Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Our Family Ski Holiday with Snowbizz

It was our fourth year travelling to Puy St Vincent with Snowbizz and there is a reason we and so many others go back year after year.  A lot of people wouldn't even consider a family ski holiday, but once you have tried it, you may well find yourself hooked.  We battle through the early morning airport meltdowns and the hyperactive toddlers on the flight because when we arrive in the snow covered resort, everything is so easy, so relaxed and just so much fun.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The fresh mountain air is cold and takes a while to adjust to, the snow is unfamiliar to little hands but soft enough to sink into and the views . . . I don't think I could ever not be in awe of the snowy mountains that dominate the horizon in every direction.  The first day is always put aside for adapting, for preparing, for collecting our hired boots and skis, for take away pizza and early nights.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The next day however is a different story.  Dylan and Archie were skiing for the third year and Archie has in the yellow group at ski school with Jean-Paul whilst Dylan was in the orange class with Benjamin.  They were up and dressed in their thermals and salopettes and raring to go.  Dropping them at ski school was as easy as walking down one flight of stairs as we are directly above it (I didn't even put my shoes on some days), and they can sledge and play outside or chill out with games in the lounge before their lesson starts.   It is a little further to drop off Finn and Cora but I can probably do the walk with both of them on foot in two minutes still.  We leave our apartment block, cross in front of a shop and we are at the welcoming Snowbizz creche where the pink ladies greet them every morning with smiles and cuddles.  There are always toys laid out inviting them to play and a craft or painting set up on the tables.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

And then we can ski, or read a book, or go for a walk, or eat a fresh croissant bought from the bakery next to the creche.  The morning is ours and we love the freedom, the rest, the adult time.  

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Our week is always a mixture of family time, adult time, skiing and some one on one time with the little ones.  We follow their lead and take it day by day and it works so well for us.  We love sledging and the creche has plenty of sledges that you can borrow to take to the little sledging hill next to the playground.  The restaurants all have tables outside so we can play in the snow as we wait for our lunch, and hot chocolate will never taste quite as good as it does from the Creperie after an afternoon sledging. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

We had snow, so much snow and we had sunshine. It snowed for about 24 hours straight with around 60cm laying just over night.  The next morning the sun shone, the freshly pisted slopes could not have been more inviting and we couldn't resist stomping in the fresh powder snow, watching it rise up our legs, rolling around in it and throwing it up in the air.  We could not have asked for better weather and I will always remember Finn's face as the snow fell, the excitement and awe, the desperation to be out in it and the sheer joy as he ran through it with his tongue out to catch the falling flakes. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Dylan gained even more confidence skiing and on the last day we could barely keep up with him as he skiied down the blue slopes without fear.  For a child that has never been very physically confident, it is amazing to see how much he loves this sport, how well he is improving and the experiences it gives him.  Archie was the smallest in his class and needed extra help at the beginning of the week but we took him up on the lifts at the end of the week and were amazed at how well he could ski down, never falling over or struggling and smiling and laughing the whole way.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

Ed and I tackled harder red slopes, improved our skills and took in the views from the very top of the mountain where we really did feel on top of the world.  We made friends as did the children and it felt like we had our own little community by the end of the week.  Being a smaller resort, the children really make great friendships as do the adults and we all found ourselves seated together on the plane on the way home too.

family ski holiday, snowbizz

The boys loved the kids clubs in the evenings and award night at the end saw Finn awarded the 'Shining Star' for 'brightening up our day' whilst Cora got the 'Haribo' award for 'being a sweetie'. 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

There are so many reasons that we love going on a family ski holiday and I have written in the past about 

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

You can also check out our

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz

family ski holiday, snowbizz


We received a discount on our stay but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own 
and we are already looking into booking for next year!









Read more ⇨

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Family Friendly Travel in Spain

Blue Monday has inspired me to think about our travel plans for the year and there are so many places I would love to visit with the children.  Having four aged six and under means we are most likely to stay in Europe and we need to choose places that have activities to suit all our small ones.  We visited Barcelona when Dylan was little and Spain is definitely high on our list of places to consider.

Hotels are pretty tricky now so we will have to check our Spanish mansions and villas to find the perfect accommodation for our family.  We prefer to stay somewhere that allows us to put the children to bed and still have a living space,  somewhere we can be a bit noisier, where they can spread out their toys on the floor and villas seem like the best option.  Spain is full of variety and I have been looking up some of the best places to take small children on holiday.  I would love to hear if you have visited any of these places or if there is anywhere else you think we should add to our list?!



