A Great Day Out at Waddesdon Manor

Last Sunday, knowing the weather was going to be great, we wanted to have a day out as a family so I took the opportunity to suggest Waddesden Manor in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for ages as I’d heard fantastic things, but just hadn’t got round to going!

It looks absolutely, stunningly beautiful doesn’t it?

waddesdon manor

I’m fascinated by these old Country Mansions and the fact that they was once someone’s home blows my mind! Waddesdon Manor was built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild between 1874 and 1883 to display his collection of arts and to entertain his family friends and the fashionable world.

Opened to the public in 1959, Waddesdon Manor is still managed by the Rothschild Foundation, a family charitable trust, on behalf of the National Trust, who took over ownership in 1957. It’s home to the Rothschild Collections of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts.

I hadn’t showed any photo’s of Waddesdon Manor to the children, so on the journey there they were trying to guess which house it was! I couldn’t wait to see their faces when they actually caught glimpse of it for real….. although, even when we turned into the driveway there was still no sign of the house!

Obviously to maintain the beauty of the enormous parkland surrounding Waddesdon Manor, the car park is situated a good 15 minute walk from the house. It can’t be seen. You can walk if you like but there’s also a very frequent FREE shuttle bus service that takes you all the way. We took the bus!

IMG_2383

Catching glimpse of the house for the very first time truly catches your breath. It’s the most stunning house I have ever seen, and I’ve been to lots of mansion houses before. It’s probably even more beautiful than any palace owned by the Royal family…. I haven’t seen them all so hazarding a guess there, but I think you get the picture!

After stepping off the bus at the house, we hovered around for a while, taking in the house and all it’s glory from the bottom of the path. My children liked the fountain, which they threw coins into to make a wish!

waddesdon manor

There’s lots to see and do at Waddeson Manor so my advice would be to plan your day. Their website is great and gives tips on what to do as a family or if you prefer some of the other attractions, like the special exhibitions!

You can walk around the grounds of Waddesdon Manor for free, but there is an entrance fee for the beautiful gardens, which also gives you access to most of the other attractions such as the Aviary, the Woodland play area, the Wine Cellars and the Restaurants and the Shops!

If you want to go inside the house itself, you will have to add on another ticket. I would wholeheartedly suggest doing this as it IS worth it. The house is vast, you could easily spend half your day slowly walking around. It holds so many of the Rothchilds’ extensive art and antique collection and every room is exquisite. Again, if you are thinking of visiting, you need to book a time slot, check the website to ensure the house is open on the day you want to go too. Sometimes it’s closed and only the gardens are accessible. Some people just prefer to look around the gardens anyway.

Seeing inside the house and all it’s treasures was top of my list, so after a slow walk up the long path and admiring the splendour of the French Renaissance châteaux style architecture, we ventured inside!

waddesdon manor house

waddesdon manor architecture

The below photo shows the outside of the beautiful spiral staircase that runs up inside the house. You can walk up this staircase, complete with rich red carpet, during the tour!

waddesdon manor architecture

You are free to wander around the house in your own time. There are certain routes you should take if you want to ensure you see all the rooms and don’t miss any. Guides are on hand to help you along and talk to you about the rooms and answer any questions, if you need them. You can also hire headsets for the audio guide, or you can download this from itunes before you visit.

The first room we entered literally took my breath away! A Dining Room fit for a princess! Honestly, mind blown at the beauty of this extravagant but ever so pretty room. Take a look for yourself on this little video….

I could’ve stood in this room for hours, just taking in it’s beauty and imaging myself sitting down for dinner at that gorgeous table!

The children were given a little view finder on the way in, a kind of game to spot things in the rooms. This is a great idea to keep them occupied, just in case they get a little bored! My children enjoyed this immensely and it really made the tour fun for them!

waddesdon manor

Walking around the rooms, each one as interesting and beautiful as the last, I found myself completely captivated. Trying to guess what each room was used for as there seemed to be endless drawing rooms! Luckily there are clever, informative cards that tells you exactly what the room’s purpose was and indeed what treasures it beholds!

