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Staying At The Drayton Manor Hotel

3 August 2021

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We recently planned a trip to Drayton Manor and with it being over two hours drive from home we decided to extend our trip and stay at the Drayton Manor hotel. It was the first time we have stayed at the hotel and we would definitely stay again. If you are planning a trip to Drayton Manor here is what you can expect if you stay over at the Drayton Manor Hotel.

Drayton Manor Hotel Exterior


The Drayton Manor Hotel, Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW
The Drayton Manor Hotel is just a few minutes walk to the main entrance to the Drayton Manor Theme Park. Drayton Manor Theme Park is home to over 100 rides and attractions including a 15 acre zoo and Thomas Land. 

Although Drayton Manor is probably best known for Thomas Land the hotel hasn't really picked up on this apart from a very small Thomas and Friends gift shop and a small carousel moving display in the reception area.

Triple Room at Drayton Manor Hotel

Bathroom at Drayton Manor Hotel

Bathroom at Drayton Manor Hotel


Rooms
The hotel has a variety of bedrooms to meet all needs including

Thomas and Friends Themed Room
Rooms are spacious and include a double bed and Thomas theme bunk beds. Adults can relax in front of their own TV, whilst the children watch a DVD in theirs. 

Family Room
Family rooms are spacious enough for two adults and two children or a maximum of three adults. Each room has a double bed and a sofa bed.

Family Deluxe Room
Family Deluxe Rooms have 2 double beds giving you extra space for the little ones. 

Presidential Room
A separate staircase leads up to the Presidential Room which offers a queen size bed and lounge area. 

Executive Room
An Executive room can accommodate two adults and one child when adding a single bed or cot.

Accessible Room
A spacious room with all areas accessible by wheelchair. 

Triple Room
The Triple room can accommodate two adults in single beds and one child in a pull out trundle bed.

We stayed in a Triple room and you if you want to take a look click our triple room tour at Drayton Manor hotel

Stay and Play
The Drayton Manor Hotel offer a Stay and Play package. The package includes a stay in one of the rooms at the hotel, a full english breakfast and tickets for Drayton Manor Theme Park for each member of your party.

reception at drayton manor


Meetings
One of the reasons I think the hotel hasn't gone for a Thomas and Friends decor throughout is that the hotel is very popular for meetings, conferences and events. There was an event on while we stayed and it was very popular. 

fish and chips

pizza and chips


Restaurant and Bar
The Parklands Restaurant and Bar offers a wide variety of meals including steaks, grills, pastas and risotto. They do offer a children's menu too.

If the restaurant and bar isn't for you then you can head to the park for Fish N Chips or Safari Pizza and Pasta with both restaurants staying open till 7:30pm after rides close. All you need to do is show your room card. You can also order Fish N Chips to your room. 

Arcade at the Drayton Manor Hotel

Arcade at the Drayton Manor Hotel

Arcade at the Drayton Manor Hotel

outside seating area Drayton Manor Hotel

gift shop at Drayton manor hotel


Anything Else?
There is a small arcade on the ground floor close to reception. It has a selection of games and machines for the chance to win.

The Thomas and Friends Gift Shop is also situated close to reception and is stocked with lots of Thomas  goodies. 

Outside at the back of the hotel is an outside patio with a selection of table and chairs.

There is also a small woodland play area for children. 

There are plenty of car parking spaces situated at the front of the hotel and an overflow to the side. 

If booking a Stay and Play trip you can use your tickets on the day of your arrival or on your departure day, the choice is yours. 

There is no pool, gym, sauna or steam room at the hotel which is a shame as I think this would be a great addition. 

When leaving the hotel on foot you can follow the yellow path marked PE (park entrance) this will take you to the back of the theme park within a few minutes. 

We booked our room quite late so there where limited rooms available. We chose a triple room which suited our needs. We did think we would be able to push two of the single beds together however this wasn't possible as there was a nightstand between the beds which was fixed to the wall. 

The rooms all come with tv, free wifi, toiletries and tea making facilities. 

Our room had an interconnecting door. I am not sure how many rooms are available with this choice but if required I would contact the hotel directly as I did not see an option when booking.  

