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Kidzania London

We visited Kidzania London last weekend for a Birthday treat for C. He was 5 on the Wednesday and seeing as it was his first week at school we decided to make it a nice weekend.

Kidzania London is situated in Westfield shopping centre in Shepherd Bush. We’ve never been but I have heard lots about it.

Kidaznia is basically an indoor city, just for kids. They have the opportunity to experience various different jobs and careers to earn money, have the chance to spend their earnings on fun activities or to open a bank account to save their cash.

Kidzania is pretty easy to find. Westfield is a huge shopping centre and Kidznia is situated on the first floor by Marks & Spencers. When you arrive there is a desk opposite where you hand in your confirmation. I also assume you can buy tickets there as well, as long as they had spaces for the timeslot you wanted that day. We had pre-booked our day and time slot.

You are given tickets that are like pretend plane boarding tickets. It has your name, date and time slot and various other details to mimic an actual boarding ticket. You then take your boarding tickets over to the main entrance and you are directed to the elevators and told to go to level three to the departure area.

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

I honestly didn’t know what to expect despite watching the official kidzania video on their website but I was really very impressed when we arrived at the ‘airport’

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania LondonWhen it was our turn to ‘check in’ we handed over our boarding passes and just like real life they tore the stub off and handed us back the main ticket. We were then also given our security RFID bracelet which are really detailed. The bands were all scanned to link us all together as a family. They would alarm if either of the children walked out of the city and only one parent could leave at any time, one had to stay on site – again it would have alarmed if both parents tried to leave. This allows your children to have the freedom if they are a little older to explore the city and the activities themselves whilst Mum, Dad/Carer sat in the various cafe areas inside. They had to also be removed once our session was over a little like a shop removes a clothing label with a magnet. So kids can’t remove them themselves.

We were also given a brief seeing as we have never visited before explaining how Kidzania works. Both children were handed a health and safety hair net which they had to use on activities that required them to wear headgear and they were also issued with their Kidzo’s. Kidzo is Kidzania’s currency. They were each issued with 50 kidzo’s.

 

 

 

Kidzania London

 

These can be used to pay for certain activities, you can earn more Kidzo’s from doing various jobs in the workplace or they can choose to open a Kidzania bank account and save their money (if they have a minimum of 75 Kidzo’s) and they can leave their savings in the bank to earn interest between visits. There is also a shop where they can buy small items using their Kidzo’s on the way out I believe – we didn’t do this though.

Each activity or job has an allocated amount of children allowed into each session. It’s clearly posted outside each door with the capacity of children allowed in, the amount of Kidzo’s it’ll cost or how much you’ll earn and how long each session takes. We did visit on a Saturday and sometimes we found we had to queue for more than 20 minutes for certain activities. A few times C left the queue he was in purely because he didn’t want to stand around. We all found it pretty exhausting by the end of the 4 hours with all the standing around we did.

C first opted to be a firefighter. Once it was his turn after queuing his group were all taken into the fire station for a briefing before they got called out on a ‘job’ To get to their call out they went in an actual moving fire engine. Parents were able to follow behind so we could be with them or if your children are older you can let them go off on their own.

He was taken to a place over the other side of the city where a hotel was on fire. There were also two other activity groups attending the scene too (paramedics and police) and the area was cordoned off. C and his team had to put the fire out while the paramedics paid attention to any causalities and the police made sure no-one crossed the barrier until it was safe to do so.

There were special effects to make it as real as possible with mini explosion noises and fire crackles. They also had really water hoses to put the ‘fire’ out with. C had a great time.

Kidzania London
Kidzania LondonKidzania LondonKidzania LondonNext up he chose to be a paramedic. It was a similar activity to being a firefighter – he was in a set up a bit like an A&E department – they sat and had a briefing after putting on the uniform and then had a call out – this time they went in an ambulance to the same area he went to as a firefighter only this time he was treating any causalities. At the end of his session, he was paid a wage for his work.

Kidzania LondonHe then queued up to be a shop assistant in the supermarket but he got bored of queuing because it was quite a long queue, so instead he had a go on the climbing wall. This being a fun activity obviously cost him some kidzo’sKidzania LondonKidzania LondonThe next activity he chose was to be a dentist. He earned kidzo’s from doing this and the room looked really authentic!

Kidzania LondonNext up he tried his hand at being a surgeon. He was the only one in the queue so he had the whole activity to himself! His patient needed a liver transplant, he had to put them to sleep and then using the theatre tools he had to perform a transplant.

Kidzania London

Kidzania London

Kidzania LondonLastly, he was a vet with the PDSA. Here he had to help operate on a poorly dog.

