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Lottie’s trip into town with the New Sylvanian Families Town Series

Written by Lottie (age 6) with some help from Mummy!

I was really excited to be going to the Sylvanian Families Fan Club event. I started collecting Sylvanian’s last year after I reviewed the Cosy Cottage and I really like them and I now have quite a good collection.

We got to the hotel (Mercure Leicester The Grand Hotel) and it was very nice, we went upstairs and were given our passes, a catalogue and a competition sheet and we got to go in and see the new range.

The new Sylvanian Families Town Series is brilliant, it  is where the Sylvanian’s go for a fun day out. The Town has some fantastic buildings, like the Grand Department Store, the Delicious Restaurant, the Creamy Geleto Shop and the Designer Studio which can all join together or you can use on their own. My favourite was the Grand Department Store which has a revolving door and an actual working lift.


I really liked the new furniture and clothes that go with the Town Series but my favourite was the light up street lamps which can actually light up and even flicker. I would really like to get some of those.

My absolute favourite, favourite thing though was the tram- it is red and gold and really beautiful and you can play with it properly because the wheels move and the doors open and close. I would love this but I know my little brother would like it too so if I get it I might have to hide it from him!

I liked the new characters too, my favourites were Stella who is a fashion designer in the Town and Mr Maple who drives the Tram.

Once we had had a good look at the new range it was time for to watch some shows and meet the characters. We saw Freya, Ralph,  Stella and Theodore Maple who did a dance and then we could get our photo taken with them.  There was chance to go and hunt for Freya in the Town and to be a fashion designer with lots of different fabrics and sparkles and then we got to watch two new film premieres, The Town Movie and the Village Movie which were both really good. My favourite was the Town Movie where Freya and her friends got to visit the Town and see her sister Stella’s fashion show- Freya saved the day!

Soon it was nearly time to go but there was another mascot show before we went home. We were given lovely goody bags with a new Sylvanian outfit and some stickers and things in which was exciting.

I loved the new Sylvanian Town sets, I can’t wait to start saving up for them and I am really pleased I got to see the launch and watch the films, it was a big treat to finish the school holidays!


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An Out of This World Birthday Party!

Lottie and her friends have been learning about Space at school and so when one of her friends invited her to a Space Party at The National Space Centre in Leicester she was beyond excited, she went last week and had an amazing time. She decided to write about it herself.

Lottie, age 6, reviews her visit to The Space Centre in Leicester

I went to my friend’s party at the National Space Centre and it was brilliant. There was about 10 children for his party altogether and we got to look round in a big group.

We saw lots of astronaut things and a space toilet. We had fun making weather. We followed where the buses and planes were in Leicester using satellites. We tried making sound waves which was funny.

Shouting to make sound waves


My little brother came with us and he really liked driving the Rover that is used to collect samples. We both thought the replica space station was brilliant, but that the astronauts shower was very tiny!


We had lots of fun looking round with our friends and then we went to the party room where there was space table cloths and lots of balloons to play with and a sign up to wish my friend Happy Birthday. We had really yummy chocolate milkshakes and hot dogs with chips. My friend’s Mum had got him a rocket cake which was brilliant.

We then went to the planetarium and watched a film about how the world started. This was one of my favourite bits. I really liked it, it felt just like you were flying through space.

My really very favourite part though was when we went up the tower and saw a real rocket.

I want to go back to the Space Centre soon, I know Luke would really like it too.

A Note from my Mum.

I hadn’t realised you could have parties at the Space Centre and this was one children’s party I was actually keen to go to!

The party itself was brilliant, so interesting and so much to see and do but the centre was incredibly busy and this made it quite stressful for the parents at times. I struggled with a toddler who wanted to be running off and looking at everything and keeping track of older children so I would recommend the Space Centre as being best suited to children over 5 if you are outnumbered!

We were lucky that we could eat our lunch in the party room as people were queuing for a long time to get access to the restaurant so this would be a consideration if you were visiting as a family.

Parking was fine, with an overflow car park that we got into easily at a cost of £3 for the whole day and the gift shop had a good selection of reasonably priced souvenirs as well as some more expensive educational toy options.

