Family fun day out at Roxy Lanes Bowling, Leeds

October 28, 2015 1 comment

Many moons ago, when I was a mere teenager, I was a member of a weekly ten pin bowling group.

We used to meet up, once a week, and show off our skills as we sent our bowling balls skittering down the lanes.

So when I got the chance to review Roxy Lane Bowling in Leeds, I jumped at the chance.

Yay, a chance to show off my skills to the small people of the household!

Alas, I didn’t bank on time completely robbing me of any talent I may (or may not) have possessed.

However, even if you don’t win, you can have a great time bowling as a family here.

About a five minute walk from the train station, it’s extremely easy to get to and the venue has four great bowling lanes.

roxy sign

After we’d got ourselves into order of who was going first, we took it in turns to throw the ball at the skittles and hope we could make a strike.

If you are playing with small children, you can choose to have buffers put up so your ball doesn’t go into the gutter. You can also use the  bowling ball frame to angle where you want the ball to go. So the two smalls used these as an aid.

(In hindsight, I  should have used these myself. I definitely will next time. 🙂 )

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Although compact, the lanes are airy, well lit, and have a great atmosphere.

I may not have won, but as I was always told as a child, it’s not the winning, but the taking part that counts.

It’s a fantastic day out regardless of your bowling ability.

There’s also a licensed bar and food menu if you fancy dining out as you bowl.

I was very tempted by the full cocktail menu, but managed to resist!

Instead, we had a gorgeous lunch of pizza.

I chose the meat feast pizza, which had a lovely, thin, crispy base and lots of succulent toppings such as bacon and chorizo.

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The Dad plumped for the roasted vegetable pizza, which he declared a delicious vegetarian option.

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There’s also a full kids menu too, and the two smalls had a pepperoni and a margarita.

The 8 year old, who chose the margarita, when asked what he thought of his, said…

“Deeee-licious – and I like it even more because it has proper sliced cherry tomatoes on the top as well!”

Plus, It’s always the  mark of great food when all the plates are completely scraped clean. 🙂

If you’re looking for a fun, family friendly day out in Leeds city centre, we can definitely recommend Roxy Bowling.

We’ll certainly be back.

We received entry and meal in order to do this review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are completely honest and a true representation of our day out.

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A day out at Beatrix Potter Museum, Bowness, Cumbria

August 19, 2015 6 comments

If you’re willing to venture out a little bit further than Yorkshire, and love writing, the Beatrix Potter Museum is a fantastic place to visit.

Situated in the beautiful neighbouring county of Cumbria, the Beatrix Potter Museum documents the life of Beatrix Potter whose wonderful imagination brought us the characters of Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggywinkle and others.

beatrix potter entrance steps

Looking at the amazing scenery around Cumbria, it’s easy to see why Beatrix was inspired to write her stories .

Peter Rabbit himself was a little story she originally made up for her friend who she wrote letters to.

beatrix peter rabbit

There’s a lovely Peter Rabbit vegetable garden, where you can easily imagine a cheeky Peter eating all Mr McGregor’s tender lettuces.

beatrix garden

beatrix veg of week

Some of her other stories were dreamt up from childhood pets, into which she gave human characters and brought to life.

We wandered through some very cute and intricate sets of all the little characters and their surroundings.

Mrs Tiggywinkle doing her washing

beatrix mrs tiggywinkle

Jemima Puddleduck

beatrix jemima puddleduck

Jeremy Fisher sitting on a lily pad

beatrix jeremy fisher

All of her stories were depicted in sets around the museum in scenes such as these, so you’re bound to find your favourite amongst them.

There’s also a little screening of her life story that tells you all about her that takes about five minutes, so just long enough to keep the interest of small ones without their attention wandering.

Beatrix centenary clock

beatrix century clock

Statue. Can you spot your favourite character on it?

beatrix statue

photos by @thuntag

After all that, we headed to the café where the smalls had a Peter Rabbit picnic basket, which comprised sandwiches with fillings of their choice, and whatever they picked out of the baskets to add to to it (there were several baskets where you could pick an item out of each such as crisps and fruit.)

A great picnic style lunch, where the grown ups can have sandwiches of their own or a cup of tea.

Brilliant day out for anyone interested in writing, story inspiration, or indeed just know and love the classic tales of Beatrix Potter!

For more information, visit the Beatrix Potter Museum website here

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Visiting Sandal Castle, Wakefield

August 7, 2015 3 comments

It may be small, but the ruins of Sandal Castle in Wakefield make for a great afternoon out in the fresh air and learning about the local history.

Situated in the suburb of Sandal on the outskirts of the city centre, small people will love climbing up to the top of the motte where you have a great view of the local area and across Pugney’s lake.

You can also climb down the steps into the moat, where’s there’s little hidey places such as this arch….

archway sandal castle

Explore the ruins, where signs tell you about the different parts of the castle as you walk round….

ruin sandal castle

Make sure you visit the visitor centre as well, where you can find out all about the history of the castle, and what life used to be like in there.

first castle at sandal castle

fabrics sandal castle

Before you go, make sure to print off a Sandal Castle Activity Trail, with questions, games, and things to find.

The castle is completely free to enter as well.

Take the kids for some fresh air and a history lesson…. they’ll be that busy having fun they won’t realise they’re learning. 🙂

Sandal Castle website here for more information on how to get there and opening times

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A trip to the seaside – enjoying Saltburn by The Sea

May 31, 2015 8 comments

When you think of trips to the Yorkshire coast, you automatically think of Scarborough, Whitby, Filey and Bridlington.

If you venture a bit further up the coast though, you’ll come across Saltburn by The Sea, a lovely seaside resort with a beautiful sandy beach and pretty cliffs.

cliff saltburn

If you tire of building sandcastles or paddling in the sea, there’s also plenty of little rock pools to explore.

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Plenty of fun to be had paddling, or finding different shells and pebbles.

(There’s also a great fish and chip place across the road too if you’re feeling hungry.)

We’ve been to Saltburn by the Sea before, but never really ventured further than the beach and the fish and chips.

This time however, we noticed a sign saying “Saltburn Valley Gardens” across from the beach and discovered a fantastic garden with play areas, a stream with stones across the middle that you could jump across, and a trail to walk along.

saltburn valley gardens

Next time you visit the Yorkshire coast, pay Saltburn by the Sea a visit. It’s definitely up there with the best of the Yorkshire seaside resorts.

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Following the Room On The Broom Trail at Anglers Country Park, Wakefield

May 19, 2015 12 comments

If your children are anything like mine, the mere thought of a 2 mile walk would be enough to bring on a case of the dreaded whines.

At Angler’s Country Park, Wakefield, however, even the smallest of small people will have great fun following the Room On The Broom trail.

The Room on the Broom, for those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading it, is a fantastic children’s book by Julia Donaldson, the author of the equally great Gruffalo.

Completely free, it’s a lovely way to spend a day outdoors.

If you like though, you can go to the visitor’s centre before you start, where you can pick up a Room On The Broom activity pack for only £2 to fill in on your way round.

We got a pack to add to the fun value, and it certainly kept them occupied as they went round – from looking for the different animal tracks and marking them off as they found them, to hunting for the statues themselves.

You can also trace rubbings on your way round too.

room on the broom activity pack

It didn’t take long before we saw the first set of footprints, swiftly followed by the witch herself.

room on the broom witch

The trail takes you on a lovely walk around the lake, and you can find the little dog, and the dragon hiding around the woods and lake too amongst the other characters.

We picked a lovely sunny day for it, so had a great time strolling round looking for the footprints, statues and eating an ice cream at the side of the lake halfway round.

A fun way to get the kids out in the fresh air for a nice healthy walk – they won’t even notice how far they’ve gone until they get to the sign at the end of the trail telling them!

To find out more about the Room On The Broom Trail, visit the Wakefield Council website here

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Caribbean fun at Pirate Island, Castleford this Easter

The sun was beating down when we visited Pirate Island Adventure Golf at Castleford, today, which was pretty apt seeing as it’s been transformed into a tropical paradise this Easter.

With palm trees and buckets and spades scattered about as well, you felt like donning a grass skirt and doing the hula.

palm tree

bucket and spade

The summery feel was enhanced by the blue river, which made a change from when we were last there at Halloween and they had a river of spooky red blood and skeletons!

With two different courses to choose from, there’s a choice of holes for everyone to have a go at. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced adventure golfer, or brand new to it, as there’s an easy route to take, and a more advanced one for the more adventurous and brave.

The smallest here was having a go at his best putting…

golf playing

He and his brother were putting me to shame. Although I did manage to win by a whisker. Nearly beaten, but not quite. Ha.

(Competitive, me?! 🙂 )

There was also a hook a duck game, where you could win free golf games for all the family.

If all that worked up an appetite, the ice creams were half price too. Perfect to sit in the sun with afterwards!

Push pineapples, shake the tree, don a grass skirt and head over there this Easter holidays for some great tropical fun to be had whatever your age.

We were given a family pass in order to do this review. All opinions our own words, and our honest true thoughts on our day out.

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Adventure Golf at Volcano Falls, Xscape, Castleford

December 29, 2014 Leave a comment

If you fancy a game of adventure golf with a difference, Volcano Falls in the Xscape complex at Castleford is a great place to visit. No boring golf courses here  – with a choice of two different courses to play on, you can choose whether you want to play next to roaring dinosaurs, or amongst the luscious surroundings of the rainforests and all their plants. We decided to play in the rainforest, which had 18 holes, all with some different type of obstacle or feature to play around to make things more interesting and challenging. This one, for example, had balls to manoeuvre around before you got to the hole: obstacles The small people made a great job of getting their golf ball straight past and into the hole. Unlike me who managed to get mine stuck behind one of the balls pictured and had to try and ‘whack’ it out the next time. Ooops. The highlight of the course was a talking rock creature that, when you putted your ball into its mouth, lit up and gave you feedback on how your shot was. talking rocks volcano falls Hit the ball into its mouth, and he lights up – if your shot is on cue, it will drop through the hole and back onto the course, leaving you with a nifty hole in one! (He’ll also tell you something like it was a good shot to make yourself feel even better!) If you hit it offside though, it won’t go down the hole, and it’ll slide out to the side unceremoniously and he isn’t quite as complimentary. Oh dear. The small people loved this hole best, and did quite a few shots on this one just to laugh at him talking to them! Beware of sudden ‘thunderstorms’ too. Every so often there’ll be a clap of thunder and the sound of rain falling. If you love playing adventure golf, you should definitely pay Volcano Falls a visit. It’s great fun for all ages, from little children, right through to fully grown adults. We’ll definitely be back, especially as I need to work on my technique and make that talking hole a little more complimentary next time! 🙂 I was given a family pass in order to do this review. All thoughts, views and opinions are completely honest and strictly our own.