Kidzania London

Kidzania is aimed at children aged 4-14 years and although L was within that bracket she actually didn’t want to do anything once she was in there. She felt too self-conscious being that much older so next time I will just put her down as an adult (if we return before she’s 15 that is) Having said that C doubled his money by having L’s.

We had a great time, even just as an adult watching your little ones enjoy the different experiences. We will definitely like to return again one day and perhaps it’ll give C a chance to explore different jobs next time.

 

 

 

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa – Orlando, Florida

If you’re planning a holiday to Florida and are looking for family accommodation then I can thoroughly recommend the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, as a perfect place to stay on your holiday. By doing some research we come across these perfect apartments within a hotel environment.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

Having only been built in 2006 and had some refurbished work carried out in 2017, there are 495 apartments spaced out over 5 buildings, which consist of either private one, two, three or four bedrooms, sleeping from 1-10 people.

Each apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, a jacuzzi bath in the master bedroom, flat screen TV’s in the living area and all bedrooms, a living room with a sofa bed if extra sleeping space is needed, a washer and dryer and also high-speed internet. They have absolutely everything you might need for your Orlando stay.

I don’t know about you but when we go away being a family of four the washing soon builds up. I liked the idea of being able to pop a wash on every few days to a) save it all building up for when we got home and b) It saved us a lot of luggage weight not having to take 2 full weeks of clothing away because I knew we could wash, dry and rotate clothes whilst we were there.

I also liked the convenience of some days making stuff in the kitchen for us, especially breakfast. We tended to have breakfast in the apartment and make up some snacks and bottles of ice water to take to the parks. On the days we had off from visiting the parks I wouldn’t mind cooking us something in the evening. I tend to get a bit bored of eating out for two whole weeks so making the odd ‘home’ cooked meals didn’t bother me at all and it was actually nice some nights.

We had a two bedroomed apartment. It included two bathrooms, two toilets and two separate bedrooms. Bedroom one (the master) had a huge king sized bed, a Jacuzzi bath, a separate shower and a toilet. There was also a large walk in closet/wardrobe which housed a fairly decent sized safe, and in the bedroom itself we had a chest of drawers and a flat screen tv. The beds in the resort are amazingly comfy. There’s loads of space as well because the beds are massive.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The second bedroom had two twin beds, a wardrobe and chest of drawers and next to the bedroom in a separate room a bath & shower combination, sink and toilet.

The lounge/dining room had plenty of seating, a flat-screen TV, a table in the centre of the sofas and the dining room had a really lovely big circular dining table and 6 dining chairs.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The kitchen had a cooker, microwave, kettle, toaster, coffee machine, fridge/freezer, all the crockery/glasses/cutlery/pots and pans you would need and in a separate cupboard, there were a washing machine and dryer.

The outdoor swimming pool “The Pirate Plunge Pool’ features an excellent Pirate Ship which has a water slide. It’s even been built into the shape of a seahorse! There is a poolside bar so if you fancied a drink, snack or ice-lolly in the sun, sat down by the pool you could.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

 

We found the Lake Buena Vista Resort perfectly located for the Disney,  Universal & Seaworld Parks and also for restaurants, shopping and supermarkets. DisneyWorld resort is only a short 10 minutes drive, Universal & Seaworld were 20 minutes and Walmart is literally a few minutes drive across the road. The resort also offers shuttle busses to all of the theme parks too.

They have three restaurants on site as well. Pizza Hut Express, Lani’s Lanu pool bar and Frankie Farrell’s Irish Pub.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

The resort is also next to the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, so plenty of shops to help that all-important shopping day!

The Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa have their very own ‘Reflections Spa & Salon’ on site so if you fancied a little treat and some time to relax then you don’t have to go far and if you are feeling more energetic (if you’re brave after a full on day at the park) you can make use of their fitness centre too.

Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa - Orlando, Florida

I would definitely choose to stay there again and I have recommended the resort to anyone who’s been looking for recommendations on places to stay.

Have you ever stayed at the Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa?

All featured images are supplied courtesy of Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa.

 

 

Ultimate Camping Guide 2016 from Halfords REVIEW

I’m into my thirties and I have officially never been camping before. It’s something that if i’m honest hasn’t interested me in the past but I have to admit this past year or two i’ve actually began to change my mind. The closest holiday/break i’ve had to camping has to have been staying on a holiday camp in a static caravan. When I was younger we holidayed many a time in various holiday parks all over the South of England and the Isle of Wright. I’ve got lots of fond memories of the kids entertainment & clubs, the swimming pools and the caravans themselves. We’ve taken L on a few when she was younger as well and she really enjoyed them.

We’re absolute beginners at camping and we don’t even own a tent yet so when I received “The Ultimate Camping Guide 2016” from Halfords I realised it was all we need to help us figure out what there is to know, where to go and what to buy for our first camping trip.