Other than being so very busy the Space Centre is really interesting for both adults and kids and well worth a visit and this certainly was one of the best children’s parties I have been too!



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Making a list and checking it Twice…Santa Claus is Coming to Wyevale!

We were lucky enough to be invited to go to Wyevale Garden Centre at Bicester Avenue and have afternoon tea with Father Christmas and so we headed over there the other weekend.

When we arrived at Wyevale we felt very festive because they had a brilliant wintery display of polar bears in the entrance and lots of decorations around and about. We weren’t sure where we needed to go but within a couple of seconds of looking at the signs an elf came over and asked if he could help us and took us straight through to the right place. There were lots of other families having afternoon tea at the same time but it was a big room and it didn’t feel too full. The decorations made it seem very Christmassy and each child’s place had a ginger man with some treats to decorate it with and everyone had a Christmas cracker to pull.

Once we had pulled our Christmas crackers and explained to my little brother that he didn’t need to put the cracker on his head and actually the hat was inside it our food soon arrived.

We had requested our choices beforehand so these were all ready with hardly any waiting  but they were still nice and hot and freshly cooked. Lottie and our brother had both chosen sausages, chips and peas and I had chicken nuggets, chips and peas. Mine was really nice but I wished I had chosen the sausages because I had a piece of Lottie’s and it was LOVELY!

My Mum and Dad had the Afternoon Tea and that looked really nice. They had little sandwiches, lemon mousse, scones with jam and cream, macaroons and some yummy cakes- we helped them eat some of it as there was plenty to go round!

The reindeer had his eye on the scones!


The sausages were delicious!


Once we had eaten our meals there was some time to decorate our ginger men and the ‘Elves’ came round and chatted to us- they were really good as Lottie and Sam found them very funny when they were playing around and joking with us.

All the children then got up and sang some songs and did actions which my little brother absolutely loved, especially because there were bells to ring as well.

It was soon time for Santa to arrive and each family got to go up to the grotto in turn and chat to him. We were the last ones but it wasn’t too long a wait, my brother is two and he had only just started to get impatient when it was our turn so that can’t have been too bad- we think it helped there was colouring and plenty to look at in the room.

We had our chat with Santa and he was very jolly- Lottie is convinced he was the ‘real’ Santa because he looked so good and had proper glasses! We thought that my brother might be scared but he was very happy and asked ‘Father Christmas Nee Naw please’ which was very sweet.

After we had seen Father Christmas we were allowed to go and choose one of the toys to take home. The Elves told us they were testing some toys they were making at the North Pole and we could try one- Lottie loved that idea and she was very happy to choose a pony toy. Sam picked a racing car and he wanted me to have one of those too so we have one in blue and one in red! There was a great selection of toys to choose from.

We had a really nice time at the Wyevale Garden CentreTea with Santa, it was a good afternoon for all the family and we all enjoyed ourselves. We think this is one of the nicest ways to visit Santa and make a fun outing out of it- perfect if you have children of different ages as there was lots the younger ones enjoyed and nice treats for the older children too.



Disclaimer: We were invited for Afternoon Tea at Wyevale Bicester Avenue in exchange for our review- all thoughts and opinions are our own

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Stepping into the Future- Our visit to Futuroscope in France

We recently got back from a brilliant holiday to France over half term. We had taken loads of books and activities to do as we expected most places to be closed as it is now off season, but we found out that although some of our normal favourite places are closed there is still loads to do.

Our favourite place that we visited during the holiday was the amazing Park of Futuroscope. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year and I can’t believe we haven’t been before- it was awesome!

The park is very modern and funky- along with the unusual buildings there are sculptures and artwork all around which you could spend ages looking at by themselves. It is also quite a peaceful place with lots of water, grass and trees. There are huge bean bags everywhere so you can sit and watch the world go by and massive garden chairs to climb up on and get settled onto.








There is so much to do it was difficult to know where to start. Luckily the maps and programmes detailed the times of all the shows and rides and whether they were continuous or just at specific times, these were available in English and German as well as French. If you are still struggling to know where to start you can visit a robot who will help you plan your day!

