Monday, 20 November 2017

Santa Grotto Review - Enchanted Forest Weston Favell Northampton

On Sunday I was invited to try out the new Santa's Grotto at Weston Favell.

This year they have gone for an enchanted forest theme with 120 real life fir trees! Believed to be the first live forest to be created in an indoor shopping centre, you walk through the fairy lit forest to meet the one and only Father Christmas/Santa.  Little ones can meet Spud and Eve Weston Favell's own elves and spot the animals as they walk through.  There is a small craft area at the beginning for children to decorate a tag and write their wish list.

I loved the real trees but I did think they would be more spaced out creating more of a forest walkthrough but the effect is nice. The lights are lovely and staff really good.  Santa's cabin is really cosy & well decorated just as you'd imagine.  Santa was very authentic and little ones will love him. 



My 7 year old said he did a very good job even though he's Santa's helper and must have been trained by the real Santa well so praise indeed. (He believes the real Santa stays in the North Pole because he's busy but sends helpers to the grottos.)



It costs £4 per child and my children both received a book as a gift.  If you book online there is a booking fee.

I think it was good value for money and a nice experience.  After you can purchase the usual photos and key rings.  I bought the basic package for £10 as it was a nice photo and my 10 year probably won't come to a grotto again sob!


The Grotto is open from 17th November 2017 - 24th December 2017. 

Address for those unfamiliar with Weston Favell is -
Weston Favell Shopping Centre
Wellingborough Road
Northampton
NN3 8JZ


You can purchase tickets following this link -

Grotto Tickets

Opening hours are -
19TH NOVEMBER - 18TH DECEMBER
Monday to Friday
12.00pm - 6.00pm
Saturday
10.00am - 6.00pm
Sunday
10.00am - 4.00pm

19TH DECEMBER - 23RD DECEMBER

Daily
9.00am - 6.00pm
24th December
9.00am - 3.00pm

Merry Christmas

Emma xx

Disclaimer: I received 2 tickets in exchange for this review.  I purchased the photos myself.  All opinions are my own & honest.


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Ice Skating Guide for Northamptonshire

I LOVE ice skating in Winter.  I'm absolutely rubbish and hijack one of the kids push a long penguins but I just love it and its become a Christmas tradition as we've been for the past 4 or 5 years.  We usually go to Frost's in Woburn or Beckworth Emporium but there are others to try.

Whilton Locks Garden Village

Real ice rink with a team of trained ice stewards to ensure safety. Ice skating sessions start on the hour and last for 45 minutes. Free skate hire is included in the ticket price.

Available from 18th November to 3rd January 2018.


Whilton Locks, Whilton, Daventry, Northamptonshire. NN11 2NH 01327 843 100 

Whilton Locks Ice Skating

Planet Ice with locations across the country - Our nearest locations are Coventry, Milton Keynes and Peterborough

Ice skating venue with a special Christmas show (13th December at Milton Keynes), Christmas jumper party (22nd December at Milton Keynes) and opportunity to learn to skate all year round. They also offer younger child sessions for 18 month to 5 year olds.





Beckworth Emporioum

Enormous 715 sq m real ice rink which is indoors so you can skate whatever the weather.  Sessions last 45 minutes and start on the hour.  Lots of half price sessions available and special toddler times. 

Full adult price is £14, Child £10 and Push along penguin £4  Toddler session only have to pay for the adult which is £7 and FREE push along penguin.  You can also have a go at curling and new freestyle skating for experienced people.

Open 4th November to 7th January 2018

120 -140 Glebe Rd, Mears Ashby,  Northants, UK NN6 0DL Telephone: 01604 812371

Frosts - Woburn Sands

Open seven days a week from Saturday 25th November to Sunday 7th January real ice and outdoors. Peak Adult £11.49, Peak Child £8.49 Off peak can be £6.50 each.  Adult & Toddler (Under 4 years) £14.99
Skating sessions last 45 minutes and the ticket price includes your skate hire.

Newport Road, Woburn Sands, Milton Keynes, MK17 8UE Telephone 0800 954 9484


Finally not ice but snow!!!!

Snozone - Milton Keynes

Real snow and used predominately for Ski and Snowboarding but they do family sledging and snow fun for the little ones. 

Snozone Xscape 602 Marlborough Gate Central Milton Keynes MK9 3XS: T: 0333 0030 520


If you want to travel further afield there is loads of amazing locations in London the famous Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Somerset House, National History Museum, Hampton Court, Canary Wharf and The Tower of London all turn into icy Christmas fun.  If you fancy something outside of London then Birmingham's Ice skating & Christmas Frankfurt market is a must. Finally a FREE event in Warwickshire Talisman Square, Kenilworth, CV8 1JB.
The free outdoor ice rink will be in Talisman Square from Friday, December 1, to Sunday, December 3, and will be free for the public to use. Skate hire is free too.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Northants Panto Guide

Not decided on this years Panto yet then this might help you decide.

Royal & Derngate - Northampton
Aladdin
Starring musical and television star Paul Nicholas, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson.
8th December to 31st December Performances are 2pm and 7pm in the week and 1pm and 5pm at weekends. Check the link below for full details and prices.

Aladdin

The Deco - Northampton
Peter Pan
Starring Coronation Street’s Nick Cochrane as Smee, Voice finalist Lydia Lucy as Wendy, Grange Hill’s Colin Ridgewell as Captain Hook, From the West End Chris Wills as Peter Pan and Northampton’s own Naomi Wilkins as Tiger Lily.
8th December to 30th December times vary call or click below for details 01604 491005

Peter Pan

The Looking Glass Theatre - Northampton
Beauty & The Beast
31st December 2017 at 2pm
An interactive performance in traditional pantomime style, filled with songs, actors, puppets and audience participation.
Tickets: £10 (adults), £8 (child/student/senior citizen)
Family Ticket: £32 (2 adults & 2 children), £38 (2 adults & 3 children) or £44 (2 adults & 4 children) 01604 472029




The Castle - Wellingborough
The Wizard of Oz
Starring Chris Stanton and Gabrielle Green both from CBBC programmes.
13th Decmeber to 30th December please contact the Box Office on 01933 270 007 or email boxoffice@castletheatre.co.uk  to enquire about prices and how to book or click in the link below

Wizard of Oz

The Lighthouse - Kettering
Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
Starring Matt Lapinskas, best known for EastEnders and Dancing on Ice and Natasha Gray from Emmerdale as the Wicked Queen.
8th December to 31st December times vary so check out the link below

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs

The Core- Corby
Wind in the Willows
Not a normal panto but something to get you into the Christmas spirit especially for a younger audience as approx. 1 hour long. 
7th December to 30th December times vary tickets £9 to £14.50 dicounts for groups of 8.

Wind in the Willows

Milton Keynes Theatre
Cinderella
Starring Brian Connelly and Gok Wan!
9th December to 14th January 2018 tickets from £14 to £40.90 check website for details

Cinderella









Thursday, 26 October 2017

West Lodge Rural Centre Review

I love West Lodge and have been several times but never actually wrote a review.  We went this week for the Halloween October Half term event but West Lodge is a brilliant place to visit all year round.

West Lodge Rural Centre

They have events throughout the year so check the website for details.  We paid £7.45 each to enter and £1 each for the spooky tractor ride.  It is slightly cheaper if you book online and there are family of 4 tickets which work out at £6 each and under 2's are free.

West Lodge has animals, pig racing, petting corner, a huge outdoor play area, cafĂ©, various walking trails and the new indoor play area.  It caters for all weathers with the new indoor play area although its obviously nicer when the sun shines.  We were there for nearly 6 hours and the kids loved it.  The barrel ride is always a big hit and they can go on as many times as they are happy to queue.  We also loved the walk to the witch's house in the woods and spotting the fairy doors along the way.




As it was the Halloween event pumpkin carving (additional fee), wand making, spooky stories, spooky tractor ride (£1 per person) and scary walkway were all available and great fun.  We took snacks but food and drink is available including freshly made baguettes and jacket potatoes from £3.95 and meals from £5.95. They also have a children's menu from £2.99.  They usually have a good cake selection too but sadly at 2pm they had all gone apart from one sad looking slice of dried chocolate cake boo!!!  So had to make do with a cup of tea and hot chocolate instead and luckily the kids were happy with the bits we'd brought in.




I can 100% recommend West Lodge for a fab family day out for all pre schooler and primary school age kids.  If you want to see a bit more then check out my short video.