Waddesdon is famous for its collection of French 18th-century decorative arts and 17th- and 18th-century paintings. This is still being updated to this day by the Rothchilds’. Includes world-class objects carefully chosen for their beauty, craftsmanship and historical interest.

waddesdon manor paintings

waddesdon manor art collections

There are interactive areas on the house tour too… my children loved tapping on the screens to find out more information and look at other interesting features of the rooms!

waddesdon manor

waddesdon manor

Loved the bedrooms! The height of the rooms to accommodate such extravagant furnishings!

waddesdon manor bedroom

There were also some contemporary furnishings. I fell in love with this chandelier…. if you look closely you will see it’s made up of broken crockery.. cups, plates, knives and forks! Fabulous isn’t it?

IMG_2287

At the moment there’s a couple of exhibitions going on inside the house too including the Power & Portraiture Queen Elizabeth 1 display of paintings. This is only on until the end of October though. But there are always so many different events and exhibitions showing at Waddesdon that there’s usually going to be something new for you to see. Keep checking the website to see what’s coming up!

This week it’s all about Horrible Halloween at Waddesdon, with lots of different activities for kiddies to enjoy from pumpkin carving, a creatures of the night trail, spooky afternoon tea and a fancy dress competition!

halloween at waddesdon manor

halloween waddesdon manor

halloween afternoon tea at waddesdon manor

On the Halloween weekend, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October it’s the Fete Worse then Death event whereby a two day Halloween party will take place filled with petrifying party games, live performances, frightening face painting, spooky stalls and much more. From 10am-4pm, is a fang-tastic finale to half-term. The Creatures of the Night trail will continue over this weekend.

After our tour of the house we headed out to the Woodland Play Area. It’s fantastic and kids can really let their hair down here. There’s the adventure playground on different levels, areas to climb trees and build dens, the kids were happy exploring the different levels and could’ve spent hours here!

waddesdon manor woodland play area

We headed to the Stables Courtyard afterwards which is just by the Woodland Play Area… so a perfect place to sit down and relax either outdoors, or inside in the Stables Cafe, the ice cream parlour and coffee shop! We headed inside to grab a snack and to get warm! Well, for me to get warm, the kids were all hot a sweaty from running around outside for so long!

There’s a good menu in here if you want something substantial to eat and the kids menu is great! We just opted for snacks and I ordered a cream tea… lovely!

stables cafe at waddesdon manor

cream tea at waddesdon manor

We stayed right until it was closing time and caught the last shuttle bus back to the car park! We had a great day out at Waddesdon Manor although we certainly didn’t get to see and do all that it has to offer! But then that gives us an excuse to go back very soon and finish where we left off! I want to see the beautiful gardens at the back of the house and visit the wine cellar and Aviary.

There will be lots of Christmassy events soon and I’ve heard it’s absolutely wonderful at Christmas. There will be markets and lights… can’t wait.

If you’re thinking if visiting, I must make you aware that the house is ‘put to bed’ for the Winter months from the beginning of November. This is to preserve and deep clean. So if it’s the house in particular you want to see from the inside, this won’t be possible until Spring. But there are so many more things to do at Waddesdon, you could still enjoy a whole day out here. Even if it’s just to appreciate the absolute charm and exquisiteness of this fascinating house.

Fright Nights at Thorpe Park 2017

thorpe park fright nights

I’ve been going to Thorpe Park’s popular Halloween Fright Nights now with my eldest pretty much every year since he was old enough to go! First time was for his 13th birthday (the recommend age for this event) which happens to fall at this time of year. I took him and some friends and we were hooked from then on!

He will be 19 this year and for him/us it’s a definite must do in the yearly calendar!

As a Thorpe Park Ambassador, I was lucky to attend this years’ press/launch for Fright Nights 2017 and I took my Teen (of course) and his girlfriend along with me! Press nights at Thorpe Park are quite big in the celebrity calendar too so there’s lots of opportunity to spot a famous face! Not that I’m a groupie or anything, but Chris and Olivia from Love island were there and I did get a little bit excited! I know, it’s rather sad for a grown woman but hey, if you watched the smash hit summer TV programme then you’ll understand! If you didn’t, then you’ll probably think I’m mad! But Chris and Olivia were my faves and I just HAD to get a photo with them!

chris and olivia love island thorpe park fright nights 2017

It wasn’t easy though, I did have to stalk them for a while to get this one….. ;)

So what else did we do at the launch apart from chase celebrities round? Well, we soaked up the creepy atmosphere… macabre music is played into the park on Fright Nights and the lights (like this green in the photo above) really create the mood. It’s incredibly eerie.

