Grays Fire Museum 10th Anniversary Open Day

On Saturday we took the girls to the Grays Fire Museum 10th anniversary open day. They regularly hold open days but we usually can’t make it for some reason or another but we finally made it. We got there fairly early and stopped to watch the sky lift being moved which the girls really enjoyed watching.

Sky Lift

We headed inside the museum afterwards and found a fantastic display of vintage fire extinguishers. I especially love the Winhams 1950’s fire extinguisher and the L & G 1960’s fire extinguisher. I do love vintage exhibits like this. They are so fascinating seeing the differences over time.

Vintage fire extinguishers  

Whilst I was checking out the fire extinguishers Izzy was a little worried about a mannequin.. at least I thought he was a mannequin until he moved! You may have seen My Sunday Photo – The Moving Mannequin.. kind of creepy!?

Once Izzy ws over the mannequin she spotted these cool lanterns and was quite intrigued by them. I love the old photo’s that accompany the exhibits, they really helped the girls understand how certain things were used & what they did.

Lanterns

The wall’s around the museum and above all the display cases were littered with badges, helmets, photo’s and signs amongst other interesting items. It really was amazing to see so much history on display at the Grays fire museum. The girls seemed to really enjoy seeing the different helmets and fire engines that have been used over the years.

The walls of Grays Fire Museum

There were lots of boards filled with pictures, news clippings and information everywhere. The Grays fire museum have an impressive collection of memories & exhibits with some fantastic volunteers who were happy to answer questions too.

Displays

Eva and I continued to wander around the exhibits and came across another mannequin. This time it was definitely a mannequin.. we double checked! Eva nervously braved a picture with him haha!

Next we came across this brilliant display where a guy pressed the smoke button getting Eva to shout ‘Smoke! Behind you!’. Eva found the display really interesting looking at the gas mask especially but she didn’t seem too sure about the baby being inside one though!

Display

Fire Engines

We wandered around the small but full museum for quite some time. Looking at a range of equipment dating back well over 100 years used by the Essex fire service. The old fire brigade carts and vehicles were absolutely stunning, most in fantastic condition still too!

The girls as fire fighters!

The girls were fascinated by the different fire engines too, there were several different types parked up. They jumped at the chance of sitting in one of the modern fire engines just before we left. 2 volunteers helped the girls sit down and offered them helmets to wear which they happily accepted. Izzy was a little unsure because of the weight of the helmet but they both loved it.

We probably spent about an hour or so at the museum absorbing information & taking far too many pictures. I would definitely recommend anyone with an interest in the history of the Essex fire service going to the next open day at the Grays fire museum as it is wonderfully interesting with so many different exhibits.

Would you find the Grays fire museum interesting?

Rochester Dickens Festival 2017

We spent Sunday at the Rochester Dickens Festival with Martyn & the boys, enjoying the sunshine, actors, music, food & scenery. It was the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway so there was plenty going on in Rochester & surrounding areas for the entire weekend.

Rochester Dickens Festival

Rochester Dickens Festival

After attending the Medway English Festival with Martyn and the boys we were looking forward to joining them again for a lovely day out. With a nice early start we managed to get to Rochester just before everything started, giving us plenty of time to have a slow wander around.

Actors

We came across some brilliant actors over the course of the day but the first Fagin we bumped into Izzy absolutely loved! She couldn’t wait to get in a picture with him, sitting on his knee. He was wandering around looking for the owner of the lost pants in his hand.

We found another Fagin a little while later too and all the kids jumped in for a picture this time! Both actors were fantastic and really interacted with the kids which was brilliant. It was nice to see the girls enjoying the characters too although Eva was a little worried about the clock face guy!

There were so many different Dickens characters wandering around and people who simply dressed up and joined in too. It made the day quite fun having different characters chatting to us & the girls really seemed to enjoy it. Eva was a little unsure about a few costumes but still enjoyed herself.

Performances

Dancing

We stopped to watch the dancing which was absolutely fantastic and Izzy especially loved it, joining in with her own little dance too. Moving on we came across these actors singing ‘Beer Beer Beer’ an ode to Charlie Mops the inventor of beer!

charlie mops beer beer beer

Everyone joined in with the chorus which was quite fun even though it was a small group as it was still fairly early in the day. It was interesting to see so many different characters up to different things. We’re definitely interested in going to the Rochester Dickens Festival again next year so we can catch more of them!

