Archive of ‘YouTube’ category

Bluestone Wales – A Review of our Family Holiday

Bluestone wales lodge

Bluestone Wales national park resort is unlike anywhere we have ever visited as a family. We’ve never ‘done’ a holiday park before, or stayed at a resort in Britain. But when we were given the opportunity to review the resort over a three-night stay in February half term, we jumped at the chance. A quick bit of internet research decided it for us. The resort looked beautiful.

And so we went. It was, as we had hoped, perfect. Here’s a short video of our stay:

Before Tony and I had children we were very independent travellers. As a student, I’d backpacked around Central America and parts of Europe, North America, and South East Asia. Tony had travelled around every continent living out of the bag on his back.

Over the last three years though, what we both want out of a holiday has changed. These days, I want to know the beds will be comfy because if we’re going away, I want to do my best to get a decent rest and some good sleeps. I want to know that the bathroom is going to be clean. I want somewhere the kids will enjoy and feel relaxed in. I also want a well-equipped kitchen – because they’re fussy eaters and in bed by seven, so restaurants aren’t an easy option.

Bluestone ticked all our boxes on paper. When we arrived, we knew it was going to be brilliant.

Bluestone is made up of lots of lodges all arranged around a kind of little town centre. Our lodge was a beautiful four-bedroom, two bathroom chalet-style building. It was huge, looked brand new, and the kids loved running up and down the wooden floors.

Bluestone wales lodge

We were up on a hill, looking out over some simply stunning Welsh countryside. The stars at night, the rolling hills, the peace and quiet – it was just the escape from London we needed. Inside, a dishwasher made life easy, the two bathrooms were stunning, the kitchen was stocked with everything we needed, and a highchair and portacot were waiting for us. The sofas were super comfy, the lodge was lovely and warm with easy to adjust radiators, and the beds were wonderful. With two sick kids, we played a fair bit of musical beds, so having so much space was brilliant!

bluestone wales resort lodge

When you arrive at Bluestone, you unpack the car and then drive it away to the carpark at the entrance to the resort and leave it there for the duration of your stay. We loved that this made the village so safe for children. If Milin was a little older and more proficient on his scooter or bike, we would have taken it as this would have been the perfect place for him to scoot around. Jasmin loved being able to walk everywhere, of course.

The village centre was incredibly sweet. A little, reasonably priced shop meant we could buy everything we needed (milk) and everything we had forgotten (nappies. I know. Fail.) There was a bakery and a little pub and restaurant which we got the most delicious pie and chips takeaway from. (What diet? We were on holiday!) The wine was good too….

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Also in the village centre was the information desk where the staff were incredibly helpful. We asked for an extra travel cot on our first night, and this arrived very quickly. There was also a brilliant playground which the kids loved. Of course.photo 2

Included in the cost of your stay at Bluestone is use of the Blue Lagoon water park. Jasmin wasn’t well enough for a swim but Tony took Milin and he thought it was fantastic. There were massive slides, a wave machine, a graduated pool he was confident walking into, and a baby pool. A cafe on site was perfect for me and once again, there was a shop for the things I’d forgotten to pack. Swimming trunks for both of them. I know.

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Use of the adventure centre is also included. Be warned, it will blow your mind. Soft play doesn’t describe it. There was crazy golf, a bouncy castle, a ball pit, slides, climbing walls, swing ropes – the centre was huge.

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A small baby sensory room was ideal for our little ones as a bit of a chill out zone towards the end of our stay. Again, a brilliant cafe on site kept the kids amused even at snack time. We were a little disappointed outside a set meal time to find that the only snacks were cakes, biscuits, crisps and chocolates – or similar. We were hoping for some fruit for the kids!

bluestone adventure centre

Evening functions here included a disco and a show for the kids, but ours are a little too young to need extra entertainment after dark! Were they older though, I would have booked them in for some of these paid extras. The programme looked brilliant.

