Featured Post

Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Days Out


This week we decided to go and have a look at the Shropshire Wildlife centre in Shrewsbury, I had been told about the children's area and how it was a great way to spend a few hours on a nice day. And to top it off it a free day out!

I had no idea where it was until I looked, it is nestled away off the big Abbey Foregate Carpark, so great for parking too.

We went with my two little ones and my sister and niece, it is free entry and the site is beautiful. You walk through the gift shop and mini cafe to get to the gardens and then to the play area. There is a large covered sand pit (I am thinking this could be a great rainy day option!) with tunnels leading to different areas, a big muddy area with a mud kitchen and a water play area. And then also just as you enter the fenced off area there is a mini, raised (so it is safe, unless you have a climber!) pond where the children can pond dip with some nets. It really is well equipped with pots, pans, spades, rakes and fishing nets.

free day out in shrewsbury

It was super mucky when we got there as there had been an organised session just before us that must have had lots of fun with the water getting the mud very muddy (is that even possible?) but that made it even more fun for our wild children who didn't hold back getting extra mucky!

They also have some lovely garden areas to wander around in and some picnic areas, so we sat on a bench and some chopped logs and had our sandwiches in the shade.

messy play in shropshire

It isn't often you come across an activity to do which has so much to offer for nothing. It is a voluntary organisation that is dedicated to educating people about wildlife. Shropshire Wildlife Trust is part of The Wildlife Trusts, the largest UK voluntary organisation dedicated to conserving the full range of the UK's habitats and species.

wildlife trust shropshire

With the summer holidays creeping up on us it may well be worth having a look at if you are local,

Hayley x


If you read my post or maybe even entered my competition then you will know we were invited to the Llangollen Eisteddfod. The  Eisteddfod is a music festival which takes place every year during the second week of July in Llangollen, North Wales We went on Friday and honestly, we loved it.

llangollen eisteddfod for kids?

I knew it would be bright and colourful and that the children would love seeing all the costumes and performances but other than that I didn't know what to expect from the day. They were really geared up for families with things such as the picnic area (in a huge marquee thank goodness, it was so hot!), the circus tent where they could get involved and try things out and all the space they could tear around in.

There was something going on all day for us to watch and do, and if not then we just ate and drank sitting in the sunshine. What more could you ask for?

owl rescue shropshire

At the end of the Friday all of the nationalities joined and did a parade into the town of Llangollen and then back to the showground. We would have liked to have followed it in to see them all playing their music in the streets but Alex had just dropped off to sleep in his pram so we decided to make the most of the quiet and have ice creams in the shade. We waited for them all to come back and watched them enter back into the pavillion. This was my favourite part of the whole day. Some of the teams stopped in the middle of the pathway and just started playing and dancing and basically having fun! Then lots of the other just joined in, it was like one big dance off or street festival! It was like nothing  I have seen before, so much fun!

We will certainly be going back next year!

kids festival shropshire

*We were gifted tickets but all opinions are my own


We recently invited along to have tea with the Easter bunny at our local garden centre, Percy Throwers. Percy's is a Wyevale Garden centre and often runs activities such as this but if I am honest I have never really thought about going. I can't put my finger on why, but now I have been I will certainly be going back to other events there.

Easter Bunny Shropshire

We turned up at 3pm and had a meal that we had pre-booked. The children had cooked lunches so Daisy had Chicken nuggets (which actually looked and smelt amazing by the way, nicely fresh cooked not beige looking rocks!) and Alex, Sausages. Which again smelt so good! Their dinners were gone pretty quickly! Ben and I had afternoon tea, which again was really good. At first glance we wish we had gone for a cooked option so perhaps fish and chips but the afternoon tea was really filling and it was nice to have some sweet treats too. Which of course we had to share with the children. But if we were to do it again I would definitely choose the cooked option, we should have known how good it would look as we have eaten there a few times!

Whilst they were eating the Easter Bunny came out and meted and greeted all of the families, making a real effort to have cuddles and do high fives, along with photo opportunities. It went down really well on our table, even if Alex did look slightly terrified at first! I should have mentioned (in case you don't follow this blog) that Daisy is almost 4 years old and Alex 2.

We then went on an eastern hunt around the garden centre, which appealed to the older half of the group. Daisy was in her element, where as Alex just wanted to fill his little bag with chocolate! But it was well thought out and moved at a good pace.

