyed out food and the selection of drinks is really good too, with a range of coffees, tea, soft drinks and Tango Ice Blast machines.

Finally for us it was more football and then onto Laser Tag. we had been having a great time on the other activities and had forgotten about laser tag until the end of our visit. The Laser Tag was great fun, with just a gun each needed. The guns are the weapons and also the part you need to hit on your opponent to score points.  The area to play in is perfect for the game as there are plenty of places to hide, duck down, and higher areas too to get some high ground.  The game lasts around 5 minutes.

Play Factore Manchester
Play Factore Manchester


There are other activities to do in Play Factore that we didn't check out this time such as the Arcade area, with a selection of arcade games to play and also the huge children's Zip Wire which sends children from one end of the building to the other, flying over the heads of people sat below in the centre!  This is available for ages of 6 -16 and is manned by a qualified team of zip line experts to ensure everyone is kept safe.

We really enjoyed out visit to Play Factore and its another centre that we will be certain to head back to in the future.

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If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit 

Visit our Out and About section for more days out ideas

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Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

John

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AD | A Bathroom For All The Family

21 March 2019

11 comments
Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Premier Care Bathrooms

It's been just over a year now since our home had a full makeover and we are starting to get ready for the big Spring clean as the lighter nights and brighter days start to come through. Thinking about what needs to be done It got me thinking that the bathroom we have now is probably three times bigger than the one we started with when we first moved into our home.
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Parenting | How To Help Your Teen With Their Exam Revision [AD]

20 March 2019

5 comments
Disclosure - This is a paid post in collaboration with Mount House School 

Last year was probably big J's toughest school year so far. Everything he had worked for throughout his entire school years came down to his GCSE examinations. He was so nervous and although he was prepared he kept thinking he hadn't done enough, which then got us thinking had we done enough as his parents. You don’t have to be a mathlete or a science whizz to help your teen with their exam revision there are other things you can do to take the pressure off them a little bit. I have teamed up with Mount House School, a Sixth Form in Hertfordshire, who offer the following advice for helping teenagers with their exam revision.
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Gifted Review | Hape Kitchen and Food Range

18 March 2019

11 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

We are really big fans of Hape and little J has gathered quite a large range of their toys over the years.  Our latest additions are from the Hape Kitchen and Food Range. We were sent My First Waffle Maker, My Coffee Machine and The Fresh Fruit Set. I am a huge fan of wooden toys and this range does not disappoint. 
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Review | Casdon Supermarket Till

16 March 2019

7 comments
Playing shop is something that never gets old, we love playing shop and as little J gets older although it is still lots of fun we can make it educational too. For the past few weeks we have been playing with the Casdon Supermarket Till and it's been a great addition to his role play toys.
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Days Out | Flip Out Trampoline Park

15 March 2019

8 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted tickets for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Last week we were invited to a new trampoline park called Flip Out. We all really enjoy this type of activity as they are always fun and gives us a chance to burn off some energy! We have previously visited Kick Air and Inflata Nation in Manchester so it was great to have a trampoline park closer to home.

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Review | Hape 2 in 1 World Puzzle

11 March 2019

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Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Since little J got his first globe he has been obsessed with the World, Countries and Capitals. He is fascinated about learning more about the different types of people that live around the world and the languages they speak. We received a lovely puzzle of the world recently and little J loves it. The Hape 2 in 1 World Puzzle is perfect for little ones who are interested in the World.
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Parenting | The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities

7 March 2019

23 comments
It is World Book Day today and although little J's school isn't offering the chance for him to dress up, we have been making The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities for him to enjoy at home.
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Gift Guide | Mother's Day

6 March 2019

31 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted products for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Mother's Day falls on the 31st March this year and if you are looking for some inspiration and gift ideas then I have popped a few suggestions below in our Mother's Day Gift Guide.


If you are looking for a chocolate treat for Mum this year then consider Mighty Fine Honeycomb. Available in Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel. You can choose between a Honeycomb Bar, Honeycomb Dips or both!

