Archive for December 2018

Elf Adventure Challenge at the Ice Cream Farm

Saturday, 15 December 2018

We were invited along to do a review of the Elf Adventure Challenge at The Ice Cream Farm.

We kept the Challenge a surprise for the kids today. Their Elf on the Shelf was found sledging with some mini elves this morning and then left them some hats and a note to say that it was their turn to be Elves today! Little did they know that they would be training as Elves!

On arrival at the Tipi tent, we were greeted by Grandpa Elf and issued with our tickets. Then we were taken inside and introduced to Baubles and GlitterBella.

The first thing was to learn the Elf March. Be warned that it is quite catchy and will get stuck in your head!

Parent participation is expected as you work as a team to complete the challenges. I won't give too much away about the activities as it will spoil the experience, however you might be able to get the gist from the pictures.

There are 4 Challenges to complete and the Elves keep up the chatter and banter throughout. They are very animated and energetic which is great. The time goes really quickly as you get absorbed in trying to help the kids complete each activity. The Challenges are interspersed with some singing and the Elf March again at the end.

The children had great fun taking part in all the activities. I think their favourite was the one with the snowballs! They got fully involved with it all and it was so fun to watch them. I loved their dancing and singing!

There was the chance for photos at the end before leaving the Tipi.

The kids took part in this Challenge last year as I booked it as a surprise for them on Christmas Eve. It was fun to do it again as Master R could get much more involved this year. The games have been refined and improved for this year. The space is much better in the Tipi tent and was well decorated with some lovely trees and props.

Afterwards we went for an obligatory ice cream! Well, ice cream for the kids and hot drinks to warm the adults up! Despite the fact that it was absolutely freezing today, the kids still wanted to play outside so we bundled them up in their snowsuits and let them run around using the countdown clock on the Ice Cream Tree to mark when their time was up. We were the only ones mad enough to be outside in the play area!

Find out more about the Elf Adventure Challenge at The Ice Cream Farm and book online. Tickets cost £11.50 per person or £40 for a family. All children receive a free copy of the storybook 'Sprout's Elf Adventure Challenge' and a Graduation Certificate. It is a fun experience that the kids will remember. Miss A came straight home and told our Elf on the Shelf that they had Graduated as Elves like him! So if you're looking for something slightly different to do with the kids this Christmas then I would definitely recommend the Elf Adventure Challenge.

Disclaimer:  We were kindly provided with free tickets for the Elf Adventure Challenge in return for this review but all opinions are my own.

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Elf on the Shelf 2017

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Last year was our first year of Elf on the Shelf and it was so fun seeing the kids' reactions every morning!

I thought I'd do a quick summary of what our Elf got up to last year. So if you're looking for some Elf on the Shelf ideas then maybe these might inspire you!

Day 1: Our elf arrived along with the kids advent calendars. Miss A named him 'Elfie the Welfie' and we watched The Elf Story DVD which was a good introduction for the kids.

Day 2: All aboard the Shoe Shoe Train! Miss A found this really funny and the first thing she said was 'Elfie has been up to mischief!'.

Day 3: The kids were off to a soft play party today so Elfie thought he'd join in with his own ball pit! Master R particularly enjoyed the ball pit that Elfie left for them in the bath!

Day 4: Miss A told Elfie off this morning as you're not allowed to play on the stairs!

Day 5: Elfie didn't get up to any mischief but instead brought everything needed to write a letter to Santa.

Day 6: They're grrrrrreat! Elfie was trying to impersonate Tony the Tiger this morning!

Day 7: Miss A was naughty yesterday so Elfie was sad and didn't get up to any mischief. Instead there was a letter from Santa asking her to be good (one for Master R too about his sleeping in the night or lack of it!). Miss A was a different girl that day!

Day 8: Elfie was back up to mischief! Miss A thought it was hilarious that he'd photocopied his bottom!

Day 9: Elfie knew that we were going to get our Christmas tree so he had a drive and found his own one. He'd also brought with him a magic tree for the kids to grow.

Day 10: Spider-elf! Miss A was off to a superhero party so Elfie decided to try being Spider-Man and brought Miss A a costume to wear! She was thrilled and the costume went straight on over her PJs!

Day 11: Snow ball fight! Elfie re-enacted what he saw Miss A and her Daddy doing in the garden the day before when we had snow!

Day 12: Elfie put his wrapping skills to the test in our living room! He not only wrapped the TV, but the remote control and the cushions on the sofa!

Day 13: Miss A was an angel in her school nativity play and Elfie wanted to try being one too! He'd even evicted our Christmas tree angel who was found sulking on the shelf!

Day 14: Elfie managed to tame the dinosaurs and decided to take them for a walk! Master R particularly enjoyed Elfie's antics on this day. I was amazed that he didn't really touch Elfie or if he did then he was really gentle with him.

Day 15: Gone fishing! Elfie thought he'd have a go at a spot of fishing.

Day 16: Elfie was found hosting a reading group for some of the toys.

Day 18: Zip wire fun for Elfie. He didn't make an appearance the day before as we struggled a bit with Miss A's behaviour as she was just so tired from school. So he made a dramatic reappearance on a zip wire!

Day 19: A Christmas bath awaited the kids. He left them a message in the morning and then whilst they were out he got busy decorating the bathroom. They also had some Christmas bath toys to play with. Miss A's reaction was brilliant and she wanted a bath straightaway!

Day 20: Christmas Jumper Day at school so Elfie thought he'd try everyone's on for size. He did have his very own new jumper to wear for the day too!

Day 21: Sprinkle angel! Elfie left some nice sweet treats to make.

Day 22: Sledging with some very special new friends! By far my favourite Elfie antic. I love the mini elves of Miss A and Master R.

Day 23: When Elfie got stuck up the chimney, he began to shout! You boys and girls won't get any toys, if you don't colour this in... Or something like that! He bought a fab play house for the kids to play in.

Elfie was extra kind as along with the colour-in house in the morning, he left some popcorn and his favourite movie for the afternoon. Have to admit I'd never seen the film Elf and I've still only see some of it but Miss A enjoyed it.

Day 24: North Pole Breakfast and a goodbye letter from Elfie with tickets to an Elf Adventure Challenge in the afternoon. Going to miss the little guy!

It's safe to say that Elfie is here to stay as Miss A started talking about him as soon as we started mentioning Christmas. We'll be having lots of fun with Elfie again this year. I'll do a round up of what he gets up to - can't promise that there won't be some repeats but the kids don't seem to mind!

Would love to know what's been most popular with your kids and your Elf on the Shelf? Let me know in the comments.

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Buying a Real Christmas Tree at Delamere Forest

Thursday, 6 December 2018

We were fortunate to be invited along to do a review of the Real Christmas Trees that are for sale at Delamere Forest.

We weren't sure if we were going to have a real tree this year and did purchase an artificial one in the January Sales. However when the Forestry Commission contacted me about a review, then it helped us decide that it would be nice to have a real tree again!

Going and picking a real tree is a fun experience for the kids. And the kids had a really great time tonight. It was a great opportunity to go as it was late night opening and was quite quiet. 

We actually bought our tree from Delamere last year. It was quite different as it snowed that day. I remember we had a really dicey drive there, slipping and sliding around on the roads. It was lovely to see all the trees covered in snow and made the whole sales centre quite magical. We didn't want to stay around too long though as it was very very cold and we had to brave driving back home in the snow!

When we arrived the kids had fun being elves, reindeer and snowman whilst we waited for Mr MoaB to meet us from work. 

We then took a walk around the Sales Centre and headed towards the festive Tipi. This really is beautiful inside with a fire burning and lots of fairy lights. It's so inviting. 

To the kids great delight we found Father Christmas and they had the most amazing chat with him. He was the loveliest Father Christmas we've met.

Father Christmas was making a special appearance for the late night opening. There is a Santa's Grotto on-site which is open at weekends. You don't need to book for this, you just turn up and queue. This is priced at £8 per child and £2 per adult. 

Delamere Events are providing the food and drinks in this Tipi. Mr MoaB was starving after work so grabbed a portion of chips to tide him over! There are lots of hot food and drink options including mulled wine. 

It was then time to choose our tree! We'd already decided that we wanted to get a Nordman Fir Tree. We found this section and then worked our way up the sizes before settling on the 5ft trees. There were a lot to choose from so we randomly picked a few out for inspection. The kids just enjoyed running up and down amongst them all. The site is well lit with floodlights so you can have a good look at the trees even when it's dark as it was tonight. Staff are on hand if you need help with selection or carrying your tree. Miss A proved really helpful with carrying ours!

Prices for trees start from £30, depending on the size and species of tree. All are sustainable UK-grown trees. With every tree you buy, you receive a free Christmas tree sapling so you can grow your own!

The whole experience was really easy. Once selected we took it to be netted up and then it was time to head home. We'll be decorating our tree at the weekend. 

Find out more about the Christmas Trees at Delamere Forest. We know the forest well so you could easily make a day of it by going for a nice walk, maybe finding the Gruffalo statue, then stopping to buy your tree on the way home.

Disclaimer:  We were kindly provided with a free Christmas Tree in return for this review but all opinions are my own.

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