Grand Parade

Next we watched the parade with bagpipes playing & a range of characters, I loved this purple dress! I had to get a video of it all as there were some fab costumes. Most of the Actors were really amusing & played the role so well! I had to take a few videos of the parade as it was so fun, here’s one video, you can find the rest on my YouTube channel.

After the parade the boys got stopped by bobbies on stilts! ‘They went that way officer.. honest!’. These guys were hilarious chatting away and asking who the ring leader was haha!

That way officer

 

Food & Drink

After the parade we headed up to the castle, stopping for doughnuts & ice cream. Another vintage ice cream van was selling ice cream, although a little pricey! We then headed up to the castle grounds where tons of stalls were dotted around full of goodies!

 

Cupcakes & cookies

The girls decided they wanted gingerbread men to take home from Cupcakes & cookies which the girls said were delicious! Unfortunately they got a little bashed up in my bag but the girls enjoyed them anyway.

Treats To Take Home

We also popped by Sudzz again to get Eva another super exploding pink bath bomb and some soaps for both girls. Sudzz bath bombs are amazingly explosive & Eva LOVES them! The cute heart soaps are all different scents too.

 

Simply True Jewellery were there too, so we took them all to get another £1 lucky dip. The boys got skull necklaces again but different to their last 2. Eva got a clear heart necklace & Izzy a star necklace. For £1 I’m still can’t get over the quality of the necklaces! At this rate I’ll be ordering a jewellery box just for Jewellery we buy from Simply True Jewellery!

Stopping off for lunch the kids had a picnic whilst Martyn, the Mr & I had chips & burgers from Scoff & Sip.

Having lined our stomachs the Mr was of course on the Goody Ales again. Although Goody Ales themselves weren’t there the beer stall had beers from several breweries.

Goody Ales

Martyn & I headed over to the Kent Cider Company for a delicious Strawberry cider. I’ll definitely be after a bottle to take home next time! Very tasty & certainly packs a punch. I’ve recently lost my love of cider but I think I may have found it again in the strawberry cider.

Kent cider co

 

With the day almost over we had a little look around the castle grounds before dropping the boys off. It was a lovely day all round although quite pricey for rides & treats. Luckily there was enough going on that the kids didn’t moan too much about going on rides.

 

Have you ever been to the Rochester Dickens Festival before or is it something you’d be interested in?

Turning #TearsIntoSmiles With Elastoplast

We’ve been turning #tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast this week! Eva can be rather clumsy at times and quite often hurts herself in some way. It has become a family joke that Eva could win an award for the most medical forms sent home from school! We joined the Britmums & Elastoplast #TearsIntoSmiles challenge and were sent some awesome Frozen and Star Wars Plasters to join in with.

Elastoplast

We headed out to the park at the weekend, the girls really enjoyed running around and playing on this awesome ship! Whilst playing outdoors is important in child development falls and scrapes can happen often. Eva loves to climb but she managed to lose grip fall off the climbing frame and hurt her arm. We dusted her off and she seemed ok, just a small scratch. We gave her a quick cuddle and tried to distract her with pirate jokes.

#TearsIntoSmiles with Elastoplast

Playing in the park

When a cuddle doesn’t help usually distractions work best. Usually joking helps but when she has a cut it can be quite difficult to calm her down. Luckily I had the Frozen plasters we were sent in my bag at the ready. We quickly cleaned the scratch and popped a plaster on it which instantly turned her #TearsIntoSmiles. We headed home for a cuddle on the sofa & watched a film and Eva soon forgot all about her cut.

All kids react differently when they hurt themselves but when they do get upset a cuddle and distraction seems to work for us. Izzy rarely cuts herself and is one to get straight back up and dust herself off like nothing ever happened. Occasionally she will ask for a cuddle but cheers up fairly easily and carries on playing.

 

How do you #TurnTearsIntoSmiles? Do your little ones love character plasters too?

Check out Elastoplast’s #TearsIntoSmiles video below! What do you think?

*This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

 

 

 

Medway English Festival 2017

We attended the Medway English Festival with Martyn who invited us to join him & the boys. None of us could wait, having had a look through photo’s of previous years. We also found a list of what will be going on before going we were all quite excited. Before we even got there it sounded like an amazing day out for all the family. With Cars, kids rides, medieval acts, a petting farm and so much more advertised we couldn’t wait to look around.

