Wanderlust Kids #5

It’s that time of the month again for #Wanderlustkids and June has gone faster than I can keep up. Thank you to everyone who linked up their great posts to Wanderlust Kids last month. There have been babymoons, family holidays and hints and tips posts. Here is a synopsis of everyone’s post that linked up, in case you missed them last month.

Charlene of High Heels and Fairy Tales shared her post about their family holiday to Solana Beach in Mauritius. It sounds and looks amazing with very thoughtful kids club workers. It’s definitely on my to-do list.

Kiri from Kizzy, Izzy and Baby shared her post full of hints and tips to make the most of your visit to Legoland, Windsor. She had a great tip about getting wristbands for your kids to write your name and number on in case they get lost. I think I’ll be using that tip in future!

Lisa from Baby Loves Travel shared her post about a toddler’s visit to Shepreth Wildlife Park, which she found was a good place as a destination for a multi-generational family visit. Her only disappointment was the food outlets on site.

Denise of This Irish Family shared with us the 5 products you NEED if you travel with kids, such as ear plugs (we haven’t had to consider these with BattleKid as so far he’s been ok with his ears on airplanes) and Cozyphones with I’m seriously considering for BattleKid for when we travel to the USA in August.

Tooting Mama visited Roland GArros for a charity tennis event where world-class stars play championship-level one set matches. Her kids loved it and weren’t bored since the matches were short. Great way to introduce kids to the world of tennis.

Sinead of Shinners and the Brood shared her 20 things to do in Galway with kids and just in time for the summer holidays too. I never knew there was that much to do in and around Galway. I’ve been to Salthill and Leisureland but none of the others. This post has been added to Pinterest for future reference!

Rupreet of Rupeat shared her post about their recent babymoon to Dubai. They stayed just outside of Dubai and it looks like a lovely place to holiday with great food, apart from one night.

Laura of Musings of a Tired Mummy shared her post about spending time in Dymchurch, Kent, and told us of discovering that the beach was sandy and not pebbles as she had first thought. And I love her choice of nail varnish colour!

Deb of My Boys Club shared part 1 of their family holiday to Loch Ness. Oh my, what stunning scenery. And their accommodation looked perfect, right on the banks of the Loch. I’d love to do the cruise they did combined with the castle visit for some dragon hunting. Scotland is certainly on our family bucket list!

And last but by no meas least, Alana of Baby Holiday showed us how much fun glamping in a yurt can be. They had a great time celebrating their boys’ birthdays and she captured some stunning pictures too. I’d love to do a family glamping holiday.

I really enjoyed reading the different posts everyone linked up and cannot wait to see what will be linked up this month.

This month I am linking up a post I did recently where I got the blogging community involved. As I’ve mentioned before in our Holiday Diaries 2017 post, we are going to be visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time as a family this year and are in planning mode. I found all the hints and tips from my fellow bloggers so helpful.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up (or favourite ones depending on the numbers), linking back to the owner’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment.

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open on the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be about a day out, a family holiday, somewhere new your children discovered or a post with tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will feature some of my favourites, linking back to the owner’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few of the other posts that have linked up and leave a comment.

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached with it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase.

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration.

WanderlustKids

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Wanderlust Kids #4

It’s that time of the month again for #Wanderlustkids and May has come and gone. I cannot thank you all enough for linking up your great posts to Wanderlust Kids last month. I love reading all the different kinds of posts linked up and there were again some great holiday posts as well as hints and tips posts. Here is a synopsis of everyone’s post that linked up, in case you missed them last month.

Rhi from Toy Infinity gave us great ideas of what to take on a plane for young children to keep them occupied and entertained. I got a great new hint which I will employ when we go long-haul at the end of August.

Lisa from Baby Loves Travel shared her experience of taking a baby on a short cruise around Lake Zurich. I didn’t know about the cruises when we visited years ago but will bear them in mind for when we return with BattleKid in tow.

Tooting Mama shared some great ideas for visiting the French Basque country. From glorious beaches, to amazing villages, and great food, it has it all. I want to go now!

Lindsay from Newcastle Family Life shared her reasons why Beamish makes for a great day out for the whole family. It reminds me of St. Fagans, the Welsh Museum of Life, but with tours of a pit. I’d love to visit Beamish one day.