Running throughout weekends during October, then all week in half term, Fright Nights are especially popular, growing in popularity each year as people get wind of how good it is. The park is open as usual in the morning then around 3pm (12pm midday during half term) as the sun starts going down, the scariness starts. Zombies infiltrate the crowds and the horror mazes open! The roller coasters light up and you can ride them in the dark, which is a whole new experience if you haven’t done that before! The park stays open till 10pm and it seems to get creepier and creepier the later it gets! Are you brave enough to stay?

thorpe park fright nights

First up we headed to one of the rides…. Nemesis! This is one of my favourites, not AS scary as some of the others but one I love going on… we did front row seats too! After that exhilaration we headed to our first maze. There are two brand new mazes this year from The Walking Dead TV series, to coincide with the launch of season 8 on FOX this October, as well as the landmark 100th episode.

We did The Living Nightmare first! I haven’t seen the programme but I’d heard that the inside of the maze looked exactly like The Walking Dead filming sets. You are taken in groups (survivors) around different, blood spattered rooms in the iconic scenes, where you will be on the brink of death at the mercy of the notorious Negan. Thorpe Park have gone all out to ensure fans of the series won’t be disappointed! There is no expense spared in all the mazes and it really does pay off!

There are moments of nervous giggling from the group as well as screams and the covering of eyes as we all huddle around almost clinging to each other as we walk from room to room. There was a little light in this maze, compared to some which are very dark, so we could hold on to the reality slightly that this wasn’t real! Sounds odd I know but the actors throughout the whole park, not just inside the mazes are brilliant and really know how to get under your skin…. with their erratic behaviour, the suspense, the speaking quietly before suddenly stamping and screaming, the hiding, moving suddenly to make you jump out of your skin!

I challenge anyone not to be slightly unnerved!

There are two mazes from The Walking Dead, the other being Sanctum! Guests can experience a live-action outdoor maze that pays tribute to Terminus, the safe-haven with a twist. Follow in the footsteps of survivors again, experiencing first-hand how to stay alive in the face of several obstacles placed in their paths. The aim is to navigate past the roaming walkers or risk being captured.

Next we went to the maze Platform No 15! I was a little reluctant to go for this one as it was there last year and I didn’t find it very scary. The sets were amazing, as always, but I think it dragged and there wasn’t enough fright factor! However, this has been improved massively for this year with a whole huge new addition towards the end which made it brilliant!

thorpe park fright night 2017 platform 15

Walking along a disused railway line in the woods… yes this maze is partly outside in the trees in the dark, with only a scary station master and the odd ghoul for company… we are led to a deserted, haunted train. From there, we are ushered into a tunnel… pitch black and very narrow, then, all in a line holding onto the shoulders of the person in from of you, we were told to keep walking. Believe me when I say this is pitch black, you literally can’t see the person in front of you. Teen was at the front of the line leading the way! My brave boy! Our line broke up somewhere along the way and I found myself at the back… not a place you want to be… the middle is best where you feel a tad safer…. because we then we had to CRAWL through a small tunnel and of course one of the scary characters crept in behind me and scared me to death!

I was so glad to get out of there I can tell you! It was really good!

I do recommend checking out your map which you’ll be handed upon entry to the park, because once it goes dark, some of the mazes are tucked away and not always obvious to spot. You don’t want to walk around aimlessly back and forth which is very easy to do!

And plan your visit. There are SIX horror mazes in total and the queues do get ridiculously long, so unless you have fast tracks (recommended) then you may want to find the mazes you definitely want to experience the most and queue for those first!

