In the run up to Christmas we have been enjoying some lovely festive days out together and getting the kids very excited for Santa coming so I thought I would share what we have been up to.
The first weekend in December we took the kids to our local Christmas continental market. We always love going to this year as they have so much to offer from food, handcrafted items and holiday treats such as mulled wine and festive coffees. It was beautifully lit up with fairy lights along the stalls and in the centre of the market was a huge Christmas tree.While we were visiting we decided to try some of the food. I chose the hog roast dinner and hubby chose paella with sweet potato chips as its our toddlers favourite. Food was amazing and there wasn’t a piece left in anyones box and no fighting from the kids as they happily scoffed the lot.
The second weekend in December we went to a church which was about 45 minutes drive from were we live as they were holding a special Christmas event called ‘The Wonder of Christmas experience’. It was the first year they had held it so we decided to go and check it out and we are glad that we did as it totally amazing and well thought out for the kids. The cost was only £5 in per family and an additional £2 per child to see Santa which was more than worth it as all the money raised was going to charity.They had a room set up with Christmas trees all around it and white back drops and standing at each backdrop was different children’s characters from batman,spiderman,paw patrol,mickey and mini mouse,disney princesses and the characters from frozen which is our daughters favourite. Our little man however was a little nervous around the characters and wasn’t keen on getting close enough for any photos but he was totally amused and loved giving them all high 5. In a large hall they had stalls set up selling handcrafted items such as soaps, jewellery and candles. Then in another hall there was various food stalls set up selling thing such as burgers, hotdogs and chips which brings me to the best part, the visit to see Santa Claus. To see Santa we were taken on a short little train ride over too were they had a private little shed were Santa was waiting inside. When it was our turn to go in and see Santa our daughter was so excited telling Santa what she wanted for Christmas but our little man was a bit frightened of Santa and wouldn’t even take the little present of him but then again most toddlers are probably a little freaked out going to see this big guy with a white beard in a big red suit. I managed to get one photo of Santa and our daughter but the little man was having none of it. The whole thing was definitely a enjoyable experience and i hope they do it again next year.
The third weekend in December which was the last before Christmas we went to see our daughter in two different nativity plays. The first was done by her school were she was dressed up as an angel and had a few lines to learn (which took us about week to get right) and on the day she did them amazingly and both myself and hubby were so proud of her. The other nativity she was in was at our local church we attend and this time she was dressed up as a cow which she wasn’t very impressed at but what can you do lol. They told the nativity story from the animals point of view which is why all the kids were dressed up as different animals but they were all so cute in there little outfits.
Going to all these different festive activities definitely made it feel like Christmas for us and am sure it got the kids excited for the build up to Santa.
Merry Christmas Everyone and a Happy New Year!
This weekend we decided to take the kids to our local museum which is only a short train ride away. We choose to use the train as we thought its much easier than sitting in the traffic. Anyway this weekend the museum was doing a theme all about dinosaurs so we thought we would go and check it out.
When we arrived there was a few staff handing out little maps to the kids which had pictures of different dinosaurs to find and tick off as you walked around. In the main entrance they had some tables with different activities set up such as colouring in, shell painting, badge making and some science experiments for the bigger kids. My daughter made a run for the badge making stand so that kept her busy for little. We then visited the stand with the science experiments were they was doing one on volcanoes were they used baking soda,vinegar and red food colouring to cause a mini explosion, I think the little man was more amused by it his sister who was still distracted by her badge making.
After all that we started the trail around the museum ticking off all the different dinosaurs statues as we went, which made it more exciting for my daughter as she found some of the exhibits a bit boring.We skipped out most of the art section as neither of us are really big into that sort thing so we moved on to the nature part which my daughter enjoyed the most as they had an exhibit filled with lots of stuffed animals to look at then there was another part were you could look in and it was all done like an underwater sea life theme. We then headed round toward the exhibit with all the fossils in it which both the kids found interesting although saying that the baby was most interested in pointing out all the shiny rocks to us. I must say I did enjoy all the nature exhibits they were well put together. After we had walked around all the nature exhibitions we headed around the history level, which of course is when the baby decided to have a full on crying fit which meant we had to take turns carrying him for a bit while the other got to push the buggy around but cant complain to much because he fell asleep about 15 minutes later,so I guess the history stuff bores him. (ha ha).
