Brand new for 2020 Inflatanation is opening it’s doors here in Peterborough on January the 18th. The new venue is in the Peterborough One (PE1) Retail Park in Eye. Inflatanation is a 14,500 sq ft…View Post
NENE VALLEY RAILWAY | SANTA EXPRESS
This was our second trip on the Santa express based at Nene Valley Railway in Wansford, Peterborough. The last time we visited, Emily was only two years old and we had a really lovely time. The only reason why we didn’t do it again until this year was purely because we wanted to try other places too.
I booked our tickets online, which was really easy and straight forward to do, all their dates, times and availability are on their website clear as day for you to pick from. On the next page, you can pick whether you want a classic seat or a first-class seat. The only difference between the two is that on the classic ticket you don’t get a table like you do with 1st class and I think you get an extra snack to eat on the train journey, but you would need to double-check that. There are also options to book a private coach and add on food platters.
On the next page, they ask for the children’s name and ages and then the payment screen. We received the tickets in the post at the beginning of December, so plenty of time before we were due to go on the 14th.
The car park situation always looks quite daunting, as there are cars parked everywhere, however, we managed to get parked up quite quickly. Word of advice though, wear footwear that can be easily cleaned because you will get quite muddy getting out the car, especially if it has been raining.
Our train was booked for 2pm and we arrived at 1.40pm. We went straight through to the where you give your tickets to the train inspector and the kids all received badges to wear with their ages on. As our train was leaving at 2pm, the waiting area was empty, as most of the people had already boarded the train. The inspector asked us to hurry as quick as we could because the train was waiting so make sure you arrive in plenty of time so there will be less of a rush. We waited for around 10 minutes to see Santa and whilst we did there was so much going around to keep you and the kids entertained.
There were interactive displays set up which the children could look at, have photos with and press buttons. A children’s entertainer was juggling, spinning plates and playing with his ‘magic’ hat, which had the kids kept very amused. A choir was singing Christmas classics while you wait, they even get the children to pick the next song they sing out of their music book and Lydia got to pick ‘Jingle Bells’ which she loved.
Seeing Santa Claus was lovely! As you get to the door to his ‘grotto’, you are greeted by his friendly elf helpers who interact with the kids asking them their names whilst secretly looking at their badge age so they can choose the relevant gift. Emily and Lydia were full of questions for him and Emily had even drawn him a special picture and gave him another letter to take back to the north pole, which was adorable. Leo (14) said it was embarrassing, but went with it for his little sisters and secretly he enjoyed it.
We boarded the train and made our way down to coach H, which is where we would be sitting for our train journey. The carriage was pretty basic and is really old, but that just added to the experience in my opinion. As soon as we were seated, the kids ripped open their gifts to see what Santa had brought them and they were all chuffed to bits with the gifts. Emily got a Disney Princess Jewelry game, which we play at home and the girls really enjoy playing it together. Lydia loves crafts and she got a paint by numbers set, which she was over the moon with, and Leo loves anything old and retro and even he was happy with his little model Alfa Romeo car.
The train attendants came round shortly after and offered the kids a choice of either a carton of Apple or Orange juice and a chocolate Fredo bar. The adults had the choice of either a glass of wine, baileys, beer, tea or coffee and a mince pie which me and David thoroughly enjoyed, minced pies are our favourite.
All in all I’d say the train journey was about an hour with a short break half way through. The break feels really long and the kids did get bored after a little while of waiting, but they need to do this in order for Santa to make his way safely through each carriage to say Hello and to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and the look on the children’s’ face when Santa came was definitely worth the wait. After Santa leaves, the train heads back to the station where you can continue to see all the lovely things in their shop, or view the old trains. They even have a Thomas the Tank Engine there as well.
We love going on the Santa express and would definitely recommend you go if you haven’t before. You come away feeling really festive and the kids are so excited by the whole experience.
Tickets will be on sale for The Santa express from April direct from their website.
**We paid for our tickets, all opinions are our own**
Let me introduce you to the coolest new booster seat around, The CarGo Seat!!
Say goodbye to bulky boosters and Hello to this NEW lightweight, transportable booster seat that doubles up as a 10-litre suitcase on wheels in seconds.
Safety and Fitting
Before I start on my review, you will need to know the most important bit of information when purchasing any type of car seat for a child. CarGo Seat meets Europe ECE R44/04 regulation safety standards and has been rigorously crash tested.
CarGo seat is specifically designed for children weighing 22kg to 36kg and a height of 125cm or taller so please bear this in mind before purchasing. The fitting instructions are very simple and while there is a booklet stored within the case, the side of the car seat has easy to follow picture instructions although I would recommend reading the booklet. Fitting the seat is really simple and can be done within a minute. I found the strap adjustment a little finicky the first time and when lifting or closing the handles, it is easiest to keep the yellow button pressed through the whole movement. Ensure the handle is fully lifted and clicked into top position.
The strap must be anchored to the side of the seat that is next to the seatbelt connector, measured to the top of the shoulder. We found it much easier to do this in the house rather than the car, as we could access the back much easier. In the car, the strap is then moved diagonally across to the opposite side where the belt comes over the shoulder before being secured into the connector. If done correctly, it should feel secure and there should be little movement in the strap. The seatbelt fits really easily into the strap connector, which is nice as I have had issues with similar connectors in the past, struggling to get the seatbelt into and out of the connector.