Then it was back to decorate Easter cookies, which both children really enjoyed. Especially the eating of them after!

Tea With The Easter Bunny | Wyevale Garden Centres

They have various events on throughout the year and will definitely be going back at some point. It was nice to just get out as a family and have devoted time together with no other distractions. And really it costs not much more than your standard meal out and they were kept very well entertained! I would highly recommend it.

Hayley x

*We were gifted this event but all opinions are our own and we really are thankful for the opportunity!


I know, I know, such a cliche... A blogger that hunts out pumpkins for photographs at this time of year. But actually this was my first time jumping on the bandwagon.

free days out

free days out

I love autumn and everything that comes with it, the colours, the weather, the smells, you know what I mean I am sure. I love taking photographs and love to compile them at the end of the year into memory books of that year and quite often there is a void between summer and Christmas festivities so this was the perfect day out.

It was a nice dry, sunny weekend and I always like to get out when we can and of course something more interesting than our usual walk down to the play park goes down well with the kids.

Llynclys Hall Farm Shop is not too much of a drive for us and it was well worth it. If you have never been before then it really is worth a trip. It is free entry and although it will probably only fill about 2 hours of your day, it really was nice.

As you would expect there were a lot of pumpkins and so Daisy found this brilliant, trying to lift them, finding funny shaped ones, baby ones and massive ones! They had built a tiered wall from hay and placed pumpkins all over it which was lovely to take photos of. There were just loads of photo opportunities.

They had a barn with kids activities in such as chalk boards, ride on tractors and cars, drawing tables etc which was a nice little touch. And for us, a coffee van. Sadly we didn't get to have a coffee or a nice hot chocolate but next time...

I highly recommend the trip :)

pumpkin farm shropshire

pumpkin farm shropshire

Pumpkin Picking at Llynclys Shropshire | Shropshire Days Out

Pumpkin Picking at Llynclys Shropshire | Shropshire Days Out

Hayley x


We recently were invited to spend the day at Chester Zoo and although I have been several times in the past (we used to live in the city when I was studying at the university) I jumped at the chance. It is a great day out, a jam packed one but a really nice day too.

I wouldn't usually dare to visit in peak times like the summer holidays because although I have my own children I don't tend to like to visit places where there will be millions of other children, I would rather go in autumn or spring when the children can run about without treading on everyone's toes or getting run down by a pushchair!

But I really was pleasantly surprised. I guess I should have thought about it really, the zoo covers a HUGE area and so although there are thousands of guests at any one time on a sunny day (and it was a scorcher when we went!) they really are dispersed all over the park.

A Day At The Zoo #Letsplayatchesterzoo*

So it really has encouraged me to go in the holidays again. I wouldn't have been able to take my nephew had it have been in school time and the girls would have had to have time off from nursery, so really it worked out nicely.

We decided to go around the zoo "backwards". So when you walk through the entrance most people tend to naturally walk clockwise, past the elephants first. But we went right and went up past the Rhinos and headed to the Islands first. This meant we were not going with the masses and although it did get busy by the time we hit the Islands it wasn't too bad.

The Islands are a great addition to the zoo. you can really see how new the area is and the enclosures have been really well thought out. We sadly didn't see the Sumatran tigers, they were hiding, but we did see the Croc and his turtle friends which we a big highlight for the girls!

Chester zoo review

We took a picnic with us to the Zoo because I knew it could turn out to be an expensive day for us. It was inevitable that we would have an ice cream and because of the trip we had to get there (about 80 minutes) we would probably end up having tea on the way home too. There are loads of places to sit and relax so we sat by the new monkey area by the islands and had our sarnies. Then of course had ice creams and coffees later on. Oh and gifts from the gift shop of course!

I guess my only downfall of the zoo would be that it is an expensive day out but I don't begrudge paying it on special occasions (we often go for birthdays) especially as I am all for the conservation of the animals too. Anything we can do to help, even if it is a drop in the ocean.

Days out in Chester

The only other thing I would say is there is just so much to do there, it is a struggle to get around it all. The new play areas are brilliant and the kids absolutely loved it, little and large. But we couldn't spend too much time there because we just had so much to cram in and see! Daisy wanted to see the Flamingos, Mollie the pigs (wart hogs did the trick!!!) , Dan the wild dogs and Jaguars and Alex took a liking to anything big like the Elephants!

zoo review

Hayley x


A few weeks ago we visited Splash Landings at Alton Towers with Konfidence as part of their Swimologist programme to test out the Konfidence Swim Jacket.

