Our Favourite Merlin Days Out If you follow our family on Instagram you will see we love our Merlin Annual Passes. Brought on a whim in their sale in 2016 I wasn’t sure how much we would use them but we have got our monies […]
Tag: family time
I have never overly been a New Year’s Eve party-er. All my adult years I have been a parent. So I can count on one hand the nights I have had out partying for New Years Eve. Over the past 10 years or so I have always opted for a party with the kids. So thought I would share my tips for a family New Year celebration.
- Food – Ok, ok I know most of you might be sick of the site of food after overeating during Christmas. But it is way too early to knuckle down to the New Year diet. So we tend to opt for a buffet-style dinner. So no mad stress to get everything ready and perfect. Just need to raid the freezers at Iceland and whack it all in the oven and hey presto. I usually take a one or two kids with me to choose what we have. Having a buffet also means that you can keep picking throughout the evening. Plus it’s a good idea to get paper plates, to cut out the washing up too.
- Time – We aren’t routine crazy on our family, so the kids will party on through to the New Year chimes of Big Ben. So we countdown through the evening and once we are close to midnight we turn on BBC to watch Jools Holland’s Hootenanny. Then the fireworks in London, with the kids hoping one day they will actually be there in person to watch. But I know some people that have smaller ones and like to still get their kids to bed at a reasonable time. Have found Australia’s new year countdown on YouTube and done a fake midnight so the kids can then go to bed.
- Music – Who doesn’t love a spotify playlist? This is a great activity to kill some time during the Christmas and New Year lull, to compile a family playlist. On ours, there are loads of recent Disney soundtracks and party dances. Plus some classics from my teenage years. I also love to share memories of the songs I used to dance along to as a child with my parents. Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Take That and Craig David, of course, feature alongside, Moana’s ‘Your Welcome’ and Lego’s ‘Everything is Awesome’. Also nothing like a dance floor, we have a glitter ball. So turn the lights down and dance the night away.
- Games galore – Every year at Christmas we always add to our board game collection. So New Years’s Eve is the perfect opportunity to enjoy these with all of the family. I find playing games is a great way for the kids to have my undivided attention. As games time means no phone time in our house. This year we have found a love of UNO even the 4-year-old love to have a go.
- Look back a the past year – Time to reflect last year we decided to start our Family Memory Jar. So New Year’s Eve is the perfect chance to empty the and remember everything that has happened in the past year.
But most of all enjoy yourself, if you have any tips please share with us
Even though we live about an hour and a half from Weymouth we love a day at the seaside. We often head to Weymouth as there are lots of other activities to do as well as just the beach. One of the must visit places in the town is definitely Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park.
Last week our family visited Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park, we have visited before and it has to be our favourite Sealife Centre. It has lots of other attractions as well as the aquariums. The outdoor space is fab to sit down and relax too. I thought that I would share with you what was new for 2017 and our favourite bits too.
During this month they have an Octonauts attraction to become an Octoglow Explorer, so definitely worth a visit, if you have an Octonauts fan in your family. The kids get a little time to play and solve the Octoglow tasks, then they got to meet Kwazii Kitten.
My favourite new addition was the Turtle Rescue attraction. It is an interactive task for the kids to rescue, weigh, feed, hydrate and get their turtle. Once it is back to good health they can release back into the sea. The kids talked about Turtle Rescue all the way home, so was definitely a hit with them.
Also this year they have opened the pretty fantastic Caribbean Cove Playground. It is bright spacious and very child-friendly. There are parts for children of all ages from the sandpit to the climbing up the tall towers and sliding down the wriggly green slide. The area has a coffee shop, so parents can grab a cuppa while they relax and watch their children play.
There are also toilets in the area, so you really can spend a large proportion of your day in this area if the weather is fine.
