It’s been several months since we first visited Scarborough Sealife Sanctuary as a family, and I was excited to both visit again, and then also see what (if anything) was different too now Summer has arrived. We planned a day around it on Saturday in Scarborough and it was very much enjoyed by us all!

We arrived first thing (10am) both to avoid the crowds, and also because we wanted to do other things in the afternoon in Scarborough. It was definitely a great time to arrive as we were able to casually wander round and do the activities they had without fighting crowds, and then there were few (if any) ques for the viewing areas.

If your kids, like mine, are obsessed with Moana, then Sealife is most definitely the the place for them right now. It doesn’t have anything remotely around it, but it does bring certain aspects of the film to life, because as we entered the Ray pool they started going nuts about “Moana’s Grandma” and it suddenly added a new spark to the visit! Of course then we made our way round the familiar sights and saw everything we did before from the various breeds of fish, the Octopus, Jelly Fish, Ray’s, penguins, seals and Sharks, as well as Penguin Island, now open to better view them waddling around on land!

The walk through tunnel is always a fave, and a place where Alice sat in excitement and wonderment for quite a while. She pointed, smiled and we realised what a fascinating and sensorial experience it must be for a little 1 year old! The turtle however was a source of fear, and whenever she swam past Alice, she cried and freaked out (moment over!).

FEEDING THE OTTERS

Our timely arrival meant that on this visit we were right on time for the Otter feeding once outside! This was a great addition and fresh experience this time for us, and whilst not necessarily something new there, the timing of our visit enabled us to be there this time!

Sealife at Scarborough have public viewings of feeding both the Otters and Seals at various times throughout the day, and with it being warmer weather it is lovely to stand out in the sun (close to the beach) and listen to the pro’s give a personal talk about each animal, their life inside and outside of captivity and how they help them at the sanctuary to prepare for life in their natural habitat!

Feeding the Otters was both a fascinating and a little gross (I never knew they ate baby chicks) experience, and was great to see close up. Megan had a front row spot and couldn’t take her eyes off them – as a lover of all animals, she was completely in her element. Like I’ve said before…that’s what we love about the Sealife Sanctuary – you see them helping, rescuing and rehabilitating sea creatures and mammals all over the place and for a budding vet it is pure inspiration and joy!  

Sealife in Summer is a great day out whatever the weather, but very much enjoyed in the sunshine we had on Saturday. I guess it’s easy to assume it would be a good go to on a rainy day (which i’m sure it would), but its location on the north bay is so lovely that sunshiney days mean you can truly appreciate all it has to offer; with panoramic views of the north bay, the glistening sea, and then to see the otters, penguins and seals more eager to pop out and say “hello”! Its nice to chill outside and watch them, instead of just rushing by to get to the next display!

Right now Scarborough Sealife Sanctuary have the “Octonauts Octo Glow Event” on with challenges for children around the centre and meet and greets available daily with Kwazii and Peso. There are also 2 new baby penguins bringing it to a total of 24!

Sealife in Summer is a great family day out and once you have bought your ticket, you can go back in as many times as you want. We love the touch pools, the penguins, the Ray’s and the shark tunnel… what will you discover?

*We are Ambassadors for Sacarborough Sealife and this visit and post were done in collaboration with them – all thoughts and pictures are my own! 

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I don’t know about where you are, but here in Yorkshire (Yorkshire folk will confirm), we have had some pretty miserable rainy weather recently! When I planned our Summer break, I never took into account the good old British weather and how it might influence those plans. I just saw the word “Summer” and imagined long sunny days in sandals and shorts, paddling pools and water fights, and lots of ice pops! Reality however has been somewhat different, and whilst we have eaten our fair share of ice pops, I’ve quickly realised Summer is very unpredictable – you cant exactly have a beach trip in a monsoon, and you can’t take the kids on a nature walk when its blowing a gale, and as you are probably more than aware, it has been on that level of rainage/storms!


