I’ve had this post in my drafts for quite a while (since the Summer to be exact). And whilst we have entered a new season, I still very much wanted to preserve and share this moment from the Summer, and just generally remember how joyful it was for little Megsie.

Megan has loved adored animals for as long as I can remember and since understanding about careers and jobs, she has told people she wants to be a Vet (or a farmers wife with 100 babies)! When Ethan went off to preschool she would ask weekly to go to the farm, and even now her ideas for birthday treats and family outings involve zoos, Sea life or animal parks. Her life very much revolves around animals, and so of course they featured several times on our Summer bucket list,.  . And it was on the last day of the summer holidays we chose to go to the Animal Park and Bird of Prey centre at Park Rose Village, Bridlington and finally accomplished the farm goal!

Here we anticipated we’d enjoy a lovely day out together, seeing the usual farm animals, along with the added bonus of birds of prey and reptiles. What we didn’t anticipate though (and what was the real highlight), was that we would have an opportunity to get up close to the Wallaby’s and have a go at feeding them! Park Rose let visitors get hands on with feeding times and animal handling through out the day and it was such an exciting and fun thing to do with the kids.

  

We arrived about 10ish and so were right on time for feeding the wallaby’s at 11 after looking round the park! It was something Megan was absolutely keen to do and over the moon about. It was fun for us all but an especially beautiful moment to see our little animal lover sat on a log making friends with some wallaby’s! She was so patient and still… so engrossed and at ease. She didn’t squeal or flinch like some of the kids did, and she didn’t tire and just lob it at them across the pen (again like some other kids did!). Instead she looked at them longingly, and waited and waited patiently and quietly taking it all very seriously. It was then that she was able to put them at ease too and make friends with the wallaby’s (as she told us afterwards) and enjoy some extra ordinary moments feeding them.

Located just outside of Bridlington it is only 20minutes for us now, and was a very reasonable family day out at only £20 for us all to get in. It isn’t vast but it is very unique, has some great things to do, and you can come and go all day with the same ticket if you wish. They also have a Groupon on at the moment for Kids to have a hands on experience with the Birds or Meerkats … if you don’t want to pay extra then just go along as a regular visit like we did (maybe this half term?) and in the mornings you can feed the Wallaby’s, handle reptiles and watch the nutty Emu’s dance around their pen!

 Seasonal Bucket lists are a great way to involve the whole families interests in outings and activities. They are a way for kids to try new things as well as doing the things they love too. I find them an excellent way to show appreciation for that season, give us some focus, and create habits of seasonal appropriate activities for the whole family. For Autumn we hope to (and have already done) …

2017 Autumn Bucket List

Bake Ginger bread
Make an Apple Pie 

Go on a Spooky Walk 
Go to a Halloween Party (or 2)
Watch a spooky movie together
Go to a fair
Go to a Bonfire & Watch some fireworks
Write our names with Sparklers 
Make something using things from Nature 
Build a fire and snuggle round it 
Go out for Hot chocolate
See a windmill

Climb a mountain 
Go on a Bike Ride
Collect Conkers

Go to a Pumpkin Farm 
Carve Pumpkins
Go on a muddy nature walk
Eat warm Soup

What traditions do you enjoy in the Autumn?

*This is not a sponsored post! 
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Tuesday was a day I can only describe as fun (with relaxing thrown in there too) as we experienced together pig racing, go karts, a bouncy pillow, tractor rides, animal handling and even a foam party! We were invited to experience Piglets Adventure Farm nr York and couldn’t have picked a better day to go; the sun was shining bright and it was absolutely brilliant, ticking all the boxes of what my kids love to do with a few extras thrown in for good measure too.

I’ll be honest and say I hadn’t heard of it until last week, perhaps it is one of Yorkshire’s hidden gems only known to locals? but being from Leeds it was certainly worth the 45minute drive over to York for a fun packed afternoon, that most certainly needed the whole day. It is a clean lovely farm with the usual animals you would expect, and some you might not (think boars and Tortoises) and then of course the amazing adventure side which kept them entertained and busy for literally hours and there were several moments where I barely saw them, in fact the 4.5 hrs we spent there really were not sufficient for all we wanted to do and what was on offer. As a result I had a few tears on my hands as we were leaving over that very point that they hadn’t “done it all”, but it was soon fixed by ice cream and I think was more of a result of pure exhaustion from so much fun in the sun!

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I have said on so many occasions about how my kids (like most) love to be outdoors being busy, active and living on the side of adventure  (with a bit of risk too), and this was the perfect place for them to get all of this. The layout was perfect to give them their freedom, allow them to do different things at the same time all whilst being able to keep an eye on them, and I think this independence that they felt added to the fun of it all. As we drove home we discussed what we loved most and their favourite things and this was the response (for ease Ethans quotes are blue, Megs pink):

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10. Park“It was good because they had TWO parks that were little houses and we could play in them and go on the firemans pole; I can’t believe there were 2 parks!” “and that tunnel and tractor park too Ethan we played on”.

