Pumpkin Picking At Secretts Of Milford

I had a mini meltdown the other day as I had missed our annual day out pumpkin picking at Priory Farm. It is one of our favourite things to do at this time of year and so I went on the hunt for somewhere else we could visit.

I stumbled across Secretts Of Milford and thought that it would make the perfect place to explore this half term.

After a short drive we arrived at the garden centre to a pretty packed carpark which I was a little apprehensive about but I needn’t have worried as after a short while queuing we made our way into the event field that was full of things to do from face painting to fairground rides, tractor rides and a favourite for mine – corn blasting!

We headed straight to the tractor ride that lead us into the jam packed pumpkin fields, full of pumpkins of all different shapes, sizes and colours. The children didn’t know where to look first and spent ages racing through the fields and selecting their perfect pumpkin.

We hopped back on the tractor and grabbed a bite to eat which was very fitting with the theme with hot dogs, pumpkin soup, pumpkin curry and pumpkin cake. There was plenty on indoor and outdoor space to sit and relax while the children enjoy the freedom of the open space and even a hay fight or two!

Secretts made for an amazing day out and we will certainly be back to visit next year!

Making Arla Organic Free Range Milk Part Of Our Everyday Routine

My husband jokes that it would be cheaper and easier to buy a cow for our home due to the vast quantities of milk we go through each and every day. From breakfast to our evening meals there is rarely a meal that doesn’t include it. Milk is certainly a staple in our house that we couldn’t live without and after a trip to an Arla dairy farm last year it gave me a completly different outlook to how I view this rather amazing product!

I was certainly the kind of person that didn’t give my choice a milk more than a few seconds thought. I would simply throw a full fat for the little ones, a semi skimmed for the adults and a dairy free for Frankie into the trolley and off to the tills I would go.

All of Arla’s milk is free range and sourced only from British farms. The cows are all free range and where possible grazed on organically farmed land. The wellbeing of their cattle is of upmost importance and this is one of the many reason I choose to buy Arla Organic Milk.

I always start the day with a big bowl of porridge along with the majority of the family. There are varying topping of choice from healthier options such as blueberries and strawberries to naughtier hazelnut spread!

Arla is the perfect milk to kick off our day with and works perfectly with our porridge.

Having a large family and working from home can sometimes feel like I’m in a hamster wheel that I can’t get out of so I always try to take five minutes out of my day to switch off to everything and grab a cup of tea. This usually means a quick stop off at the supermarket after the school run in the morning (Arla Organic Milk comes in handy 2L bottles) and take solace in the garden – sometimes with a sneaky piece of cake!

One of my favourite ways to incorporate Arla Milk into our meals though is with my creamy rice pudding recipe that I have left below.

The richness of the whole milk is the prefect choice and something my whole family love:

125g pudding rice
600ml Arla organic whole milk
50ml single cream
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp grated nutmeg
2 tbsps sugar

Place the rice into a medium sized saucepan and pour in the milk, cream and vanilla extract. Bring all this to the boil and then simmer.

Cook the rice ensuring you stir regularly for 20/25 mins. The aim is for the rice to be plump and the liquid reduced.

Add the sugar and nutmeg and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Once it is completely dissolved give it a good stir and serve covered with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Using Arla Organic Milk allows me to know that my family are getting all the goodness they can from a milk plus I have the feel good factor that comes from knowing it is coming from happy cows and the money I am spending is going straight into the farmers pocket.

Is buying Arla Organic milk something you already do or something you would consider?

*Collaborated post

Making The Most Of My Last Few Pre-School Months At Godstone Farm

To those of you who follow my blog regularly it will be of no surprise that I’m having a mini breakdown over Oscar going to school this September. After twenty years of ‘Mums and Toddlers’ groups, countless trips to the park and library visits you would have thought that shipping my last one off to school would be a welcome break but this is far from the way I’m feeling right now.

Due to this is have declared Wednesday as mine and Oscars day of fun. A whole day to ourselves doing things we love and building memories.

We kicked our first week off with a trip to Godstone Farm. I have visited this farm since I was a child myself and have many happy memories of trips here, but over the past few years our visits have become far less frequent and I was still egar to see what they had going on now.

We did the school run and arrived at the farm around 10am and were greeted by a gaggle of geese as we made our way to our first port of call – the animal handling area.

Oscar’s face lit up as he got to meet lots of cute chicks and fluffy bunnies, one of which he got the chance to hold.

After a good while of exploring and plenty of requests to take one home we made our way round to see the bigger animals.

I fell in love with the piglets and Oscar took a liking to the cheeky goats that he had great fun feeding with the super cool pulley system.

From here we hopped on board the tractor for a quick ride around the farm. It was lovely to get another perspective and it’s always so much fun when you’re bouncy around on four wheels!

It was time to stop for a bit of lunch and at Godstone Farm there are plenty of places to stop for a picnic if you have brought your own food along or a delightful tearoom where you can get delicious hot or cold food served by the super friendly staff.

It was the perfect pit stop for use to grab a coffee and of course no day out would be complete without a yummy ice cream!

Godstone Farm has much more to offer then just a visit to see the animals and we both throughly enjoyed hunting for dinosaurs on the Dino Trail.

Oscar tried his hand at palaeontology and excavated some dinosaurs bones, spotted lots of different dinosaurs and just a few times at the sound effects that set off as you pass.

If this wasn’t enough fun we then headed to the new Wiglet’s Play Village which is an amazing indoor space for little ones that is the perfect place for role play. There is a great construction area where Oscar donned his hard hat and built a fort, baked me a cake in the kitchen and tended to his pets in the vets.

There was also a completely separate area for babies, a train track table that Oscar loved and a foam ball area where they could shoot them around to their hearts content.

He had such a great time in there that we didn’t even get a chance to visit the Play Barn that is a much larger area with huge slides, climbing areas and rides ons to enjoy.

Farms trips to me though are definitely about the outdoor play and Godstone Farm has this by the bucketload!

There are areas all over the farm where they can climb aboard bikes and tractors and rush around as much as they like and a huge play area at the top of the farm which had just about everything a child could wish for.

Oscar played in sandpit for a good while before playing ‘Ninja Warrior’ on the slides and obstacle courses and finished off the day speeding down the sledge run that I have to admit I couldn’t resist a sneaky go on.

We had an absolutely amazing day at Godstone Farm and it really did make for the perfect term time trip. The farm was relatively quiet which is great for impatient little ones and something to keep them amused whatever the weather and whatever their likes.

This has certainly been added to our list of favourites and we will be back again very soon!

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

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.

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.

Christmas Days Out In Surrey

For me it’s not actually Christmas Day that is the best part of the season, it’s the whole lead up to it and the wonderful days out that can be had before the day itself.

Here are a few of my favourite places in Surrey that we love to visit:

Bocketts Farm

We have just had a wonderful Halloween trip to Bocketts Farm last month and Christmas time is just as great.

   
 

Here you can find all the fun that the farm usually has to offer such as feeding the animals, the wonderful soft play and ride on tractors and vast outdoor play area.

   
     

Our favourite pig race still runs aswell as the tractor rides around the farm, and you also get the added bonus of a wonderfully decorated farm and coffee shop and the option of adding in a trip to see Father Christmas.

   
 

Morden Hall National Trust

My favourites list would not be complete without a National Trust mention.

We love to visit Morden Hall that offers a variety of different activities over the Christmas period.  We went last year to visit their wonderful food market that served wonderful hot food and gifts a plenty.

  
We took a walk around the beautiful grounds and warmed up inside where they had plenty of crafts to keep everyone busy.

   
       

If you fancy a longer walk from here you can visit Deen City Farm which is small, but has enough for the children to have a look at and all they ask for is for a donation.

 

Christmas At Kew

For the first time last year we visited Christmas At Kew. This shouldn’t really be in with Surrey trips but I couldn’t leave it out!!  All I can say is the whole evening is truly spectacular.  The whole gardens are alight with beautifully different areas that give you a suprise around every corner.

   
       

At the end of the trail was a splendid old fashioned fair with small rides for the children and lots of yummy food.

   
   

The walk changes each year so book up and see what this year has in store.

Lunch With Santa At Hobbledown

I was going to keep this one a secret as after over eighteen years of trips to visit Santa this has been my favourite!

Hobbledown has lots on offer over Christmas but if you have toddlers then this is a must.

  
You start the session wearing them out for a while in the huge softplay area and from there you are lead into a magical room for some lunch and craft making.

  
Father Christmas then makes his entrance and calls the children up one by one to receive there gift.

   
 

For me the old fashioned take on Christmas makes this so special and we are already booked up for this year!!

Christmas Trail At Priory Farm

If you fancy walking off some of those extra pounds you put over over the Christmas period then Priory Farm is perfect.

  
The discovery walk takes on a Christmas theme and is great for getting in some fresh air and getting the kids some exercise.

   
   

There is the chance to see Father Christmas or simply take a short ride past his grotto on the Christmas train.

  
As I’ve mentioned many times the cafe here offers wonderful food for you to fill up on after a long walk and of course a trip to the farm shop for some yummy treats is a must .

  
Christmas At Chessington World Of Adventure

If you want a full day out then Chessington World Of Adventure is a great place to go. 

  
They have a small selection of rides open, you can walk around and see all the animals that they have to offer including the fab petting zoo and you can then warm up whilst having a look around the Sealife Centre.

   
     

You can add on a trip to Father Christmas whist you are there but it’s not something we have had the pleasure of doing yet.

  

After our wonderful overnight stay there over Halloween I can highly recommend making a weekend of it and staying over as the hotel and its facilities are fantastic and one the children will absolutely love.

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we have a few different trips planned that I would love to share with you all.

Wizards And Witches At Bocketts Farm 

It was the perfect day for a trip to the farm today with this beautiful autumn sunshine.  

I only had the two little ones today so Mum and Dad joined us as we set off to Bocketts Farm in Surrey.  We have visited here once before but this was a special trip to see what had been put on to celebrate Halloween.

   
 

On arrival we were given a spooky quiz to fill out on our way around the other attractions that could then be handed in to the pretty pumpkin who was handing out treats for completing the quiz.

We arrived in perfect timing to walk straight into the wizard’s magic show.  Number four is massively into magic at the moment so this was perfect for him.  

   
 

He kept all the children engaged throughout the show and there was lots of audience participation which is always great when there is a young audience.  Number four was in awe throughout and is still questioning how his wallet set on fire!!

We played in the indoor play area which is normally one of my pet hates, but the boys loved riding on the tractors and bikes, climbing through the soft play and whizzing down the huge slides.

   
 

All the areas were spotlessly clean and well inclosed which is a must for my escape artists!

The boys then had a quiet five minutes in the craft area where they made some cool witches hats to get even more of a feel for the Halloween theme.

   
   

Next up we made our way out to the animals.  The boys had a wonderful time petting the rabbits and Guinea pigs, feeding the sheep, goats and cows and looking at the super cute piglets that had not long been born.

   
         

We made good use of the vast outdoor play area with the air pillows being the biggest hit!

   
   

The boys were finally prized away when there was a call for the start of the pig races.  They had a brilliant time cheering them on and number four was more than happy when ‘Bradley Piggins’ came in first place!

  

Hungry from the busy morning we made our way to the tea rooms for some lunch.  There are a wide range of hot and cold foods and a really good children’s menu that offers more than just the normal sandwich or nugget meal.

  

Number five tucked into a yummy macaroni cheese while my little allergy boy was well catered for with a hot meal to keep him going.

We finished our day with a peek at the creepy crawlies in the reptile tent that had been bought along from Amazing Animal Encounters and a trip around the farm on a tractor ride which included a creepy wood especially for Halloween.  The boys loved all the lumps and bumps on the way round whilst the adults took in the stunning views.

     
     

We had a fabulous day at a fantastically run farm with super friendly and helpful staff who’s passion for the farm and the animals really shone through. 

If you are looking for Halloween themed day out for your little ones then Bocketts is the perfect place to go for the fun side of Halloween rather than a scare factor.  The Wizards and Witches event runs until 1st November and got a massive thumbs up from us.

   
 

We were given entrance to Bocketts Fsrm for the purpose of this review and these are my own honest opinions.

We Made It To The Pumpkin Fields

By the end of this week you will all be fed up with my feed as this is one of my favourite times of the year and I try to cram as many Halloween related trips into the half term as I can!

If you have read my previous post on Priory Farm you will know that I had got the wrong day for picking so on Sunday we headed to Garsons Farm in Esher to pick out our favourite pumpkins.

  

After several split and misshapen pumpkins were selected by the kids and then rejected by me we got one that was just perfect.

   

  

  

 

It’s so much fun to be able to show the children how they are grown and cost no one than buying one from your local supermarket.

   

 

We popped over to the other field and got ourselves some juicy sweetcorn which is something that none of us had ever picked before.

   
 

As well as the pumpkins and corn Garsons has a huge selection of other things to pick from apples to marrows and even strawberries!

Once you are done with your picking you can take a look around the huge garden centre and coffee shop or pick yourself up some scrummy food in the well stocked farm shop.  The cheese straws from the bakery section come highly recommended from us.

This week if you chose to visit you might be able to spot the Pumpkin Fairy flying around whist your there!
  

Haunted Halloween At Priory Farm

  

Today didn’t go quite as planned.  We set off today to have a tractor ride to pick our own pumpkins at Priory Farm but due to my poor organisation skills we were a week late!!

This was not a problem as there was so much to keep us occupied we soon forgot about it.

One of the best features that Priory Farm has to offer is the discovery walk that has a spooky twist in it at this time of year.  The children can collect their quiz sheet at the kiosk and work their way round the walk answering questions and exploring everything it has to offer.

   
   

Their are pumpkins hanging in trees to count, broomsticks hiding in the orchard and spiders lurking in the woods that all need hunting out.

   
     

As well as the spooky quiz there are tunnels to explore and plenty of hungry fish to feed.

   
   

As our trip was originally to collect our pumpkins a trip to the Witches Cave was a must.  There was a creepy tunnel to walk through and hundreds of different pumpkins to choose from.

   
         

We rounded off our day with a trip to the coffee shop where we had the most wonderful homemade cake whilst the kids got on with some Halloween themed colouring.

  

All the Halloween fun will be going on over the half term and I highly recommend a visit with your little devils.