Lego Discovery Centre- Birmingham.

Again another review based on a family day out, as we have been a bit lacks on our own art and crafts lately – focusing on playing in the gardens, walks, merccano and science kits. This time my review is based on our visit to The Lego Discovery centre in Birmingham. We visited one weekend before half-term on a 40% of voucher.I had heard very mixed reviews most negative to be honest so really was wary and not keen. However we decided that we would take a visit because the boys had been begging us for ages (thanks to the children ads on TV and there Lego obsession), it was indoor, so suited the cold weather and again we had a voucher that tempted us. We were pleasantly surprised (though not so sure if we had paid full price we would say it was not an overpriced day out). Both boys loved it even if it wasn’t quite mummy and daddy cup of tea!!022.jpg

Yes it was small and only takes a few hours, but numbers are controlled (make sure you pre-book on-line – we were glad we did, as when we arrived at 10 all tickets were sold out for the day). It was clean and well organised. Staffs were friendly, helpful and focused on their jobs. There are two small rides, that don’t really have a thrill factor to them, however the boys enjoyed and we took two rides on both.

We watched all 3 movies at the 4d cinema (The Lego movie – our favourite, Lego ninja and Lego knights) all were good fun and enjoyed. 025.jpg026.jpg

We also enjoyed a visit to the mini land, As adults we enjoyed looking at the actual model scenes, whilst the boys enjoyed playing with all the interacted buttons more. The boys then enjoyed building Lego cars to test on the test track. Meeting the Lego characters for photo’s, Playing in the soft play area. Our eldest loved and spent ages designing his own movie. 024

021.jpgThe boys gave the day out a 10/10. Mummy and daddy not quite as keen, however it was a good day out and in our own bias personnel opinion it did not live up to the negative reviews we had heard. Though despite this, be prepared it’s not a full day out at most 4 hours if being generous, I would only recommend if your child really loves Lego, aged under 10 at a push and you don’t have to pay full price to get in. Plus make sure you book on-line to avoid disappointment (most voucher codes can be added online).

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Marwell zoo

IMG_20181231_134648.jpgWe visited Marwell zoo near Winchester during the Christmas school holidays.  I thought I would share my own personal opinion on the Zoo based on our own experience – with you! We have visited the zoo previously as it is just under 1 hour from home and have always had a good day out, though seeing the animals has always been abit hit and mix. This visit was prompted by the fact we had two ‘kids go free’ vouchers and we wanted to do something in the fresh air so we thought we would take a visit.

We were really glad we did as we had a great day out. All the animals were out and active, unlike previous summer visits to the zoo. We saw every animal up close!IMG_20181231_150906.jpg

  Marwell Zoo is a well spaced out zoo and crowds are not ever a problem. Easy to find (lots of brown signs). It is a fairly big zoo (140 acres) for walking with young children however there is a free land train that goes around the zoo one way. I recommend using this where possible it relieves tired legs for little ones and keeps the interest going. There is also a proper rail train which you can pay extra for too, though I can’t comment on this as it has never been open when we have visited.

The zoo is open every day and has two prices throughout the year (there is a cheaper price to go in the winter months). Plus you do have the choice to pay with or without Gift aid ( a voluntary donation). There are animal talks, feeds, cafes, gift shop and playgrounds. Parking is free (always a bonus) in a big car park close to the park entrance. We always take a pack lunch and eat it in the indoor picnic room, so can’t comment on the café. The shop is near the entrance/exit, big and has a wide choice of gifts typically priced for a visitors attraction.

The animals you can see to name a few include Giraffes, Cheetahs, zebras, tigers, penguins, flamingos, rhinos, wallaby’s, reptiles, fish, insects etc.

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Despite mixed opinion on Zoo – I do believe animals should live in their own wild habitats. However I have two children (and myself) who love animals, and seeing them up close only helps increase that interest, love and knowledge. Plus I do appreciate that Zoo’s have changed there agendas in past years and the reality is that some animals will be protected from dying out due to programmes and funds created from/by Zoo’s.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

2019

Well hello and a belated welcome to 2019 better late than never (still in January?). I hope all is going well so far. Apologies I put the website on a back bench for a while. Busy spending time with the boys enjoying Christmas, then trying to catch up with myself when they returned to school. A list of ‘must do one day’ jobs was getting slightly to long. I decided to hit it head on – so the crazy muddled mind could calm down. Not sure the mind has but some of the jobs have been completed. Finally I can right my first blog of 2019 be it not very exciting!

