I really didn’t expect to have to deal with my children being influenced from an outside source as young as eleven years old.
We haven’t even started high school. Yet, here I am, trying to tackle my son, who, up until five moths ago was a polite, calm, laid back kid who’s biggest problem was finding matching sock in the morning and throwing the odd strop bcause I hadn’t stockedthe cupboards up with enough chocolate biscuits.Then, like an unwelcome guest who moved in and took over our lounge (and wifi)…. Fortnitearrived!Before then he would take or leave the computer. He would play ten minutes here, half an hour there and then lose interest.H originally ‘sold’ Fortnite to me as a free game that he can play with his school friends, I agreed that he could download it.
Since then, parenting my Fortnite obsessed son has turned me into an skilled negotiator, lowered my mental age to 11 to try to understand/sympathise with him and brought out my inner ‘Mrs Trunchball’.
I get it. I remember being obsessed with Mario Kart and Sonic the hedgehog when I was his age. My brother and I would play for hours and hours if we were allowed (which we weren’t).The big difference is that I wasn’t accessible to anyone online and once the game was purchased, no further expenses were incurred.
Fortnite is ingenious, they have created a game with an online community which creates a constant link to friends (and strangers) as well as offering a so called ‘free’ game but that you have to constantly buy bolt ons for.
I have moaned about the game, I have had screaming matches with my son, I have tried to reason with him, it has been an exhausting few months and I know I am not alone.H would get back from school and put his headphones straight on.He sulked when I ask him to switch it off.He threw tantrums if the internet was slow because it made the game ‘lag’.His general attitude was shameful and I was not ready for this ‘Kevin’ stage, (certainly not until he is at least 13!Apart from the change in his attitude, I was concerned about the dangers. My husband has friends that play this game! Without realising it H has been playing in online groups that adults have been in.It was Piers Morgan of all people who I felt gave me the kick up the arse I needed.There was a section on Good Morning Britain about Fortnite and it’s effects on children.We heard about children who were wetting themselves rather than stopping the game (you can not pause Fortnite). They also announced that Fortnite is the first game that has resulted with a child being referred for counseling on the NHS.So Piers, rather than just object to the game, put the blame firmly at the parents feet.My first reaction was anger. This game has been expressly designed to hook and addict my child and I was trying my hardest to keep my preen in line.The family counsellor who was a guest on the show said ‘Parents are trying to hard to be liked by their children, they are too scared to upset them’That sounded so familiar and then I realised, I had become the mum I never thought I would be…..the mum that puts being her child’s friend in front of discipline, safety and respect.I made H watch the segment. He saw for himself what the majority of parents were thinking.
All the children are telling their parents,
‘Jonnys mum lets him play when he wants’‘Billys mum lets him play longer than you let me’When actually, that’s all rubbish! We are trying to enforce rules and the kids are (embarrassingly) manipulating us.I asked him what he thought was a reasonable amount of screen time each day. We agreed on 45 minutes on a week day (after chores and homework is done) and 1.5 hours at the weekends.So far this has been working brilliantly.We have also sat down together and watched the story of Breck Brednar, a school boy that lived near to us.He was groomed for over a year by a lad in his gaming community. Despite his parents concerns and warnings, he was tragically murdered at 14 years old by the 17 year old boy.Watching the documentary was a big turning point.Listening to Brecks mum recall how she tried so hard to reason, explain, sanction Breck because she knew the dangers there could be online, was heart breaking. To then watch Breck ignore his parents concerns, just like H had been doing to us, and to seewhat tragedy has resulted was a wake up call for me, my husband, H and his brothers.
So much so that my husband ran the London Marathon this year for The Breck Foundation.
H has a new attitude to the computer now, and I still know it is an on going battle, but for now it is one we are winning!
I would love to know about your experience with your child and gaming.I asked a few fellow bloggers how they deal with this and limit screen time with their children:Pete at www.householdmoneysaving.comMy son has an hour per day. And if he starts shouting at the screen, it gets turned off straight away.Beth at www.twinderelmo.co.ukMy son had his first Xbox for his 9th birthday in December. Honestly? We just let him monitor his own screen time and after hammering it for a few months, he’s got bored of it. He will have the odd hour here and there but as a whole it’s fizzled out.Sophie at www.youmeraisingthree.co.ukI allow our daughter some screen time on the iPad as some down time before dinner or on long car journeys. She knows she’s limited to 30minutes and is only allowed on certain apps. We make sure she’s not shut away in her room so we are aware of what she’s doing/watching.If she’s not behaved well then she doesn’t have it at all. It’s definitely a privilege.Luschka at www.diaryofafirstchild.comWe use an app that blocks the children’s devices after 2 hours of use. Its brilliant as I can set bed times, school hours, outdoor time etc and can also select which apps are blocked at different times. The kids can also earn more screentime by doing extrajobs and since the app manages it all, mum cant be blamed for it running out of time!Sarah at www.mummycatnotes.comWe allow an hour after school, it must go off before dinner time and they seem happy with that, it’s letting them know that you are in charge and your rules stand, my son doesn’t play fortnite but does play mine craft with his sister occasionally and I alwaysmake sure to time them and they seem pretty happy coming off when asked.Rebecca at www.youmeraisingthree.co.ukI allow our daughter some screen time on the iPad as some down time before dinner or on long car journeys. She knows she’s limited to 30minutes and is only allowed on certain apps. We make sure she’s not shut away in her room so we are aware of what she’s doing/watching.If she’s not behaved well then she doesn’t have it at all. It’s definitely a privilege.Leigh at www.dadgeek.co.ukI’ve been talking a lot about this today after posting a news article about another 9 yr old having issues.Despite attempts to demonise one videogame or another, this is really an issue of parents being involved and setting limits. Make an effort to understand the games your children are playing and you’ll be better informed about their suitability.Many games are rated for content but only parents will know if a child is emotionally mature enough to remain calm whilst playing a competitive game. Parents should set clear time limits and stick to them so that children learn what those boundaries are.If a child is getting angry or upset while playing, it’s time to turn the game off and come back with a calmer state of mind. If the child can’t stay calm, they are not yet mature enough to be playing it at all.Kelly-Ann at www.mimiroseandme.comUse it as a reward. We have daily tasks that she can work towards and if she does well she has an extra ten minutes. Giving them a time limit helps and if she starts to cry or grumpy when I take it away she doesn’t get it the next.Jess at www.mrshible.wordpress.comOur two have screen time but I limit them to 60mins maximum a day then they must turn it off and go do a activity away from the screens/ consolesGeorgina at www.geegardner.co.ukWe don’t have any set times as such for games as such but we do have break rules. After playing a game for half an hour she will come off for a snack or a drink and then go back on if she wants and more often than not she chooses to do something else. We havenever had set restrictions and it works for us. She spends more time drawing and reading than playing games. I think gaming gets really bad stick when in most cases it’s down to parents not understanding the games their children are playing. If parents lookedinto the games their children are playing and supervised them then half of the news stories wouldn’t make the papers because they wouldn’t exist.Mandi at www.bigfamilyorganisedchaos.comWe don’t have set screen time they are allowed on when they like but having seven children they don’t get long anyway!! They all know they are not allowed to play any game over their age limit but most of them prefer going to the beach or playing in the paddlingpool at the moment.Aleena at www.mummymamamum.comUntil about 6 weeks ago, we had screen times at set times during the day – 12-1:30 for my eldest (when youngest naps) and then 4pm-5pm while I cook dinner. The TV/screens simply don’t go on outside those times, so my kids are used to it. The last few weeks,however, I’ve also scrapped the late afternoon session because the weathers been so lush they’ve been playing outside anyway! We have a lot of music on during the day.Jen at www.justaveragejen.comI don’t give my son limits although he has to come down for all meals and I do every now and then insist he does something else. He has special needs and struggles to go out much so his social life is playing online with his friends and chatting school andstuff at the same time.
