Wicksteed Park 2021

We visited Wicksteed park last week! We visited the year before last and absolutely loved our time there and was really excited to be invited back again. The one thing we love about Wicksteed is that you can make it a cheap/free day out or spend a bit of money. Entry is free, the playgrounds are huge and there is plenty to do for everyone.

Wicksteed Park is the UK’s first playground for children and offers a wide range of activities for all the family across the park. From meerkats, birds and other animals to several playgrounds, rides, a boating lake and theatre there is just so much to do at Wicksteed. Activities and rides change occasionally and this visit there were some new rides, an update to the meerkat enclosure and a theatre is being finished!

Our first visit had to be the meerkats, Izzy absolutely loves meerkats and was so excited to discover they had a brand new enclosure that allows you go get much closer and watch the meerkats play in their habitat.

Whilst at the Meerkats enclosure we heard some music and discovered a little area we either missed last time or has recently been installed with musical pipes which the girls really enjoyed creating music with.

We also stopped at the bird aviary looking at all the different colourful birds flying around us. We love this area, it’s so lovely to get up close to the birds although you need to watch your step as there are often little ones on the floor.

Next we headed to the main playground, last time we visited during a heatwave so the metal was too hot to play on, this time however the weather was perfect. The girls spent a good 30 minutes running around trying out all the different climbing frames, see-saws and swings. There’s something there for all ages and its absolutely free to play here.

Next up we had to do the train ride, we love a train ride and the scenery around the park is stunning! After our train ride we returned to reception to collect the £40 meal vouchers we were gifted in exchange for blogging about our visit. The girls decided to have a hot dog from the cafe and we had chips, cheesy chips and burgers from Franks which were lovely and great portion sizes too.

Once we had eaten we decided to have a slow walk down to the lake where we discovered a smaller play area and a sand pit for the kids to play in.

We stopped there for a bit then headed inside the mini theme park area to have a go on the rides. There are several rides to choose from including their latest, Galaxy Invaders!

The girls are still getting used to rides, especially Eva with her sensory sensitivities however she managed to ride a few rides in the end including the dinosaur rollercoaster, lady bug rollercoaster and the paraglider rides. Izzy even managed the lady bug rollercoaster although she said it was a little too fast for her still and the honey bear ride which she really loved, especially as she could make me really dizzy spinning us faster!

Next we headed to the land rovers for the girls to have a drive around the little course they have. These are so cool and I’m a little jealous I’m too big for a go haha!

Of course we had to visit the slides next where the girls had a few turns and really enjoyed themselves. I had to miss out on the tree top walk this time due to my mobility worsening but as our friends came with us, Eva was able to join them and do the walk while we checked out the goats below. Izzy and I decided to have a few cheeky goes of the clown rollercoaster ride while we waited too which she really loves. It’s great for the younger ones who don’t want to go too fast!

By this point we were all exhausted and couldn’t wait to head back to the ice cream parlour for a lovely ice cream to cool down with. We then headed to the gift shop but the girls have far too many teddies and we couldn’t find anything with the Wicksteed park logo on it which would have been nice as we love collecting things like that to look back on all the places we’ve visited. The prices are fair though and there are quite a few toys and teddies to choose from.

Finally we headed back for one last visit with the meerkats before heading home, finishing our day off nicely.

We were really glad to be asked to visit Wicksteed Park again as it is an all round lovely place with plenty to do, we still missed parts of the park where I slow us down a lot, a camping trip would be ideal to fit everything in next time!

Paw Patrol And Top Wing At Showcase Cinema De Lux

On Saturday we watched Paw Patrol and Top Wing on the big screen at Showcase Cinema De Lux at Bluewater. We were kindly gifted 3 tickets to watch the Nick Jr Big Screen Heroes show in exchange for our review. 

Paw Patrol - Paw Patrol and Top Wing at Showcase Cinema de lux

Paw Patrol And Top Wing

We haven’t visited a Showcase Cinema De Lux before so we weren’t too sure what to expect. Bluewater is signposted really well making it easy to find Showcase Cinema De Lux (and the Mr was pleased to find an open bar below!). Upon arrival we were pleased to find that unlike our recent cinema trips, all the chairs were clean, in working order and recline!

This is perfect for us as Izzy often ends up on my lap halfway through which aggravates my chronic pain. Having my legs raised took off the pressure making the experience a rather comfortable one!

Izzy watching  an episode of top wing

In total there were 6 episodes swapping from Paw Patrol to Top Wing and each one had Izzy glued to the screen, even Eva seemed happy enough to watch. Izzy loves Paw Patrol but hadn’t watched Top Wing before and she was certainly impressed.