Charlene from High Heels and Fairy Tales linked up her post about their trip to Europe when their daughter was still a toddler. It’s in three parts so be sure to read the other posts in the series!

Sarah who blogs at Digital Motherhood showed us there is more to Orlando than just Disney and theme parks. I would love to visit the Crayola Experience she spoke about.

Steph from Renovation Bay Bee blog told us all about her Easter stay in a barn conversion in the Cotswolds. Wow. It looks amazing. Make sure to watch her video which gives us a tour of the place especially.

And finally Paul from Family Makes shared with us their recent skiing trip to North Conway, USA. He has included one or two videos and I couldn’t drive on those roads I tell you. There is also a serious sweet haul to be watched. He also gives us his verdict on whether to do a DIY ski holiday like this one again or a package one.

I really enjoyed reading the different posts everyone linked up and cannot wait to see what will be linked up this month. This month I am linking up my review of an AirBnB place we stayed at last year for the August Bank Holiday weekend. It was a great place to stay and suitably located for all the things we wanted to do around Chester.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up (or favourite ones depending on the numbers), linking back to the owner’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment.

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open on the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be about a day out, a family holiday, somewhere new your children discovered or a post with tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will feature some of my favourites, linking back to the owner’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few of the other posts that have linked up and leave a comment.

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached with it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase.

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration.

WanderlustKids

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Aberdare Bike Races – BattleKid’s First Motorbike Race Meet

On Saturday 30th July this year we went to Aberdare Bike Races. Now BattleDad and I have been quite a number of years ago on a Sunday afternoon and it was really good. We quite enjoyed it and, as it was our first race meet before we went to the TT for the first time, it gave us a good idea of what to expect when going to the Isle of Man. We decided to take BattleKid this year because he is two and a half years of age, motorbike mad and we thought this year would be a good time to take him to see whether or not he would enjoy it.aberdare bike races

We decided to go early in the morning in case BattleKid didn’t enjoy it, as there are still times that he gets a little uneasy when BattleDad starts up his own bike. If he did enjoy it we could stay until lunchtime and still be back in time for BattleKid’s nap at the afternoon, if he didn’t then we could leave early enough. We arrived about 9:30 in the morning and made our way through the gates into the park.

We had booked our tickets online which was really handy. When you first go into the park, if there are bikes going around the track, you need to wait by the gates until the bikes have completed their laps. Only then do the Marshalls let you through into the middle of Aberdare Park where spectators are allowed and where the merchandise stands and food stalls are located.

We waited with everybody else by the gates until the bikes had completed their practice laps and this gave us a chance to see how BattleKid would take to the noise. Lolo was over visiting us from Ireland so he took him up into his arms and made a game of the bikes going around. By doing this, not only did BattleKid get really excited but it calmed any nerves he had. He did get a little fright when one of the bikes backfired but he soon got over it.

Once the bikes had finished their laps, the Marshalls opened the gates and let us through, and the first thing we hit was the playground. BattleKid had an absolute ball going up and down the slides, having fun on the swings as well, all while the bikes were doing their practice laps. The morning session is practice session and race laps are in the afternoon.aberdare park races

After a couple more goes on the swings we decided to make our way to the merchandise stands because BattleDad wanted to see a friend of his who would be on the Institute of Advanced Motorists stand. Unfortunately his friend wasn’t there yet but this gave us a chance to check out some of the clothes stands. I picked up a lovely Honda jacket for him for next year.

We also had time for BattleKid to have his first ever carousel ride on his own. He had a very serious face on him going around. After that we took another walk around the stands, stopping by the quad bikes track for the two boys to have a ride together. I think it was more for BattleDad than BattleKid, if we’re being honest!

BattleKid had a very serious face on him again as he and BattleDad were going around the track. It was quite funny looking at his little serious face with the very big helmet they had put on his head but they both seem to enjoy it.

After that we had another little wander around before walking around the lake and stopping by the side of the barriers to watch some more of the bikes doing their practice rounds. BattleKid had been getting a bit tired before this. However once we got to the side of the barriers he got a second wind and started really enjoying watching the bikes going round and round doing their laps. We watched a few more rounds of practice before we decided to head for home.aberdare park races

aberdare park races

aberdare park races

 

Although we didn’t spend too long at Aberdare Bike Races this year, it was a good introduction for BattleKid and he seemed to really enjoy it as did Mum, Dad and Lolo. We will definitely be taking him back next year when we will probably spend most of the day there as he won’t need his nap. Going to Aberdare Bike Races this year gives us a good idea that BattleKid will enjoy motor racing in the flesh. He enjoys watching the TT and MotoGP on the TV but seeing bikes up close and personal is a different story. This year’s visit to Aberdare Races also gets us excited for when we finally get ferry tickets for the Isle of Man TT, which we haven’t managed to do this year! One year soon we’ll get ferry tickets! They are the hardest part of trying to attend the TT.