If you would like to see our full room tour video you can see it here. Like I said earlier we stayed in a triple room however I think the room size, layout and features in the room are all very similar unless staying in the Presidential or Executive room. 

Would We Stay Again?
If the price was right we would definitely use the Stay and Play offer again when visiting Drayton Manor. Although the hotel is situated just 5 minutes away from the park, it was the school holidays and there was an event taking place it was extremely quiet. 

The rooms were spacious and breakfast set us up for the day with a full english available, cereals, croissants and fruit.

The Theme Park has a great mixture of rides and attractions and makes for a great day out. 

To find out more information about the hotel and to check out the special offers visit The Drayton Manor Hotel website.

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

Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Have you visited Drayton Manor before?Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought.

Growing my social media is something I work hard on. If you would like to follow us - Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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Michelle
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Visiting Disneyland Paris After July 21st 2021

21 July 2021

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Travel is so uncertain at the moment. There is so much information to read and rules to follow. I'm sure this won't put most people off but if you have a trip to Disneyland Paris booked or looking to book one this Summer then there are new guidelines to follow after July 21st 2021. The France government have confirmed that everyone who enters Disneyland Paris after this date must have a health pass. 

disneyland paris castle


What Is A Health Pass?
A Health Pass must be presented in either digital or paper form confirming one of the following...

- You are fully vaccinated
- You can confirm a negative PCR result within the last 48 hours
- You have had COVID-19 and the result of a positive RT-PCR or Antigen test confirms you had Covid and that a period of time of at least 11 days and less than 6 months has passed since the test result was obtained (considered as a recovery certificate).

If you are fully vaccinated I would recommend downloading the NHS app which once registered will update your Covid Passport.

Who Needs To Show A Health Pass?
Every adult over the age of 18 will need to show their health pass. This will change after the 30th August when everyone over the age of 12 will be required to show a valid health pass before entry is permitted.

I assume this means that the focus will shift over the next 6 weeks to ensure all those 12 and over will be offered a vaccine. 

Keeping Your Health Pass Up To Date If Staying Longer Than 48hrs.
If you are not fully vaccinated you will need to prove a negative PCR to gain entry in to the resort. A negative result is only valid for 48hrs so if your stay is longer then you will need to retake a PCR test. 

disney village at Disneyland Paris


Where Can I Get A PCR Test At Disneyland Paris?
A testing centre is in operation within the Disney Village and is open 8am-8pm.

What List Is France On?
France is currently on the Amber list for those returning to the UK. However the Amber rules for France are different. You must quarantine for 10 days after you arrive back to the UK either in your home or other accommodation. 

little boy meeting Buzz Lightyear


Safety Measures Within Disneyland Paris
The rules for wearing face masks are unchanged in France. Face masks are to be worn by all guests aged 6 and over. They must be worn at all times except when eating. 

Downloading the official Disneyland Paris mobile app is a must for your stay. Guests will need to reserve a Standby Pass via the app in order to be able to join the queue for some of the most popular attractions during a specific allocated time slot.​ This will be available during certain times of the day. This will be to ensure waiting lines do not get overcrowded. 

Clear ground markings are in place within the waiting lines at all of attractions within the park to help maintain the correct social distancing. Please do remember that social distancing is still in force in France. 

Hand sanitisers are available at the entrance and exit of each attraction. 

Children's playgrounds and traditional meet and greets are temporarily unavailable. There will be chances to capture photo memories with some of your favourite Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel characters using the designated selfie spots. Unfortunately close interactions including hugs are suspended. I am sure Disney have done their best to try and make the experience as magical as possible. 

disney ears in at hollywood studios


Unfortunately things can change at a moments notice with regards to travel and safety measures so it is important to make sure that before you travel you check the government website for up to date information as well as Disneyland Paris

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

Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Have you visited Disneyland Paris since it reopened? How was your trip?

Growing my social media is something I work hard on. If you would like to follow us - Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

If you have found this post or our blog useful you can say thanks by - Buying Us A Virtual Coffee

If you think a friend of family member would like this post - Tap the share button below.

Michelle
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Why Are School Trips Important for Children? | AD

10 June 2021

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Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration. 