**WARNING – I have wrote this post with a ten month old on my lap and my two year old bouncing on my legs playing horsey so please excuse any typos, bad grammar or spelling mistakes!******
I have only just started enjoying our lunch dates with the kids again.
As soon as George turned fifteen months my usual calm, civilized diners started to resemble a scene out of Jurassic Park.
The one where the T-Rex is flipping cars and tearing down fences while the humans watch on, horried, from behind a tree!
I would get flustered and embaressed while George flung himself out of the high chair (those wooden ones are beyond pointless!).
He would chew food up and then let it spill out of his mouth onto the table while telling me
‘Don’t like it’.
Instead of the pasta Arribiata infront of him, he would have his eyes on my moules mariniere (and happily eat every one!).
The floor around his seat would have a mixture of food, snapped crayons and napkins scattered everywhere. It was so messy that I would leave the servers a 40% tip out of embarrassment and guilt.
If I tried to discipline him at the table, he would scream louder and then would come the disapproving glances from around the restaurant.
Considering I took my first four children out all the time, and we would be complimented on how well behaved they were…this was new territory for me.
Add a new baby Arthur, who had a healthy set of lungs on him into the mix and eating out became nothing but an anxiety inducing stress-fest!
Since November, thankfully things have changed. For a start, George has developed a love for YouTube (yep…and I WILL give him his tablet if It means I can drink my coffee while it is hot!)
Also, now he can talk and communicate more his behaviour has taken a huge turn. I would even say eating out with him is enjoyable!
The most important thing I learnt about my number five is that ‘No one puts baby in the corner. ‘
He is happier sitting in an adults seat with the older kids rather than a high chair next to mum!
Last week we took the younger boys out to our local Italian for some lunch.
It is one of our favourites because it is no only child friendly but seriously delicious too.
It was a Friday lunchtime and the restaurant was full of mums with toddlers and older ladies and gents enjoying a retirement lunch.
We were sat between a couple in their 70’s (I am guessing) and a lady with a baby having lunch with her parents.
The baby next to us must have been about seven month and was crying…and crying…and crying.
Her mum was trying desperatly to sooth her but the baby wasnt having it and the mum looked tired and stressed.
Mike was trying to have a conversation with me but I couldn’t concentrate on what he was saying.
I was so distracted.
It wasn’t the baby that was bothering me…it was her mum.
She was flustered and panicking and I could feel every inch of her uncomfort.
I glanced around and realised the older couple had asked to be moved and the mothers with toddlers were rolling their eyes and tutting!
I felt like crying for her!
I walked over and knelt down to the mum with her baby.
‘Most the people in the room are parents and we have all been where you are. Don’t worry about anyone else, you are doing a great job.’
I offered to take the baby while she finished her lunch as ours hadnt arrived yet.
She burst into tears and gave me a big hug.
The mum felt instantly more relaxed and in turn, her little baby calmed down.
George and Arthur were a joy that day and unlike the mum next to me, we were getting nods of approval. Usually I would feel proud that out kids good behaviour is being aknowledged, but when the praise is coming from the same judgemental dicks that are rolling their eyes at a crying baby I just felt annoyed.
Rewind just a few weeks and it was me that was sitting their being talked about and feeling shamed.
George didnt let us down though. As the bill was placed on the table he kicked his shoes off and ran through the restaurant. He ran around tables, giggling and screaming as I chased him like a overweight hurdler after a bottle of prosecco.
As I passed the mums who had been rolling their eyes i laughed
‘It was all going so well! That will teach me for being smug!’ hoping they might find the hint and advice in my comment.
George ran behind the bar, hi-fiving the waiters and I finally rugby tackled him at kitchen door!
A couple of days after this I read in a paper that a lady with a crying baby was asked to leave a cafe because it was upsetting the customers.
I wonder how many of those people offered some help or advice to the mum, who may well have been struggling herself, before they complained to the owner?
Or whether the owner of the cafe thought to ask if there was anything he/she could do to help before they showed her to the pavement.
I do have sympathy for everyone who wants to have a quiet meal without ‘naughty’ children or screaming babies around them. My point is simply, before you roll your eyes, ask to be moved or tut at the parents, take a second to think.
Could this parent be struggling? Could that child throwing a tantrum have a disability that you can not see? Could this parent benifit from a gentle hand of reassurance? Or more to the point…..were your children always perfect?
Anyway, im off out for lunch with all the kids….wish me luck 😜
Its been a while since I wrote a totally self centred blog post with no point to it at all. A post that is completly unhelpful, except to let me use it as a diary…so that when I look back one day will be able to remember that week in November 2017.
Lets start with George. This kid is growing into the most charismatic, gorgeous pain in the arse I have ever come across.
I dont call him a pain in the arse lightly. I am a mum of six, i feel like i have a patience level to rival a reception class teacher. But George is a whole new type of toddler.
He will scream to get what he wants, yet remember to thank you with total sincerity if you give in to him.
He will push and push and push me until I shout at him, and then will put his arm around me and ask if I am ok.
So, as a little xmas presie to myself…and George, I have booked him into nursery a couple of mornings a week.
I’m not going to lie, my intention was two FULL days. But the nursery teacher suggested it might be a little much to start with so we agreed on the morings… until January!
If I doubted whether I was doing the right thing, the wink, high five and about-turn we both participated in when I left him on his first morning, made me certain he needed it as much as me.
He has loved it! I have loved it! and it has given me a chance to spend more time with Arthur and appriciate my time with George more.
The nursery teachers loved him. He had played nicely with the other children, joined in with the activities and was so polite. They even told me he is a credit to me….a credit! It felt amazing when she said that.
Then he went home and ripped my £100 roll of Sanderson wallpaper off the wall!
Charlie has started a new school two weeks ago. I have been conscious of how i will cope with school run logistics when the twins start high school for a while. I started some tentitive research last month and was surprised when our school of choice happened to have a space availible for Charlie to start straight away and Libby in January.
The new school is everything charlies old school is not.
It is a small village school with a one class intake and strong christian values. So far, Charlie has settled in like a dream and it is as though he has always been there.
The twins turned eleven!!! I honestly can not believe how quickly time passes by.
Having children is like a constant reminder of this. No huge celebrations this year. I did offer them a big party as it will be their last year at primary school but they werent interested.
I actually think they are worried I might show them up on the dance floor….which I would. The problem is, I actually think I am the coolest mum ever and the kids are proud to show me off.
The reality is that they think I am a total embarrassment and actually mc-ing to DJ Luck and MC Neat is not quite the crowd pleaser it used to be!? Note: @indenialmum!
Instead Harri had some friends over for a sleepover (I still tried to play cool mum….I even let the watch ‘Swearing Peppa Pig’). Mikey is off to Kidzania in a couple of week to continue his quest to become the next Richard Branson.
My Christmas decorations are up, they have been for two weeks…standard. I am the biggest fool for Christmas that ever there was! My ultimate aim is to recreate National Lampoons decore extravagance with Home Alones class….you see the look I am going for?!
I turned to the dark side. It is amazing what looks you can create when you trust your hairdresser! When she suggested a dark balleage i wasn’t convinced…but i let her work her magic……..
I am so pleased with my new look. If you are local to London, check out Laura at Lalo….she is even a stylist to the Stars!
My Modern Mum Event went Live this week….there will be a blog about this over the weekend.
In short, I have organised a night out for local-ish ladies to come and meet local businesses ran by hard working women and hear what they have to offer. It is a chance to network, socialise and have a great night There will be chances to meet lots of beauty industry pros who will be ready to pamper us aswell.
Today I am suppose to be out beating on a shoot with the kids and hounds. After my nightmare night with Arthur and a whole two hours of sleep….I bailed!
Instead, I put an xmas movie on for the kids, put George and Arthur down for a nap and I have a Blissful Bath waiting for me.
I also made a kick-ass pate this week.
I have a freezer full of offal from our pigs, lambs and cow. We like liver and bacon, but not even a family my size can consume that much! This is the recipe I used. I used pig liver instead (by accident) but it was lush with a crusty bread, chutney and a Baileys.
How has your week been…..are you ready for a Merry December?
As always, if you have enjoyed my self regarding post, please share
If you live in the South East and have not heard of Tulleys Farm and their Shocktoberfest you must be living under a rock.
I last went three years ago and have heard through the grapevine it has only got better.
I could not wait to take the kids this half term.
As usual, nothing in our house goes to plan and after getting the household ready, I ran into a small problem on departure….a flat tyre.
But, living on a farm has its perks and we usually have a back up vehicle of some description.
On this occasion it was our trusty Landrover Defender that came to our rescue.
So, an hour later than planned, we were on our way.
Tulleys Farm is a seasonal family event venue in Sussex, between London and Brighton, close to Crawley and East Grinstead. So much is put into each event that it never fails to excite throughout each season.
Drawing inspiration from the huge halloween industry in America, the Pick Your Own Farm began developing Tulleys Halloween events in around 2002. It has since grown from visitors of 3,500 to the mega 60,000 it is welcoming now, over the Halloween period .
As a result of its phenomenal success, they have attracted some of the best Scare Experts in the business.
By day they run a fantastic family spooky experience and by night it becomes a terrifying fright fest that, quite franky, my bladder can no longer handle!
Last time I visited at night I spent most of the evening with my face burried in Mikes back!
For a fiesty lad #georgethemenace (my two year old) is scared of everything… Spiders, clowns, masks, people dressed up and anything small that moves.
As much as I enjoy the cuddles his terror brings, I knew this year it was best to leave him behind.
Also, as much as Tulleys has catered well for buggies, as us parents know, mud and prams make hard work.
Luckily my mum and dad were around and agreed to watch the two smaller boys for me.
Tulleys Farm is made up of a few different rides/experiences.
My kids favourite everytime we visit is the Horrid Hayride.
This is a tractor ride through a creepy woods where the aim of the game is to make the kids scream (and laugh).
I’m going to be careful not to give to much away because the element of suprise and unknown is half the fun.
I will say, unlike the evening experience, the actors are much tamer during the day so that it doesnt traumatise the children……too much 😜
During the day we visited all the main attractions.
We visitied Dirty Gerty and The Witches in The Woods.
We tried to find all the ghosts in the Cornmaze. Which, FYI, is a perfect opportunity to loose the kids for half an hour.
The Twisted Fun House, which even tripped me out slightly when I realised six little faces were relying on me to escape.
The more I tried to find the exit, the more we were faced with psychedelic clowns!
The Creepy Cottage was the ride that my older children found the scariest. Negotiating your way around a derelict cottage scattered with terrifying props
Inbetween all the rides are food stalls serving donuts, jacket potatoes, burgers, chicken, hogroasts and coffee….plenty of coffee everywhere!
The Pumkin Patch is really something to behold and you can buy them aswell as other great Halloween merchandise at the Farm Store.
As you walk around Tulleys there is plenty more entertainment scattered around.
Spooky theatre, street theatre, puppet shows and a pertrifying play area, there is so much to do we nearly ran out of time!
There really is nothing like this around. It is such a brilliant concept and the planning that goes into it and the volume of visitors speaks for itself.
There are a few days left…….take a visit.
Tulleys Farm is a seasonal attraction and I am definatly visiting at Christmas.
Tulleys Farm have also introduced an attraction called Escape Rooms. I’ve been checking it out online and it seems a team of you are locked in a room and the only way to escape is by solving a series of puzzles. I can’t wait to give that a go
I would love to hear your opinions if you have visited.
For more information on prices and opening times, take a look at
Tulleys Farm gave me entrance tickets in return for this review. However, all my opinions are entirely honest and without influence.
Baby led weaning…..lets talk about this for a moment.
This is a new concept for me. All my children were fed straight from a bowl, to their mouths, on a spoon (or sometimes direct from a pouch) by me.
When Charlie was younger he choked on everything. Sometimes he brought it up himself, sometimes he needed a firm pat on the backand, and on one occasion our good friends, (who happen to be a doctor and nurse) had to hang him upside down to help bring up the offending food.
That period of parenting left me mentally scared.
After that, Mike and I chopped up his food into the tiniest pieces until he was about seven!!!
I had to logically tell myself that if he copes ok at school then I should leave him to get on with it himself at home, but even then I struggled.
I carried this paranoia with me during Libby and Georges early years.
Even now my heart stops when i see a toddler eating a banana, sausage or a whole grape.
And now it is time to wean Arthur and I dont know what to do.
Arthur is quite independent and likes to grab the food/spoon himself which can make feeding him a little frustrsting.
Lets be honest, with an independent baby, a toddler and four older children, BLW is probably the more convenient and obvious option.
I can’t tell you I agree or am doing it to avoid having fussy children or children prone to allergies.
All of my five who were weaned ‘traditionally’ are far from fussy. They eat anything from roast diner (even the brussels) to jamaican hot curries to oysters, cockles, olives and even liver!
Food is a big part of our family. We socialise around food, We enjoy eating out, cooking and trying lots of different cuisines and I think that has had a bigger impact on their food choices than how they were weaned (but i am open to suggestion).
We have a rule in our house…..you can not say you do not like something or do not want something unless you try it first.
Back to BLW, From what I understand, you put a selection of food in front of them and let them feed themselves.
I love the concept and it fits in with our family values of encouraging independence and choices.
The Problem is my anxiety levels go through the roof at just the thought of it.
So recently I compromised and I did let Arthur feed himself…..baby rice and pureed food.
I popped Arthur in his highchair and let him loose with the rice and a spoon.
Well, i put the spoon in his hand but that was swiftly given to the dog who was waiting patiently by his highchair, then he dived in hands first.
The food was in his hair, over the highchair and even inbetween the plastic strap clickers (you know what I mean if you have ever had to clear the aftermath up!)
After a mammoth cleaning session and a bath in the kitchen sink I decided to re think my strategy.
I am going to try a mummy led dinner again tonight and see how that goes.
But I would really like to try more BLW.
Does anyone have any tips on what foods are good for babies to eat on their own wihout risking heart failure (mine that is).
I feel like after having six babies you are expected to have all the answers, but things change so much and each baby is so different.
I’ll update you with our progress over the next week.
Wish me luck!
Barack Obama tweeted recently
‘No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion……’
I am starting to wonder if, as well as pure ignorance, has political correctness contributed to Racism.
Obama is right, so at what age do you start noticing and worrying about racism?
My ten and eight year old sons were sitting in the back of the car with a friend of theirs who is mixed race.
Amongst the shouting and laughing coming from the back seat, I heard one of my sons say
‘you’re so black…..you….’
He couldn’t finish because I hit my brakes, pulled over and totally lost my head. I started going into a rant about how I hadn’t brought him up to say things like that.
Before I could finish his friend stopped me.
‘Kate, we were just roasting each other! I just said to Harri, you’re so white, you must be invisible when its snows’
I laughed! and I was so relieved.
But It made me sit back and think,
Am I creating issues about colour that the kids don’t even see.
My kids aren’t racist, not even slightly, so why did I go so mad when I heard him say that?
Because, to make reference someone’s skin colour in a negative way is racist. But, Is it only racist if that person takes offence?
As their mum, it’s my job to make sure they are brought knowing what is right and wrong.
I remember when Charlie was at nursery, he had the most wonderful teacher, Mrs Patel. One day she pulled me to one side to say that another teacher had asked Charlie what he wanted to do. He asked if the ‘chocolate’ lady could read him another story.
I WAS MORTIFIED. I couldn’t apologise enough.
Mrs Patel hadn’t told me out of disappointment. She thought it was the most wonderful thing she had ever heard! This little three year old was just describing her as best he could and she was nothing but flattered that he enjoyed her reading to him.
The Political Correctness that has been bashed into me over the years had almost convinced me that my little boy was showing racist traits at three years old!
Right now, my kids see past skin colour, and I’m not going to change that
What are your thoughts? X
We have been fortunate to visit a few special attractions around the South of England this Summer.
It has been so long since I have been to Drusillas It is nothing more than a vague memory to me. So when I was asked to give a review of the Park I jumped at the chance.
Anyone that I have spoken to about Drusillas has raved about it, so I was really excited to take the kids.
A friend of mine, Simin, lives in Eastbourne and has an Annual Membership for Drusillas. She has been visiting the Park for over fifteen years. So, apart from a great opportunity to meet up with her and her little girl, I thought it would be handy to go with someone who knows the zoo and can give me a guided tour!
Drusillas Park Is located just off the A27 at Ariston.
The kids usually hate long journeys, but I avoided the motorways and the route took us on a lovely drive through Ashdown Forest.
I had always thought Drusillas was a small zoo. My kids adore animals and learning about different species so I knew I would be earning brownie points on this day out. What we actually realised on arrival is that Drusillas is so much more than ‘just a small zoo’.
The variety of play areas and rides are probably the best I have ever seen! But, I’ll tell you all about that later.
Lets start at the beginning of our day.
Car parking was simple and you don’t get charged to park in it. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but a few of the attractions we have been to over the last six weeks have charged us for parking.
Like most of my days out, it started with a coffee. Coffee is my ‘mama fuel’ to help me mentally cope with the day ahead. Not only to make sure I don’t loose one of my six children, but to make sure I can keep an enthusiastic, ‘Balamory style’ attitude throughout the day.
Imagine my delight when I was greeted with a Starbucks sign!
After my caffeine fix, it was straight onto the animals.
The children had been given some activity booklets to complete on the way around the park.
I thought they were great because they were kept simple. The kids had to spot animals listed in the booklet and stamp it accordingly. This meant it was easy for my younger children to complete, whilst keeping the older ones entertained too.
They could also take part in the Zoolympics Challenge. There were various points around the park where you could test your sporting skills against different animals.
Our first stop was Iguanas and Snakes. The smell was reminiscent of the twins bedroom, so I was keen to move on fairly swiftly, but the kids took in every fact and bit of information available to them.
The Farmyard was lovely to mooch around, George loved it and It was so informative. The older children have been to many farms and have books on most of our animals, yet we all learnt new facts at this section of the park.
-Did you know that dairy cows produce 21 litres of milk per day?
-Did you know that Donkeys are sometimes kept as pets to keep lawns short? (yea, I suggest swerving that informative can of worms!)
-I also learned that despite how I might feel sometimes, I am not built like a carthorse and, at a push, I just about have the strength of a Serval (a giant cat)….I know!? who knew!?
You don’t it about me, but I love monkeys!!! I could watch monkeys all day!! So Imagine my delight when our next stop was the capuchins (Marcel from Friends?) Marmosets, Colobus, Squirrel monkeys and Macaques. There were even more species of Monkeys dotted around the park.
In all the years I have visited farms and zoos, I have never encountered Bats until I visited Drusillas.
The children and I were fascinated. We could walk through an enclosed area where the bats were hanging (literally) all around us. I grew up next to woodland and we would see the shadows of bats regularly during the summertime, but it was a completely different experience to see them up close.
New arrivals at Drusillas this year are the Giant Anteaters, and how amazing are they! (and, FYI, nothing like ALF!)
The park has over one hundred different animal species and I am not going to go through every one, but amongst some of our favourites were Beavers, Porcupines, Sloths, Camels and Penguins.
I loved seeing the Flamingos, (and not just so that I could use that cute sticker on Insta Stories!)
They are so beautiful and pink…. I am working on mike to let me have a flock on the farm….what do you reckon my chances are!?
Another highlight of our day was our walk through Lemurland. This is an enclosure where you can walk amongst the Lemurs and watch them jump across your path or if you are really lucky, they might even land on you!
The Go-Wild play area was exactly as it is described…Awesome Play. It was every child’s dream and with a separate area for younger children, it had something for all ages.
The kids spent over an hour in this part of the park. If they had their way they would have spent all day there!
The photos don’t do Go-Wild justice. I couldn’t possibly get a shot with everything included!
But, there was still so much to see so we had to drag them away from Go-Wild and head for the Get-Wet water park.
Simin had text me the night before to tell me to make sure I brought the kids swimming cosies and towels. Now I don’t want to appear a whinge, but when you are getting ready to take six children out for the day something has to give. On this occasion I forgot the swimsuits!
Luckily, it was such a hot day It didn’t stop Libby and George from having a great time jumping in and out of the fountains and water sprays.
Go Safari! is Drusillas new attraction which only opened this year. It is an area of the park made up of three rides. They provide perfect thrills for younger children (my two and ten year olds enjoyed them).
The Hippopotobus, The Flying Cheetahs and The Safari Train which takes you on an adventure around the whole park.
Drusillas has a great Park Maze. We all had great fun getting lost and trying to find our way out. I kept George safely on my shoulders the entire time we were in there. Those of you who follow my blog and Instagram will understand why! #Georgethemenace
Hello Kitty Secret Garden is a lovely area with three more childrens rides. The exciting 25ft hooper, a ride where you are bounced up and down. The tea cups which, need no explanation and the Kitty car ride where you go on a magical journey through Hello Kittys Garden.
Stop at Hello Kittys House. The girls met The Puss herself, Hello Kitty, and you can indulge with a pamper at her ‘Parlour’. Children (or adults if you so wish!) can have their face painted, temporary tattoos and hair braids (at cost).
On this occasion I was organised and took a packed lunch with us. Therefore, I can not comment on Drusillas eateries but they all appeared clean and inviting (and the coffee was great😉)
The facilities were good and you were never too far from a toilet (which is always handy with six children!)
Harrison can not go anywhere without playing a shoot-me-up game so he was not dissapointed.
And, if we hadnt run out of time they would have liked a go on the climbing wall.
Drusillas have Keeper Talks and Animal feeding at regular times during the day and they have loads of events on throughout the year. I would definitely recommend heading over to their website
We had such a great day! The weather was glorious, but I can imagine we would have enjoyed it regardless.
On our way home from Drusillas, Mikey asked if he could go back and ‘be a keeper for the day’ for his birthday……I am certainly going to look into it.
If I have convinced you to take a trip to Alfriston to visit Drusillas, let me know what you think.
And, as always, Please share with your friends and followers 😘
I recieved free entry to Drusillas in return for this post. All of my opinions are completly honest and unbiased.
I have been visiting Godstone farm since I was Georges age.
Over the years it has just got better and better, whilst keeping hold of it orginal charm that makes me so nostalgic.
So last week, I made the brave decision to take ALL my children for a visit.
Even though we live on a farm, there is nothing like a day out at Godstone Farm. We are so fortunate that it is just fifteen minutes from us.
Considering it was the middle of the summer holidays, it was relatively quiet, which helped me stay sane.
The farm is divided into areas that makes it easy to explore.
They have all the animals you would hope to see on a farm. Horses, donkeys, pigs, goats, llama and cows.
They have a wonderful selection of birds and smaller animals. Chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks, rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs aswell as a few reptiles.
Activities are ran throughout the day such as animal talks and feedings.
Have you ever watched Pig and feret racing?
The kids loved it!
I had to giggle when the boys announced, on seeing the piglets…
‘Look mum, this pig has more babies than you!’
-yep, she looks in better shape to!
Always a magical part of the day is the barn where you can hold the babies and small animals.
They have baby chicks of different ages, rabbits and tortoises.
Aswell as making sure no little darlings throw the chicks across the barn, Godstone farm employees are on hand to answer any questions the kids have.
My kids loved this area, particularly George.
Lets talk about the outdoor play area that gets even the adult visitors excited.
The playground alone is worth the enterance fee.
(How amazing is this swing!?)
It has everything from zip wires and large slides for the older kids (and adults), to a sand pit, climbing frames and ride-ons for the younger ones.
It is perfect to plot up and have a picnic, but, if like me you are not that organised, they have a sandwhich hut serving coffee, tea, cold drinks and ice cream.
We spent about two hours here, and I still had to drag the kids away kicking and screaming!
If the weather is bad, There are also two covered play areas.
One is a huge soft play area set up in one of the large barns.
The other area is smaller with a climbing area and slide, set up for younger children
After wearing George out in the play area we headed to the Dino Trail.
Dotted around a path, and looking over the llamas, at the bottom of the farm are large model dinosaurs. Each one is accompanied with facts on the animal.
With a toddler and an eight year old obsessed with dinosaurs, this was a great suprise!
Who knew that a baby T-Rex could have been born with feathers?
We ended our day in the large sandpit for younger children with a portion of chips and an ice cream.
I spent most of my time here wrestling George as he tried to take every tractor toy in the sandpit away from the other tots.
Always making time for a trip to the shop, the boys bought some water toys to play in the sun.
Apart from all the activities, I was impressed with the general appearence of the farm.
The landscaping is beautiful, the facilities were clean and there were plenty of hand washing points.
We had a great day at Godstone Farm. As always, it provided a fun and educational day outdoors, enjoying the great British summer.
For more information, please visit
*I recieved free tickets in return for this review.
However, as always, all my opinions are entirely honest and without biased.
If you are at a loose end with the kids this summer and want something that will suit all ages, from babies to older teenagers (and you) try Thorpe Park.
