“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…… a partridge in a pear tree.”
Everyone knows the traditional Christmas song of the 12 days of Christmas, right?
We all sing it and feel festive.
If you visit Lotherton Hall this Christmas, there’s an interactive 12 Days of Christmas Experience Walk.
The walk takes you around the grounds and gardens, and along it there’s an activity depicting each of the presents gifted in the classic song.
“On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…..two turtle doves….
Pull on the ropes and make the turtle doves fly…..
“On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…. three french hens….”
Make your way around the walk and see if you can find them all.
“Nine ladies dancing…..” (spin the ladies around to make them twirl and dance)
“Ten lords a’leaping”….
“Eleven pipers piping”….. (play the pipes to make Christmas music)
“twelve drummers drumming…… and a partridge in a pear tree!” 🙂 (stand behind and make the drummers drum via the strings)
When you’ve been through the walk (and hopefully spotted them all!), make sure you exit through the fairy village.
Tiptoe through gently, as you never know if the fairies are sleeping and you don’t want to scare them away!
down the steps, shhhhh and visit the fairies in their little homes…..
look, they even have an off licence and their own shops and houses….maybe you’ll see one emerging if you look hard enough?!
maybe they’re buying some wine to take and have a party when all the humans have gone home…
For your own festive treats, the courtyard near the main entrance has plenty of drinks and snacks so you can get yourself a mince pie.
All in all, a fantastic experience that kids (and adults!) will love.
The Christmas Experience is open until 23rd December.
If you fancy a break from the strains of modern life, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Beamish Museum, County Durham.
We took a day trip and travelled by train to Durham Chester le Street, where you can get buses that take you straight to the gates of Beamish.
We’d never been before, but as we’d had lots of people telling us how great it was, we were keen to visit for ourselves.
One thing you notice upon entering Beamish is that it’s truly like stepping back in time.
The entire place is open air, and has real farms and houses that you can enter and look round.
The staff are all dressed for the time as well, to add an even more authentic feel.
Although everywhere is in easy walking distance (the longest distance between places you’d have to walk is approx. 15 minutes, the quickest around 5 minutes) the best way to get around is by tram.
The trams run frequently and between all the different sites.
Our favourites were:
1900’s Pit Village
This village is dedicated to the mining community of the 1900s, and shows you what life was life back then.
You can enter the houses where the miners would have lived, and have a look around.
Then take a stroll along to the mines where they would have worked and view the lift shaft where they would have descended.
My two loved the school, and seeing how the children of the early 1900s would have worked and played.
No interactive whiteboards or exercise books and biros back then – it was chalk boards and slates all the way!
Much fun was also had trying to master the playground game of the time – rolling iron hoops around the playground, which sounded easy but has a certain knack to it!
Then it was time to take the tram to town, where rows of shops were waiting to be explored.
After a picnic in the town park, we visited the old fashioned sweetshop which was just as fantastic for the grown ups as the children!
Nostalgia alert as I located and bought my childhood favourites, a bag of sherbet lemons.
We also bought cola cubes, apple cubes and fruit jellies.
This is unsurprisingly a very popular shop, so expect a little bit of a queue!
You can also stop for a drink in the Sun Inn, which is a lovely pub with a roaring fire that was very nice to sit in front of seeing as it was cold outside when we visited.
The 1940s farm took you right back to the time of the 2nd World War upon entering, with some music playing on the wireless and all the décor of the era too.
The outdoor toilets were basically two wooden holes, and makes you thankful for the mod con lavatories we have nowadays!
We got to Beamish for opening time at 10am, and was there until it closed and had a lovely full day of visiting all the sites.
Definitely worth a visit for all ages, and great seeing how life and technology has advanced over the years.
We certainly want to visit again soon!
We were given a complimentary pass for this review. All words and opinions entirely my own.
When the sun’s shining, and you need a way to cool off, what better way is there than with a bit of swimming?!
Outdoor swimming, no less.
Situated just outside Ilkley, the lido has a beautiful scenery backdrop.
It was easy enough for us to find, and was pleasantly empty so we basically had the pool to ourselves.
The two children loved the fountain in the pool which made for great fun, and there was also a slide too.
The water isn’t heated though, so if you went on a less sunny day, you’d be shrieking from the cold and doing a comedy jump out of the pool! 🙂
Fortunately, there’s a heated indoor pool as well so if the weather’s bad you can head in there.
All that swimming worked up an appetite, and there’s a great café on site that sells hot food such as burgers and chips, cheesy chips (yum) and a selection of cold stuff too.
If you’re trying to save money though, or just fancy a picnic, there’s plenty of grassy areas to sit down at with a blanket, or at one of the picnic tables.
I couldn’t resist a burger and chips though.
We picked the perfect day for a spot of outdoor swimming, as the sun was blazing down.
Don’t forget the suncream as it’s easy to forget that it’s so hot when you’re in the cool water!
We’ll definitely be going back this summer.
More details about Ilkley Lido here
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Situated in the heart of Leeds city centre, vibrant Cabana proved a great antidote to the grey, dull rain filled skies outside when we visited.
A five minutes walk from Leeds train station and slap bang in the middle of the Trinity shopping complex, it’s very easy to get to which is good news for a non driver like myself.
On getting to the restaurant, we were shown to our seats where the children were supplied with crayons and activity sheets, which is always great with me as it keeps them amused whilst we wait for the food!
As we made ourselves comfy and ordered drinks, they were happily reading jokes and filling in wordsearches.
All the starters sounded delicious, but I eventually settled on the spicy ribs, which we all enjoyed trying! They were absolutely delicious, and came with a side portion of coleslaw. Make sure you have plenty of napkins though because if you’re anything like us, you’ll end up with half of it down your chin!