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9. “That beach” – also known as a sand pit. They thoroughly enjoyed mixing with the other kids there and building things, and from what I could see being very busy moving sand around the construction site with wheel barrows for a big project they were working on!

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8. Pig races“those pigs were really funny, I didn’t know pigs have races”! We have seen sheep racing before, but pig racing was just a little more entertaining and we all found it a lot of fun. The staff are great at bigging up the event with lots of pig jokes thrown in for good measure…

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7. Bouncy pillow – who doesn’t love a Bouncy pillow at 4 & 5 yrs old? Whilst no stranger to them the kids were delighted to see it and spent a good half hr bouncing about and laughing their heads off. I loved the thoughtfulness to provide one for big kids and a smaller one for ‘piglets’! On this Megan said “I can’t believe there was a bouncy pillow and I bounced soooo much and could just go on it so much”.

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6. Animals – animals are always exciting (especially for Megs) and it wouldn’t feel like a farm visit without seeing them.  It was a lovely little wander through the trees and over a bridge, away from the adventure part, where we saw the usual pigs, goats, cows, ponies…

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And then a few surprise faces too which had them blown away and in stitches…

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There are opportunities throughout the day to feed them and handle smaller rabbits etc.

5. Holding a snake“Me and Megan were just so brave that we held a REAL snake”! This is not a common thing to do there, but a bonus feature of what they had on on that day. It is however representative of the various extras they have on during the holidays.

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4. Barrel ride – little megs Que’d for ages (actually only about 10 mins max) for this and loved it so much. It was one of the 1st things she noticed and didn’t care that E wasn’t bothered about joining her on it because “it was so cool”

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3. Go karts – Ethan beat Megs on this to be 3rd place and he spent a lot of time on them, initially when we arrived and then went back for more of the action a little later. I loved watching him racing round with a big grin on his face and pretending he was driving a real car. It was great. He said on the way home “Mummy those Go Karts are just so awesome that I think I could get one and a real track for my birthday couldn’t I?” – Ermmm nice it had a lasting impression but dream on kiddo!

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2. Ice cream – second place as its my kids and food is never far from their thoughts. They assured me they were tasty and I was most impressed by the size for only £2!

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(Note how wrecked Ethan looks here from SO much fun!!)

1. Foam party – Where to begin? The highlight of the visit by far, from the initial disco to set things off to the conga outside before kicking things off and firing foam over all the kids. It was absolutely brilliant and the squeals, laughter and sheer joy on their faces was wonderful, it was most impressive and a huge amount of fun! “This is the best place ever” !!

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In addition to these they also had tractor rides, a maize maze, a kids tractor area, mini golf, and an impressive looking water fight arena…I was blown away with how much was there to keep the kids busy and active, and loved how many benches and grassy areas there where to be able to sit in the sun and watch from a distance them lapping it all up. There were several moments where I could just feed or just be making it relaxing and not demanding for me whilst they had the fun. It was of course busy but the wide open spaces meant it didn’t feel overwhelmingly busy and nor were there any real ques for anything!

It’s rare as a parent to find a place that is both fun for kids and relaxing for you. Often days out, especially recently, are just a little too crazy (unless with other parents to lend a hand) but on Tuesday our visit to piglets was not only the adventure they promise but so much fun for Ethan and Megan and relaxing for me too. They really do have so many amazing things to keep the kids busy We would highly recommend it as a day out, you can take a picnic or eat from their lovely locally sourced menu, but get there early as there is so much to do it will be a jam-packed family fun day!

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*Thank you to Piglets for inviting us to visit in return for an honest review! We absolutely loved our visit and all thoughts and pics are our own! 

 

 

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On our recent spontaneous trip to stay at Grandma’s, and after a busy morning spent helping in her garden followed by a little water fun and lunch, we hopped in her mini bus and she took us to see her friends farm “The Ginger Cow” which is situated just outside of York, in Evringham in East Yorkshire. It is a cute little family run cafe and farm where a lovely couple are living their dream and sharing the fun with visitors. They describe it as “Idyllic” and I couldn’t agree more. As we sat with the sun beaming down and enjoying delicious cordials and ice creams in the garden whilst the kids played dress up and games in the tepee, rode tractors and pushed the vintage prams (and I couldn’t make my mind up over all of the tasty cakes and foods on offer), it all felt so beautiful and was so picturesque and relaxing. It was busy but not overcrowded and the views were splendid. Its hard to believe it when you hear that they have only been there a couple of years and built this place from scratch with no farming experience!

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After some chats and bevvys, we took a little guided tour around the animals (all pram friendly) where we heard the names and personal tales of each animal and how they came to be there. We saw some of them perform their little tricks and laughed together at this and the little stories we heard about them all. The farmer gave several opportunities to the kids to feed them and the whole thing took about an hour. I loved that the the kids were captivated throughout and just loved it. I have been to so many farms in the last 5 years as a parent and of course here we saw the usual sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, cheeky hens and then The Ginger Cow(s). But this farm is beyond your average visit because Shaun the farmer gives of his time to show you around and to tell you all about its evolvement and his animals, in the process sharing many an intereting fact on the breeds of animals and their individual backgrounds. He encourages the kids to get up close to the animals and not be afraid, personalising it all by calling them each by name.

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This farm is special because it is the fulfillment of a couples dream and a working progress together. Once there you can truley feel the love and passion they have for it and see for yourself how he, his wife and their kids have built an amazing life and clean and child friendly place to be shared and enjoyed by all. I came away feeling like I wanted this dream for myself, which Mr Smith was rather apprehensive of and laughed off, but truley it is such a lovely unique place, with a personal touch and where I hope to visit again – most deffinitely a great afternoon where hearing and seeing of their families story and what they have built together was not only interesting and fun but very inspiring too.

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This is not a collaborative post just appreciation of a lovely afternoon. 

#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots

 

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On Sunday as I was sat with Megan in church, she rolled her eyes, let out a sigh and not very discreetly protested “ugh this is sooooo bawing”! It is moments like this, and how she shouts “cheers man” at drivers as we cross the road, or “I am living the dream” every time she does something remotely joyful, that crack me up and reflect her cheeky character at this age.

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Yesterday Megan turned 4, a day she has been super excited for for a good few months, and one that was thoroughly enjoyed by us all! This year it was all about Paw patrol, still some frozen, and a desire to have her own baby to look after (thanks Grandma). She requested “dippy eggs and pink milk” for breakfast, which she finished off with some marshmallows and a morning of playing with her gifts.

Her day out was a toss up between swimming or a farm, but her desire for treat central led her to wanting to go a fairly local ice cream parlour with play area and animals. She loved every minute going wild, seeing the animals, indulging in a teddy bear ice cream, “living the dream” and having mummy and daddy’s attention all on her! We then had dinner out with Grandma and a cake to finish up! It was really lovely, simple and as I say, enjoyed by us all. As this year is a party year, she will also be celebrating with friends at the weekend, another exciting prospect and a great hello to being 4 years old!

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It doesn’t make me particularly sad that she seems so big and grown up these days, and nor do I feel like time is running away that I need to say as in years past; “I can’t believe she’s 4”! I can believe it, and we have enjoyed some wonderful things with her since she entered our lives, that it doesn’t seem to have flown by too fast at all. Her birthday does always make me feel a little emotional yes, but more so because it was on her 2nd birthday that was pregnant with Poppy and she had the excitement of a baby sister. Again this year she has that to look forward to, but it doesn’t stop us missing a family member on these occasions, and I know I am not alone in these thoughts as yesterday over her ice cream she whispered to me out of the blue; “If poppy was here she would be 30” …. and later that night sent her restaurant balloon to heaven “so poppy can have my birthday too”. This is reflective of her kind and thoughtful nature, She has a wonderful innocence about her, enjoys age appropriate things, yet obviously ponders on things more meaningful and has something inside that makes her wish her sister was here too.
I love that she is aware of Poppy and desires some bond with her too, but of course it is that aspect that makes me teary on occasions like this. I worried last year as she seemed to be clinging to being a baby, but again I feel, looking back this was how she dealt with everything. We all miss poppy but are not sad that Megan is growing up, because 4 seems perfect for her and I feel she is ready to be heading to school later this year and doing all she is at this age.

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I want to remember not just how thoughtful, caring and kind she is, but how funny she is at 4 too; how great she is at telling elaborate tales and easily gets adults believing her (which just feeds them)! How she is very stubborn, great at being moody when things don’t go her way and how everything is everyone elses fault and never hers! How she is never without a graze, bruise or since this weekend and smacking into a wall from a rope ladder, a black eye, because she craves adventure and is WILD! Injuries or other people do not stop her, she bounces back and gets on with life.

I want to remember at 4 Megs that you loved Paw patrol, princesses, cheesy pasta (or any pasta for that matter), making things, Scooting and that you adore animals or anything to do with them. That you think by saying “ooo la la” that you are speaking Spanish and that you and Ethan do my head in talking like minions!!! I want remember that I can never figure out if its a tom boy day or girly day and every morning is a negotiation on what you will wear, as such your wardrobe is such a mix of styles, but rather cas with a girly twist! I love that you always know what you are going to be wearing and I love the time we spend together out in it, the adventures we have, hugs and snuggles at any time and with all of this personality I know you will go far because you are determined, bold and kind. You will make friends easily and and have fun in all you do because we see this is who you are. Yes 4 years ago doesn’t seem that long ago at all and I remember your birth-day as clear as anything, but so much has happened and been experienced that it is a wonderful thing that you are now a big 4 and its been great to celebrate that and you!!! Happy 4th Birthday to Miss Megsie!

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