Aberdare Bike Races are held on an 0.9 mile demanding circuit which winds it’s way through the trees in the local town park. First raced in 1950, it has seen not only local racers participate but also TT stars such as Ian Lougher and John McGuinness. This year it cost £12 per adult for a single day pass, or £23 for a full weekend adult pass. Under 13’s went free when accompanied by a full paying adult and children between 13 and 16 years of age cost £5 for a day pass.

There are numerous food stalls, plenty of merchandise stands and some fairground-type attractions for kids. There is no car parking at the park, although there is some limited space for bikes at the entrance. There are car parks in the town, less than half a mile away and you might be lucky to find some street parking around the park.aberdare park races

So if you are a biking family and plan to visit South Wales in July, I’d recommend you visit when Aberdare Bike Races are on. We’ll definitely be attending again next year. I also recorded a little vlog of our visit to the races this year which you can view below.

Thanks for reading.

Cath x

 

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo – Our Visit and Review

While on a recent long weekend away at Bluestone in West Wales, we visited Folly Farm for the first time. Now I’ll admit when I first heard the name Folly Farm, I automatically assumed it was a small petting farm similar to Cefn Mably or the Small Breeds Farm, and when it first opened back in 1988 I wouldn’t have been far off.

However that assumption is now way off the mark as Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, to give it its full name, is a hell of a lot more than the name Folly Farm suggests. Winner of the “Best Day Out” in the National Tourism Awards Wales in 2015, and a 2015 Traveller’s Choice on TripAdvisor, Folly Farm is an amazing place situated in Begelly in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, not too far from Tenby or Bluestone.Folly Farm

It is not only a farm but also has a full indoor vintage funfair, an award-winning zoo with over 200 species of animals and extensive indoor and outdoor adventure attractions and play areas.

On our visit to Folly Farm we arrived shortly after its opening of 10am, parked our car and made our way to the entrance where our friends sorted out our tickets, courtesy of Tesco Clubcard vouchers. We passed the huge gift shop, which both of us mums commented we’d visit on the way out, and out we went into Folly Farm itself.

First stop was the Jolly Barn & Farm, an indoor barn that houses farm animals including pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens and the most magnificent Shire horse. He was amazing and very majestic looking. BattleKid had a great time running around shouting “oh piggy, oh chicken” while doing the noises they make. I even got brave and touched a rat during the “meet a rat” time although BattleKid was having none of it at first until the handler said he was going away and then he just had to touch it!Folly Farm

Folly Farm

Folly Farm

Folly Farm

folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

I then showed BattleKid how to milk a cow which he thought was hilarious as he squirmed milk (water) over himself and me.

From the Jolly Farm we decided to visit the vintage Funfair as it was getting close to lunchtime. We got change and tokens and then proceeded to get frustrated trying to win Batman teddies on the grabber machines from the boys. £5 later we were still empty-handed despite getting them in the grabbers a number of times. The arms just let go too easily. This was our only disappointment of the day. BattleDad was sure we’d get one after spending £5 but no! After this we wandered around the amusement rides and us mums took the boys on the Ghost Trains. I’ve never been one for these types of rides but I’m fast coming to the realisation that I have to start doing them for BattleKid’s sake. I was also a bit apprehensive about how BattleKid would react to it but I just made a fuss of the flashing lights and the ‘dragons’ and he was fine, shouting “peep peep” ala Thomas the Tank Engine. After the ghost train I took BattleKid on the carousel which he really enjoyed. We didn’t get to see all of the Funfair as it is huge and our bellies were rumbling.folly farm

We decided to have lunch in the Funfair Restaurant and my jacket potato was tasty, while BattleDad thoroughly enjoyed his fish and chips. BattleKid ate his garlic bread and only picked at his pasta Bolognese, too distracted by the lights and sounds around him. He is also not a huge fan of pasta shapes, preferring spaghetti instead.