The resort is surrounded by the stunning scenery of the national park and I should have really gone for a run to explore. Instead, I truly relaxed and made the most of the beautiful bath and the most high pressure shower I’ve ever had in my life. Again, were the kids a little older, we would have explored our surroundings on walks and mountain bikes. However, we’ll just have to go back to do this!

A spa in the village was on my list of things to do, but as the kids weren’t that well I didn’t want to leave them for too long. I love that the option was there though – and on another visit, I’d make that a priority! Even without it though, I felt very rested during our stay.

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On one of our days, we drove the 20 or so minutes to the historic town of Tenby. You can read about our beautiful day by the sea in this post. It was a brilliant day and made us want to stay longer to explore the South Wales coastline. I love beaches in the winter and this didn’t disappoint. It was stunning.

Tenby beach south wales

Overall, we loved Bluestone and would highly recommend it for a little holiday. Our kids weren’t that well while we were there so we were probably indoors more than we would have liked. However, the lodge was of such high quality that it was a pleasure just to hang out in. We even cooked a pizza from scratch one night as the kitchen was so gorgeous and such a joy to cook in! (No, Milin didn’t eat any of it.)

BLuestone Wales resort lodge kitchen

 

For a family wanting a little break and some relaxing time together, Bluestone is perfect. We loved our stay and will hopefully one day be back. It’s certainly opened our eyes to resort stays in Britain. With kids, they’re brilliant!

*We were given a three-night stay at Bluestone Wales for the purpose of this review. All words and images are my own and the post is my honest opinion.

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Family Fever

Fairy Princess Play Tent Competition and Review

Princess Fairy Play Tent review

Milin and Jasmin’s current favourite game is ‘castles’. They were sent a beautiful Fairy Princess Play Tent to review from Big Game Hunters a couple of weeks ago and they practically haven’t stopped playing with it. To say they love it is an understatement!

Princess Fairy Play Tent Big Game Hunters

Princess Fairy Play Tent Big Game Hunters

I’m delighted to be running a giveaway for a fairy princess tent too. It really is a wonderful toy that any child would be happy to have I’m sure. You can enter to win one via the Rafflecopter below – but first – have a look at what the kids thought of it.

Fairy Princess Play Tent – Review

When the tent arrived the kids couldn’t wait to get the box open. I’m not particularly handy with a screwdriver and had hoped they’d wait until Tony got home – but they had other ideas. In fact, I needn’t have worried. The tent was incredibly easy to put together. The frame is made up of wooden poles which slot into plastic fixings. They’re then screwed into place. The instructions were easy to follow, and it was a straightforward process to figure out how to put the frame together. I then slipped the cotton tent fabric over the frame, put up the flag, and the kids had a castle.

In the couple of weeks that we’ve had the castle (they call it a castle, not a tent), Milin and Jasmin have found countless games to play with it. They love piling cushions up inside it and taking in lots of books. They can spend ages in there reading and it’s so sweet to watch them all cosy inside. Neither of them have fallen asleep in there yet but I’m guessing that’s not far away!

You can see the full range of play tents at Big Game Hunters here:

http://biggamehunters.co.uk/acatalog/Play-Tents-Wigwams.html

Princess Fairy Play Tent Big Game Hunters tea party

They’re also very keen on tea parties at the moment so the tent is most often used as a secret tea party hideaway. They’ve got a few regular guests (a few teddy bears, stuffed animals, and a couple of dolls) and they both love setting up the tea set with cakes and fruit and feeding their friends. I think this must be my favourite game to watch them playing, because it’s such an imaginative process and I can barely believe Jasmin, at 19 months, is so completely involved in it.

Princess Fairy Play Tent review

Their other favourite game is closely linked to one of Milin’s favourite stories. He loves being read Little Red Riding Hood at the moment. I was always quite scared of it as a child, but he seems to think it’s hilarious. He’s adapted a little game where he and Jasmin run around his bedroom and then have to run into the tent because the Big Bad Wolf is chasing them. They seriously run in and out of the tent like crazy things a million times a day – it’s a good thing it’s so sturdy!

Overall, it’s safe to say that the kids love the tent and I think it’s a brilliant toy too. I love that the pretty cotton canvas is coated to make the tent waterproof. As soon as the weather warms up, it will be out in the garden where we have more space for it. The three windows and the door can all be rolled up so I can see what’s going on inside – although the kids would rather I left them to it! It’s also great to see the kids really letting their imaginations run wild – I’m a big fan of toys which encourage creativity.

Encouraging Imaginative Play

I spent one year teaching English in Taiwan to children Milin’s age, and watching him and Jasmin play with the tent has brought back a whole range of strategies I used to share with parents for encouraging imaginative play. I thought I’d share my top five tips here too:

  1. Read stories, tell stories – the best way to spark the imagination is by telling children stories. Talk to them about the books you read, ask them questions,
  2. Role play – get into character and get playing with your little ones. Kids love role play and will get really involved in these games, particularly if you join in.
  3. Props and costumes – it could be a crown for a princess or a stethoscope for a doctor. Providing props and costumes will help your children get started with pretend play. Big Game Hunters have developed a gorgeous set of tea party print-outs which are the perfect examples. You can find them here.
  4. Change location – maybe go on a woodland walk and look for bears. Or pretend to be zoo keepers on your next trip to the zoo. A little variety can help stretch young minds.
  5. Playdates – get their friends to join in. Little ones will let their minds fly and their imaginations run wild when they’re with friends as they will bounce ideas off each other and carry each other along on their stories.
Win a Fairy Princess Play Tent

I’m delighted to be giving away one Fairy Princess Play Tent to a Mummy Says reader. To be in with a chance to win, enter via the Rafflecopter below. You can also pick up bonus entries by commenting below with why you want to win. And if your kids, like mine, love tea parties, why not tweet a photo of them playing to me and Big Game Hunters (@mummysays and @thePlayExperts) for extra bonus entries.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

facebook-like-me-button1* You can see the full range of toys from Big Game Hunters here:

http://biggamehunters.co.uk/

The competition closes on March 23 at 12am and is open only to mainland UK residents aged 18 and over. The winner will be notified by email and given 48 hours to respond. Winner to be chosen at random, no correspondence to be entered into. If winner does not respond to email after 48 hours, a different winner will be chosen. Good luck!

 

Mummy Best Friends – What Makes a BFF?

Friendship_5

Motherhood can be a lonely place. You can have company all day, but your children probably don’t make great listeners. You can be busy with things to do and places to go all week, but small talk at playgroup with a stranger isn’t likely to allow you to really talk through how you’re feeling.

I feel incredibly lucky to have a few friends who I know I can always talk to. They’re women who don’t judge me for feeding my children chocolate for breakfast. They’re women who know when it’s time to pour the wine. Or Pernod. They’re women who have helped me clean up baby sick. They’re women who I don’t mind if they tell off my kids as well as theirs.

Without these women, motherhood would be a more difficult place.

I’ve made a two-minute, not-very-serious-at-all vlog about how you know when you’ve found your Mummy BFF. Take a look – and let me know what I’ve missed.

 

Best Friends – Snapshots from an Ordinary Week

Best Friends - snapshots filmed of family life in an ordinary week

Milin and Jasmin are best friends. There is only 18 months between them, and, somehow, the gap seems to lessen each day.

I filmed them together over the course of an ordinary week so I could one day look back on the way they were.

They’re cheeky, mischievous, determined to have fun, and – above all – happiest when they’re together. I hope they might too look back on this one day and see where their beautiful bond began.

(Oh, and, you don’t need the sound on to watch if you don’t want it!)

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Post Comment Love

Natural History Museum – A Family Day Out

Dippy, Natural History Museum Dinosaur

It’s hard to forget the first time you see the Diplodocus at the Natural History Museum. It is a huge, imposing presence that fills the main hall. As a child, I used to love it. My sister and I used to look forward to trips to the London museums with mum, and seeing the huge dinosaur cast – known as Dippy – was always a highlight.

Dippy, Natural History Museum Dinosaur

We took Milin and Jasmin to the museum for the first time this weekend – and they both were just as excited as I know I was the first time I saw the enormous dinosaur model suspended through the room. Jasmin kept pointing at it excitedly and wanting to walk around and around it, while Milin was full of questions. (“What are bones, mummy? What does it eat, mummy? What’s its name, mummy?”)

The Natural History Museum announced this week that Dippy, after 35 years of wowing crowds in the main Hintze Hall, would be replaced by a blue whale skeleton. There’s been a lot of disappointment, and even a movement to #SaveDippy. People are, I guess, attached to fond memories of seeing Dippy for the first time and being really impressed by his size.

But having taken the kids to see Dippy and the other exhibits, I can understand why he’s being moved out of the main hall. He’s not being mothballed, you’ll still be able to see him – but I agree with the reasons behind him being replaced.

Dippy is a model. He’s a fantastic model, yes, of an imposing creature with a brilliant story guaranteed to spark young imaginations. But the blue whale has a story which I believe we must tell our children.  And, crucially, the blue whale still exists. Just.

The  whale is real though – and its skeleton has been at the museum since 1891 when it beached itself after being injured by a whaler. It’s the largest known animal on earth – a majestic, unimaginably powerful creature that still swims in our oceans. Isn’t that worth telling our children about? And, what’s more, isn’t it worth inspiring them to keep that animal in our seas?

Large-scale hunting of whales doesn’t happen anymore, but their meat is still prized and hunted by some nations. It might be done under the guise of ‘scientific research’, but that doesn’t make these creatures any less at risk from extinction. If we are to really be serious about teaching our children lessons in conservation, sustainability and biodiversity – then the whale should take centre stage at the museum.

Milin and Jasmin were amazed by the mammals and loved the whale. I already feel, even though they are young, the stories I can tell them about blue whales are ones which are important for them to hear.

Yes, the intrigue surrounding the dinosaurs no doubt gets children excited about the museum and fired up about natural history – but the story of the blue whale, with its almost being hunted to extinction, with our power to bring it back from the brink – this is a magical story too.

The museum too is about so much more than dinosaurs. And the kids were just as interested in the other exhibits they saw. Here’s some of the highlights….

Natural History Museum DSC_0023 DSC_0030 DSC_0031 DSC_0032

To go back to our day… We were so proud of the kids on our outing, because the journey on the tube is almost an hour each way, but we didn’t hear a grumble from either of them. They were too excited. Although we got to the museum when it opened at 10am, it was very busy by 11am. But they loved every minute. Jasmin wore her outdoor shoes for the first time and loved walking around (even though she wouldn’t let go of my hand), and Milin just took it all in.

When I put him to bed at night I told him how proud I was of him for being so good and doing so much walking during a very tiring day. “Thank you mummy” was his reply. My heart melted.

Tube journey, Natural History Museum

The outing encouraged us to get to another museum very soon – particularly while it’s so cold outside. It had taken us a little while to feel brave enough about doing the journey – but I’m glad we did.

Tube journey, Natural History Museum

Now Jasmin is 18 months and Milin has just turned three, days out are a lot easier than they used to be. Although the museums are well served by the tube, there’s escalators and stairs at South Kensington – making the journey impossible for me on my own with both kids.

Between the two of us though, we managed it. Jasmin was in our light folding buggy and so Tony kept her in that on the escalators. You’re not meant to do this but it was the easiest and safest way we could think of making it up them! I held onto Milin, meanwhile, but he still needs a lot of help with escalators.

I guess for a family living in the suburbs of London, it was a pretty ordinary outing for a weekend. But it was also a reminder for us of the lessons we want to teach our children and the values we want to bring them up by. It also encouraged us to get out more and brave the journeys we fear – there’s so much to explore with the kids right on our doorstep, and getting out together and doing it gives us time together we all love.

