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!

WWE Smackdown Live At The O2

I have to admit I wasn’t filled with excitement when an email popped up in my inbox asking me along to the O2 to watch WWE Smackdown Live.

However after seeing the face of my usually unexcitable teenage boy light up at the thought of it I knew that is was going to be an event that he was going to very much enjoy.

In fact it wasn’t only Archie that was full of excitement, my husband and my five year old Frankie are also massive fans which would make it a trip for all ages.

We arrived at the O2 and set off for some pre drinks where we got the chance to see some of the infamous belts and get up close to Dolph Ziegler and Becky Lynch. Sadly we didn’t manage to get a photo but it was still great to meet them in person.

We made our way to our seats kitted out in all the fantastic merchandise and I was astounded by the atmosphere that was filling the packed out arena.


People of all ages were sining, chanting and cheering as the spectacular ring entrances that were taking place and were completely immersed in the thrill of the fight scenes. Many of which were dressed as their favourite characters such as The Undertaker and Randy Orton.

Even I got drawn into the atmosphere and thoroughly enjoyed the three hour long performance that for me was a cross between a rock concert and a boxing match.

The boys sat there glued to the stage, joining in with the chants and getting super excited with each throw and slam dunk they saw.

This show really was an eye opener for me and it goes to show that you sometimes the things you think you will have little interest in can actually be a really enjoyable experience.

We all came out buzzing from a fantastic event and I would highly recommend taking a trip next time they are in a town near you.

 

Ocean Invaders At Sealife Southbank

The Southbank is one…if not my favourite place in London.

Street entertainers, a huge choice of food, and some of the most famous landmarks in London are just a few of the attractions that draw so many visitors to this area along with a whole host of fantastic attractions that are just perfect to keep the little ones amused.

A few weeks ago we were invited along by AttractionTix to have a sneak peek at the new jellyfish attraction called Ocean Invaders at the Sealife centre.

We were lucky enough to arrive before the general public which allowed us to get up close to the exhibits and have a spot of breakfast behind the scenes too!

The colours immediately caught my attention as we entered and the children’s eyes lit up as soon as we saw the huge tanks full of beautiful jelly fish.

  

There are three sections to explore that enables the children to see the jelly fish in all their beauty, learn all about them and their environments and an interactive zone that my youngest two and their lack of concentration gained a lot from. 

As everything is so hands on even my three year old was kept engaged throughout. It really offers something for everyone and even my husband and I came away having learnt something new about the world of jelly fish.

The fun doesn’t stop here though as the Sealife Centre has so much to offer and we spent a good few hours exploring the numerous exhibits.

The children loved to be able to acually touch a starfish in the rock pool area.  

They loved gazing above them and peeping through the holes in the Ocean Tunnel.

The Shark Walk was a huge hit with the boys, as was having the opportunity to get up so close to the magnificent stingrays. 

The favourite though was probably Penguin Point where they happy watched the Penguins play in their very own polar experience. 

Our day didn’t finish here as AttractionTix had a full day of fun set up for us with a trip on a river boat and a visit to Shrek’s Adventure still on our list.

They really are the place to go for hugely discounted tickets on endless amounts of attractions.

They offer such great discounts that combining more than one attraction in a day can become a lot more affordable than you would think, and Southbank is the perfect place to get the most out of your day in this way as there are so many great places less than a stones throw away from each other.

The streets of London as you all know are massively over crowded and it can sometimes be hard to take in the beauty it holds, so one way to get a fantastic look at some of Londons biggest landmarks is a boat trip down the Thames.

The children were all really excited to sit on the top deck of the London Eye River Cruise boat and look out across the water.


They spotted all the landmarks they knew such as the Shard and the Houses of Parliament and some lesser known ones were pointed out to us by the super friendly guide that talked us through our trip.


It was a relaxing and informative 40 minute trip that also gave me some fabulous photo opportunities.

The last port of call for the day was Shrek’s Adventure that we visited last year and absolutely loved.

It was the first time for my husband and he was a little sceptical about how they would managed to fit something based around a film into an entire attraction.

He was in fact proved wrong and so taken back what a great experience it was.

You are taken on a journey through the Kingdom of Far, Far Away encountering all sorts of exciting places on the way from a trip on a 4D bus to mixing potions in the very special bakery.

This interactive show sucks you in from the beginning due to the fantastic set up and highly skilled actors and actresses.

It is a place the children ask to go back to time and time again and I really don’t blame them.


We had the most fantastic day and managed to pack more in then I could have ever imagined.

There was something for the whole family to enjoy and I’m sure you have seen a least one thing here that would take your fancy.

Please let me know if you decide to visit  any of these attractions as I would love to know what you think!
*This event was put on for us by AttractionTix and this are all my own, honest opinions.

Little O’s At Oxygen

Any of you that read my blog regularly will know that I am not a huge fan of soft play.

It’s sometimes needs must as a parent but spending time there…especially with my youngest two brings me out in a cold sweat!

I’m always looking for alternative indoor activities that the children will enjoy, keep them entertained and most of allows them to let off some steam.

Recently Oxygen Freejumping Trampolining Park has come to Croydon and unlike most trampolining parks we have visited there is a session dedicated to five and unders.

The other week we doned our yellow grippy socks and went along to see if it was something Oscar would enjoy.

After a quick health and safety video we were given free run of the trampolining park from the free jumping zones, airbag runway, huge foam pit, soft play area and so much more.

Oscar was kept amused for the full hour and loved being able to move freely to and from whichever area happened to take his fancy…with the airbag runway being his favourite section.

As well as being bags of fun it helps to improve their motor skills and flexibility, helps them gain confidence and most of all is a brilliant workout in disguise!

The sessions last an hour which is the perfect amount of time the keep this age group entertained and a good coffee area to grab a well deserved treat after all their hard work.

We went along specifically for the Little O’s sessions but they also offer great activities for older children and adults too.

I was particularly interested in coming back to try out the Bear Grylls obstical course that is a great alternative to most fitness sessions.

Please let me know if you decide to try any of the activity sessions out as I would love to know how you get on.

 

Getting In The Festival Spirit With BFLF And Camp Bestival On Tour

A whole year is a pretty long time to wait in between festivals so thankfully Camp Bestival and Big Fish Little Fish have got together this year to create a tour that allows everyone to experience the fun of  festival for a few hours before the summer and get ready for this years festival theme of ‘pop stars and rock stars’.

Last year we spend a lot of time next to the BFLF stage at Camp Bestival and the boys absolutely loved dancing around and jumping on and of the stage to all the great music they put on.

We were lucky enough to go along to the tour at Dreamland in Margate last week which is one of my favourite seaside attractions.

The cool, retro theme of Dreamland was the perfect setting for a children’s rave with lots of open space around the roller disco area that had been transformed into a super cool dance floor for the kids…well the adults too!


 The dance floor was packed with people dancing playing with the tents and tunnels that were set out and eagerly awaiting the bubble machine and glitter cannons to go off!

For the really tiny ones there were quieter areas set up away from the hustle and bustle of it all.

It wouldn’t have that festival feel without face painting and even though my guys weren’t interest there were some very impressive faces walking around.

The boys spent a lot of time over at the craft station getting tattoos, making superheroes masks and creating masterpieces with the play dough.

In addition to all this fun families had the opportunity to grab some ‘pop stars and rock stars’ themed props and take a photo at the booth that gave them the chance to win one of three family tickets to Camp Bestival 17 which would make for the most fantastic prize!

The next event is in Hackney on 23rd April and if is set to be another cracker if you can get along to it.

If not please take a look at everything Camp Bestival has to offer. I can’t put into words what a mind blowing experience we had last year and this years is set to top it! 

Family Friendly Shopping With Whitgift And Centrale Shopping Centres

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.

*collaborated post.