Tulley Farm – Pumpkin and Spookfest

​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

www.tulleysfarm.com


Tulleys Farm gave me entrance tickets in return for this review. However, all my opinions are entirely honest and without influence.

Our Day Out at Thorpe Park

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.  
The weather was beautiful and It was so reminiscent of the Lidos my mum used to take us to when we were kids (none of which are open any more).

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.
https://www.thorpepark.com
If you have been or do plan a day in Thorpe Park I’d love to hear your feedback.
Love Kate
Xxxx
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Mudpie Fridays

Camp Bestival 2016

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My friend has been to every Camp Bestival since it started and every year she has tries to convince me to come with her. 
Now, here is the problem,  i don’t camp! My experience of tents is that they are damp and freezing when the weather is cold and like a sweat box when it’s warm.  They smell and don’t even get me started on putting the bloody tent up and taking it down! 
I have nothing but respect for anyone who can embrace camping,  especially with children! But it’s not for me. 
When you have five children in tow the aim of the game is to always plan ahead. Avoid anything that could cause Unnecessary stress!
Over the last year the kids have really started getting into music and what’s hot in the charts. 
I looked into tickets to capitals jingle bell ball, party in the park,  Justin Bieber and more,  but tickets always seem to be a minimum of £100 each. 
When you want to take four kids it’s starts getting ridiculous!
So my thoughts turned to Camp bestival,  where the tickets for children are approx £150 but you have three days of various artists plus so much more.
Another friend had mentioned she was going but had hired a campervan….bingo!!!  

After the drama of trying to find a six berth campervan to rent for the first weekend of the summer holidays with two weeks notice we hit jackpot in Hayling Island.
At the cost of £650 for the weekend,  to take the kids away for four nights, we thought is was a bargain!
It is so much easier packing a campervan for a little holiday than a car.  Food i had brought went straight into the fridge,  I made the beds up and put the cases away in the wardrobe. 

The campsite opens on the Thursday,  there is not a huge amount happening that day but food stalls are open and the Slow Motion area (pampering section where you can have your hair done,  spa treatments,  yoga etc). 
We drove down Wednesday night and pulled up at a lay-by close to The festival ready to drive straight in on Thursday to get a prime spot and avoid heavy traffic.
 
Camp Bestival is set in the grounds of Lulworth Castle in Devon. It took about  two and a half hours from where we live in Warlingham.

It is an absolutely beautiful setting that’s adds to the magic of the festival. 
Knowing Thursday was more of an orienteering day to gauge where everything is, I decided it would be the perfect day to book a relaxing massage in the Slow Motion area.
Mike and I both had a shiatsu massage which really set us up for the weekend. 
I have never had a massage on the ground in a teepee before but don’t knock it till you try it,  it was fantastic!
The campervan was equipt with a toilet,  shower and a kitchen but unfortunately the field don’t provide electric so we couldn’t use our shower. 
However,  the ‘posh showers’ they provide are really nice and as long as you pick your time right (we showered late afternoon)  there were no ques.
I can’t go through everything that the festival has to offer,  mainly because I don’t feel like we did even half of it but I’m ready to go hardcore at this festival next year!! 
The main stage is where the big acts perform.  From about 3pm the music acts are continuous.  
Our favourites are Reggie and Bollie, Jamie Lawson, fat boy slim and Katy B.
Dick and Dom from Cbbc really for the crowd going and Mike and I were crying with laughter at some of their antics!
Unlike other festival,  the main stage area never felt rammed.

There was plenty of room to set up a picnic blanket, buggy and bags and have a dance without bumping into anyone. 
The Big Top tent is where we watched a beautiful West End Kids show featuring songs from all the Disney movies, We Will Rock You and to Mikeys delight, a bit of  Arianna Grande.
The children all took part in the Brit School Workshop where they learnt dance routines.
We spent a few hours in the art tent making all sorts of models with the outerspace theme that the festival was based on, Mikey, Charlie and Libby particularly enjoyed that. 
Harri spent his time outside the tent perfecting his spinning wheel tricks! 

The kids were mesmorized by the insect circus, loved the punch and judy puppet show and although we didn’t make it to the biggest bouncy castle,  we are saving that for next year. 
We all enjoyed watching the BMX and stunt shows but, again,  we missed a few opportunities that we are looking forward to catching next year such as the wall of death and the kids climbing wall/ gymnastics.
The atmosphere feels very relaxed and safe with regards to the kids. 
I lost a couple of the kids one evening (not on purpose i promise)  and kids welfare tent called me within 10 minutes to say they were safe and with them. 
All children are given wrist bands with parents numbers written on them.
One of the managers that I spoke to when I picked Mikey up proudly told me that in all the years Camp Bestival has been running they have never lost a child for more than 15 minutes!  That is quite an accomplishment given number of families that attend.

