Monday, 24 October 2016

Halloween at Chessington World of Adventures: a Review

Want to get in the mood for Halloween?
Want to entertain your little ones during half term?
Want to have a fuss-free family day out
which will be equally fun for children and adults?

Look no more;
Chessington World of Adventures, 
the famous London adventure park, 
is ready to make this Halloween truly spectacular 
for children of all ages.

Besides, where else can one see giraffes and rhinos
alongside pumpkins and spooky scarecrows?

A Mum in London

Howl'o'ween at Chessington World of Adventures

Upon setting foot at Chessington World of Adventures, 
you can't help but get into a Halloween mood;
pumpkins, graveyards, and spider webs are everywhere,
performers dressed up as skeletons roam around,
and spooky music makes the whole experience 'out of this world'.

There are two main Howl'o'ween attractions:
the Trick-or-Treat wood,
which is suitable for children of all ages,
and the Curse of the Lost Tomb,
which is for children over 8 years.

We visited the Trick-or-Treat haunted woods
where fawns, fairies, and goblins guided us through the forest;
with the help of secret poems and magic dust we found the exit
where a much-anticipated {organic} treat awaited the children.

Needless to say, the children were delighted.

A Mum in London

For more spooky fun,
visit the Hocus Pocus Hall
{suitable for children of all ages},
and the spooky animal shows.

There is also the Hairy & Scary Show
and a fancy dress competition for children going on,
so make sure to wear your scariest costumes. 

Plus, during half-term and up until Halloween,
Chessington World of Adventures is open late every night until 8pm,
so you can make the most out of your day there.

A Mum in London

Chessington's Best Rides and Attractions

With more than 40 rides and attractions, 
a magnificent zoo with a whooping 1000 animals 
and a fantastic Sea Life Centre,
the task of prioritising what one will see and do
at Chessington World of Adventures can be a bit daunting.

To make it a bit easier for you,
here are our favourite rides and attractions there.

Kid's favourite: the Amazu one,
a fantastic treetop adventure
where we got too climb and play amongst monkeys.

Baby's favourite: the trail of the kings,
where he met tigers, lions and gorillas.

Dad's favourite: the Dragon Falls
and the thrill of plunging through the falls
on a little boat in the most amazingly exotic setting.

Mum's favourite: the Zoofari is absolutely brilliant;
we boarded a muddy expedition jeep
and got to see rhinos, giraffes and zebras from really close.

In a nutshell: a fantastic theme park and zoo
for a really successful family day out.

Howl'o'ween at Chessington, until 31 October 2016, open daily from 10am to 8pm
Tickets from £27.60, late entry from 4pm £20

Disclosure: We received complimentary tickets. 
All views and wording my own.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Top Things to Do for Autumn Half Term

With the Autumn half term just around the corner, 
it's high time to get organised 
and plan fun days out for the little ones, 
{unless you want to get stuck with whiny children at home}. 

And with the weather forecast 
looking as grim as it can possibly get,  
it would not be a bad idea to plan indoor activities. 

Fear not, here are some top notch things to do in London 
with the children during this Autumn half term. 

A Mum in London

Plop the Owl at the Unicorn Theatre

We were recently invited to the amazing Unicorn Theatre, 
which is a stone's throw from Tower Bridge, 
to watch Jill Tomlison's classic children's story 
The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark. 

This engaging, sweet story is about an owl
 that goes on an incredible life adventure 
to overcome its fear of the dark.  

Perfectly suited for children 2-6 years, 
the interactive setting and seating 
successfully immerses children and adults alike 
in the story of Plop's adventures 
{the funny surprises will have you asking for more}.

Be sure to check out the other productions 
over at the Unicorn Theatre
they cater for children aged 0 to 17 
and have relaxed, as they call them, performances 
for people on the autistic spectrum. 

What's more, a theatre trip at the Unicorn Theatre 
doesn't cost the earth: children's ticket prices range from £8 to £12,  
making this a prime destination for thespian loving families.

A Mum in London

Halloween Sleepover at the Museum of London

How much fun is this? 
Children aged 7-11 get a chance to experience first hand 
what happens inside the Museum of London 
once the doors close for the night. 

Scary fancy dress and trick-or-treating are mandatory 
and the museum's staff have prepared lots of fun activities;  
children will go on a creepy activity trail, 
will get to solve a spooky crime 
and have exclusive access to the Fire! Fire! exhibition
before tucking down for the night. 

A yummy breakfast and a film in the morning 
will surely make this an unforgettable sleepover. 
Cost is £60 per person, see more info here.

As one of the the most family-friendly museums in London, 
the Museum of London have planned 
lots of free and exciting activities for all the family. 
Be sure to check them here.

Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street | nearest Tube station London Bridge
Museum of London, 150 London Wall | nearest Tube station Barbican & St Paul's

Monday, 26 September 2016

Kiddies' Autumn 'To Do' List

Autumn is possibly the best season here in England;
the weather is still holding with warm sunshiny days, 
the parks are lovely with all the colours and crunchy leaves, 
the atmosphere is happy and jovial 
with Halloween, Guy Fawkes and the built-up to Christmas. 

For the little ones, autumn is the time 
to get back into a routine after the summer holidays
and to enjoy the great outdoors before temperatures drop. 

A Mum in London

To do: Invest in Indoor Games & Activities 

With the dreaded short days and the usual British weather ahead, 
every parent knows the importance 
of stocking up on indoor activities for the little ones. 

Board games, puzzles, colouring books are ideal 
for spending a rainy afternoon at home;
and at Djeco's* they have a brilliant range of toys 
that will keep the kiddos entertained for hours. 

Created in France, Djeco toys are highly educational 
and feature lovely illustrations and attention to detail. 
From their puzzles to the creative board games, 
the children will have heaps of fun 
and might actually create pretty craft projects for once! 

A Mum in London

To do: Shop the Kids' Autumn Wardrobe 

One of my firm favourites for the boys' essentials 
is Nutmeg's* clothing range; it offers amazing value 
with great quality, little prices and cute designs.

Their hero pieces are the coats and jackets, 
very warm, very light and very durable 
{the kid has been wearing his gilet for 2 years
and it's almost as good as new}. 

The Nutmeg range is available in most Morrisons stores 
with prices starting from as little as £2 for a T-shirt!

A Mum in London

To do: Get Children's Skin Ready for Winter 

Skinfix*, North America’s favourite natural sensitive skincare, 
recently launched its award-winning Baby range into the UK 
and we got to test it. 

After a month long holiday under the Greek sun, 
the children's skin was in need of moisturising.

What I like about Skinfix's baby and children's range 
is the fact it's made of 98% natural ingredients and that it's odourless. 
By leaving out all the nasty chemicals and fragrances that irritate the skin, 
Skinfix's products are perfectly suitable 
for my children's sensitive and eczema prone skins. 

Djeco, see all the toys here
Nutmeg available in Morrisons, see their range here 
Skinfix available in Boots

Disclosure: Items marked with an asterisk are PR samples. 
Views and wording my own. 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Surviving Summer Holidays with the Kids in London

They're upon us; the summer holidays. 
And while parents across the country 
rejoice at the thought of not having to do the school run, 
the prospect of keeping the kiddos happy and entertained 
for six whole weeks can appear slightly daunting. 

Fear not. 

If you live in or visiting London, 
here are some ideas that could help 
with having fun with your brood.

A Mum in London

What: Roger Hargreaves's adorable Mr Men and Little Misses
will be spending their summer at the Southbank;
to celebrate 45 years,
a pop up exhibition at the ground floor of the OXO Tower
invites all of Mr Men fans to a mini museum
complete with a library and a collection of the rarest memorabilia.

When: 24 to 29 August, 10:00 to 18:00
Admission Free

Ideal: for preschoolers and early years' children

A Mum in London

What: The imposing period building right on the Piccadilly circus
is home to a wide array of very weird objects:
from a two-headed cockerel to dinosaur eggs
and a toilet paper wedding gown (!),
a visit to Ripley's is full of surprises and kitsch humour.
We went there, invited by Families Online,
and had a fun day filled with curiosities.

When: open every day from 10:00 to 22:30
Admission (pre-booked) from £13.98

Ideal: for older children and teenagers

A Mum in London

Japanese anime screenings 
What: To the delight of Japanese anime fans, 
the Japan Foundation is hosting a series of screenings 
and promises to brighten up children's summer days. 
The screenings take place at the BAFTA building in Piccadilly. 

When: Saturday 30 July and Saturday 6 August 
Admission free, booking required

Ideal: for children aged 8 and over 
(check age suitability for each film) 

A Mum in London

Video Games at the Science museum 

What: A hands-on and fully interactive two week gaming event, 
featuring the very best video games and consoles from the past 40 years. 
From Donkey Kong to Mario and Minecraft to the latest consoles, 
this event will delight video games fans, young and older.

When: from 22 July to 7 August 
Pre-book tickets for 90 minutes sessions 
Tickets from £6.50, under 3s go free

Ideal: for young children over 5 and teenagers, of course

Mr Men at the Southbank, OXO Tower WharfLondon SE1 9PH 
Ripley'sPiccadilly Circus, London W1J 0DA
Japanese foundation anime screenings, BAFTA building 195  Piccadilly, London W1J 9LN
Power Up at the Science Museum, 

Disclosure: Complimentary tickets to Ripley's,
courtesy of Families Online
and invitation to Power Up VIP event

Friday, 8 July 2016

Greek Islands Summer Style

We are counting days; 
our summer holidays can't come soon enough. 

It's true that the stubborn grey cloud over London,
the not so summery temperatures 
and the post-Brexit grim ambiance 
are not much help.

What does help though is browsing summer looks online
and preparing a virtual suitcase
full of swimwear, light dresses and sandals
for our escape to the Greek islands. 

A Mum in London

Typically, a summer's day on a Greek island 
is spent on or close to the beach;
with day temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees,
it's essential to wear natural fabrics,
shades and of course comfy sandals.

The cotton broderie maxi dress* pictured above
is a staple of my summer holiday wardrobe:
the cotton fabric is light & airy,
the maxi length is convenient for wearing all day long,
{over swimwear to go to the beach
or accessorised with a statement necklace in the evening},
and its simple straight line is flattering.

Pair it with traditionnal Greek leather sandals
{good value ones can be found
at the open air markets on many Greek islands},
good quality shades to protect your eyes
and a straw hat and you are ready
for the cool, relaxed outdoor life of the Greek Summer.

Explore Greece and its islands:
Kythira, Paros, Syros, Greece's best beaches, Tinos

1. Cotton maxi dress £30 from JDWilliams
2. Handmade Greek leather sandals 145 euros, also available at Harvey Nichols & Selfridges
3. Fendi Sunglasses, £429, from JDWilliams
4. Straw hat, currently on sale £7 from JDWilliams

Disclosure: Items marked with * were gifted.
In association with JDWilliams.

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