In The Night Garden Live – a fab family day out!

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We recently booked tickets for Georgia to go and see In The Night Garden Live – she is almost 2 and In The Night garden has been quite a big part of her life as nana introduced us to it when she was around 5 months old. Every night before her milk we watch an episode of it regardless of where we are. It’s our thing and such a nice way to have a cuddle and end the day.

I wasn’t sure if she was ready for it after booking Panto tickets at Christmas and poor daddy spent the whole show in the restaurant with her as she didn’t get into it at all. I thought that as she was a few months older and this was going to be full of her favourite characters she may be more engaged. I was excited to see how Georgia would react to her favourite characters right there in front of her and larger than life, so booked the tickets and here’s how we got on.

 

You can still see the shows at 3 venues – we went to the O2, but this showing has now finished. It is now moving to Richmond Old deer park from 16 June until the 1st of July when it heads up to Birmingham (7-22 July) and Manchester (28 July – 19 August).

There are 2 shows, the Ninky Nonk show and the Pinky Ponk show. The show lasts around 50 minutes and each show follows a different story line – but don’t worry, they both feature all the characters.

There are 2 options when buying your tickets, Standard (from £12.50 pp) and Premium (from £20 pp).  If you choose premium tickets you will get to sit in the first 5 rows. We booked standard seats and were seated in the 6th row. Its auditorium style seating so you can see from any row.

Georgia was a bit taken a back when it first started – the characters really are quite large so I think the standard seats were better for us anyway. She came around and was eventually smiling and dancing away to the songs she’s listened to every night before bed. The ticket price includes a souvenir activity book which Georgia loved.

When booking your tickets in advance you can pre book a Goody Bag worth over £60 for only £29 which is a great saving. If you don’t book it in advance you can buy one on the day for £39.00 – they really did look decent – here is what’s inside:
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Another add on is to ‘meet a character’ – this happens after the show and you will have a private 2-3 minute meeting with your chosen character. A great opportunity to give your favourite character a cuddle or get a selfie. The cost is £15 per character – you can meet either Igglepiggle or Upsy Daisy. Looking back, i’m glad we didn’t book this as I don’t think Georgia would have cooperated. The slightly older kids were loving their meetings on the day and came out with smiles from ear to ear.

Upon arrival, your tickets are checked and you’re directed to collect your goody bag and then line up in Premium or Standard seating rows. The gates open 30 minutes before the show starts. There is a bar where snacks and drinks for both kids and adults can be purchased.

vSit back, relax and enjoy watching your little ones take it all in.

Before you leave the Showdome you have another opportunity to be persuaded by your kids to spend some money. Shirts, memorabilia and balloons are available to buy. My tip would be to bring your kids’ In The Night Garden character from home so that they don’t try and get you to buy them a new one before you leave.

All in all it is a very well run and organised event. We were emailed 3 days prior with instructions on how to get there, where to park, info on baby changing facilities and where to park your buggy. They even tell you the walking time (at buggy pace) from the parking area to the Showdome.

Georgia loved it and it really was a lovely family day out. I would highly recommend it to friends with little ones who like the show.

 

Don’t miss out – book your tickets here

 

10 reason to have a family holiday in Cape Town, South Africa with young children. (old post from 2016)

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Travelling to South Africa for a little bit of winter sun is ideal for family with young children as there is just a 2 hour time difference meaning no jet lag! We took a night flight which meant our little boy slept most of the 12 hours flight time and although slightly tired managed to enjoy his first day without tears, went to bed at a respectable time and slept through! Always a good start to a holiday.

South Africa has a vast coastline that shares two bodies of water, the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean and Cape Town itself has its fair share of beaches either on the door step or within easy reach. Although the Cape can be quite windy there are still plenty of sheltered beaches to find offering fine white sand ideal for sand castle building

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Sunset in Camps Bay

Camps Bay – located within a 15 minute drive of central Cape Town this wonderful area is safe and clean, this is a tourist hot spot. There are fab restaurants, villas and apartments and a wonderful sandy beach with safe enclosed swimming bay for young children.

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the kids get to cook their masterpieces at Col’Cacchio

 

 

 

The food here is amazing and it will suit even the fussiest of eaters. The main staple seemed to be fish and meat. Famously known for their Braais the South African’s know how to prepare fine meat and fish dishes and the avocado is to die for! In fact I can honestly say it is the best avocado I have ever tasted! Couple of good chain restaurants to recommend for families basic dining are: Primi – there is one in Camps Bay, wonderful selection of tantalising dishes you won’t be disappointed and in Central Cape Town Col’Cacchio, possibly the best pizza we have ever tasted. If you are looking for a variety of foodie recommendations visit our Eating in Cape Town South Africa post. (coming shortly)

This is as close as Freddie would get! Boulders Beach

This is as close as Freddie would get! Boulders Beach

Sit with penguins on the beach! Boulders Beach is a fab beach, known for its large boulders (obviously) and very friendly penguins. The water is calm and has lots of little coves to explore too. If you want some more Cape Town area family friendly beach ideas see our top 5 beaches in and around Cape Town. (coming shortly)

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The Two Oceans Aquarium

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabulous aquarium. The Two Oceans Aquarium is ideal for youngsters to learn about the marine life found in the two oceans around Cape Town. So while mum, dad, uncle, aunt or older brother or sister is roughing it out at sea with the wild sharks, whales and more the more timid and younger members of the family can enjoy the legendary predator tank, touch star fish and other marine life in the touch pool and more!

The Table Cloth on Table Mountain

The Tablecloth on Table Mountain

Table Mountain and the Lions Head are the two main large attractions and our son loved the fact you could see Table Mountain from just about anywhere in Cape Town. We took a cable car to the top where Freddie thought the view was ‘amazing!’ More info on Table Mountain here. (coming shortly)

Freddie loved it here

Aquilla Nature Reserve, Freddie loved it here

It just so happens that African animals are amongst some of the favourite animals of young children and so it goes without saying that a venture to a safari park or one of the many wildlife centres will go down a treat with young travelers. We visited Aquilla Nature Reserve about 2.5 hrs from Cape Town.
laurensfordFamily friendly wine farms. You may think that the younger members of the family might not be welcome in the wine areas, think again! Many of the wineries around the Cape Town area have great family facilities from paddling pools, and water slides to picnic areas and pony rides or just open spaces to enjoy! Try Franschhoek for some inspiration.

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Kirstenbosch Sunday family concert

Kirstenbosch – lose yourself with the kids in one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world with children’s play areas and various events throughout the year including fabulous early Sunday evening concerts ideal for all the family with the glorious Table Mountain as an amazing back drop…

We loved Cape Town it is a beautiful part of the world, with an interesting history. We highly recommend a family holiday there. for more ideas visit the Cape Town official tourist website

Cuddledry Baby & Me Wash bag

We were sent the new Cuddledry Baby & Me Wash bag to review. Bronwyn, Kieran and Georgia took it on their recent trip to Euro Disney.
baby-and-me.jpgNormally when going away I have to pack 2 separate wash bags so the idea of having it all in one place sounded like a great idea to me. We were away for 2 nights and this wash bag was the perfect size. I feel this wash bag would be a bit small for a 2 week holiday but perfect for a long weekend/weeks holiday.

It has a separate waterproof section on each side which was great for toothbrushes or wet sponges etc. The 2 re fillable bottles were great to decant my little ones body wash and shampoo.

If you like to be organised, this wash bag is for you. Retailing at £24.99 it is on the higher end, price wise. It is made of a hight quality wipe clean material (inside and out) which is great if there are any leaks ! Click here to get your own!

Liv Cam – the travel monitor for on the go families.

We were recently asked to review the newest Summer Infant baby monitor, The Liv Cam.  Bronwyn and Georgia tried it on their recent trip to South Africa and were very impressed, see how they got on…

Before we set off on our holiday we got daddy to set up the monitor and link it to our phone and iPad – the set up was easy. Simply download the free Liv Cam app (iOS or Android) and follow the prompts. You pair the camera with your device by putting in the password found on the bottom of the camera. You don’t need a wifi connection or mobile coverage to be able to use the monitor which makes it perfect for travelling.

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Jump forward to night 1 of our holiday. We had just travelled 11 hours overnight and neither Georgia or myself had had a particularly good nights sleep – one of the first things I set up was the Liv Cam as i knew that way I could relax in the living room and know what Georgia was up to when I put her down. I plugged it in (don’t forget an adapter if you’re going abroad!) and hooked it onto the end of the travel cot – it was that simple. I connected it to my iPad and we were good to go. I used it in 3 different places whilst on holiday – the clarity is brilliant, day or night.

 

There are also some nifty features like having a 1 minute video replay function as well as remote zoom and the option to record and share photos and videos.

 

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The camera has a range of 76m and the battery when fully charged lasts 3-4 hours. Perfect when on the go. I kept it plugged in and clipped to Georgia’s cot whilst away so that it was ready to go and charged when she napped or went to bed. Its small and light making it perfect for travelling.

The only issue I found was if you didn’t have a 2nd device, you would have to disconnect from the wifi network on your mobile/tablet to be able to connect to the camera’s wifi – meaning you wouldn’t be able to use your phone (on the wifi) at the same time as using the monitor  – its easily fixed by using a tablet / 2nd phone.

At around £100 for a video monitor, it is mid-range, price wise. I would definitely recommend this product. The monitor is available from Argos and is currently on sale at £79.99 (Normal price (£99.99). (at time of writing)

We will be running a competiton to win your very own Liv Cam this week – Keep an eye on the Holiday Tots Facebook page for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

Fab Christmas bundle up for grabs worth 0ver £180 perfect for visiting friends and family this Christmas…

We have a great Christmas bundle up for grabs – with an assortment of goodies perfect for traveling and visiting family and friends this Christmas.

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Prizes include:

Babbleband by Summer Infant – The first wearable baby monitor, this is great when at home or visiting grandparents and friends, it’s small and portable and best of all you wear it on your wrist, you can turn it on vibrate or listen out for baby. So while baby sleeps you can be safe in the knowledge that while you are playing charades you always have a second ear listening – RRP £39.99

Slumber Buddy – Eddie the Elephant is an ideal bedtime companion, for those little ones who need a little reassurance, it’s small enough to take with you when visiting, keeping babies sleeping environment constant– RRP £24.99

Totseat – so many times i would visit friends and family and there just wasn’t anywhere for my little one to sit and join us at the table, the Totseat is a fab fabric highchair that can sit on any chair – it is great for visiting friends and families at dinner and tea time, little ones can be part of everything! – RRP £23.99

Gro Blackout blind – if you are staying over at friends or with family this Christmas you can’t be sure that their bedroom will have the same degree of blackout blinds you might have at home. The Gro Blackout blind is perfect for popping up any time, anywhere giving a few extra hours of zzzz’s if you’re lucky! – RRP £34.99

Penguin pool party game (by Smart Games) – cute little £D puzzle game ideal for travel– RRP £12.99

Califone kids headphones – These headphones have been specifically designed for kids, they can enjoy Peppa Pig, or their fav stories/music  in the car while you listen to your own music for once!  – RRP £19.99

Cozyosko blanket – this cute little pushchair blanket is small and warm, ideal for popping over cold tootsies on a winter stroll – RRP £20.00

Carddies, cavemen drawing cards – Great portable colouring in set, my son loves these, he likes to colour and then role-play, they all fit neatly into a little box too, so ideal for travel – RRP £8.99

For your chance to win the prizes above just head over to our website here:

Holiday Tots competition

terms and conditions apply

Competition ends 13th December midnight.

Cuddledry Towels

We were recently sent some goodies from Cuddledry, including the hands-free towel and the SPF Poncho towel. We’ve been using these for a few months, here’s what mum Bronwyn had to say.

THE HANDS-FREE BABY BATH TOWEL
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The award winning hands-free towel is brilliant at bath time. The first thing I noticed was how it felt. It was so soft and I knew Georgia would love it. Even after a fair few washes it is still soft, which I can’t say for the other bath towels in my house!

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The apron design with a strap that fastens around your neck makes me feel a lot more in control when picking her up out of the bath. Its long and I felt one of the major differences between this and other towels was that I could completely wrap my baby in the towel, which she LOVED in the cooler months. Other baby towels aren’t nearly as big and her legs and feet always ended up getting cold.

Retailing at £29.99 they are more expensive than most towels you would buy for your baby but they are excellent quality and wash well. They are definitely worth the money!

You can purchase yours here

THE SPF 50 + PONCHO TOWEL 

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The SPF50 + Poncho towel has travelled with us to The Caribbean and to France. Its’ brilliant for a holiday where you’ll be in and out of the water and want to keep your little one shielded from the sun. The hood is great and it seemed to be the only thing Georgia didn’t pull off her head, on both holidays.

Cuddledry have patented technology which means their poncho towels offer UV protection at Factor 50. This is one less thing to worry about when travelling with a little one. Sun cream is still needed but this towel gives extra protection. I was worried about her getting too warm in it whilst sitting next to the pool but because it’s very airy and open along the sides (with poppers that fasten under the arms) it didn’t bother her at all.

I would definitely recommend one for your next trip to the beach, sun or anywhere with a pool! We even use ours at home after swimming lessons. They cost £27.99 and are available to purchase here

Joie – Pact Lite !

‘Loaded with lots of extras, without lots of weight, this buggy makes one less piece of luggage to fuss over – wherever your travels take you.’

joie4.jpgWe tested out the Joie Pact Lite on our recent trip to the airport, here’s how we got on:

The biggest pro about this stroller is its size/weight when folded up! At only 5.5kg I could carry it on one shoulder at the same time as carrying Georgia. It also takes up hardly any space in the boot.

The Travel bag is really handy and keeps the stroller clean. It’s also a great place to keep the rain cover together with the stroller in the event of rain.

The fold mechanism is simple and can easily be done one handed. There is a button on the handle bar that you press to get it all started. Other strollers like this we’ve reviewed require two hands to collapse, so this is a big win!

Joie

It was very easy to push even with Georgia it it. She seemed comfortable and loved having the bumper bar to hang toys off. I felt she was secure because of the 5 point harness.

The Pact Lite comes in a choice of 4 colours and are not only perfect for travelling, they’re great on days out too. I used this instead of my every day buggy the other day. It was a lot quicker and easier to get in and out of the car. It was great in the supermarket as it has a large basket too. The canopy isnt huge so could be a slight issue on a sunny day. I wouldn’t recommend this stroller for ‘off-roading’ and it wasn’t great on cobbled streets.

I will be taking the Pact Lite on our next trip into London, these strollers are perfect when travelling on public transport where space is not in abundance.

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The only slight negative I found was that the  back rest, even at its highest level, is very reclined. Georgia is very inquisitive and kept pulling herself up on the bumper bar to see out in front of her.

joie21We have also tested the Pact Lite on a friend’s baby who is younger (16 weeks). This stroller is suitable from birth due to the lie flat reclining seat so perhaps it’s better for smaller babies as she seemed very comfortable in it.

Available to buy from John Lewis at £140.00 this is a mid-range buggy. As standard, you receive the carry bag and rain cover too.