Last bank holiday we headed to the beach. Living in the UK we are very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful beaches. No matter where you live you’re never that far away from a beach. Even if you don’t drive you can get out and about with a trian or bus!

On bank holiday Monday we went to St Annes beach in Lancashire. We are quite practised at beach days. We tend to go to the beach quite a lot. So we know what to take with us to have a great day. However while we were there I realised there are still things I’d forgotten. So this is how the blog post was born. A list of things to take with us, a reminder to myself and others what things make a great day!

Beach Essential List

  1. Sun Shelter

We have had a few beach shelters in our time. The one we found to be most useful is a pop up one as it offers the most protection from the sun as well as being ready in seconds. My only word of warning though is practice putting it down before you use it on the beach for the first time! Once you know how to put it down its really easy to do in future. You don’t want to look like a complete fool on the beach though when you come to pack up! This one is a fab pop up version as it has mesh panels which are great if its windy!

 

2.Wind shelter

When you think of a beach wind break, you think big stripes and poles. Thats exactly what I’m talking about. I made the mistake first of buying one that you would use at camping and on the beach its no good as the poles you drive into the ground aren’t sturdy enough for sand. You need to get one with big wooden poles. This one is so cheery and I love it!

3.Dry Bag

Use this once your set up to store your valuables in so you know where they are when it’s time to leave. Things such as house keys, car keys, wallet, purse etc. The last thing you want to do is get to the end of a wonderful day to find that you’ve lost your car keys in the sand somewhere when they fell out of your pocket! As the description says the bag will keep things dry (and most importantly safe!)

 

4. Picnic Basket

Apart from the obvious a picnic basket is great for storing all your food in to keep it cool of rite day. IF you get a silver lined one like below the frozen ice packs will keep your food and drink nice and cool all day long. Be sure to store it in the shade of the sun shelter though.

beach day essentials

5. Chairs

Rather than lugging big fold out chairs with us to the beach we prefer these anywhere chairs as they literally fold up when your done and are so easy and light to carry. The weight of your bottom makes a great support for the back part and as a breastfeeding mum you defiantly need that when feeding on a beach. No one wants to come home with a sore back after a day in the sun!

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6. Towel

I always take one or two travel towels with us. They are super lightweight but absorb a lot of liquids. Great for drying of wet children (if they venture into the sea) or mopping up spills if there are any in the sun shelter.

7. Bucket and Spades

It’ kind of obvious but I forget nearly everytime and end up having to buy more! Theres so many great sets you can pick up for making sand castles etc. Our boys use the buckets and spades in all sorts of different games using their imagination.

8. Picnic Blankets

Now I’ve purposely written picnic blankets as a plural because we always need more than one. We use one to line the bottom of the sunshade tent to sit on then one out a little bit onto the sand for picnics etc. They are not expensive but save wet bottoms for those not wanting to sit on any wet sand! Again they fold up small and are lightweight.

There are other things we take too like spare clothes just in case I need to change the boys as well as a travel potty. Of course all the things that you need with a baby nappies etc. As long as I’ve got the above items though I feel like we are set up for a fab day on the beach. Is there anything else you like to take? I’d love to know so please drop me a line in the comments below!

I’ve dropped the link below for the short video I made of our day out!

Items on this list are affiliate links which means if you click through to buy an item I will get a couple of pence at NO EXTRA cost to you at all.

On Friday during the day hubby and I decided the weather was lovely so why not make it the day to make our annual trip to Blackpool lights. We live about an hour away. Each year since th boy was born we’ve been to see them. We usually only go the the Bispham end of Blackpool where they have some tableau style displays that you can walk along. We always get fish and chips to eat before the walk and the boys love it. Pretty much year on year they are the same with a few little differences but still we love it. Its a family tradition!img_0411

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Airkix skydiving

I haven’t joined in with my Sunday photo for a while now so thought I’d jump back on board this week with a photo taken yesterday. This is my 5 year old son at Airkix indoor skydiving. He’s been asking to do this since he was 3 years old! The minimum age is 4 years old but I still didn’t think he was ready so for his 5th birthday we bought him a voucher. We used the voucher yesterday and this was the result. He was excited yet nervous to go in but I’m so proud that he did it and loved it! Could this be the start of a new hobby!?

 

 

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The first I heard about Winter Wonderland was when I saw an advert for it last year. the boy was only 28 months though and so  I thought he’d be a bit too young for it. When I was invited to have a preview of this years event I thought I’d go and see what it was all about. As it was an evening event I didn’t take the boy because he’s usually asleep for 7pm but I will defiantly be buying some tickets to take him to a day time session, he’d love it!

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Its advertised as ‘The Uk’s Largest Indoor Christmas Theme Park’ and its located within the Event City complex which is right next to the Trafford Centre. Event City does have its own car park but it’s easily walkable from the Trafford Centre itself so a combined trip is very possible. The sessions run from 11am-3pm or 4:30pm-8:30pm most days from now until Sunday 4th January. You can book online or pay on the door.The entrance ticket includes all the rides and attractions as well as visit to Father Christmas. There are also some pay to play fairground games.  On entering I was surprised at how much there was to do. I have been to other shows at eventcity and hadn’t realised just how much floor space there is available. You certainly couldn’t see all the rides and attractions from the entrance area. I was given a map which was nice although you wouldn’t need it to get around. I liked how much space there was between rides and attractions, I can’t imagine it would ever feel crowded in there. There was defiantly space to bring a pushchair if younger siblings were to attend. Under 3’s are free which is great to keep families together, I’m really not keen on places that charge for babies who wouldn’t be able to go on any rides. I wasn’t able to count how many rides there are as there were so many. There is something suitable for all ages, adults too! I know the boy would have been able to go on quite a few rides there and he’s now 3 years and 4 months. He would have loved the carousel and the bouncy castle amongst others.

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I did wonder if the food choices would be limited to burgers and fast food but I was pleasantly surprised to see there was lots of choice including a noodle bar and wild boar burgers! There was a coffee hut and a bar selling mulled wine, if I hadn’t been driving I’d have got into the festive spirit and enjoyed a nice hot mulled wine! There wasn’t a huge amount of seating but there’s far too much to be seeing and doing to sit down for very long and since its indoors even if all the seating was taken you could always picnic on the carpeted floor!

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I didn’t get chance to check out the toilets but when I’ve used them in the past there, they have been lovely and clean. I did pop my head in the baby change area and noted it had a sofa which would be ideal for breastfeeding if you wanted to get away from the main hustle and bustle.

I’ve not even mentioned the attractions yet, there is a love Sooty show, a large circus inside a traditional circus tent and princess meet and greet. As I was walking past the princess meet and greet they were singing the songs from Frozen which the children were very much enjoying, I could barely see the characters as it was very popular, so I’d advise getting there early if your children are fans! The times for each show are displayed on a board on the way in.

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I certainly can’t wait to go back and take the boy, I love that it won’t matter what the weather is like because it’s all under cover!

 

I was given two tickets to the press evening but most importantly all the opinions are truthful and my own.

 

Daddy decided he wanted in on the blogging action so I asked if he’d like to do a guest post here and there. He agreed and set about writing his first post, which is below! Thanks Daddy!

The Cbeebies fun day at MediaCity, Salford Quays… Pffft, it was alright I suppose.

What? Are you still here? Do I need to pad this blog post out a bit? Well, here goes…

So, it was a Daddy day for The Boy, previous Daddy days had taken the form of Kids Club cinema visits, trips to Ikea and train journeys into Wigan and Manchester but today we decided to try something special.

We had applied for CBeebies Pantomime tickets when they were advertised, we were sadly unsuccessful but we did make a note of the fun day and events planned taking place in MediaCity for the weekend of the pantomime, and when Mummy and Flixster had made plans for Saturday, I knew that this would make a memorable Daddy day for The Boy.

After chasing The Boy around the house with his clothes for a little while until he finally agreed to get dressed, we got in the car and set off. As there were a few events on at the Quays and we were late setting off, we parked at Ladywell and took the tram to MediaCity.

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After a short journey and a good press of the button to open the tram doors, we got off the tram in MediaCity and followed the stream of parents and children who were heading into the CBeebies Fun Day.

The first thing that caught our eye was the pirate ship where they were giving tours and reading stories.

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We had a look in the tents which offered a variety of activities and then headed towards the stage where Dr. Ranj from ‘Get Well Soon’ was on stage.

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We watched for a little while before The Boy took us into the Lowry Theatre and up the escalator where we looked at Andy Gott’s brilliant BAFTA portraits exhibition (well, I looked, The Boy ran around and looked out of the window).

The Boy then wanted to go for a walk, so we went over the bridge before ‘tiredy’ legs struck and The Boy wanted picking up, carrying and while I was at it, could I get him some lunch too.

We went into the Lowry Outlet Mall and went up to the food court for lunch, then once we’d finished we had a quick look around the Mall and spotted Great British Bake Off runner up Richard Burr having a coffee with his family.

Once we’d finished in the Mall, we had a look for the famous Blue Peter Garden (it’s smaller than I thought it would be) and explored a couple of the BBC buildings, mainly the ones with automatic or revolving doors, as he loves doors!

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After a little more running around, we got back onto the tram and headed to the car, after a couple of minutes driving, The Boy’s conversation faded and when I turned around to look at him, he was fast asleep……

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