One of the things little J is most looking forward to when restrictions lessen is going on a school trip. It's been well over 18 months now since he last hopped on a coach and headed out for the day with his class mates. Big J is always telling him stories about the time he went to Wales, France and his favourite a skiing holiday with his school friends. First-hand experiences for children are one of the best ways for them to learn, which is why school trips are so important. They can form some of a child’s fondest memories and generally just give youngsters a well-deserved break from a traditional classroom environment. I have teamed up with a private school in Hertfordshire to discuss the benefits of school trips in further detail. 

children wearing wellies


Improves Academic Performance
There’s a unique sense of excitement that comes with bringing a subject to life outside of a classroom. This interactive learning helps students develop a deeper understanding of the topic at hand. It often easier to remember information when it is attached to a fond memory, so students might find it easier to recall facts and figures that they have learnt on a trip, as opposed to from a textbook. As a result, students who attend school trips are likely to have improved academic performance. This is especially true for kinaesthetic learners who are better at absorbing information when they are moving around and engaging their senses. 

Classroom learning is obviously crucial, but without a break from time to time, students can find it tedious and lose their momentum. School trips are great for re-capturing a child’s attention and interest in a particular topic and may even inspire new passions and pursuits at home. 

Builds Relationships
School trips provide an opportunity for students to bond with their peers and teachers. They are often asked to work in pairs or groups during their trips, helping with their interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team. In addition, they will be able to see their teacher in a different light – someone who can have fun too. As a result, students are more likely to feel a sense of belonging within the school community, helping them with their confidence and feeling of security. What’s more, they may be more comfortable engaging in group discussions and collaborative tasks back in the classroom, again contributing to better progression in lessons. 

A New Challenge
For students who are a little shy and don’t feel comfortable stepping out of their comfort zone, a school trip can force them to face new challenges. They might have to ask for directions or order food without their parents there to help them, which will ultimately help them with their self-assurance. It’s even important for adults to challenge themselves from time to time and try something new.

I am guessing little J's first trip after restrictions may just be a short visit to the park, farm or cinema but he cannot wait.

Michelle
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Where To Stay At The Alton Towers Resort

24 May 2021

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We have been visiting Alton Towers for as long as I can remember. In the past 15 years we have visited Alton Towers at least 3 times per year and have watched as it has grown in to the resort it is today. Originally Alton Towers was a day trip which you could enjoy with your family or friends but now it is more than that. It's a UK holiday resort with a theme park, a waterpark, mini golf and a wide range of accommodation to choose from and there are lots of reasons to stay over at the Alton Towers Resort. We have been lucky to stay in most of the resorts accommodation over the years and can tell you which hotel to stay in at the Alton towers Resort to suit your needs. 

    The alton towers hotel


    The Alton Towers Hotel

    The Alton Towers Hotel is the original hotel and usually our first choice when booking a stay. The hotel is themed around the explorer Sir Algenon who landed at Alton Towers and made this hotel his home. The hotel is beautifully decorated inside and has gorgeous gardens and features on the outside. 

    The hotel main entrance is on level two and consists of the reception area, a small shop selling gifts and snacks and a small Costa Coffee. Here you will be able to check in and out, book your restaurant reservations, find out information regarding opening times and predicted weather for the duration of your stay. You will find the entertainment board providing you with a schedule of the entertainment available that evening. 

    Rooms and Suites are located on every floor of the hotel. You can choose to take the lift or enjoy the views from the stunning staircase. 

    Level 1 has the arcade and toilets. The arcade at the Alton Towers Hotel is only small however there is a larger arcade in the adjacent hotel Splash Landing

    On the ground floor you have the Dragons Bar, The Secret Restaurant and Atrium which provides evening entertainment for all the family. 

    While at the resort you can also enjoy a visit to the Spa which is located in the Alton Towers Hotel.


    The Rooms
    There are a wide variety of rooms and suites to meet your needs and budget with each room type having a different theme. 

    The Explorer Room - This is your standard room at the Alton Towers hotel. It consists of a double bed and usually a set of bunkbeds. The theme is based on Sir Algenon's travels and are decorated with maps, compasses and flying boats. 

