Win Tickets to Fright Night at Thorpe Park

Well it’s soon to be THAT time of year again. Yes, Fright Nights at Thorpe Park are back and I am giving away FOUR Tickets to one lucky winner to experience the madness!

Thorpe park fright night competition

Being a Thorpe Park Ambassador this year, it’s been absolutely brilliant to have visited quite a few times already. I’ve been with just Teen and his Girlfriend… where we’ve been able to really hit the amazing coasters in quick succession, and I’ve also been a few times with the younger kids too, where we’ve taken things slowly, played on the beach and generally enjoyed the other aspects of Thorpe Park! Each time has been great fun!

Fright Night’s at Thorpe Park are definitely one of the highlights of the calendar, especially for my Teen. He LOVES them and we’ve just received our official invite for the Press Night in just under two weeks time! We can’t wait!

For anyone who hasn’t experienced a Fright Night and wants to know a bit more about it… It’s a series of dates throughout the month of October where Thorpe Park pays homage to Halloween. The park is open as usual but stays open late, till about 10pm. Twelve whole hours! Everything is pretty normal until around 4pm when it starts to go dark, then the transformation begins!

A few actors are hired to mingle with the crowd in all forms of Halloween dress. As do many of the employees. This starts giving the place a bit of an eerie feel! You do find that visitors join in and go in Halloween costumes too. It’s not compulsory though and the majority of people don’t dress up.

All the rides stay open untill 10pm and it’s a lot of fun riding them in the dark.. that’s definitely something to experience in itself!

Then there are the Horror Mazes. If you’ve been to Thorpe Park before, you may have been in the SAW horror maze. That’s open all year round and will give you an idea of what to expect. If you haven’t been in that… the different mazes are normally themed to reflect horror movies. They’re in darkness apart from flashing intermittent lighting which reveal pretty gruesome scenes. You go in in small groups and walk through various rooms/scenes before finding the exit. There are actors inside who will jump out and probably grab at you along the way and scare the living daylights out of you!

It’s creepy and hell but it IS fun, honestly. I usually race through (if possible), holding on tight to whoever is with me (usually Teen who doesn’t get scared ha) and scream till I’m out!

There’s usually four or five additional mazes for the Fright Night’s and the themes of these can change from year to year.

Brand new for 2016 is Platform 15: Depart on a one-way ticket and trek along the overgrown railway line, the last known route of the vanished locomotive – the notorious Sleeper Express. Don’t lose your tracks and risk disturbing the haunted souls that were once aboard, where you may just experience the same chilling fate. Can you outrun what lies at the end of the line or will your journey terminate here, at PLATFORM 15?

Sound good? Definitely going to try that one!

Also new, although it’s been at Thorpe Park before, The Blair Witch Project is back this year with brand new scenes.. Released in cinemas September 15th, experience the horror-movie game changer for yourself and venture into the black hills woods to discover the truth behind the legendary Blair Witch.

The others this year will be… The Big TopTwist your way through this scare maze set at an abandoned carnival on the island’s Amity Beach, while former entertainers of the once famous Figaro Bros. Carnival comes back to life to haunt those who dare to trespass.

Containment: In groups of ten, you’ll be locked inside one of four haunt rooms, inspired by many of the UK’s worst nightmares, and tasked with breaking the codes to make your way through to the end… all in hopes of finding the antidote to a spreading infection. Will you and your team surrender to the outbreak or have what it takes to breakout of CONTAINMENT?

Please note: Containment tickets must be purchased separately

Cabin in the Woods: Choose your own fate in an award-winning maze so disturbing and disorientating you’ll be desperate to escape. But the route to safety is never easy.

And of course… SAW Alive: A serious test of nerves with each room a disturbing scene from the shocking SAW films. Escape the puppet’s sadistic games…if you can.

Don’t forget, you don’t have to visit any of the horror mazes, you can simply enjoy Thorpe Park as you would any other day! The roller coasters and other rides are all open as usual, except they’re open later so you can enjoy the park after dark too!

NB: The Horror Mazes open at 3pm and are NOT recommended for the under 13’s due to the intensity of them.

These events are VERY popular, for good reason. It’s a great day/night out for teenagers and adults alike so if you want to be in with the chance of winning FOUR tickets…. enter my competition NOW!

It’s only open for just over two weeks so hurry….

Fill in the widget, following the instructions. The more options you fill in, the more chances you have of winning!

Best of luck!

Terms and Conditions below.