It would be very easy to spend two or three days at Futuroscope- you certainly wouldn’t get bored and one day isn’t long enough if you are hoping to do everything but you can still have a really good time if you only have a day there- we would just recommend making sure you knew exactly what you wanted to do and getting there as early as possible so you can squeeze as much in as possible.

We decided that we would concentrate mostly on the rides and pick  a couple of shows we really wanted to see as that would let us get the most done during our visit. We were lucky enough that we had all received Premium Passes and whilst these are 20 Euros a person extra they made a huge difference as they meant that you were allowed fast track access once to each of the main attractions and we would definitely recommend getting one of these if you were only going for a day as it meant you didn’t need to spend too much time queuing.

We went on lots of different rides – I won’t spoil it by telling you all of them but they were all different and some of them were really mad- one you sat on these funny seats and then realised you were in what was basically a public toilet before you shot off! In another you started by feeling like you were boarding an airplane before you got to the main part of the ride and took off. My absolute favourite though was the shortest ride but it was brilliant fun and as soon as I came off it I wanted to go back on! It was Dances with Robots and you can see from the clip below how much fun it is.

My sister was just a bit too small for Dances with Robots and she was jealous as she really wanted to go on it- she’ll have to grow for next time! There is three settings so you don’t have to go upside down if you don’t want but I think that’s the fun part. My brother and sister liked the fact that they could go and watch the ride from a viewing platform- my sister said it was like being at a disco. We haven’t been able to get the song from it out of our heads ever since!

We went to the Ice Age show, this was a 4D showing on a special Ice Age film with plenty of special effects. We also went to the Drone Academy Show which was brilliant- it was so clever what they had managed to do with the drones and bits of it were quite funny. I loved this one as I have wanted to fly a drone for ages. We had headsets that could translate the shows into English but to be honest with both of the ones that we saw it didn’t matter if you spoke brilliant French or not because you could still understand what was happening.

One of my favourite things we did during the day was visit Futur L’Expo which was an exhibition of things of the future- we planned to just pop in for ten minutes to have a look and ended up staying for over an hour, there was so much to do. The was an interactive fridge that gave you recipes, a tablet that you could use to control a robot, screens where you could be shown dressed up and waving a magic wand whist just as yourself and a 3D printer. The robot had a screen on it so you could drive off and see people and then talk to each other from the other side of the room, controlling it was really fun. The 3D printer was so clever- you could design things on the laptop and see how they would work and if you wanted to could even make and buy a 3D model of your own head!


We could have even gone to a night-time show too but because we had my toddler brother with us we decided we would be better to leave that until he was a bit older. We ran out of time a bit as there was plenty of other things we could have done but like I said I think next time we will go for two days. If we had longer then my Mum would have liked to have seen the magic show which we were recommended and I would have liked to go on the boats and use the water guns as well as see some of the other shows and go on the rides again.

There were loads of places to eat at Futuroscope– we did find the queues very long for food but had been told the buffet restaurant (La Table D’Arthur) was quick so when we go again we will try there, otherwise there are plenty of places you can eat a picnic if you didn’t want to loose any time. There was also lots of gifts shops so you could buy all the usual things like pens and mugs, some things specific to the Park like their characters and then they also sold more unusual gifts like science and space toys and activities so it was nice to have lots of different things to choose from.

We did find that my little brother was too young for a lot of it and whilst there was plenty for him to see and lots of play areas he could play in with plenty of space for him to run around he was a bit sad he couldn’t go on the rides (he really liked the racing cars and fire engines) so we would recommend it as being best for children over 5. Lottie wasn’t tall enough for quite everything but she did manage to do nearly all of it.


We would definitely recommend Futuroscope to anyone looking for an adventure, If you can go for at least two days then that would be best but if not then plan your visit well, get there as early as possible and plan to stay until late and as I said it is well worth getting a Premium Pass if you can. Lottie and I can’t wait to go again next year- I wish we had something like Futuroscope in the UK.


Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to receive complimentary passes to Futuroscope but all thought are our own




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Half Term Fun and a chance to win with Flip Out Trampoline Park, London E6

My cousin is really lucky- she has a Flip Out Trampoline Park near to where she lives in East London- it’s quite a long way from us but it looks great and we are hoping to go there when we visit her.

