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Silverstone Drive LAP Land Experience

We were so excited to be invited to the preview of Silverstone’s LAP land experience. We love Silverstone, it is my favourite race track and I was sad not to be able to get there for the BTCC this year. As you can imagine it was pretty exciting being able to drive on the actual track even just at very low speeds!

I have never been to a show like this before and loved every minute of it. When we arrived we were directed down to the track to the pits -Sam was beyond excited to go past and kept shouting ‘box it Mummy, box it!’ There were Elves as well as festive scenes projected into the pits and everyone was really cheerful and welcoming.

We then got to line up ready to do our lap round the circuit- there was loads of different lights, lasers and projectors. There were also snow globes with Christmassy scenes giving it a festive feel and even Santa waving from one of them.

The lights were really spectacular with lots of different effects, it was very cleverly done and it was well set up so you got to see everything. We were able to tune our radio to the Silverstone radio station where they were playing festive songs and making it all feel very Christmassy.

It took about 30 to 40 minutes to drive the lap which I think was about long enough, we got to see everything and felt like we had a good experience without it feeling like it was going on too long.

When we came off the track we were able to drive and watch The Snowman. This was really well done as there were three screenings going on at the same time so you don’t have to wait too long once you have finished your lap. There were drinks, popcorn and candyfloss to buy and while you were waiting there was a interactive mobile snowboarding game that you could play against other cars which was really good fun and passed the time quickly.

Once The Snowman finished it was quick and easy to get out of the car park and we were on our way home.

I really enjoyed the whole experience, I think it was perfect for kids my age as I liked the experience of driving round the track and the lights were really good – it was something very different to do compared to the Christmas experiences that my little brother and sister normally like . The Snowman was great for my little brother, he and Lottie loved the light show too so it was good for the whole family. If you live in the area and can manage to get tickets we would definitely recommend it for a fun and safe Christmas night out.

I really hope Silverstone make their LAP Lane experience a yearly show. I can’t wait to get back there for some motorsport soon.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were invited to the Lap Land experience and given complimentary tickets but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

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Our top 10 Christmas Films and a competition

By Lottie age 9

I love Christmas films and have wanted to start watching them since before Halloween but my brother said it was too early. I have now only got a few weeks to watch them all! These are my Top 10 favourites.

I would love to know yours so I can add them to my list to watch.

1.  Polar Express

2. Nativity…1, 2 and 3!

3. Home Alone

4. Elf

5. Miracle on 34th Street

6. Jingle all the way

7. The Grinch

8. Santa Claus the Movie

9. Arthur Christmas

10. Narnia (not really a Christmas film but we always watch it at this time of year!)

 

We are giving you a chance to win a family Christmas DVD of your choice (subject to availability) with a treat bundle to enjoy to get you into the Christmas spirit.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Note: We will ask the winner to advise which family appropriate DVD they would like in their bundle and if we can’t source it will offer an alternative before sending.

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New Micro Machines from Jazwares- Toy review

Some of my favourite toys when I was little were my Uncle’s old Mirco Machines, they were so much fun. I was really pleased to hear that Jazwares have brought Micro Machines back and Sam was beyond excited to be sent a bundle to review.

The new Micro Machines were everything Sam could have hoped for and more. There are so many different sets to choose from. You can create a whole world with vehicles and playsets and the vehicles look so realistic.

You can watch our video clip below for a peek at what Sam was sent (and to be reminded as to why they say never work with children and animals!- he found his voice again after we stopped filming!!)

We love the fact the vehicles are so well designed, they are really eye-catching and make great collectibles but most of all they are really good fun to play with.

Sam was sent a Micro Machines starter pack which was three racing cars and is great value at just £3.99. We think these will make brilliant stocking fillers.

We also got an Army Micro Machines World pack which consisted of 5 vehicles and a backdrop set which is just £7.99- there are lots of different themes available including Fire and Rescue, Construction and Supercars.

Finally there was the Micro Machines Mini Vehicle Hauler which is £9.99. This comes with one vehicle but fits up to 8 on so Sam has had lots of fun loading up and transporting all his cars around the house. He liked that you can open the top as well as put them on with the ramp.

We have been really impressed with the vehicles, they are great for imaginative play and they are good quality. Sam has played with them a lot, they have also stood up to being transported around in his coat pocket to play with on the school bus! They are great for taking out and about and taking on adventures.

