Toddler Time At Chessington World Of Adventures

Chessington World Of Adventures main attraction for us as a family is the diversity of the theme park and its ability to cater for all ages.

With this in mind I took some time out with Oscar to see what that have to offer pre-schoolers during the week when all the others are busy working away at school…I have to add this didn’t go down to well with the others.

I don’t need to tell any of you what tricky creatures three year olds can be and days out can often be more than a little fraught.

Queuing is something that is certainly not one of Oscar’s strong points, so the relief to be able to get on every ride within minutes was a massive bonus for me as well as him!

Our first port of call was the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure that saw us following mouse on his adventures with The Gruffalo whilst floating along in our little wooden boat through spooky dark areas, over a few lumps and bumps and a good few moments of getting a little wet.

The Gruffalo theme is something that is certainly present throughout Chessington World Of Adventures now which is perfect for the little ones and Oscar was over to the moon to meet the ‘real’ Gruffalo at the meet and greet session.

From here we headed off to take in a few more rides and with such little queuing time was got so many in.

Out of the eighteen rides suitable for toddlers some of our favourites were the Sea Dragons where we wizzed and whirled around in the little boats.

The beautiful new carousel called the Adventure Tree that we tried our pretty much every animal on.

The Flying Jumbos that took us flying way into the sky, and for my little thrill seeker a trip on the front of the Scorpion Express that he was thrilled to be riding upfront on.

There is food aplenty available and all tastes are easily catered for from BBQ chicken to fish and chips or burgers to pizzas there really is something for everyone.

I grabbed a much needed coffee and refuelled ourselves with a quick sugary treat.

A ride that we had yet to try out was Zufari and I have to say after trying it out I have no idea why we had left it this long.

We hopped on board the Zufari truck that took us on a a very bumpy adventure through the wild spotting some pretty spectacular animals on the way.

I couldn’t believe how close we managed to get to the giraffes and rhinos. Oscar was hugely amused by being so close to rhinos bum!

In the mood for some more animal spotting we took a walk through the Trail Of The Kings and spotted a very sleepy lion.

The gorillas were out to play and Oscar was highly amused with their antics.

It’s not just the bigger animals that Chessington World Of Adventures homes. The petting zoo is always a big hit with mine and we spent a good while petting the sheep, looking in on the greedy pigs while they fed and trying to keep up with the cutest little goat I’ve ever seen.

From land animals we made our way into the Sealife Centre to see all the creatures of the sea.

Oscars favourite moment was getting the chance to touch a starfish and ask the poor lady a hundred and one questions on the subject that she more than happily answered for him.

It was wonderful to be able to experience Chessington World Of Adventures from the perspective of just a little one rather than having to keep my large brood all happy.

It is the perfect way to allow them to experience the excitement of the rides without the stress of the queues and get to see the animals without it being so busy which can be very stressful for tiny ones.

It really is a day that allows them to build their confidence and independence and gain knowledge of a huge variety of animals all in one place.

Oscar came away bursting to tell his brothers and sisters about his day and literally can’t wait until his next trip.

If this sounds good to you then you can get yourself an adult and pre-school pass ticket for only £21 or an annual pass that always you in on selected dates and times for only £60.

We got so much done in the few hours between school runs that it is certainly well worth a visit.

‘I am a Chessington Blogger Ambassador, I was given a Chessington Annual Pass to do this review with my family and I was not paid to do this post. If anyone would like to confirm any details in the post, please email press.office@chessington.co.uk’

Saying Hello To Autumn At Priory Farm

A chill in the wind, beautiful rich colours, Halloween and cosy afternoons snuggled up under warm blankets are just a few of the reason I absolutely love October.

The weather hasn’t yet changed to the bitterness of winter and getting out into the great outdoors is a real pleasure.

The first adventure for us is always a trip to Priory Farm to select the perfect pumpkin for carving and eating if I ever get round to trying pumpkin pie…I have been promising the children this for the past goodness knows how long!

I have written about Priory Farm countless times as it has so much to offer from fantastic play areas to a brilliant discovery walk and they always go that extra mile for special occasions such as this.

Today we climbed aboard the truck that was decked out perfectly for Halloween with missing limbs, cobwebs and huge spiders.

The short journey lead us straight to the pumpkin field which the children couldn’t wait to get to and select their favourite pumpkin, which for the first year ever wasn’t a competition to see who’s was the biggest.