We have been reading about Flip Out, in London E6 because they are letting us run a competition for our readers  to win themselves a session! They aim to deliver massive amount of healthy, awesome fun which sounds good to me! They have huge trampolines, stunt box zones and a DJ but it’s more than just trampolines (although there is three floors of them to get started with!)

They also have twelve warrior climbing walls, I love climbing and these look awesome.  You can dual on battle beams and dive into the foam pits or test out the 30 foot slide. There is even a 100m caving system and a Ninja Warrior Course! This is definitely not your average trampoline park!






If we lived nearer to here I think I would be asking to go to Flip Out all the time. There’s loads of different sessions to suit everyone- Family Time, Toddler Time, Students and even an After Dark Friday Party.

Flip Out have 65 outlets over 7 different countries so if you can’t get to London over the half term then it is worth taking a look to see if there is another near you but Flip Out in E6 looks like it will be worth a bit of a journey to keep the whole family entertained over half term. My Mum thinks it might even wear us out!

If you would like the chance to win for you and a friend to visit the amazing Flip Out Park in E6 then enter our fab competition below. Flip Out will even give the winners a Polar Krush Ice Drink each to cool down with after all that bouncing too!


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British Touring Car Championship Meets Scalextric!

I have loved cars since I was tiny and my Dad has watched just about every type of motorsport for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of staying with my Granny and Grandad when my Mum and Dad were invited to watch the British Touring Car Championship at Silverstone and they came back with Brookland Bear for me, I watched it on the TV all day to try and see if I could spot them and I still have Brookland Bear!

I love anything to do with fast cars and over the Summer went to a Supercar event at Santa Pod and watched plenty of other racing events on television but one of the highlights of my Summer was going to Snetterton to watch BTCC.


I love the way the BTCC circuits are so different and the teams have to plan different things for each of them- sometimes they need to change the brake pads loads, other times it’s something else. It’s brilliant to see how different drivers are better on different tracks and I love the way that almost anything can happen and just about anyone can win depending on the circuit.

My favourite cars in BTCC is the BMW’s because they are so fast, although sometimes the rear-wheel drive can cause problems! I do like to watch Jason Plato drive though- my Dad likes the Subaru!

I really like going to BTCC, it always feels exciting and it’s a good day out for the whole family. We all like watching the racing and then there is loads of other things going on, last time we got to race remote control BMW’s before going in the pit lanes. Even my little brother gets excited- he likes the yellow cars best! I can’t wait for the final on Sunday and to see if Colin Turkington can win for BMW.

I was so excited to see that Scalextric have made a BTCC Touring Car Battle Set– it looks absolutely amazing. You can make four different tracks and it comes with Jack Goff’s BMW and ‘Flash’ Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic which look awesome. I can imagine playing this with my friends and having a real Championship of our own. It says it is suitable for ages 5+ and I know that both Lottie and I would love it, I think my Dad would want to play too so I think it would be great even for adults. I know when we had a Scalextric championship at our school fayre the grown ups didn’t let the children have much chance to play because they were enjoying it so much!

I am definitely adding this set to my Christmas wish list, it looks like it will be amazing!

I had the best day today because I have found out I am going to be going to the BTCC final at Brands Hatch on Sunday, I am so excited but just as exciting is that I am able to offer one reader a chance to win a pair of tickets (under 13’s go free with an adult) to be there as well AND one of these amazing Scalextric BTCC Touring Car Battle Sets thanks to Scalextric and DunlopBTCC – how lucky are you?! Don’t miss your chance to be there too!


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Getting Excited for Refresh Festival!

We have a great end to the school holidays planned- we are off to Wellington Country Park between Reading and Basingstoke on 2nd and 3rd September for Refresh Festival.

Refresh Festival is an outdoor health and fitness festival for all the family. It is being hosted by Dame Kelly Holmes and there is going to be lots of workshops and activities that people of all ages can join in with however sporty they are.

The event runs both on the Saturday and the Sunday and you can either go for both days or just one but there is so much going on then I think a weekend pass will be the best way to do everything.

There are eight different zones- Regenerate Zone has workout sessions, Re-Energise has performances, Revitalise Zone has workshops and nutritional advice, the Recharge Zone is running Pilates and Yoga sessions, In the Revive Zone there is reflexology and spa treatments, Refuel Zone is full of juice bars and healthy food, the Relax zone is perfect to just relax and recover and the Rejuvenate Zone gives you chance to do some shopping from local traders.

I can’t wait to see TEAM3RUN who are performing at Refresh and Lottie is looking forward to trying Yoga with Young Yogis .There is even something for Sam because Mr Bloom will be there too! I am looking forward to getting my Dad to come and visit The Travelling Puzzle Emporium who are going to be there with a portable mini golf course which should be fun, and hopefully he will do some workshops with me. I think my Mum will be able to fill most of her time between the Revive zone and the Rejuvenate Zone!

On the Sunday there is even a Children’s Sports Day- you can sign up in advance to take part in different Sports Day events such as the Egg and Spoon Race, the Sack Race and the 100m within your age group. The winners even get medals presented by Dame Kelly Holmes.

I think it looks like Refresh Festival is going to be an awesome way for us to finish the school holidays and think it will be well worth a look for families looking for something fun to do, tickets are available here and start from £25 for a day with under 13’s going free.

We are pleased to be able to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a family ticket for either the Saturday or Sunday- Good Luck!


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Disclaimer: We have been gifted a weekend family pass for ourselves and a family ticket to giveaway in exchange for our honest review of the event.


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Into The Trees – A Family Adventure

I am really looking forward to going to Into The Trees over the weekend of the 9th and 10th September. We have never been before but it looks like it is going to be a fantastic family adventure.

There is loads of different activities going on- Slacklining, Story Telling and Den Building. I am most excited to try out Archery, Axe Throwing and Mountain Boarding which all sound awesome!

Mountain boarding looks awesome!


It looks like there is going to be plenty to do for all the family at Into The Trees including pond dipping and mud monsters which even my little brother will be old enough to join in with and will love doing.

Into the Trees takes place in the heart of the Ashdown Forest within the protected ancient woodland of Pippingford Park and runs from 10am to 5pm on the 9th and 10th September. You can buy a family pass for either day for just £22 in advance.

We are looking forward to sharing our photos from the day and are very excited to be offering you the chance win a family pass for either the Saturday or the Sunday too.


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A Day Out with Hamerton Zoo Park

We recently discovered Hamerton Zoo Park is on our doorstep and were pleased to be invited for a day out there so we could see for ourselves what it was like.

We found it easily met up with our friends before heading in. Even though the car park was really busy it quickly felt quite peaceful and quiet once we got through the gate and although there were plenty of other people there it didn’t feel at all crowded like lots of places do in the school holidays.

I really liked the set up of the zoo. There were lots of animals I had never even heard of before as well as some that I had that were very rare. I really liked the white tigers, they were awesome and I had only ever seen one before in a zoo in France.

Taking a break from the admiring visitors!


I especially liked Hamerton Zoo because it felt more like a conservation place than a zoo. The animals all had nice big enclosures and plenty of things to keep them busy- some had long tunnels and runs going off their enclosures too. There was a lot of information about the animals and their habitats as well as explaining how their population was in different parts of the world, this was really interesting to read and some of it was quite shocking.

My very favourite animal was the white tiger but I also loved the chipmunks who were great fun to watch, the monkeys and meerkats who are really entertaining, the kookaburra who made a brilliant noise and the tortoises who are actually surprisingly fast and have an enormous enclosure that they race around. Actually I am sure there are lots more animals that are on my favourites list!



Along with the enclosures and information we were also very impressed with how the zoo managed to blend with the environment generally. We saw two nests with baby swallows in and my friend’s Mum, who loves all things to do with nature and wildlife pointed out that there was lots of plants like buddleia that were good for bees and butterflies and plenty of bamboo and other plants too so it was good to see that Hamerton are supporting all the other wildlife too.

Tiny baby swallows in their nest.


One of our tests as to if somewhere is a good family day out is whether or not it has something that keeps us all happy and Hamerton Zoo seemed able to do that. My brother, Sam is two and liked being able to see the animals himself through the little windows in the side of the enclosures- he also absolutely loved the train. My Mum felt this was a little pricey at £2 per person (although she is judging this for our family of 5 which can make things seem expensive) but she said it wasn’t too awful because it was a longer ride than we expected and you got to see quite a few animals on route.  Lottie and I also loved all the animals, I especially liked having all the information to read but also we both really enjoyed the play area too, this had a great selection of play equipment, with a huge climbing frame and a zip wire. There was a smaller play area for under fives too which had much better things than a lot of areas aimed at small children and kept Sam entertained for a fairly long time. There is also a stone maze within the play area which we all had fun walking on.

There is a café which served a selection of snacks and things like hot dogs and sausage rolls as well as lots of benches that you could use if you had taken a picnic so it had a good set up for having a long visit.

We spent most of the day at Hamerton, it was a great place to visit, we loved the fact that there was plenty to do but also liked the fact it wasn’t so big you couldn’t go back round and see things again.


My Mum felt that although a zoo visit is always quite an expensive day out Hamerton Zoo was good value for money at £13.99 for adults and £8.99  for children with under 3’s going free- we will definitely be going back again and have already suggested it to lots of our friends for the Summer holidays.


Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to be given free entry to the zoo in return for our honest review and all thoughts and comments are our own.

Please note several pictures in this post were taken by Diana Evans. For more of Diana’s projects or to contact her directly please visit Diana Evans Artist

The Places We Will Go
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Things I have loved whilst blogging

Last week I posted about things I had learnt from blogging over the two years I had been doing it and today I am going to share some of the amazing products and places I have discovered thanks to blogging.

As I mentioned blogging can be hard work sometimes but the experiences I have had from it have been well worth it.

There are lots of things that stand out as being great but these are some of my very favourite things from the last two years.

  1. So many great books. I have read too many awesome books to list them all individually but have loved having lots of brilliant books to review and it has been fantastic to discover new authors who I might not otherwise have come across. One of my favourites is Abi Elphinstone who I am a huge fan of since reviewing her Trilogy on my blog.
  2. Finding new games- I especially like games that the whole family can enjoy together and we have found some great ones through the blog. One of our family favourites is the Randomise Game If you haven’t come across Randomise before then you should read the review I wrote a while ago- it’s really great fun and so very funny to play. We have played it so many times since and I would recommend it to any family that enjoys playing games together.
  3. Things that other people enjoy. It’s awesome finding a new product that I love but I have really enjoyed finding things my sister and brother love too. My sister has especially liked Aquabeads and Pusheen, both of which is she has been lucky enough to review for the blog.
  4. Challenges- I would never have even known about the kids version of Tough Mudder without the blog. My friend and I were lucky enough to do the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder last year and it was an amazing experience. I would love to do it again and it got me into running a 5K run for charity too and helping as a steward at another.
  5. Amazing days out. We have been lucky enough to be invited to lots of great days out, I have enjoyed them all but some of the ones that I really liked were BRICKLIVE and the ‘Summer Saturdays’ Day at Newmarket Racecourse
  6. New experiences. It also falls under points 4 and 5 too but was so amazing it deserves a heading of it’s own! Our favourite experience as a whole family has been our visit to Camp Wilderness– the bushcraft day was so unlike anything that any of us had ever done before, we all learnt loads and came away having had a really fantastic day. It was such a different thing to do with my Mum and Dad- I would recommend the camps to anyone!




As  you can see I have been very lucky over the last two years, I have had lots of fantastic experiences, met some brilliant people and learnt a lot. I have loved having my own blog, even though at times in has been hard work and I have caught ‘writer’s block’.

I can’t believe I have managed to keep it up for two years and am holding a competition to celebrate this! One of our lucky readers will win their own copy of the brilliant Randomise Game, a copy of a fantastic children’s book -my current read- The Midnight Gang, by David Walliams, a £10 Amazon voucher to treat themselves to one of the amazing products we have reviewed and a 3 day place for a child age 6 to 15 at one of the awesome Camp Wilderness camps during the Summer Holidays- the lucky winner can choose between Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cheshire or Kent subject to availability.

This prize bundle is worth over £260! Good Luck!

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