Top Wing - Paw patrol and Top wing at Showcase cinema de lux

The display and sound were perfectly clear, we forgot Eva’s ear defenders but thankfully the volume wasn’t so high it overwhelmed her yet it was loud enough for Izzy to hear even though she only has 50% of her hearing currently due to glue ear. Overall we really enjoyed visiting Showcase Cinema De Lux and watching Paw Patrol and Top Wing on the big screen. I can see us visiting this cinema again in future.

Top Wing

Showcase Cinema De Lux

Showcase Cinemas has 21 cinema across the UK offering luxury recliner seats for a more comfortable cinema experience.

Ticket Prices are:

Adult – £9.35
Child – £8.60
Senior – £8.60
Student (Id required) – £9.25

Have you visited a Showcase Cinema before?

Wicksteed Park – A Family Day Out

Wicksteed Park kindly invited us to visit on Thursday for a family day out. We were given member wristbands and a Clip N Climb session in exchange for an honest review. It took us just over 2 hours from Grays to Kettering due to an accident but the park was really easy to find.

Wicksteed Park

Wicksteed Park

Charles Wicksteed

Wicksteed Park is an amusement park that opened in 1921, located in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The park was founded by Charles Wicksteed, the son of a Unitarian minister of the same name and his wife Jane Lupton.

Wicksteed Park Garden

Charles Wicksteed has left behind a legacy enabling children to play and explore nature in his park for free. There are beautiful gardens, a lake, animals and so much more to offer family days out for any budget.

Lake at Wicksteed Park


This beautiful 147 acre park is free to enter with a completely free playground, open all year round. You can purchase individual ride tickets at the park that last up to 7 days or a wristband from an outlet or online for a discounted price. You can also buy wristbands for activities such as Clip N Climb and the Zipwire.

Playground at Wicksteed Park

Things To Do

There is so much to do at Wicksteed Park from family picnics enjoying the beautiful scenery, playing in the playground and the 30 rides and activities.

Merry Go Round at Wicksteed Park

There is also a campsite so you can stay overnight, something we will be going back to do when it is a little cooler! We happened to arrive in the middle of a heatwave so whilst we tried to cover as much of the park as we could, with regular water and rest stops we still have more to go back and do.

Meerkat Tunnels at Wicksteed Park

It didn’t take the girls long to check out the cute Meerkats when we arrived. There is a tunnel system allowing you to pop your head up in a bubble for an upclose look. The girls loved this and we had to promise Izzy we would go back again before we left (and we did!).


Alongside the Meerkats are goats, there are also some Alpacas we saw whilst riding on the train. We will try to find them next time! There is also a big bird aviary which the girls really enjoyed.

Narrow Gauge Railway

Wicksteed Park Train Ticket Office

There is a beautiful narrow gauge railway which runs around the lake giving you a stunning view of most of the park. The train runs regularly and takes just a few minutes to go all the way around the lake.

Train at Wicksteed Park

If the train stopped at the bottom of the park (near the alpacas) that would have been fantastic. We got to see the Zipline, Archery, Boats on the lake and the Thrill area with even more rides than the arena before arriving back at the gorgeous train station.

Riding the train

Food & Drink

We had packed a few bottles of water to take with us on the day knowing that the temperatures were expected to be very high. We still needed to top up and buy more drinks whilst we were there though and were pleased to find they weren’t too over priced. Fruit shoots were just £1.40 each and drinks like 7up were around £1.80. There are several places you can buy food and drink around the park too.

Ice cream Parlour

Of course we had to stop for ice cream on such a hot day too and the girls had quite a selection to choose from. Izzy tried the raspberry ripple and Eva had bubblegum, they didn’t take long to disappear!

Mini Landrovers

Driving Mini Landrovers at Wicksteed Park

Having cooled back down we headed over to the mini Landrover area so the girls could try driving them around the course. The girls really enjoyed this.

Tree Top Walk

Eva enjoying the tree top walk at Wicksteed Park

The tree top walk is quite fun and a little challenging. Eva flew through the walk really enjoying herself. Izzy is a little afraid of heights lately so she became tearful but managed to keep going until the end and was then really proud of herself!

Tree top walk

Clip N Climb

After a few hours of fun we headed to Clip N climb where we were booked in for a 10 minute briefing before we began. We all listened to the instructions and got harnessed up. Don’t worry, I was tempted but decided my back wasn’t up to climbing!

Clip N Climb at Wicksteed Park

Eva didn’t take long to get the hang of climbing up and flying back down from the top of different courses. Izzy was again quite fearful of climbing up and falling back down but the staff were fantastic and encouraged her to at least go up a few rungs on a ladder whilst they held it still.

Izzy facing her fears

We spent almost a full hour at Clip N Climb watching Eva and the Mr climb up and fly back down and it was so much fun. Eva’s confidence just kept on growing, so much so that she was a little overwhelmed afterwards but so proud of herself. She tried most of the climbing walls, the stairway to heaven and we paid an extra £2 for her to try the Leap of faith which she really enjoyed!

Leap of faith

After the Clip N Climb session, we had one last wander around the park to see if we could spot the alpacas before heading to the gift shop to treat the girls. Of course, we remembered to stop back at the Meerkats for Izzy before we all stumbled to the car feeling absolutely exhausted but happy after such a lovely day.

Overall Opinion

As a family, we are all in agreement that Wicksteed Park is fantastic for families. There really is so much to do and we didn’t even manage to cover half of the rides or activities due to the heat. We found the park is beautifully clean and well kept throughout. There are not only plenty of toilets but also changing facilities in the mens toilet, something we absolutely needed not too long ago because of my back!

If Wicksteed Park was a little closer we would definitely make it our go-to place this summer. Instead, we are aiming to return at the end of summer when it is a little cooler to camp so we can experience everything Wicksteed Park has to offer. The cleanliness, helpful staff and sheer amount to do as a family makes it an ideal place for all the family.

Events & What’s On – Ireland August 2018

As part of their efforts to help motorists and home owners get Ready for the Real World and help them enjoy the best of the summer too, Liberty Insurance have shared a select list of events happening across Ireland this August.


Galway Races

The Galway Races are famously good craic, with crowds of over 150,000 spilling into one of the most interesting cities in Ireland.

The Galway races are not just about the racing – there’s lots of music, great food, fashion and style and some serious people-watching too.

Sunday is Mad Hatter’s Day at the races, and the fun gets bigger as the hats get wackier. Expect branches, flowers, feathers, balloons, oversized cupcakes… we’ve even seen sandwiches and shoes on people’s heads

August 3rd – 5th: Castlepalooza

Castlepalooza is an independent music festival held in the grounds of the stunning of Charleville House, Co. Offaly.

Billing itself as a ‘Boutique Festival’ –  tickets are limited to just 1500 – those attending have access to the inside of the castle and the small numbers make for a very friendly event.

Although the main focus is on the music, there’s also art exhibitions, fortune tellers, games, a cocktail bar, a comedy club, great food and even a day spa available for the lucky few that go.

August 3rd – 5th: Indiependence Festival

This music and arts festival is smaller than most, with a limit of just 5000 tickets, which makes for an intimate atmosphere. Fans consider it to be the best boutique festival in Ireland and the organisers in Cork work hard to keep it good, both with an always excellent music line up and the range of other events that make it special.

The range of music is diverse and with 5 covered stages of various sizes, there’s always at least one act on that you’ll enjoy.

August 3rd – 5th: Enniscorthy Rockin Food Festival

Family favourite, Rockin’ Food Festival, is back with a bang this year and promises something for everyone.

Its recipe for success is a line-up of over 120 events, with half of them completely free.

A rock’n’roll gig trail offers free live music sessions from Friday night, August 3, right through until Sunday, August 5.

There’s loads for Kids to do including a Lego workshop, and slime making class and much more.

Meanwhile, food lovers can feast at the Artisan Food, Drink and Crafts Market with over 80 vendors to choose from.

August 8th – 12th: Dublin Horse Show

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend this month’s Dublin Horse Show at the RDS, as well as about 1,600 horses and ponies will participate in the show’s various equestrian events.

Some of the World’s best show jumpers will be there, competing for large prizes in competitions throughout the week, culminating in the Nations Cup on the last day of the show. This is as much a social as an equestrian event, with horsey people from all over the country gathering for a week of competition by day and hard partying by night.

August 10th – 12th: Puck Fair

Where do you even begin with Puck Fair?  It’s old for a start, it got official recognition from James I in 1603 and it was probably already ancient at that time.

Basically, this is what happens:

Each year a wild male goat is captured from a mountain and brought into Kilorglin, Co. Kerry. It is raised on a platform high above the crowd and there a young girl, who has earlier been crowned  ‘Queen of Puck’, crowns the goat King.

There follows much cheering and several days of general merrymaking. During the day it is very family-friendly, with lots of street entertainment and kids events going on. Music is everywhere, both organised and just from random buskers. There is a party feeling and lots to see and do.

