trips, events, days out

All posts in the trips, events, days out category

A fantastic weekend at Haven 

Published July 12, 2017 by Bizzimummy

We took a much needed long weekend break to Presthaven sands over weekend. 

I have been to Presthaven a few times. The most memorable one being when I was 15 years old. A lot has changed at Presthaven sands since then and it seems to have had a very recent overhaul and redo as everything was extremely clean and updated. The one thing I vaguely remember from my teenage holiday which has not changed much is the sand dunes and the long path leading to the beach. 

I don’t drive so rely on trains to get us to places. Prestatyn is the closest station to Presthaven and a taxi from the station takes about 10 minutes and cost just £7.00 each way.

I had booked the weekend break a few months ago, I paid just over £250 and was extremely lucky to get a nice last minute upgrade to one of their new model prestige caravans. These are the more expensive caravans to stay in but come with added extras like a dishwasher, large television, blu tooth surround speakers, full size fridge freezer, en suite toilet room in main bedroom and our beds made up on arrival. Our caravan was just lovely, I can’t be 100% sure but it looked completely brand new to me. Sparkling kitchen area, absolutely spotless and even wrappers on the toilet seats! 

Prestige also allows a 2pm check in instead of the usual 4pm. This meant we got our keys before the queues arrived.

Presthaven sands is huge. Finding our caravan was a bit tricky even with clear instructions from reception. We found the location but were unable to find our number. We located one of the lovely cleaning ladies who kindly escorted us to the correct one. Navigating the park is easy as everything is next to each other. The arcade just past reception with 2 entertainment rooms (live lounge and carousel bar)  connected to the arcade. The sports hall/activity zone and pool is literally opposite withe park areas in between. Behind the reception area is the mini mart shop with the outdoor activity area at the side. Access to the beach is via a path near the shop.


There is so much to do at Presthaven sands. Some of which is included in the initial booking price and some activities require activity passes which are best pre booked or booked on the day of arrival because the activities seem to get full very fast. 

The inclusive activities include the play parks, an indoor fun soft play type area and the pool area. 


Our break away was made all the more perfect by the glorious hot sunny weather, this allowed us to take many nice strolls around the park as well as the children being able to go on the play parks and kick a ball about outside the caravan. The hot weather also kept our time in the arcade to a minimum. The arcade is great, lots of machines and a few £1 a go ride on’s for the little ones but if not careful we can spend way too much in them so arcade time was limited to evenings, prior to going in the clubs.

The swimming pool facilities at Presthaven were particularly impressive. We counted a total of 4 pools. Two indoor, one of which has a big flume water slide. An outdoor heated pool with smaller slides which is literally hidden from view, it can only be accessed via the main pool. And the final one being the lazy river. This is a fast moving winding pool which pushes you round and there’s a small pool area in the middle too. Obviously taking photographs in the pool is forbidden or limited and I wouldn’t want to risk wetting my phone anyway. So here are a few pics of the pool area that I managed to find on the Haven websites. 


My children absolutely loved the pools. Again the sunny weather made it all the more better, allowing us to make full use of both indoor and outdoor pool areas. The main outdoor pool even has sun loungers and tables incase you fancy a sun bathe instead and there is also a sauna indoors too. I did not use this as it is only for adults and I could not really leave my kids alone in a pool area.

I am always slightly apprehensive when deciding whether to fork out extra cash for extra paid park activities as I have no idea whether my children will enjoy them and find them fun. I was given many activity passes as part of my upgrade and I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to try out most of the activities. I did not partake in any of them myself but left it to my children to take part in them all weekend. It was non stop from 8.30 am onwards both Saturday and Sunday.

The activities vary in price. Activity passes can be purchased in bundles or separate but each activity requires a different amount of passes. The activities include many sports and also new “Nature Rockz”

The Nature rockz activities are all about outdoor exploration and seem similar to activities that are completed at cub scouts or brownies. The nature rockz activities which we took part in included – shelter building, firelighting and bug hunting.

There are probably too many other activities to mention but some we took part in included – fencing, archery, roller skating, rock climbing, kayaking, turbo jets, pool parties, & aerial adventure. The latter being a huge zip wire obstacle course which both Ryan and Jordanna did several times. I wouldn’t of minded a go of it misled but unfortunately Izebella is just too young. Have a look at our adventures video to see my children taking part. 


The majority of the activities on offer are for older children (mainly 8+). They do have a few sports activities for younger children of Izebellas age too and she was able to do both mini archery and mini fencing with foam swords. Some of the water activities also start from 4 years like turbo paddlers but Izebella is not yet confident enough in the water on her own (without me by her side) but maybe next holiday she will be. Nature rockz are also more for slightly older children but Izebella was able to go on the bug hunt walk with myself and join in with the shelter building at the end. When the older two were busy doing something we went on the parks of the soft play instead.


Presthaven sands does not offer any sort of food board basis. It would be great if it did, the Mini mart shop is not too expensive. We stocked up on bread and sandwich items mainly. They also sell microwave burgers and a few frozen/fresh food bits. They have a hot shelf too and the bacon barms are lovely for breakfast and only cost £1.40 each (they have sausage barms and sausage rolls too). There is a Burger King, papa John pizza and a chip shop all on site so plenty to choose from if hungry. We did not buy from the pizza place but got a meal for all 4 of us for £15 from Burger King and chips with gravy for supper one night. 

There main restaurant is Mash & Barrel. We are there on the Sunday as we had a complimentary voucher. The food there was great, although perhaps slightly on the expensive side for larger families. I certainly could not afford to eat there more than one night. 


I had the double chicken fillet burger (minus the cheese) it was delicious and really filling. Me and the girls still managed a big sharing desert too. 

As for night times! We had a choice of two clubs to go in, both with constant entertainment on. Party dances and fun shows for children, followed by singers and then more dancing. 

Lots if opportunities to meet the Haven characters including the loveable Anxious the elephant and Bradley bear.


The clubs were also open at various times during the day for photo meet and greet character sessions along with other free games and activities. For those who love bingo, it’s on most nights in one of the clubs and those who hate it can just sit in the other bar. 

I don’t drink alcohol when away with just my children so I can’t comment on prices. A large jug of juice for kids cost £1.50. Popcorn and crisp snacks can be purchased too at pretty reasonable prices and of course plenty of those flashing toys to buy from the club toy shop.


The music is always loud especially if sat close to the stage. The clubs fill up really quickly and I imagine it will be difficult to get a seat during busy school holiday times so it’s best to try and arrive as early as possible.


Yes those old party dances we boogied away too at Haven when kids are stlll going strong! 

The beach is a short walk up a sandy path, over the sand dunes, surrounded by greenery and nature. There is a protected area sealed off on the beach path containing a protected species of toad. We got told about this area on the bug hunt. The beach is okay, very clean but there are warning signs for sinking sand and a big puddle when we went so it’s a case of finding a safe dry area.


Haven grounds are also good to walk around in the sun. Always clean and with a few palm trees scattered around and flowers it almost felt like we were abroad. 


I need to give a mention to Ant and Dec too. Izebella absolutely loved these guys and especially so Dec in particular! No I’m not talking about the guys on celebrity jungle but I am on about animals of some sort!


Yeah Ant and Dec are two donkeys and for just £3.00 will take youngsters on a short ride around. As you can see Dec made Izebella one happy little girl. 

And finally how could we forget the big deck chair! It has to be the main park feature as you just cannot miss it and everyone just has to sit inside it.


The staff, entertainers, cleaners and managers all seem to work incredibly hard to keep the thousands of guests entertained.  They are lovely and chatty and always really approachable. I found the activity leaders especially friendly and seemed to go that extra mile to keep my kids safe and happy. 

We had an absolute ball, possibly the best weekend in a long time. Real family moments and memories spent at Presthaven sands. This place has to be the best holiday park in the U.K. we have visited so far (and we have been to a fair few) it was absolutely amazing from the accommodation to activities and entertainment, all helped by the nice weather and amazing staff. We did not want to come home. A long weekend just was not long enough and we cannot wait to go back again one day soon.

Thank you Presthaven sands! 

Blackpool pleasure beach 

Published June 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Over the two long half term weeks, we did an overnight trip to Blackpool. One of the days there, we got to visit the pleasure beach. We have been before but this was really Izebellas first proper visit where she was able to go on the rides and enjoy it. 

It’s hard to believe but the Pleasure beach has been open for over a hundred years. The first rides were there back in 1896 meaning it has also survived both World Wars.

Blackpool pleasure beach is conveniently located on Blackpool’s South Shore and accessible via the promenade. The biggest ride; known as the Big One is a massive 213ft high and can be seen from miles away. 

 

There are 41 rides in total at the Pleasure Beach spanning a 42 acre area, 10 of which are roller coasters. The rides seem to change often with old rides closing and new rides being built. I still remember going on Noah’s Ark when I was a child. I loved that ride! There are a few rides that are still going strong after many many years including the Grand national, River caves, Alice in Wonderland and the Ghost train. These are rides which I went on as a child and now my children enjoy them too. 


Nickelodeon land is a fairly new addition. It opened in 2011 and consists of many rides for younger children, or those not brave enough for the bigger rides. There is a watershoot type ride along with the Spongebob splash bash which I got absolutely soaked on. It’s a moving ride with water guns. Good job it was a hot day. 

We all enjoyed the Wallace and Gromit thrillomatic ride. It’s like something in between Alice in Wonderland and Valhalla. It’s a rollercoaster in the dark with Wallace and Gromit scenes but without the speed and big drops (or water), so younger children can ride with parents. 


Valhalla of course is one of the newer white knuckle type rides which has height and age restrictions so younger children cannot go on this one. It’s a huge boat type veichle which takes you for a ride in the dark, sometimes pitch black. There are biggish drops, speed, fire, wind, chills and water; lots of water. They even sell ponchos because most people end up soaked. It is one of my favourite rides.


For the thrill seekers there are many other fast rides and rollercoaster including the Revolution, Big One, Infusion, Ice blast, and avalanche. Ryan won’t go on any of these and of course Izebella is far too young. Jordanna and myself love them. Obviously I was unable to go on many fast rides with being on my own with Izebella but; Jordanna seemed very eager to go on the Grand National ride. This happens to be one of Blackpool oldest rides and has been there since 1935, with a few facelifts over the years. It is an old style wooden rickety bumpy rollercoaster and is one of the first rides to come across as you enter the attraction. 


We were in luck, as the queues were not huge despite it being half term and a hot day. Ryan took Izebella for me and we only waited about 10/15 minutes. Taking Jordanna on was probably a big mistake as she was crying and feeling sick from the first dip. Poor girl! 

Their wild mouse rollercoaster, also another old traditional ride is one of only two in existence today. Many have been replaced with the more modern metal type coasters and the only other one is in Australia. I have been on this, it is very scary and especially so at the top. The cars are small and they shake and bump and jerk all over. The track is thin and when the cars turn corners it feels like the agile thing is going to come tumbling off. Certainly not for the faint hearted. 

The Big one is also extremely scary. For me it’s more the height than the speed. The first  dip does a very strange angled twist as it drops you and from then on it’s not as bad, just fast. 

For a modern day funhouse type experience there is Impossible. 

Impossible is a walk through attraction with an optional ride at the end. It has many optical illusion and magic type things to view and children of all ages will like it. 

As well as all the rides, The pleasure beach also has many places for food & drink, arcades, gift shops, prize stalls and lots of features for photo opportunities. 


If visiting for a long day or stopping over in a hotel there, then it’s a good idea to take advantage of the lockers which are located inside and just outside the venue. These cost just a few pound and available in big and large and saved us carrying bags with us on a hot day. Also with all the recent terrible attacks, Pleasure beach is very strict with security. They have metal detectors and bag search everyone. 

A family ticket to the Pleasure beach can work out expensive. For me to buy wristbands online for myself and 3 children; the cost is about £90. That’s just for one day visit. Booking online is slightly cheaper but it is best to look out for offers and discounts which they do regularly and it is usually advertised on tv when they do. A lot of places often offer discounts on wristbands throughout the year including newspapers and websites. People visiting the park, who do not wish to go on any rides still need to pay a small fee to gain entrance. 

Own food is not permitted in the park. Visitors can go to the area outside to consume own food and re-enter the park when finished. There are many restaurants and places for food. We found Burger King and got 2 adult & 2 child meals for just over £18. 

Blackpool Pleasure beach has its own designated train station behind the park. Trains run hourly towards Preston. 

We had a lovely visit. All of us enjoyed it and came home very tired. 

See more and book tickets at the Blackpool Pleasure beach website. 

Blackpool tower visit 

Published June 7, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Last week we made one of our yearly visits to Blackpool tower. I say yearly because we have been going there at least once a year since starting this blog. 

We chose a perfect day to go to Blackpool too (Wednesday), the sun was scorching and the day was just lovely. We set off early at 9am and got to the tower for 10.30am just after it opened.

As we were spending the night in Blackpool this time, we managed to get round all seven attractions connected to the tower – Tower eye & 4D cinema, Jungle Jims, Dungeon, ballroom, Sealife, Madam Tussauds and the circus and all in that order too. 

Our first stop was the tower eye and Izebellas first time at the top of the tower. This was also my first experience of the 4D cinema which I have not been able to visit previously due to time or Izebella being too young. Unlike other 4D cinemas you stand up in this one and lean against a bar. It doesn’t last too long and the effects are really good. Then it’s onto the lift and up to the glass floor. 

This can be a daunting experience as it does feel like your going to fall through it. However the glass is really thick and safe to walk or sit on. The views were amazing and especially so with the nice weather that day. 

The lift does not go to the very top of the tower. It stops at the glass floor level. There are another 3 staircases to climb to the maximum public height which is very close to the very top. These are spiral metal staircases and very narrow and it did make us tired climbing all the way up, but we made it. 

Then down to Jungle Jims for an hours play. This place is probably older than me. Tho it’s been revamped and redone many times over the years. 


After a quick lunch break it was back to the tower, round the back entrance and straight in the dungeon. We had been to the dungeon a few times before so knew what to expect but I did notice a few more scares and people jumping out had been added. Unfortunately no pictures or videos are allowed in the dungeon so no actual pictures by myself from this part. It is worth a visit, nothing too scary, odd few jumps but it’s more of a tour through the dark ages with some great acting. Jordanna was scared, Izebella was brave and poor Ryan got picked out but the judge to go on trial. 


As both my girls love dancing; a brief visit to the tower ballroom was in order. The tower ballroom has also been an attraction at the tower for many decades and still retains its original features. 


The dance floor is huge but gets filled quickly and they often have various shows and entertainment on along with the organist and free ballroom dancing. 

A short walk from the tower is Sealife which is part of the tower attractions. My kids love this place. It’s a great opportunity to see different species of fish and marine life and they are always adding new things to it. There are opportunities to touch star fish, crabs and even giant snails. Walk through a shark tunnel with sharks and huge fish swimming above and around, see jellyfish, seahorse and other amazing creatures and even stand and crawl through marine tunnels. 


And a few minutes from sealife is Madam Tussauds, the famous wax works. My kids were really excited by this place and spotted a few new celebrity additions. As well as a few old favourites such as this guy. 


Bear Grylls even got me a rare nice photo of all my children together.


Some of these figures look so real and alive that you half expect them to jump out at you. There are many sections of Tussauds to see and it’s easily an hour all round in there. 

At 7pm we went back to the tower for the 2 hour circus show. Again just like the dungeon photography and videos are forbidden. It’s a great show with trapeze artists and acrobatics and Mooky the clown and Boo are still going strong making everyone laugh. 


The circus does need booking on arrival with 2/3 sessions per day and is a 2 hour long show with a break.

We had an amazing but tiring day at all the tower attractions. We took a lot of photographs but far too many to show here individually. So instead I’ve made this video slide. 

Blackpool tower have many ticket options including the “Big ticket” which gets you into all seven attractions. These cost £45.00 per adult and £32.50 for a child over 3 years. There are other ticket options if you only want certain attractions. Booking online is cheaper than paying on the day and tickets can be booked directly on the Blackpool tower website.

Winter wonderland Manchester 

Published December 10, 2016 by Bizzimummy

It’s here once again, yes Winter wonderland has landed at Event city and officially opens to the public today. With lots of rides, shows, and stalls there is something for all the family.

Last night we attended the charity night and we all had an amazing time. This is our 3rd year attending and the best so far. Lots of new additions including a lovely walk through grotto done up as Santas house. I won’t say much about that but I think it’s fair to say it’s probably one of the best grottos I have taken my children to so far. 

The shows included Basil brush, Cinderella and the new Jedi. There were many more stalls and new food outlets. The Xmas hot barms are especially good. 

And now for some photos to show you all the amazing time we had last night. 

And our santa visit! 

Tickets cost £19.50 each per adult and child. Children under 3 go free. Included in ticket price are all the rides, shows, beach sand pit, character meet & greet and children can visit santa free but gifts and photographs are optional paid extras. The stalls and food are not included in the price.
There are many options for food.Expect to pay about £4.50 per burger or hot dog, £3.00 per tray of chips, and £2.00 for a bottle of pop. 

Most game stalls such as hook a duck cost £2-£3 per go. If you have a large family this can get expensive.

Event city is located next to the Trafford centre. For directions and opening times see the website where tickets can also be purchased.

Now you can “Find Dory” in London

Published August 3, 2016 by Bizzimummy

To celebrate the new Finding Dory movie, Highlight PR are running a Finding Dory hide and seek game in London on Thursday 4th August and everyone is welcome. It’s a shame it’s a little too far for us to attend.

 

100 Aquabeads Finding Dorys will be hidden in popular locations around London on the day and lucky winners who find Dory will be in the running to win a family holiday to Disneyland Paris for two adults and two children. There will only be 100 hidden Dory and Nemos so that’s a 1 in 100 chance to win for those lucky enough to find one of the hidden Aquabeads creations.

 Hints and tips for finding the creations will be posted to the @AquabeadsUK Twitter profile. For a chance to win users will have to find a Finding Dory creation and tweet a pic of their find to @Aquabeadsuk with the hashtag #FindingAquabeads.

 Locations will all be key London landmarks – and there’s an incredible prize up for grabs!

Our Pep & Co shopping trip

Published June 3, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Up until last week, I had never heard of Pep&Co, not did I realise there was a store just a few miles from me in Bolton. 

Pep&Co have over 50 stores throughout the UK and seem to be expanding quickly. Their aim is to provide affordable fashion for all the family, from small baby wear to grown ups. Pep&Co keeps costs low in these tough financial times.

I was invited to go along to my local (Bolton) Pep&Co store. I was greeted by the manager Beth; who by the way is just lovely. I was very kindly given an amount to spend in store on anything I wanted which I really was not expecting. As it was half term for my girls I took them along too. Jordannas little face lit up when she realised she would be getting some things too.

There is a really good selection for children aged 3-12 years and especially so for girls. Also some nice pieces for ladies, including underwear, swimwear and nightwear and many accessories too.

It’s fair to say we went home very happy and two large bags heavier.


Our shopping trip could not have come at a better time, the weather was warm and we all needed some new Summer bits plus as had our weekend away just a few days later.

And here are just some of the lovely items we were able to come home with.

Jordanna chose this pretty summer top with flowers (£5.00) and the crotchet denim shorts (£6.00), making a cool summer outfit for just £11.00. Also……..


Rainbow cropped leggings (£3.00) which are perfect for warm or cooler days.  New York slogan long sleeve top (£5.00) and a cap sleeve Miami t – shirt. 


Izebella was also happy to pick a few items that she liked (yes she loves shopping too!) 


The cropped legging cost just £2.50 along with the two t-shirts at just £1.50 each. There are many other t-shirt designs in store. 


The pretty pink jeans are just £4.00 as is the princess t-shirt.

She spotted these My little pony pyjamas and fell in love wit them so I just had to get them. This set is £6.00.


And of course with new outfits they need new shoes too. Pep&Co does a nice selection of Summer shoes and sandals and even boots as Jordanna discovered. 


Izebella even got some new frozen underwear and both girls got a few cute accessories including sunglasses, bobbles, bags and a brolly.


The two black bags you see were actually on the sale rail on BOGOF free offer. Each one also reduced to just £2.00 from £4.00. Meaning they would of cost just £1.00 each. Perfect for little girls and I may just be borrowing one on my next night out too. I love the fishtail hair bobbles. They tie in like a regular bobble and dangle like a colourful braid, these come in many colours and cost £1.25 each.


My girls are loving all their new items. Of course I had to get a few things for myself too, such as some new tops, underwear and accessories.


The three tops, one of which I am wearing now; cost £4-£7 each one. The pyjama set just £5.00. The bag was reduced to just a fiver and I use it everyday. The sunglasses just a pound or two each too.

After all that clothes shopping we were all feeling a little hungry and even managed get some sweets from the store too.


The shop is really good for inexpensive clothing and accessories. The staff are very friendly and helpful too. Everything is set out in sections, being baby, girls, boys, women’s and men’s with accessories found inbetween making everything all really easy to find. We loved our morning at Pep&Co Bolton.

Blog on ice breaker answers

Published April 6, 2016 by Bizzimummy

I am very happy to be attending Blog On at MSI for the second  time. I was so nervous last year but once I got there, I found so many people to talk to and was never alone. 

Kara from ChelseaMamma has put together 20 questions in a linky so that we can all get to know each other beforehand. It’s a great idea and I am really happy to take part.
Share a recent picture of you (if you are an anonymous blog, a drawing is fine)

  


If you had to describe yourself in three words……. – mum, friendly, fun

How long have you been blogging and what made you start? Just over 3 years. I started reviewing products for other websites (mainly baby items) and then set up my own. 

What was your favourite TV program as a child?

A few – Knightmare, dungeons n dragons, chocky, 

Something interesting you might not know about me is . . . I’ve swam With dolphins, rode a camel through Egyptian desert and scuba diving in the red sea

What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten? Snails and caviar

What was your biggest fashion faux pas? Probably teenage shell suits 

What are you pet peeves? Dirty nails, smelly breath, feet without socks, ignorance

Who would be your 3 perfect dinner party guests (dead or alive) and why? My grandma and daughter who are no longer here and a nice good looking, kind hearted rich man to sweep me off my feet.

If they made a movie of your life, what would it be about and which actor would play the part of you? Probably loss and bad luck and life struggles with a happy ending. Angelina Jolie could happily play my part, great actor

If you could live in any sitcom, which one would it be? Neighbours 

Name a famous person you have met. A few – Steve McFadden, Jennie Mcalpine, Anthony cotton, Lee sharpe, Philip Schofield, Tony from East 17, guy who played Darth Vader, Craig Charles, Boy George, Andy Bell.

Which social media platform best describes your personality and why? Facebook, I’m there constantly 

What picture do you have on lock screen on your phone / computer?  

 

How many pairs of shoes do you own? Probably over 30

What period of time from the past would you most like to have lived? Medieval or an era before anyone recorded time or events 

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Galapagos, Easter Island

What is your guilty pleasure? Dancing, shopping 

What is your favourite tipple? Baileys

If you had a magic lamp and a Genie, what would be your three wishes – Win a big lotto jackpot, for my family and me to always be healthy, happy  and safe. And to go back in time and prevent my little girls death.

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