After are long trail around the rest of the history section we decided it was time to call it a day so we found the last few dinosaurs to tick of our map and then headed out to find somewhere to eat. It was a nice visit and the kids enjoyed themselves so I would definitely think about going back again especially when they do special days for kids.
A few weeks ago we attended the local tesco taste festival which featured over 60 stalls of various foods and drinks. As you walked around the stalls there was many local companies giving you free samples to try and they where explaining how the products were made, where they came from and cooking ideas to go along with it. You also had the opportunity to purchase some of the products to take home yourself.My daughter thought this was great getting to try the foods and we tried many things from bread to mash potato, chicken to burgers, yogurt, crisps,sausage,buns and many more. Even the baby got to sample some of the bread which he loved cause it made him feel part of it all too. I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite stall that day as they where all so lovely in there own way and everyone was very friendly and easy to approach.
There was also a number of live cooking demonstrations from local chefs but to be honest with the kids with us we only watched it for a few minutes. Outside there was a lovely petting zoo for the kids set up and there was also face painting and glitter tattoos. It was a well enjoyed family day out and we would go again next year for sure.
Looking for something for the kids?Well on our recent weekend break to Manchester we decided to visit Legoland Discovery Centre at the Trafford Centre. It was really easy to find and there’s plenty of spaces to park your car if your driving. As we were there on a long weekend break and didn’t have our car we used the bus which drops you off right outside the centre.
There can be a large queue at it but the day we visited we headed there early so it wasn’t too busy but I do recommend pre booking your tickets as it saves more time and stops the little ones getting bored standing in a queue plus you can get discount on online tickets which is what we done.Once you get your tickets you have the opinion to buy an activity pack for the little ones which we decided to buy for our daughter. It was full of all sorts of things to draw and colour and as you go through the centre you can stamp your book for each activity section you visit. My daughter loved doing that and she made sure she got all her stamps.
When you first go in they take a picture of you that you can purchase at the end, neither of my kids looked up in the photo so I never bought our picture, besides it’s not easy to get a 8 month old to look up at a camera in a room full of new weird and wonderful things to look at but if you manage to get a good family picture then go for it, you only makes these memory’s once. Anyway after that you head up a level and wait a little for others to gather then the doors open were you head into a brightly coloured room filled with lego tubes and this is where the factory tour begins which is about how Lego bricks are made. The talk was wonderfully done for the kids and there was little machines there as you go through the rooms which they get them involved in by getting them to push buttons and pull levers to make the lego bricks which they all enjoyed doing and you could see the excitement in all there faces. Obviously the little machines are made for the kids and don’t actually make lego there but they are very well done. After all this you move on to the main part of the discovery centre were you can walk around at your own peace to play and explore in each little section. The children are also given their own special lego brick to take home and keep before heading into the main section.
There was plenty of things to do and once you’re in your free to do what you like, my daughter started by having a drive in the Lego cars then she went on the Merlin Wizard Ride with mummy which i admit i enjoyed just as much as she did.We must have spent about 3 hours or more going around it all. Of course there was alot of noise in it as you would expect and somehow our 8 month old slept through most of this. There a 4D cinema and a master model builder class to teach you how to build things although my 6 years old was more interested in making her own things rather that listening so i think this part would be more aimed at older kids. They also have a Kingdom Quest Laser Ride which looked like fun but with baby sleeping we had to give it a miss however it looked suitable for the whole family to enjoy. There was also a cafe in the centre serving tea,coffee,buns, sandwiches and that sort of thing but to be honest we didn’t eat in it so i cant comment on what it was like but it looked good and they had plenty to choose from. When heading out of the main part you go through a part called miniland which had lots of star wars lego which my hubby enjoyed seeing as he is a big fan of star wars. To top it all off before we headed into miniland our daughter was trilled as Red Fire Ninja Kai came out to see the kids and let us take pictures.
After all the fun there is a large Lego shop at the end and they have a section in the shop were you can make up your own mini lego characters to buy which my daughter enjoyed doing although I think her daddy enjoyed it just as much as she did.
After all that it was easy to say that we all really enjoyed our trip to legoland and we left with one very happy little girl. So if anyone is looking for something to do with the kids in Manchester I definitely recommend legoland.
If you’re considering going for a visit below is a list of the attractions taken from their web site and you can click on any of them to be directed to there site for more information.
Rides & Attractions