The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

The Enchantment of Chester Zoo 

In the run up to Halloween Chester Zoo staged a special event ‘The Enchantment of Chester Zoo’ as members we were able to attend this event for free. 

The Zoo had been cast under the spell of an evil sorcerer and it was our job to help save it. The event started with an introduction by various characters to explain what had happened and how we could save the zoo. This was brilliant and so interactive. 

We had to visit 3 animals the tarantulas, aardvarks and the bats learning a fact at each animal in order to receive some potion. At the end all the potion was added to a big cauldron and we received a certificate to thank us for saving the zoo. 

Finn really enjoyed the day, even though he didn’t fully understand the tasks he loved all the characters and it was an opportunity for us to visit animals we wouldn’t normally go to. 

The Autumn & early winter (as well as spring) are definitely my favourite times to visit the zoo as it is quieter and looks beautiful with the changing seasons. I’d definitely recommend a visit at this time of year if you can. 

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Autumn Walks 

Autumn Walks 

This Autumn/Winter I am making a resolution for us all to get outdoors more. I normally hate the cold weather and am definitely a sun lover. This year though I have a whole new appreciation as I am seeing it through Finn’s eyes. 

Finn loves puddle jumping, leaf stomping, collecting leaves, conkers & sticks, in fact he just loves the outdoors in general. He is happiest when he can run around and I love that he can burn off some of his endless energy and get some fresh air. 

So I have decided that we need to get outdoors as often as we can even if we wrap up and get outside for 10 minutes. I have discovered a lot more of our local area doing this. What are your favourite Autumn & Winter outdoor activities? I’d love some inspiration. 

Swan Hotel & The Lake District 

Swan Hotel & The Lake District 

This August Bank holiday weekend we headed to the Lakes to stay at The Swan Hotel in Newby Bridge near Lake Windemere.  We love this hotel and have visited a few times. I always leave feeling totally relaxed. this time we went with my parents.

 

Me and my Mum started the break with an Espa Intensive facial. This treatment was so relaxing and totally worth every penny. As a Beauty Therapist I don’t always enjoy treatments as I  often think how I would do them different or what I can add to my treatments  but I was able to totally switch off during my facial. The Pool is also a lovely place to relax with a sauna, steam room and hot tub.

One of my favourite things about the Hotel is the riverside location,it is so peaceful. We were lucky to have nice weather so we were able to enjoy a drink in the afternoon sat by the side of the river.

 

We stayed in a ground floor room called a ‘lovely room’ this had everything we needed including some lovely ESPA toiletries for us to use thoughout our stay. There was plenty of room to put Finn’s travel cot.

I love the different  lounges in The Swan and we made full use of the playroom, there was a TV, books and toys Finn loved it. Following the recent refurbishment there is now a pool table which is a lovely touch when staying as a family.


Every time we visit we always notice how warm and welcoming the staff are, every member of staff you pass will greet you and they always make time for conversation. If we ever have any requests I always feel like they go out of their way for you.

 

In the evening we ate at the Swan Inn and all of us really enjoyed our meals, I had the ‘on toasts’ to start which included various toppings like avocado, egg and capers. I then had the chicken and chorizo paella. Both were really tasty. Another thing I love about The Swan is the breakfast. There is a buffet with cereal, fruit, yogurt, pastries etc.. then there is a selection of cooked food to pick from.

 


We took advantage of the lovely weather on the Bank Holiday Monday to visit some of the local area before we headed home. The first place we visited was Hawkshead a lovely pedestriansed village. There are plenty of shops,cafes and pubs to visit. We then headed to Coniston, the lake here is stunning, defintrly worth a visit. We could have happily spent a day by the lake if we didn’t have to get back as there was so much going on.

At luch time we headed to Chesters by the River an amazing cafe, deli and shop. we sat on the terrace which has beautiul views over the river. My parents had stumbled across this the last time they were in the area, it was a bit out of the way for us to visit but was defintely worth it.

The last stop on our trip was Kirkby Lonsdale, to see  the beautiful Ruskin’s view. this was well worth the drive and walk and I loved photographing such a stunning landscape.

 

I can’t wait for our next visit to the Lake District, which places do you love to visit when you are there?

 

Mattel Play, Liverpool 

Mattel Play, Liverpool 

We love Mattel Play, in Liverpool. We visited a few weeks ago for the second time and Finn had a brilliant time. 