    We have stayed in the Explorer Room many times and it has everything you need for an overnight stay for up to a family of four.

    The Moon Voyage Room - This room is themed around Sir Algenon's visit to the moon and is space themed. The room is very similar to the Explorer Room except the children have their own area to sleep, watch tv or play XBOX. 

    We have also stayed in a Moon Voyage Room and the children's separate area was a hit with the boys especially as it is equipped with a TV and XBOX. These rooms are great for families who need a little extra space and entertainment in the room. 

    Artic Explorer Room at Alton Towers


    The Artic Explorer Room - This is usually our first choice when it comes to booking a room at the hotel. The Artic Explorer room is based on Sir Algenon's travels to the artic and has a snow themed decor. 

    We have found that there is more floor space in these rooms and they are usually located on a the main entrance floor. The room has a double bed, a single bed and a truckle bed which is pulled out from under the single. We prefer this room setup than those with bunk beds.

    These are the main three room types within the hotel however you can choose to book a suite especially if it is a special occasion. There are a number of suites available all with a different theme including The Chocolate Room, The Smiler Room and The Coca Cola Room. 

    The Coca Cola Room

    The Coca Cola Room


    Suites - We have only stayed in the Coca Cola Suite so can't comment on the others however we absolutely loved the room and it was the perfect way to celebrate a birthday. 

    The Coca Cola room is themed around the brand and features a double bed, a set of bunk beds and a pull out double sofa bed so can comfortably sleep six. As the room is a suite you can expect lots of floor space and special features such as a fridge full of complimentary Coca Cola and a game console in the room. You will also be treated with celebration balloons and chocolates on arrival. 

    The room and extras are a lovely treat to head back to after a day in the theme park however the rooms are costly an we would probably only stay in a suite for a very special occasion as you don't really get much time in your room as you are so busy enjoying the resort. 

    Why Stay At The Alton Towers Hotel?
    The Alton Towers Hotel is the perfect base for you to explore the resort. It's the original hotel and unlike other accommodation around the resort this hotel actually feels like a hotel with its gorgeous decor, beautiful features and ambience. 

    The Secret Garden restaurant is the ideal place to enjoy an evening meal or breakfast with some tables having views over the beautiful gardens towards the back. 

    There are more room choices within the hotel to suit all needs and budgets. We also find the rooms to be bigger than Splash Landings Hotel.

    If you do want to explore what Splash Landing hotel has to offer you can always take the indoor walkway which connects the two hotels. 

    Outside the Splash Landing Hotel


    Splash Landing Hotel

    The Splash Landing hotel is themed around the Caribbean. Everything about the hotel from the fixtures, furnishing, restaurant and rooms have a calypso feel and is ideal for those who would like a hotel stay to remember. 

    As soon as you enter the hotel on level two you feel like you have just stepped on to a Caribbean island. As well as the reception, small shop selling snacks and gifts on this level you will find Ma Garrita's Bar. Ma Garrita's serves delicious cocktails as well as beers and soft drinks with a tropical themed terrace or windows overlooking the waterpark. It is also home to the Calypso Crew kids club who provide entertainment throughout the day and evening for the kids staying at any of the resort accommodation.

    On level one you will find toilets, a large arcade and Flambo's restaurant. Here you will enjoy your breakfast or if you are staying for an evening meal they serve grills, burgers, salads and a kids menu all in a tropical surrounding with some tables overlooking the waterpark below. 

    On the ground level you will find The Waterpark. The Waterpark is an indoors Waterpark with an outside area too. It boasts a Master Blaster Coaster and Lazy River and has a Bubbly Wubbly pool and flumes outside. Make a splash in Lagoona Bay, head to the interactive Wacky Waterworks or little ones can paddle and play in Little Leak.


    The Rooms
    Splash Landings Hotel offers the choice of three rooms to suit your requirements and budget. 

    Beachcomber Room - This room is a standard room that lives up to your Caribbean expectations. Brightly coloured bedding, pineapple shaped lamp and sand and water patterned carpet. 

    Rooms sleep up to 4 and consist of a double bed and a set of bunk beds. Cots are available on request. 

    When staying at Splash Landings this is the hotel room we choose every time. It's comfortable and always clean.

    Pirate Room - Inspired by Mutiny Bay, the pirate room is a must for little adventurers. You will be staying in the Captains Quarters filled with Pirate themed decor and hidden treasures. Can you crack the code to unlock them?

    The Pirate Room is spacious offering room for up to 6 people. The children can enjoy the XBOX console that is available in the room and also a mini fridge filled with complimentary water. 

    Ice Age Room - Despite Ice Age being removed from the theme park years ago Splash Landings hotel still offers an Ice Age Themed room for fans of the movies. 

    Designed and themed around the Ice Age you can cosy up under fur blankets in your own artic den with ice berg walls.

    Each room sleeps up to 6 people with an XBOX console and Ice Age Game and a mini fridge filled with complimentary water. 

    Why Stay At The Splash Landing Hotel?
    Splash Landing is perfect for guests who want to be submerged in to the Caribbean theme and feel like they are actually on a tropical island once inside. The temperature is always warmer in this hotel so you usually find guests walking round in shorts and flip flops even during the colder months. 

    The entertainment has always been more child friendly at Splash Landing with games and fun throughout the evening shows. We also prefer the larger arcade in this hotel too. 

    Although all guests can access The Waterpark, it is just down a few steps once you have finished breakfast or before checking in. 

    It is also closer to the Monorail which takes you to the theme park.

    The CBeebies Land Hotel

    CBeebies Hotel


    CBeebies Land Hotel 

    Even though we are regulars to the resort and staying over throughout the year we have never stayed at the CBeebies Land Hotel. It's aimed at littler ones and the boys were too old when it opened. We have however visited inside and looked around and it would be the perfect choice for CBeebies fans. 

    When the hotel was designed and built they definitely had children in mind so you can expect bright colours, CBeebies theme running throughout the whole hotel, interactive features and entertainment exclusive to hotel guests. 

    The Windmill Restaurant has lots of yummy food for the kids to enjoy including fish fingers, pasta dishes and burgers. 

    There is a gift shop inside selling lots of CBeebies merchandise. 

    Keeping the kids entertained is a priority at the hotel and the team provide non stop entertainment throughout the day. Join in with the Ubercorn disco to burn off some energy and dance away to some of Ubercorns favourite music. Meet some of your favourite characters with Meet and Greets. Join the Spot Bots on screen as the CBeebies Land Hotel team help you with some of the Spot Bot puzzles. Just before bedtime enjoy some stargazing on a comfy beanbag.

    The Rooms
    There is a huge range of rooms and suites in the CBeebies Land Hotel to suit family size, requirements and budget.

    Bugbies Room - Although this is your standard room choice it will not feel like it once inside. The room is decorated and themed around CBeebies Bugbies characters. It's brightly coloured and features and double bed and bunk beds. 

    The children have their own sleeping area which features an interactive play wall. 

    The room can sleep up to a family of 5.

    Themed Rooms - Similar layout and features of a Bugbies room the themed rooms are deluxe and are themed around some of your favourite characters. Choose from Octonauts, Postman Pat, Swashbuckle, In The Night Garden and Something Special.

    Suites - As I mentioned earlier the suites available at the Alton Towers Hotels are perfect for larger families, those who would like a little more floor space or if celebrating a special occasion. 

    The suites at The CBeebies Land Hotel sleep up to 7 people and there are a variety of themes to choose from, Postman Pat, In The Night Garden, Swashbuckle or Something Special. 

    Why Stay At The CBeebies Land Hotel?
    The hotel has children in mind so its bright, fun, interactive and themed around CBeebies and the CBeebies characters. Entertainment and Meet and Greets are scheduled throughout the day to keep little ones busy when they are not at the theme park. 

    Toddler friendly features available including cots, baby baths, children's toilet seats and steps for the bathroom sink. 

    Entertainment is exclusive to CBeebies Land Hotel guests and Early Ride Access at CBeebies Land is included. 


    Woodland lodges


    The Enchanted Village

    The Enchanted Village is like a fairytale with woodland lodges and luxury treehouses amongst winding pathways with twinkling lights. The Enchanted Village is set back behind the hotels and is furthest from the theme park. 

    The Enchanted Village has its own reception for check in to the Woodland Lodges. There is a small gift shop within the village, children's play areas and small arcade machines. 

    The Crooked Spoon Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. 

    Woodland lodges

    Woodland lodges


    Woodland Lodges
    Woodland Lodges offer you the privacy of your own log cabin within the Enchanted Village. Each cabin sleeps up to 5 people with a double bed and a separate sleeping area for children featuring bunk beds and a truckle bed. 

    Each Woodland Lodge offers free wifi, TV and an outdoor decking area to relax at after a long day at the park. 

    Luxury Treehouses
    There are five luxury treehouses within the Alton Towers Resort. Each treehouse offers luxury accommodation for up to 8 people. 

    The Treehouses have their own private decking with a hot tub overlooking the Enchanted Village. You can access exclusive in-resort takeaway service or make use of the kitchenette with crockery and glasses for up to 8 people. 

    The treehouse will be equipped with a 50" Plasma TV, PS4 and family friendly games. 

    You will be given VIP parking, an earlier check in time of 2pm with a Costa waiting for you on arrival.

    Stargazing Pods 
    The stargazing pods are the newest addition to the resort offering budget accommodation. Each pod consists of a double bed and two single beds. The pod does come equipped with lighting and heaters however it is similar to a camping experience where you access to communal toilets, showers, baby change facilities located in another area of the camp. 

    These are perfect for families who want to enjoy a stay over at the resort without the great expense. 

    Why Stay In The Enchanted Village?
    The Enchanted Village offers a unique experience and is perfect for those who enjoy the idea of having their own personal lodge, cabin or pod. 

    In the evening it looks magical with the twinkling lights guiding you through the dark pathways. The Crooked Spoon restaurant is at the heart of the village and is within walking distance from the lodges. 

    Anything Else?

    Most short breaks at Alton Towers are based on Bed and Breakfast. You need to add on theme park tickets to your booking to gain access to the theme park unless you are a merlin pass holder.

    A complimentary pass to use at the Extraordinary Golf is included in overnight stays.

    Check in is 3pm (unless otherwise stated based on your accommodation) and check out is 10am.

    Car Parking is free and some accommodation offer VIP parking. 

    Tickets to the Waterpark can be purchased at the time of booking.

    Early access to the theme park is included however this does not include special events such as Scarefest. 

    Restaurant bookings can be made prior to your arrival using the email link in your booking. 

    Free WIFI is included throughout the resort. 


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

    Comments - I love reading your opinions and thoughts - Have you stayed at Alton Towers or planning a stay soon? Which accommodation did you choose? Leave us a comment below and let us know.

    Growing my social media is something I work hard on. If you would like to follow us - Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

    If you have found this post or our blog useful you can say thanks by - Buying Us A Virtual Coffee

    If you think a friend of family member would like this post - Tap the share button below.

    Michelle
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    Big Little Tent Festival This Easter | AD

    30 March 2021

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    Disclosure - This is a paid collaboration with The Little Big Tent Festival 

    The clocks have sprung forward so the nights are getting lighter and for us that means more time in our garden. We spent so much time in our garden last year due to being in lockdown and staying at home. The weather was kind to us and we had lots of fun playing garden games, playing in the pool and also making tents and camping outside. 

    The little big tent festival bunting

    While we were safe at home last year we were introduced to the Big Little Tent Festival. The Caravan Club created the idea of Big Little Tent Festival during lockdown. It was an idea that meant we could still enjoy all the fun of the great outdoors but from our own home. 

    Big Little Tent Festival is back again this year and is taking place over the Easter weekend which falls on the 3rd and 4th April. Restrictions in the UK are still in place so this is the perfect way to get outdoors, pitch a tent, and enjoy nature all from your own garden. 

    There are lots of festival fun and activities to join in with across the weekend including a Zoom party to meet The Mermaid Princess and The Friendly Neighbourhood Hero for games, superhero training, and a campfire song! You can take part in their facebook love children's quiz, enjoy bushcraft and so much more. 