August 10th – 20th: Kilkenny Arts Festival

The Kilkenny Arts Festival completely takes over the city, with official and fringe events taking place in every available space, from shops and offices to hotels and pubs as well as on the street.

There’s so much to see on do over the 10 days from visual arts and classical music to theatre, dance, literature, crafts and a strong children’s programme. Just dive in and enjoy.

August 16th – 19th: The Big Grill

A female chef who specialises in 160-day whiskey-aged beef, and a former celebrity personal protection specialist turned Brooklyn restaurateur, are among the headliners at The Big Grill festival, which makes its fifth appearance in Herbert Park, Dublin 4 in August (16th-19th).

More than 20,000 barbecue enthusiasts are expected to attend this celebration of cooking with fire and smoke, described by the organisers as “Europe’s largest barbecue festival”.

August 14th – 20th: Connemara Pony Show

This festival celebrating the world renowned Connemara pony takes place each August in Clifden.

In-hand classes, ridden classes, dressage and working hunter classes, carriage driving and show jumping competitions are just some of the events. There is plenty to see and do aside from the ponies, with a dog show, domestic arts competitions, Irish dancing and the promise of some surprise visitors for children – it is a very lively and friendly show to attend.

August 31st – September 2nd: Electric Picnic

This festival is probably known to most people and this year the lineup is one of the best ever. Apart from world class music, the Laois based festival offers everything from comedy to theatre and interactive art and holistic health to world cuisine.

There’s so much you can get up to this August and no matter what event you’re getting ready for, Liberty Insurance will be there with great cover you can trust. That’s why they help their customers to adjust their Car Insurance policy so they can add an additional driver, drive a van and more.

Little Tiger Party At Kidzania London

We attended the Little Tiger Party at Kidzania London on Saturday and it was fantastic! Having attended Little Tigers Birthday party last year we were really excited to be invited this year too. The girls love Little Tiger books & they couldn’t wait to find out about new books & meet the authors and illustrators. Surprisingly Izzy remembered last year’s Little Tiger Party, the books & activities we took part in. When I told her we had been invited she was so excited!

Little Tiger Party at Kidzania


Little Tiger Party

The Little Tiger Party (#TigerPBParty) was held at Kidzania in London where they recently teamed up to create a Little Tiger Library. The library is within Kidzania, giving children a chance to discovers new authors and role play as a librarian too. We arrived a little after 9.30am and greeted by a lovely breakfast buffet. We soon moved into the Kidzania Theatre where several authors & illustrators were ready to tell us about their books.

Kidzania globe

Blue Monster Wants It All

Blue Monster Wants It All! By Jeanne Willis

First up was Jeanne Willis who Izzy mistook for the queen! Jeanne read her book ‘Blue Monster wants it all’ a fantastic story that leaves children with a positive message. Blue monster isn’t happy with anything and thinks he needs a new everything. Even as a baby he wanted everything new from a new pram to a new cuddly toy. I got so absorbed into the storyline that I accidentally forgot to get a picture of Jeanne Willis reading to us, oops!

Blue monster throws away anything old and demands a new replacement. He even get’s rid of all his old toys, family and even the sun! All in search of something newer, shinier & better only to find you can’t buy new friends and family. When Blue monster realises this he quickly repairs his old broken plane and flies back home to his old family! It’s so easy to get caught up with having to have everything new, especially for children these days. I love that there is a story like to help remind children of what is actually important! Such a lovely way to start the Little Tiger Party.


Suzie Senior & Claire Powell talking about their new book - Octopants!

We then learnt the origin of the second book, Octopants written by Suzy Senior & illustrated by Claire Powell. Poor Octopus has no underpants and can’t find any, no matter how hard he tries! Luckily he eventually comes across a solution! This is a fun, colourful book for kids and both girls really enjoyed both the book & the presentation.

Octopants written by Suzy Senior & Illustrated by Claire Powell

We learnt the Octopants song which was pretty funny! We helped to come up with some new pant ideas for the octopus, from chicken pants & dinosaur pants to unicorn pants. There were several amusing suggestions leaving Claire to figure out how to turn the idea into pants.

Look Out! It’s A Dragon!

Look out, it's a dragon! By Jonny Lambert

Next up, Jonny Lambert author of ‘Only Lonely Panda’ came on to the stage. He told us about Saffy the dragon in his new book ‘Look out! It’s a dragon!’ and how he created her. Jonny uses a process called scratch & tickle where he adds paint to his image and scrapes & dabs it with various items until he is happy with it. When he created Saffy he then tore a piece of card to create her belly & finishing the process. This gives Saffy a lovely texture & depth throughout the book.

