Hunting For The Yeti At Riverhill Himalayan GardensĀ 

Wooded pathways, stacks of branches, and plenty of mud are just three of the things that make my lot happy and luckily enough they are plentiful at Riverhill Himalayan Gardensin Kent.

We had our first trip there last week and on the way I had a car full of bemused children trying to work out why we were off to the Himalayas by car!

Upon arrival whe picked up our maps at the kiosk and I grabbed a seat outside the cosy looking Riverhill Cafe that I had earmarked for later in the day.

I planned a rough idea of where the day was going to take us while the children took up residence in the ‘Toy Shed’ that made the perfect play area to keep the little ones amused while the adults have a sneaky piece of cake.

I had put a little to much faith in the wonderful British weather and arrived with a summer dress and flip flops which probably wasn’t the best attire.

Fortunately though they are fully prepared here for the unprepared such as myself and have a lovely little area they you can borrow a pair of wellies from.

We headed into the woods where the children all climbed to their hearts  content until we came across the fab adventure playground.
There were climbing walls, slides, tree houses and so much more to explore and they all spent a good hour here enjoying all it had to offer.

Ready to explore some more we entered the woods again with a pit stop for some den building before we made it to Little Everest Viewpoint.

The view from the top was stunning and the perfect place to stop for our picnic.


Refuelled we headed back down the hill towards the hedge maze.

I’m not a huge fan of mazes and tend to freak out a little if I can’t see an exit. Luckily enough the hedge maze is low and was easy for the children…and me  to navigate.

The rain decided to come and say hello so we decided to take cover in the activity tent where they all got the chance to make their own clay creations.

With an unusual calmness from my lot I took the chance to grab a coffee and some delightful carrot cake from the cafe whist they created their masterpieces.

Scattered throughout the grounds were lots of interesting sculptures with the huge scaffold tube sphere being a real pull for the kids.

Our final stop of the day was the stunning gardens full of wonderful flowers, an abundance of fruit and veg and hidden wrought iron gates that are always some thing I love.

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens was an absolute treat to discover and we will need another visit very soon as we didn’t manage to find the illusive yeti who is said to be hiding in the woods.  
*we were given tickets for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest options.

PJ Masks Have Landed At Oxygen

Oxygen in Croydon has become a bit of a regular haunt for me and my youngest since its recent opening, with us regularly  taking part in the toddler sessions that are aimed at little ones aged five and under.

I mean what could be better than an hour of running and jumping around a huge trampoline park when you are three years old, and of course for us parents tiring them out for an hour is always a huge bonus.

When I was asked along to try out their new PJ Masks Jumping Adventures I knew it was going to be a huge hit with my youngest two.

We arrived and the boys were handed costumes which they happily doned to transform themselves into thier favourite PJ Mask characters Gekko and Catboy.


Trampoline socks on and safely briefing done we made our way into the main area where the boys bounced, dived and lept to their hearts content.


What set this session apart from the usual toddler sessions though was the addition of lots of games put on by the super friendly staff that have really got into the spirit of things by dressing as the characters too.

The boys joined in with groups leaping across the trampolines and loved rushing to see how quickly they could move the balls from one trampoline to the other.

Extremely warn out they made their way to the cafe area where I enjoyed a much needed coffee while they made masks and coloured in PJ Mask themed sheets.

If this sounds like something that your little ones would enjoy then these sessions are running until the 5th September and by using the code PJMASKS at the checkout you can save yourself 20%.

*we were asked along to this session for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Tea With A Tiger At Paradise Wildlife Park And Red Letter Days

I always thought that when I came to days out in and around London I was pretty clued up to most things due to my inability to stay and home and my want to discover new and different places with the children.

The other week however this theory was quashed when I was invited along for Tea With A Tiger with Red Letter Days at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. 

After a short train ride I was greeted at the station by the super friendly wildlife park driver that gave me a very informative trip to the park itself.

I actually couldn’t believe that this zoo had been here for so many years and it was the first time had ever heard of it.

A largest group of bloggers were all slowly gathering together over coffee and a chit chat before we headed out on our guided tour of the Big Cat Teritory.

On the way we passed a number of other animals such as the big camels and zebras to the smaller penguins and super cute meerkats that were a huge hit with everyone!


We arrived at the Big Cat Teritory when we all tried to spot the magestic creatures while taking in all the information being feed to us by our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide.