Guylian chocolates have been a favourite of mine for quite some time now and I had always associated Guylian with praline seashells and seahorses. However for a real treat, Guylian have created Master’s Selection, a new assortment of 30 mini pralines in 10 delicious flavours. 

I love receiving parcels and goodies through the post so you can imagine how excited I was to receive a bakerdays Mother's Day cake through the post. bakerdays offer a wide range of cakes, cupcakes and balloons for all occasions. The choice of cakes come in different flavours and sizes and can even fit through your letterbox. 

Botonique is a unique British-made natural, dry, sparkling non-alcoholic drink alternative for lovers of wine.  Botonique contains the beneficial elements of Prelixir, a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which alcohol is known to deplete. The bottles are so pretty and are available in both original and blush.

 ProsEcho Falls is the new addition to the Echo Falls range and what a perfect addition it is. It is everything a Prosecco should be with the added sparkle of Echo Falls.

If a nice hot drink is your Mum's favourite tipple then the Klean Kanteen is the perfect gift. No more cold cups of coffee or mugs of cold tea as the Klean Kanteen can keep drinks hot for up to 8 hours. Also if Mum likes an ice tea then this cup will keep it chilled for up to 24 hours.

The perfect start to Mothers Day is breakfast in bed. You mum could enjoy a sweet or savoury toastie within minutes with the Breville deep fill 2 slice sandwich toastie. What a lovely way to start the day. Ideal for lunchtime and snack time too.

Reading is a huge part of our bedtime routine and I love snuggling up to read a bedtime story with little J. My Mum Always Looks After Me So Much is a lovely story showing the love between a mum and her child.

The Wooden Fabric Letter Board from Neon Sheep is the perfect place to pop down any messages or if you are a busy mum your to do list. I've been using mine to write nice quotes or sayings to help start the day.

Tesalate is an innovative beach towel which not only has lots of vibrant designs to choose from, it's also a sand free towel.  It's light weight and compact so perfect for the beach but also yoga, picnics and any outdoor activity.

Whether it's a chilly morning or the end of a hard day, your Mum will love sinking her feet into these Lands End Moccasin Slippers and their cosy-soft faux fur lining. I suffer from cold feet and I know these slippers will keep even my feet toasty warm.

 Suitable for all skin types the Marine Moisture Mask is a hydrating charcoal sheep mask which helps transform skin for a more balanced, radiant complexion. The powerful blend of active ingredients will not only hydrate but also nourish your skin. Each pack contains 3 masks and each mask contains 25ml of extract rich serum.

  Whether you have normal, dry, itchy or sensitive skin Aveeno offer a wide range of products that can help moisturise and cleanse your skin. The Baby range is also a lovely idea to give to a mum to be.

The Blended Valley Wellbeing Aromatherapy Gift Set offers four natural blends for a better lifestyle. The gift set includes Concentration, Energy, Sleep and Relaxation oils are easy to enjoy and will help you feel healthier.

 The Vitage Vitamin C Radiance Mask delivers a dose of Vitamin C to bring renewed vitality to dull, dehydrated skin whilst banishing breakouts and improving overall skin health – perfect for mums who love a bit of pampering.

Baylis and Harding gift sets so so pretty and the Mothers Day range is no exception. Treat your Mum to a Super Mum box of treats including body wash, body butter and bath crystals and a trio of Super Mum candles too. 

Park Candles SPA range offers you the chance to soothe, de-stress, restore and revive. The SPA Onsen Scented Candle has an amazing citrus fragrance which will leave your room feeling fresh. There is no need to go to a professional SPA when you can enjoy all the bliss from the comfort of your own home.

Zero Water is the only water filter brand that removes 99.6% of all dissolved solids in tap water. Zero Water feel so passionate about what they do that they provide a free water quality meter with all of their jugs. Perfect gift for an active Mum.

