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Activities Family Life

14 Zoom Party & Stay Home Entertainment Ideas

This post has been in drafts but with the good news that has just been announced, I thought I better ping it off before Zoom meet ups are a thing of the past! IFollowing on from my how to keep the kids entertained during lockdown piece, I wanted to put something together for adults and families too. Here are some top-notch Zoom party ideas, online cocktail masterclasses, virtual wine tasting sessions, mind-bending challenges and delicious DIY meal kits to keep every occupied.

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Virtual Cocktail Parties & Masterclasses

Cocktails By Lollipop

Throw a virtual cocktail party with Cocktails by Lollipop. The team do everything from preparing and sending the cocktails to organising your Zoom call. All you have to do is wait for your delivery, grab some glasses and open your laptop! 

zoom party

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Stir Crazy Drinks Online Masterclass

Want to master a new skill during lockdown? Perfect the art of cocktail making with Stir Crazy Drinks. The cocktail company deliver the ingredients to your door and then you join their live masterclass on Saturday night to pick up some new skills and discover your new favourite drink.

zoom party

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Cocktail Making

Hook up with boozy events for a virtual cocktail making class — ideal for birthday celebrations and alleviating Saturday night boredom! Boozy Events will send you a cocktail ingredient kit, metal and glass equipment and a cocktail maker to shake it all up. Once you’ve received your kit, a mixologist will join you on Zoom to guide you through the menu.

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Virtual Wine Tasting

Rebottling Wine Experience

Join a luxurious wine and chocolate experience with flavour alchemist Paul A Young. Order the wines, book your place on the rebottling experience and wait for a delivery and instructions on how to join the event. It’s certainly a place to indulge and learn a thing or two about fine wines.

zoom party

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The Fine Little Wine Online Tastings

Enjoy a guided online wine tasting session with The Little Fine Wine Co. Each month the team select a different wine region to travel through and work to share their knowledge about vineyards around the world. February is all about New Zealand and features three delicious white and one fabulous red. Private sessions and corporate bookings are also available.

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Unwined Private Wine Tasting

Host your own wine tasting party or sign up for a private session with Unwined. The DIY tasting kit takes you on a wine tasting journey where you can go at your own pace to level up your wine knowledge. Alternatively, let an Unwined sommelier take the reins and join you and your friends on a Zoom chat. Choose from a selection of four kits with three or six bottles or work your way through them all to become a true wine aficionado.

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Virtual Family Games

Games Night In for Macmillan

Sign up to host a virtual Macmillan games night with friends and family. Let the attendees know that it’s a fundraiser so they’re able to donate a little to the charity too. Macmillan has a range of games to choose from including Whodunnit?, Trapped! An Escape Room, Horse Racing Night and Quiz Night.

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Looking to update your wardrobe, buy a gift or treat yourself?

You will find a gorgeous range of jewellery, accessories and clothes on TLM Edit, all hand-picked by The London Mummy.

Tulley’s World Domination Online Strategy Game

Keep the whole family occupied with this live action strategy and role-playing game. The aim of the game is world domination! For two hours, you’ll work to improve your designated country by making alliances, boosting the economy and increasing living standards… or causing the next world war. Book a private or public game and get involved.

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Virtual Magic Time With Thomas Dixon

Planning a birthday party or a family Zoom event? A virtual magic show is just the ticket to keep everyone entertained. Book Tom Dixon to experience some mind-blowing magic. It’s certainly something you don’t do everyday!

zoom party

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Ping Pong Fight Club’s Lockdown Challenge Show

For lots of laughs and great family entertainment, I highly recommend Ping Pong Fight Club. Log on for a 45-minute Zoom show and get involved in ping pong challenges and trivia rounds as you compete against friends and family to win the lockdown challenge.

zoom party

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Escape Hunt Adventure

Escape Hunt has taken its escape room games online so everyone can play along at home. You and your teammates (who can be from different households) can all come together to solve a variety of puzzle-solving games and challenges. Choose between the remote escape room challenge, print and play and digital games.

