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150 acres of beautiful countryside and woodland activities. Situated near to Ringwood and clearly signposted Moors Valley is a great place to take children both young and old to burn off energy in the fresh air! This attraction has a great selection of both free and paid attractions including a golf course, small steam railway around the park, sand play area, tree top trail (not suitable for children in buggies or wheel chairs) and picnic areas. One of my families favourite walks though is the play trail, visitors follow the signs around the trail finding a range of wooden play equipment along the way which appeals to children of all ages for example the spider's web or ant hill and not forgetting the snake pit where you can crawl through tunnels!
Older children may enjoy the 'Go Ape' attraction where you can experience the trees from up above, abseil and swing from trees! This is an additional cost and has age and height restrictions. There is also the opportunity to hire bicycles.
There are adequate picnic facilities throughout the park and the Seasons restaurant by the visitor's centre provides a fantastic range of hot and cold foods-I can recommend the children's menu and the rustic open prawn sandwich!
Entrance to the park is free although parking is not! It is quite costly, but well worth it! A great day out!
Weymouth Sealife Centre is a fantastic family day out. Situated by the Lodmoor Country Park, this attraction is easily accessible by car or bus. It is on the edge of the town centre. I would add a note of caution that parking at the Lodmoor Country Park area is very expensive!!! I found that on the occassion I took my son on the train, and then on a quick bus ride from the town to the Sealife centre added to the excitment of the day and was actually more cost effective!
Once inside the park visitors can see seals, otters, sharks and many other sealife creatures. My children enjoyed a scratch off quiz which is free on arrival and can be completed on your trip, on completion it can be exchanged for a lolly at the gift shop. In the outdoor water play area children can jump in springs, play in the pool and have great fun! Don't forget your swimming gear and towel-if you do however you can buy these from an outdoor kiosk-quite expensive though!
Highlights include Crocodile Creek and a ride on a pirate ship which is included in the cost of entry. Great day out in the Summer or all year around-mostly outdoors!
It is well worth looking out for special offers for example pay for the adult and a child goes free!
This an amazing day out for the family. Monkey World, situated in Longthorns (nr Wareham) is clearly signposted and makes for a whole day out. The role of this centre is to rescue ill treated primates. It is internationally acclaimed and is now home to a vast array of chimpanzees, lemurs, gibbons and an assortment of other monkeys. It is the home of television series Monkey Business too.
Upon entering Monkey World visitors can walk around at a leisurely pace and see these animals, each with a different story to tell. There are also regular keeper's talks where visitor's can here more about each species. Children can enjoy two large play areas with a range of climbing and sliding play equipment safe for all ages. There is also a woodland area where you can see rabbits and other creatures. There is a cafe and gift shop with a range of reasonably priced gifts. I like the outdoor picnic facilities throughout the park.
It is a great day out, although the main pathway is rather steep-hard work with a pushchair! It is also predominantly an outside attraction.
Falmer Palmer's has been a place I have spent many safe and happy hours with my children from about the age of 2 years old. It is situated in Organford (Dorset) and is well sign posted. This farm play park is good value for money and provides a whole days fun, both rain and shine. Children can enjoy a range of activities from tractor barn, straw bale fun-slide and climb around the hay or tunnel through the centre! There are two bouncy castles one inside and one outside, a ball pool and gokarts for older children. There is a super woodland walk, although it is not ideal if you are in a wheel chair or have a pushchair! The highlight of any visit is the opportunity to meet the animals whether that means bottle feeding the lambs, trotter time or holding a guinea pig. Learn how cows are milked too!
Staff are friendly and approachable. On a recent busy occassion I lost my then 5 year old. I was very pleased by the swift and thorough missing child process staff followed, we found him happily pedalling around the go-kart track, totally unphased! Children can not get past the desk, out into the carpark unaccompanied too.
There are a number of picnic areas around the campus or food can be purchased from the competively priced cafe-I can strongly recommend the home baked malteser cake! There are cold children's sandwich boxes available or hot meals too. Food is freshly cooked on the premises.
Opening hours are generally 10 am-4.30 but these do fluctuate during the Summer season, see www.farmerpalmers.co.uk for current details. Guidelines state that this attraction is best suited for children under the age of 8.