Yesterday was a complete wash out of course, and potentially a day of cancelled plans, falling out and exhaustion. I was slightly disappointed to say the least, but at the same time we took it in our stride and made the most with what we had. With said rain (and a long weekend of travelling) it meant that we ended up staying in all day which would usually equate to me going slightly mad and us all getting a good dose of cabin fever, but it actually turned out to be a really hearty and successful day in! We had invited some friends over for a play date and whilst the kids built dens, played dress up, trains, knights and watched Moana (for the 50th time), we chatted about anything and everything! We then made homemade pizzas for lunch and had sneaky ice creams out of the freezer for afters. The day flew by and the kids had so much fun with new faces and friends. 

I went to bed feeling like it was certainly a “Mum win” kind of a day!

On the flip side of our lovely rainy day in yesterday, just last week we embraced the rainy forecast and hit the water fountains in Hull city centre. We decided that the kids were going to get wet anyway so what’s a bit of rain? It turns out it wasn’t “just a little bit rain” but clearly Yorkshire is now home to a Monsoon season, and we were soaked to the skin in seconds with nowhere to shelter! The kids LOVED it, and it was the biggest laugh and fun we’ve had in ages…

It is from these 2 days of laughing and having fun despite us apparently being in Monsoon season, that I have decided that rain is actually a lot of fun if you are prepared. Whether you are out and about splashing in it and getting soaked, or snuggled with friends indoors eating yummy food (and they were delish pizza’s), and playing your favourite games together, it can be a great day “whatever the weather”!

I think as parents we often spend so much time feeling like we aren’t enough for our kids, or we are so quick at pointing out or down falls, and what we haven’t been able to do with them, that we miss the small moments that matter. The moments that bring sunshine despite the rain…the moments like making the most of a rainy day with friends, and getting soaked from fountains and rain together. The moments of giving your kids a fun day inside despite the weather and creating memories as well as their own pizza! On days like these we need to pat our selves on the back and celebrate, because we didn’t just survive it, we laughed, we loved and we had a heck of a lot of fun!

Rain, I have discovered, doesn’t have to make for cancelled plans and going insane. It is fun, sounds great on a conservatory roof, and encourages you at times to take a break and become inventive!

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What do you do when you grow up on a farm with nature all around you? When you live in a place where you can climb trees, paddle, build dens and explore with your friends til your hearts content? Well if you are Tor and Christian Carver, then you grow up and recreate it for the masses in the form of Williams Den of course – a place of adventure, exploring, and a place where you will struggle to get your kids home!

Located in East Yorkshire and just off the M62 in North Cave (very convenient), you will discover a play centre far different from the norm! Wood, sand, water, tree houses, a zip wire, mud and more combine with children’s imaginations to create the “best play place ever” and we had “the best day out” last Thursday there!

My 3 were certainly in their elements with Alice clambering over rocks to splash in the little rivers, and Megan playing spider over the nets. Ethan spent literally hours pumping water and damming it up before conquering all levels of the den. They climbed, splashed, played all day and each loved it for different reasons. But mostly they loved it for the reason it was intended – the freedom of being able to explore and do pretty much anything as they would outdoors all day long!

The Den itself is built of responsibly sourced wood, and housed inside a huge barn. It has various levels and platforms that are connected by nets, beams and bridges. At one end you will find a large sand pit and slide, to the other a little river running through the bottom and ending under a waterfall. Kids can play on, in and around any of it, provided they are being kind and careful.

Outside you are greeted with panoramic views of the Yorkshire Wolds and hand crafted picnic benches all around to enjoy lunch or sit with an ice cream. Here the adventure continues as kids can enjoy climbing on slabs of stone, nets and beams or crawling through tunnels in the mole hills. There are mud kitchens, grass hills, more sand and water play, and a couple of zip wires too.

Taking kids tree climbing, river paddling and scrambling over logs and rocks isn’t everyone’s scene or even available in close proximity, but it’s something we love to do. Irrelevant of where you live though or how comfortable you are with those things, Williams Den gives all kids and parents the opportunity to be more free range in a safer and more controlled environment. You can give your kids those experiences without venturing too far.

What we Loved the most –

 * Water play and hand pump

 * That you can take your own food in – such a bonus (though the wood pizza’s are very delish and reasonable too)

 * That the toilets are family friendly (most have an adult and child toilet in each cubical and are not gender specific!)

 * The gorgeous views and scenery

 * The nets and “spider webs to climb in”

 * That waterfall (more water!)

 * “Everything – its just the best place ever mummy!” (Ethan).

Williams Den is open every day but til 7pm Thursdays through Saturdays, and would certainly be an investment with a “Friends of the Den Pass”. We will most definitely be returning again and again as I know its a place they will get a lot out of for many more years. And it has the bonus of being only 20 minutes away!

 So whether you have a tot or young teen, and whether they daring and risky like my kids or more cautious and curious, Williams Den seriously has something for everyone at each level and age – it really is designed for the growing child. The steps are high enough that toddlers can’t get up unaided but small enough to be the start of a great adventure for older kids. Mine are very quick and co-ordinated and so shot up all over and loved every second they were there (especially the 10 mins when they scoffed the yummy ice cream!). So take a few pairs of dry clothes and towels, perhaps a picnic or money for a yummy lunch, and get exploring and clambering down at Williams Den this Summer!

* Thank you to William’s Den for inviting us to review the Den Free of charge in return for an honest review. All thoughts and pictures are my own. Interesting to note that whilst there the rain poured and despite easily 200 people being inside it didn’t feel too claustrophobic or overly crazy. All Kids seemed chilled and laid back… 

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Last week I had forgotten that May day meant a bank holiday, and so it suddenly felt like such a bonus on Monday to have Nathan home for the day. It was so exciting to realise Monday meant no rushing but an opportunity to be able to spend some extra time as a family. So of course we made the most of it and got the kids cleaning up!!!

After a morning of tidying up and swapping around ideas of what we should do in the process with this bonus family day, we finally settled on a visit to the National Railway Museum in York. It’s been ages since we all visited there and it was great to see that the kids still loved it just as much.

Trains to most kids are an exciting concept, and more so for ours since loosing their grandpa.  They were a great love of his and it’s a place he would frequently visit with each of his grandchildren, and so they are something that ties them to memories with him. We told stories to the kids of their visits there with him it was nice and so natural to take time to reflect on memories of the past with Grandpa there.

Another exciting feature to our visit (aside from all of the amazing Trains) was that the museum also have a crime/mystery theme going on at the moment (until September) where the kids were able to use typewriters, make finger print badges and solve some mysteries for themselves! It was the perfect opportunity to get involved and get to grips with history (which is awkward seeing as though we grew up with them), and for Ethan to develop a new obsession he would later torment me with by whining for one! They also spoke to police officers past and present about crime on the railways and then went nuts dashing here and there to see all of the marvellous things on display!

They both loved letting off steam (lol) and exploring, wandering, snooping and riding on the trains – it was really nice to chill out together and I too really enjoyed myself. I felt all day that it was actually a really cool museum I have never properly appreciated and felt pretty chilled out and had a lot of fun with the kids. Now when I think back and look at my selection of pics I am feeling thankful for our bonus day of time together in a place our whole family associate with someone very special. It was just a lovely day spent together making memories in an exciting museum of all things trains!

During the visit we noticed Alice had a few red spots on her and by the end of the day we realised she most definitely had chicken pox! Its been a bit of a struggle and she looks so sad even though she is actually handling rather well. I am just so grateful we got out on Monday for a little train adventure, and were able to have a good laugh all together…because now I am going nuts with a spotty, clingy, can’t sleep properly baby!

Run Jump Scrap!
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