Backseat selfie

 

Although we arrived a little late we turned up just as the rain eased and the sun decided to shine! Luckily it lasted the rest of the day too. We had a wander around first lot of stalls and knowing how much my girls love their bath bombs & soaps we stopped at Sudzz. We picked up this lovely raspberry heart bath bomb straight away.

Sudzz bathbomb

Wandering around a few more stalls Martyn stopped at Mr Green’s Barbershop to chat about some products having met them before. Meanwhile I was eyeing up the motorbike parked up in the tent & cheekily asked if I could get a picture. We all know my beard is fine as it is but I love motorbikes (if you hadn’t noticed).

Mr Greens Barbershop Motorbike

 

After walking around quite a few stalls in the first area we move on to the second area. I spotted this gorgeous vintage ice-cream van actually serving ice cream! I’m quite a fan of vintage vehicles and this Ice-cream van was just gorgeous.

Belle vintage ice-cream van

Then the  Mr got chatting to Ashley from Goody Ales. The Mr is a great fan of ales & craft beers which he wants to start reviewing on the blog occasionally. Across the day the Mr returned a few times, trying different ales each time. The Good Knight was definitely our favourite & perfect for the lovely warm sunny day we ended up having.

Goody Ales

The second area was also full of inflatable slides, a hay maze, sweet stalls & a helter skelter for the kids along with a Punch & Judy show. Izzy absolutely loved the show and giggled all the way through! The George & the dragon show was next to the Punch and Judy show which we returned to watch later in the day.

 

We also came across the Delboy Robin Reliant which of course I had to take some picture’s of having watched only fools & horses growing up! I was quite pleased to find a fair few different vehicles throughout the Medway English Festival to take pictures of.

 

Next to the Delboy motor was a display of Victorian Actors who were brilliant too. The kids seemed quite interested in them too & they drew quite a crowd at times.

Victorian Actors

 

We then passed the Mini Owners club & the Classic cars which of course I had to get a few pictures of since the Mr & I love classic & vintage cars. There were some lovely, well-kept examples on show. I wish I had got a bit closer and got a few shots of the interiors too!

Medway English Festival 2017

Moving on to the 3rd area we came across a blacksmiths, sheep shearing & a petting farm. The girls loved petting the cows & sheep & wandering over to meet the huge Shire horses who were impeccably behaved especially having kids keep wandering near their back ends which most people know is a dangerous move & likely to get you kicked across the field.

Petting farm animals

As lunchtime had passed we decided to stop off at Giggly Pig for some food and a quick rest. Martyn & the boys are great fans of Giggle Pig so I had to give it a go and whilst I’m extremely fussy with sausages theirs really weren’t bad at all!

Ford Tractors

We passed the Ford tractors where I caught this shot of Martyn trying to get the kids to pose for a photo haha!

#bloggerslife

There were Donkeys too but they were resting so we moved on to the Medway Sports where Eva & the boys had a go of a bow & arrow. William was pretty good & James had a good try too! The Mr helped Eva & I tried too but the bow was a bit too big and heavy for her . Unfortunately she managed to walk away with a tiny bump on her face, I think we will stick to Nerf bows & arrows for now 😉 haha.

Moving on so the kids could go on the rides Eva & James decided to go on the swings & Izzy wanted a go on the merry-go-round & chose to sit at the top of the red bus which you may have seen in my latest #MySundayPhoto.

Medway Sport

Medway Sport

Martyn grabbed a bottle of water from this awesome vintage horsebox bar Fizz & Frolics which I loved the look of.

Fizz and frolics

Stopping at the Medway Bee Keeping stall all the kids rolled their own sheets of coloured bees-wax into candles to take home, at just 80p for one colour it was a brilliant, quick, easy & cheap activity for the kids to do. Even Izzy was able to have a go! The guy helping her was absolutely fantastic, moving the candle closer when it was too far for her to roll. The girls absolutely love bees-wax candles!

Bees-wax candle making

 

We are very aware bees are hugely important for pollination which helps the planet in many ways. Spotting this sign we decided it needed sharing. If you do have space to keep bees please do get in touch with them! Unfortunately being in a flat we just don’t quite have the space ourselves!

 

The kids wanted to play in the park for a bit before leaving so we stopped there for a bit. Just before the stalls shut we took a wander back to the stalls for a few treats to take home.

Buying Jam from Joannes Preserves

All the kids had stopped earlier in the day to try a spoonful of delicious Jam by Joannes preserves and the girls loved it! So of course we had to pop by again on our way out. Izzy bought a jar of strawberry jam to bring home. I have to say I do agree with them, it really is delicious!

Joannes Preserves

The girls had some lovely cookies from Thomas Cookie Co when we got home. The cookies are obviously delicious as they really didn’t last long at all. Plus the girls were full of smiles!

Thomas Cookie Co

 

The Mr made me buy a delicious treat for myself from The Chocolate Hut ! I know you’re jealous, aren’t you!?

The Chocolate Hut

 

I spotted a stall, SimplyTrue Jewellery before leaving & decided to let the girls try the £1 Lucky dip. Lucky dips we’ve tried previously have been quite poor quality & break quickly. The girls opened their envelopes to find matching heart necklaces. Izzy had a very light blue & Eva a dark blue (yay no arguing!) and they asked to wear them home. I’m so impressed to see the catches & closures didn’t instantly snap or come loose as they are strong & closed so neatly!

 

On our way out we grabbed some strawberries to take home too, Kent strawberries have always tasted amazing to me & they are always so BIG!


All in all we had a fantastic day out with Martyn & the boys meeting some lovely stall holders & trying some brilliant products too. We will definitely be going back to the Medway English festival next year.

Did you attend an English Festival this weekend? Have you ever attended the Medway English Festival? If so what did you think?

 

 

An Arty Day Out At The #LoveGrays Event

On Saturday the girls enjoyed an arty day out at the #LoveGrays event on in town. The Mr pointed the event out to me as he spotted it on facebook so I decided to drag the girls to town to see what was going on.

We only stayed for an hour or so as it was cold but the girls really enjoyed themselves!

#LoveGrays event

Eva headed straight to the stage where local’s performed across the day. She joined in with the dancing and Izzy followed but spent most of the time just staring at the stage or trying to be cute when the photographer’s were around.

We decided to go see what crafts were happening and the girls joined in drawing the things they love in grays. Izzy drew the ‘park & boats’ and a few other little pictures happily chatting away as she did. Eva drew her teachers & had hers put up on the display’s.

I actually loved the way the displays had been made with large reel’s stuck together and painted. They soon filled up with postcards by kids filled with pictures & writing about why they love Grays.

The girls then moved to another table where they got to pick a picture from a copy of local history books and stick it to a piece of card & draw/decorate/write on it however they wanted with Posca pens.

I was quite impressed with Eva coming up with the idea of outlining parts of hers.. I half expected her to just add hearts & flower’s everywhere haha! Eva loves these activities which are run by Metal  to get people involved in arts across Southend and south Essex.

Last summer we attended the Village Beach event too where Eva earned a certificate for designing & printing on a tote bag. She still has her bag & loved receiving her certificate last year too! We will definitely be keeping an eye out for any other upcoming events!

Do you have anything like this running in your area? Do you or your kids enjoy getting involved in events like this?

Our Day Out On Vintage Buses

We had a fun day out on vintage buses last month run by Ensign bus as a Christmas special! The Mr had seen the day advertised online & decided we should head to lakeside for lunch on a vintage bus. I had absolutely no idea Ensignbus had s vintage fleet! Or a blog.. Which is pretty interesting if your a bit of a vintage lover too!

We were all quite excited when our bus to lakeside pulled up. The girls were surprised to get on at the back and how different it looked compared to the buses we usually use.

 

Eva was impressed when the conductor came and sold us our tickets once we had sat down. He gave her the Ensign Christmas Special brochure along with our bus tickets. She loved watching how the tickets were printed on the old ticket machines. We took a good look around the bus we took to lakeside and pointed out things we don’t see on new buses.

 

 

 

We're on a vintage bus to lakeside! Shame we can't do the christmas market tomorrow but this is awesome too! 😆

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I loved the vintage seats and wooden flooring through both decks of the bus. I only just remember riding buses like these as a child so it was really cool to ride on one over 20 years later! We all quite enjoyed ourselves and it was lovely to see the girls so fascinated and interested in the different buses.

 

We decided to head for lunch and Eva came across the Play Mobil display around the Christmas tree in the centre of lakeside and had to get a quick picture with a knight and shook his hand!