Thorpe Park is a large theme park set between Chertsey and Staines-Upon-Thames, at juction 11 on the M25.
Despite being just a forty five minute drive from me I haven’t been there since I was a kid. Mike was supposed to join me, but because of his work commitments I took the kids on my own.
Two children under two, four over six and just one adult meant I wouldnt be able to make the most of the day. So, I dropped George and Arthur to my Mum and Dad’s and headed off with Mikey (10), Harri (10), Charlie (8) and Libby (6).
When we arrived the kids checked the map and all the many rides and gave me a summary of the ones they definitely wanted to go on.
My slight disapointment, being a huge rollercoaster fan, (bigger the better) was because I was on my own, I had to swerve some of the biggest and best rides in the park.
Mikey was also disappointed, as he seems to have inherited my need for thrills!
Saw, Stealth, Colossus, Rush and Nemiesis Inferno were all no-gos for us this time round.
So lets talk about the rides we did go on.
Like other theme parks, Thorpe Park is separated into different areas, each with its own theme.
We started our day at Amity, a section of the park based around the seaside town that the movie Jaws is based on.
The first ride we went on was Flying Fish, a family rollercoaster.
After dragging Mikey and Harri on some of Universal Studios scariest rides last year, they were both up for this ‘tamer’ ride.
Libby and Charlie however, were rollercoaster novices and both tried get out of it.
Thinking they would enjoy it once they were on it, I managed to convince them with some gentle persuasion.
They loved it!
Mikey didnt feel it quite satisfied his adrenaline need, but enjoyed it nevertheless.
Whilst in Amity, we also went on the obligatory log flume Tidle Wave and the more gentle water ride, Storm Surge.
One of my most memorable rides with the kids was ‘Storm in a Teacup’. Maybe because I remember this ride and the Tetley men from when I was the boys age.
While the kids were spinning the cup, faster and faster, I was watching their faces, they were ecstatic, their laughing and screaming with excitement will stay with me forever. It is what #makingmemories is all about.
From Amity, we headed to ‘The Jungle’.
This is where we rode on Mr Monkeys Banana Ride (a tame thrill ride for younger children) and the Rhumba Rapids, riding through the jungle river on a raft.
Whilst in The Jungle I spied a ‘Ghost Train’ sign.
Ghost Trains are my favourite kind of ride so I dragged the kids kicking and screaming towards it.
They breathed a sigh of relief when it stated at the entrance that you had to be 13 or over. I was gutted!
It looked fantastic, promoted as Darren Brown’s Ghost Train, I am heading straight for that on my kid-free visit!
Harri’s ride of choice was Angry Birds 4D Experience.
It was very similar to the Shrek ride at Universal Studios. I dont want to spoil it for anyone, but it is a great ride for all the family.
At Old Town the kids jumped on The Rocky Express, which they all commented that George (2) would have loved.
Then, the kids hurried Mikey and I passed Samuri and Saw whilst we sulked like teenagers.
We stopped for a well deserved Whoppa at Burger King, just because it was the closest Eatery. However, there are plenty of places to eat at the park. They have everything from a Bar and Grill to Fish and Chips, Mexican, Kebabs, Pulled Meat and BBQ, they even have Burger King and KFC.
If you want treats they offer Donuts, Ice Cream, Slushies and lots of yummies dotted around the park.
The Lost City was the home of Mikeys favourite ride of the day….Quantum. Judging by Thorpe Park standards it was one of the smaller rides but given that Mikey hadnt managed to ride any of the monsters, this satisfied his thrill level for the day.
Charlie and Harri however, were not so keen! Mikey ran off begging to ride again, whilst the others threatened to report me to social services for making them go on such a scary ride (I bolted out of the queue with Libby at the last minute as I knew she would be petrified).
Zodiac was a great ride, I actually managed to ride that one with Mikey as the queue was less than five minutes.
We spent the last hour of our day at Thorpe Park at Amity Beach, A large, man-made beach with shallow pools and water features.
I sat and watched the four kids mess about, splash each other and have a great time.
Depth Charge is next to the beach. It is a multi slide where you sit on a raft and ride down the slide. The kids would have gone on this again and again and again but time was running away.
Being the unorganized mum that I am, i hadnt packed swimsuits or towels so it is just lucky we made that the last stop of the day.
I say last stop, but as every parent knows, no trip to a theme park is complete without a visit to the park store!
Loaded with badges, sweets and souvenirs, we were ready to say goodbye to Thorpe Park.
All I needed to do was remember where I parked the car!!!
For more information on Thorpe Park, their prices and admissions, head over to their website.
If you have been or do plan a day in Thorpe Park I’d love to hear your feedback.
Linking up with #BloggerClubUK
Well, what an experience this was!!
On paper, this weekend was my idea of absolute hell.
Six children (two babies), a tent, rain….lots of rain, mud….lots of mud and not a tiled roof in sight!
Somehow, amongst the damp and filth, we dug deep into our British souls and managed to have a fantastic weekend (great friends and the Gin also helped).
Due to my total lack of organisation we didnt manage to secure a motorhome this year.
Instead, we opted for CB Boutique camping with a company called PodPads.
It was a six man bell tent that included a groundsheet, carpet and six campbeds with sheets.
There was enough room in our tent for our travel cot, double buggy and festival trolly. Although, with all the paraphernalia that comes with two children under two, it was a squash in there and not much room to move around.
If the weather had been better and we could have left our bits outside it would have been much roomier.
There is a fab ‘reception tent’ where they provided us with free tea and coffee facilities and you can charge your phone free of charge.
One of the best things about Boutique camping (beside avoiding divorce while trying to errect a 6 man tent) is having the car park at a reasonable distance from your tent and being a short walk from the actual festival.
Last year, at the campervan field, it felt like a Marine assult course getting us, the five kids and a buggy from the motorhome to the festival.
Thats not meant to discourage anyone, but for us, and the ages of our children, we prefered to be closer to everything.
Next year we will head for Boutique again. I am going to start doing my research now into what we will stay in and ill post about that over the next couple of weeks.
I would be lying if i said the weather did not affect our weekend.
Although we all enjoyed ourselves, we didnt get to make the most of what Camp Bestival has to offer.
We tried to do as much as we could when the rain stopped, but there is so much to to do, we missed out on alot.
Having a couple of art-mad youngsters in our crowd, we headed to The Art Tent first.
The kids had a great time making dreamcatchers out of old vinyl records and cds.
Once the main acts started we headed over to Castle Field.
We rumaged for a spot like crazed fans to watch Justin Flethcher AKA Mr Tumble and then pitched up for my personal Camp Bestival highlight of the weekend…..Dick and Dom. You’ve never know true exhilaration until you have screamed ‘BOGIES’ in the rain, like your eight year old self.
One thing that did help keep my spirits up while my Hunters were getting abused was The Alchemy Bar by Schweppes.
A Gin and Tonic cocktail bar where Special ingridiants mixed with the G&T’s added something a bit special to my already favourite drink.
So with a couple of bevvies inside us, we soldiered on.
We danced (in the rain) to All Saints, Mark Ronson, Madness, Louisa Johnson and the other amazing acts that made up the 2017 line up.
The kids raved with Bflf in the Bollywood tent and threw some shapes at Sara Cox DJ set.
Now lets talk about the food…..oh the food!
Ive mentioned in previous posts about how much I love the Camp Bestival grub.
On the first night we had an obligitory crepe…one of the kids favourite things! Not cheap at £5 each, especially when you have as many mouths to feed as we do, but its becoming a tradition we cant resist.
The paad thai noodles are a huge hit with my little lot. I can guarentee they will put away a portion each, no problem!!
And obvs, anything that does get left, Mike and I are ready and waiting to swoop in like seagulls on Brighton Pier!
The corn is another essential whilst at CB! I can guarentee, my instagram is always cluttered over CB weekend with gorgeous kiddies sinking their teeth into a golden, buttered corn on the cob in The Lower Kids Garden.
Then you have Mikes playground, The Feast Collective.
This is a tent/section of the festival dedicated to different cuisines and dishes from all over the place. Whether you fancy fish and chips or a lamb curry, The Feast Collective will sell it.
Mainly with a street food vibe, This is where i know ill find Mike if we get split up.
We tried DJBBQ pulled pork burger, which was everything i had hoped for after salivating over his Instagram over the last few months.
We tried chips, cheese and gravy which i am convinced would make the best hangover food and was another winner with the kids .
The dish of the weekend for me had to be the Indonesian Coconut Curry and dumplings…..it was the BEST curry I have ever had!
Another great thing about Camp Bestival is that you can bring your own food and drink into the grounds.
So, as tempting as it is to just keep browsing the stalls, trying a dish ever hour, bringing your own bits will save your pennies.
The rain finally eased off on Sunday afternoon so thats when we headed to The Dingly Dell.
This is an area in the woods with a childrens park, farm animals and outdoor activities like zip wires, childrens building sites and Lizzies Way.
Now, im not going to lie, I haven’t made it to Lizzies Way.
I have been told by my other blogging friends that this is a highlight of Camp Bestival.
All i needed to hear was, in the middle of the woods, she has a mud cafe and you can make potions!!…this is enough to make sure it is our first stop on the list for next year!
Over the next couple of weeks I will publish more posts on Camp Bestival.
I will cover more about the accomodation options, what to see, saving money and travelling there etc.
For now, the purpose of my post is to say, despite the weather, Camp Bestival 2017 was brilliant weekend, making more unforgettable memories with the kids, which, afterall, is what its all about.
The tickets for 2018 have just been released and ticketline offer a paymentplan.
You can book your tickets and pay them off weekly which I have done for last two years and it works so well.
Boutique options are not available yet but if you secure your weekend tickets, they include standard camping pitches.
If I have managed to convince any of you to go, please let me know and we can keep in touch over the next few months and maybe even hook up over a G&T in the Magic Meadow next year 😉
If you have enjoyed this post, please share it on your social media.
Love Kate x
Everyone loves a newborn. Who can resist those tiny hands and that brand new smell.
It’s even more exciting when it’s a baby of a friend or family member.
You can impose yourself as soon as the baby is born, then hand baby back when he starts crying…perfect!……if you want to piss off and send your friend into a stressy mess!
When i had the twins 10 years ago, i was clueless.
I was trying to take everything in. Learning to make bottles, change nappies, the art of winding, and all this while trying to bond with my new babies.
Aswell as the babies to care for, i still had a house to try and keep on top of.
When i arrived home from the hospital our first visitors were waiting on the sofa for us to get back.
It was flattering to know people care so much and were getting so excited over our babies but i found it quite overwhelming.
They told me to go and have a lay down and they would look after the babies.
At 24, and a new mum, i did as i was told.
Their intentions were great. The realitly is, i wanted to be laying down with the babies.
The first couple of weeks visitors poured in with generous gifts and lots of love but if im honest, i hated it.
I heard alot of..
‘Dont worry about the babies, ill watch them, you get on with what you need to do’
Who wants to do housework after you have nurtured a pregnant belly for nine months and squeezed a human out if you?
What i really wanted was to chill out with my babies!
So…4 more babies later and a tonne more confidence, i’m going to tell you what works for me.
When you hear your friend has had their baby, these are my tips (because they wont tell you)
-Send your congratulations text and ask them to text you when THEY are ready for a visit.
No one knows what effect the birth has had on mum. There is nothing worse than sitting on the sofa, scared to get up infront of your guest because you have leaked through your pad!
It took me a couple of weeks to even leave the house with the twins. When George (number five) was born, i was out, digging into a tapas the next day!
-Take them round a diner, whether it is a M&S £10 meal deal or a homemade lasagne, it will be seriously appriciated!
-When you visit, after you have coo’d over the new bundle of gorgeousness, do a bit of housework.
Make new mum a cuppa, load the dishwasher or offer to hang the washing out.
It will make her day!
-Tell her how fab she looks after having a baby. She will probably look like crap but its always nice to hear!
-If they are a new mum and breastfeeding, be sensitive. Depending on your relationship and how close you are, it can be daunting….and embaressing.
The subtle breast latch, when you can start feeding your baby within seconds and with barely any boob showing is a talent that takes practice.
The first few days it is more of a undignified game of squashing your boob and nipple into all sorts of positions to try and encourage baby to ‘latch on’.
When you have an audience this can turn a already stressfull experience into a total meltdown.
If they look like they are not confident with feeding, either offer to help (if you know how to) or use that time to make a cuppa.
I asked some fellow bloggers if they had any tips, heres what they suggest:
Lisa at Mum and dad plus 4:
Don’t wake the baby if sleeping, don’t kiss baby, offer to make a brew and ask if they need help with anything pots, watching baby while they have a quick shower, making feeds feeding baby. Let them have a sleep if needed. Go to help not be waited on.
Lisa at Baremother:
Do: bring cake or food (but check that mum isn’t lactose intolerant first), offer to hold baby so mum can shower, be the one to make tea/coffee, offer to help tidy or put a load of washing on. Don’t: touch baby without permission, kiss baby, overstay your welcome (an hour is plenty long enough), offer un-asked-for advice.