Good Old Favourites
Every time I mention to the kids that we are going to Weymouth Sealife Park, the first thing they say is I hope it’s sunny so we can go in the Splash Zone. And luckily on this visit, it was very sunny after all the summer rain we have had. So they got to get soaking wet and have loads of fun in the water. There is also the larger pool too but the littlest member of our family wasn’t that keen on getting in there, so the others stayed in the splash area to play with her.
On this visit, we caught the Seal’s talks and feeding time, heard about the otters during the talk. Plus we spent awhile observing the Penguins and comparing birthdays and names.
Walking through the ocean tunnel and spotting the turtles and sharks is always great fun too.
Once we had spent a good 6 hours in the Sealife Park we headed just across the road for a paddle, before we picked up so dinner and headed home. A great family day out, with some lovely memories made. Very much worth the trek.
Warwick Castle – Knights and Castles not just for boys. Our final Merlin trip out for the summer holidays was to Warwick Castle. I have to admit it wasn’t first on our list when we got our Merlin Annual Passes earlier in the year. But […]
Week three came around so quickly and we had plans to catch up with loads of friends we don’t get to see during term time much.
Monday was a funny day, I woke up raring to go, we had a workman due to come in and do a repair so couldn’t go out. So I decided to do that job I should have done a year ago when Aliza went into a bed, take down the cot. It is a funny one as we have had a cot in the house for the last 10 years, I get a little bit emotional knowing that I won’t have a baby again. Even though I have my hands and heart more than filled, there is nothing more adorable than a ickle newborn. But now it’s gone, I can actually move around my bedroom hurrah!
Then I headed to the dump clearing the pile of rubbish in the front garden including the firstborn’s bed dismantled last week plus all the broken garden toys, so the neighbours will be happy I’m no longer making the road look like a junk yard.
Then the food shop, yawn, same junk as last week purchased.
Tuesday we headed south to catch up with friends, the kids loved Moors Valley Country Park when we visited a while back so we’re happy to return. We were seriously late, how can I possible get the tribe to school for 8.30 in the mornings but in the holidays struggle to get out of the house before 10. All in the name of relaxing and de-stressing, can you use de-stressing in the same sentence as school holidays???? The weather was good and they walked miles, which meant a good night’s sleep and lay in, result! They girls played on the play trail whilst the boy caught Pokemon. Picnic lunch and ice cream too, perfect! Oh and no real meltdowns, I must be doing something right with this parenting malarkey, who am I trying to kid it will all be crashing down around me in a day or two. Our journey home took forever, after about a hundred toilet stops, thank heavens for My Carry Potty.
Wednesday and Thursday were all about friends too, we headed to Heaven’s Gate, near Longleat on Wednesday. Wow what a lovely place, not far from home and totally free. The view overlooking Longleat house is fab, the weather was clear so we could see for miles. I chilled and caught up with a friend whilst the kids found a rope swing and ran up and down the hill like loons and getting filthy, but that’s what childhood is all about, they say! Thursday we headed to a secret park, with another tribe of friends, there was only us there and the kids could run and roam around know they were safe, well apart from climbing the skateboard ramp, but we all survived without injury so that’s a result.
So far the week had been pretty calm and relax, I feel like I have this parenting malarkey under control, but no fear there’s weeks to go yet!
Friday a home day, blooming gardening, seriously I need to work harder so I can get someone in the sort my garden (my mind wanders off to that young good looking gardener on Desperate Housewives, click click back in the room and back to reality). We also just pottered around the garden and did some jobs in the house on Saturday.
Sunday was by far our highlight of week three, I set the alarm for the crack of dawn, got up made a pack lunch, lifted the smaller kids out of bed in their PJs and left the house just after 5am to head to the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
But it was so worth it, we had a picnic breakfast as the balloon went up for their mass morning accent. It was definitely a morning that will last in the kids memories forever and that’s what parenting is about right! After a little wander around once the balloons had all taken flight we headed home via Dyrham Park and made use of our National Trust passes whilst I made sure the kids were totally exhausted.
Week Three done and half the holidays gone. The kids were stars this week and I have really enjoyed being Mum, good work kids.
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