Splash Landings With Konfidence*

It is somewhere I have often thought about visiting but just never got around to. We were not disappointed it was fantastic, something for everyone. They had slides and attractions for all ages and Daisy was able to roam about freely and safely with her jacket on.

The jacket gives not only Daisy confidence knowing that she has that little bit of flotation if she needs it (we have removed half of the floats now so it is not completely buoyant now as she can swim) but also us knowing that she has that extra support, keeping her safe. Of course we would never leave her alone anyway but every little helps.

I have shared a post previously all about the jacket, that goes in to a lot of detail here. We use it weekly in our swim lessons and have been on a few trips with it now, and we wouldn't be without it.

Holiday, Eurocamp 2017

swimming aid

So on to a little more about the waterpark.

Firstly we did think it opened quite late - 10am. Staying at the hotel we were there early and with children, well they get up early, we had quite a long time to wait and so ventured to the theme park for the morning instead. It is a shame really because I wanted to spend as much time there as we could, I also wanted to take lots of photo and video footage to share with you all before it got busy but sadly we couldn't wait until it closed to do that (that is when the manager offered us time to go and do this) as we had to leave and the day earlier the children didn't quite have the staying power we hoped for, neither did I to be honest. We were pooped!

The park has heated indoor and outdoor pools, which were great and a hit with all of us, even if it was chilly outside in the typical British summer time! They also had a toddler pool and a main pool that included  ‘lazy river’ where we could float on inflatable rings. This was Daisy's favourite spot, it was full of buckets emptying on your head, waterfalls, sprays etc. It just demonstrated how comfortable she is in the water, if I am honest more at home than I am in there!

It wasn't quite the school holidays but the water park was still really busy and quite loud. I expect it would be pretty manic in the summer holidays and maybe a little too chaotic for us. With Daisy wanting so much independence it would worry me a little bit, even if she can swim and has her jacket for a bit of aid.

Have you been?

West Midlands Safari Park

The Safari Park is a relatively close day out for us and so we took a day out for Daisy's 2nd Birthday back in April. When you visit you get a return visit complimentary (for the same car reg) within so many months and so we decided to take another trip there this week before it expired.

It was quiet as all the children are back in school now and I guess it is the end of their season but that suits us as Daisy could roam around freely to some extent and there was no bustling about to see anything or queuing for rides. It would be nice to visit when it was nice and warm but  the woolly hats and winter coats were welcome this time too.

The Safari park isn't massive but enough for a days visit. It was a little sad to find no type of monkey either as they're always entertaining aren't they and I'm sure Daisy would have loved to see some but then the Hippos made up for it! They were absolutely massive!

Daisy enjoyed the rides this time too, it is amazing how much they change and what they enjoy just six months later. The only trouble was she wanted to go on everything and well she is only tiny still and her choices were limited.

Hayley x

The Ice Cream Farm

Ben and I have been having shared parental leave this past few weeks and so we have tried to go and visit places we haven't been a while or where we haven't been but are too  scared to go to in the school holidays when they're bound to be jam packed with screaming kids! (Yes I have kids & yes they scream but I can't handle too many at once!!)

The Ice Cream Farm is one of those places I have wanted to go to for a while but it's a bit of a drive from us to just pop to and so we needed a day when we could make the most of it.

The Ice Cream Farm

The farm is actually free to enter and there is so much to see and play with, probably enough for at least half a day anyway. There are a few parts that you need to pay for such as the sand and water indoor play or the soft play but there is plenty for the little ones to do if you didn't want to spend anything.

We did go in the sand and water play just for a look more than anything and Daisy seemed to enjoy it. Although I think when she is a few months older then she will enjoy it more as some of the play equipment and water play "tools" were quite heavy and tricky for her to use. But it was all good fun!  Just make sure you take spare clothes if you hope to go in there because they get wet and messy!

The farm animals were a nice little area too, nothing overly exciting but kids love that kind of thing don't they and again it is FREE!

I should point out there is a no picnic rule but food and drink will be how they make their money and they have to somehow! We of course bought ice creams (how could we not?) and we did also buy toasties for lunch too. And actually it wasn't too expensive, not as bad as you would expect at all!