Before we left the Funfair the adults tried their hands at the Side Stalls, knocking tins off shelves and Duck Bingo. BattleDad actually knocked all his tins off during one of his goes and won a large blue dragon for BattleKid. He tried his best to repeat it to win our friend’s son one but ran out of tokens.

With lighter pockets and satisfied bellies we made our way to the zoo and first up was some monkeys and the lions. BattleKid loves lions from his “How to Hide a Lion” bedtime stories and didn’t want to leave their enclosure. We then saw the Tapiers, Giant Tortoise, Meerkats (Kalahari Critters) and the camels before making our way to the Rhino enclosure.folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

folly farm

To our surprise there were not one but two Rhino enclosures and they were huge. After the rhinos we went to show BattleKid the pen-pens (penguins) and flamingos. He loves pen-pens as some of you know from our Oliver Jeffers book “Lost and Found” and I literally had to drag him away.folly farm

folly farm

After the penguins we quickly made our way to see the giraffes. I’ve always found them to be majestic looking animals, so graceful.

folly farm

From the zoo we went to the outdoor adventure area where BattleKid made a beeline for the pedal tractors, picking the largest one he could find. He is still learning what pedals are all about and usually goes backwards more than he does forwards, as you do when you’re two. folly farmFrom there we went to the sand diggers while we waited for the Big Dig attendant to return and BattleKid loved them. He actually managed to operate the two levers on his own!folly farm

Once the attendant was back the Dads handed over their tokens and spent the next few minutes living out their dreams of operating diggers. Boys never grow up. However BattleDad didn’t get much hands-on experience as BattleKid kept swiping his hands away shouting “no dada, Ada do it”. Al I could do was chuckle as I filmed it.folly farm

After the diggers and another quick visit to the sand diggers we started thinking about heading for home. We passed by the go-karts ad BattleKid had an absolute canary fit when we explained the cars were too big for him. He was both hugely disappointed and overtired, having not napped all day. We said he could do them next time but it’s unlikely as well be back before he’s old enough.

We stopped at the gift shop and got some pick’n’mix and I got one or two other little things too. BattleKid only then fell asleep in his buggy, pooped after a big day out. It was 4.30pm so hardly surprising he couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer.

I couldn’t believe that it was 4.30 before we headed for the cars. I certainly hadn’t anticipated spending the while day at Folly Farm but it’s so easily done!

As I’ve mentioned Folly Farm outdid my expectations and I was pleasantly surprised by everything Folly Farm has to offer. It is no wonder it is an award-winning day out. There is plenty to do and see for all age groups and lots of places to eat too which we thought were reasonably priced. There are extra charges for certain things like the Funfair and diggers but they are reasonable.folly farm

Folly Farm is family friendly as you’d expect and also wheel chair accessible. There is free parking there, baby changing and feeding facilities and a large gift shop too. Prices, as shown below, are great value-for-money in my opinion and, as our friends did, you can use your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers towards Folly Farm tickets.

We will definitely be visiting Folly Farm in the not so distant future. So if you are based in South Wales or are visiting Pembrokeshire on holidays, such as Bluestone, then I can highly recommend a day out at Folly Farm, especially if you have children!

Cath x

General Information about Folly Farm:

  • General Opening Hours are 10-5.
  •  

    Winter Opening hours are 10-4.

  •  

    Adult £13.95, Concession £11.95 (concessions are for child age 3-15, Senior citizens or disabled patrons).

  •  

    Children aged 2 and under go free.

  •  

    Discounts are available online.

folly farm
BattleKid loved the tractors in the Jolly Barn and did not want to leave them!

Wriggle Exhibition – The Wonderful World of Worms

Last Saturday BattleKid and I were invited down to Cardiff Museum to the official opening of the new exhibition Wriggle! the Wonderful world of worms. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was apprehensive whether the Wriggle Exhibition would be above BattleKid’s age range.

We arrived at 9am and when the doors opened for the invitees, we made our way in and I found a place to stow BattleKid’s buggy and stashed his change bag in the lockers (they cost £1) before we had some of the breakfast refreshments that had been laid on. Once BattleKid had finished his snack, we took a look around the displays that were on the ground floor foyer for the event. Wriggle Exhibition

There was everything from microscopes to fossils and even stands explaining the importance of worms in food production. We had a look around and BattleKid honed in on the microscopes, fascinated with them, although I’m not 100% sure he actually saw anything under them. I explained to him that mama uses them in work, which he thought meant one of them was mine to take away. Eh no.