We decided to head to Derren Brown’s Ghost Train next. I know this is here all year long but there have been a lot of changes made to it since I went on it last and I thought, well it IS Fright Night and this IS a scary ride, I wanted to go on it!

ghost train thorpe park fright night

This is the virtual reality ride although there are some action parts to it too. I was nervous about this because in all fairness, I found the first edition scary so I wasn’t sure how I was going to take this! The verdict? It was brilliant! It’s definitely more chilling and realistic than before, needing me to lift the virtual reality headset up once or twice just to make sure I was where I should be haha! The only thing was, it was super hot inside the train carriage and when it was over I felt slightly disorientated. Weird…. maybe it was all part of the game…… The changes were well worth it though and I’m really glad I included this in my visit.

After a couple of roller coasters and the SAW maze, which is here all year round, so realistically it’s best to do this one before all the others open….we were running out of time.

Time certainly does fly…..

We decided we had to make a last ditch run for The Big Top! This was at Thorpe Park last year and by far I found it the most terrifying.

fright nights 2017 thorpe park

There’s complete darkness, there’s strobe lights which blind you and make you unable to adjust to the darkness. In fact these flashing strobes make you completely confused and delirious! The maze itself is made from cages of some sort and it’s VERY difficult to find your way out! Oh and there’s frightening clowns. Lots of them. Trying to get you!

Aargh!

I told my Teen to not let go of me in here as I got separated from him last year for a few moments and it was horrible! Of course this happened again because you literally don’t know where you’re heading at all, there’s left and right turns all over the place and you’re having to feel your way around…. think I grabbed some random couple nearby so I wasn’t alone till Teen located me ha!

That is one maze you really are glad to get out of! Utterly terrifying!

So that was it. Our night was over, unfortunately. We always feel as though we want to do more but we’re hoping to get back for another day before the event finishes on 31st October.

If you’re looking for a mega fun, seasonal day/night out with plenty of thrills, then look no further. I would recommend it to anyone!

You can book online here!

#StudentScreams at Thorpe Park

So September has arrived which means kids are all back to school and university… but never fear, all is not bad for students…. this September, the lovely guys at Thorpe Park are offering some fantastic discounts for University students!

Thorpe Park students

Is it your first year at Uni or maybe you’re returning to your studies? Before it all gets too heavy, grab your mates for an epic day out at THORPE PARK Resort! From 1st September – 28th September (on selected dates**), save a whopping 60% off entry tickets simply by showing your student ID*.

Student deals

Save too in the Thorpe Park store… half price Stealth shot glasses, now £1 each (available in The Island Shop and The Megastore only) and any poster for £5 (normally £8) – more in our shops when you show your student ID!

Sounds amazing to me… then don’t forget in October… the popular Fright Nights will be back! Exciting times!

*This ticket/offer is valid for students in further or higher education, or in an approved apprenticeship scheme only. Each ticket holder must be able to present a student photo ID from a university / college / apprenticeship scheme with a valid expiry date upon request of THORPE PARK Resort staff. Without student ID, you will be required to pay the cost of a full walk up adult ticket of £52.50 / £54.50.

** ~Thorpe Park is closed on 26th and 27th September 2017

 

Bike Skills with Ridgeback Bikes

ridgeback bikes kids

Kids love to ride bikes don’t they? And for most children, it’s one of the first things we teach them as soon as they’re old enough! I remember with Teen, he was eager to learn to ride without his stablisers and so we ventured out to the park one weekend and he picked it up in no time!

But not all kids are this confident. My daughter, for example, had no interest at all in riding a bike. She had one at a young age and would have a go with the stabilisers on but she could take it or leave it! She certainly didn’t want to be bothered learning to ride it without the stabilisers. This may have been a mixture of  lack of interest and nerves. But we didn’t push it. She would learn in her own time. Which she did, but she’s never really taken to it and I wonder if that’s because we didn’t encourage her enough when she was little.

My twin boys are the same. Neither of them can ride without stabilisers and at 7 years old now, I really wanted them to learn and didn’t want to leave it any longer! So when I received an invitation from Ridgeback Bikes to experience one of their Ridgeback Bikes Kids Club events, we were all overjoyed!

The event was being held at the wonderful Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and it was a lovely sunny day, perfect for having fun on bikes! I must admit I was concerned that my boys’ might be considered ‘old’ for being non riders but the Ridgeback Bike team made them feel at ease immediately! They even had a kids cycling coach , Rob, on hand from The Bicycle Society who specialises in teaching bike skills to children of any age!