Jen at Justanaveragejen:
Don’t insist on taking photos of the baby crying – my sons paternal grandmother did this and it broke my heart. She is not in his life anymore (not due to that) but it was weird and I am sure no one else would do it but you never know! And dont comment on how mum is feeding the baby, as long as the baby is being fed it isn’t your business!
Faye at Glossytots:
Take food and ask before you pick up baby
Emily at emilyandindiana:
Make sure to focus on how mum is doing, just as much as the baby. And if they have any siblings, make sure to include them too, so they don’t feel left out!
Natasha at itsatashathing:
Do take a little present for mum and baby. For mum some food and maybe some relaxing bath or shower stuff. Don’t tell her how to do stuff with the baby and sound patronising! Don’t pick the baby up without asking, especially if the baby is sleeping!
Vikki at familytravelwithellie:
Thinking back to what I wanted from my visitors …. keep the visits short, never arrive unannounced, arrive with delicious selection of easy to cook food for new mum and dad to enjoy that night ( m and s meals are a winner ) offer to help with any chores ( washing / dishes etc ) . Ask about mum and how she’s doing . Tell her she’s doing amazing. Tell her she has a beautiful baby . Tell her you won’t stay long this time but you would love to come back whenever she needs a little help , support, shower ….
Arabella at exeterbabyactivities:
Make a constructive but simple offer of help. I see you are busy feeding baby, – can I fold the washing for you? Looks like baby needs a mummy cuddle, can I make a cup of tea for you? Oh you are changing a nappy, shall I put the dishes away while you are doing that?
This lets mum and dad know you are thinking of them without offering any judgement on how they are coping.
Emma at readyfreddiego:
I have a nine week old and although the offers of tidying etc were nice they made me feel a bit awkward so I would have loved someone to send me off to have my hair done and make me feel a bit more me!
Abi at somethingaboutbaby:
I often hear people say to help new mums by doing some chores but I honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable with my friends doing that – especially in the early days, my husband was at home so he was managing all that. I really just wanted to know that my friends were there for me, and interested in my new baby – that they wanted cuddles, and to take photos and feel involved in this little persons life. I also wanted that contact to continue – for them to continue checking up to make sure I was ok, and baby was ok. As a new mum it meant the world to me that so many people cared about us.
Vivienne at themothersroom:
Bring a useful gift – healthy food, a lidded thermal mug, a voucher for a sling consultation so they can get to grips with babywearing, an Amazon voucher so she can load up her kindle for those multiple night feeds – new outfits and teddies often go unused! Make hot drinks for everyone and if you do get a cuddle, don’t hog the baby!
(As an aside, don’t invite anyone round in the first few weeks of motherhood if you wouldn’t be comfortable sitting with them in your pyjamas – if they aren’t that close, they aren’t close enough to intrude on such a special time)
Claire at mumsymidwife:
Please do not bring your children if they have colds. I had this and my 12 day old daughter was admitted to hospital because of it. Do bring along something for Mum, as she is often forgotten.
Terry-Ann at notaneffingfairytaleblog:
Make the visit a short one, call just before to make sure its still okay to visit as things can change so fast with tiredness etc and don’t ask to hold the baby – the mum might not want even her closes friends to hold it yet
Stacey at onesmallhuman:
Bring a treat for Mum. One of my friends brought me a vanilla latte from Costa (my favourite) and it was brilliant! It had felt like ages since I’d had anything like that. Add to that the fact I felt like I hadn’t slept in days and that sweet caffeine hit was just fantastic.
And the other thing? Once you’ve met baby and had your cuddles, ask about Mum! And have a conversation about something not baby related – office gossip, something on the telly. Remind Mum she’s still a human being!
Nikki at yorkshirewonders:
Take Just Eat vouchers! I would have loved this when mine were born. It’s nice to take them food, but I would rather just have a nice visit then a Dominos delivery afterwards!
Chantel at twoheartsoneroof:
Great tips above, but don’t forget Dad!! I think Dad’s often get totally forgotten when it comes to new babies. Mums get all the attention and dad is often left feeling like a loose part. Ask him how he is doing too, and if your bringing coffee or something for mum get it for dad too! Baby will alter both of their lives majorly!!
Jodie at maidenheadmum:
I took ‘Pub grub’ for my friend and her husband in their first week at home. I went and bought some premium burgers, posh cheese and the best chips I could find along with a beer for Dad and something tasty for mum as she was breastfeeding. I then cooked it for them so they felt like they were having a treat, even though they were still at home!
I’d love to hear what your experiences were. Do you have any do’s or dont’s for visitors?
Please share this with your friends
Lots of love peps
As seasoned travellers to Florida I like to think i am experienced at organising a great holiday there.
Given that i am usually booking for eight or more people i am particularly good at making sure we stick to a reasonable budget.
I have just booked our flights to Florida 2018 and I’ve got to share this little gem with you.
Usually, if you fly from the South East of England to Florida you would either fly from Gatwick or Heathrow to Orlando, or Heathrow to Miami.
Unless you have air miles or you are booking a package holiday, flights are really expensive.
Especially, lf like us you have to work around school holidays, even worse when you are paying for eight people!
So, here is my secret…….Norwegian Airlines!
They now fly direct from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale.
Fort Lauderdale airport is about 30 minutes north of Miami and about a 2 1/2 hour drive to Orlando.
Fort Lauderdale itself is our favourite holiday destination.
The beaches are stunning, restaurants are amazing and there is always loads going on.
If however, you are heading to Orlando, the price of flights will make the drive worth while.
Drum roll please…….
Return flights for the Easter holiday 2018 £450 per adult and £350 per child.
This is for the Economy Lowfare plus ticket which includes In flight meals, 20kg check in baggage allowance and seat reservation.
Gatwick is so much more convenient than Heathrow for those of us that are South of London.
Now let’s talk about the airline.
Norwegian is classed as a ‘budget’ airline, But there really isn’t anything budget about them.
We travelled to Florida with them last year for my sister in laws wedding in Key West.
The check in service was excellent (but when flying with five children you tend to get treated like VIP….mainly to move you on as quickly as possible).
The Dreamliner plane is a new aircraft. It offers good legroom (lowfare plus) and hi-tech facilities.
The touch screen media kit means you can order and pay for your duty free, food and drink using your tv and the cabin crew bring it straight to you.
The kids and I were fascinated by the ‘magic’ windows that are made of smart glass and tint at the touch of a button!
The service on board was great and the cabin crew were very attentive and patient with the kids. As all of us parents know, that can make a big difference to a nine hour flight.
If you are considering a holiday to Florida, check them out. I’ll be sharing more posts on holidays in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami soon.
Let me know if you have any travel hacks when holidaying in Florida.