Michelle

*We received PR Samples for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post also contains affiliate links, they work at no cost to you however can help towards the running of my blog.* 
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Our Family Fortnight | The One When We Had A Leak

5 March 2019

9 comments
Well what a fortnight it has been. We were really looking forward to the half term and spending time together however our week didn't go as planned. Little J really wanted to go to football camp which ran for 4 days, all of his friends were going so he wanted to go too. We didn't mind as I managed to have a big clear out, taking lots of bags to the skip and the charity shop. On the Wednesday of the half term we had a leak in the kitchen. Our flooring is only a year old so it was a nightmare. Unfortunately the whole kitchen and dining room flooring had to come up.
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Salford Museum and Ordsall Hall

4 March 2019

10 comments
Disclosure - We were invited to Ordsall Hall and The Salford Museum. We were gifted lunch and snacks however entry was free and we were not paid to create this post.

Ordsall Hall
On Sunday we had a lovely day visiting Salford Museum and Ordsall Hall in Manchester. Usually I would do a little review of each place however they are only a 5-10 minutes drive from each other so you could easily do both on the same day and they are both free to enter and make a lovely day out.

We visited the Salford Museum first, this was due to the opening times of both. The museum building is quite pretty from the outside and reminded me of a library rather than a museum. There was parking at the front of the building however it is chargeable parking which cost us £2.50 for the time we were there.

We went to the reception desk first as we had never been before and the lady kindly told us a little bit about the museum, what to expect and she pointed out the toilets and the cafe.

Salford Museum
The Salford Museum is home to Lark Hill Place. It was our favourite part of the Museum. Lark Hill Place is a re-creation of a typical Northern street during Victorian times.

Salford Museum
Lark Hill Place was originally created in 1957 when many shops and houses in central Salford were being demolished to make way for new developments. Many of the shop fronts that are in Lark Hill Place today were saved and restored. The interiors have been furnished and are full of authentic objects, recreating the way they were used in Victorian times.

Visitors can explore the street and dress up in traditional Victorian costumes to really get in the spirit of things.

Salford Museum
Little J loved dressing up and chose his own outfit.

Salford Museum
Salford Museum
Salford Museum
Salford Museum
Salford Museum
Salford Museum
Salford Museum
After we looked through the shop windows and experienced what it felt like to walk down a Victorian Street, we finished at the sweet shop. There was a volunteer behind the counter handing out sweets to the children. There is no charge however you can make a donation. It was a lovely treat for little J and it was nice to see her weigh out the sweets. 

Salford Museum
Man looking at paintings on a wall
Once we had finished visiting Lark Hill Place we headed to the first floor to the art gallery. I enjoyed this part of the Museum however little J wasn't too interested and wanted to head back to the Victorian Street.

Once we had finished we headed to the cafe for some lunch before we headed to Ordsall Hall.

Like I said earlier Ordsall Hall is only 5-10 minutes away so perfect for enjoying both in the same day.

Ordsall hall
The Grounds at Ordsall hall
boy standing in The Grounds at Ordsall hall
Ordsall Hall has had a long and interesting history with many different uses since it was first mentioned in records in 1177! Today, it is a welcoming and friendly historic house telling the story of the Hall and some of the people who made it their home.

The building looks very impressive but the location is quite strange as it is amongst a housing estate and is surrounded by a main road and while we were there lots of people passing by heading to the Manchester United game. 

boy standing in The Grounds at Ordsall hall
The Grounds at Ordsall hall
The Grounds at Ordsall hall

The grounds are well kept  and lots of nice walkways to explore and things to see.

Before we began exploring the hall we were shown a 10 minute video which explains a little more about the Hall and also help you understand more about the building and it's history. It was a beautiful afternoon so little J just wanted to explore outside so John and I have said we would love to return to explore the hall more another day. Entry is free so would make a perfect day out for just the two of us. There is also another lovely cafe with delicious looking cakes.

We really enjoyed our visit to Salford Museum and Ordsall Hall. As both are free entry they make a really nice cheap day out.

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If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit 

Visit our Out and About section for more days out ideas

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
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