First though, we had the compulsory helmet and bike fitting which took place at Independent Bicycle retailers Pave Velo, who have just opened a brand new store opposite the Olympic Park.

ridgeback bikes kids cycling

A Ridgeback Bikes member advised us that my boys would need a 16″ bike according to their height, but for a non rider, he said it was much easier to learn to ride on a smaller bike where both feel are flat on the ground. Taking the pedals off too was a great tip… this turns the bike into a makeshift balance bike. Balancing is, after all, THE most important skill to master when learning to ride a bike! Once the balancing has been mastered, the pedals can go back on then it should be relatively easy!

Bike and helmet in place, we all headed across the road into the park!

ridgeback bikes bike riding learning kids

Rob from the Bicycle Society had organised some fun activities for the kids to do. There were different sets for different abilities. This was a great way to get the kids’ excited as well as familiarising them with their bikes!

kids bike riding cycling

20170801-Ridgeback-kids-launch-0584

For me, it was wonderful to see my little H joining in. Both boys are incredibly shy but H rose to the challenge like a pro! The staff on hand were all so encouraging and supportive and Rob spent a little one to one time with him, determined to have him riding on his own by the end of the session!

And he did!

The secret to learning and learning fast, is all in the balancing and looking straight ahead, not at the ground! Once the peddles had been put back on his bike, H set off using his feet first… ESSENTIAL… then once the speed was up, on the peddles went his feet! Then he was off…

20170801-Ridgeback-kids-launch-0581

I can’t tell you how amazing it was to see him riding on his own… I went to the event just hoping that the boys would have fun, never imagining that one of them would actually learn to ride in such a short amount of time. O had a little go on his own a bit later but his shyness overcame him. He did watch intently though, picking up all the hints and tips, so once we got home and he felt more relaxed, he could put them into practice!

Ridgeback Kids Club is the perfect place for kids to pick up those all important cycling life skills! Making it safe and enjoyable. Plus Ridgeback Bikes has been building bikes since 1983 for UK riders and has an unmatched reputation for innovation and quality. From high-performance flat bar and touring bikes to comfortable commuters and children’s bikes.

Why not join the Kids Club now to receive the latest news on Ridgeback products along with exclusive offers. And for those who have purchased a new Ridgeback bike, sign up and receive your FREE goodie bag worth over £25!

ridegeback bikes kids club

We had a great time at the event. I would recommend everyone joining up and taking part in the events because they are so much fun and it really does help build confidence and skill for kids! Sometimes when we try and teach our children to ride ourselves, there can be lots of frustrations and upset when they don’t get it, so having a third party involved can make that process easier!

Thank you Ridgeback Bikes for a great day!

You can check out the social hashtag #RidgebackKidsClub and follow on Twitter and Instagram using @ridgebackbikes

Three questions to ask when buying a Family Car

A new set of wheels is a big deal, and when it comes to your family, you want to make sure you’re buying something safe, economical and long-lasting. Purchasing a car on your own is daunting, and women, in particular, are often targeted by unscrupulous dealers and salesmen looking to unload faulty or unsellable vehicles. When it’s time for a new vehicle, then these are just three simple questions you need to ask to make sure you get a car that’s right for you.

  1. How safe is it?

Safety is the number-one priority when it comes to purchasing a new car. The latest driver assistance technologies have the potential to save thousands of lives on our roads. Look for technologies such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), which uses sensors to identify road hazards and can slow and even stop vehicles before a collision; electronic stability control (ESC) which activates when a driver loses control of a car in an accident, and lane-keep assist, which warns drivers when they stray outside their lane. As well as new technologies, vehicles should also include curtain airbags, which will protect you and your children from a side-impact crash and reduce driver death by nearly 40 percent.

  1. How big is it?

Chances are, if you’re a busy parent with several children, then your car needs lots of space! Between taking little ones to sports, supermarket shopping, prams and trips away, a hatchback or sedan just isn’t going to cut it. As how big the boot space is if it isn’t listed, both with the back seats up and down. A ‘big’ boot with the backseat up is considered anything over 500 litres and should be plenty of space for a busy family. It also pays to look at whether you need a five-seater or seven-seater car. Numerous large SUV models have an optional two seats in the back seat, which is ideal if you sometimes carpool or drive children’s friends or relations around but don’t necessarily require a van for day-to-day use.