The children can order from their own special children’s menu, and there’s a great range of food to try from torrados to ribs for the more adventurous, to chicken breast or beefburgers for the more traditional palate.
My two plumped for the chicken breast burgers, which they thoroughly enjoyed and loved the novelty of the Brazilian flag waving proudly out of the top of the bun! Fries and the mini corn on the cob were well received and quickly disappeared too.
I also decided to have a burger, but in my case I went for the burger which had an added twist of beans and pulled pork as well as salad inside.
After we’d polished off our mains, the friendly waitress brought across the dessert menu. The children had a set meal where the price of the dessert is in with the meal.
(You get a soft drink, a main course and a dessert when you buy from the children’s menu.)
For £6.95, this is excellent value.
Froyo (frozen yoghurt) is what they had, and you pick your own toppings and sauce to decorate it and finish it off.
One had caramel sauce, the other had Smarties, which is just a couple of the many toppings which you could choose from.
I thoroughly enjoyed my ice cream and mango sorbet.
My one regret is that I didn’t have a cocktail from the gorgeous sounding cocktail range.
When I’m next in Leeds, I’m planning on rectifying this and having a nice, long cold one!
Definitely worth a visit for lunch when you’re out shopping.
If you’d like to visit the website, it’s here where you can see the menus (and cocktails!)
We were given complimentary meals in order to do this review. All opinions and words are strictly true and completely our own.
As a child of the 80s, many happy hours were spent playing computer games in the comfort of my bedroom.
At a time when computers were just coming out, it was great to play all these new games and beat your own personal score.
Games may have become more sophisticated now, but there’s still a thrill at playing all the old ones – nostalgia alert!
Which is why Game City in Nottingham is so brilliant.
Situated in the city centre of Nottingham, Game City has all the computer games of yesteryear, as well as more recent ones that children today will recognise and love.
Once inside the centre, you are given a wristband so that you can come and go from the game centre all day, enabling you to play all the games to your heart’s content.
That way you can come and go as you please and spend as much time as you like in there.
A whole day can easily be spent in there once you get playing the games!
I was jumping and down with glee when I saw that my favourite ever game when growing up was there. Space Invaders!
I used to love playing Space Invaders and blasting all the aliens. The original arcade game can be played, and it was great showing the 8 and 12 year old how to play via the old fashioned way with buttons.
There was also old favourites such as Pacman to play, and Ghostbusters.
Who ya gonna call?!
The two smalls were pleased to see their favourite character, Mario there and played Mario Kart on the Wii as there were computers from more recent times as well, so there’s something instantly recognisable for gamers of all ages.
Now THIS I remember from childhood Mario playing…. The Nintendo SNES!
If after a while you fancy a break from the screens, if you’re feeling brave enough there’s a Bucking Bronco that you can sit astride and try not to get thrown off.
I sat this one out, but the children loved it.
Hold on as long as you can and try not to get thrown off!
There’s also a great café on site to refresh yourselves after all that playing.
If you or your children (or both!) love playing computer games, you’ll absolutely love it at Game City as there’s just so many games to play and things to see.
Adults get the extra bonus of a trip down memory lane and a sense of nostalgia at the old games, and the younger children get to play all the games they know and love too whilst seeing Mum and Dad relive their youth and play computer games too!
A brilliant day out, and well worth visiting.
For more info, you can visit the website here
I received a pass in order to do this review, but all thoughts and opinions are strictly our own.
Sundays at home always ends up with the small people going stir crazy in this household, so this weekend we decided to go out and clear the internal cobwebs.
Never mind that it was blowing a gale, we just made sure we were well wrapped up and knew that we wanted somewhere with plenty of places for them to jump and climb about.
With this in mind, we decided to go to Springhead Park, Rothwell, on the outskirts of Leeds.
The Dad had seen it when driving past one day, so as it was somewhere none of us had ever been, we decided to give it a try.
If the kids are driving you bonkers by climbing about in the house and wrestling with each other (or is that just mine?! 🙂 ) it’s a great place to go to for them to run about and let off steam.
There’s a play ground, with separate play areas for small and bigger children so all ages have somewhere they can play safely.
smaller play area, with climbing frames and bigger children equipment in the background
If you fancy playing a few games of tennis, there’s a great tennis court as well.
The grounds are lovely for a walk round too, and we enjoyed going for a walk over a bridge that had this little stream running underneath.
peaceful stream watching
There’s also a great bird aviary which houses different species of birds, from cockatiels to the more exotic.
observing the birds
photos by @thuntag
There’s a board next to the aviary with pictures and descriptions of all the different species, so you can have a go at spotting the different types.
If after all this you fancy something to eat, there’s also a great little café too.
We’ll definitely be back when the weather’s warmer, as it’d be a fantastic place for a picnic.
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They don’t seem to have been back at school for longer than five minutes, but the half term is already nearly upon us.
If you’re looking for family friendly things to do, here’s a few ideas to keep your small people occupied.
The children’s museum, Eureka! in Halifax are having an exciting week for children this half term with a Destination Space and Blast Off! experience to celebrate Britain’s first astronaut, Tim Peake’s mission into space.
Take part in inter-galactic activities, and learn about life in space.
York’s famous Viking Festival kicks off next week, with an invasion of Vikings in Coppergate, and a display of weaponry, traditional crafts and ship displays.
The Deep in Hull, home to all manner of sealife, will be investigating animals who use, create and play with bubbles this half term.
Take part in a bubble trail, and make bubble animals in the Craft Corner.
There’s plenty to do this half term at the National Railway Museum in York this half term as well.
Not only can you see all the different types of trains, there’ll be a Punch and Judy Show, a miniature railway ride and lots more.
Whatever you decide to do this half term, I hope it’s a fun filled one.
Got any plans for it? Let me know in the comments box below!
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