Anyway here are some photos of our day out, as you can see we loved it. We especially loved the outdoor play area as it was so safe for Daisy to run around on and the inset trampolines in the ground! I made a video of our day too which I will tag on to the bottom of this post.

The Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm

The Ice Cream Farm

Hayley xx

A Day Out At Erddig (National Trust)
12:21:00 The little things... 1 Comments

Erddig is another National Trust property that is relatively local to us so the other week we made our first visit there and were joined by one of our friends for a picnic.

It was a beautiful day, perfect for a picnic and an icecream. We certainly chose the right day of the week to visit.

The house itself is huge, not as old as some of the property's you find on the National Trust but still as beautiful. I'm not usually a fan of the tours inside mainly because I tend to go with the children who really aren't too excited about that kind of thing and just want to explore and run around in the grounds. But we did go inside this time, I was really interested because it was so large from the outside but also it was a very hot, sweaty day so it was nice to go inside for a while in the cool! 

Daisy loved the den area in the garden where you can build dens and play in the huts they've built, I really want to take her back on a day when the children are in school and it's quieter so she can get really stuck in. 

The gardens are beautiful, lots of little areas to explore. Daisy's favourite was running around the trees in the orchard area and watching the ducks on the lakes. Although the lakes did make me nervous as there is no kind of barrier to stop them running into them, and when there is so much open space around them it would be easy for little ones to forget there was a pool there! Or maybe it's just my daughter who doesn't look where she is going when she gets excited!!! 

We will definitely be back! 

Hayley X 

Days out: The Quarry Park & Dingle
11:40:00 The little things... 0 Comments

The weather has been so strange this summer so far, when we have had the odd sunny day we have had to make the most of it as much as we can!

Wednesday is swimming day and the pool is located in the middle of the towns park, The Quarry.

We quite often have a little walk down to the play park or have a run on the field with our sandwich before heading home but hadn't been able to in a while what with the rubbish weather and well me having a baby! (Good enough excuse?) 


Well this week the weather looked pretty disappointing and so we thought it would be a coffee to warm up in the cafe at the pool rather than a picnic outside in the park. 

After swimming we went for that anticipated coffee and all of a sudden the grey, miserable rain filled clouds disappeared and so we thought we would take a walk down to the dingle at the bottom of the park. The last time we went was spring and the flowers were just starting to shoot, but look at them now! 



And look in the ponds there were ducklings!!! They are so tame, obviously used to visitors stopping to have a chat with them. We did have to stop a cheeky toddler from going in for a cuddle though! 

It's free to go in the Quarry and free to wander around the Dingle too,  so a cheap day out if you take a little picnic with you! We had held a little tea party for Daisy's nanny the night before so went armed with left over sandwiches and sausage rolls as a mini picnic! It's the little things that toddlers find fun and they love to explore. 

Monday, 4 July 2016

Days out: Powis Castle (National Trust)

We are lucky in that we have several lovely day trip options pretty much on our doorstep or at least a short drive away anyway. I thought I may start to share some of the photos we took at them and our mini reviews incase anyone else is looking for a day out!!

Powis castle is somewhere we have been several times and actually has become quite a special place to us after we took Daisy there in her first week of life and then did the same with Alex. 

You'll have seen me talk about this place a few times if you've followed my blog a while so I thought it only right that I would give it its own post! 

Powis Castle is a beautiful medieval castle, and grand country mansion in PowysWales. It's a National Trust property and is known for its terraced gardens with views out to the local surrounding hills. 

You'll see from the photos that it is a beautiful building and the grounds are stunning, we actually have never ventured in to the venue before as we've just made the most of the gardens in the good weather that we've been lucky to catch! 

The grounds are fairly large and have various levels and little areas to explore and enjoy. The only downfall for us personally is all of the steps you have to navigate with the pushchair,  I'm not sure I would manage going on my own with the babies! But of course the steps are part of the character and architecture so I wouldn't wish them to change or anything drastic like that, it's just something to bear in mind when visiting. 

They do have a little route that includes no steps but it is a steep bank and you actually miss half of the terraces and the views you get from there. 

Daisy loves it here and often visits with her grandparents and picnics in the garden. She even has her own little friend here, Alan the peacock!

Hayley xxx

No comments