Jonny Lambert explaining the 'Scratch & tickle' process.

Jonny also showed us how to make a 3D cardboard dragon, this led to Izzy having a slight hissy fit. Izzy thought the dragon story was written because of her Cardboard box dragon. Of course, this meant she wanted to be a helper on stage! She was quite upset at not being chosen but she was very pleased to catch up later on with Jonny. She found him in the Little Tiger library helping children colour & cut out their own dragon & they sat drawing for a while!

Jonny Lambery & Izzy colouring & drawing together.

Saffy isn’t like the other dragons & wants to find a lovely new home. She comes across one and tries to make friends. Everyone is scared of Saffy though as dragons have quite a reputation though & they tell her to go away. When the other dragons come along and ruin their lovely home, Saffy rescues everyone and takes them to a lovely new home.


Cock-a-doodle-poo! book - Little Tiger Books

The last book, Cock-A-Doodle-Poo was read out by author Steve Smallman who had all of us giggling! Who knew there was so much poo on a farmyard or just how funny a book about poo can actually be!? Rooster is causing a lot of mess & havoc on the farmyard, especially for farmer Jill, but apparently, poo can even be life-saving!

Cock-a-doodle-poo! being read by author Steve Smallman at the #TigerPBParty

Kidzania London

After the party, we were kindly gifted tickets to explore Kidzania London, a huge indoor roleplay place for kids. There are so many jobs for children to try out, they earn Kidzo’s for each job.

Emergency Ambulance - Kidzania

Children can spend their well-earnt Kidzos on activities such as abseiling or riding around in various emergency vehicles or spend them in the final gift shop before leaving. You can even save your Kizos for your next trip and save up for something special!

Renault Formula E

Eva changing a Renault Formula E tyre- Kidzania

Eva was happy to go off and try out a few jobs starting with changing a Renault Formula E wheel. Unfortunately I’m not too sure what else she learnt in the Renault garage, I did ask a member of staff and explained I was there as a blogger and hoped to write about it before we went in but as Izzy discovered at the same time I couldn’t go in with her, I didn’t get a chance to find anything out.


Eva performing surgery - Kidzania

Eva really enjoyed performing surgery too & overall she really enjoyed Kidzania, other than the music being a little too loud for her liking. We will look into seeing if they hold quieter days so she can try out a few more activities. I think if we had known how big Kidzania was we would have organised a friend to pick us up so we could do a full day and try everything!

Water Aid science laboratory - Kidzania

Parents aren’t allowed in the activities & the doors are closed which is great for children’s independence but unfortunately, Izzy was put off immediately. She was eventually persuaded by the open water aid centre where she learnt about using clean water and how to make bubbles which she loved! Izzy is really interested in germs & washing her hands regularly so it’s not surprising she enjoyed this activity.

Lovabella Baby Centre

Izzy caring for Lovabella dolls in the baby centre - Kidzania

Thankfully we lost her again when she spotted the Lovabella baby centre! This was the only activity she was happy to do alone. She really enjoyed herself and was happy to go in alone which was a huge relief!

Lovabella Baby Centre - Kidzania

Izzy also considered surgery but seeing the dummy & apron she had to wear put her off, seeing Eva perform the surgery even more so. By next year I’m sure she will love it though and happuly go into each activity alone. I can see us investing in annual passes as a gift for the girls in the future. I imagine once they are used to the venue I will be able to happily sneak off to the parents garden and leave them to it!

Saffy the dragon signed by Jonny Lambet to Eva & Izzy

Overall we had a fantastic day at the Little Tiger Party and can’t thank Little Tiger & Kidzania enough for having us. To really top the day we came home with a signed copy of each book & one of Jonny’s Saffy artworks he used on stage to explain scratch & tickle, which we absolutely love! I love that the girls both told everyone to sign Izzy/Isobella as Issobella, it became a little joke, Izzy Issobella! An amusing memory for the girls to look back on. Little Tiger parties are the best, we really enjoy these events and hope to get invited to the next one too!

5 Family Events We Are Planning To Attend 2018

We’ve found 5 family events we are planning to attend in 2018. Hopefully, the weather improves eventually! Having attended a few lovely events last year we wanted to put together a list of fun events. We are looking forward to getting out & having fun as a family and can’t wait to blog about them too.