    You’ll find all the information you need on their Facebook page - Big Little Tent Festival

    To get you in the festival and camping mood the Caravan Club have created a free downloadable pack which contains everything your and your family will need for a home camping festival experience. 

    Little big Tent Festival wristband


    Create your own festival wristbands. Use the wristband templates in the pack to make them as colourful as you like. 

    Decorate your garden or home with The Big Little Tent festival colour your own bunting. 

    Create a To Do list. Everything you need to make the festival fun.

    Whether you're camping indoors or outside there is a packing list perfect for you. 

    Boy colouring in


    Lots of fun activities for the kids to enjoy, word search, garden bingo, spot the difference and much more, 

    When you download the pack you will be entered in to a draw for a chance to win with Raleigh. Raleigh are offering the chance to win one of two amazing bikes. 

    Raleigh's Pop and Molli children's bikes are worth up to £350 each. Perfect for exploring the great outdoors and getting some exercise too. 

    Make sure you join in with The Big Little Tent Festival Twitter party on Wednesday 31st March between 7-8pm to find out lots more about the Caravan Club and The Big Little Tent Festival. There will be chances to win prizes too. Make sure you follow @BigLittleTent and use the hashtag #BLTF21 in your tweets. 

    boys in a tent


    Not matter whether you have a tent or have to improvise, camp indoors or out, the Little Big Tent Festival is fun for all and the perfect way to spend an Easter Weekend

    Michelle
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    Our Post Lockdown Travel Bucket List

    10 February 2021

    2 comments
    post lockdown travel bucket list

    I first published this post last year during the first lockdown and I remember writing it with lots of hope that in 2021 our travel diaries would be jam packed full of days out, weekends away and at least one trip to a Disney park booked. Unfortunately our travel plans are exactly the same as last year - zero. 

    As it's just the beginning of the year we would have only normally visited local parks and beaches anyway but it's the short breaks, days out and holidays planned we are really missing out on and struggling with. 

    Whilst it's rubbish that we haven't been able to travel we are safe and healthy at home and the extra time at home has been great for saving for holidays and break aways when it is safe to do so. I'm not sure what travel will look like this year but I really do hope we manage to tick off at least a few from our post lockdown travel bucket list.

    Southport Pier


    Southport Pier
    I'm thinking we may be a little nervous travelling outside our local area for the first time so I know we will want to stay close. Some of our favourite memories as a couple, a family of three then a family of four are at Southport Pier. A nice stroll along the pier, a visit to the penny arcade and fish and chips overlooking the beach might be just what we need.

    Wicker Man At Alton Towers


    Alton Towers
    As a theme park loving family this is what we are missing the most, a visit to Alton Towers or any of the Merlin theme parks . In between lockdowns and tiered systems in 2020 we did manage to squeeze a trip to Alton Towers Gardens and Alton Towers. Knowing what to expect when visiting Alton Towers after lockdown will really help us perpare for our next visit as is it very different. 

    Season of the superheroes at Disneyland Paris


    Disneyland Paris
    We are all in need of a walk down Main Street at Disneyland Paris. Seeing the castle is my favourite thing and I just cannot wait till the day we can visit again. I absolutely love Disney but after watching all the Marvel movies in chronological order in 2019 we headed to Disneyland for the Marvel event, Season of the Superheroes and we were blown away. It added a little bit extra to the trip and meeting Captain America was a highlight for us all. We have just started watching the movies again so I have everything crossed the Marvel event will go ahead in May and June and we get to visit. 

    The Lake District


    The Lake District
    A visit to The Lakes will definitely be a must if it's safe to visit during the Summer months. We have visited many areas of the lakes over the years but our favourite is definitely Bowness on Windermere with a nice boat trip over to Ambleside. We head up to the lake district a few times a year including a big family trip each Summer staying in a cottage it's such a beautiful place. 

    The Disney Castle

    Disneyland
    At the beginning of the year we got talking about visiting Disneyland in California. We have visited Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in Paris so it was only natural to think about Disneyland in California. John wasn't too keen on the idea mainly due to the flight time but now I think if we ever get to travel to the USA again I think it will definitely be on our travel plans.