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The handy guide is perfect sized and packed full of information. From tourist hotspots , cycle events, campsites and events on eight areas of the Uk & Wales from as far as Scotland to right down on the south coast in Cornwall & so much more. It’s easy to read, with pictures and good descriptions to help you choose where you would like to stay.

The guide also has handy hints and tips on various things like how to keep children occupied whilst you’re away, a beginners guide to camping, the do’s and don’ts for newbies, picking the perfect tent, camping recipes and so much more. I will find the check list at the back of the book really handy when it comes to buying our camping equipment.

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Seeing as we’re newbies i’ve been looking at what kind of tents are available and i’m really surprised at how many there are to choose from. Ideally we would get a pretty good sized one so we don’t feel like we’re all on top of one another.

Mr S & L are both really keen on giving camping a go too so I am delighted. Whether it will be for us time will tell but you have to try these adventures don’t you? I know C will adore it because he’s such an outdoors-y kind of boy …. he would quite happily play outside in all weathers.

Do you go camping? What are you favourite things to do & favourite places to visit? Do you have any tips for us?

This post was in collaboration with Halfords

 

 

Scruffs Workwear – The Red Classic Parka (Review)

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Seeing as Mr S is a plasterer his work involves a mixture of both inside and outside work. Luckily so far this Winter the weather has been fairly mild but since Christmas the temperatures have certainly dropped!

The timing couldn’t have been more prefect when we were offered to review a coat from Scruffs. Scruffs have a great range of men and woman workwear and safety footwear.

We were kindly sent ‘The Red Classic Parka‘ coat, which is made from hard wearing fabric making it fully waterproof, perfect for the Winter and working outside.

It is fully padded and has a number of handy pockets situated all over the outside and inside of the coat, all of which are different sizes and some of them are rather deep. There are nine of them in total inside and out and they either have a zip or a velcro closing.
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Additionally there is reflective detailing on the coat and on the edge of the pockets, this is useful considering the dark evenings are still drawing in before Mr S finishes work.

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The Classic Parka has a large detachable hood with a removable fur trim. The hood does keep out a lot of the winter elements, however it could possibly be just a little bit smaller. It is so big it does have a tendency to cover your eyes and hang lower than you would perhaps like. But on really windy days it could be just what you want!

 

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When wearing the Classic Parka there’s no chance of feeling cold anymore, Mr S whilst working outside has benefited from it’s thermal capacity and it has protected him from the biting winds when wearing it on our walks down the beach with the dog on the weekends.

The Classic Parka is well made using durable fabric and extra padding on the elbows using ‘Cordura’ fabric which is extremely hardwearing.

The Classic Parka has an RRP of £79.95 inc vat

 

Disclosure: we were sent the Classic Parka for the purpose of this review post but all of the opinions are my own.

Tassimo Vivy Review

Tassimo Vivy Review

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I purchased the Tassimo Vivy machine for my husband for Christmas. It’s so easy to use and the coffee is amazing so I thought I would share with you my thoughts and views on this particular machine.

I chose the Vivy simply because of its slimline design. I wanted it to be able to fit it on the worktop without taking up too much space. The Tassimo Vivy is only 17cm in width, therefore it sits perfectly in my kitchen in a space that was almost made for it!

The Tassimo Vivy is super easy to use and is almost ready to make a delicious cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate almost immediately!

To help the slimline design of the Tassimo Vivy, the water tank is smaller than what you would have in a bigger Tassimo machine, but I have to say I am still impressed with the size of the tank. We easily get a good 3 cups of coffee (when using the Latte T DISC) and you would get even more cups from other drinks that require less water. The water tank is situated on the side of the machine and can hold up to 0.7 litres of water.

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It also comes with a handy removable drip tray which can also be moved to different heights to accommodate smaller cups. This can also be entirely removed if you have a larger cup when making a Latte (or similar)

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Tassimo’s intelligent Barcode technology scans the barcode on Tassimo T DISCs to register brewing time, temperature and the amount of water required for each drink. It’s very clever and all you do is pop your desired T DISC in to the top of the machine and press the button on the front …. it really is that easy!

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The Tassimo Vivy is also really easy to maintain. It comes complete with a cleaning T DISC, which slots into the machine for safe keeping just underneath the water tank. All you have to do is pop the cleaning T DISC into the machine and place a cup underneath, press the button and away you go …. you let the machine do all the hard work.

I have to say we are really pleased we have the Tassimo Vivy and there are a range of different types of drinks available online and in most supermarkets.

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*Disclaimer – we bought this machine ourselves but I wanted to share with you our thoughts on this product.