The zoo is famous for its big cats and I can see why as there are so many to see and not just the usual lions and tigers that you might expect. There were lessen known animals such as an ocelot and a beautiful snow leopard that was certainly my favourite.


With my head buzzing form all the information I had been taking in we made our way up to the Tiger Treetops when you can get a fantastic view from above the enclose.

It was now time for tea and the fantastic tearoom that had a huge glass frontage just perfect to spot the big cats over a yummy bite to eat.


For me this experience was a fantastic opportunity to really get up close to these beautiful creature but for the more daring there is also the opportunity to book a animal feed where you can get just about as close as possible to a lion or tiger and it really is something I would love to do.

I was really taken with Paradise Wildlife Park and all it has to offer, and with the addition of a newly opened adventure playground this is firmly on the top of my list for a visit over the summer holidays with the little ones.
*I was invited to this event by Red Letter Days and they are all my own, honest opinions.

The Wind In The Willows Premiere

Stepping out of the tube station into hoards of people waving iPhones in the air was a little bit of a shock the other week.

I was going along to review Wind In The Willows that has just opened at the London Palladium and I had more than slightly underestimated the evening, and hadn’t realised it was a fully star studded red carpet event!

Izzy has had her heart set on stardom since she could talk and her jaw literally hit the floor when she realised she would be taking to the red carpet and mingling with the stars.

Settled in our seats the curtains rose which paved the way for the beginning of the show with the stunning scenery and the cheery, familiar faces of Ratty (Simon Lipkin) and Mole.

The bumbling pair immediately captured the attention of the audience and left us wanting to follow their journey which lead them on an epic adventure with the bumbling eccentric Mr Toad (Rufus Hound).

Whist trying to find the precious daughter of Ms Otter (Denise Welch) that has wandered off and found herself captured by the evil Weasel the threesome find themselves on all kinds of predicaments caused mainly by the loose cannon Mr Toad.

Along the way as you would expect there are plenty more animals to meet from the super cute field mice to the hysterical family of hedgehogs and the more sinister of creatures that came in the form of the evil stoats.

The show lept from spectacular car crashes to more heart felt moments that showed that no matter how tough friendships can be and no matter what hurdles are thrown in the way to test you true friends will always be just that.

This quintessentially British classic from Kenneth Grahame has been perfectly adapted to give a captivating, moving and toe tapping show that will bring a smile to the faces of the whole family.

It will make for the perfect trip over the summer holidays and with some great deals on tickets at the moment it’s the perfect time to book.
*we were given tickets for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions. 

Cars 3:One For The Girls

Sometimes when an email hits your inbox you know that you are going to be the favourite in the house…even if it’s just for a short time.

An invitation to a screening of Cars 3 sent my house into a complete frenzy and even my moody teen asked to come along which is an absolute miracle.

We made our way along to The Soho Hotel where we had the chance to fill up on a delicious breakfast whist the boys got Cars themed balloons and tattoos.

Full to the brim and fit to burst with anticipation of what the film would bring we made our way to the cinema and settled in our seats.

When it comes to sequels I am always a bit pessimistic and never find that they can live up to the original.

However Cars didn’t fail to impress with Cars 2 so I had high hopes for this one. 

This one sees the infamous Lightening McQueen showing his age and doubting his ability to stay top of his game.

With new sleek and stylish generation of cars making their way onto the racing scene such as the newbie Jackson Storm, Lightening McQueen’s confidence is crushed and he tries to find new ways to keep his number one status.

His training takes a modern twist with the help of his new trainer Cruz Ramirez but he soon finds this is not for him and he enlists the help of some of the older generation to take him back to the basics.

Cruz quickly becomes his right hand girl and through this friendship she builds her own confidence and let’s everyone know that the racing game is not just for the boys!

This film is more than just about cars speeding around the track; it teaches the importance of always aiming for the sky, having faith in yourself and the importance of friendships be it old or new ones.

From the youngest to the oldest this film had us captived from beginning to end with a fantastic twist that you just have to see!

Father’s Day At Flower Farm

I have to say that when it comes to Father’s Day I am a little selfish with the plans I make!

My husband doesn’t really share the love for the great outdoors as much as me, so when I announced we were heading off to pick strawberries his face didn’t exactly light up at the prospect.