I absolutely love this car seat. So much thought and creativity have gone into making such a simple yet versatile product. The covering material on the seats gets grubby quickly and I find it such a chore having to take the car seats off to wash them, waiting for them to dry and then putting them back on, but with the New Cargo Seat, the body is fully plastic (no metal parts at all) which makes it a lot easier to keep clean and the small washable seat pad attached with strong velcro so it is much easier to wash and dry.
We run two cars in our household, with my car being the most used with the kids, so their car seats stay in there pretty much all the time. This often means that my car is used by my partner should he need to go out, rather than his own. The main reason for this is because it is such a hassle transporting the two large car seats from one car to the other. However, the Car Go seat is so much smaller, lighter and much easier to move between the two vehicles.
Our favourite feature has to be that you can turn it into an easily transportable suitcase on wheels within seconds. Lydia loves taking her favourite teddy Chuppy out with her as well as lip balm, colouring pencils and notepads. So now whenever she stays at Grandma’s or Auntie’s house, she can go, with her car seat, packed with all her things. For the adults, it also means she has a car seat they can use should they need to go out anywhere, rather than having to take one of our larger ones as well as a suitcase.
Final Thoughts and Price
We are using this seat for Lydia and she chose her favourite colour, Purple. As you can see from the photo, it’s a nice vibrant colour and CarGo seats are also available in Blue, Green and Pink. Speaking to her the seat is comfortable and she now does not want to go back into her larger car seat and even Emily wants one now, although unfortunately, she is not tall enough to have one yet.
The seat retails at just under £55 (and comes with a 12-month warranty), which for its versatility, is well worth the price. It is ideal for anyone who runs multiple cars and has to swap seats or would prefer to swap seats rather than buy additional seats for each car that then need to be stored when not used. It is also ideal for kids who stay around family often that drive, as the seat doubles as a suitcase and car seat saving a lot of hassle. Having trialled this seat for two weeks now we love and highly recommend this seat.
***I was sent this product in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own***
Christmas is such an amazing and magical part of childhood. I always remember getting so excited about taking my stocking up to bed with my milk and mince pie for Santa and Carrot for the reindeer on Christmas eve, knowing that when I woke up it would be filled with goodies.
Myself, my brothers and my sisters were always allowed to open our stockings before we woke up our parents and whoever woke up first would go wake the rest of us up and we would all sit on our beds to see what we had got. There would always be a Satsuma and a handful of loose quality streets at the bottom of our stockings which now all five of us have carried on the same tradition with our own children.
I have been so excited this year because I have collaborated with one of our favourite brands ‘Smiggle’ to see what goodies I can find online for the girls stocking fillers and this is what I have picked.
Lydia and Emily are going to love each and every item I have picked for them. They have been asking for walkie talkies for a long time and Emily has been wanting one of these snazzy swiss army pencil cases just like Lydia’s.
They both love drawing and colouring, so I have picked a selection of different scented gel pels, a pack of felt pens and a pack of glitter pencils for each of them.
I also picked up a new lunch box for Emily to match her new pencil case because we all know how much kids love matching accessories and I just know that she will love it.
I chose the Bluetooth wireless speaker for the girls to share as they both love playing music through their tablet but also moan as it’s never loud enough so they will be very happy with this one.
Lastly, these are my overall favourite. How could I not get them matching Unicorn ear muffs? Look at that gold unicorn horn and you can clearly see just how fluffy the headband is, they are perfect for this cold chilly weather. No more cold ears and earaches.
Check out Smiggle’s website by clicking here. Their sale is also very impressive so be sure to keep checking back.
***I received these item’s in return for inclusion on my blog***
Get in and out without touching the sides – BLINDFOLDED
You must all know by now that we love sitting around the table and playing family games together. My kids, and I am certain all kids their age, love any games that involve poo and farts, so this was perfect for us and I am so excited to tell you all about it.
The game is very simple, get from the mouth to the poop with the pen and you have four animals to choose from. The trick, however, is that you have to do it ‘BLINDFOLDED’ and trust me when I say it’s not as easy as it looks (or not in this case). Doodle Doo’s age suitability is from 6 years+, however, my five-year-old daughter Milly LOVES playing this game with us and has no issues following the instructions. Each of the four different animals offer a different ability maze board, ranging from easy for the kiddies to hard for all the competitive adults out there.
WHATS IN THE BOX
- 4 Double Sided, Dry-wipe Animal Maze Boards
- Fart Maker
- Blindfold Mask
- 4 Dry-Wipe Pens
Each player has a dry-wipe pen each and on their turn, they cover their eyes with the mask (parents might have to hold it on so that they cant cheat) and make their way through the maze. If they go over the edge another player will push the ‘Fart’ cushion to alert them that their turn is over and then its the next players turn. The play continues until one of you reaches the poo.
HERE IS WHAT WE THOUGHT
This game is a heck of a lot of fun! We were all trying different tricks to try and get through the maze – even air practising, which did nothing to help – and beat the others. Waiting with the fart cushion, the kids were only too happy to push it really hard, and often in our ears, when we hit the wall. The easy board will comfortably take over fifteen minutes to play and the harder boards will take much longer, so you get lots of play from a single board.
The kids, as am I, are happy to play this game again and again. A simple yet very challenging game for all and one I definitely recommend.
Doodle Doo is available to buy here and is again like my other games is worth every penny. We love this game and play it pretty much every single day.
Disclosure: We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are our own.