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DIY Dinner Delivery Kits

A Taste Of France

Get stuck into a DIY food delivery kit from Cote At Home. The French bistro delivery company has a huge range of starts, mains, desserts and set menus to choose from — all made from the best, high-quality French ingredients. I’ve got my eye on the lobster frites and artisan cheese selection.

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Pizza Kits At Home

Pizza making is a brilliant activity to get the whole family in the kitchen. Each kit comes with all the ingredients you need (dough balls, mozzarella, tomato sauce etc.) fresh from the pizzeria. There’s also an option to make garlic bread and a Nutella pizza! Mmm…

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DIY Burger Kits from Patty&Bun

Missing Patty&Bun? Or want to learn how to make a top-notch burger from scratch? Order a DIY Patty&Bun burger kit to recreate the London burger chain’s signature smokey cheeseburger. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

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You might also like: 

Take a peek at my ultimate directory for the best parent, style and business recommendations.

Days Out

12 Family-Friendly Theme Parks To Visit This Summer

Theme parks are the best post-lockdown treat for kids of all ages. With parks reopening their doors this month and everyone wanting to blow off steam, the tickets are selling out quick! I love that so many of the big theme parks have super-cool rides and play areas that cater to younger kids too. I’ve picked out the best theme parks that offer a good selection of activities for the little ones, as well as brilliant family activities and attractions. Do let me know if I’ve missed one that you and your family absolutely love.

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Peppa Pig World, Paulton’s Park

All toddlers seem to be mad about Peppa Pig. So, a meet-and-greet, along with a chance to immerse themselves in the world of their favourite character, will be a dream day out. Paulton’s Park has plenty of family rides, water splash parks, as well as birds and animals. It’s really worth booking accommodation near the park and making it a short break out of it.

Location: New Forest, Hampshire

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The Gruffalo, Chessington

Ever since the Gruffalo moved into Chessington, the park has been a delight for young children. While the Lazy River ride is the main attraction, Chessington also has short-break options with the chance to stay in a hotel room decked out in all things The Gruffalo. Spend a day in the theme park and a day in the zoo. New for this year, Chessington has unveiled The Rainforest – three new jungle-themed family-friendly rides.

Location: Chessington, Kingston upon Thames

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Angry Birds, Thorpe Park

Thorpe Park has some of the absolute best rides for adults but there’s a good balance of family fun too. Angry Birds Land is best for kids four years and above with the Angry Birds 4D experience, dodgems and Detonator, the ride with a birds-eye-view. The park also has rapids, teacups and water rides.

Location: Chertsey, Surrey

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Duplo Valley, Legoland

Legoland is one of the best places for young kids and even I love walking through miniland looking at the miniature landmarks made of Lego! Duplo Valley is just perfect for toddlers (or Little Builders, as Legoland call them!) with its Dino Coaster, Playtown and theatre. Under 3’s can enjoy Playtown and Splash Safari. Don’t forget to get their L-Drivers license in Lego city.

Location: Windsor

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CBeebies, Alton Towers

I’m not sure anyone ever grows out of Alton Towers. There was so much for the little ones to do before CBeebies Land and that has also been a fantastic addition to the park. Join Peter Rabbit, In The Night Garden, Teletubbies and the rest of the CBeebies gang your kids have fallen in love with. Don’t forget to book a day in the water park too!

Location: Alton, Stoke-on-Trent

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Thomas Land, Drayton Manor

Full steam ahead to Drayton Manor! Thomas Land goes all out for kids: it has 25 rides and attractions! All of the Thomas and Friends characters come to life here through brilliant rides, including Toby’s Tram Express, Cranky’s Drop and Harold’s Helicopter Tour. I recommend a day in the zoo and a day in the theme park as neither can be rushed. To read more about my trip there, click here.

Location: Drayton Bassett, Staffordshire

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Neverland, Oakwood Theme Park

Rollercoasters, rides and attractions for all ages are what you’ll find at Wales’ biggest theme park. Kids will love Neverland for an adventure with Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys. My favourite place is Dahland where all the best Roald Dahl characters come to life.

Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales

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Nickelodeon Land, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Join Spongebob, The Backyardigans, PAW Patrol and other characters from Team Nick at Blackpool Pleasure Beach – a classic theme park day out if you’re based in the North of the UK. I also love a visit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not which will have plenty of surprises for everyone.  


Location: Blackpool, Lancashire 

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Angry Birds Activity Park, Lightwater Valley

Suited for children from one year old, Lightwater Valley is an amazing place for a family adventure. It’s also the home to the Angry Birds Activity Park. Your young adrenaline junkie will be thrilled to ride the Twister, the Eagles Claw and the Falls of Terror. With 40 rides to choose from, they’ll be something for everyone to enjoy. 


Location: Ripon, North Yorkshire 

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Heart Kid’s Zone, Pleasurewood Hills

Pleasurewood has a good mix of entertainment and attractions, including sea lion and parrot shows. As for rides, enjoy the classics, including dodgems, carousel, wave swinger and a couple of roller coasters. The kids can go for the spin in the teacups and sail the seas on the mini pirate ship in Heart Kid’s Zone. 

Location: Lowestoft, East Anglia

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You might also like: Nine Day Trips From London

Multiple locations

Gulliver’s World

This is one of the oldest theme parks I can think of (it’s over 40 years old!) and now they have four parks and another one opening soon. Don’t expect any big rides though, as these parks are specially designed for those under 12. I’m only familiar with the Matlock Bath Park which is built into a hillside in the beautiful Peak District – take the chair lift ride for the best views. The park has something for everyone, whether your little one loves princesses, dinosaurs, pirates or diggers!

Location: Warrington, Milton Keynes x 2, Matlock Bath, Rother Valley (opens 2020)

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Diggerland is much bigger now than I remember it and it’s truly a digger-themed experience for the whole family. For the kids, there’s the digger train, knocking down skittles and hunting for treasure on a digger, go-karts, mini tractors and land-rovers. For adults, get behind the gears of an actual digger.

Location: Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire

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You might also like: Luxury Staycations The Whole Family Will Absolutely Love

Activities Events

Easter Holidays Covered with London’s Little Thinkers

With the Easter holidays imminent, London’s Little Thinkers is on hand to fill your ‘Little Thinker’s’ time with educational and engaging activities. Below are some of LLT’s top tips of things to do both in London and at home to get your little ones thinking!  They always have fantastic ideas and I know you will enjoy this post that Rebecca (from London’s Little Thinkers) has crafted for you…  Wow, that sounds like a bit of tongue twister but the tips are as clear as a bell!


Activities in London

We are incredibly excited to introduce you to Bubble Kids Yoga, London. This impressive new venture will immerse your Little Thinker in both yoga and mindfulness in a fun, stress free and interactive way. Bubble Kids offer age appropriate classes for children aged 4-12 during holidays and in term time – our favourite being the storytelling through yoga.

Bubble kid yoga

Are you Looking for an Easter Holiday Course for your Little Thinker? Sign up to one of their Easter workshops (2 hours per day) for a bouncy, fun, dynamic and imaginative yoga and mindfulness course. Location: Parsons Green (4, 5, 6th April) or Wimbledon Village (11,12,13th April). Price: £65 (sibling discount applies). Email here for more details.

Events at Discover Children’s Story Centre are both educational and fun for Little Thinkers. Check out their range of literacy inspired events on offer over the Easter Holidays. Why not head over for their Dr Seuss inspired Easter egg hunt. Head out into the Story Garden for a Green Eggs and Ham inspired egg hunt, dreamt up by our Children’s Forum. Your Little Thinker will have to complete the literacy focused challenges before winning their chocolate goodie!

Story Centre

The Robot Zoo at The Horniman Museum will give your Little Thinker the chance to discover the mechanisms which give animals their unique abilities. Why do grasshoppers jump so high? Why do chameleons change colour? All of these questions and more will
be answered through the use of larger-than-life animals that have been “innovatively
recreated using a variety of familiar machine parts and gadgets to reveal how their real life counterparts see, eat, hunt and hide”.