Barcelona 

We visited Barcelona years ago and loved how much there was to do for families.  Park Guell was probably our favourite place and it features Gaudi's mosaic dragon.   There was something for everyone,  the stunning architecture, the beautiful colours and textures and the history fascinated us, whilst the fun grottos, the picnic area and playgrounds are the perfect places to let the children run free.  Barcelona is full of fascinating architecture, green spaces and child friendly restaurants.

Calpe

Beautiful beaches, child friendly restaurants and amazing ice cream.  Situated between Valencia and Benidorm you can make the most of all the city and resorts have to offer including an amazing aquarium in Valencia with a walrus and a beluga whale but you can also enjoy the quieter side. (recommended by Edspire)



Salou

Salou is the perfect place for a family holiday with it's golden beaches and busy strip with restaurants and shops. The Orient Express restaurant comes highly recommended and there is a huge variety of delicious food to suit everyone. Port Aventura is a huge theme situated close by and is easy to get to via coaches. (recommended by mum of 2point5)

Calella de Palafrugell

Such a typically Spanish place, the beaches are beautiful with calm seas and crystal clear waters, there's an ice cream parlour with 40 varieties of ice cream, you can buy stonebaked pizzas to eat on the beach with a blanket (and a bottle of cava for the grown ups) at night time and the staff in all of the restaurants here are so lovely and hug you like old friends. (recommended by North East Family Fun)



Ibiza

Not just for the clubbers, Ibiza is full of child friendly beaches with soft golden sand, lifeguards in the summer, crystal clear water and sun loungers.  Captain Bobcat has written about some of the best child friendly beaches on the island

Menorca

As well as the beaches that surround the island, Menorca boasts caves that are a little explorers dream, seas so clear that young swimmers can go snorkelling and plenty of waterparks for the big and little kids in the family.  Menorca is fantastically family friendly. ( Recommended by Truly Madly Kids)

Benalmadena

With a theme park, crazy golf, sealife centre, parks and a zoo this is a great destination for families that like to keep busy.  Situated on the Costa Del Sol and close to Malaga and Marbella, you can even take a cable car to the top of Mount Calamorro to take in breathtaking panoramic views of the Meditteranean. (recommended by Five Little Doves)


photo credit - BabyFoote

There are so many options to consider from beautiful beaches to pretty cities and the wonderful islands that offer quiet retreats.  I loved the Spanish attitude on our city break there, how even the teenagers would smile at my one year old, how it was never frowned upon to have your toddler in a restaurant and everyone would help us when we needed it.  Spain is such a great place to visit as a family and we will definitely be considering it for our summer holiday.

Where is your favourite Spanish destination?


This post is in collaboration with Luxury Retreats
Read more ⇨

Thursday, 7 December 2017

The Festive Fairground at Dreamland

Situated on the Kent coast, Dreamland is a vintage family theme park full of colour, personality and charm.  Over the coming month they have transformed the Margate park into a festive fairground complete with Santa's Grotto and an ice skating rink and the boys and I (plus my sister) spent last Saturday there for the opening day.



Archie and Dylan are four and six and were a great age to enjoy the park.  I found it was definitely aimed at four years and above (or for children over a metre) and there was plenty that they could both go on but quite a few that Archie at 105cm was too small for as well.  The park has a selection of rides from the iconic Scenic Railway which is the oldest wooden rollercoaster, to the traditional dodgems and carousel.  Entry to the park is free and a wristband gives you unlimited access to all the rides or you can buy seperate tokens if you wish to only ride on a couple.  The children's beehive rollercoaster was a definite favourite for both boys.




We spent about 5 hours at Dreamland and that was the perfect amount of time.  We spent time on the rides as well as enjoying all the open spaces and bright walls.  Dotted around the park are giant letters that spell out Dreamland and we loved spotting them and climbing on them too.


As part of our visit we couldn't resist booking tickets to see Father Christmas.  You have to book ahead on the Dreamland website and you are given a 30 minute slot for your 'Santa experience'.  It is more than your traditional grotto, with two simple craft activities as you prepare to see the big man. The boys loved creating their VIP passes and they are still playing with them days later.  Santa's special Elvis inspired elf stole the show and we were surprised to see a rocking and grooving Santa.  The boys were each given a book as a gift but they are a little old for them at the moment - we would love to see books aimed more at younger readers in the future.




I was nervous about taking the boys ice skating as it doesn't come naturally to me (I like to hold on to a wall the whole time) and they have never been before.  We found the set up was brilliant though and when we turned up for our booked slot there was no queue for boots and the rink was not too crowded.  You can pre-book aids and there were two choices, a standing penguin that the children can hold on to if they want to skate independently, and a seal that the children can sit on to be pushed around.  Archie was happiest sat down and loved it as I raced around with him (I was happiest pushing him as it gave me something to hold on to).  Dylan tried both and really enjoyed giving skating a go with the penguin.  The ice skating was definitely a highlight for all four of us and I would highly recommend booking a slot if you are visiting for the frosted fairground.