  1. How much fuel does it use?

A car may seem cheap up front, but turn out to be a huge expense with a large, inefficient engine. Ask the owner or salesman about its fuel rating. If they’re a commercial dealer and don’t know, then that’s a red flag and suggests they don’t know a huge amount about their own cars. You can also check a car’s fuel consumption online. Remember that petrol will be an ongoing expense, so if you’re tossing up between several models with similar safety features and size requirements, then choose the one with the lowest fuel consumption – this will save you the most money in the long run.

You don’t have to learn everything there is to know about cars to when it’s time to purchase your next family vehicle. If you’re concerned about getting a cost-effective, safe vehicle for your family, then it’s worth looking at online websites featuring cars for sale, such as Auto Trader, which will clearly display all the relevant information you need, allowing you to make an informed choice.

Collaborative Post

Camp Bestival Ambassador 2017

camp bestival ambassador

I am so excited to be chosen as a Camp Bestival Ambassdor this year again!

Our time at Camp Bestival last year was the absolute highlight of our year and my children haven’t stopped talking about it since. That’s how you know you’ve created some of the best lifelong special memories for your children, when they go over their experience of it time and time again.

It’s fair to say we can’t wait to head back there this year and we are counting down the days.

The magical, amazing festival for families that is Camp Bestival at Lulworth Cove in Dorset, really does have something for everyone.. amazing live acts, brilliant music, comedy, crafts, sport, circus, funfair, bars, food and so much more! I defy anyone to not LOVE it as much as we did!

It’s the perfect place for novice campers too as all your neighbours on the camping site are families and everyone helps each other out. Everyone is super friendly and just so happy… enjoying these few days at the start of the Summer holidays  which really does kick the summer off perfectly!

camp bestival 2016

But you don’t have to take your own tent if you don’t want to! There are so many different options available to you if you don’t fancy pitching up yourself! There’s the pre-pitched site….. normal tents but are already pitched for you to step right into. There’s a variety of funky tents to hire like the Bells and Yurts, fromt he basic to the luxurious. There’s the wooden Pod’s and the Cloudhouses! The choice is extensive so they can be sure to have the perfect sleeping options for you. There’s even a pop up Hotel this year! So pop over (get it) to the Camp Bestival website where you can see for yourself the choices on offer!

IMG_8623

Being at a Festival with the kids is a wonderful feeling for them and for you. We stayed up late, donned the glitter, danced in a field at the main stage while listening to some amazing music! It’s a surreal experience to do this with kids but one that will stay with you forever!

The lineup this year includes acts such as Mark Ronson, T’Pau, Madness, Leftfield, All Saints, Anne Marie, Lightning Seeds and many more. That’s just the main stage. There are literally hundreds of other acts and attractions to see, in fact… you’ll be stumped for choice as to where you want to to be as you’ll certainly want to be in two places at the same time!

IMG_8571

Being with great friends was, for me, the best thing! Myself and my best blogging buddies, Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby and Katy from Modern Mummy, left the men at home, pitched our tents together and had a blast all weekend while our kids ran riot!

 

IMG_8644

There’s only two months to go till Camp Bestival so you’ve still got time to book those tickets! I cannot recommend it highly enough…. everyone that goes always goes back… this will be my friend Ruth’s fourth year and Katy’s fifth….. if that doesn’t tell you how awesome it is then I don’t know what will!

This will be our second year and we really can’t wait!

Hope to see you there ;)

IMG_8560

 

A Fantastic London Day Out with AttractionTix

Living so close to London we visit frequently.

I love it!

I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of the whole City. No matter how many times I walk along the Thames or drive past the Houses of Parliament, or scurry along the little side streets in the West End…. it can still take my breath away. There’s something truly magical at every turn.

I’ve visited many of London’s attractions too but I don’t think I take time out to do this enough, so when AttractionTix got in touch recently to ask if we wanted a day out visiting some… of course we jumped at the chance!