Robot Zoo

Interactive exhibits also give your Little Thinker the chance to try jet-propelled squid racing, shoot a chameleon’s ‘tongue-gun’ and even design their own ‘mutant’ robot creature.

Child ticket £4.

The Little Art Society was set up by two specialist Art teachers. They run Art, Craft ad Design workshops for Little Thinkers during weekends and the school holidays. Their 3 hour long sessions expose children to new techniques and a diverse range of new skills and materials.

Little Art Society

Book your session for the Easter Holidays here

At Home 

Shaving Foam Fun: simple yet effective, this is an excellent way to encourage emergent writing or letter/number formation. Cover a big tray in shaving foam and let your Little Thinker get messy whilst practicing their school work. When I taught Reception, the children’s increased enthusiasm to write (especially boys) when shaving foam was involved was amazing to see. My biggest tip would be to keep learning fun, interactive and sensory; when you do this the results are amazing! It’ll leave your house smelling delicious too!

Download Virry : children can discover a world of animal adventures through wild animal live cameras, interactive videos and countless hours of captivating entertainment and learning! Created in collaboration with leading child development researchers and world-renowned wildlife experts, Virry is specifically designed for animal lovers aged 2–7 years olds with a hunger to explore and discover the animal kingdom. Trusted by parents and educators around the world, you can download their app via the App Store.


Mrs Wordsmith: We are a big fan of Mrs Wordsmith vocabulary cards here at LLT. They are hilariously illustrated vocabulary cards which will nourish, support and develop your Little Thinkers vocabulary bank. This subscription-based programme has been academically researched by specialists and will be delivered straight to your door. Your Little Thinker will enjoy vocabulary exercises, daily placemats, flashcards and rewards too.

Mrs Wordsmith

Order here

If you have enjoyed this post – I certainly have! please sign up to London’s Little Thinkers for information on what’s on and what to do with little ones.


Activities Days Out Family Life Food

Review of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co

Restaurants that really welcome children? Few & far between. I am always on the hunt for fun, relaxed & reasonable restaurants to take the kiddies where we won’t be looked upon like we have taken a bunch of leprechaun’s into the restaurant. So when newly opened Bubba Gump Shrimp Co asked us to come and visit them, we were delighted to.

After arriving in the West End slightly early, we killed some time Lillywhites for old times sake (which I might add is still pretty cheap despite being in the centre of tourist mecca).  After that brief interlude of looking at junior cricket bats (I am outnumbered) we headed to the restaurant, where we found the neon lights of Bubba’s pretty easily.


It is a stone’s throw from Piccadilly tube, based in the classic Trocadero. Be warned there is a shop at the entrance though.  We say in advance ‘Just so you know, this is a treat in itself. We are not buying anything extra,’  which now seems to do the trick if they know ahead of time.

The restaurant is a tribute to the film ‘Forrest Gump’ and features a menu of comfort food from the American South that reflects the film’s setting in Alabama. Shrimp is of course the specialty but there’s something to delight everyone on the menu.

After an excitable wait downstairs, we were led upstairs past all the original memorabilia.


I especially liked all the words of wisdoms that were sporadically placed over the walls in amongst costume’s and prop displays.


We were given a booth opposite the a large TV that aired rolling repeats of all the Tom Hanks movies he had been in.


We had Forrest Gump which was fun.


First things first, we ordered drinks. Not usually one for cocktails – I entered the spirit of things and went for their Alabama Southern Punch. That definitely chilled me out!


We ordered their signature dishes such as ‘After The Storm – Bucket of Boat Trash’ and ‘Dumb Luck Coconut Shrimp’ which were vast and delicious.

The kids had the ‘Bus Bench Burger & Hubba Bubba Popcorn Shrimp which kept them quiet for a considerable amount of time.