5 family events

5 Family Events

English Festival – 21 April

We attended the English Festival with Martyn & the boys last year and had a great time. The English Festival had so much going on and so much fun for the kids. From petting zoos, sheep shearing, George & the Dragon performances, Punch & Judy, Voices from Victorian London and much more making it a fun day for everyone. As you may have read, we discovered some fantastic stalls. I can’t wait to meet them again & buy more of their awesome products. We hope to see Goody Ales, Sudzz, Joannes Preserves & The Chocolate Hut now The Brownie Edit.

Joannes preserves

Dickens Festival – 2nd & 3rd June

The Dickens Festival was another fun day out last year & we can’t wait to go again. With fun performers everywhere parades, a craft fair, fun fair & so much history spread across Rochester High street & the gorgeous castle grounds we all really enjoyed the Dickens Festival. We are hoping to maybe manage both days as we really enjoyed this event but we will see! A lot of the stalls from English Festival were at Dickens last year. Hopefully, we see them at both events too.

Fathers Day Motorfest – 17th June

I’m pretty sure most of my readers know we love cars, bikes, aircraft of all kinds. I spotted this fun day out at Barleylands and it sounds great, we have never attended this event before & hoping it’s as good as it sounds! Even the girls enjoy looking at different cars, bikes etc so it sounds like it will be fun a day for everyone. This had to be included in our 5 family events this year as it could give me #MySundayPhotos for the next year haha!


Greenwich Tall Ship Festival – 4th-8th July

Last year we found out last minute that the Greenwich Tallship Festival was on so I have made sure to note the date down this year! The Tall ships sail up & down the Thames & living along the river gives us a chance to see lots of the tall ships. I managed to get a few pictures last year but was unhappy with them. This year, with a new camera, I should be able to get some nicer shots. We may visit Greenwich to watch the Festival, there seems to be a lot going on. If not we will definitely spend the day by the river taking pictures.


Orsett Show – 1st September

I’ve wanted to attend the Orsett show for years but always forget to find out the dates. Now I have the date saved & the prices jotted down, I have no excuse! The Orsett show has been running for well over 100 years with a mix of agriculture, horticulture cattle & livestock, horses & hobbies & handicrafts exhibited & entered into the show. Whilst the finer details are yet to be released the Orsett show is well known as a great family day out. You can enter anything you have made into the Orsett show. Items you can enter include a cake, a photograph, some honey, preserves, needlework, art or handicrafts.

Are you attending any family events this year?


Visiting Santa At The Rainforest Café

Visiting Santa at the Rainforest Café was such a lovely, magical experience. Rainforest café invited us to visit Santa’s Grotto with a meal for the girls afterwards in exchange for an honest review.

Visiting Santa at Rainforest Cafe

The rainforest café is close to the Piccadilly circus Tube station which made planning the journey fairly straight forward. We were really excited as my brother was joining us keeping to our Christmas tradition we started a few years ago too.

The Rainforest café grotto experience includes:

  • A personalised invite from Santa Claus
  • A warm welcome from his elves on arrival
  • Enjoy a personalised meeting with Santa Claus in his grotto
  • A Christmas Gift
  • Children’s 2 course meal & soft drink

Traveling To The Rainforest Café

We couldn’t wait to finally visit Rainforest Café after having our original booking moved. Visiting Santa had the girls so excited and we couldn’t wait to get there. I will admit I had a stressful start though, I lost my bank card a week or so ago. Because of this there was an issue transferring money to the Mr’s account. Luckily my brother saved the day and we managed to get on our way but it made me extremely anxious. Going out with very little money is hell! Several lifts were broken at the underground stations which made my travel anxiety worse but somehow we managed the journey with the help of some lovely kind strangers. The girls enjoyed watching performers and passing the Piccadilly Emporium on the way to the Rainforest café.

Piccadilly circus performers

Both performers at Piccadilly Circus

With my chronic pain and my brothers lupus and bad legs we were a little bit of a mess by the time we arrived but the staff were so welcoming which really helped put us at ease.

Talking tree at rainforest cafe

If you have mobility issues the amount of steps at rainforest café will be a challenge. I do suggest talking to the staff before booking as they do have an accessible entrance. I had thought we would be ok but my brother and I struggled slightly. After all the stairs at tube stations it was quite exhausting. Totally my fault and totally worth it even if Tramadol will be keeping me going for the rest of the week haha!

The rainforest cafe

Arriving At The Rainforest Café

We went downstairs to the Mushroom bar which was full of fantastic rainforest effects and animatronics which were absolutely fantastic.

Gorilla in a christmas jumper

We were greeted by the elves at the booking desk who greeted the girls by name once they had our time slot. The girls absolutely loved this, the elves were brilliant and stayed in character the whole time which really added to the experience. We were asked to wait at the bar which has some awesome animal stools to sit on.