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Categories: Adventure Golf

A day out at Jorvik Viking Centre

December 13, 2014 2 comments

Located in the heart of York, the Jorvik Viking Centre celebrates the city’s rich historical past and Viking days gone by.

The original Viking Centre opened in 1984, but since then it has undergone several updates and re-developments to make it into the attraction that is there today.

On entering the Centre, we were taken into a room which has an amazing glass floor gallery so underneath your feet you can see exactly what and how all the Viking Age remains were found.

Everyday items are also on display to look at.

The best part of the whole experience (in our eyes) was the sit on time capsule ride that takes you around a re-created city of York in Viking times.

We rode past ‘Vikings’ going about their daily business, such as shopping at the market, or crafting items such as combs or knives.

We also passed by their houses where we got a glimpse of families sat around the fire.

The attraction’s  made all the more authentic by having everyday smells piped through, so you get to smell what life really was like back then.

The man on the Viking Age toilet near the end caused much hilarity with my toilet obsessed children!

(No photography can be taken in this part of the attraction, so no pictures I’m afraid. Although this just adds to the experience – it would hardly be the same and a true sense of Viking life if modern camera or phones were pinging and flashing everywhere!)

Once we emerged from the past and came back into the modern world, we could take a look around an exhibit which displayed two Viking skeletons which were unearthed on a previous dig.

skeleton 2 jorvik

Morbidly fascinating to see what ailments Vikings were afflicted with, and what they would have looked like.

There’s also a little kiosk where a ‘Viking’ will hammer out a Viking coin for you as a souvenir to take home.

If you’re into days gone by, archaeology  and the Viking way of life, you’ll be enthralled with the Jorvik Viking Centre.

It’s definitely worth a visit to see how they lived.

Jorvik Viking Centre website

We were given a family pass in order to do this review. All views strictly honest, and completely our own experience.

Leeds German Christmas Market (Christkindelmarkt)

November 18, 2014 2 comments

For some continental Christmas cheer a little closer to home, the annual Leeds German Christmas Markets (Christkindelmarkt) is a great day out to get you in the festive mood.

Situated in Millennium Square, Leeds, it comprises lots of traditional, wooden stalls selling handmade wooden toys and crafts, and decorations.

I personally can’t resist going in here for the mulled wine and the bratwurst (German sausage.)

One certain way to feel the cheer is wrapping your hands around a lovely, warm mug of mulled wine and sitting next to a roaring fire!

christmas market hut

(Try the blueberry mulled wine. It’s delicious! )

mulled wine

The carousel is great for children, and adds an olde worlde feel of rides gone by from another time as the horses go round and round.

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If you’re looking for decorations and toys, there’s lots of them to be found as well.

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You can’t beat German Christmas markets to put you in the festive mood.

I can’t wait to go back. If not to just try the cherry mulled wine next time… 🙂

The Christkindelmarkt is open until 20th December 2014.

Website with opening times etc here

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Categories: Christmas

Halloween fun at Pirate Island Adventure Golf, Castleford

November 1, 2014 Leave a comment

If you’re looking for some ghoulish fun this Halloween weekend, Pirate Island Adventure golf has become ‘infested’ with spiders and all manner of spookiness.

Situated in the middle of the Junction 32 shopping outlet in Castleford, this is a great adventure golf course with a difference – read about our previous trip here.

For Halloween, however, it has been transformed for some great scary fun.

Playing golf alongside the “River of Blood”, we had to be careful not to knock the ball in otherwise we’d have had to immerse our hand in the bloody water. Shriek!

blood river pirate island

With 18 holes to play, and two different courses to choose from, there’s a great variety.

On entering Pirate Island, we took a treasure map out of the chest and made sure to follow the clues to the hidden buried treasure.

Can you find the loot? We did!

Make sure you look out for spiders along the way, too.

We had some company too in the form of spooky people like this watching our every move…

skeleton pirate island

You can also try and guess the name of the skeleton in the entrance for a chance to win a prize, so we had fun trying to decide what he was called.

If you’re looking for something different to do, Pirate Island’s themed Halloween weekend is a brilliant day out for all ages.

We received tickets in order to do this review. All opinions completely our own and a true, honest representation of our day out.

Categories: Adventure Golf