We made a short video of our trip, enjoy!

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Hampstead Heath – one of our favourite places in London

Hampstead Heath pond

Walking on Hampstead Heath must be one of my favourite things to do with the kids, and whenever we are there I feel so lucky to live nearby. Although the heath sprawls over more than 700 acres, we have our favourite little loop walk that we do.

We made the most of some January sunshine on the day I took these photos – it was a beautiful winter’s day and perfect for exploring. We always park at the pay and display carpark by Kenwood House, but there’s also free parking on the road outside the gates.

As you walk down the path from the carpark to Kenwood House, you’re greeted with this view – and it’s hard to believe you’re in London.
Hampstead Heath

Our favourite walk is just a little loop from Kenwood House, down the path, through a wooded area, past the duck pond, and then back up to the House.

Hampstead Heath

Milin had so much fun on it today because there were so many muddy puddles to splash in I, of course, had to join in. There were loads of sticks to pick up along the way, birds to listen to as we walked, and both Milin and Jasmin loved looking into the pools of water that had collected in tree stumps.

Hampstead Heath kenwood houseAt the bottom of the hill from the house is the pond and a little track which takes you through the trees behind it.

Hampstead Heath

We got nice and close to the ducks who came out to meet us – and Jasmin made the most of the opportunity to keep repeating one of her few words, “quack, quack”.

Hampstead Heath

We looped round and climbed the path back up to Kenwood House. Tony and I have never taken the children inside, but we keep meaning to on a rainy day. It’s free – which is amazing, and Milin in particular likes wondering around galleries so I know they’d like looking at the paintings. The house is an English Heritage property which was remodelled in in the 1700s by Robert Adam and I’ve so many happy memories of sitting on the lawn in front of it for summer concerts.

Hampstead Heath

We pretty much always stop at its Brew House Cafe for a treat after our walk – and Milin and Jasmin shared a delicious-looking Victoria Sponge on this trip. They’d been so good I thought they deserved some. Plus, Jasmin got to use her other favourite word, “cake”!Hampstead Heath

Life has felt rather difficult and stressful recently. But having a day off work to spend with Milin and Jasmin in the sunshine made all the drama of the week disappear. London can feel like a pretty grey rat-race at times – but getting onto Hampstead Heath with our wellies on for a good walk in the winter sun was just what I needed. Plus, I had the best company.

Here’s a short video of our morning…

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

My perfect Christmas – Saying goodbye to the motherhood myth

Milin made me a beautiful card at nursery. Which is good, because there's been no Christmas art at home.

There can’t be any time of year when we feel as much pressure to be perfect as we do at Christmas.

Is it something that parents feel more than anyone else? Is it something mothers feel more? Is it something some mothers are able to turn their back on? I don’t know.

Is it something we put on ourselves? Or something it’s impossible to avoid?

I know that for me, the ideal of a picture perfect Christmas is something I can’t help but want. Not for me, but for my children. They are too young really to know whether I feel like I get everything right come Thursday. They’ll have the best time just because they’ll be surrounded by family making a fuss of them with little to do other than play. Yet still, I have in my mind an image of all the things I want for them on that one day. Why?

Of course, I tell the world all year that supermum doesn’t exist. I try to believe I can see past the creation of the motherhood myth (in which the dream mother never raises her voice, makes her own Christmas decorations and gifts, and generally goes the extra 17 miles to make life beautiful)… Despite all this – at Christmas, that perfect mother and her Pinterest-pretty life overshadows everything.

She’s there watching me when I’m feeding my son chocolates from his tacky advent calendar because I didn’t hand stitch one and craft a miniature nativity figure for each morning. She’s there laughing when I drape tinsel and cheap supermarket baubles on the tree because we didn’t bother making salt dough decorations. She’s there when I forget to write the Christmas cards, when I fail to get the kids to make any paintings to give to family members, or cookies to give to nursery teachers.

