Thursday photo #190

So, apparently it’s Thursday. Seriously, who knew? The past week has gone by in a bit of a blur. I’m fairly certain that’s mainly due to the lack of structure. Although it could have something to do with the amount of brandy in the Christmas cake. The Polar Express Last year, we booked tickets for the Polar Express on a whim. The girls like trains, it sounded like a fun trip and a nice way to see Santa. But we loved it so much that this year, I booked when the tickets were released – in about March. This may…

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A visit to the Antarctic North Pole at Sea Life Birmingham

It’s a bit of a contradiction isn’t it, the Antarctic North Pole? But head to the National Sea Life Centre this week and you’ll find Santa in his North Pole Grotto. But wait, are those penguins? Everyone knows there are no penguins in the North Pole! That’s why the Santa experience at the National Sea Life Centre is so unique. Where else can you have a meet and greet with Santa with a backdrop of Gentoo penguins? A Christmas family tradition We really are regular visitors at the National Sea Life Centre, and their Christmas event is a bit of…

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Christmas illuminations at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Strolling through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the children’s eyes were like saucers. I listened as they whispered to each other: “This is amazing, we’re in fairyland!” Arriving in fairyland at Birmingham Botanical Gardens When we arrived at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, we were greeted by a small fairground. The helter skelter, carousel and mini-roundabout were joined by a couple of small food stalls. The girls had a ride on the carousel and we enjoyed a mulled wine before heading for the illuminated trail. As soon as we set foot on the trail, the lights were simply beautiful. As we looked…

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Charity Christmas gifts from the Poppy Shop

I’m a pretty terrible blogger. When you read a blog at this time of year, you expect to see at least a few guides to the must-have Christmas gifts. I’ve tried it in the past, but it’s just not really me. And I’m not sorry. Well, I’m not usually. But when the Poppy Shop got in touch and asked if I’d include them in my Christmas gift guide, I suddenly felt terrible that I didn’t have one. So, here are the gifts you need this Christmas. All profits go to charity and the items themselves are pretty awesome too. The Christmas…

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Christmas at Warwick Castle

The children sat on the floor in a circle, looking up at Santa. Each one hung onto his every word, captivated by his stories of reindeer and jingle bells. The room was decked with Christmas trees and elves stood beside him. Warwick Castle has so many tales to tell about the chequered history of Great Britain. But for today, time stood still as Father Christmas explained how he and the reindeer deliver a present to every child on Christmas Eve. Stories with Santa at Warwick Castle The Great Hall at Warwick Castle is decked out for Christmas with a 20…

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Drayton’s Magical Christmas Review

Thomas chuffed into Knapford station with his festive lights, reindeer antlers and red nose. All the children cheered before piling on for a Christmassy train ride. Past Santa, penguins and other characters made from fairy lights and back to the station. There, we disembarked and strolled into the middle of a snowstorm. About Drayton Manor Theme Park Located in Tamworth in the West Midlands, Drayton Manor is a small, friendly theme park. It boasts a dedicated Thomas Land area for young children, a themed area based around the little tank engine’s home on the island of Sodor. But fear not,…

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10 things you need to know about Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure

The children sat, mesmerised by Captain Hook and his pirate ship gliding across the ice. Jolly pirates danced a jig to a well-known song and Tinkerbell flew through the air overhead. After last year’s Frozen show, they weren’t expecting such a vast array of colourful characters. Here’s what we learnt from watching the wonderful Disney On Ice Passport to Adventure. 1. Arrive early The atmosphere was electric outside the arena. Crowds of people milled around, looking for their entry gate. Excited children stood by posters of the cast to have their photograph taken, whilst adults queued to buy sparkly props.…

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