They were offering an amazing day out for us by the South Bank. AttraxtionTix supply tickets for the best attractions, theme parks and tours all over the world and offer UK exclusive packages that you can’t get at the attractions themselves! They will also offer in-depth guides and essential information that will help you to perfect your holiday plans, with a choice in how you pay and how you’ll receive your tickets. They also have a UK call centre, which is always helpful!

First up, a visit to Sealife to check out the brand new Ocean Invaders Jellyfish experience! We were so excited about this. My younger three children have never been can you believe?

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

The Jellyfish area is a brand new part of the Sealife attraction and is visually stunning! It’s a little bit dark like being under the water I guess, and lit up beautifully with gorgeous colours, showing off the pretty Jellyfish.

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

There are different zones as you wander around the Jellyfish experience, which is the largest in the UK here at Sealife London. You can learn all about their life cycles and the different types… the good ones and the bad ones! Did you know they’re older than any of our ancient reptiles?

There’s also lots of interactive areas, as you would expect at Sealife.

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

Sealife london ocean invaders jellyfish

My children loved this Jellyfish game played out on the giant screen! There’s lots of hands on buttons to play with and holes to poke their hands in… always a big hit with kids, and simply gorgeous tanks of these truly beautiful creatures bobbing around!

The ocean Invaders Jellyfish exhibition is fascinating and a wonderful treat for all the family.

Sealife has so much more to offer too…. even though you could spend hours gazing at the Jellyfish.. we loved the huge tanks with the sharks and giant turtles in…

sharks sealife

…as well as the colder, icy area where there are lots of cute penguins. This was a very popular area and very busy… lots of eager children with faces pressed up against the glass to watch the penguins waddling around or swimming in the water! There are many feeding times throughout the day at Sealife for a number of the creatures so be sure to catch those.

sealife london penguins

We could’ve stayed in Sealife all day. We arrived when it first opened as we were treated to a special Bloggers Breakfast, but I think this is probably the best time to arrive because it was quiet. It started to get very busy as the morning wore on.

After Sealife, we headed out to lunch before meeting back up for a River Cruise! We joined the London Eye River Cruises for a gorgeous, relaxing journey up and down the Thames, taking in the best views in town!

river cruise the thames

A River Cruise is really a great way to see the sights! Not only is it incredibly relaxing and fun, but also very informative. There’s a live, commentary along the way that’s interesting and at times, very funny! It’s also inexpensive from as little as £11 for an adult.

Last but not least, we headed to Shreks Adventure! This is something we’ve wanted to do for ages. Sadly no photo’s were allowed to be taken but I can assure you it’s very good fun!

I was a little apprehensive as it says the recommended age is 6yrs old as may not be suitable for younger or sensitive children. My twins’ are 7 but they are very sensitive so I wasn’t sure they would like it. They don’t really like the element of surprise and Shreks Adventure had this in abundance!

The tour itself takes you on a journey through Shreks world, with real life actors taking on some of the famous roles from the films. There’s a 4D wrap around cinema screen which looked amazing, my daughter said it was, but my twins didn’t want to go in that so they were taken round the back to watch the short film on a normal TV. Then the adventure jumped from room to room, with some of the eager children being chosen to carry out tasks, which they loved!

There are some dark rooms and jumps and bangs along the way, but my twins settled into it and by the end they were really enjoying themselves!

Now they know what to expect, I think we will have to visit again to get the most out of it!

At the end there were a series of zones dedicated to some of the other famous Dreamworks animations!

shreks adventure

We had such a fun filled day out… made even more great by the wonderful company we were in. The lovely Emily from Family Four Fun and Emma from The Joy of Five – both with their families, joined us for all the action! My feet were literally dropping off by the end and the kids were suitably shattered, falling asleep on the train home!

Booking a day like this through AttracitonTix is definitely the best way to do it because you have all your tickets before hand, which gives you piece of mind. No worries about being turned away because the attraction has sold out for the day! It also means you can combine any attractions you like to tailor your day to suit your personal tastes!

I love making memories like this for my children. It’s days like these that really stick in their minds forever, to look back on with a huge smile!

Disclaimer: We were given complimentary tickets to review the attractions here, but all opinions are honest and words my own.
%d bloggers like this: