Bradford Christmas lights switch on.

Tonight has been a fun, exciting, magical and stressful night.

I took my family to go watch the Christmas lights be switched on in Bradford town centre.

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I was about worried about going because I knew it would be crowded. Also I knew I would be on my own with kids as my hubby had to work that night. With this in mind I decided to ask a couple of my mummy friends if we all fancied going together. Because then we could keep each other company as well as help each other when it came to toilet runs and watched each other’s kids.
You know “mummy team work”.

My friends K and E were more the happy to go along with my idea and we mixed a group with my 4, K’s 2 boys and E’s little girl. Making the grand total of 3 adults and 7 kids, 4 of which were 3 or under. (Yes we are mad)

We decided to set off into town at 4.15pm so we would be able to get a good place to watch the show. Which started at 5pm. We got a prime spot were we could watch the kids, the show and still chat/relax. (or so we thought)

The weather had been crap all day. It had been foggy/misty but luckily the temperature wasn’t too bad. So we all sat and waited for the show to start.

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The sky was dull, grey and it started to rain just as the show began to start.
That didn’t deter people though and the area soon began to fill up with crowds of people. It was then that I realised my “prime spot” wasn’t that great. Specially when a loads of teenage and preteen kids started try and push us out off way.

The poor family at side of me kept getting hit by my bag and at one point baby even kicked the mum in the eye as I shifted her weight on my hip. I was mortified.

But it didn’t matter because there were Christmas carols sung by the school choirs. The best part of the whole show was the acrobatic aerial show. It was amazing and the kids liked what they could see of it because the crowds were moving in and blocking their view. Luckily the show moved high up into the air. Shoring high above the crowds meaning the kids got a great view and I managed to get some lovely pictures.

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By this point the rain had stopped and we got to watch the show in amazement. Although T kept complaining he was hungry because he was sulking as I wouldn’t buy a flashing sword.

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The Lord Major of Bradford switched on the lights which was great and the fireworks were great. All the kids loved watching them and the whole show was great. Even with the odd stressful bits. We all made it through and the light looked amazing and we all enjoyed ourselves.

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Santa was even give out presents as we left. The kids were so excited and of course the presents where a small charge but I couldn’t resist buy them one each.

I am so glad I had my friends to go with though because otherwise the night would of been much more stressful. (as my E needed the toilet almost constantly and all kids didn’t want to go every time)
I am so thankful for great friends because they made my night, specially when we went to go feed the tribe. The giggles, the banter and the memories that were made were great 🙂

Nikki ❤

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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EUREKA! Spooky half term Halloween fun

I have been super giddy and excited for half term this year because it meant I could plan loads of fun family Halloween activity to do 🙂

I was even more excited when I realised that Eureka | The National Childrens Museum were putting on a hubble, bubble, toil and trouble event on over the half term 25th Oct – 2nd Nov 2014.

It was prefect for keeping my little ones busy and in the mood for Halloween fun.

The museum is in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Which for us is a bus ride away, as we live on boarder of Leeds and Bradford.
We set off for the bus shortly after lunch and arrived in Halifax by 1pm. Which meant we would have loads of time in museum because they have changed to opening hours from 10am – 4pm until 10am – 6pm.
Because we had decided to go on a Sunday it was only open until 5pm, plenty of time to explore.

We have been to Eureka before but we hadn’t been in over 2 years. So it was nice to see what aspects had changed and what things had stayed the same.

On walking up to the museum there is a large marque with tables and chairs in side for people wanting to have a picnic outside, plus picnic table further ahead. There is a music garden in which the kids can explore and learn about all the different sounds created by unexpected things, plus a large sand pit. That even on a chilly autumn day beckoned the children to play, dig and have fun.

It was great watching my kids faces light up with delight. Specially E because this is the first time she has been since she was a baby.

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So for her this was all new and she was finally able to explore better then she had when she was younger.

As you walk through the door of the museum there is a queuing system leading to the ticket desk.
The prices are really reasonable at £11.95 for adults and children over 3, £4.95 for children aged 1-2 years old and under 1’s are free.
When you pay these prices though you go in to the museum and there is a desk that you take your receipt and they will give you a 1 year free entry Annual pass at no extra charge.
Also if your a MaxCard holder like me, you and your family get in for free once you show your card.

They gave everyone a dinosaur stamp on their hands (incase you leave and then want to regain entry) and then we went in to explore.

When we got inside we were directed to a notice bored that told you all the different little events they had going on and the times that day.

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One of the staff very cleverly advised me to take a picture on my phone so I always had the info with. (as by that point my kids were all running off wanting to explore)

They loved town square that has everything in it built to kids size. T particularly enjoyed it in the bank playing on the cash machine making fake money with stamps on paper to spend in the supermarket. (if only it was that easy to make real money).

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The kids loved it there was a Bank, M&S supermarket, Garage, Post office and even a house with kitchen, bathroom and bedroom for them to explore, and everything had been designed for there height and fun.

As you walked round though there where signs explaining how things worked and the science behind solar energy and a toilet flushing etc
The hard part was trying to get them to stay still long enough to read the facts.

There were also sections about the different types of environment, the animals that live there and where stuff like bread, milk, apples and eggs come from.
The whole museum is interactive and there are games to play, sensations to experience and igloos to build 🙂

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On the second floor is more stuff about the different environments and animals that inhabit them. There is also a few sections for under 5’s only so they can have fun while the older kids explore.
We wanted to let E and baby have a play in the desert discovery but it’s was completely packed full of parents and children all wanting to play in such a small space that it became very difficult to move around with 2 little ones. So we moved on but not until we watch some spooky dancing in the town sq at 2pm.

IMG_1369.JPG It was a right laugh watching the kids learn the time warp and monster mash.

We enjoyed the little show and then went to my personal favourite section of the whole museum All About Me section. I love this area because it teaches the kids about their bodies and how everyone is different because some are tall, can reach far, jump high or look different. They even had a passport in which they filled in as they walk around testing how far they could step or how tall they were. Unfortunately all the pencils that were at the side of the exhibits were broken, so we couldn’t write down the results.

I loved explaining to my kids how everything in the body’s worked and them being able to see how a baby grows inside it mummy’s belly or how your bones, ears, eyes, nose and taste buds work.
It was great fun and I loved all the new equipment had been updated since the last time we had been.

After a very enjoyable learning experience we made a quick pit stop for bathroom breaks. The toilets were clean and very noticeable. They even had a room for nursing mothers if they choose to use it.

We then made our way back downstairs and went into the enchanted forest. So the kids could dress up, meet some witches, ghost and ghouls plus colour in a mask or listen to the Halloween story.
The staff were dressed up and looked great. They were all so helpful getting the boys into the ghost busters outfits. The ghost even joined in running around the room while T and P tried to capture him.
E didn’t dress up because the witches costume she wanted to wear had been taken by another little girl first, but she was happy to play with a witches broom an watch the boys have fun.

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It very much got me into the Halloween spirit and started off our Halloween half term right

I would defiantly recommend Eureka to all my friends and anyone planning a visit.
The staff are great, really helpful, kind and polite.
The price is reasonable (specially with the year long annual pass)
Events, exhibits and activities are great fun, that really draw kids in.
Is very pram/wheel chair friendly with great amenities.

Unfortunately it gets really busy and some areas get crowded quickly and easily.
The pencils at the exhibits were broken and hadn’t been replace or spare. Meaning we couldn’t take part in that bit of recording fun.
And E was upset at first about the costume until she found the broom.

All in all though the day was great fun and the kids were tired when we got home. (as were we!)

Nikki ❤

Disclaimer…

I was not paid for this review these are my honest opinion of the place and it’s features.

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A timeline of my day!

I am linking up with Emma at outnumbered as part of the #BEDAoutnumbered challenge.

Day 17: Timeline of your day. (In photos, words or both)

My day started at 8am (sorry no picture I’ll save you the nightmares of me when I just woken up with bed hair)
The kids were all excited as we had a fun day planned and T was excited cause it was his day with his dad.
So after breakfast T left with his dad and we got ready to set off. We left at 10.55am and arrived at bus station for 11.15am.