The perfect mother, with her Instagram-ready life, with her beautifully decorated home and her carefully wrapped presents, she’s in my head. All. The. Time.

And the more she is there, the more I realise, my life is so far from picture perfect that it’s laughable – particularly as Christmas nears.

I worked today and every day last week. I’ll log on and do a little every morning through the holidays. The kids will probably watch TV. Not so perfect.

In the last month, Jasmin has had a chest infection, both her and Milin have had conjunctivitis, and both  have had chicken pox. Jasmin’s is so bad that her tiny body is still covered. She woke with a fever and I had to swap the office for the doctor’s surgery.

It’s been a long year. Life with a two-year-old and a one-year-old makes you tired. I took on too much work. I missed too many yoga classes. We are trying to buy a house and full of the stress of mortgage arrangements and full surveys. We carry the burden of over-burdening my amazing parents because we can’t shoulder life on our own sometimes.

And so, life doesn’t look perfect.

But what it feels like, when I manage to turn my back on the mother I will never be, is something very wonderful.

When I have the sense to step away from the image of a model Christmas, I realise how bloody lucky I am to have the Christmas we will be having.

We are all largely healthy and happy and together. We will laugh and drink and feast. We will cry over crap movies on the tele. We will sing songs out of tune. We will play silly games and concoct fanstastical tales about Santa and the elves. Milin and Jasmin will be happy.

I am trying my hardest to ignore the mythical motherhood figure who I know doesn’t exist. I don’t need her around this Christmas.

Milin made me a beautiful card at nursery. Which is good, because there's been no Christmas art at home.

Milin made me a beautiful card at nursery. Which is good, because there’s been no Christmas art at home.

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To have a good look at the reality of Christmas at our place, take a look at my vlog on Perfect Parenting for Mum Talk TV…. and let me know what Christmas looks like at yours this year….!

Christmas Wonderland, visiting Santa’s Grotto

Santa's Grotto, Crews Hill, Londond

Taking the Santaland train through Santa’s Grotto with Milin last week was perhaps one of the most magical experiences of my year. We visited the Christmas Wonderland at Springtime Nurseries, Crews Hill, Enfield which has one of the biggest Christmas grottos not in London, but in Europe.

Milin was completely amazed. He really believed we were going to see Santa. For the first time, I understood how completely a little person believes in something.

Jasmin and my dad were with us too as we took in the huge nursery which was full of Christmas-themed wares. We said hello to the reindeer and listened to the Arctic band, and then Jasmin snoozed while Milin and I made our way to the Grotto.

Santa's Grotto, Crews Hill, Londond

As soon as Milin saw the train to Santa Land his face lit up. We travelled on board past the elves who were making presents, past snowmen and polar bears and penguins and festive scemes. Milin was mesmerised.

At the end of our ride, we got off and were ushered into Santa’s room where he sat on his sleigh, surrounded by presents. Milin told him he had been good, so Santa  asked Milin what he wanted. Milin said trains. There weren’t any trains though, so Santa let him choose any toy he wanted from the selection in the room. There were 3D dinosaurs, puzzles, teddy bears – the lot. Milin asked for a mermaid doll.

And so, he took her home and he has played with her and slept with her in his bed every day and night since.

CHristmas present doll

My beautiful boy, who met Santa and came home with a plastic doll – he made my day. I love that he is young enough to not have a cynical mind, that is his trusting enough to believe everything I tell him about Santa – and that he really did meet him. I love that he chose the toy he wanted, not the toy he is meant to have. And I love that for the next week, this excitement about Christmas will continue – and for the next few years, it hopefully won’t abate.

But – enough of our day . Here’s a little video of our trip on the Santa Express through Christmas Wonderland. Look at that excited little face!

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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2014

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Last weekend, Tony and I took the kids to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. They loved every second – the funfair rides, the statues of Santa and his reindeer, the general atmosphere, the feeling that Christmas must be very soon -Milin even asked me on the way out, “Mummy, is it Christmas now?” It wasn’t even quite December…

The highlight for both Milin and Jasmin was going on lots of rides – I couldn’t believe how much they loved them. They also loved the little train around Santa Land – and you can see all of this and the other lovely bits of our day out in our little video here….

We arrived at Winter Wonderland at 10 when it opened. If you’re thinking of visiting with children, I’d really recommend doing the same. There were crowds of people waiting for the park to open when we got there, and by midday it really was very, very busy inside.

We only spent a few hours at Winter Wonderland but that was enough for Milin (nearly three) and Jasmin (16 months). Both of them wanted to stay all day to keep going on the rides – but they were both exhausted from the excitement of our morning, even though they tried not to show it.

The Christmas markets are a lovely place to find a few original gifts, and I picked up some lovely handmade toys for friends and the kids’ stockings. There was lots of food and drink too, and Tony and I had our first mulled wine of the season – along with a kangaroo burger. It isn’t a cheap day out – although entry is free, you do spend once inside. The rides would get expensive if you went on lots too.

Overall though – it’s definitely worth a visit with the little ones. They will love seeing all the Christmas-themed decorations and the scale of the theme park does really make you feel like you’ve stepped into a bit of Christmas.

I took Milin and Jasmin last year too. Milin sat on one ride but then lost it with fear and had to get off before it started. Jasmin spent most of the outing asleep in her front pack. It’s amazing how much they have grown in a year. This year, at 16 months, Jasmin couldn’t get enough of the rides. Milin had a tantrum when we left because he wanted to keep going on more of them.

The outing definitely got us into the Christmas spirit – but it was exhausting. I think one trip a year is enough!

If you are going with little ones – here are a few of the things that made it easier for us.

  • Arrive at 10am when the theme park opens and don’t expect to stay all day.
  • Look at a map and make a beeline for the kids area at Santa Land.
  • Don’t buy too many tokens all at once, you can’t return them and there are loads of places to buy more if you need them.
  • Get the tube to Green Park, it’s a ten minute walk through the park to the entrance and there’s step free access from tube to street.
  • Take cash and a packed lunch. The rides are expensive and you will buy gifts, so save a little with a lunchbox you’ve brought form home and know the kids will eat.
  • Accept that the theme park is huge and there’s no way you’ll get round it all. Perhaps think about a return trip, but a date night visit without the kids.
  • Some things like the ice skating rink are ticketed. Book in advance as they do get booked up.
  • Treat yourself to a mulled wine – you’ll deserve it!
  • Be ready with your explanations of why it isn’t actually Christmas yet when you get home.

Enjoy! x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Soft play, and being brave enough to go down the slide

soft play

As I watched my two babies at soft play the other day, I was again struck by how different they are. Milin, at Jasmin’s age, was quiet, placid, considered, and even timid. Jasmin is chatty, brave, fights to be heard, and isn’t afraid of testing the boundaries. She will give you a cheeky smile before doing something she shouldn’t, whereas Milin at her age wouldn’t have even entertained doing the thing he had been told not to.

I watched them, one rainy morning, clambering around at soft play. Milin has grown into a confident, cheery, friendly, little boy who will push himself to try new things – particularly if it looks like something the bigger kids do. Jasmin dotes on him. That morning, she had a tantrum because I wouldn’t let her go down the big slide. But otherwise, we all had a blast.

I made a little video.

A week later, I watched it back. And I saw how much they had grown. In one week, Milin had got brave enough to go down the big slide by himself. And he did, again, and again, and again.

Jasmin had also decided she was big enough to go down the slide alone, no matter what I thought. (Their daddy took them to soft play in the week and let her try out the slide for size.) On her tummy, off she went. Again, and again, and again.

Just in one week, they’d grown up. They’re still so different. But perhaps they’re also more alike than I give them credit for.

Here’s a little look at them, having fun, and being not quite ready for the slide. What a difference a week makes.

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