The new Jazwares Micro Machines are ideal for children age 4 upwards and will be perfect to add to Christmas lists for any children that like vehicles or collectibles.

 

Disclaimer: Sam was lucky enough to be sent a selection of Micro Machines for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own. Micro Machines are available now from Smyths, Amazon and many more.

 

 

 

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The Snowman by Carrot Productions

Our trip to see The Snowman didn’t quite go according to plan but thanks to the lovely people at Carrot Productions Lottie and Mum were still able to get there and took Lottie’s friend and her sister with them. Whilst it wasn’t the family trip we planned it sounds like she had an amazing time and Mum said we definitely should all plan to go next year.

Lottie’s review.

My friends Emily, Isla and I went to see The Snowman at Ely Cathedral with our Mum’s just after Christmas. It was absolutely brilliant. The Cathedral was a fantastic place for the performance. It was beautiful.

I had never seen an orchestra before and I loved it. Each musician showed a little clip of what their instrument sounded like and that was so interesting. The drummer was very funny. My favourite was the violin and the bass and we all loved the harp.

After we had been introduced to the musicians they showed The Bear and the Piano on three screens so you watched the story to the soundtrack of the Orchestra playing which was really lovely.

© David Litchfield Illustration

 

Once the film had finished The Snowman came out and the Orchestra played a song called The Snowman Waltz which was upbeat and exciting and the snowman danced around and around. We got to shake hands with him which Isla was especially excited by!

© Gareth Widdowson

 

Then it was time for The Snowman to be shown. I have seen The Snowman lots of times before but never like this. It’s hard to describe how special it was with the orchestra playing. The boy who sang was amazing. You really felt like you were drawn right into the film.

© Tom Bangbala

 

I was so sad when it ended. I wish it had gone on for longer. I absolutely loved the whole thing and would love to see another event with an orchestra. It has even made me want to practise my violin much more!

My Mum said it made her feel really peaceful and my friends loved it too.

We will be going back next year and hope to go to another Carrot Productions event soon.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted our tickets for The Snowman but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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Lottie’s Harry Potter themed Christmas gift guide

By Lottie age 8

I am now up to The Order of the Phoenix in the Harry Potter book series and love reading them with my Mum. We went to Harry Potter World for my birthday treat and there were so many amazing Harry Potter toys, games and costumes that I would love I thought I would put together my Christmas wish list and gift guide to give other Harry Potter fans some ideas.

Lego Knightbus

We all love LEGO in my house and the Knightbus is one of my favourite sets that I have. My brother’s have loads of Star Wars LEGO but this is my set that I made myself. It’s a three story bus and you can take the top off to play with it. It comes with Harry, Stan and Ernie. It is really good to play with and it also looks really nice on display in my bedroom.

Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set

I have been going to chess club at school for the last two terms and really enjoy it. My Dad and I play together and I have now started teaching my Mum how to play. I do have a chess set but I think the wizard chess set looks absolutely amazing and I would love to have this.

Invisibilty cloak

Everyone needs an invisibility cloak! I don’t know how well this would work but I think it looks like it would be a lot of fun. I would really like to try and fool my brother’s with this. It looks like you need an app so you would probably use it to make videos and trick people with. It looks like it would be funny.

Hermione’s Yule Ball Dress

I saw this at Harry Potter World and it is beautiful. I would love it. You can also get a doll wearing the dress which I quite like, I have seen a proper dress based on the outfit at Boden which is beautiful

The Sorting Hat

This would be great fun- I could see what house everyone I know should be in. When I do the tests I sometimes get Gryffindor and sometimes get Ravenclaw so it would be good to see what the hat actually thinks!

The Marauder’s Map Guide to Hogwarts

My friend gave me this for my birthday and it’s really good. It has lots of interesting facts and is good fun as you can use your own invisible map. I really love it but I would only recommend it for people who have read all the books – otherwise you might find some sad things out before you get there.

Interactive Hedwig

I absolutely love Owls. I have done bird handling for the last year and the owls are my very favourite. As you can’t keep owls as a pet this would be the next best thing, it looks so cute!

Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit

Luke has this game and it’s really good fun. There are questions on lots of different topics, like Hogwarts, The Dark Arts, Magical Objects and Magical People. You do have to know quite a bit about the stories so it is best if you have other people who love Harry Potter to play with.

