I have had a love for shopping since before I can even remember. I loved trawling the shops with my Mum as a small child and spent every Saturday looking at the new clothes that were hitting the shelves as a teen.
As my family grew though my love for shopping dwindled.
The stress hits me as soon as we get in the car with the anticipation of how the children are going to behave.
They usual don’t disappoint and by the time we hit the first shop I have already had a toliet request, a need for imidiate food and the dreaded ‘how much longer’ question.
Last week we were asked along by Centrale and Whitgift shopping centres to see what they had to offer in the way of family shopping.
First port of call was Build A Bear which is always a winner with my children.
Children get the opportunity to select a bear of their choice from a huge selection, stuff them full of fluff using the super cool machine and dress them up in an outfit of choice.
This whole process is done with the help of the friendly staff that make it even more special by adding games and activities to do along the way.
Next stop was Zara which was always going to be a little trickier as it wasn’t going to be nearly as much fun as building your own bear.
Zara is my favourite high street shop as it covers something for the whole family, is bang on trend and is very reasonably priced.
To take the boredom out of clothes shopping I let him have his own little catwalk show and have a hand in choosing an outfit for me too.
Kids need to feel included and I know how hard this can be but by giving them a little responsibility can go a long way.
The last treat was a trip to Weenies kids club in Whitgift Shopping Centre.
Right in the middle of the shopping complex was a whole area dedicated to littlies.
To join in with the activities you must be a member that is easy to subscribe to online and completly free. The sessions can then be booked within minutes by using the Centrale PLUS app.
Once they are signed up the have access to all the session that are put on during the holidays and on selected weekends throughout the year, plus discounts on a number of retail outlets for parents and children.
Frankie was able to get up close and personal with a huge array of animals from chicks to frogs, snakes to rabbits.
There were crafts to join in with, story competitions to complete and face painting fun.
I really was astounded by this event. The friendly staff keep the children engaged throughout the whole session and they got so much out of it and for absolutely no cost.
I came away from the day with a fresh new outlook on taking the kids shopping.
Whitgift and Centrale offer a complete package for families and with a little bit of forethought and planning it really doesn’t have to be the nightmare I always imagine it to be.