Easter Monday - we spent the week running up to Easter decorating the living so hadn't been outside in the amazing weather the UK was having for a Bank Holiday weekend. After a bit of discussion we decided we wanted to go out for a couple hours but no where really took our fancy.
Rebecca needs new school dresses so I suggested we go the Asda living store in Stratford then just go for a walk around the town and see what we find. So that's what we did.
We decided to eat in Asda as Straford cafes aren't cheap! Rebecca had the kids lunchbox - she loves that she can pick 5 items herself. She has become very independent of late. Robert had a sausage roll and a cappuccino (which is said was the worst he has ever had) and I had a cuppa and a ham & cheese toastie. For those who may not be aware, I am now back on the Cambridge weight plan so this was the last day where I got to eat normal food - Cheese and Ham toasties are one of my favourite things.
We headed down to the bottom of town were the river is. Rebecca wanted an Ice cream which we grabbed off one of the canal boats that is parked up. Must admit it was rather good in the heat,
We then walked the few minutes to the river. Rebecca spotted the swans and was fascinated by them. She couldn't understand why some were grey and some were white so we had a discussion about that.
Overall, it was nice just to get of the house for a few hours. Generally in the hot weather we don't go out as I burn so easily but we think we have found a suncream that actually works (that is another blog post).
Second week of the Easter Holidays and another soft play centre. This time my current favourite Safari MK. One of the things I like about this one is the size!
Due to the amount of children I wasn't able to get many photos on this visit to show you.
The main playframe covers a large area and includes 3 fab slides, a sports arena and a small car track. It is a 3 tiered frame although the 3rd level is mainly access to the slides. Inside the frame there is loads to do and the girls absolutely loved it on this visit.
The toddler area is pretty good too. There is a two level frame which includes a slide, ball pit and a smaller area for babies to play. The ball pit is the only one in the centre so a lot of the older children do make there way in to here on a frequent basis (there are signs up saying it is for ages 4 and under). Just be aware if you are taking younger ones at the weekend.
There is plenty of seating available here and it isn't cramped together so you don't feel like you are sitting with lots of the other families.
We arrived just after 10am and left just after 3pm. That's 5 hours in a soft play centre. They would of stayed longer but we needed to go to Ikea and get home so we had to leave at that point.
In total we spent £80. For 3 kids and 2 adults we paid just under £29 for entrance. This is quite expensive compared to some soft plays but I find this one to be very clean and tidy which I can't say the same for others we have visited. We then paid another £29 for lunch plus we had a few drinks each before that which was another £20. It is unusual for us to spend this kind of money in a soft play centre but we were there a lot longer than we had planned to be. Overall I still think it is good value for money.
So, would we go back?
Of course. I actually wish this was our local as we visit more often.
If you are looking for a play centre in or around Milton Keynes then I would recommend Safari MK. It is one the best we have been too and the kids love it!
We promised Rebecca that in the Easter holidays we would go to a soft play centre and she could pick. She choose Tigers in Daventry. We have been to this one before but it was way back in January 2015 and I wasn't a fan.
The playframe itself still felt rather bare and empty compared to others we have visited. It is a decent size tho and has 3 slides for the kids to whizz down plus a sports area and a large "go kart" track (extra fee of £1.50).
There is also a large toddler frame here (the biggest I have seen) but again its very empty.
I feel that the frames could do with a lot more things in them for the kids to interact with.
There are a lot of arcade style machines here (which they do advertise on their website) most of them are grab style machine where you are guaranteed a prize but one did catch my eye. An air hockey game in kids size. Now I have never seen one of these before and Rebecca does like these. So we let the girls have a go and they loved it. Much easier when they can reach!
One thing that did stand out for me was two members of staff - a young guy on the entrance gate and the young lady serving at the food counter. Bother very polite and nothing was too much trouble.
So, would we go back?
I asked the girls this and both them said yes instantly. They did really enjoy themselves and if you need the kids to run off some energy for an hour or two then yes we would certainly go back. I think any longer and they might get bored. Its a good price for unlimited play and the cafe food offerings aren't bad either.
We have our first youtube Premiere tonight. Never used that feature before so thought I would on this occasion.
While we have been sorting and tidying the house we came across a large pile of CD discs and it turns out they are some old theme park photos and footage. One of these is out first ever "vlogging" adventure way back in 2003 so I thought I would upload it.
Biggest issue is that the original footage has gone so all I have left is final DVD that I made. I've managed to get the footage off the disk but it has split in to 5 random sections. I tried to put it back together but the software I have just didn't like it so, I've decided to upload it over the next few weeks as a 5 part series. It will stop in random places but I hope that doesn't put people off from watching it.
Be interesting to see the difference between our attempt at vlogging back in 2003 compare to all those who it today. Looking forward to the feed back from it...
Rebecca has been asking for a party for some time. She wanted one last year but I said to her to wait until this year and she had a group of friends that she could invite. Well, she didn't forget what I said and since Christmas kept asking about it.
After a few options, she decided on a local soft play centre, Rugrats & Half Pints. Its quite a small play centre and the only one in Banbury. We booked a late party (1530-1730) to give me a chance to make the cupcakes in the morning.
I recently purchased a vinyl cutter and heat press so Rebecca asked if I could make her a unicorn t-shirt and leggings. Well, why not....I think they turned out quite well in the end (she loved them).
Rebecca decided she wanted to do Unicorn themed party bags for the girls and Dinosaurs for the boys. So the cupcakes matched these.
The party bags took a while to sort out. Rebecca wanted to put so much in them I had to cut it down. In the end I think they were quite a nice little thank yous to all that came...plus they all got a cupcake to take home.
Back to Rugrats & Half Pints - the party itself wasn't anything special. When we got there around 1520, the party room wasn't ready, in fact there was a family in there still celebrating. The staff moved them on and started cleaning up. We got in there at 1540.
Another issue was that the food was planned to be served really late. I was sure the party host had said to me that food was going to be served at 1615 and when by 1630 it hadn't arrived, I went to ask to be told they weren't planning to serve it until 1650 which I felt was way too late.
Overall, I won't be rushing back to have a party at Rugrats. They charge £12 per child and for this you get:
* Party Host
* Private party chalet
* Balloon for each child
* Free admission for attending adults
* 2 hours of fun and play
* Unlimited Squash
* Choice of Buffet
* Next visit free for birthday child
I just felt you didn't get good value for money. There wasn't anything that stood out for me at all. Saying that Rebecca thinks it is the best thing to of happened since Christmas.
At least we know for next year.....