Mummy Endeavours – WIN 4 Tickets to Fright Night at Thorpe Park
 

The THORPE PARK RESORT competition with MUMMY ENDEAVOURS requires that you are deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions of use. The winner must be in accordance with the regulations of THORPE PARK Resort, a copy of which is displayed at the attraction or can be obtained online at www.thorpepark.com. Please ensure that you agree to be bound by the regulations before redeeming your prize. MUMMY ENDEAVOURS will pick the winner who will receive 4 tickets to FRIGHT NIGHTS 2016. MUMMY ENDEAVOURS will forward the competition winner’s details to THORPE PARK Resort. The prize promotion is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over except: Any employees of the Merlin Entertainments Group or members of their immediate families; Any employees or representatives of any agencies, suppliers or third parties associated with any attractions in the Merlin Entertainments Group; or If you are not over 18 and win please ensure your parent or guardian get in touch with us to claim the prize. The winner will receive 4 tickets to THORPE PARK Resort which can be used from: 7th October 2016-31st October 2016 . Tickets allow entry into the resort for the FRIGHT NIGHTS special event. Terms and conditions apply please visit www.thorpepark.co.uk. The winner will be announced by MUMMY ENDEAVOURS on their date of choice. Reasonable efforts by MUMMY ENDEAVOURS will be made to contact the winner.  If the winner cannot be contacted, or is unable to comply with these terms and conditions, MUMMY ENDEAVOURS reserves the right to offer the prize to the next eligible entrant drawn at random. The prize is not transferable to another individual and no cash or other alternatives will be offered, unless specifically agreed by THORPE PARK Resort. The prize is not valid in conjunction with any other offer, concession or online/call centre booking. THORPE PARK Resort reserves the right to substitute the prize for one of the same or greater value at any time. THORPE PARK Resort and MUMMY ENDEAVOURS will not use the winner’s details for marketing purposes unless they have opted in to receive such information. THORPE PARK Resort and MUMMY ENDEAVOURS may contact the competition winner post-visit for feedback purposes. THORPE PARK Resort and MUMMY ENDEAVOURS cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by the winner or as a result of accepting the prize. The winner is responsible for any expenses and arrangements not specifically included in the prize, including any necessary travel arrangements, costs, travel documentation or meals. The winner agrees to the use of their name, photograph and disclosure of county of residence and they will co-operate with any other reasonable request by THORPE PARK Resort relating to any post-winning publicity including all social channels. THORPE PARK Resort’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into. Merlin reserves the right to alter theses terms and conditions at any time and for any reason.

The Railway Children – A Review

When I received the invitation to see The Railway Children at The Kings Cross Theatre, I was absolutely thrilled. It has been on my must see list since it opened for this current run almost two years ago!

I remember my lovely friend Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby went to the opening night and I was very jealous! I vowed I would simply HAVE to go see it as it sounded and looked so magical!

I almost went to see it once before but didn’t fully organise it. Now I think that was fate.

Fate, because this time, one of our favourite, much loved childrens’ entertainers, Justin Flether had taken over as Mr Perks and we were invited to not only see the show, but to meet Justin later for tea, cakes and chat!

the railway children kings cross theatre

My children have all grown up watching Justin in various CBeebies programmes. He’s not just for the very young as one of my work colleagues thought….. because my 11 year old daughter remembers his really early shows, like Higgledy House and Tikkabilla! Justin also appeals to parents too, as he’s become such a familiar presense in so many homes, over the many years he’s worked in children’s TV.

On Saturday, we arrived at the Kings Cross Theatre, which is tucked away behind Kings Cross Station, nice and early and eager to see the show. It’s a pop up theatre which has been specially created for The Railway Children. The land it’s on actually belongs to Google who very kindly loaned it to the production team for the duration of the run.

Once inside, we were intrigued to see that the ‘foyer’ is all decorated as an old fashioned railway station, complete with luggage, signage and paraphernalia. There are two doorways which lead into the auditorium… named Platform 1 and Platform 2. These dictated which side of the stage you sat on. The stage is a long strip inbetween the two seating areas.

the railway children kings cross theatre

The staging was very clever. Featuring a real train track… a beautiful 60 tonne vintage locomotive train makes an appearance a couple of times during the show which is truly breathtaking. The rest of the time there were stage hands almost hidden underneath, moving the blocks that filled the gap in the middle of the stage… where the story telling took place.

the railway children

Before the show started, the performers all mingled in the crowd, in character and full costume. It was at this point that we first spotted Justin Flether! My children were so happy to see him and couldn’t take their eyes off him! He was his usual bouncy, energetic self… he even discovered a child whose birthday it was in the audience and asked the whole audience to sing happy birthday to him! It was really lovely! My kids thought this was brilliant and clapped along excitedly!

