Friday 30 August 2019

A Family Evening Out at Goodwood


I had presumed that all the family days at race courses would be afternoon affairs, but we chose to visit Goodwood as part of our collaboration with Great British Racing and the first race started at 5pm. It was lovely to catch the late afternoon sunshine and enjoy an outdoors tea as we watched the fun. 

We arrived just in time for the first race and we loved how easy it was to find our way around at Goodwood.  It didn't take the children long to notice there were fairground rides down one end so we walked straight there! There are 50 family days across the summer with plenty to do for children and we were delighted to see that all the rides were free of charge! There was a fantastic atmosphere as the children rolled down the hills, spun round on the carousel, had their faces painted and devoured the ice creams being sold at the little ice cream van on site.  There were 7 races with the final one being at 8pm and we stopped our play to watch the horses and choose which one we wanted to win each time.

It was pretty much always the pink one they voted for and sadly they didn't win every time, but they loved cheering on the number of their horse and watching them dash by.  At the edge of the family area was an amazing playground that meant even the most energetic children were occupied and the kids thought it was the best evening!  We popped back to find some food and drink but the family area was always calling and it was brilliant having the mix of a funfair and the horse racing.
What we really loved was that the fun didn't stop when the races did and there was music, fire dancers, stilt walkers and fireworks still to come after the last race, meaning we could enjoy our evening as it got darker.  Finn starts moving as soon as he hears music and he loved showing off his dance moves to everyone and anyone!  The children were totally captivated by the bands and dancers and we didn't want to leave.

Under 18s go free to over 200 fixtures across the summer when accompanied by a paying adult and there are still 2 family days left, one at Brighton on September 1st and Fontwell Park on Sunday 8th September where you can dig for fossils and get the chance to meet a newborn baby dinosaur!  You can find out more about this amazing offer and your nearest race course at  We had such a lovely evening at Goodwood and were so impressed with how family friendly everything was, from the kids meals to the entertainment.

Read more ⇨

Thursday 29 August 2019

Victorious Festival with Children

Every year we seem to try a new music festival as a family and we all have different criteria.  For me, having plenty for the children to do is a must.  We have four children aged between 3 and 8 and so I know the most enjoyable weekend is one where they are entertained.  Ed on the other hand wants to prioritise good music and make sure there are plenty of bands he wants to see.  He has been going to festivals without children for years and he will spend a long time checking out the lineups.

This year we decided early on that Victorious festival in Southsea fit all the criteria and we were lucky enough to be offered Press Tickets just before we got round to actually purchasing them.  The line up included Two Door Cinema Club, Bloc Party and The Hives that we were keen to see alongside Lewis Capaldi, Rudimental, Professor Green and loads more.  

We arrived late at the camping fields and everything was calm, quiet and well set up.  We were shown a great place to pitch up in the families area and we had so much space around our tent.  Unlike most festivals we have been to, the camping is actually seperate to the festival and we had to get a bus across the city when we wanted to head to the music.  Generally, this worked quite well and we never waited more than about 10 minutes between arriving at the bus stop and leaving in both directions.  The journey was about 20 minutes and on the way home it gave everyone a chance to calm down, meaning the camping fields were always pretty quiet.  My children love a bus, especially a double decker so they had no problems with this! The camping fields had brilliant security but only one coffee van and no other ammenities so we were glad we were prepared!

The festival itself is in Southsea and set along the coast so that within 10 metres of leaving the gates you are on the beach.  It made for a really picturesque festival with the most amazing sunsets over the sea as the artists played. The layout wasn't what we expected but the festival is spread out along the available space and once you get used to it, navigating wasn't hard.  It was huge with the two main stages at different ends and countless small specialist stages all around meaning there was music for everyone.  

The kids arena was obviously a priority and it didn't disappoint.  There was a main stage with its own lineup including Mr Bloom, The Princesses and Peppa Pig but it was everything else that made it special for our children.  There were free fairground rides aimed at the smallest children (perfect for Cora and Finn who are 3 and 4) as well as a selection of bouncy castles that were also free and queues were between about 1 and 15 minutes. (There were also fairground rides for older children and adults at an additional cost of roughly £3 pp)  There were tents full of local businesses offering shows, classes and all sorts and we saw a Jedi training class run by a local dance centre, as well as a drama class aimed at 3-7 year olds that Finn and Cora were completely engaged with, hunting for an invisible 20 headed dragon.  The Lidl Mudder area had obstacle courses for children as well as pedal bikes to make smoothies and free fruit, there were Horrible Histories from the local Docklands teaching kids (rather factually) how to load and clean a cannon and one of our favourite areas was circus skills that was open from 10-6 (the same opening times as the entire kids arena) and had plenty of helpers for the tight rope and all sorts of equipment for the children to practice with.  This is always where they headed first and where they were when everything started packing up.

The music we watched had a great atmosphere and we stayed far enough back that we had space for dancing and running around as well as a blanket to sit on.  There was a huge selection of food vendors offering something for everyone and plenty of shops selling festival essentials like glittery bum bags and more glitter.

Victorious Festival was full of colour, music, smiles and families and whilst you can definitely go child free and have a great time, we thought it was a brilliant family friendly festival.  If we go back again (which we really want to do) then we would break up the crowds of the festival with little escapes to the beach as there is no limit to how much you can go in and out, and it would have been great to cool down in the sea when the temperatures were hovering around 30 all weekend! Southsea pier is also a lovely little area to explore with arcades, a few rides, a soft play (next to Wimpy, which we used for an hour or running free one afternoon) and little cafes.  It would also be great to make an even longer weekend from Victorious and visit the aquarium, Portsmouth city and the local docklands too.  

Obviously my view of the festival is different to that of a child so I have asked the children for their views:

And of course, there are so many more photos of our weekend at Victorious Festival.

To find out more details on Victorious Festival 2020 check out their website!

Read more ⇨

Tuesday 27 August 2019

A First Horse Riding Lesson

Archie rode a horse at a birthday party earlier this summer and really enjoyed the experience so the children were pretty excited when they got the opportunity to try a horse riding lesson at a local school this summer.  Cora loves all animals and she was the first one in, telling me all about the horse she was hoping to ride.  Unfortunately there weren't any pink horses around, but she was satisfied with a pink helmet instead and she loved 'Buddy', one of the smallest horses at the school who was just the right size for her.

We are working with Great British Racing this summer as under 18s go free to race days across the country and after seeing the horse racing and meeting a jockey at our day at Ascot last month, their love for all things horses has grown.  Finn was paired with Bob and Archie with Bertie and all three loved their session.  They started by walking and ended up doing a little trot, with Cora smiling from ear to ear all the way round.  She has always been the one most interested in animals and she kept telling everyone that horses are now her favourite animal - apparently she is getting one for her fourth birthday!

Not only did the children get to ride the horses during their lesson, they got to lead them back to the stable and help take all the gear off and put them away as well as meeting some of the other horses at the riding school.  There were sessions on over the summer where you can spend the day learning to ride and care for a horse which sounds great for any budding jockeys!

This summer there are more than 200 fixtures including 50 family days at race courses around the country and under 18s go free to the vast majority when accompanied by a paying adult, making it a great family day out! To find out more about ‘Under 18s Race Free’ and find a family race day near you, go to

Read more ⇨

Saturday 24 August 2019

5 Family Friendly Tips for Visiting Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has been on our list of places to visit for a while but it wasn't until this summer that we made it over to Croatia to discover all it has to offer.  Travelling to a city with four small children can be challenging and we definitely see a different side to places than couples or backpackers but I love seeing the new sights through their eyes and we found Dubrovnik was a brilliant city to take children too, especially with a bit of preparation!

The city is built along the coast and there are so many stairs so the obvious tip is to be prepared when it comes to transport.  We took a small stroller but it didn't make it through the holiday and annoyingly we forgot the sling so we had a few days with just our legs to get us around (and my arms for the smallest one when she got tired).  We made sure we added lots of rest stops and thankfully our children are all at the age where we can sit with a game of Uno and an apple juice when we needed to get out the sun or just take sometime out.

Everywhere we visited was child friendly, we always felt welcome and the absolutely stunning coastline and architecture was amazing to us all.  Here are my top 5 tips for visiting Dubrovnik with a whole gang of small children (or even just one or two)

Where you stay

For us, apartments are much easier than hotels and we love the opportunity to self cater.  We were away for nearly 2 weeks in total and eating out with them all can be tricky so we loved being able to make our own breakfast and grab a take away pizza when we needed a film night.  We booked through and this was our three bedroom apartment.  It was only a few minutes walk from the centre of the old town and was right next to a playground and a pizza place (another tip if you visit Croatia as a vegetarian - stick to Pizza as they don't do meat free dishes in most places!).  There are so many wonderful districts a little further out that we would love to explore but our apartment was fantastic for being a central base with plenty of space. (If you do want to book this link gets you 10% back)

Day Trip

We had 5 days in the city which gave us plenty of time to see other things and we decided to go on a Three Island tour.  There were booths all over the town selling them and we paid roughly £100 for the day for the six of us (under 6 are usually free and children are discounted) which included our lunch and drinks for the day.  We sailed around the coast of Dubrovnik and discovered three small islands, all of which don't have any cars and are mostly just nature, two of which had the most beautiful sandy beaches.  We had between an hour and three hours at each one of free time and we ate lunch aboard the boat.  We loved the freedom to explore, the wonderfully clear waters and the fresh air on the boat and I would really recommend this with any age children - there were a couple of babies in prams on the boat too!


For us, an important part of travelling with them is knowing when we need balance and sight seeing, culture and trips have to be balanced with familiarity, play and parks and we quickly located some local parks for when the children needed to run around and be kids.  There was a little one right next to our apartment and the one we visited most was right next to Pile Gate via a little pathway.  There was a fountain there as well as the usual swings and slides and it helped balance the day for us.  There was also a fun playground at the main port as well as an outdoor gym and we had a long play there before our day trip.

Water Fountains

Dubrovnik certainly isn't the cheapest place we have visited and drinks were very expensive in the main areas, but there were water fountains around the old town where you could fill up water bottles and the water was fresh and cold.  The fountains are impossible to miss and are wonderfully built in white stone with intricate carvings.  The kids loved filling them up themselves and it helped remind them to keep hydrated which we needed when the temperatures never dropped below thirty degrees.

Cable Car

There is a cable car that runs from the old town to the top of Mount Srd which gives you the most spectacular views of the city and surrounding islands and definitely shouldn't be missed.  You can walk up or down via a zigzag stony path and we decided to walk down (definitely don't bring a buggy for this) and whilst it was exhausting with little people, it was so worth it and one of the highlights of our trip.  At the top there is a cafe and gift shop as well as the opportunity to zipwire most of the way down which I would have totally tried if we didn't have all the children with us!

So those are our tips based on our recent trip to Dubrovnik.  We absolutely adored it as a city and I am desperate to go back and see the rest of the country as it is just so beautiful!

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