Dat out on vintage buses

After lunch we headed back to the bus station to find we had a short wait for our bus home. That was fine by us, it meant we had a bit of time to look at some of the other vintage buses. I quite liked this bus and was lucky to get a good few different shots of it as it wasn’t in running condition at the time and had been towed to lakeside for static viewing.

 

 

 

My absolute favourite picture of the whole day was an edited shot of the X55 to Gravesend. Using colour splash I ended up with this lovely picture I shared on my Instagram account.

 

 

#vintagebus #ensignbuschristmasspecial #ensignbus #X55 #vyj808 #redbus #vintage #buses #vintagebuses

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Before our bus home arrived this huge Americruiser thing pulled up. As it was a class 5 it offered free tours around the area which the Mr and the girl’s discovered so we climbed aboard for a quick ride.

Izzy especially loved this one, she loves the buses and the bigger the better. She ‘drove’ us to the pub for most of the way with her eyes fixed on the road causing us to giggle our heads off.

Izzy 'driving' the bus to the pub 🙈😂😂😂😂

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We returned back to Lakeside bus station and finally jumped on a vintage bus home. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of our last bus home but I did get these few shots of the inside.

We saw a lot more buses and I took ton’s of photo’s but these ones are definitely my favourites. I love looking at and learning about vintage vehicles which some of you may have noticed from Instagram. The Mr and I both enjoy taking photo’s of anything old and a bit different. We play bit of a game trying to get shots of vintage cars we see around and we both took plenty of the buses! Overall it was an interesting and fun day seeing all the different buses even though it was freezing.

Do you love vintage buses or vehicles in general ? Or have an interest in anything vintage?

#MamiasDaysOut

When I saw the opportunity for the #MamiasDaysOut on the @britmums website I signed up and crossed my fingers. I was pleasantly surprised when this amazing hamper showed up a few days later.  I am a great fan of Aldi Mamia products having tried a lot of different products with both my girls. Aldi Mamia has proven to be the best for us time and time again. Good quality and value and 100% organic, what’s not to love?

Our Hamper contained:

  • Mamia Juniors Apple Mini Rice Cakes 7months+
  • Mamia Juniors Raspberry Mini Rice Cakes 7months+
  • Mamia Organic Apple & Blackcurrent Juice 4months+
  • Mamia 4 pack of Apple & pear fruit pots 4months+
  • Mamia Organic Banana’s & Apples Squeezy Pouch 4months+
  • Mamia Organic Apple & Strawberry Squeezy Pouch 4months+
  • Mamia Organic Mango, Apple & Banana Squeezy Pouch 4months+
  • Mamia Organic Apples, Carrots & Parsnips Squeezy Pouch 4months+
  • Mamia Organic Apple, Sweet Potatoe, Butternut Squash & Blueberry 4months+
  • £5 Aldi Voucher to spend on Mamia Nappies & wipes.

We have used Aldi a lot more since Izzy was born, it’s only a 10 minute walk from ours. I love the quality of their nappies and they are such brilliant value! I love that I can get 2 packs of size 6 Mamia nappies and a 4pack of wipes for less than £10. I was spending double that with Eva just on nappies alone!

I decided to spend the £5 voucher on the Mamia easy-pants as Izzy is showing an interest in using the potty and toilet recently. At only £1.85 for a pack of 16 you really cant go wrong! Izzy absolutely loves them and finds them much easier to pull up and down than other brands we have tried.

I also bought my usual 4 pack of Mamia sensitive fragrance free baby wipes as the girls & I have quite sensitive skin and suffer Eczema. These wipes are so soft and gentle on your skin and for 59p per pack or 2.39 for 4 packs you just cant beat them.

Trying something new

We decided to give the Mamia Fabric Softener a try as we hadn’t noticed it before & for a 40 wash bottle at 99p it beats the current deals we’ve been picking up elsewhere!

We gave it a go and I am pretty impressed as it’s left our towels lovely and soft & all the girls clothes are coming out softer too and we haven’t had a problem with skin irritation which limits what we can use quite a bit! I think it’s safe to say we will be sticking with the fabric softener too!

When I recieved our hamper Izzy spotted the rice cakes which are one of the few products from their Mamia food range that she hasn’t tried yet. She sneakily grabbed the pack of Apple Mini Rice Cakes and got munching. She did share them with Eva too who said they were delicious.

Izzy has loved the Mamia Apple and Pear pot’s since she was around 4/5 months old. I haven’t bought them in a while, yet Izzy couldn’t wait to get stuck in again and demanded a pot when she saw them in the cupboard a few days later.

How pleased does she look to have gotten her own way!?

Although I haven’t managed to snap any pictures as I haven’t gone with them, Izzy has been demolishing the Mamia Puree pouches whilst whizzing about town on her trike with daddy! She still loves all the different flavours but Apple & Banana is still her favourite and lasts about 5 seconds flat!

Our #Mamiasdaysout

I decided to brave baby rhyme time at Grays Library so Izzy could get out & do something fun and spend time with little ones around her own age. She decided afterwards to head upstairs to the Thurrock Museum

She absolutely loved it all but after all the excitement she was very hungry & made me stop halfway home for a snack.
Luckily I had taken the Mamia raspberry rice cakes and organic juice with us so Izzy sat on a bench & had a quick munch & a juice when she eventually let go of the bottle!

She wasn’t too impressed with the wind & really didn’t want to let go of the bottle!

We absolutely love the Aldi Mamia range and would definitely recommend it to anyone with a little one. Whether it’s the nappies, wipes, food or juices it is well worth a try. They have so many healthy food options & are so handy on the go!
Mamia makes parenting that little bit easier and cheaper too!

This post is an entry for BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia. 

 

A Day Out In Southend

Southend-On-Sea has been a favourite place for me since my childhood. I only went a few times as it can be quite an expensive day out but it always seemed so magical with all the rides, arcades & the beaches. It’s changed a lot over the year’s & there’s so much to do along the seafront, which can be pricey, but as we found it doesn’t have to be.

Normally the travel costs are a big issue for us but C2C are letting children travel for £1 when you buy an adult ticket. The return journey only cost £11.30 for the 3 of us.

I’d read on facebook about the lagoon beach & decided to head there first as the tide was going to be out for most of the day. I was impressed to find the deck chairs were free! We even managed to find some to sit on even though it was quite busy.

Eva was so excited & couldn’t wait to get in the water so she ran off instantly and went in about waist deep before thinking she was drowning and coming out again. She did go back in a few times to her knees though.

Southend

Izzy on the other hand wasn’t impressed with the water at all and spent almost half an hour on a deck chair. Digging up small bits of sand into her bucket trying to avoid actually touching it.

Eventually I managed to get Izzy to sit in the sand and play properly whilst Eva was turned into a mermaid. They both had loads of fun especially with Izzy tearing apart one fin every time slim began the other haha!

Izzy eventually decided to brave a wander and ended up playing on the play frame with 2 other girls, another Isobella (Bella) and an Ava which was quite amusing when their mum told me!

We stayed at the lagoon beach for well over an hour and a half and on a slightly cooler day I imagine you could sit down there for hours. I would definitely recommend visiting the Lagoon if your ever in Southend.

We went on the hunt for some toilets after Eva attempted to shower herself off using the free shower when we left. I forgot about the adventure island toilets after a long walk we ended up having to buy a drink in a pub so Slim got himself a pint. I had a Coke and we got the girls an fruit shoot icy.

We actually had a much cheaper day out than I expected too. Admittedly we did put a few pounds into the 2p change machines for the girls though which they really enjoyed! 

Eva won a minion pencil and an owl keyring, she was so proud of herself for winning but was sad Izzy hadn’t won anything so when we got home she decided to give Izzy the pencil who gave her a lovely big kiss and cuddle & said thank you!

The girls were pretty exhausted already after another hour or so in the arcades. Especially as it was such a hot day, so we decided to take a slow walk to find a stall where we could buy some sticks of rock to take home. The girls spotted a slush puppy stand. And decided they wanted one instead of rock or sweets and decided to get a Twister Straw cup each to drink so they could take home the cups afterwards, Eva got excited as she had the last pink cup & Izzy of course went for a red one!

I asked the girls what they wanted to do next & as they were tired they wanted to head home.

We took a slow walk back to the station watching the buskers perform. Then stopping to treat the girls to McDonald’s before getting our train home.

Although we only spent around 4 hours in Southend & spent very little money, it was a lovely day out and the girls really enjoyed themselves. Both of them kept thanking me & Eva said it was the best day ever! It was a lot less stressful than I expected it to be too so it’s given me quite a boost.

There’s so much to do in Southend and I am hoping C2C run the same scheme next summer. I found out too late this years. I know Eva really wants to go back to Adventure Island for the rides & the sea life centre as its been a few years since she last went & Izzy has yet to go.

Have you visited any Essex beaches this Summer? What did you think of them?

A Day Out At Wat Tyler Park

Wat Tyler Park in Pitsea, Essex is one of my all time favourites from when I was a child. It’s changed a fair bit over the years but it’s still a beautiful place to go for a day out especially for kids. It covers 125 acres and sits within the South Essex Marshes,it is definitely one of my favourite places. There is so much to see and do there that I’m sure I’ll cover much more in a future post

I took Eva a few times when she was small but without a car we just haven’t had a chance to get over there in a good few years. Izzy hadn’t been yet & I couldn’t wait to take her, so when I heard the bouncy castles were back again this summer I knew I had to arrange a day at Wat Tyler for the girls.

We arrived around 12.30pm on Friday as the bouncy castles opened at 1pm but we had taken a picnic with us and wanted to get the kids sat down eating before they went off to play. The kids couldn’t wait to get bouncing so munched their food quickly and asked to go get their wristbands to bounce.

The wristbands for the bouncy castles were £7 for children over 3 and £4 for under 3’s, although you could pay for a full wristband for younger children as long as you keep an eye on them.. With the 3 older girls to keep an eye on Izzy I decided to pay for a full wristband for her so she could go on one or two of the bigger bouncy castles with them.

The bouncy castle days are run by Go-bonkers and I have to say I was quite impressed with the selection. There was a small area for the under 3’s which had 3 castles in, a tiny one, a slide one & a bigger slide & play area inflatable. There was also a pile of big soft shapes for the little ones to build & play with which Izzy loved, unfortunately I didn’t manage to get many pictures across the day as Izzy kept me fairly busy but I did get this lovely shot below of Izzy bouncing.

Bouncing at Wat Tyler Park

For the bigger children the inflatables included a basketball lane, gladiators ring, football court & climbing wall as well as 2 normal large bouncy castles and a play castle called the shuttle which all the girls really enjoyed and Eva was over the moon she managed to get to the top of the climbing wall! I wish I had got a picture but I was in the smaller area with Izzy at the time.

I normally find these types of events so pricey and stressful but I have to say for what was there for 3 hours bouncing I would happily pay for both girls to go again! Each inflatable was watched & children were timed by a member of staff, meaning there were no kids crying they hadn’t had a turn and Eva didn’t keep coming back complaining older kids were being mean or not letting her play which we’ve had at other places.

The whole thing was laid out really well, meaning we could take the younger 2 in the small play area and still see every other inflatable and keep an eye on where the older 3 were, without bothering them & panicking too much. Eva behaved amazingly and I think it was mostly to do with being able to just go and play without being followed around.

I took both girls into the visitor centre to buy themselves a little something to take home & Izzy chose a small ball I would normally only pay £1 for which cost £2, so a little over priced, however Eva chose a pen with pictures on (£1) & a small notebook (60p) which was quite reasonable.

The inflatables were in a field next to the large play area in Wat Tyler so the kids loved being able to go and play in there after they were done bouncing. Eva loved the huge tunnel slide and spider-man frame and spent ages showing off to her Uncle Alex who joined us halfway through the after.

The park can be a bit manic at times so I was relieved my brother was there to run around with Eva whilst I kept an eye on Izzy who spent ages playing in the tunnels and going up and down the slide on the smaller play equipment. I was a little gutted the roundabout and the hamster wheel were fenced off as my brother and I loved them as kids!

Once all the kids were well and truly worn out we popped by the little outdoor cafe by the visitor centre and got an ice cream for the kids before jumping in my friends car and heading home.

Minus our picnic I spent around £3o which covered both girls wristbands plus I paid for a small wristband for Izzy’s friend James, the bits the girls bought in the visitor centre & 5 ice creams.

I was a little gutted my friend who had driven us there suddenly had to leave early otherwise I would have loved to have walked down to the boats with the girls & shown them the miniature train amongst other things around the park!

With so much to see and do around the park that even without the inflatables it’s a lovely day out & doesn’t have to cost a penny with free parking & toilets/changing room in the visitor centre. It’s such an interesting place for all ages I would definitely recommend stopping by for a visit if you are in the area and next time I go I will make a point of taking more pictures!

* Please note this is not a sponsored post.