Finding New Places To Explore:Chipstead Mead Playground

I have come to the conclusion that I am allergic to being indoors!

I literally go stir crazy being at home and am always looking for new places to get out and about with the children.

My Dad had been out on his bike and came across a new playground in Chipstead Village so we went along to check it out today.

It was still thick with frost when we arrived and we spend a good while shooting pebbles across the frozen pond.


Tucked away just behind the pond is a lovely new playground with beautiful wooden equipment that I would say is most suited to under 10’s although there is a cool looking zip wire and a pretty high climbing frame that would be good for older children too.


We stayed for a good while checking everything out and number five throughly enjoyed climbing, swinging and running around.


We stopped for a while and hid away in one the little hideaways to have a little bit of coffee shop role play before heading home to warm up with a proper coffee!


This was a great little find for us and we will be back for some more exploring very soon.

A Park Cafe Ready For Any Weather 

  

Today we thought we would make the most of the good weather and take a trip to Pistaschios In The Park, Banstead.

We have been regulars to this park for some time and love the spacious cafe with a great ajoining playground.

Today I meet with the lovely new manager Javid who showed me the fabulous new addition of a soft play area for toddlers which has made an extra bonus to an already great cafe.

  
   

They serve a selection of great hot and cold foods and fab coffee that I can vouch for.  

With the weather being so good today we couldn’t say no to a delicious ice cream and a yummy lolly that was perfect for number four’s allergies.

   
 

The only downside up until now has been the problem with water logging in the playground. I love getting out and about and covered in mud, but when it comes to puddles at the end of slides and under climbing frames it not so much fun! Thankfully this problem has now been resolved with a fabulous all weather surface covering the entire playground.

  
 
The children enjoyed climbing, swinging and slidding to their hearts content and it was only number five that managed to find and fall into the only puddle in the whole playground!

   
    

This Easter Monday they are having an Easter raffle which is being announced at 11 and some more Easter fun to join in with too!

So why not take a trip this weekend and try out the great new facilities.  As the title of this post suggests this cafe is no perfect no matter what weather is thrown at us.

I would love to know what you all think of it so please let me know.

        
 

Center Parcs:The Perfect Family Holiday

I first visited Center Parcs twenty one years ago when Longleat was opened and have been there nearly every year since.

It is the kind of place you simply can’t tire of and had something to offer if you are 1 or 101!!

If you were to ask any of my children what their favourite hoilday is they will always pick Center Parcs as the top of their list, well baring Disney (sorry)!

Over the years we had had trips where we have taken part in lots of activities and others where we have relaxed more and made use of exploring the wonderful surroundings Longleat is set in.

  
We always hire bikes when we go as it is the easiest way to travel from place to place, and much more fun than walking.  It’s a great place to practice your cycling as the roads are car free once everyone has checked in and there is not the worry that you would get riding a bike at home.  If cycling is not your your thing then there is a land train that you can hop onboard.

We always get a trailer for the youngest ones which doubles up perfectly as a shopping cart!

 
  
We usually grab our bikes and head off to our favourite resturant, The Pancake House.  This year was made extra special by an allergy free pancake being put on the menu so number four was not left out.

   

  

  

  

Tummies now full we made our way to our lodge to get settled in.  This year we were greeted with the usual open plan, cosy lodge nestled in the woodland with all the things you need from any self catering accommodation.  To our delight our lodge was set right onto a beautiful large pond which was perfect for on tap duck feeding.

   
     

     

The children were now champing at the bit to get to the pool which is a favourite for everyone.  They have a well set out area for babies and toddlers, a large pool area that has a wave machine on the hour that leads into a great lazy river, several water slides, jacuzzis to relax in; but our firm favourite is the Rapids.  It is an outdoor slide adventure that I love more than the children!

  
This year the children picked one activity each and we filled the rest of our time with bike riding, swimming, playing on the beach and making use of all the playgrounds on offer.

   
  

         

Number four had his first outdoor activity this year which was the Mini Trek.  He had a fantastic time and thought he was on ‘Ninja Warrior’.

   
    

 

‘Super Grandad’, hubby, number two and number three all took part in the High Ropes Challange.  This was a two hour activity and they loved every minute of it.

   
       

Last of the activities was the Arieal Adventure. This has changed slightly this year but was still the firm favourite.

   
       

As far as eating goes at Center Parcs we have always found the restaurants really good value for money and there is plenty of choice.

   

We usually eat in a lot as it is easier with a large family with young children and ours love to make use of the barbecue area at the lodge.  There is a supermarket on site with mini trollies which are always a highlight.  The supermarket has everything you could want but is very pricy so I would suggest bringing your own good if you were trying to save money by making use of the self catering.

   
 

   
 

We always have tears when we have to end of trip and I can hand on heart say that Center Parcs can’t be faulted.  It is the perfect family holiday and the fact we have visisted for over twenty years should just show you what a truly fabulous place it is. 

           
  

  

  

The Sun Was Shining On The Baby Race

I felt terrible this morning as I woke the house up at 6am on a Sunday to make our way to Bluewater for me to take part in Tommys Baby Race again this year.  It was a wonderfully sunny morning and the promise of a trip to the playground and the Lego shop at Bluewater was enough for them to forgive me.

This will be my third year of competing in this race and I love every minute of it.

We arrived to the lovely ladies from Baby Sensory putting on a warm up for the toddlers.  Number four was to interested in the balloon man to take part but number five loved the bubbles and beach ball throwing!!
      

To warm up the Mums and Dads the super energetic Buggfit leader took to the stage and gave us all an upbeat, fun warm up, and my husband and children always find their massively uncoordinated mother hilarious to watch!


Once the warm up was complete it was time to make our way over to the start line.  The route had changed this year and it was to complete six laps of the beautiful lake.  This was better for the children as there were bubble machines and music on the way round plus lots of ducks to spot.  I also found it an easier course too,  which can’t be bad.


I’m not sure how long it took me to complete the course as I was trying to keep number four from getting in the way of the start as we set off but I was over the moon to come in second place and receive a much appreciated goodie bag, voucher for my place to spend at Bluewater and best of all a much needed complementary bottle of water.


I take part in this race for so many reasons.  Firstly as it is for a wonderful  charity that brings hope to so many families out there. I like to hope that the money I raise each year will go to helping more people during times that I can’t even begin to imagine being in.  It is a real day out for all the family and whilst I am taking part the children can play in the playground and take a walk around the lake looking for fish and feeding the ducks.  My husbands favourite part of the day is going into the fantastic shopping centre and getting a big breakfast which is his reward for the early start!


           I would like to thank everyone that has taken the time to sponsor me this year and if anybody is still wanting to donate to my Just Giving page it will still be open for another few months.

There are still several Baby Races being put on by Tommys across the county this year if anyone feels like joining in after reading this post, or I would be more than happy for some company when I take part again next year.