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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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#Christmas at Drusillas

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas | Posted on 17-12-2016

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With just over a week to the big day, and school finally out for a couple of weeks, you are all no doubt thinking of ways to keep the children entertained and distracted before Christmas. Last weekend we took a trip to Drusillas to check out their Winter Wonderland and we had a wonderful time.

If you head down there in the run up to Christmas you’ll get the chance to meet Santa’s reindeer, meet and hug some of his huskies, and then meet the big man himself. And if you go before January 2nd you’ll get to watch the Winter Wonderland Illuminations too.

Yes that is Thomas The Tank Engine wearing earmuffs and a scarf – the cutest most festive train I’ve ever seen.

Now a logical word of warning here: when you arrive and buy your tickets to get in and your tickets to see Santa which are an extra £11 per child, you’ll be advised to visit him early because he’s going to get busy. Do this. We walked around the zoo first and ended up with me queuing for over an hour whilst Daddy amused the children. By the time we’d reached the front of the queue, it was a little over double the length it had been when I joined it.

The reindeer are really cute, but the huskies are a definite highlight. Such beautiful friendly dogs who are well worth a visit. Handily they are right next door to Santa so they’re a good place to go with the kids whilst someone else joins the queue. I must admit to thinking £11 per child to meet Santa was a little steep, but he was probably the best Santa I’ve ever seen, and the grotto was lovely. He takes time to talk to the children and you don’t feel like you’re on a conveyor belt. The gifts are also perfect, but I won’t spoil the surprise there.

Sadly we couldn’t stay for the light show as it starts at 4.30 and the children were starting to droop. We left about 2pm and it was definitely getting busier, with a lot of people obviously coming specifically for that part of the day. But we did see the area where the show was going to be, and the illuminated wonderland creatures. I’m sure the display was amazing once it went dark.

We love Drusillas and we love having the opportunity to visit again and again. It’s truly a fantastic day out for the family all year round, but it certainly gave us a lovely start to the festive period.

Review: Charlie & Lola’s Best Bestest Play

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Days Out, Product Reviews | Posted on 20-12-2013

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Yesterday Little Man and I travelled to Bluewater, Kent to see the latest offering from Charlie & Lola live on stage. “Charlie & Lola’s Best Bestest Play” is an hour in length with no interval, and its split into what is effectively two “episodes”. I obviously don’t want to give anything away plot wise, but the two “episodes” follow the format you’d come to expect from the show. There are three stars – Charlie, Lola and Lola’s imaginary friend Soren Lorenson – and each are puppets. There are four puppeteers onstage making these three work, as well as act as stage hands moving the set around and the props.
I read reviews of this show and other Charlie & Lola stage shows of the same format before I went. I was curious as to what other people made of the show, and what they did and didn’t enjoy. The main complaint from people who had seen the shows was that they found the four puppeteers distracting. They are visable the whole time, there’s no attempt made to hide them, and for me this wasn’t a problem. They “acted” alongside the puppets, their faces showing the emotions that the characters were feeling, or reacting to something that was going on onstage. They provided a second source of entertainment and one that my Little Man loved. He was fascinated by the entire thing. He recognised the characters, he laughed along, he called out “Uh oh…” at relevant moments, and he clapped happily at the end. There are two moments in the show when the audience really gets involved with items landing on them. He adored these bits and giggled madly when things landed on his head and on Mummy’s. He was mesmerised for the entire show and when it did end he wanted more. At no point did I think the stage was too busy for him to understand what was going on, and the rest of the audience seemed content too. The show is running until January 5th at Glow, Bluewater before it embarks on a tour in the spring. If you can get to Bluewater to see it. Its a great little venue for children’s theatre, and there’s loads of free parking and plenty of places to eat afterwards. There’s also a Winter Wonderland on at the moment with a skating rink and in the run up to Christmas there’s a chance to meet Santa too. We had a lovely day at Bluewater, seeing the show, eating a great meal at Giraffe and then doing a bit of shopping afterwards. A wonderfully magical festive day out for me and my Little Man.