Arriving at Santa's Grotto

Visiting Santa At The Rainforest Café

An elf came and took us down another set of stairs after a short wait and asked the girls to find the Christmas trees. When they found the trees she told the girls they had just put the reindeer to bed so they had to be very quiet and tip toe into the grotto. They knocked on the Grotto door and entered a beautifully decorated grotto. Some grottos feel very claustrophobic but Rainforest Café have a large but cosy grotto which was great. Visiting Santa at the Rainforest Café is a fantastic experience.

Talking to Santa

Talking To Santa

Santa chatted away with the girls using the information from our booking sheet I filled out via email. Eva was delighted when Santa mentioned her teacher. He also mentioned a present she wanted and several other personal details. Izzy spent most of the time chatting away and showing Santa she can do the splits and yoga. She asked him lots of questions and really enjoyed herself.

Checking out the Christmas tree

Izzy really loved the Christmas tree and decorations. Santa barely got a word in edgeways with my two chatterboxes, he was fantastic with them though. As you can see they really enjoyed themselves visiting Santa in his cosy grotto.

Posing with Santa

Sticking To Family Traditions

We took a few photo’s of our own and bought a photo of the 4 of us with Santa. This is part of to our Christmas tradition so I was pleased when we were offered a picture of us all. The girls then received a rainforest café tote bag with a gorgeous soft fluffy penguin each. They also received a gorgeous Christmas stories book, certificate and sticker. They absolutely loved their presents and were so happy to be visiting Santa at rainforest café.

The girls, my brother and I with Santa at Rainforest Café

After our grotto visit we were taken to buy our photo which was £10. We were then told to head upstairs to the restaurant where we were shown to a table. The girls received a 2 course meal and drink as part of the Grotto package. Due to my earlier transfer issue I was unable to order anything myself but the girls meals looked lovely.

Kids meals at Rainforest Café

Eating At The Rainforest Café

Eva chose Burger and chips and Izzy had fish cakes and chips. Eva chatted a little too much (every meal!) so her burger went cold but she enjoyed the half she did eat. Izzy demolished her veg and much to my surprise she ate a few chips, they must have been amazing as she is extremely fussy with chips!

Chocolate ice cream and toffeee sauce sundae

They both had a lovely dessert after their meal. Eva had the chocolate ice cream with toffee sauce and Izzy had a lovely bowl of fresh fruit. They both left happy with full tummy’s ready to head home.

Fruit bowl at Rainforest Café

The waitress was fantastic and we didn’t have to wait too long between dishes which was great. The decorations and effects kept the girls amused whilst we waited. Izzy wanted to bring them home.. not sure an elephant that size would fit in the lift though! 

Animaltronics - Moving elephant

An Unexpected Accident

As we were leaving we of course had yet another problem on our part. Eva spilt her juice over her gifts and herself and began panicking. After our awful start I was close to tears myself. I doubted they could help but I somehow braved asking a member of staff if there was any way they could be replaced. Obviously I would have fully understood if they said no. I just couldn’t cope with the thought of a journey home with Eva distraught at rush hour. After such a magical experience I would have felt awful leaving without at least asking. Amazingly the staff managed to find one last penguin and Christmas stories book much to everyone’s relief.

Finally home with their presents

Fantastic Staff

I am eternally grateful to the staff who replaced the items for Eva. I took care of them until we got home to prevent anymore accidents. We managed to dry out the certificate with very little damage once we got home to Eva’s delight. Both girls ended their day with smiles on their faces cuddling their penguins.  They excitedly told the Mr all about the café, animals, elves and Santa when they got home.

Parrot at Rainforest Café

After all our stress it as fantastic to make it to the Rainforest Café to experience their fantastic grotto package. The food and drink are typical London prices. We will definitely go back again with the Mr as the girls really enjoyed the whole experience. I can’t fault Rainforest Café at all, the experience was fantastic. Staff were outstanding and even in our stressed states Alex and I enjoyed ourselves too.

We tucked the girls into bed with their penguins in their arms and huge smiles on their faces. They told us they had the best day ever as we left the room which literally says it all! Visiting Santa at Rainforest Café is a magical experience I would definitely recommend trying once.

Have you visited the Rainforest café before or booked the grotto experience? Would you book this experience?


Peppa Pig’s Adventure! Live At The Orchard Theatre

Izzy and I went to see Peppa Pig’s Adventure! Live at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford. Izzy loves Peppa & George and was thrilled to be told she would be seeing Peppa live. Tickets Prices vary, Pre-show dining can also be booked in advance.