Don’t you just hate January! I am personally not a fan, Its cold and miserable! The cold, germs and dark seems never-ending. Not doing much to entice people outdoors. Despite trying to smile though it and be positive. No one seems to smile and grumpy people seem everywhere. Roll on summer!!!! Despite this we have kept ourselves busy in our own little world called family.

This has included exploring new puzzles, games (monopoly has been the big favourite), science and craft kits given to us as gifts. So yes we have been busy being creative, however not much to post on here as they have all been cheat methods. We now have a wooden plane, boat, painted money-box and universe mobile on display.

Shortly to follow will be a review on two of the places we visit over the Christmas holidays.

The national history museum and science in London.

Marwell Zoo,

Plus a simple no cooker recipe for a traditional ‘Rice Krispies treats’.

So as always please keep checking back, follow, comment, share or like.

Alongside this I will be adding the remaining photos for ‘elf on the shelf’ (I know that no one will be interested in this year as very late – It just never happened but they will be early for next year and not lost between now and then).

I promise to start blogging and placing more projects ideas as they happen on here again after the slow start to 2019 so keep your eyes peeled!

Keep smiling and think of the positives – summer will be here before we know it.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2019 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

An Affordable day out in London.

IMG_20181021_163139.jpgThe boys and me love visiting London, having spent a lot of my youth there it feels like I am going home. You either love it or hate it, I have to say now as an adult I love to visit and then enjoy returning back home. We have done a few day trips on a Sunday in the past (for the free parking) taking walks along the Thames, visiting the usual sites, Hamleys, Lego shop, convert garden, Camden, science museum and the National history museum. All are done on a budget – free parking, McDonald’s for lunch (always a safe bet when you have a child with allergy), maybe an underground travel card and focusing on free things to see.

The boys have been asking for a while and we fancy another trip but wanted to do something different. So this time we focused on Greenwich (the last time I visited I think I was a child). I highly recommend it! It was a great day out enjoyed by all and was an affordable day out in London costing the bare minimum.

We drove early Sunday morning into London, Parking near the docklands light railway(five-minute walking distant) . We bought a travel card for £25 approx. (2 adults) under tens travel free on the London transport system zone 1-6. We jumped on the DLR which the boys absolutely loved, as we haven’t done this before they got a completely different view of London especially as we got front row seats on the train. We travelled up to London bridge where we took a small walk up to The tower of London via the Thames. This was a really lovely walk in the sun, short enough for the boys with lots to see. Followed by a KFC for lunch as McDonald’s had closed down.

We then took the DLR to Greenwich cutty Sark, where we took a ten minute free guided tour around the navel site (you can pick these up from the information centre). They are short and informative, one boy enjoyed it the other decided a sit down was more in order. We then went across the road to the Greenwich maritime museum – this was amazing, the boys loved it and made us promise we would revisit! It is a free (donation recommended) hands on very child friendly museum. The highlights were the polar exhibition and the ship simulator where the boys sailed boats in New York and Sydney. We did not allow enough time for the museum but will be going back.

   We then took a walk up the hill to the observatory and were rewarded with amazing views of London. Returning to the station via a walk though the park and around the cutty Sark. We then took  ride on the underground and a bus to Southbank to watch the skaters (an old hangout of mine in my late teenage years). Follow by a walk soaking up the atmosphere of south bank to Westminster bridge. Where we caught a bus / underground train and the DLR  back to the car to return home.

It was a lovely, long and tiring affordable day out. The boys loved exploring London on the different modes of transport and we all highly recommend Greenwich for a day out if you’re looking for something different to do in London. We will be revisiting and look forward to exploring further.

Enjoy emmas xxx

© 2018 by Emmas Creative Love. Powered by WordPress.com. All Rights Reserved.