For pudding, I ordered Chocolate Chip Cookie Sunday. It was basically the size of my face and I thought there is no way I will be able to eat it all… Will leave it your imagine whether I did or not! ha


The children’s pudding was pretty unbeatable. Move over Build a Bear, this was ‘Build Your Own Sundae!’  A trio of toppings and a mountain of ice cream.


We had a great time and will definitely head back for a special occasion. If you are looking for a fun place to take the family one weekend, I highly recommend Bubba’s.

Not only is it an education in deep South American history (!) it is relaxed – you want have to be shhhhing them every 5 seconds! (or is that just me!), easy to get to and pretty reasonable.

Make sure you book though as it is very popular!

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co 

13 Coventry Street, London W1D 7AB

0203 7 635 288

Days Out Family Life Food

My Thyme Away With Nestle Breakfast Cereals

Sitting at my computer with the rain pummeling down, it feels like a distant memory that I was actually away for 3 days only a week ago. And what a 3 days it was. Firstly, it was lovely to go away independently of family (!) and secondly to a beautiful place (the spelling of Thyme in the title is not a typo).  I was accompanied by fantastic group of other bloggers from around the world to learn about Nutrition, Food Styling & Photography with Nestle Breakfast Cereals.



Our time started with a talk on Nutrition by Constanza on the importance of breakfast – especially for growing children.


It was a wonderful insight to things I didn’t know and facts that I had ‘forgotten’.

  • Nutrients missed at breakfast, such as calcium, fibre and certain vitamins and minerals, cannot be made up later in the day.


  • A balanced breakfast should represent around 20%-25% of total daily calorie intake (although can vary with different National dietary requirements)

A well balanced breakfast should consist of –

  1. Some dairy
  2. A piece of fruit
  3. A glass of water for hydration (tea or coffee is ok!)
  4. A wholegrain based food
  5. An source of protein (or if that is too much at breakfast, a bit of protein mid morning)


What does 1 serving of wholegrain look like?

  • a 30g bowl of wholegrain breakfast cereal
  • 1 medium slice of wholemeal bread
  • 2 whole wheat crackers
  • 2-3 cups of plain pop corn


We each had to describe our breakfast routine – let me tell you, mine was the least glamorous!


The other perception that I had of breakfast cereal was that it is full of sugar. Not so! There is no more than 9 grams od sugar per serving which is a lot less than I thought there was.

The other great thing to note is that there is more wholegrain than any other ingredient in their cereals (you know the boxes with the green banner across the to?)




Next up, we cloaked ourselves in an apron and set to work making a breakfast recipe with the same ingredients that make up Nestle Breakfast Cereals.

I chose Smiley Oat Cookies which are the basis for Cheerios.


Straight from the oven.


I even took them home and they got the massive thumbs up!  Next we learnt how to style them for a photo for a recipe book for example.


I didn’t really have a clue and the first thing I did was pack it all onto a tray with a few raspberries and it looked like I was whacking it down for kids tea.


So under the careful guidance of Lou I was given a few tips. This goes for products & flat lays as well.

  • Natural light. Move your product into the light.
  • If there are shadows, bounce them off with a piece of silver card.
  • Reflect the recipe with the accessories. (I.e there no raspberries and blueberries in the Oat Biscuit recipe so why include them in the photo!)
  • Brush oil on the biscuits to make them shine.
  • You don’t have to include everything in the photo. You can zoom in.


Lou & the photographer Ellis at work.


After a bit of tinkering,  this is what we came up with – my first ever food photo!




On the last day, we had to make a Nestle Cereal. From scratch. Ouch. It was between these three.


Then the winner would be picked from who took the best photo.

Guess which one I chose – Cheerios!  (I was told it was the simplest to make but it wasn’t easy – the piping was a killer).


Once the Cheerios had been double baked with a coating of honey glaze, I left them to cool and got started on sourcing the props I wanted.

Here is a little video of me in action. [embedyt][/embedyt]

There is no way to share this without sounding boastful, but for purposes of recounting my story it would be weird not to tell you – I actually won!

Collecting my prize – a Polaroid camera.  (Can you see my genuine look of delight – I haven’t one anything for years!)


Here was my shot. I am sure it was the lime matching the Nestle logo…


Here are some of the other photos.  Hearts from bananas – cute!


The lovely team. From Mexico, Poland, Romania, Indonesia and the UK!


Relaying my few days to the cameras.  Need to turn the enthusiasm…


All these wonderful events and classes were interlaced with delicious meals cooked on site at Thyme.


I whole heartedly recommend it away for a weekend away. They also host a cooking school and cookery lessons!


Follow Nestle Breakfast Cereals on Instagram!

Activities Days Out

9 Day Trips From London

So, you have your summer holiday booked but how do you fill the days in between? If you want to head to a farm within driving distance of London, have a look at a recent post I did on ‘Fun Farms‘ but for the more intrepid, I have compiled a few places that you may never have even heard of. Enjoy!

Pooh Corner Ashdown Forest, Hartfield, East Sussex

Grab a map from the shop and visit all places that are mentioned.  My favourite is the bridge for a game of Pooh Sticks. Make sure you read (reread)  the books so you are up to speed and then watch Winnie & friends come to life.

Fishing London Northolt, London

Book a 2 or 4 hour introduction lesson at one of their 6 lakes in West London. They don’t give a starting age but if you have a keeno, this would be a very novel thing to do. They also do parties!


Crockford Bridge & Farm Shop Weybridge, Surrey

Crockford Bridge Farm grows more than 20 fuits and veg on its 75 acre farm. All for the picking. There is also an ice cream parlour and garden centre in case they haven’t eaten enough strawberries. I am going to try and make my own jam if I pick enough!

Berkonscot Model Village Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

I have heard on many accounts that this is a wonderful day out. (It’s on my to do list…) It is the oldest model village in the UK and is a mini England in the 1930’s. Educational and fun.

Hatfield Park Farm Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Tractor rides. demos and Hungarian Wooly Pigs. If that isn’t enough to entice you, there are huge sandpits and a massive play area and the cafe looks qaint too.

Diggerland Medway, Kent

There are Diggerlands all over the UK now, but if you want to do a day trip from London, head to the one in Kent. The kids can ride on every type of farm transport possible and they even have a tractor themed roundabout. Possibly alot of little boys (don’t kill me) definition of heaven.

Bluebell Railway East Grinstead, Sussex

Take a ride through the beautiful countryside on an old fashion train. Stop for lunch and a peruse the gift shop… and then come back again! Not for the fidgety! (Speaking from experience!)

Chiselhurst Caves Chiselhurst, Kent

Not for the faint hearted, this fun filled 45 minute tour guides you through the caves carrying only a lamp for light. Wooooooo. The tour covers many aspects of the national curriculum including light & dark and the WW2.

Discovery Walk at Priory Farm Redhill, Surrey

A magical interractive walk through tunnels, across bridges, along planks & through little houses with lots of adventure obstacles along the way. The highlight is the sunflower maze and duck racing! There is also a brilliant cafe attached to a fenced in play area so you can actually switch off!


I hope this gives you some ideas. If you would prefer to drop them off at a camp, check out 9 Summer Holiday Camps.



Activities Days Out Places

Clip ‘n Climb: Indoor Climbing Adventure

Clip n’ Climb does exactly what it says on the tin. You get clipped in to a harness and according to your age and experience are shown a wall in which is suitable to climb and then left to your own devices. The introduction made my 4 year old feel so at ease that he sailed up the wall – and came back down – with no problems, only to be eager to do it again and again until his hour had expired.

H going up!

H going up!

H coming down!

H coming down!

For the more intrepid there is a huge wall and vertical slide!


It is a genius idea set in a huge warehouse of the New Kings Road in Chelsea. It has been so successful, the owners are considering starting a snow dome for indoor skiing next door. Why hadn’t I tried Clip n’ Climb before? Because I didn’t fancy it – but now we are converts, I might even have my own party there!


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