The Railway Children is a heartwarming tale centred around three privileged children who have to move from their luxurious London home with their mother to a much smaller, run down property in Yorkshire after their father is taken to prison for something he didn’t do! The three children, Bobbie, Phyllis and Peter worry and care for their mother who is devastated at first and initially doesn’t want to reveal much of what’s going on. But they also find lots of fun in playing down near the railway station, waving to passengers on the passing trains. They make friends with the porter, Mr Perks and embark on a lovely adventure of discovery and friendship.

The children in the show are played by adults, but it works so well. They share their story of how they became the Railway Children!

The Railway Children by Kenny,             , Written by - Mike Kenny, Director - Damian Cruden, Designer - Joanna Scotcher, Lighting - Richard G Jones, King's Cross, London, Uk, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/

The Railway Children is NOT a musical. I just thought I’d mention that because when we were on the train home, I was chatting to an older lady who said she loved the theatre but hadn’t been to see The Railway Children because she didn’t really like musicals! Of course I told her that is wasn’t and she seemed surprised!

The show is very much as the book is written.. it’s quite serious in parts and I’ve been asked if it was a bit too grown up for my 7 yr olds.. but it wasn’t at all. There were some emotional scenes (I had a little tear at the end!) but there were many fun, laugh out loud moments and all three of my children were totally drawn in and mesmerised all the way through. They thoroughly enjoyed it…. so I think it had just the right mix!

The Railway Children really is a show for all age groups. It’s a fantastic family show and we would highly recommend it!

meeting justin fletcher at the railway children

Casting Justin in the role of Mr Perks is genius. He played the part brilliantly. Meeting him afterwards was such a treat! He was extremely warm and friendly and said he was enjoying this new challenge working in the theatre on such a high profile London show. He will only be in it until November as he then leaves to do Panto, so you need to hurry if you want to catch him as Mr Perks! I also asked him if he was still continuing on CBeebies and he said he most definitely was. He loves CBeebies and says he has no desire to leave any of that behind just yet!

He was so lovely, and even accommodated my daughters’ request for a selfie with her….

selfie with justin fletcher

We had an amazing time! The show is utterly brilliant and of course seeing Justin in it and meeting him after was an added bonus!

The Railway Children – Live on Stage must end on 8 January 2017 – to book your tickets visit www.railwaychildrenlondon.com. BAFTA award–winning presenter, actor and voice-over artist, Justin Fletcher will transform from the much-loved children’s character Mr Tumble into the equally loved Mr Perks until 19 November 2016.

Late Summer Heatwave – My Sunday Photo 18/09/16

What a difference a few days make!

This was me in the garden on Tuesday this week! In the sweltering late Summer heat. I thought ‘sod it’, I don’t care about work/housework today, I’m going to make the most of this glorious sunshine and have a sunbathe in the garden!

I only managed a couple of hours, but feeling the hot sun on my skin for probably the last time this year, was completely heavenly!

Wednesday I managed an hour too, just while I ate my lunch and I’m so glad I did because by Friday it was stormy and thoroughly miserable!

The storms during the early hours on Friday morning and at breakfast time were really something else! Severe thunder and lightening and lashing rain from at least 4am! The rain continued on the school run with flash flooding everywhere!

I think Summer is officially over now! It was good while is lasted.

How to Ensure Your Child Is Eating Enough Protein

Protein is a vital part of a healthy diet for a child. Protein is necessary for the growth and development of the human body; it can also be used as a source of fuel if other food groups that provide energy are lacking. Any parent knows that it can be difficult to make sure your child eats a balanced diet, especially if they’re a fussy eater. Depending on their age, children need different amounts of protein. A one to three-year-old requires about 13g, while a four to eight-year-old only needs about 19g, and when they hit their teens they need between 46 to 52 grams a day. With these little tips you can ensure your child is eating enough protein.

Cook Tasty Food Together

Find some recipes that you and your child, or the whole family, can cook together. By cooking fresh food, you will know exactly how much protein is in the meal and how much your child is receiving. Find foods that everyone likes; a fan favourite for everyone is lamb. Lamb is a great source of protein and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. You can make burgers, pies, stews and Sunday roasts. If you get stuck for recipe ideas, there is lots of inspiration to be found online.

But What If My Child Is Vegetarian?

You don’t necessarily need to eat meat to get all the protein you need. Other foods such as avocado, spinach, quinoa, nuts, fruits, veggies and grains are all great alternatives. You should also able to find vegetarian and vegan meats in your local supermarket; these are packed full of protein. You can either purchase them fresh or frozen. These products usually have a longer sell by date, as they are free from animal products.

Packed Lunches

Don’t be afraid to get a bit more creative with your kids’ packed lunches for school.  Make sure you are filling their sandwiches with something such as egg, hummus, chicken salad or peanut butter. By changing it up every day, your child is less likely to get bored with what they eat at lunch time; it also makes it more fun! Instead of crisps or chocolate, put some cubed or string cheese and crackers in as a snack. String cheese can be more fun than a packet of crisps as well as your kids can make it into different shapes. This way it will keep them more engaged in what they are eating. Another couple of great ideas is to include either eggs or nuts as well as some fruits and veggies in their lunchbox.

Experiment with Food

Keep your child interested with food by experimenting. Cut fruit and vegetables into interesting shapes, let them pack their own school lunches, and even encourage them to do interesting science experiments with food. By sneaking a little science into their food, they’ll be learning how to cook different foods for later on in life and will learn which foods are healthy for them.

With these tips it will make it a lot easier for you to ensure your child is getting a well balanced diet, that ensures their continued growth and development.

*Collaborative Post*

Pink Pool Party! My Sunday Photo 11/09/16

pink swimming pool party

Yes that’s right! It’s a PINK swimming pool!

This was taken at  my daughter’s friends birthday party last week. Her Mum had purchased this special swimming pool dye that turns the pool water any colour you like! I think they would’ve preferred a more prominent pink but this reddish, orangy pinky shade was still great and the kids loved it!

Fab isn’t it?

pink swimming pool

My daughter here on the left with some friends, thoroughly enjoying themselves!

Photalife

All back to School

Things have been rather quiet on the blogging front lately. I just haven’t wanted to sit in front of the computer at all much after my Camp Bestival mini break, then my holiday in France (more to come on those soon… I have a lot to catch up on!)… I guess I just wanted to enjoy the rest of Summer and give my kids my undivided attention.

This summer has been fab! The weather has been great hasn’t it? Last year was rubbish, I remember it being grey and miserable far too much but this year felt like Summer for once! Lots of long, hot, hazy sunshiney days which we made the most of with days out here and there….. or even just in our garden. Or someone else’s!

I didn’t want the Summer holidays to end and I NEVER want my kids to go back to school. I know I always say it but I love being with my children. I love everything about each and every one of them and they never EVER get on my nerves! Well, that’s not exactly true, my Teen does, quite often, but I’m not really including him in this because I didn’t see much of him to be honest… he was always out with his friends and Girlfriend. Or he was working his part time job as a life guard! And anyway, I STILL like having him around me!

My three youngest are pretty much always so well behaved. They all get along (mostly) and they really are a joy to be around. I’m sure that won’t always be the case (Teen was as good as gold too when he was their age!) so I’m appreciating it while it lasts!

But sadly, school beckoned and this week saw the first full week back completed.

It was quite a big year actually for all of them. My Girl started Secondary school and my twins went up to the Juniors.

I was terribly sad about my Girl leaving Primary School but our Summer together helped me get over that (a little) and we looked forward to the new adventure ahead for her.

Luckily, she had done a three day fun course at her new school the week before so had familiarised herself with the school and made some friends, which meant the first day wasn’t so daunting.

She put on her new uniform and looked beautiful. So different. Of course I shed a little tear.

My beautiful girl…

I still can’t believe she’s now at High School… it’s come around so quick. It’s freaks me out how fast time is going by. I’m just not ready for her to grow up yet!

I couldn’t wait to see her after school, give her a big cuddle and hear all about her first day! She was happy and said it had gone well. The rest of the week saw more of the settling in and introductory lessons…. I’m sure next week will be more realistic in terms of working harder and homework etc!

But that’s it. A big milestone hit!

My twins O and H had a big day too. First day in the Juniors.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I wanted to delay them starting school because of being summer borns, and at no time since they were starting Reception have I wanted that more than I did on their first day back.

They’ve literally just turned 7… in August. One boy in their class is already 8. My boys are still so little compared to their peers. I worry about them all the time. They do struggle academically and I know it’s a big jump up again now from Infants so I’m concerned about them coping, but H was rather excited to be going back to school and seeing his friends. O was a little more apprehensive but was still feeling quite happy on his first morning.

Aww, my boys. O looks big in this photo compared to H. I don’t know why because they’re the same size! Must be a weird angle but anyway, they too had a great first day. In fact, they were absolutely buzzing from it if I’m being totally honest! They were chatting away excitedly in the car on the way home, telling me how much they loved it and that they couldn’t wait to go back tomorrow!

Wow! I wasn’t expecting THAT!

This was like music to my ears! And they were still very happy by Friday but were absolutely exhausted. The Juniors has worn them out so it’s time for a complete rest this weekend to recoup!

I’m so happy they’re enjoying it. Let’s hope it continues!

So all back to normal now. I will miss my lazy days with my babies and I’ll be counting down the days to the half term ;)

I hope you all managed to get through the first week back!

Mamma Mia! – A Review

Well I’ve made no secret of my love for all things musical theatre so to admit I hadn’t seen Mamma Mia! untill now is a little shameful!

I recently heading into London’s West End with my favourite theatre companion, my lovely daughter, to see the hit musical.

It’s one of those musicals that I’ve always wanted to see but never got round to. I’ve seen the film and I absolutely love it… it’s one of my favourites so I guess that sufficed. I didn’t really NEED to see the show!

I love everything about the film Mamma Mia… the story, the music, the setting and in my opinion, the most perfect actors to play the roles.

How could the stage version live up to that?

mamma mia londonMy daughter here outside The Novello Theatre in London’s West End just about to see Mamma Mia

But I know the musical is where it all started… where the whole story and concept of combining the amazing Abba catalogue of songs with a script began, and I also know nothing can beat the thrill of a live performance yet after watching and enjoying the film so many times, I thought there might be no way the show could win me over.

But boy was I wrong!

Within minutes of the musical starting, memories of the film were being wiped away to make way for this new version. The performers were totally believable, I immediately warmed to them… the stage setting, even though simple, really did make me believe they were on a Greek Island!

mamma mia london cast 2016Sanne den Besten who plays Sophie

I actually think watching the film enhanced my enjoyment of the Mamma Mia! Musical. I was familiar with the story and knew what was coming next, I didn’t need to concentrate too much and could just sit back and enjoy it!

In case you didn’t know (where have you been hiding all your life?) the story is based around single Mum Donna who lives on a Greek Island with headstrong daughter Sophie. Sophie is about to get married and wants to find out who her Dad is! Donna has always refused to talk about him but after finding one of her Mum’s old diaries, Sophie realises it could be one of THREE men… who she proceeds to invite to her wedding behind her Mum’s back! She hopes she will find out which one it is. Cue lots of comedy and emotion as we are taken on their journey to the wedding day!

The show was a real fiesta all the way through which crescendo-ed up to the finale where by this time, the whole audience were up on it’s feet dancing and singing along. There was so much energy and fun up on the stage, it was fantastic!

My daughter loved it, every time I glanced over at her she was smiling and enjoying every moment. The odd little quip from the script was adult in nature but it went over her head and she didn’t notice!

One of my favourite scenes has to be when Tanya sings ‘Does Your Mother Know?’… this had me is fits of laughter and the person who plays her (Mazz Murray) was absolutely brilliant!

MAMMA MIA!  London Cast 2016/2017Mazz Murray as Tanya and Filippo Coffano as Pepper!

The whole cast of the current Mamma Mia! is relatively new, they’ve only been in the show around six weeks so they are still settling into the roles but they were all fantastic, each and every one of them.

Linzi Hateley was utterly brilliant as Donna. She’s absolutely perfect for the role… full of emotion and warmth. She played this part for two years once before, from 2007-2009 and has come back to reprise the role. Linzi apparently attended the same stage school as me (a long time ago now!) and our time there could’ve overlapped! She’s only a few years older than me so I might have even walked past her in the corridors… how funny! Ah how I wish I’d been a bit more ambitious and gone into musical theatre myself….

I loved the ‘Slipping through my fingers’ scene.. this always brings a tear to my eye during the film and watching it in the show was no different. I had to physically wipe away tears.. hoping no one noticed! It’s such a heartwrenching song… I always think of my own little girl and how I would feel on her wedding day. I know I would feel the same as Donna… I just wanted to give her (Donna) a hug at this point!

MAMMA MIA!  LondonLinzi Hateley and Sanne den Besten

There were a couple of songs and scenes in the show that weren’t in the film, my daughter picked up on this straight away but it was quite a nice surprise, to see something a little different. ‘Thank you for the music’ is an old favourite of mine so it was wonderful to see this being performed.

I must also admit to having a sneaky crush on Sam (Richard Trinder).

richard trinder mamma mia

He was very charismatic in the show and would easily do as a replacement for the gorgeous Pierce Brosnan ;)

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed Mamma Mia and if you’re thinking of going to see a show in London, make this beautiful, heartwarming show your first choice. You will NOT be disappointed!

mamma mia london cast

You can book tickets via the Mamma Mia website.

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