Bibury Trout Farm

IMG_20181020_125510.jpgWell Hello again, we are over half way though half-term and it is going so quickly! I had meant to drop a line sooner however we have been having a lovely time enjoying each others company : playing (involving the boys loving each other one minute or killing each other the next!), a cinema visit, a trip to London (a blog to follow), Arts and crafts (afraid I can’t share as they are going to be Christmas presents and want to keep a surprise but they involved sewing and woodwork). We also visited Bibury trout Farm, we had a lovely day and thought others might be interested in the recommendation, as I wish we had discovered it sooner. It was great for any age but it would have been a great place to take a toddler or two.

Founded in 1902, Bibury Trout Farm is one of England’s oldest working trout farms set in the pretty historic village of Bibury, in the heart of the Beautiful Cotswolds. Approx 1hr drive from south Oxford. It is open to the public daily, offering the opportunity to walk around some smallish trout pools, The boys really enjoyed spending time watching and feeding the trout. There is also a shop, cafe (We did not visit these but the menu sounded very reasonable in price and interesting if you like trout – lots of meals with trout) and there was a little play park (which we played on for 15 minutes), though keep your eyes out for the dog mess.

There is a ‘catch your own’ Fishery which we did not take part in as any fish you caught, had to be killed and paid for the killing was not for us! However we did watch. If your braver than us it is an ideal opportunity to give fishing ago and you can catch the fish for your lunch or dinner (there were people cooking theirs on the bbq’s beside the fishing for their picnic lunch). This is very much aimed at beginners and children for fun not the pro fisher. The ‘Catch you own’ is only open 10am till 4pm at weekends/ School Holidays. All basic equipment is provided and their staff are on hand if you need them. Please do not rely solely on my review take a look at their website to confirm open time etc. details.

We went on a 2 for 1 tickets (Yeo Valley vouchers – collect tokens of their products and exchange for 2 for 1 day out vouchers to the not so well-known attractions). This meant it worked out as £9.00 for 4 of us plus £1.20 for two cups of fish food totalling £10.20 for all 4 of us. So really worked out as a simple, affordable and reasonable half day out. It would normally be £20.00 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) including a bucket of food or £15.00 without food. Dogs are welcome and there is a small free but quiet car park behind the farm down a little lane beside the pub, follow the signs or if you rather there is parking in front on the street (though it was far more busy – space may be limited)

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Enjoy emmas xxx

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Rushmere country park.

      If you are anything like us, you may be looking for something free to do at the weekends or you may have already started planning for Half term activities (I’m personally not that organised yet- but i know some people are already thinking about it) whilst the weather is still on the better side I think most of us want to get outdoors. Before we all get trapped indoors with the freezing and wet weather. Apart from the change in temperature I really love this time of year. Autumn brings with it amazing colours, crisp air and if we are lucky beautiful blue skies. One of my favourite things is taking a walk with my family, watching my boys exploring, burning of some energy and enjoying the outdoors with big smiles on their faces.

One place I thought people might be interested to hear about/visit that we have been to recently is Rushmore Country Park

( Heron View Visitor Centre, Linslade Road, Heath & Reach, Bedfordshire LU7 0EB)

   I highly recommend it to any local mums looking to get their children outdoors, costing next to nothing (£3). It’s approx 1 hr from South Oxfordshire (Between Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard). It is a lovely woodland for children to explore with hidden fairy doors, a HUGE (FAST) slide, wooden sculptures and a giant chair. The boys loved scooting/walking though the forest exploring what surprise was around each corner. There are various walks to follow, we personally did not feel these were clear to follow, signage was poor! However that aside we took a short half an hour walk/scoot around a circuit which took us past some big sculptures and fairy doors.

    Near the car park there is a visitor centre and cafe (we did not visit these as we arrived after they were shut so cannot comment on them but apparently there is breath taking views from the cafe), some toilets and a small play area where you will find one slightly hidden at first big (fast slide) for the over 5’s. Alongside the fairy doors this was the high light for the boys.

It Is all FREE to walk around and the car park is £3 to park all-day. Do take the correct change, as they only accept cash and you pay on the way out at the unmanned exit barrier. Making this a very reasonable, relaxing day out for all.

Please double-check the latest information for opening times, prices and facilities before leaving home at their website.

Enjoy emmas xxx

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