I hope this has given you some good ideas for Christmas gifts for Harry Potter fans, I will be very happy if I get something off this list.

 

 

Disclaimer: This posts contains affiliate links, this means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase through the links. Thank you

 

 

 

 

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The Snowman Tour 2019

By Lottie age 8 with a little help

I didn’t want the Summer holidays to end but now we are back at school I have remembered this is my favourite term!

We have lots to do and as soon as Harvest Festival is done with we start preparing for Christmas. At school we get to look forward to the Christmas Fayre, the nativity, the carol concert and the pantomime.  While at home we plan for a Santa visit, Christmas Eve with friends and for the last couple of years Mummy, Luke and I have gone to see a Christmas show or ballet. Sam was too young last year so we couldn’t all go together as Daddy had to stay and look after him but I am really excited already because this year we have been invited to a Christmas show that we can all go to together.

We are going to go and see The Snowman in Ely Cathedral, just after Christmas and it looks like it will be amazing.

©Snowman Enterprises Limited

 

The actual film of The Snowman is shown with a real orchestra and a local young soloist who will sing Walking in the Air. I can’t wait to hear it. I am learning violin at the moment but have never seen a real orchestra and think it will be amazing.

© Tom Bangbala

 

At Ely we will also get to see a specially commissioned animation by Carrot Productions of David Litchfield’s The Bear and the Piano but some of the other venues have A Donkey’s Tale or The Nutcracker. This is going to be a brilliant way to keep feeling Christmassy for a bit longer.

© David Litchfield Illustration

 

Lots of the shows are being held in Cathedrals. I can’t wait to see Ely Cathedral as we have heard it’s beautiful and have wanted to visit for ages. Some of the other shows are in Halls and other interesting venues. You can view more information and book tickets here.

© Gareth Widdowson

 

You can also watch the promotional video to see what a treat this is going to be:

 

We are so lucky to be going to the Carrot Productions Tour of The Snowman, a lot of the venues will sell out very quickly and it will be such a good way to either kick off or end Christmas, we are really looking forward to it already!

© Snowman Enterprises Limited

 

 

Disclaimer: We have been lucky enough to be gifted tickets to The Snowman

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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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Presents Under a Palm Tree!

I love having Christmas at home, we buy our tree, visit a Santa, see lots of friends and eat lots of food but I have always wondered what it would be like having Christmas abroad and I do think I would like to try it one year, I bet it would be brilliant. Imagine it being hot enough to go on the beach on Christmas Day!

The people at Destination2 have asked what we think Christmas abroad might be like, we had lots of fun imagining what we might expect. I would love to go to Ras Al Khaimah which is one of the seven Emirates in the UAE. My Mum went there before I was born and she has always wanted to go back for a holiday with us.

We think that Christmas would be the perfect time to go, it would be much warmer than here but it wouldn’t be too hot that you couldn’t do lots of things. I think we would be able to buy all the presents we need easily- they have a huge shopping mall which would be a good place to start and then we could visit the souk and try out our bargaining techniques to get a good deal on the rest.

I have been reading about Ras Al Khaimah and I think that would make Christmas a great time to visit, it sounds like it would be a really nice atmosphere. You could visit one of the Churches if you wanted to or you could go to the tree lighting or carol services put on at many of the hotels.

If you go at the right time you could even pop across to Abu Dhabi for Winterfest and see all the excitement going on there- I think that might be a bit like going to Winter Wonderland with Ice Skating and shows and rides.

I wonder what it would be like with so much sand at Christmas? I can’t imagine going in the sea on Christmas Day but perhaps we could build a sandman instead of a snowman! We could use shells for the buttons and eyes and seaweed for his scarf!

Lottie and I think that Santa’s reindeer might not be used to the heat so perhaps they get a rest when he gets there and he lets the camels take over pulling the sleigh. I wonder if one can do it all on their own or if he would need a whole lot of them- my Mum went to a camel farm and she said it was a bit smelly but I suppose Santa might be used to that with his reindeer!

Father Christmas dashing over the palm trees with his red nose camel!

 

We would really like it if the Palm Trees were all decorated with tinsel, lights and baubles and if the presents were left underneath them!

I don’t know what food they would eat in Ras Al Khaimah for Christmas dinner, I know you can get all sorts of things like you do in the UK but I would love to imagine it was a huge feast with a long table full of delicious foods and that it would last a really long time with lots of yummy desserts.

I know exactly what present I would like if I visited Ras Al Khaimah for Christmas- I would LOVE to go on one of the desert safaris in an open top jeep, it looks amazing. My Mum said it was brilliant and terrifying at the same time. I would send her on a camel ride which she has done twice before and said ‘never again’ about!!

I think it would be great fun to go abroad for Christmas and would love to do that one year. We had lots of fun looking at the Destination2 website  and imaging where we would choose!

Lottie wanted me to draw her a palm tree to decorate!

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post written for Destination2

 

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Toddler Christmas Wishlist- Gift Ideas for Two and Three Year Olds

Now we have written our recommendations for Christmas ideas for children our own age we started thinking about things we thought my little brother might like from Father Christmas (and that we wouldn’t mind helping him play with!)

Teach and Tag Movi – This toy gets toddlers moving and following instructions and as our little brother loves to dance and play games then we think he would love this.

Lightning McQueen Remote Control Cars – I think this looks quite good and would be happy to teach my brother to play with it!

 

Sea Patroller– We have a huge Paw Patrol fan in our house and think this would go well with the Paw Patroller he already has.

My First Drone– Another toy that I think looks quite cool and I wouldn’t mind teaching my brother how to use! He might be a little bit young for this but I am sure he would learn quickly.

My First Scalextric– My brother loves watching my BTCC Scalextric and really wants to be allowed to join in so I think he would love playing this!

Waffle Blocks– We have an old set of these that were my Mum’s when she was small and my brother loves those so we think he would enjoy the new version with the Steam Train set.

Playmobil– we have got lots of Playmobil already as we have all enjoyed it but everytime an advert comes on the television for any of the sets my brother says ‘Please, Please, me!’ so we are sure he would like almost anything from the range. While he is only little we think the vehicles are better for him rather than the sets with lots of little pieces, he really likes playing with our police car and fire engine at the moment as he likes anything which has sirens and flashing lights.

Toddlebike2- Sam has been testing one of these out and loves it- he is currently whizzing around our dinner room on it! We will be doing a review on it soon (and maybe even a competition to win one!) but we would already recommend this for anyone looking for a toddler gift. If you were looking to order one in time for Christmas you could use code BLOG17 to enjoy 10% discount at http://www.toddlebike.co.uk/shop/

We hope that’s given you some great ideas for 2 and 3 year olds, if you are stuck for ideas for older children then make sure you check out my suggestions for 9 year olds and Lottie’s for 6 year olds. Keep an eye out as we will soon be sharing our stocking filler recommendations!

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links which if you use when making a purchase would mean we would receive a small amount of commission

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Lottie’s Christmas Recommendations- Gift ideas for 6 year olds!

Luke and I have been writing down ideas of things we think children our age will love. These are my ideas for 6 year olds, I think they all look brilliant and I hope Father Christmas might bring me one of them!

Sylvannian Families Starry Point Lighthouse– This looks like so much fun. I like that it lights up and projects on your bedroom ceiling.

Jakks toys Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker– I think this looks yummy!

Aquabeads Disney Princess Set– I love my Aquabeads sets and think other 6 year olds will too

Vtech Secret Safe Diary– This looks really good, I like the idea of a secret password

 

Hatchimals Surprise– I think Hatchimals are really cute!

 

Lottie Dolls – I love my Muddy Puddles Lottie doll and would love another one, She has a great name! I REALLY like the idea of the tent too!

LEGO Friends Snow Ski Resort Ice Rink – I like playing with LEGO and like trying to build it when Luke doesn’t try and do it all for me!

Luvabella Doll– Luke says she is creepy but I like the Luvabella doll, I like that she talks to you and I really like the idea of scaring my brother with her!

Silver Cross Pioneer 5 in 1 Dolls Pram– This looks beautiful, I would love to push my babies around in one of these. I think they would be lovely and cosy!

 

Rainbow Heart Care Bear- I love these! My Mummy always wanted a Care Bear when she was little so she could always share it with me!

I hope that gives you lots of ideas! Luke has a list for bigger children and we are doing one for our little brother too so you can look at those if you want some more ideas.

Lottie x