Review – Day out: Birmingham Nature Centre

On Saturday we visited Birmingham Nature Centre (previously known as Birmingham Zoo). The Centre houses a wide assortment of animals from around the world including lemurs, meerkats, porcupines, goats, spiders, snakes, cranes, and many many more! We visited along with a few of my online friends and their families as part of a ‘big meet’ of the forum we use. 

The Centre is very easy to find, directly off the main road with signposts and the entrance located on the main road too. There is a large car park, although I didn’t realise the Centre is very near to Edgbaston cricket ground, and that on the day we visited, there was a huge match happening. This led to a huge queue of traffic to even get the Centre, and then a sign saying £15 for parking, when on the website it says free! No way were we paying that, but we found out afterwards that we could have been directed to separate part of the car park, even though we did tell them that we were just visiting the Nature Centre. In the end we found somewhere to park just up the road, outside the entrance to a construction site – luckily they weren’t working that day. 


The entry fee is £5 for adults, £2.50 for children aged 5-16 years, and free for under 5’s. It was a fairly reasonable price for what there is, and there are also many of these dotted about for the children (and adults!) to have their photo taken in:




We all stopped and had a picnic at lunch time; this gave us opportunity to chat, take a huge group photo, and for the more mobile children to run away! The picnic area is nice, with a few picnic tables and a grassy area – though I think our group took up most of the area! There is also a cafe if you wish to buy something there, but we didn’t use it so don’t know of the range of prices. 

Many of the animals were very active and visible, but some were sleeping, though anywhere you go, you can’t expect them all to be full of beans for visitors! Unfortunately we didn’t see all the animals that the Centre had to offer as we had to dash off a bit early, but we may go back another day if we are ever down that way again. 

Disclosure

I paid for this myself and wasn’t asked to write this review, I just wanted to share our experience! All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Review – Ballpool Heaven Scunthorpe

A couple of weeks ago I came across a new business in my hometown, Ballpool Heaven Scunthorpe , and it looked so much fun! (Not sure who for though, me or the little man…) We couldn’t make the session advertised at the time, but when I saw there was another one today I jumped at the chance, anything fun to get us out of the house! It’s only £2 a session too, which is great as there is a lot of equipment, and you get a raffle ticket thrown in. Also the session is for age 3 & under only, to avoid other older children potentially being too rough.

We arrived at 9am, right on time, and there was only one other person there for now. We took our shoes off and I put little man down, he was quite wary at first, I think it was just because it was all something new to him! I put him in one of the ball pools though and he soon started getting accustomed, as we have a ball pool at home. He has a very short attention span most of the time though so he was soon out of there finding what else he could do. He discovered tunnels, tents, rockers, whirlees, and another 2 ball pools! Also provided was some soft play equipment including blocks, which he found great fun in banging (he loves to bang everything). He even seemed to make a girly friend! 


He did get a bit stroppy after a while, because I was trying to stop him doing things he shouldn’t, like climbing on chairs, stealing other people’s drinks and shoes… He was also getting tired as he’d been up since 7am and as we know, playing gets tiring! 


All in all we had great fun, and will definitely be going back for another session.


Ballpool Heaven also hire out their equipment for parties & functions, prices range from £60 – £160. 



Disclosure
I paid for this myself and wasn’t asked to write this review, I just wanted to share our experience! All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.




Review – Rentamascot ‘Iggle Piggle’

If you read my post about little man’s birthday party, you will know Iggle Piggle made an appearance! Well actually, I persuaded hubby to don a fancy dress outfit… Well he does say “I’d do anything for my boy”!

After searching & searching, I couldn’t find an adult size one to buy, anywhere, so I thought about renting one instead. I eventually came across this site, Rentamascot based in Bristol, which had the costume to hire at which I thought was a good price, for £37, considering you actually have the costume for 4 days. (I also had to pay £25 for courier delivery & collection, but going by what Royal Mail postage prices have risen to recently, it’s a very good price!). The deposit was also £55, but refundable in case of damage etc., so we got it back when we returned the costume.


I sent the enquiry form crossing my fingers and toes and everything else that it was available for his party date, and yes, it was, so I immediately booked it! They were very prompt with my replies to enquiries too. I hadn’t been so excited in ages; I think I was more excited than the children! 


As it was a weekend booking, the costume was due to arrive on the Thursday before his party, and be collected on the Monday afterwards. I was to be given a time frame by the courier, via text, on the day of delivery & collection, and was very happy that these arrived first thing in the morning so I could get on with my day. The courier also did arrive within the timeframe. 


When the costume arrived we couldn’t wait to get it out of the box (well, two boxes, his head came in one and his body in the other) and for hubby to try it on. We were a bit afraid that it wouldn’t fit as hubby isn’t the smallest of men (both height and weight wise!) but it did fit, no problem, phew! Though before he put it on we noticed the inside of the zip was a little ripped, but judging by how many people are bound to wear this, I wasn’t too surprised, as I knew we hadn’t done it as it was like that when we got it out of the box. 


We hired the deluxe version, which came with lots of sounds on Iggle’s blanket, and of course Iggle’s song! So on party day, I made sure it was set to come on to this one as he walked in the room. On the website there are tips to make sure everything runs smoothly. One of these is to let the children approach the mascot, so as not to scare them, so I stood with Iggle and invited them forward. The majority of them loved it, though I think they were a bit wary & shell shocked at first! We did have a crier though, bless him, but he got lots of cuddles from his Mummy. His little baby sister wasn’t phased by him though! 


After his meet & greet, Iggle Piggle said his goodbyes as he had to go back to the Night Garden. 


All in all, it was fab service from both the website and the courier company. As well as Iggle Piggle, a variety of other characters can be hired too (Ben 10, Peppa Pig & Spiderman are just a few). Check out the website to find out more. 



Disclosure
I paid for this myself and wasn’t asked to write this review, I just wanted to share my experience! All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Review – Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser

The Milton Mini portable soother steriliser is a brand new product from Milton for cleaning & sterilising on the go. Anyone who takes a dummy out & about will know how frustrating it is when the dummy is spat or pulled out, but you can’t give it back because it’s been on the floor, so you end up having more than one with you. Now there is no need to take more than one dummy. 

 


In the pack you get the Mini, a carry strap, instructions, and 10 sterilising tablets to start you off. The instructions are very straight forward to follow, so after the first time using it you won’t even need to read them again. You just fill the Mini with water, add the tablet, let it dissolve, add the sponges and then in goes the dummy and screw the lid on. The Mini is then ready to use after just 15 minutes. The unique sponges absorb the solution so there are no spills, plus it helps to remove dirt from the teat, so no need to rinse. 


 
The Mini stays sterile and reusable for 24 hours, so is incredibly handy for long journeys, or even to take on trips away or holidays. The carry strap will attach to practically anything, so the pram frame, car seat, handbag, or changing bag, to name but a few. This ensures you always have a sterilised dummy directly to hand.


 
We took it out on an adventure yesterday and attached it to the clip inside of my changing bag.




The Mini comes in 3 different colours, the lovely purple shown here, and a fantastic blue & green. It retails at £6.99 at a variety of stores, and stockists can be found here.

Disclosure 

I was sent this product free of charge to review, but all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.