Chasewater Railway | Review

On Saturday we had a family day out, travelling to Chasewater Railway for a friends 40th birthday party. I was really looking forward to it as a few other mutual friends who I don’t see very often were also attending, and of course we were all looking forward to the train ride! 

The train wasn’t due to leave until 1.30 pm but we decided we would set off a little earlier than the time it would take us to get there, as the station is set in a country park so we would have a little walk beforehand – to make room for cake of course…


Cake
“Mummy, me want cake!”

Chasewater was easy to find, being well signposted. Even the GPS didn’t get us lost! There was plenty of parking, though by the time we left we wished we had carried on up the road a little to the station parking as it was a good 10 minute walk, and when you have a tired toddler and a pregnant tired lady, it felt like much longer. 
 
When we arrived, the first thing we had to do was find the toilets, I had gone two hours without going so I was desperate! We then decided we’d take little man to play in the park, but we were a little disappointed that there were no baby/toddler swings, as he just wouldn’t have stayed on a normal one as he wouldn’t have held on. 

After deciding the park was a no-go we decided to go for a walk next to the lake and find where we needed to be later on. We had taken little man’s backpack and rein so he could have a run around, so the walk took longer than we were expecting! We still didn’t find where we needed to be so we headed back to the car park to put his pushchair in the car, at which point we met one of our mutual friends arriving, so we decided we’d find it together. 


Once we got to the station we saw lots of familiar faces and hugs and hello’s galore were had! We were given our tickets then it was time to board the train. I thought little man would be okay as the last time we went on a train he loved it. The journey was great, we stopped at each station before stopping a little longer at the last one so that the birthday girl (lady) could go in the engine, and it was taken to the other end of the train for the return journey. Little man had fun running up & down the carriage and smacking all the seats for the whole journey! Though he did  manage to sit still for a few minutes to look out the window with Daddy. 


Looking out of the window on the train
Disclosure
This was paid for by a friend but I wasn’t asked to write this review, I just wanted to share our experience! All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Paper Themes Personalised Poster | Review

When I was offered the opportunity to review a personalised poster from Paper Themes, I jumped at the chance because I love personalised items, and am always looking for lovely things to add around the home. There are a choice of 50 prints on the website so it was hard to choose, but I eventually cut it down to 3 prints and finally decided on the Stork Blue poster for little man’s room. 

The poster came well packaged in a cardboard tube, and was wrapped in tissue paper with a lovely sticker on it:




Obviously the poster arrived rolled up, so it’s still a bit curly on the corners. I was expecting the paper to be a little thicker for the price of £25, and the whole thing a little bigger, but maybe that one was just me not taking proper notice of the size on the product description. The print quality is brilliant though, and I love the lettering style. 

You can have up to 14 lines of personalised text about the child. On my poster we have his name, his DOB, where he was born, his weight, time of birth, the price of a first class stamp, the prime minister, number one song, the Chinese symbolic year, his birth flower, his birth stone, Mondays child, his Grandparents names, and our own little quote at the bottom, so you can fit quite a lot on there! There is also a cute baby & stork image in the centre. It’s a lovely keepsake for years to come when they wish to know about the world at the time they were born. 




I think the poster is a little too flimsy to be put up on the wall on its own, so I will be putting it in a frame and hanging it proudly on little man’s wall in his bedroom. 



Disclosure 
I was sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own. 

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.