Peppa Pig's Adventure

As we arrived at the Orchard Theatre Izzy saw the poster for Peppa Pig’s Adventure and got even more excited! We headed inside to collect our tickets and free Peppa Pig Stickers and a display of Peppa Pig goodies caught her eye. We came away with a George light up windmill (£8.50) and the Peppa Pig’s Adventure! Souvenir Brochure (£5).


We’re at @theorchardtheatre ready to watch #peppapiglive and Izzy is so excited!

A post shared by Ember (@relentlesslypurple) on

Once we had collected our tickets & got our goodies we decided to go get a picture of Izzy by the sign so she could send it to her daddy and sister. Of course they had to be shared on IG too! We picked up some popcorn & drinks for the show and headed off to find our seat.


When Peppa Pig’s Adventure started Izzy was over the moon to see her favourite characters on stage. She spent most of the time giggling away at Peppa and her friends. She liked Peppa’s new friend Daisy and their funny game of hide and seek.

Peppa Pig's adventure Live

The show was an hour & 15 minutes with a break in between. Izzy got a little distracted with her George windmill at points throughout the show but she still joined in singing a few times. She loved the puddle jumping song, especially getting soaked when Peppa & her friends jumped in muddy puddles! Overall Izzy loved the show and I would definitely take her to shows like this in the future.

Any Peppa Pig fans are bound to love Peppa Pig’s Adventure Live with it’s singing, dancing, joking and familiar characters and a new friend too!

Do you think your little one would love Peppa Pig’s Adventure Live at the Orchard Theatre?


Burnished Chaos


Dreamworks Trolls Truck Tour Lakeside

We were told the DreamWorks Trolls Truck Tour would be at Tesco Lakeside on Wednesday, so we decided to go take a look. It sounded like a fantastic crafty day, something we always enjoy joining in with. The weather was a bit miserable but we decided to head out anyway. We arrived and was invited in by a member of staff.

Trolls Truck Tour Lakeside

Trolls Truck Tour Lakeside

Cupcake Decorating Station 

Cupcake decorating station

The girls were encouraged to decorate cupcakes as we entered. The cupcake decorating station was really cool I have to admit. The girls spend some time smothering their brightly iced cupcakes in all sorts of sugary decorations. 

Cake decorating

Colouring Table

Over at the Craft table there wasn’t much going on but the girls were offered colouring pages which they sat with for a while. Eva had hoped for some fun Poppy based crafts so I’ve promised her we will come up with some our self at home. I think that may be because she enjoyed the crafts at The Little Tiger Party, where there was a craft planned for each book. Izzy got bored quite quickly and I had to stop her escaping out the doors.


TV/Music Corner

I loved the colourful beanbags set out for the children to watch Trolls videos but neither of my girls spent much time over there. Izzy did play around with the cool Troll Pillows but didn’t sit and watch anything. I love the purple beanbag!

TV corner

Soft Corner

Another corner was full of soft play squares and cuddly Troll toys. Izzy had fun rearranging them until I stopped her from spreading them everywhere. There was a great range of Trolls products dotted around the whole truck.

Soft Corner

Salon Corner

The highlight of the experience was definitely the Salon area. The lovely ladies were really welcoming and chatty. Whilst Izzy refused to have a tattoo or her hair sprayed, Eva chose a poppy tattoo. A friend and her daughter had joined us too and her daughter’s hair was amazingly pink & sparkly afterwards!

Poppy Tattoo


We did enjoy our time at the Truck Trolls Tour. The Truck itself was absolutely amazing and laid out really well. Eva and I had hoped for more troll based arts & crafts and characters to pose for photo’s with.  Had we been out shopping and stopped by I would have been quite pleased to find such a fun free event. I took the girls to buy crafts afterwards as they had hoped for more. The truck is fantastic fun for Trolls fans if you have 20 minutes to spare.

Did the Trolls Truck Tour stop near you? What did you think?

My Sunday Photo – Southend Pier

This weeks photo’s for My Sunday Photo – Southend Pier were taken last week on a surprise visit to the longest pier in the world! 😱 These are some of my absolute favourite photo’s. It’s amazing to think all 3 have been there for so many years. The pier has an amazing railway too. I love visiting Southend in the summer, there is always something different to see or do.

Southend pier bell
Southend Pier Graffiti
My Sunday Photo - Southend Pier Railway

Have you ever visited Southend Pier before? What do you think of My Sunday Photo – Southend Pier?