He kept going back to them time and time again to look through the eyepiece. You never know, we could have another scientist in the making! There was also a fossil-making stand where children could press fossil specimens into clay to take home with them which I thought was a great idea.Wriggle Exhibition

After about 20 minutes we were all called to the bottom of the stairs for the opening talk from Dr Andrew Mackie. All the children were invited to the top and I tagged along to get a front row seat, keeping BattleKid company. Dr Mackie thanked all the efforts from the scientists and teams who put together the exhibition as well as the local Primary School who helped put together some of the ideas in the exhibition. He then invited Dr Rhys Jones, an evolutionary scientist and BBC presenter, to the front to officially open the exhibition.

Rhys was a great speaker, funny and very passionate, and was extremely engaging with the children, particularly one little boy sat beside us. And although the exhibition wasn’t open to the public until after 10am when the museum opened, he managed to sneak us in for a preview, on the proviso we didn’t tell anyone!

Wriggle Exhibition
Dr Rhys Jones officially opening the Wriggle Exhibition

Wriggle Exhibition

Supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery and Western Power Distribution, Wriggle is an innovative exhibition which is both family friendly and interactive. And although he can’t read yet, the displays were enough to capture BattleKid’s attention. Wriggle delves into the world of worms in a number of ways including:

  • Awesome Worms – showing us weird and wonderful worms including the bone-eating snot flowers worm. Yuck! There were lots of different specimens to view, with descriptions alongside their display jars.Wriggle Exhibition
  • Worm or Not a Worm – an interactive wall which acts as a game to help see if we can tell a worm from another creature. Believe me, even I couldn’t tell with most of them!Wriggle Exhibition
  • Worms’R’Us – explaining the worm research going on behind the scenes. I was delighted to see some of the tools used and recognised them from my day job too! I felt right at home.Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • From Fossils to Fantasy – looking at worms in popular culture such as books and films.
  • Size Really Matters – exploring worms of various sizes from tiny worms no bigger than a fingernail, to a 30m long bootlace worm. They have a rope you can follow to the display that is as long as one of these and you can’t imagine a worm that long until you see this rope!
  • The Wriggloo – almost like a den, it gives you the opportunity to see the world from a worms perspective and the animals they live alongside, and often need to dodge. You can wriggle your way inside and believe me, BattleKid did just that. He loved this part of the exhibition, spending what felt like ages going in and out of the wriggle holes which were too small for mama which meant I spent my time running around trying to keep up with him. He was also quite taken by the animals in the display holes and the badger inside the Wriggloo. The Wriggloo also houses a real-live wormery.Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition

There is so much to see and do in the Wriggle Exhibition and although I thought it would be outside BattleKid’s age range as I’ve said, far from it as he was fascinated by the worms and animals. He spent ages looking at the display panels in the floor and their contents as well as inside the Wriggloo. Wriggle Exhibition

There is quite a lot to see at the Wriggle Exhibition and unfortunately, as I didn’t have BattleDad with me, I didn’t get to spend time reading all the displays. However, that just means I’ll have to return!

The Wriggle Exhibition is suitable for all ages, even two year olds, and is both educational and fun. There is plenty of time to visit the exhibition as it runs until 30th September 2017 and the museum will be running supporting events throughout this summer, details of which can be found on the Cardiff Museum website.

Wriggle Exhibition

Although worms are not my thing, I thoroughly enjoyed what I got to see of the Wriggle Exhibition and have no doubt I’ll return, either with BattleDad in tow or on my own. i would like to spend some time reading and exploring those displays I didn’t get a chance to see, due to running around the Wriggloo after BattleKid. Thanks to Cardiff Museum for inviting us to the official opening of the Wriggle Exhibition.

So if you are looking for both a fun and educational thing to do with your children, especially this summer, why not visit Wriggle! the Wonderful world of worms at Cardiff Museum. You might be squeamish like me but I bet you enjoy it and your kids will love it!

Cath x

Cardiff Museum details:

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm.

Closed Mondays except most bank holidays.

Free entry, although there are donation points in the foyer.

Visitor parking is located behind the museum and costs £6.50, exit token available in Museum shop.

 

Cuddle Fairy