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We set off and arranged to meet a friend in the bus station. After what seemed like forever (nearly an hour on the bus) we arrived in Leeds and then it was a short walk before we were at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds at 12.40pm.

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The kids were super excited. Even more so when P saw the Ironman statue.

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We were given a little booklet that told us when all the demonstrations were on. I noticed that there was one due to start at 1pm, so we went upstarts to go watch before we had lunch.

IMG_3064.JPGThe kids enjoyed watching the sword fighting (even though they were hungry and wanted lunch, so we gave them some raisins to snack on). Then we went for lunch in the picnic area. Once we finished we went on to look round the museum

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IMG_3069.JPG By which point it had gone 4pm and we were all completely shattered.

So it was time to go home.

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We got a bus to Bradford interchange and then waited for our bus home.

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By which point it had reached 6pm and we where all tired, hungry and the adults needed coffee.

IMG_3070.JPG So I chilled and started my blog challenge for the day, while my hubby started tea. After my break and caffeine injection. I went on to finish tea and pour myself a glass of much needed wine.

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We finished eating at 7pm and bedtime rolled around. So once the little one were in bed the hubby and I enjoyed a cuddle and a chill watching TV.

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Which leads me to this point.

What did you do today? And was it fun?

Nikki ❤

blog every day in August

Today’s spontaneous fun

Today has been a fun and surprising day.

It started off pretty much the same as all the others. We got out of bed made a mad dash to get dressed, eat and out the door for the boys to go to school on time (well for my hubby to take boys to school while I dress the girls ready for play group).

Today was a little different though because it was bookstart day at play group. So we got asked to dress up (none of my dressing up outfits are suitable for a morning at play group, so I declined). Earlier in week I went shopping to buy baby a outfit and I had to get E one because she just looked too cute in it.

E loves dressing up, so she was in her element and had great fun. Baby was a little trickier due to the ruffles and layers in her dress. E went as tinker bell and Baby went as Cinderella.

20140613-181303-65583572.jpg Sadly cameras aren’t allowed at play group to privacy of other children. Which I completely understand but it’s a little gutting because I miss capturing so many great and amazing moments. Like E singing, dancing and playing nicely or when she learned to ride a trike.
While I was a play group I had an attempt at being creative with the material they had at the arts and crafts table, by creating a mobile out of straws, wool card and glue.

20140613-182633-66393498.jpg For daddy for Father’s Day.

On the walk home we stopped at the mobile library that stops at end of my street. E loves going and finding books for us to read through day and at bed time. Then it was home for some dinner, a quick change and it was back out again to get the bus into city centre.
We were going to meet a friend who had 2 spare frozen dresses that I knew E would love.
I didn’t realises the date and when I walked into Bradford centre I realised the place was packed due to it being Bradford festival.
Once I managed to navigate my pram and buggy board through the sea of people that just kept coming out of no where. I found my friends. They were going to take their daughter to play in the reflection pool that is in the city centre. I decided I would join them, luckily I had E’s doc mcstuffins bag with her spare clothes in (I make her take it everywhere since we started potty training) because she went in water and head straight for the water fountain and got soaked.
I didn’t manage to get pictures and did want to risk dropping my phone. It was fun watching E play so carefree with another child she just met. She is normally really shy. Baby and I sat on side with our feet dipped in the cool water, watching E run and splash about.

After the kids got out and changed (E’s 3rd of the day!) we wandered over to the little fair and let the girl go on a few rides. It was fun and I love watching the kids on them.

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It brings back fond memories of my childhood and all the fun I use to have on similar rides. I will say the price was a bit shocking at £2 per child, per ride. Baby is too young to go on and had fallen asleep by this point, which was good.

I had a pang of guilt that E was having so much fun while the boys were cooped up in a classroom but my purse was really grateful.

It was fun and sitting in the sun watching E have fun. It was a great day even if it wasn’t planned I hope to have another soon.

Nikki ❤

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall