Our April

Our April

I’ve recently seen a few people do the month in review Blog Posts and I love the idea. It’s so nice to have a record & see all the things you have got up to. All the little days out get forgotten so it’s lovely to look back on.

We started the month with Easter Sunday, we had dinner at my Mum & Dad’s and a park trip to burn off the millions of eggs Finn had ate.

We then had an amazing swimming lesson from Finn, which was a big turning point. He was really nervous and held onto his teacher when he first started but this was the point he slowly began to make progress and gain confidence m.

We had a trip to Bents Garden Centre in Warrington which Finn loved, there’s a fab park & a lovely cafe.

I then ended up in hospital for 2 nights with tonsillitis, I think though I was really run down. I’d been working loads & doing a lot of late nights & early starts. Luckily a few days later we went on our Amazing holiday to Costa Teguise in Lanzarote. We stayed at the HD Beach resort which you can read about here.

When we come home we met my Mum & Dad in Chorlton & went for food & a play in the park.

Another day another park visit, followed by Finn’s favourite coffee & cake.

We went to Messy Mallie’s which is about 20 minutes away from us in Buckley. It was brilliant and Finn loved painting his own money box.

After the Easter holidays we were entitled to more hours at nursery. I was sad in one way as Finn stared doing more days so we lost a day in the week together. It’s meant though that I’ve gone from doing 4/5 late nights a week to 1/2. I’ve loved the little things like us having tea together as a family & doing bath, story & bed time.

Finn’s first go at Crazy Golf, followed by a Wagamama’s.

A visit to Little Al’s Urban farm in Eastham. We love it here.

Yet more amazing swimming from Finn, he’s managing to swim now with just the woggle & not holding on to his teacher.

Finally a zoo trip, we are members of Chester Zoo so we go all the time. This time Finn played in the sand & water for over an hour.

Disneyland Paris, the best rides, attractions & shows for a 3 year old

Disneyland Paris, the best rides, attractions & shows for a 3 year old

Finn was about 27 months the first time we went to Disneyland and turned 3 the second time we were there. These are the main rides, attractions & shows he loved & were the most suitable for his age.

Alice’s Curious Labyrinth- We all loved this where you work your way around Alice’s labyrinth to get to the Queen of heart castle. The view from the top around the park are amazing.

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast- Finn’s a big toy story fan so this was one of his favourites. The queues can get quite big so we went in this using a fast pass and during extra magic hours.

Cars quatre rallye- Finn loved the cars theming of this one, I get quite travel sick so sat this one out. Queues were normally about 10/15 minutes.

Casey Jr. – this is a lovely little train ride, It was really quiet whenever we went on this.

Disneyland Railroad- We loved this, we went all the way round the park on it and you get some really good views. You can also use it to get to the different areas of the park. It always seemed to be really busy even in quiet times but we went on first thing one morning and the queues weren’t as big.

Dumbo- Finn loved flying round on the elephant, the queues never seemed to be really big for this.

It’s a small world- My favourite, even though you end up stuck with the tune in your head for days. The queues were never massive but if you stand near here to watch the parade you get a good view for that & can then walk pretty much on it’s a small world.

Le Carrousel de Lancelot- a traditional merry-go- round, Finn really enjoyed this and there was rarely a big queue.

Flying carpets over Agrabah- this was in the Studio’s you fly on a magic carpet on an Aladdin themed rides. It can get busy.

Mad Hatter’s tea cups- this was another of Finn’s favourites, the cup of tea ride he called it. This was another quiet ride.

Orbitron- Here you can ride in a rocket, the queues for this one always seem longer than they say so be prepared to wait but Finn loved it.

Peter Pan’s flight – this is a lovely ride but can get really busy. We got fast passes for this which I’d definitely recommend doing.

Pirates of the Caribbean – I was really nervous about this one as I though Finn would be scared but apart from a few drops it was quite gentle & we all loved it. We were quite lucky to just walk on this a few times.

Ratatouille- this was another favourite of ours, it gets busy but you can get fast pass. There is WiFi in the studios so we used the Disneyland app to check wait times and managed to just walk onto this one day.

Slinky Dog- Finn loved this being a toy story fan and we managed to just walk on it quite a few times. I suffer with motion sickness and this did make me feel a bit sick.

Thunder Mesa riverboat Landing- I loved this boat ride & definitely recommend you go on this. It’s a lovely little ride round which you don’t expect & has loads of little things to look at.

Toy soldiers parachute drop- I thought this would be really scary but we all loved it, you also get a fab but quick view of the castle! It can get busy.

Moteurs Action Stunt Show- This was a massive hit, Finn’s face when lightening came out was one of the highlights of our trip.

Mickey and the Magician- This is a lovely show and definitely worth going to if it’s on, true Disney magic.

Mickey presents Happy Anniversary Disneyland Paris- a fab show located on the stage near the castle. Finn loved all the Characters and them all waving.

Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt at Erddig Wrexham

Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt at Erddig Wrexham

We recently joined the National trust hoping to have lots of family days out. We are quite lucky that we are within an hour of some amazing National trust properties. We are also planning some U.K. breaks this year so it will be handy to take our cards with us incase there is any properties close by.

I joined by Direct Debit so pay £10 a month for a family membership, I like this option to spread the cost & knowing we can always have a free/cheap day out.

Over the Easter Weekend we decided to do the Cadbury’s Egg Hunt at Erddig in Wrexham. This is the first time we have visited and we loved it. We were with friends so had a few children in the group so just stayed in the ground. The gardens are beautiful with loads of trees, flowers & a lake. The kids loved running around and it was all really safe for them.

Our favourite bit was there 2.5 Hectare natural play area the Wolf’s Den. It was brilliant and I reckon we spent a good hour in there, we could have been there longer as well if we didn’t want to finish the egg hunt. There’s den building, loads of stepping stones, a wooden play shop, a rope swing & plenty more. They run activities in here throughout the year like tree climbing & den building so we will definitely be back to try some of these.

We didn’t get a chance to try any of the cafe facilities (except for a coffee, which was a good strong coffee) but we will definitely be trying these next time we are back as they looked really good.

We all really enjoyed the Easter egg hunt, we were given a map and had to follow the trail looking for signs of Spring. At the end they kids were all given a full size Cadbury’s egg.

We really enjoyed our visit to Erddig and will definitely be back soon to make the most of our membership.

Belfast

Belfast

We recently visited Belfast for 2 nights & fell in love with the city, everyone we spoke to was so positive and inspiring about the troubles. It was amazing to see the City’s regeneration. Here’s a few of the places we visited & my tips for exploring Belfast.

Airport Bus

We got the 300a from Belfast International airport into the City Centre. It was then about a 5 minute walk to our hotel. This was the most cost effective way I found of getting into the city centre at £10.50 each return. It took around 30 minutes.

Bullitt Hotel

We stayed at the Bullitt, which I found on Lonely Planet as one of their top picks. I fell in love with this hotel straight away with its cool & quirky decor and super friendly staff. From the minute we checked in the staff were so friendly and gave us the best tips for the area and offered to book trips for us.

We stayed in a Dinky room, which was Dinky but perfect as we were hardly in the room. The bed was so comfy & there was a big rainfall shower and a mini fridge so everything you need for a few nights away. Bullitt provide you with a bag to hang on your door each evening with your preferred time for your breakfast in the morning, they then filled it with granola & yogurt, fresh orange & a piece of fruit.

We also had a bigger breakfast one morning in the Bullitt lobby , I had Eggs Benedict & Stu had the Meaty One Brioche. Both were really tasty & the price was reasonable.

Bullitt has its own roof top bar Babel, where we had drinks one evening. The views were amazing but as it was freezing the outside area was shut. It would be even better in the summer.

Bullitt Lobby Breakfast Bullitt

St George’s market

As soon as we arrived we headed to St George’s market for lunch. There was an amazing choice of food stalls and we decided on paella & patatas bravas which were both lovely. It was the day after St Patrick’s day and the atmosphere was brilliant with a trad band playing. Definitely visit if you are there over the weekend.

Black Taxi Tour

Without a doubt the tour we did with ‘Taxi Tour Belfast’ was the highlight of the trip for both of us. We were picked up by Joe from our hotel in his Mercedes mini bus and spent a fascinating few hours going round the political murals of Belfast. Joe was so intelligent and gave us a first hand insight into the troubles and told us what it was like for him growing up in Belfast at the height of the troubles. We visited the international peace wall, falls road & Shankill Road areas. He was so knowledgeable and answered all of our questions, I think we both went with our own pre conceived idea of what happened but left with a totally different insight. We both said it was honestly one of the most interesting things we have ever done and I think if you’re heading to Belfast you should definitely put this on your list.

Crumlin Road Gaol

We visited the Crumlin Road Gaol using a discount voucher we got with Booking.com and really enjoyed our visit. It was really interesting to get an insight into how the prison used to be run & life as an inmate. Our guide was really informative and answered all of our questions.

Hop on Hop off open top Bus

On our last day we decided to do the hop on hop off bus as there was still quite a few places we wanted to see. We had another voucher through booking.com so we got it at a discount. We got off at the titanic museum, Stormont (which is well worth a look round for the beautiful views) & the crown liquor saloon. It was nice to get an overall view of the city & the guides were all really friendly and knowledgeable about the city.

Victoria Square Dome

As we got off the bus the tour guide suggested we go to the Victoria Square Dome for views around Belfast. It was free and you go up to the top floor for 360 degree views around Belfast. There was signs pointing out all the landmarks.

Mourne Seafood Bar

I found Mourne as it was highly rated on trip advisor and we wasn’t disappointed. We both had mussels and were really impressed they were so tasty & fresh. We also had sides of champ & truffle fries and really enjoyed the meal.

Chubby cherub

On our second night we visited the Chubby Cherub, we are off the Date night menu which was 2 courses and 2 glasses of wine for £29.95. We had the bruschetta & crostini to start and Meatball Linguini & herb gnocchi for main. We loved the food & the quirky cosy style of the restaurant.

Bars

We visited a few bars both on friends recommendation and ones I found on Lonely planet. Here’s a few we loved.

Crown Liquor Saloon – this pub is a national trust property and dates back to 1885. It was really interesting to see all the old style features & we had a nice lunch in there.

The Dirty Onion- in the cathedral quarter with live music most nights.

Cathedral Quarter – this was right near our hotel and there was loads of really cool bars, definitely start your night out in this area.

Duke of York- this the coolest little pub & the Murals surrounding it are well worth a look at.

Muriel’s cafe bar – Muriel’s was a few doors down from our hotel & had the best gin menu! The atmosphere was brilliant on the Sunday.

John Hewitt- a traditional pub & owned by the man who made Jawbox gin, so definitely worth a try while you’re in there.

Love & Death inc- this had good happy hour & good cocktails.

The Spaniard- a really cool rum bar, it was packed even on a Monday night.

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. 

Ice cream Farm, Cheshire 

Ice cream Farm, Cheshire 

We love the Ice Cream farm it’s one of our favourite days out. We are really lucky as we are about 20 minutes away by car. It’s located in Tattenhall about 15 minutes away from Chester City Centre. 



It’s free to enter and you just pay for the soft play, sand and water play, mini golf, diggers and go- carts. We tend to just do one thing when we go as Finn loves the farm and park which are both free so we spend a while on there. Plus he still gets tired quite easily. I am definitely going to invest in one of play passes soon though as these save you money. They are worth looking into if you will be using a few of the paid activities. 


Daisy’s Garden (the park) is amazing with trampolines, hills to climb, a giant overflowing ice cream tree and loads more to discover Finn would happily play on here for ages. 


The farm is also free to enter and Finn loves walking round here and looking at all the animals. 

Our favourite is Honeycomb Canyon a giant indoor  Sand and water play. Finn loves it splashing about in the water, playing with the sandpits and exploring all the water channels. I’d definitely recommend bringing a towel and a change of clothes. 

He also really enjoys the fun factory soft play, it has it’s own toddler section so he will play quite happily. 


We haven’t tried any of the other areas as Finn is too little but they all look amazing and I’m looking forward to trying them. 
The food is really reasonable, I usually get Finn the 5 item children’s box  which is £3.75 and includes a sandwich, drink and 3 other items. There’s crisps, yogurt, chocolate, raisins and other snacks to choose from. All of the main menu is good value as well. 


Of course the main attraction is the Ice Cream with over 50 flavours to choose from. My favourite is sticky toffee pudding and Finn’s white- choc chunk. There’s definitely a flavour for everyone. The prices are really reasonable. 
I’d definitely recommend a visit if you are local or in the area. 

Let me know what you think if you have visited.