days out


A weekend Unplugged with Forest Holidays 22

With two boys aged nine and ten unplugging can be an issue sometimes. Not the time spent unplugged but the high tech tantrums when I tell them that it is time to turn off! We call it reluctance to transition in The Mad House.  We recently had an unplugged weekend at Sherwood Pines (Nottinghamshire) with Forest Holidays and it was a huge success.


Blackpool for kids, by kids 17

Did you see that we went to Blackpool as a family over the summer holidays? We had THE BEST time.  Blackpool has really changed since I went there last 20 years ago.   Blackpool is certainly back! Blackpool certainly is a wonderful place for families to visit and they have just brought out their ‘The Kids Resort Guide’, an interactive guide, written by Blackpool’s biggest critics… the kids.  It shows Blackpool’s top attractions through the eyes of a child.


Things to do at Sand Le Mere when you are 9 17

We are fans of spending family time together and have come to love holidays where we can take all the family including Alvin the dog. At Half term we went to Sand le Mere on the Yorkshire coast, 2 hours away from our home on the Yorkshire coast (Hey Yorkshire is big and we live in North Yorkshire and Sand le Mere is in East Yorkshire). Now I am going to preface this post with the fact that it was WET, very wet, it rained every day bar one when we were there and then Mini got tonsillitis, but inspite of all that we had a lovely time and I can more »


Mini’s favorite way to spend a sunny day outside is ……. 10

We have been talking a lot this week about our favorite way to spend the day together as a family.  This is Mini’s (aged 7) and is also an entry  to the MAD Blog Awards Kid Blog of the Year, in collaboration with Vita Coco Kids naturally fruit-flavoured coconut water. My favorite way to spend a sunny day outside is with my friends.  I am lucky to be best friends with three brothers who live on the same road as us and we play together a lot. We all like to go to Theme Park’s together.  They are much more fun of you have a group of friends with you to laugh and stop more »


Our Perfect Family Day Out 1

This week is half term in the UK and typically this has meant rain, rain and more rain.  Which to start with wasn’t too bad.  We have been spending our week at Sand Le Mere Holiday Village, but eventually even the rain got to us, well more specifically me and Mini and I developed a chest infection and Mini tonsillitis.  You could tell that Mini wasnt well as he didnt even want to go swimming in the fantastic swimming pool.


Outdoor Fun: Five Child-Friendly Festivals across the UK

Hopefully, we’ve seen the back of the worst of the weather, and while we are still in the middle of springtime, summer is just around the corner. Apparently, we can expect one of the best summers in a long time, with bright sunny days making regular appearances, and what better way to enjoy them than with a festival or two? Festivals aren’t just for grownups who love a good booze up and a funky pair of wellies – there are loads of fantastic festivals across the UK that appeal to families, too. Whether you wish to take your children along to a predominantly adult festival, or you’d prefer to ease them more »


Alton Towers Review 5

The minimads took their first trip to Alton towers this Saturday.  My boys are mini thrill seekers and adore rides of any sort and were a little disappointed  that most of the big name rides were for children over 1.4 meters.  Of the ten thrill rides the boys were not big enough for eight of them, however they still managed to go on at least 15 rides and had a great day.  If you have younger children you need to bear in mind that creepiest land doesn’t open till May.


London – one of the most romantic cities in the world

When we think of romantic cities, London rarely springs to mind. Instead, we think of the soft hues of Paris in the spring, or walking hand in hand amidst the falling leaves of New York’s Manhattan in the autumn. We might think of the earthy vibrancy of gorgeous Barcelona, the sensuality of Istanbul or perhaps even the cobbled backstreets of Edinburgh, Christmas lights twinkling in the background. However, that is selling London short. Very short indeed! If you know where to go, London can be the most romantic city there is, bar none. All you need to know is where to look. Here are a few handy ideas: Hampstead Heath One more »


Best London cafes for working remotely 1

Living in the Frozen North of England, trips to London for meetings or events mean that I need to find places that are great for working from, where I can connect.  It is one of the reasons that MadDad has been busy researching laptops and that we are going to shop for laptops as an easy way to work on the move. Once you’ve got your equipment you need to find a comfortable and convenient place to work.  I try and make all my appointments and meetings on the same day, so often have time in between them as commuting to London for me takes such a long time.


Lightwater Valley – Top Tips 1

We had a fantastic time and refused to let the very angry, rude, offensive and classless man who decided to swear at Mini and threatened to “give him one” for bumping in to his child in the Angry birds park ruin our day. When I took him up on swearing at my child and asked that if he had any issues to come to me as his mother, he then threatened to hit me too and called me a fat bleep! It has come to something when a four year old turns round and feels the need to tell an adult that swearing is unacceptable!


The best rides for 7 and 8 year olds at Thorpe Park 1

The Flying Fish was one ride that the boys rode again and again together. Both at the front and the back. In fact sometimes they didn’t even get off!

The boys were also able to go on X, Zodiac, Banana Ride, Rocky Express, Storm in a teacup, The Detonator and Wet, wet, wet. We had an amazing couple of days at Thorpe Park and stayed in the Crash Pad, which is kind of like being in a caravan, compact, but has everything you need.

Top tips for getting the best value:

Book your tickets at least two days in advance at home
Print them off
Second day from £6.00
Consider staying onsite if you live any distance away.
My friend Cass at Frugal Family has a super competition at the moment to win tickets to Thorpe Park, so get yourself over there and enter.


A family trip to Warwick Castle and our tips for a great day out 7

e also did Merlin’s Tower, which was short, but AMAZING and the boys were smiling about it for the rest of the day and still keep telling everyone about it.

The adventure playground is great and perfect for larger children, not just the littlest one.

We had a great day, the only down sides for us where that we couldn’t fit it all in and that the food and service at the Coach House Family Restaurant was really poor. Our meals were not brought out together and everyone had finished before mine was delivered to the table, inspite of us asking where it was three times (it was only soup and a roll, so I do not understand why it was so hard). It was even more infuriating, as there was only three tables in use and all the rest were left with the detritus of precious visitors.
Our Top Tips

Get their early and book your tickets (free but timed entry) for any thing like the Princess Tower
Do the same for any paid activities, including Merlin Tower and the Dungeons.
Buy a refillable hot drink voucher. It was £7, but my boys love hot chocolate and it cost £2.25, so soon paid for itself with that and our teas and coffees.
See the free shows, they really make the castle come to life.
You can not do it all in one day if you see the shows. We didn’t get to do the dungeons or the Kingmaker exhibition, but are looking forward to returning
Book in advance online, that way you get a discount.
Keep an eye out for the special events online – We are really looking forward to the Horrible Histories Stormin Summer event, which runs from 20th July to 1st September.