Sunday, 25 November 2018

Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review

Wyevale Garden Centres have wonderful Santa's grotto this year at certain branches. We visited the Wootton, Northampton branch today and I can review in very favourably.

It is £10 per child (plus 50p booking fee) and the children meet Santa and his helpers, take home a real mini Christmas tree and receive a present.

Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton

Upon arrival we were greeted by the elves and put a magical seed in a pot.  We were then taken through to Santa who was just lovely.  My son knows he's not the real Santa as he's too busy but one of Santa's trusted helpers.  He did a fantastic job so can maybe have a Christmas bonus! He had a cracking joke which I won't spoil and with a little bit of Christmas magic the seed became a mini Christmas tree.

Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton

You are then lead through to another room where you can decorate your tree and have a look at the photo taken in the grotto.  The images were really good and we had 3 to choose from.  We paid £11 for 2 images in mounts. This is entirely optional and was not at all pushy.

I came away feeling thoroughly festive and with 2 happy children.  My daughter is 11 and sadly is in the non-believer camp (sob!) but was still happy with her gift and mini tree.  The grotto had a nice relaxed Christmas vibe with cheerful elves and a well planned and decorated layout.  We really enjoyed our experience and I would whole-heartedly recommend.

Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton

The Wootton branch was also offering free Christmas story telling but we missed the time slots which on Sunday were 11.30, 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30.  They are offering free activities on Saturday's and Sunday's throughout the festive period.

Wyevale Garden Centre Santa Grotto Review Northampton

For more information or to book click on the link below.

Santa Grotto Link

Disclaimed: I was given 2 children's ticket in exchange for this review.  I paid for the photos myself  All opinions are 100% honest.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Giovanni's Downtown Gelato Ice Cream in Mlton Keynes

Giovanni's Downtown Gelato Ice Cream in Milton Keynes is a very cute retro truck within Centre:MK and perfect for a sweet treat pick me up whilst shopping.

They opened in August 2013 and are a family run business.  They make over 100 different flavours of Gelato and the presentation is amazing.  They state that their Gelato contains 50-60% less fat than normal ice cream and fewer calories.  To me this seems to be a win-win situation!

The Buone Feste (Happy holidays) range has just been released and GemMedia Marketing kindly invited us along to try it out.

Giovanni's Gelato Centre:MK Christmas range
Not being from Milton Keynes we found it a little tricky to find but anyone local to Milton Keynes would have no problem.  The kiosk is not far from Guest Services and Poundland & The Works are nearby.  There are sooo many flavours it is hard to choose and the display is really colourful and full of Christmas cheer.

Giovanni's Gelato Centre:MK

Giovanni's Gelato Centre:MK
After some deliberation we sampled Bailey's (tasted exactly like Bailey's and so creamy - can you tell I like Bailey's!) and Salted Caramel in tubs and Gingerbread and Chocolate Orange in cones.  All 4 were delicious. Both children had it smeared around their mouths and gave it a big thumbs up!  We were also offered the warm mini pancakes with Nutella which the kids devoured in seconds.  I only got 1 as they disappeared so fast.  My son would have had seconds and they were definitely a big hit. Giovanni's also do waffles and hot chocolate so it's not just cold treats on offer.

Next time I'm in Milton Keynes the kids will definitely want me to take them back. Why not pop by the next time you are shopping in MK?

Giovanni's Gelato Centre:MK
If you would like any more information or to browse the other flavours on offer click on this link Giovanni's Gelato

Disclaimer: We tasted these products in exchange for this review.  All opinions are 100% honest.


Saturday, 17 November 2018

Santa Grotto's in Northamptonshire 2018

It is that time already and Santa's Grotto's are springing up all over the place.  So you don't have to scourer the internet I have and here's a handy guide for Northamptonshire 2018.

Billing Garden Centre
Weekends only from 1st December 11am to 3pm
Christmas eve 11am to 1pm
FREE event no gift.
We have been several times and they always have such a lovely Santa.  You can buy the picture, keyring etc but no pressure at all.  

Weston Favell
17th November to 24th December
£4 admission
Last year we attended and was a nice includes a craft area and the usual photo's, keyrings etc for sale after.  Good value grotto.

My post of this grotto from last year Enchanted Forest Review

Wyevale Garen Centre

17th November to 24th DecemberThey recommend suitable for 3 to 8 year olds but siblings below & above very welcome. £10 per child and really lovely.  I can definitely recommend.  If you are interested here is my review Wyevale Wootton Branch Santa Grotto Review 

Welford Christmas Tree Farm, NN6 6JF
Telephone 01858 657008 to book
Meet & Greet Santa and the Reindeers!
Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th November
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December
Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December
Saturday 15th December

Delapre Abbey, NN4 8AW
1st to 9th December
£5 per child SELLING OUT FAST!
Link to book

Berzerk, NN3 6QF
17th to 21st December
£3 per child time slots 11.30 to 1.00 and 4pm to 6pm

Santa Specials - Northampton & Lamport Railway
25th November to 23rd December
Every child will receive a present from Santa, a soft drink, and biscuits. 
Prices between £5 and £12.  Click the link to book NLR tickets

Wicksteed Park
New event - Magical Wicksteed Experience lasts for 2 hours.
1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th December starts at 10am.
Festive train journey, gift from santa, meet the reindeer, storytime with Mrs Claus, Carousel, Sway Rider and Snakes & Ladders rides.  £12 child, £5 adult and £30 family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) Magical Wicksteed Park

Riverside Hub
Christmas Funfair Party From £15 per child and £3.50 per adult. Each child receives candy floss or popcorn, glitter art, gift and use of all the equipment. 7th December to 24th December certain days only.  Some dates are selling out click on the link to go straight to their website Riverside Hub

Stanwick Lakes 

Santa and Mrs Claus will be at Stanwick Lakes on weekends throughout December.  Tickets cost £6 per child and include a present, Christmas trail and craft making in the visitor centre. Book online.

Not Northamptonshire but not far.....
Frosts Woburn Sands Garden Centre
18th November to 24th December
£14.99 child and £4.99 adult and baby £6.50 Can pre select gift and has a varied range building blocks, science experiment, soft dough set, magic box etc.  Visit lasts approx. 45 minutes. SELLING OUT FAST!


Friday, 16 November 2018

Foodbank Awareness in Northampton

I wanted to raise some awareness of food banks.  Unfortunately they are still needed and at Christmas time a lot of food bank charities ask for extra donations.  Your donations will help families & individuals in need.

For the last 3 years I have given a small donation to the Trussell Trust using the text service.  You can text FBUK14 plus the amount E.G. FBUK14 £5

You can make donations in several ways and there's loads of information on their website.  Links below.

In 2017 I found out about a local charity called Restore Northampton. 

Unfortunately hunger is not just a third world problem, right now in Northampton there are many people living on the edge of poverty and The Food Bank has been able to help 1000's households and families who have experienced a crisis of some type.  The Food Bank provides emergency packages for local families and individuals.

So I decided to make a food donation instead.  I took this to the centre on Sheep Street, Northampton (I had a slight problem with entry!!! If you go use the back door.) Donations can be taken Tuesday & Thursday 1-3pm. (Do check as this information was for 2017)

They have a suggested food list on their website which I have included for information.  It is mostly tins, dried food items and toiletries.  They are also running an advent calendar campaign.  They suggest a food item each day for you to collect and the full box is then donated on the 24th December. Suggested items so far are biscuits, nappies, coffee, toothpaste, tinned meat, shower gel and deodorant.

There are 14 locations for food donations.  The website has all the details.

Another local charity is the Hope Centre tacking homeslessness and poverty in Northampton.  In Northampton there are 60 rough sleepers every night. You can donate money or food/clothes but they do have specific requirements so please check first.
. If you are able or interested in donating you can click on the links for more info.

Thanks for reading

Emma xxx

Merry Christmas


Easy Christmas Crafts

Here's some easy Christmas crafts to entertain the kids throughout December.

I'm not a crafty mum at all but honestly these are painless and the kids will have fun.

Easy Christmas Paper Bag Stars.  All you need is paper bags, glue stick and scissors.  Easy Peasy. Click on the red link below for full details.

Paper Bag Stars

Paper Bag Stars - Easy Christmas Craft

Easy Christmas Paper Bag Stars

White Clay Dough Christmas Decorations.  All you need is cornflour, Bicarbonate of soda water and ribbon. Click on the red link below for full details.

White Clay Dough

White Clay Dough Christmas Decorations

Merry Christmas

Emma xxx