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Days Out

  • Thomasland in the Summer, with 365Tickets

    It’s been a summer of theme park fun for us this year! After a very successful trip to Peppa Pig World, followed by our recent day out at Alton Towers, we completed our theme park trio by visiting Drayton Manor’s Thomasland earlier this month. We had been to Thomasland before during their Magical Christmas event in December and we’d had such a lovely time, but I was quite looking forward to seeing how our day out would compare in the summertime. We owe a big thank you to 365Tickets for organising our tickets for us, and I’ll definitely be looking up their discounted Drayton Manor prices for the future.

    I was a little nervous about visiting in the height of the summer holidays – peak season for theme parks. Queues don’t really bother me when I’m on my own, but standing still for upwards of twenty minutes isn’t particularly easy for an energetic toddler. When we arrived at about 11am, Thomasland was even busier than I had imagined. I took one look around and knew we’d have a battle on our hands if we attempted to get on any rides with Pickle. Strategic decision made: we’d stop and have an earlier lunch first and then visit the zoo and park. read more

    Aged 2+, Days Out, Lifestyle, Parenting
    / August 23, 2018
  • Eating our picnic at the start of the day at Alton Towers

    CBeebiesland at Alton Towers with Peperami

    I’ve spoken many times about how we’re a CBeebies family. You may judge me for it, but it’s pretty much on every morning in our house, in the background whilst we eat breakfast, get dressed and pack our bags for the day. My cousin once told me they use the scheduling to help keep them on time for the school run – if they’ve not got their shoes on by the time Octonauts comes on, they know they’re in trouble. I could probably sing the theme tune to any of the programmes, without needing a prompt (Go go, go go… Go Jetters!) and I’ve watched Something Special so many times that I know the names of the children in each series that do the ‘Time to Sign’ Makaton with Justin. So of course, visiting CBeebiesland at Alton Towers has been on my to-do list ever since we first ventured to Thomasland at Drayton Manor and realised how much fun children’s themes parks are.

    When Peperami got in touch, challenging us to see if we were brave enough to try the new Wicker Man ride at Alton Towers, it sounded like a perfectly good excuse to actually check out some of the adult rides at a theme park for a change, even though I knew we’d probably still spend most of our time in CBeebiesland. I packed us a picnic, punched in the postcode on our Sat Nav, and we ventured off on one of the hottest days of the year for our very first trip to Alton Towers. read more

    Aged 2+, Days Out, Lifestyle, Parenting, Reviews
    / August 11, 2018
  • The camping field at Timber Festival with the glamping pods in the background

    Timber Festival 2018: our first family festival

    I’ve found my new spiritual home. And it’s Timber Festival. Nestled in the National Forest on the edge of Derbyshire and Leicestershire, last weekend was it’s inaugural event and we felt very lucky to have experienced it. I kept saying all weekend: in years to come, we’ll be really proud to say we were at the very first Timber Festival. And I know it won’t be our last visit.

    The Ethos

    When I first read the email about Timber Festival, I knew straight away that it would be right up our street. read more

    Aged 2+, Camping, Countryside, Culture, Days Out, Lifestyle, Reviews, UK Travel
    / July 12, 2018
  • The strawberry plants at Clive's Fruit Farm are raised off the ground - a toddler's paradise to run underneath them!

    PYO Strawberries at Clive’s Fruit Farm, Worcestershire

    I’ve always loved the idea of fruit picking, but always seem to miss when the fruit picking farms are open – or maybe I just haven’t been playing close enough attention. This year, I was determined not to miss it and so on a rare Saturday when we had no plans, I packed us a picnic and we set the sat nav to Upton on Severn, Worcestershire for a visit to Clive’s Fruit Farm.

    Where is Clive’s Fruit Farm?

    The farm itself is just outside of Upton on Severn, very close to the Malvern Hills. Most of the route is the same way we’d travel to Ross-on-Wye and there’s something about that whole area that I just find simply beautiful. It was a little further away than we first thought, but it gave Pickle a chance to have a good snooze, and once we got off the M5, the views either side of the car were gorgeous. It’s the stomping ground of my fellow Johnson’s Baby Ambassador Danielle who blogs at Someone’s Mum – how lucky is she to live there? read more

    Aged 2+, Countryside, Days Out, Parenting
    / July 2, 2018
  • Family photo at Peppa Pig World

    The New Rides at Peppa Pig World

    Last Friday, we headed down south for our first (and definitely not our last) visit to Paulton’s Park, to check out the new rides at Peppa Pig World. It’s a fair journey for us to travel from the Birmingham area to Southampton and the outskirts of the New Forest, but we had such a lovely time at Thomasland over Christmas that I knew the journey would be worth it. I’ve never been much of a theme park junkie, but it turns out – children’s theme parks? Exactly my cup of tea!

    The main reason for our visit was primarily to test out the two new rides the park is opening this week: The Queen’s Flying Coach Ride and Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club. read more

    Days Out, Parenting, Reviews
    / May 16, 2018
  • The colours of the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham

    Taking a Toddler to the National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

    I don’t take advantage of living on the outskirts of Birmingham half as much as I should. Every time I venture into the city, I’m amazed at what it has to offer and try to remind myself to take the short train ride more often. The city centre has so much for families, and this weekend we braved the school-holiday crowds and ventured down to the National Sea Life Centre.

    I’ve been meaning to take Pickle to the Sea Life Centre for ages, and as I’d offered to take my foster brothers out for the day, it seemed the perfect place to entertain adults, two older children (not yet teenagers!) and a toddler. That feels like no mean feat – I can’t think of many places that would be appropriate for such a wide age range. I had quite high hopes for this day out and I think the reality managed to even exceed my expectations. Despite a few stressy moments where I thought I’d completely lost LPD and Pickle, we had a really brilliant day. read more

    18-24 Months, Culture, Days Out, Parenting, Reviews
    / April 8, 2018