Now let’s talk about my favourite subject…..food!
The food choices are out off this world!  
With a family of seven it can work out expensive to feed them all day at the festival. 
I would suggest packing lots of food so that you can cook breakie and take snacks etc. 
But with all the best intentions to save money, when your faced with the choices there,  it’s hard to resist! 
Chicken katsu curries, fish and chips, Dj Bbq, French crepes, Indian, Burgers (not just any burgers,  those posh burgers made from any meat you want!) 
Lobsters and shellfish,  pasta, pizza, milkshaka made with any chocolate you want, I’ve cream,  Vietnamese, Jerk, Cakes, Mike had a Ox Cheek wrap that was out of this world. 
The list goes on,  honestly,  anything you could possible want,  they catered for. 
Mike was particularly enjoyed when he saw a few of the foodies he follows on Instagram there. 
On the recommendation of our veteran camp bestival guru Katie, we made a point of going into the kids field and getting them some corn…… That went down a treat with them all and is now going to be a regular snack in our house! 
As you can probably tell, we really had the time of our lives!  

Now I’m going to dissapoint you by telling you we left early. 
We packed up on Sunday afternoon,  missing a few acts, losing out on seeing some of the other treats the festival had to offer and most importantly, the complete highlight (so I have been told)
THE FIREWORKS 🎆 
Mikey had already missed a couple of rehearsals for the production be was in due to our weekend away and missing any more could have meant losing a place in the show. 
This is just another thing I will look forward to next year. 
We spent such a magical weekend together.   The children loved it and Mike and I both agreed it was better than taking them to Disney world! 
Needless to say we have already booked for next year and can’t wait! 
FYI,  Camp Bestival provide a payment plan for tickets so that you can spread the cost a bit. 
For us to go (2 adults, for children and a baby) for four nights,  including pitch and tickets was approx £750.

If you decided to give this a go next year here are a few tips:
-The campsites are up and down some pretty beastly hills.
We must about managed with the buggy but watching some of the campers drag trollies of tenting equipment back and forth from the car park (up another hill) made me want to pour them a vodka. 
If you can afford it, look into the glamping, backstage and boutique camping.  If you have young children it would be well worth it. 
-Take plenty of supplies (milk,  bread,  crisps,  baby wipes) 
I ran out of a few bits and popped to the very limited camping shop. 
I paid £2 for a tiny pack of baby wipes (the pack I usually get free in my baby show goody bag) 
You get my point! 
-Don’t rush to the front of the main arena, it’s calmer and easier for the kids to dance about towards the back and you still have great views of the stage.
-Don’t pre judge the acts!  we were so excited about Fat Boy Slim and Jess Glynne that We were not fussed on Mr Tumble,  Dick and Dom or Reggie and Bollie yet they were our highlight!
Hopefully I’ll see you there next year…. 
http://www.campbestival.net

Popped the roller-coaster cherry #proudmama

It was a very proud day for me today.
It was a moment,  as a mum, and a lover of roller-coasters and fast rides, I have been waiting for for nine years.
Today, my twin sons lost their roller-coaster virginity!
We have spent the day at Islands of Adventure, the partner the partner theme park of Universal Studios, Orlando.
It’s much more geared for children and thrill seekers than Universal.
Once I had sussed out that they are finally taller than the height restriction my mission started.
I started them off tamely on a Harry Potter simulated ride. 
We then moved from their onto a small outside roller coaster train, which they were really scared about at first but absolutely loved.
Then,  they were ready for it….
The big one!
Well,  I thought they were ready for it.
During the ride i looked at them both and they were so scared they were trying to cry but the force of the ride was so fierce that they couldnt.
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When we got off Mikey told me the next thing he wanted to do at the park was punch me in the face for taking them on it.
I was then told I was the worst mum…. Again!
Five minutes later, we asked what their favourite part of the day had been and they both said The Mummy – The big roller-coaster that they had just been moaning at me for taking them on.
F#@k knows what these two are going to be like when they are moany, hormonal teenagers.
Can it really be worse than the basket cases I’m dealing with now?
Whatever,  I gave myself a mental hi-five, Future theme park visits are going to be so much more fun now! 
Go boys!!! 😘
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