    Unfortunately at this moment we have no idea what travel will look like in the future but we can still plan and dream that one day the world will go back to normal.

    Michelle
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    Disneyland Paris At Christmas - Ten Things I Missed in 2020

    26 November 2020

    8 comments
    Yesterday Disneyland Paris announced they are to remain closed until February. When I read Disney's announcement of the closure it brought tears to my eyes as this time of year is usually when we head to Paris for a Disney break and it's sad that this year we can't. Disneyland Paris at Christmas time has become a little bit of a tradition and I then got more upset thinking of all the things I will miss because we are unable to go. 

    Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time


    Watching Big and Little J's face when we tell them we are going to Disney that night
    John and I are very good at keeping secrets and we manage to make it right up till before the journey to the airport before we tell the boys we are going. We usually get an early evening flight so we always have the suitcases packed and in the car, pick them up from school for a quick change of clothes and head to the airport. Their faces are priceless even though we usually go every year they never know when so are always surprised. 

    Arriving At The Hotel
    Again we usually keep the hotel a secret until we are almost there. We have stayed in all the hotels over the years except for Cheyenne and I love watching them guess which one we are staying in based on little clues we give them. I love walking through the hotel doors knowing we all wake up in Disney the next day.

    Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time

    Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time


    Walking down Main Street from the Christmas tree to the Castle. 
    The Tree and Castle take my breath away every year. Seeing the tree as you enter the Disneyland Park never gets old, it's my favourite. I love walking down Main Street with the castle in the distance, Christmas decorations all around and the Christmas songs playing. It's just the best feeling ever. 

    Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time

    Disneyland Paris at Christmas Time


    Planning Our Days
    Christmas time at Disneyland Paris is fairly quiet compared to other times of the year so we usually head there for 3 full days and that is more than enough time to do everything we want to. I don't usually plan the days beforehand however we usually spend a day in each park and then do half a day in each park on the last day. I love watching little J as he gets out the park maps and starts planning where we are heading to first and what rides to go on. 

    Our Little Thrillseeker
    Although he is only seven little J has been riding some of the bigger rides in theme parks for a few years now as he is very tall for his age so is over the minimum height required. Every year he chooses a new ride and is more than happy to push himself out of his comfort zone. Although a family ride his first thrill coaster at Disneyland Paris was Big Thunder Mountain, then he moved on to Crushes Coaster and last year it was RC. I think this year he would have chose Indiana Jones Coaster or Tower of Terror. Maybe if we get to go next year he will choose both. 

    big thunder mountain at night time


    Big Thunder Mountain In The Dark
    This has been one of our favourite things to do at Disneyland Paris for as long as I can remember. There comes a time in the late evening where Frontierland goes completely quiet. Big Thunder has almost no queue so we keep going round and round riding again and again and it's just one of those small things that we do and it makes us happy.

    frozen show at Disneyland Paris


    Meeting the Characters in their Christmas clothes
    Like all the other seasons the Characters dress in their best for the Christmas season and we love meeting Christmas Winnie, Christmas Stitch and a personal favourite Christmas Jack Skellington. Again the queues are always pretty quiet so we never have a problem meeting them and I find they spend lots of time with the boys than they do at other times in the year. 

    disneyland paris christmas parade


    Choosing A Christmas Decoration
    Our Christmas tree is filled with Disneyland Paris decorations that we have bought over the years. Some have the year on, others don't. It will be really sad not adding a Disneyland Paris Christmas decoration to the tree this year. 

    Watching The Tree Lighting Ceremony
    Every evening Mickey and Friends gather at the bottom of the huge Christmas tree and put on a show for everyone which ends in the whole of Main Street going dark whilst we then watch the tree light up as Christmas carols play in the background

    Spending Time Together
    Although we have spent more time together as a family than usual this year it is always nice to spend quality time together especially on holiday away from screens and distractions. It's nice to chat, laugh and watch the boys enjoy the magic of Disney together.

    disneyland paris christmas parade


    Disneyland Paris is so magical especially at Christmas time and there are so many more things that I will miss but I know it's for the best and I really do hope that everyone stays safe and well. 

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    Michelle
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