The park was quiet in the day, we didn't queue for a single ride and it was so much fun, but the parK really comes alive when it gets dark.  The lit up trees dotted around the park, the dancing lights on the big wheel and the brightness of the fairground were irresistable and I would really recommend staying for at least part of the evening.  



Dreamland is situated less than 5 minutes walk from Margate train station and there are direct links from St Pancras and Victoria station in London.  There is so much to do locally with a brilliant beach opposite the entrance to Dreamland, the Turner art gallery and a row of arcades full of 2p machines. Inside the Dreamland Complex there is a fantastic soft play/imaginative play centre called Octopus Gardens as well as a roller disco. We had a brilliant day out and all left with rosy cheeks and big smiles.

Thank you to Dreamland for our tickets for this fun day out!












Read more ⇨

Monday, 4 December 2017

Sorted at The Postal Museum


"But that wasn't a real museum, was it? It was too much fun!" Dylan aged 6.  This weekend the big two boys and I went on a little adventure to London.  It has been a long time since I did anything with just them, without having to make sure it was baby or toddler friendly and we all needed this time. We were invited up to check out The Postal Museum and their new imaginative indoor play area 'Sorted!' and I had a tough time convincing the boys that it was a real museum.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

I don't know quite where they got their views from as we haven't really taken them to many museums before.  They clearly had low expectations however which were exceeded before we even discovered the play zone.  After locating The Postal Museum which isn't far from Kings Cross station, we headed straight for the Mail Rail, an underground ride to discover the history of the postal service.  As you book tickets in advance there was no waiting around in queues and the ride was interactive with narration, short videos projected on the wall and lots to look at.  It was the perfect length for their concentration spans at 4 and 6 years old and it gave us plenty to talk about.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

Sorted! was the main reason for our visit though and we were all excited to see what it was like.  20 children are allowed in at a time and the play area was split into two main zones, one for post offices, post vans and post boxes and the other for inside the sorting office.  The 45 minute session could easily have been double as long before the boys were ready to leave and the variety of tasks combined with the limited number of children allowed in and therefore the amount of space they had to play was a great combination.  They loved sorting the parcels and sending them down the chutes before heading down the slide to start again.  There were different dress up accessories dotted around and plenty of soft parcels that could be sorted, weighed, posted and played with.  

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

As well as the imaginative play for children, there was so much to keep toddlers and babies entertained too, from magnetic walls covered in toys to be moved around, post vans to pretend to drive and wooden blocks to make a city.  Everything was designed for children from zero to eight years and I felt a bit sad that Finn and Cora were missing out as they would have loved the experience so much.  There was space for adults to sit and enjoy a drink or you could get involved with the children.  The whole place was spacious, clean and easy to see everything and we all loved it.  

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

I was a bit worried that after all this excitement, the boys wouldn't be that interested in the main museum, but in actual fact it was brilliantly designed for children and adults of all ages.  The whole exhibit was interactive and the boys loved sorting the letters on the simulated moving train in a race against one another.  With accessories to dress up dotted all around they could really get involved and the sorting game was coded with both words and pictures so Archie at 4 could still take part. (There were also little stools so that smaller children didn't miss out).

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

We did have to leave one building and cross the road to get to the second which I am not used to in museums but it gave us a chance to break up our visit as the second building had a cafe which served lunch and refreshments.  The children were given a trail to do around the museum, spotting stamps and post boxes to earn a sticker at the end.  The museum was really interesting from my point of view and the children were really curious as we went round, asking questions and enjoying the conversation.  There were phones to be picked up, hats to try on, letters to open and everything was on their level.  Overall we spent about 3.5 hours in The Postal Museum but we could easily have spent another 45 minutes looking around if it wasn't for the call of some promised milkshakes.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

We left the museum with a better knowledge of how things worked, an insight into life inside a sorting office and a desire to send some letters of our own.  There was a lovely gift shop inside, but they didn't have any postcards! We headed over to Covent Garden when we were done (an easy walk) to buy some postcards to send, talking as we did about the journey they would be going on before they reached our loved ones.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

Until recently I had no idea that a Postal Museum existed but we will definitely be back with the whole family next time. It was brilliantly interactive, well laid out and the indoor play area 'Sorted!' was a great way to get their imaginations going.  Archie declared the visit 'better than a Kinder Egg' (high praise indeed from a four year old) and Dylan is already asking when we can go back.

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area

The Postal Museum, Sorted indoor play area






This post is in collaboration with The Postal Museum but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...