The Bournemouth Air Festival is an amazing opportunity for tourists and locals alike to witness four days of amazing air displays including World war planes ( a little bit noisy for little ones!), a Vespar, The Black cat helicopter team and wing walker teams to mention but a few. The highlight of the sky shows is the Red Arrows team, their red, white and blue smoke can be seen for miles around!
Displays can be seen throughout the day from many points on the sea front, pick a spot nice and early and set up your pitch ready to enjoy the show. Last year I found that areas around Bournemouth pier were very busy, where as if you are happy to walk a little further it was easier to find a spot. Food is easily sourced from a range of outlets including KFC, Harry Ramsden's or various stands or bring your own.
The fun dosn't end there, there a range of stands and exhibitions for example last year there was a car as seen on Top Gear advertising Beaulieau, a helicopter children could explore, fire engines and army experiences. There are also a range of stalls along the seafront offering crafts, sunglasses, Wii games etc.
In the gardens bands play, hot air balloons glow and other sorts of street entertainment take place into the evening.
Entrance is free, however you can purchase a programme full of information for £5.00 from The Daily Echo stall or programme sellers. It's a great day out for all the family-make sure you remember a sunhat and sun cream!
The National media museum housed in the centre of Bradford is a great free day out! Comprised of eight galleries there really is something which will interest both big and small people. Exhibitions do change for example currently the phenomena that is soap opera is being explored.
A favourite in my house was the exhibit which aims to explain how television has changed over time and has interactive displays where children an develop a basic understanding of some of the tricks of television e.g you can become a teletubby or read the weather infront of a blue screen or read the news at the newsdesk.
The animation gallery is fascinating and you can come face to face with sets from Wallace and Gromit, Morph and Andy pandy. Children can follow I spy style sheets around the area spotting key exhibits.
The centre has a large cafe serving tasty hot and cold food at competitve prices catering for children and adults alike. I enjoyed a tasty meal of sausage and onion in a large yorkshire pudding, other people in my party had a curry and the children enjoyed chicken nuggets and chips.
There is a gift shop, however I felt that many souvenirs were over priced, however there was a handful of pencil and book mark type of gifts for the smaller pocket.
At an additional cost visitors can enjoy a range of films shown in one of three cinema's housed within the centre including a 3D Imax experience.
It is easy to find as it is clearly signposted. It took approximately 10 minutes for us to walk from the station. In my opinion this is well worth a visit and is a great wet weather option.
The National Railway Museum in York is a fantastic free, day out! Situated behind York Railway Station and clearly signposted it appeals to both younger children and those a little bit older! I have visited this week with my children (6 and 9 years old), their grandparents and my sister (30) and we all had a great day. Inside the engine shed's there is a turntable which is currently part of a display demonstrating how a roll on, roll off ferry works, many engines including a Japanese express train, Euro tunnel and more vintage models such as a replica model of Stevenson's Rocket and The Mallard. There a range of hands on exhibits and games, particularly outside in The Learning Platform. We watched a super free children's performance which explained in a range of practical ways how the railways use power to make them work. The enabler was entertaining for both adults and children and explained theories such as friction using practical demonstrations and help from the audience!
After this we had a ride outside on the replica rocket along the track, this was an additional cost of £1.00 for children and £1.50 for adults. It was an exciting and informative trip, bringing history to life. Younger children may enjoy a ride on the miniature train for a small additional cost.
We had our lunch on the platform cafe which was busy but food is good and varied but does come at a cost. There is a new range of child friendly food, a sandwich bag with 5 items including cheese, crisps, a drink, yoghurt and a sandwich costs £3.50. There are also picnic areas both inside and out where visitor's can take there own food.
There is usually a free activity inside, on this occassion my boys made a cardboard rocket using paper fasteners. Staff were very encouraging and child friendly.
A great day out!
York Castle Museum is an amazing building which houses a range of exhibits defining the history of this famous city. It is suitable for all the family. One of the highlights of this museum is the Victorian replica street where families can observe history unravelling in front of them with reenactors playing their role in this super example of living history. My own children aged 6 and 9 were fascinated by the policeman who kept in character whilst been interogatted by my lively little one! Visitors can purchase a sugar mouse from the Victorian sweet shop and take part in a trail where you can spot objects and find out information in a kind of I Spy type of game. Relatively new to this zone is the change in lighting from day to night. My eldest was a little taken back when we were thrown into darkness and the street lights went on, so be prepared!
Other areas such as costume galleries do change regularly so as to display the range of exhibits stored. There is a reasonably priced cafe which sells both hot and cold food, however it is not huge so it is well worth arriving earlier for lunch, or leaving it a little later. The gift shop is well stocked and has a range of both of pocket money treats and other more expensive gifts.
I myself have not yet visited this but new to this attraction is the history of prisons. Underneath this building the infamous criminal Dick Turpin was locked away. In this new exhibit visitor's can learn about the true nature of prisons through the ages. I have read positive reviews of this zone.
There is an entrance fee but currently if you gift aid this you will receive free entry for 12 months from that date. It is well worth looking out for special events and offers on line too, for example this February half term children went in freen with a paying adult.
Step inside the City of York as it was back in Viking times. This is a magical experience which is suitable for all ages. Visitor's queue outside the centre and are often entertained by a costumed Viking character making conversation with the public which helps the time fly. Once inside visitor's go down a flight of steps and enter a time travel room where there is a large screen which tells the story of Viking's in York and then the floor wobbles and you are 'sent back in time!' As you exit the room you follow the corridor to the time cars which hold approximately five people and climb on board. Each car has a running commentary which tells the story of what you are about to see and can be heard in a range of languages and for adults or children. On my visit we took Grandparent's in their 50's and children aged 8 and 5, the children enjoyed listening to the story and the highlight of the trip was the Viking on the toilet! Not only are the scenes a good size and detailed for example a fishing boat with fisher men, Viking's hunting etc using props and dummies, there are also smells too which really brings Viking life to you! The car trip appeared to be over quickly, but once you had dismounted there was a walk through exhibition where Viking characters are brought to life on large screens telling of their differing experiences of this time in history. There were also cabinets filled with artefacts found in digs around the area and children can have a coin struck for £1.00 by a Viking! The gift shop at the end stocks a range of souveniers ranging from reasonably priced rubbers and pencils to more expensive jewellery.
Tesco's day out vouchers can be used to pay for this attraction.
It is possible to prebook and thus avoid long queing times.
If you do choose to arrive on the day, first thing, lunch times and about an hour before the end of the day tends to be quieter.
There is usually a special Viking Week held around February Half Term which focuses around the Coppergate Square where there is a Viking Settlement and other reenactments and activities which the Jorvik centre cordinates.
For current entry fees and further details contact the Jorvick centre on 01904 543 402.
Asda is predominantly my supermarket of choice and when I was offered a free trial delivery I was happy to give it a go. I found that the website was easy to navigate around and instructions were in plain English and simple to follow. I was able to select favourite items and also had the option to view special offers and other items which might be of interest.
Delivery Choices: At the time of booking I was able to make a choice between several time slots over a choice of days.
The man in his van arrived promptly at my alloted time and showed my receipt and one substitution that had been made-a packet of sausages. The products were carefully packaged in carrier bags stored in larger plastic crates which the delivery man was happy to carry into my dining room so I could unpack inside which I felt was very helpful. Fresh products for example meat and vegetables had a long shelf life and were packaged together.
Usual delivery charge vary in relation to time of day and how far in advance you are booking. On average it is approximately £5.00. I felt it would be well worth paying for this service in the future and on this occasion my overall shopping bill was less than I would spend in store as I didn't make unnecessary purchases.
Having enjoyed playing the classic board game of Cranium for many years I was excited to discover that Cranium had branched out to create a game for the Wii. For those people who havn't experienced Cranium, players can take challenges such as creative cat-drawing or dough, data head- numbers and facts, word worm-spelling challenges and star performer-think along the lines of charades and you won't be far wrong!This roughly translates to Cranium Kabooki. Players engage in a selection of fifteen activities aiming to gain medals. The winning team is the first to collect all four medals and pull the cord on the screen!
Each game has the instructions on the screen which are at times a little vague and open to differing interpretations. I found it was often easier just to have a go and find the right way to play. I also found that it was not always easy to use the wii remote in this game.
Whilst this game is a multiplayer game, it does require a four players to work, this can be hard to achieve. In my opinion it would be better to be able to access say an individual or 2 player mode also, however this is not the case. Possibly a game for party nights, but all in all a disappointment-think I'll stick with my board game!
SAMBA DE AMIGO!!!! This Wii game is great fun to play as a family. The aim of the game is to follow the monkey's actions to dance the samba! Players utilise both the nunchuk and the wii remote together , a little like maraccas one in each hand. There is a wide choice of songs you can select to dance to and as with other games, the more you play, the more levels you can access. At times it can be hard to follow the cartoon actions which appear on the screen using red, yellow and green flashing circles, stick men and arrows. Higher levels require greater co-ordination and movement for example jumping and clapping. In my opinion this may be a challenge to younger players and those who are co-ordinationally challenged! It can feel a little tedious after a while as play is fairly routine using a pattern of actions. I have a nunchuck which has a wire and I feel that a wireless nunchuck would ease play as I have found that it is easy to get in a tangle whilst dancing. Due to the nature of the game I would recommend playing in a clear space to reduce the risk of an accident.
Good fun and good exercise though!
Terry Deary is a fantastic childhood author. His real and often gorey outlook of history in his series of book (which has now been made into a game, stage show and recently a television series which can be viewed on CBBC) truly inspires older children-particularly boys to learn and read more. This addition focuses upon life in Roman times including stories about Rassimus and the gladiators. Superbly illustrated by Martin Brownt the range of purely printed text, cartoon strip examples of Roman life and pictures supporting the text makes for great reading.
When my 9 year old son studied Romans at school his teacher used some of this material in class to enrich their learning. I have found both my boys are keen to read more and have benefitted from the factual information in this book and others like it. In my opinion, Ruthless Romans would be suitable for children aged 7 and over.
I would however raise a caution, as the series title suggests some of the information is indeed horrid and certainly not for the faint hearted!
As a child I had grown up with Mario as a favourite character in Nintendo games and was excited to try this new game-Super Mario Galaxy. The box alone displays some of the amazing 3D graphics in this game.
Mario is on a mission to discover new lands, collect stars and be reunited with Princess Peach! This game is suitable for a maximum of two players, however, I have found that player two has a limited role collecting stars,firing stars and helping Mario jump and spin. Player one, however has full control of Mario and the direction he takes. This may lead to conflict, especially amongst younger players. Players utilise both the nunchuk and the remote to play the game which I found hard to co-ordinate at times. As the game develops Mario can gain further moves, for example being able to pick up objects and swim. It is certainly more complexed than I recall the older Mario games to be. Whilst the graphics are amazing and leave nothing to the imagination, I personally found it confusing playing on a round planet as opposed to the flat scenes in a traditional platform game.
Great game, if you have lots of practice!
This is a great variation on a family board game. All ages can get involved and join in the fun. The family trainer package comes complete with plastic coated mat and wii disc. It is easy to connect the mat to the wii console and each game has clear instructions about what the aim of the game is and how to play. The mat has clear markings for hands and feet and also blue and yellow arrows.
The name of the game: This package has a selection of sixteen games which players can play as individual's, as a team or head to head with an opponent. It has a guideline of suitable for children aged three plus. Personally, I enjoy playing this game with both my boys aged 6 and 9. It promotes a number of core skills for example physicality, hand/eye co-ordination and balance-so much better than just watching t.v! Ideal for wet days in the holidays as children can burn off energy safely inside. Some games require use of the wii remote and namchuck.
Games that promote teamwork are ideal for siblings or parent and child to work together for example jumping over logs requires you to jump on the mat at the same time. Younger children may struggle with this. I have found that my own children have enjoyed time spent playing together and problem solving, although sometimes it does end in tears! I like the fact that if you have your own mii on the wii, this character can be incorporated in the family trainer games.
Recently, this product has been in the sale at Toys' r us. There has been a new release-Family Trainer 2 which I would be interested to try.