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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The focus of our summer bucket list this year was mainly to explore our new county (Hello East Yorkshire), and to spend a lot of time enjoying our new easier access/closer proximity to the coast. Whilst planning what we might like to do, we have spoken a lot about picnic teas on the beach and in the garden, paddling on the beach, discovering new farms, places by train, and local nature in the countryside.

We plan on me doing the fun days out and crafty things, and then hopefully bonus beach trips or country walks on an evening with daddy when he gets home from work!

The kids wanted to do some of the same things as last year, whilst also making the most of our new home and spend some time in the garden too. They want to see their cousins and hang with Grandma’s too…Together we came up with this.

Summer Bucket list 2017

Visit a Castle
Go inside a Lighthouse
Go to the Model Village
Go to a Farm
Go to the Rock Pools and hunt for crabs
Sealife in Scarborough
Have Breakfast on the Beach
Go Glamping
Hull Fountains
Go on a boat ride
Make Ice lollies
Go on Holiday
Go to Eden Camp
Eat a big Ice cream
Bake a cake
Make Potions
Watch them make the Rock
Have a sleepover with cousins
Visit a new museum
Have a fire/Smores
Discover the “Forgotten Village”

Making it happen…

From there I did the same as last year and drew up a calendar to make sure we remembered to do everything. School holidays are themed each day and rotated each week, and so we work it into that. I then find that within an hour or so not only is everything in there to do, but I also have a plan for everyday of the summer.

Doing this means for us that I can make the most of the time I have with my kids and also know where I am with things like dinner on an evening (do I need to put something on whilst we’re out all day?). It makes life far easier with 3 kids, because it means I can look at the schedule in advance and plan for picnics, transport, invites to friends, or generally just use it as a bargaining chip in my discipline efforts (yes I do believe in bribes!). Of course there will be mornings watching Tv or playing with toys (It is there Summer break after all) but a schedule means we know our focus for the day and we know what to wear and pack in the bag the night before.

So here is a simplified version of what we are doing each day in the summer holidays. Some of them will be on consecutive days, like Sealife and then Filey Brigg the day after, this way we can sleep in Filey at my sisters and tick off “cousins sleepover” and “Breakfast on the beach”…For obvious reasons I have left out my specific dates of when we are doing everything, but you get the idea and hopefully will find it helpful to get through and enjoy summer with the kids!

 

I am so excited for Summer adventures and days spent on the coast, enjoying village life, family time, settling into our new life and discovering new places!

What do you have planned for Summer?

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Trains are officially my mode of transport now it would seem, and as a result I think most people assume I can’t drive here. For someone who has driven since 17 and hot on cars, it’s been so weird to be asked on several occasions this week if I have a licence or thought about getting one, because “It would save a lot on train fairs”! It’s quite funny really but does make me miss having the car on a regular basis. I am looking forward to having daily life in the village and only needing the train for a day out, which won’t be long now. We are on the final count down with the last leg of the move, and this time next week we will have exchanged and completed and preparing to move into our village pad!

This week has been bursting at the seams with deals and bargains; not only have we have had a date out (bonus), but we have booked our summer holiday, and Alice and I have found some freebie things for the Summer Hols in a couple of weeks.

Sand Pit at Princes Quay

Its been ages since I went to Hull and walked around the City, and doing so yesterday brought back many memories of my teen years shopping there with friends! Alice and I caught the train a little further after the school run and met up with one of my very good friends here (who is also Nath’s cousin) and her kids, and spent the day playing in Hull.

We went to Princes Quay which now has an outlet floor (bargains) and seems very much geared towards entertainment. It was a lot quieter in the city than I remember, but it meant it added to a feeling of being more relaxing.

We sat for a good while chatting next to this cute sand pit they have there on the 2nd floor whist both her eldest and Alice had a fab time digging and playing in the sand. After lunch we headed outside, where across the road they have some lovely new fountains where the kids flock to and play in for ages too. It was gorgeous and all very chilled.

I’ve never thought much of Hull but being there reminded me of some great things the kids would love which are all Free, and I know that come the Summer Holidays Ethan & Megan will be super excited to go check out the fountains!

Summer Holiday

If you missed my most recent post, it was all about our Bargainous Summer Holiday in August! In a nut shell its 7 nights, mid August, family of 5 to Pisa/Tuscany for £630 (total NOT each).  You can read how I did it here.

Pizza Express Voucher

Last Saturday and all rather last minute, Nathan and I decided to go out for dinner whilst the kids were asleep. My sister in law was kind enough to listen out for them, and we found ourselves enjoying a gorgeous meal at Pizza Express. I don’t know about you, but I feel like Pizza Express has gotten rather pricey these days? (They have also stopped making my fave pasta dish and the Bosco salad – gutted!).

I, in true thrifty style, found a voucher for us to have a 3 course meal for £12.95 each! It was delicious and a lot easier on the ol purse strings!

Check out Voucher Codes to see if they have anything you can use this weekend, that’s where I found this one!

Little Bargs in the Charity Shop

I haven’t particularly been looking for much in the charity shops this week as I have been pretty busy. Here and there though I have called in to the odd one just for a quick nosy.

On Saturday I bought an amazing African looking dress for a fiver, a cushion for the new house for £2, and the ultimate bargain on Monday in Brid – some brand new sandals for Ethan for £1.49!

Pack up for Swimming

Finally last Friday we went swimming after school. I learnt from last time that they come out of swimming absolutely ravenous and so to save stress, tears and money, I made them a pack up and they sat in the boot of the car after swimming and enjoyed it. Ham sandwiches, crisps and fruit – it went down a treat!

We have discovered a negative to living in the country during summer time, in the form of  “Harvest bugs”! In our hair, all over our clothes, on our arms and in our stuff. They are everywhere! As soon as we step off the train into the village we are greeted with mini beetle type black bugs and thin minute wiggly sorts and they’re blumming annoying!

Today is our school’s Summer fair, which we are a little too excited for I think, and then we shall be on the countdown to moving day… Those bugs better do one by then! The long standing residents of the village assure me we will get used to them (in about 4 years!), but they are most certainly a negative to the dream of country living…

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