Spooky Days Out In Surrey

When it comes to Halloween things have got a lot bigger and better since I was a child.  I only have memories of my Mum refusing to let us trick or treat as she saw it as begging and turning the lights off so she didn’t have to answer the door!!

Thankfully she has mellowed as the grandchildren have come along and it is now one of our favourite times of year.

I love to do a few spooky themed activities over the holidays and below are a few of our favourites.

National Trust

For those of you who follow my blog you will know that I am a massive National Trust fan.  They put on cheap, outdoorsy events that never fail to please.

We have visited Morden Hall and Chartwell House in the past and have taken part in spooky bug hunts, pumpkin carving and an array of other fantastic crafts. 

  

  

I’m sure that they will not disappoint this year and we will definatly be popping along to see what they have to offer.

Chessington World Of Adventure 

Who wouldn’t love an adrenaline filled day out with some super scary activities thrown in.

We have visited Chessington World Of Adventure both during the day and stayed on for the later session and both have been fantastic.

For us it covers all ages and the scare factor can be as much or as little as you like.  

I love the spooky walkways that you are guided through by wonderful actors and who would want too miss out on a thrilling ride on the Vampire at the spookiest time of year.

   
   

The whole theme park is decorated wonderfully and it looks like this year is going to top them all with the addition of the Trick Or Treat Woods and The Curse Of The Lost Tomb Maze.

Priory Farm

Priory Farm is a must for those of you with younger children who want to join in with the celebrations without to much of the fear factor.

You can take a walk around the discovery walk answering the quiz questions as you go and stopping at the end to collect your prize, hop onboard the tractor to go and collect your perfect pumpkin or pop into the witches cave to find even more pumpkins and a nifty kit to help your create your masterpiece.

   
   

Another non Halloween perk of Priory Farm is their wonderful cafe.  I can safely say that they offer the best farm shop food I’ve ever had!!

Garsons Farm

Last year was the first year we picked our own pumpkins and it will now be a yearly tradition.  We all loved trapsing through the filed trying to find the biggest and roundest pumpkins we could.

Garson Farm had a great selection in the fields or if you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty then they have a massive selection in their wonderful garden centre and farm shop.

We didn’t take part in any of their activities but they have a great colouring competition, cupcake decorating and goul and ghost hunt all overseen by beautiful magical princess that will be floating around for the children to say hi to.

   
     

I hope I have given you all a few ideas here.  Please let me know if you give any of these places a try as I would love to hear your thoughts.
  

Sunny Sunday At Godstone Farm

  
With such a hit and miss Summer weather wise this year we took the opportunity to visit Godstone Farm in Surrey on this wonderfully sunny day. 

We are lucky enough to have this fabulous farm only twenty minutes drive from home; but it is well worth a drive out to as you can have a full day here as there is so much on offer.

Our first port of call is always the petting area as mine love nothing more than getting hands on and getting to know the animals.  They had a great time holding the chicks and stroking the rabbits.  It took a good while to prize number five away from the chickens.

   
 

From here we moved onto the bigger animals and the boys loved shooting the feed down the tubes to feed the sheep and goats.

   
 

In between visiting the animals there are several small play areas that the children can hop on and ride toy tractors, wizz down slides and clamber into big wooden cars. 

  

 

Soft play is always a big hit with all mine and they are never disappointed with the large area that Godstone has to offer.  They had a great time climbing and sliding whist we grabbed a coffee.

A relatively new attraction to the farm is the Dino Trail.  Number five is a massive dinosaur fan so this is a very welcome addition for us.  We walked through the trail where the huge dinosaurs are nestled amongst the undergrowth for you to spot, there are lots of fun facts to read on the way round and some big bones to excavate. 


  

We only had the youngest two with us today but the huge playground area is always the biggest draw for my brood. There is a massive sandpit that we build sandcastle and burried number four in, a brilliant climbing wall that leads to a super steep slide and so much more than I can mention.

   
     

We only had a limited amount of time here today as we had the others to collect but we could have happy stayed and eaten at the lovely cafe which serves a good selection of hot and cold food and yummy cakes and taken a ride on the tractor to take in the sights on four wheels.

We will be visiting again very soon and hope to get along in the half term holiday to join in with their spooky Halloween events. 

   
  

Surviving Back To School With Her Old School Bag

  

The school summer holidays near an end and so starts the restock before the children all return to school.  Crisp new uniform, shiny new shoes, pencil cases full to the brim and the spanking new school bag and lunch box.

Every year I make sure they have everything they want and need, at as you can all imagine a hefty cost.

So this year to the absolute horror of number three I only bought what was really needed, even the school bags and lunch boxes.  I was looked at like I had dropped off another planet!!  “What Mum we have to have a new bag and lunch box, everyone does”.  

The guilt set in and her little face was pulling on my heat strings.  I then looked over at her perfectly good satchel and lunch box that had only been bought a few month before the end of school term due to her losing the last one and held firm.

Freeing up some money that would normally have been spent on replacing unnecessary items left us able to enjoy a few more treats over the holidays which I know they will remember a lot more then new uniform.

School has been back in full swing now and there has not been a mention at all about her uniform and I have a few more pennies on my pocket.

Our Last Summer Fete Of The Year

For anyone that knows me they will know that one of my top summer activities is visiting village fairs.  I love the feeling of stepping back in time and the simple fun of things like the coconut shy, lucky dips and tombolas.

With the last Bank Holiday upon us we set off to visit the Donkey Derby in Godstone, Surrey.  It was everything I love about a village fair, lots of stalls to browse, cream tea tents, Punch and Judy and the added bonus of the donkey races.

   
   

The children loved picking a donkey to cheer long and watched them race over the finish line.  They sat mesmerised at the Punch and Judy show and had a couple of rides on the monkey swings.

We had our obligatory cream tea under canvas while the children tried their hand at hand spinning and now  know where the song ‘wind the bobbin up’ comes from.

   
   

The highlight of number five’s day was the ornate wooden organ that he stood by for ages dancing to and popping pennies into the pot.

   

It was a lovely way to round off the summer holidays and now roll on the Christmas markets. 
  

Actimel ‘Back To School’ Workshop And Yoga Challenge

A couple of weeks ago the lovely people at Actimel invited us along to the mindfulness and yoga workshop they were holding in East London to celebrate the launch of their new yummy yogurt drinks.  I took number three and four with me, but was a little sceptical as to how well number four was going to behave!

I have only ever practiced yoga during my last two pregnancies, but found it a great way to really focus my mind and helped a great deal towards a much calmer and easier labour.  It is always something I have considered for the children as they tend to easily lose focus easily and would love to see if this had any impact on their learning.  With number three returning to school and number four starting nursery this was a perfect event for us.

Once we had arrived and had a super healthy breakfast at the yoga centre we set to work at practicing our yoga moves and learning the importance of breathing techniques.  The children remained engaged throughout and really enjoyed learning something new.  Next up we got to make some fabulous smoothies with the new flavours that Actimel had to offer mixed with lots of fresh fruit.  It is a fantastic way to get the children to start their day and I always find they are happier about trying new things when they have helped to prepare it themselves.  Number four was especially taken with the glow in the dark bottles and couldn’t wait to go home to try them out.


    

With five children to contend with in the morning it may be a challenge in itself to get the yoga challenge done before school, but with some new rules being implemented for September in our household the time they would spend sitting watching cartoons will now be used to fit in couple of yoga moves each morning.


    

We have started the challenge this week and have already seen a marked improvement in the children’s behaviour and is lovely to have ten minutes together to start the day.  Thank you so much for Actimel for inviting us along to your wonderful event and opening our eyes to something new.


We were invited along to take part in this event to try out Actimels new product.  All views are my own honest opinion.

Wicked Wednesday’s:Cake Review Disaster¬†

 
If any of you follow my blog you will have probably noticed by now that the majority of parenting fails and kid disasters normally fall at the hands of number four.

He has excelled himself this week by getting hold of the cake I was reviewing for Baker Days and completely defaced it!!  Luckily enough I had managed to get some pictures before the demon child attacked.  
  

Our Very First Blogging Event

Since starting blogging just over six months ago I have been completely taken in by everything the blogging world has to offer.  I love meeting new people through social media, getting inspiration from other people’s great blogs and trying out new things that I can then review and pass on mine and the children’s thoughts to others.

As silly as I probably seem I was thrilled to receive an email the other day inviting us to a blogging event at Centrale Croydon.

On reading the email it sounded like a real fun packed day that the kids would love and I would love writing about.  Then the fear set in!  What would I wear? Would the children behave? Does this now make me a ‘real’ blogger? 

My fears we quashed as soon as I made my way to the Build A Bear Workshop where our day was starting.  I was greeted by some other lovely bloggers and their great children and just knew from then on I was going to love the day.

   
 

An exited group of children made their way inside the brightly coloured shop and were met by the super friendly, bubbly staff.  Name labels were given out and they were then sent off to pick their very own bear from a huge range that would cover any child’s taste.

  
We settled for a minion, fluffy bunny and a rainbow coloured teddy.  The children were then allowed to go up one at a time to help stuff their bears whilst taking part in lots of fun games to keep them amused.

   
       

Number three and four had a fantastic experience that I would recommend to anybody.  Number five on the other hand decided to fulfill my fear of badly behaved children and cried and moaned through the whole experience!  The staff were not fazed in the slightest and tried their best to involve him in the fun.

   
 

From here they had all worked up a good appetite so we made our way round the corner to an ice cream parlour called Gelatos.  

Again we were greeted with a smile and seated in the funky purple booths, where we chose our lunch from a vast selection of hot and cold food, hot and cold drinks and lots of supper scrummy waffles, sundaes and milkshakes.

   
     

Normally places like this are off limits to us due to number fours allergies; here they were not a problem and they catered for everything.  They managed to find a suitable lunch for him that was then finished off with a yummy sorbet.  Number two and five had a delicious panini, a big scoop of icecream and a georgous Oreo milkshake.

  

  

  

Our last port of call was to go and take a look around the beauty and photography studio Hello Georgous.  Number three who is a complete diva was thrilled with everything she saw and was looking on in awe of the girls there having their nails done and waiting for their special photo shoots.

We have been booked in for a mother and daughter manicure and can’t wait to let you all know how our day goes.

All in all apart from the tantruming toddler we all had a fantastic day and loved every minute of our experience. Any element of the day would have made a brilliant birthday party or special treat for your little ones.  The teddies have already been on a trip away with us and we will be booking in our girly day very soon, which I’m sure we will finish off with another trip to have a sneaky ice cream!

  
   
 

  

  

  

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.

  

  

  

IKEA:My Holiday Saviour

I don’t know what it is about the gigantic blue and yellow building that my kids love; but for a cheap trip out during the holidays it is always a winner.

I think for the kids it’s the big winding path filled with life sized playrooms that they can play in, lots of desks that they can sit themselves at and pretend to be playing on the computer, the kids area that they can ask for absolutely everything to make up their dream room.


  

For me it is the ridiculously cheap restaurant that today I feed six of us for under ¬£10 to celebrate my Mum’s birthday.  We really know how to treat her!  And the playground outside that can be used as a bribe for good behaviour whilst we wait in the queue.