A good few laps of the field and more than a few pumpkins picked and rejected we finally had our favourites and headed back to the kiosk where there was a game of ‘roll the pumpkin’ and hoopla onto creepy arms to keep the children amused while we waited for our ride back.

Prized pumpkins in hand we climbed aboard and headed off to get a well earned piece of scrummy cake and a good coffee.

There is so much going on over the next few weeks at Priory Farm as well as the pumpkin picking and a visit come highly recommend from us!

Country Kids

Mini Ninja At Yo Sushi – Boxpark

I am very lucky that all of my children bar one are open to try pretty much any food that they are introduced to.

This has opened them up to experiencing a wide variety of different cuisines with sushi coming pretty high up on their list of loves.

Trying to make it for ourselves though is something even I haven’t attempted so when we were asked along to Yo Sushi at Boxpark, Croydon I was as excited as the children!

On a Tuesday and Wednesday at 11am during the summer holidays Yo Sushi is running their Mini Ninja Sushi making masterclass aimed at children aged 5-12.

Being as unorganised as always I hadn’t looked at the recommended age range and in fact went along with Oscar(3) and Frankie(5) and Izzy(11).

Our super friendly Sushi maestro sat the children down and got them kitted out in their hats and gloves in preparation to get creating.

They were all given instructions sheets on how to make Maki, Salmon Nigi and Crab Handrolls.

These weren’t neeeded as the children were shown step by step how to make each piece and there was plenty of hands on help if neeeded.

Usually the attention span of my children is limited to cupcakes but amazingly they sat through the whole hour without a fidget or a moan.

Once their boxes were filled with yummy sushi made by their own fair hands there was a quick game of who could move the edamame beans the quickest which was great to burn off a bit of energy.

At the end of the session they were awarded a certificate for all their hard word and given a bag to take home their sushi and the rolling mats they used so they could have a go again at home.

My lot however couldn’t wait to get home to eat so we sat for a while eating there creations whilst I sampled some delightful pork buns that I will certainly be returning again for.

There is still time to get you litttle ones booked in at several different locations around the country and it has certainly come highly recommended from us!
 *Collaborated post 

Jackson And Rye Guilford:Review

Just before Christmas we made our way into Guilford to the launch evening of the brand new Jackson and Rye restaurant that has just hit town.

Jackson and Rye are already a very well established chain that have bought a touch of London style dining to the heart of Guilford.

The dimly lit restaurant and dark decor set the tone for the New York style dining they are famous for.

Once seated we were shown a menu that was so hard to chose from as the variety was so great.

We started with mini corn dogs that had caught our eyes a few minutes before ordering, a huge plate of flavoursome crunchy chorizo prawns and some wonderfully crispy buffalo chicken wings.

Our eyes may have been bigger than our bellies as the portions were so generous that after the appetisers we were already pretty full.

Mains arrived promptly and my Cajun spiced chicken was super succulent and accompanied perfectly with a fresh sweetcorn succotash that was a welcome change from the richness of the starters.

My steak loving husband picked his favourite fillet steak and was more than happy with the juicy cut of meat and the crispy fries that set it off perfectly.

Literally bursting at the seams I still made room for a sticky potted cheese cake that was served with a tart berry compote.

We went along as a couple but this restaurant would also cater well for our large family; we looked on at a table full of little ones throughly enjoying a large variety of food from the menu.

Jackson and Rye was a welcoming, relaxed restaurant that still had that feeling of something a little special. They have taken the usual American dining experience and given it a touch of class.

After chatting with the friendly waiting staff we found the restaurant is infamous for their weekend brunch and we will certainly be back soon to sample this soon!

My Top Festive Days Out

I start planning for Christmas as soon as the children go back to school after the holidays in September!

Yes I know that is completely bonkers but it really is my favourite time of year and I like to squeeze as much as I can into the month of December as possible.

I have put together a list of some of my favourite days out that you might like to try for yourselves, and a couple that I am due to visit over the next few weeks so keep an eye out for what I think!

Father Christmas At Painshill


This is top of my list as it is the most magical Father Christmas I have ever seen.

You walk though the beautiful grounds of Painshill in Cobham, Surrey that is bought to life with pretty lights leading you to the crystal grotto to find Father Christmas himself.

You can enjoy a mince pie and a warm mulled wine while you wait to be taken in to the most stunning setting I’ve ever seen.

There are still a few spaces left for weekday visits but this is a must to book early.

Christmas Afternoon Tea At sketch


During the summer I had a trip to sketch to try out their afternoon tea and were blown away by the whole experience.

The food and surroundings were equally as wonderful and the quirkiness of it all was a big hit with the both of us.

Christmas has now got the restaurant in a big way and the entrance alone is something worth going to see. 

The Snowman


A couple of weeks ago we went to see the fabulous ballet of The Snowman. I will have a full post up on this very soon, but all I will say is if you want to introduce your children to the wonders of ballet of simply want to witness what I can only describe as the epitome of Christmas in a beautifully performed show then this needs to be seen.

Bocketts Farm


Bocketts is my favourite farm in Surrey and Christmas brings an extra sparkle to it.

You can still walk around feeding the animals, watching the pig races and taking a tractor ride but you also have the opportunity to visit Father Christmas in his hay barn and take part in fun extra activities the farm has put on for the festive season.

Southbank


It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Southbank for me.

The hustle and bustle of the London crowds mixed with Christmas markets, fairground rides and skating always gives me such a Christmassy feeling inside.


Hobbledown 


A couple of days ago I took number five along for lunch with Santa at Hobbledown where he got to meet Santa, decorate a gingerbread man and have his lunch.

This is unfortunately only on for a limited time and how now finished but there is still plenty going on and a trip to Santa who by the way always has a fabulous outfit would be a lovely day out. 

Chessington World Of Adventures

Winters Tail at Chessington is a really lovely day out that we have done many times.

A selection of rides are open to enjoy as well as the Sealife centre, Santa is there to visit and each year there are different activities to try.

If you want to make it a really special trip then an overnight stay in the hotel would make it a wonderful Christmas treat.

Priory Farm


Priory Farm is fabulous at anytime of year and at this time of year their famous discovery walk takes on a Christmas theme, there is a little train ride on the visit to Santa, the shop is stacked full of wonderful food, gifts and decorations and the cafe is a must stop for outstanding eats.

London Tranport Museum


Now this is a place that I would not associate Christmas with but we have been invited along this weekend to visit Santa as he finishes his journey on the Noth Pole Express. 

As well as this the children can take part in a quiz as you wander around the museum.

It sounds like something very different and a transport fans dream! I can’t wait to let you know how it goes.

Afternoon Tea On B-Bus


Imagine being able to eat a yummy afternoon tea sitting on an old routemaster bus whilst taking in the sights of London.

This is exactly what the B-Bus has to offer and I will be sampling this for myself soon. 

This really sounds like the most wonderful way to spend a Christmas afternoon.

I would love to know if you try any of these places out and what you think about them.

Taking Five In The Poppies

After a morning of never ending housework, badly behaved children and a monumental change to our Counrty as we know it I decided to pack up a bit of lunch and take the youngest two out in the fresh air and forget about the dreadful morning I had just had.

The other day I had spotted a field of poppies not far from me that looked perfect to explore and take some photos. I adore flowers in their natural surrounding and I know I would love this as much as the lavender fields we visit several times in the summer.

I wasn’t entirely sure if we should have been in the field and the boys were not to happy with me pulling them across a huge muddy area that filled their Crocs with grit and dirt.

Once they were in they loved looking at the vibrant colours that seemed to span for miles.

I only had my phone with me unfortunatly so I think we may need another trip back with my camera very soon.


Toddler Christmas Lunch At Hobbledown

For the first time last year we took a visit to Hobbledown in Epsom, Surrey for their wonderful Toddler Lunch With Santa.

After a terrible journey due to horrendous traffic I arrived with two very miserable toddlers!  I booked in through the screaming and made our way to the play barn, found a table and thankfully peace was restored.


  
After a good run around in the brilliant soft play area that also has a cafe to serve a much needed coffee a friendly elf came to lead us into the cosy hut where we would be meeting Santa.

The children all sat at the table while cute gingerbread men were handed out for the children to decorate.



Following this a yummy packed lunch was served whist Santa made his grand appearance to sit with us whist we ate.


  
The children were then called up one at a time to have a chat and collect a present from Santa.


  
Nice and full we waved goodbye and went to have a look at Santa’s reindeer and a couple of very cute donkeys, and then finally had a run about in the huge sandpit before heading home.



This is such a wonderful day out for toddlers with a real mix of things to do.  You also have the option of paying for entry to the rest of Hobbledown which is a really good day out with plenty to explore.

The only issue I had is that it is listed as simply a craft activity on the internet so number five couldn’t actually take part due to his allergies.  If I had known in advance this is something I could have provided my self so that he didn’t feel left out.