The children however were hugely excited as it is certainly a highlight of the summer for them.

Sadly it seems that PYO farms are few and far between these days but we are lucky enough to have one right on our doorstep.

Flower Farm in Godstone is a small farm that has very reasonably priced PYO strawberries  and raspberries come July, with the great addition of a well stocked farm shop and lovely tea room where you can grab light bites and of course a delicious afternoon tea.

The sun was beating down on us whilst picking but this didn’t put us off, even my husband got stuck in and said he was throughly enjoying it.

I love activities like this that cost very little money and bring us all together as a family.

It actually gave me time to reflect on the fact I am incredibly lucky to have my husband who always goes out of his way to make us all happy, and maybe this should be reflected in my choice of activity next year! 

Country Kids

Back To The Fun At Elderflower Fields

You know when you leave a place and you are already planning your next trip back next year that it is place to remember.

This is exactly how we feel about Elderflower Fields and why we have just had our third and equally as fantastic trip there.

Our first taste of Elderflower Fields was as day visitors and it captured our hearts the moment we set foot in the field…so much so that last year we returned for the whole weekend and had our first ever experience of camping as a family.

This year was set to be just as good…if not even better than the last and we were all itching to get there and start the fun.

We were lucky enough to be trying out Pitch this year that is a fabulous company that sets up luxury bell tents for you that are beautifully kitted out and ready for you on your arrival. 

I have lots more to tell you about this, but as they say a picture paints a thousand words so I will leave you with this picture of the most incredible tent I have ever had the opportunity to stay in!

With setting up being completely pain free we doned the glitter and sparkles and made our way down to the main field to see what was going on this year.

The familiar main stage was alive with fantastic music and a sea of families relaxing and taking it all in.

For us one of the big pulls of this festival is the food and the children all made their way to grab an ice cream before they got going on the activities.

What I love most about Elderflower Fields is its relaxed atmosphere.

You can slowly wander without any pressure to get to planned activities all the time. There are of course a few things that have timed slots, but the majority you just turn up and have a go.

This year there was the addition of the Woodland Tribe that was a huge hit with the boys.

It saw Daddy uncharacteristically put his DIY hat on and hammer and saw with them all to help create a super cool den.

Another activity the children returned to plenty of times was the trapeze workshop.

The boys had no fear at being twisted and spun in the silks and it left Izzy with a real want to take it up as an activity once we got home.

Circus skills were up next and they tried their hands at everything on offer. I however wasn’t so skilful!

Grabbing a bite to eat was on the agenda before the evening fun.

Food is a huge part of this festival with something for everyone from meat lovers to vegans, savoury fans or those with a sweet tooth all tastes are catered for.

The potato stall has us coming back every year without fail and this year the Thai stall was my favourite with its beautifully flavoursome dishes, in fact I didn’t visit anywhere else all weekend.

As the sun came down we settled on the main field to listen to more bands and have a few cheeky cocktails before heading back to the comfort of our beautiful tent.

Fully refreshed from a great nights sleep we made our way down to the campfire to take part in the Campfire Cookout.
This is new to Elderflower Fields this year and something the children all really enjoyed taking part in.

Alongside cooking up some yummy chocolate waffles on the campfire the children got to take part in a drawing lesson that saw them making their very own comic strip.

My all time favourite face painter Nam Nam’s were back creating their masterpieces so we couldn’t pass up this chance.

I always feel so sad when I have to take their wonderful creations off.

Still pretty full from the waffles it was time for the So Sussex Family picnic.

Last year this was something I felt a little worried about as the theory behind it is to get together with twelve people, friends or strangers and select one leader to go and collect your picnic of delicious local products to enjoy together.

 

This year we met up with one of my husband school friends and some others they were camping with and thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous food and great company.

It was then time to get out of the sun and take a stroll through the Art Trail.


Some unbelievable sculptures had been created and there was something new and unique round every corner, including a lookout tower that the children played in happily trying to spot all sorts with their binoculars.

 

I simply can’t fit everything in that we got up to over the course of a few short days as there was just so much going on. 

For me this festival offers more than just music and dancing, although they are big parts of it to!

The activities offer the children new experiences they can take home and further if they wish to and gives them a real understanding of nature and the world around them through the fun of play.

This magical festival keeps us coming back time and time again and I would highly reccomend a visit to see the brilliance yourselves!


Country Kids