It’s located on the Albert Dock and has Thomas the Tank, Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam themed play areas. We booked online and entry cost £19 for the 3 of us. Each session lasts 2 hours. 


Finn’s favourite is Thomas, there’s a ball pool, a pedal operated train, large models of the engines & plenty of other activities. He loved this section and was so excited to see the characters. 


We even got to meet Fireman Sam, he came out onto the stage area and danced to the theme tune. The children could then have their photo taken with him. Finn ran straight to the front. 


Bob the builder is ideal for older children as it has more activities they can get involved in like drawing, mega blocks and hand operated diggers. Finn still really enjoyed this section though. 


Fireman Sam is the last area you come to. This has a slide, a replica shop, a fireman’s pole, a model boat & fire engine. Finn loved sitting in the fire engine and pretending to drive. 


We spent about an hour and a half there but would have happily spent the full 2 hours if Finn wasn’t tired. We visited each section twice. It is definitely excellent value for money and we will be regular visitors. 

In the Night Garden Live

In the Night Garden Live

We had an amazing day at In the Night Garden Live at the Trafford Centre. Finn was so excited as soon as we got in the Showdome, As there is projections on the ceiling of the Ninky Nonk. It ran really smoothly getting to your seats and there was a countdown to the show. The seating is  steps with plenty of room so he could move around. 


The show was brilliant and it was lovely to see how excited all the children got as the charachters came onto the stage. 


We bought Finn an Iggle Piggle teddy and a balloon which came to £17.50 expensive but probably about the same as similar attractions. 

​I’d definitely recommend booking the meet the character experience Finn loved meeting Iggle Piggle. You choose one character and the time slot  is in order of who booked first. We booked last minute so had about an hours wait. You get a text with a link  so  you can track how long is left. 

I’d definitely recomend for any In the Night Garden fans, we had a lovely day. ​

Strawberry Picking at 

Strawberry Picking at 

On Sunday we visited  a lovely Farm, Claremont Farm about 20 minutes away from Chester. 


We loved the strawberry picking, the farm shop and the cafe. 


Finn had so much fun Picking the Strawberry’s and really got involved hunting for the best ones. There was a free tractor ride around the field which he loved. 2 big punnets came to just under £6, they are really tasty. 


The Cafe was lovely with an outside seating area.For a coffee, tea, 2 cakes and a Cookie & Milk it was £12. We all enjoyed it and you could tell they used quality ingredients. 


They host regular events like art class, cooking workshops and creative writing classes. They also hold a parent and toddler cooking class that I really want to try out. 


This is a lovely place to visit if you are in the area, I’d definitely recommend you check it out even if it’s just for the cake. 


We finished the day with an afternoon in the garden & setting up Finn’s swing. 

Our Favourite Days Out 

Our Favourite Days Out 

We are very lucky as close to us in Chester, we have a lot of days out and activities suitable for toddlers. These are the current places  we love to visit. 

Chester Zoo 

We live about 10 minutes away from the Zoo and are annual pass holders, we love it. We are lucky as we can pop in for an hour or 2 or spend the day there. The recent addition of Island’s means there’s lots more to discover as well. I’d definitely recommend a visit if you haven’t been. 


Chester City Centre 

I never really thought of the city centre as child friendly until I had Finn, but there’s plenty to do with kids. We like to go to the Wesley Centre which is a church with a café and a play area for children and toddlers. We also love Grosvenor Park and will have a picnic there if the weather is nice. Finn then loves to go on the swings and  we walk down to the river and feed the ducks. 


Greenacres Animal Park 

This is a lovely farm located about 15 minutes away from us. It has a petting area which Finn loves he has bottle fed a baby goat and petted a snake, owl, rabbit and a skunk. There are plenty of animals to see, a play park and a soft play area. 


Soft Play 

We love soft play centres on a rainy day. Finn is a typical toddler with plenty of energy so when we can’t get out I take him to a  play centre so he can burn some energy. He loves the slides and ball pools. There are quite a few choices near us and they often do free days in term time. 


Cheshire Ice Cream Farm 

The Ice Cream farm is another attraction we are lucky to live about 15 minutes drive from. I have done a full review of the Ice Cream farm  Here. There’s a soft play, a park, a farm, a sand and water play, mini golf, go carts and plenty more. Not to mention the Ice Cream. I’d definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area.