Discovering Croydon’s Heritage Festival

Croydon was my Mother’s birthplace and home to my secondary school so it is an area that has been part of my life for many years. 

I have noticed huge changes to the area over time, so when we were asked to come along and join in the celebrations of the Croydon Heritage Festival I was happy to take a trip to see what was going on.  

Croydon is undergoing a huge regeneration project at the moment and events such as this help people to understand how things are moving forward to create a better future for the ever growing community whist educating people on the important and colourful days of times past.

With community spirt as a whole dwindling with people’s lives become busier and more insular as a whole,  events like this really bring people together to create some much need community spirit.

This is the fourth festival of its kind and this years focus was on ‘Undiscovered Croydon’.  From the 18th-26th June people have the opportunity to take part in a whole host of activities from looking at exhibitions, listening to talks, trying their hand at workshops and much more.

Saturday was the grand opening and the town centre was alive with people grabbing delicious food from the many stalls, kids rushing around taking part in the family themed activities that were on offer and crowds of people enjoying the music and performances put on by some extremely talented people that had taken to the main stage.


Inside the Whitgift Centre the children had great fun creating their own masterpiece on the interactive art cube. Next to this were some fantastic Victorian themed spyglasses the children could decorate, but unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop as we needed to move onto our next activity.


Feeling crafty we made our way up to Whitgift Wennies where number three and four took part in the mosaic tile workshop.


I had not come across this on my past visits to Croydon and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to try it out as it is a fantastic concept that is open to any child as the session are all complexly free.

Activity sessions are put on throughout the month which are posted to their website and are free to take part in.  Once you are a registered member you simply book your time slot and arrive with your membership card and get set to have some messy fun.

After all of their activities I had the chance to grab a little retail therapy and try out the recently launched dual branded Centrale and Whitgift gift card.  This can be used in 130 stores across the two shopping centres.


For me this would make the perfect gift as there is such a vast choice.  I’m sure is the same for many of you, birthdays have come around and you open a gift card to a store you never use and it a waste of time and money for everyone.  With this card everyone is covered from clothes and jewellery to toys or grabbing a bite to eat.

I treated myself to a couple of sale bargains in Topshop and treated the kids to a hot chocolate a huge slice of cake in House Of Fraser.

The opening of the festival may have been and gone but there are still plenty of activities to take part in.  I for one will be booking a tour of the Alms Houses as I have walked past this secret, gated area for years and have always wanted to discover what treasures are hidden behind the gates!   
* I was given a shopping centre gift card for the purpose of this review and they are all my own honest opinions.

Mum And Daughter Treat At Hello Gorgeous

  

 

A couple of weeks back we were invited to a fantastic event at Centrale Croydon.  One of our gifts was a Mother And Daughter manicure at Hello Gorgeous.  

Number three has been nagging at me to get it booked, so with my husband around to have the little ones I book in our special treat.

On arriving we were greeted with a beaming smile and the offer of a drink while we waited.  Number three was more than impressed that her squash was presented in a wine glass, making her feel like a real princess.

   
 

We made our way over to the monochrome beauty area where we were seated by our two super friendly beauticians that helped us to chose our perfect nail colour whist having a gossip.

   
   

We had a great couple of hours of time just to ourselves which is a rarity when you have five children.  We were made to feel really at home and will defiantly be coming back.

   
 

Hello Georgous is primarily a photo studio that offers great packages that include hair and make up to give you that extra special touch.

Number four is already planning a Birthday party there with a few of her friends! 

I was gifted a voucher from Hello Gorgeous and all opinions are my own.


  

Rainy Summer Holiday Trips In Surrey

I knew that my post on outdoor summer days in Surrey was tempting fate, and I was right!  A few days later we  have horrendous torrential rain.

For me a bit of rain never puts me off getting outside and to be honest all the places such as farms are empty which I love!  Unfortunately though even I have to give in sometimes and settle for indoor activities instead.

I’ve listed a few of my favourites for you here:

Mother Kitty’s

  

If you have under fives, nestled at the top of Rickman Hill in Coulsdon is a wonderful little softplay and vintage tea rooms called Mother Kitty’s perfect to relax and have a cup of tea whilst you watch the little ones play.

   
 

The soft play is only sutiable for under 5’s but I bring my older ones along as they are more than happy to sit and have a drink whist making use of the free wifi!!

  
If the weather holds out then there is a large park and playground that is great to have a run around in too.

Airhop

  

If you want your older ones to let off some steam and get away from their games consoles, Airhop is a fantastic place to visit.

Over 4’s can bounce around to their hearts content on the many trampolines, foam pits and basketball areas.

  
You need to book your hours session online and they do get full very quickly, so make sure you book well before your intended visit.

Little Street

I have only visited this fantastic place once, and it completely blew me away.  

The name says it all and once inside Little Street really is a mini town for your little ones to play to their hearts content.

   
 

They can do their shopping in the supermarket, go to the hairdressers, visit the doctors, pop to the cafe, drive up and down the street, work on the construction site and lots more.

   
   

This is a refreshing change to your run of the mill soft play area which I loved playing in as much as the kids.

   
 

You book your hours slot online as numbers are restricted to ensure your child can play in the best environment.

I couldn’t recommend this place more.  Really is a fantastic trip.

Honeywood Museum

We came across the Honeywood Museum last year after years of visiting Carshalton and were pleasantly surprised.

The entry is free and they simply ask for a donation as you leave.  The house is fasinating to explore and you can pick up question sheets from the front desk that the children can fill in as you walk around.

   
 
They put on regular craft sessions for the children that mine really loved taking part in.

I would suggest checking out their Facebook page to see what events they have going on before taking a visit.

  
Kidspace

Kidspace is a mega softplay area along the Purley Way in Croydon.

With a large age range in children places like this can sometimes be tricky for me, but this cover all ages for me.

There is a smaller area with a sensory play section, mini trampolines, climbing areas and slides that is sutiable for the little ones.

  
  
The main area homes a huge area that they can climb and slide around, a big ball shooting area, go carts and climbing walls.

   
   

It is more expensive than most soft plays, but it is worth the money.  

They have a lovely cafe serving hot and cold food that is a great addition to a great soft play.

The Lightbox

I love art and love to find places that the children can explore the arts in a fun yet educating way.

The Lightbox in Woking, Surrey is a small gallery perfect for children.  They  regularly change their exhibitions and always have something to capture the thoughts of little minds.

   

They have a craft room where they can get hands on and create their own masterpieces with the help of the lovely staff.

   
 

There is a all cafe serving a small selection of snacks and some wonderful homemade cakes.  Theses can be enjoyed in the beautiful garden to the front of the gallery of the weather is good.
I hope you have found something here that your children would love to visit; I would love to hear what you think.