Family fun in Liverpool at the British Music Experience

Family fun in Liverpool at the British Music Experience

I’m always on the look out for fun things to do as a family in the North West of England, especially for the summer holidays. Liverpool is a city we’ve visited a couple of times now and whenever we go I always wonder why we don’t come more often. It is a wonderful, vibrant city packed with lots of activities and places to visit. On Saturday we were invited to try out the British Music Experience, hosted in the Cunard Building, and their newly launched summer holiday programme.  

family fun liverpool british music experience

We are a family of music lovers so this kind of attraction is right up our street, so to speak. With an  walk through of the history of British music from the last 70 years as well as the chance to play instruments and record vocals in the Gibson Brands Interactive Studio!

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

We had interactive guides full of music and talks on each decade of music, we all enjoyed listening to them even my 6 year old who’d put on the music while exploring the exhibits. I must admit I enjoyed the 1980s onwards the most, it was a real trip down memory lane and I loved sharing it with my girls. From the Spice Girls costumes, to Live Aid memorabilia, there’s so much to take in. 

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

Throughout the holidays there is a storytelling session at 1.30 with percussion and chances for the children to join in with. This is especially good for those with younger children.

family fun liverpool british music experience

There’s even craft station where there’s the chance to make dream catchers.

family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

The bit we loved the most was definitely the Gibson Interactive Studio, complete with drum kits, keyboards, electric guitars, bass guitars and a vocal booth.

family fun liverpool british music experience

]family fun liverpool british music experience

family fun liverpool british music experience

 

After hours of music we enjoyed some time in the Star Cafe, coffees for the grown ups and lemonade for the girls. I love the style of the cafe and it made me think about painting our dining room in this colour!

family fun liverpool british music experience

We loved our trip and I’d definitely look at going again, it would be great to take friends and family who are staying with us. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone with an interest in contemporary music, and wanting some family fun in Liverpool.

family fun liverpool british music experience

Find out more about the British Music Experience here.

Tickets are available to buy online here and from the Box Office at The British Music Experience. Ticket info -Adult £16, Child Under 5 FREE, Child (5-15) £11, Concession £14.50, Family Ticket £43.

We were given complimentary entry to this attraction, as always all views are our own.

morganaFamily fun in Liverpool at the British Music Experience
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Eating out at Disneyland Paris – The Earl of Sandwich

We recently visited Disneyland Paris in October Half Term and as you can imagine we had a fantastic time. While we were there we had the opportunity to go to both Planet Hollywood, and The Earl of Sandwich, two of the restaurants at the Disney Village. 

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Situated in the Disney Village, The Earl of Sandwich is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before heading back out and enjoying the rest of Disneyland Paris. With the option to take away or eat in it’s quick food that tastes great.

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Since it opened, Earl of Sandwich, Paris has been serving its customers The World’s Greatest Hot Sandwich®. Made to order in just 4 minutes, the gourmand’s delight comprises of deliciously fresh, top-quality ingredients and is served on bread baked to order, on the premises (the recipe is a closely guarded secret). Featuring hot sandwiches as well as a selection of salads, wraps and desserts the restaurant also has a breakfast menu and offers a selection of delicious fruits and home-made cakes and puddings!

After ordering you get a buzzer which will buzz when your food is ready to be collected.

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Unfortunately for us we went on an extremely busy day, it was a French Bank Holiday, so the queues were huge. I guess this shows just how popular it is! The staff were still friendly and helpful despite being run off their feet.

The girls were happy with the meal deal style of kids food both the mister and I were happy with our wraps and potato wedges. It was good to get a lunch that was warm but not too heavy and despite being busy the service was really fast.

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This is a perfect place to stop in and grab some lunch and have a break from the park. It’s not far from the hotels either so well situated if you’re staying on site like we were.

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Planning a trip to Disneyland Paris? Read all our Disneyland related posts here.

We were given complimentary lunch for this purpose of this review, all views are our own.

 

 

 

 

morganaEating out at Disneyland Paris – The Earl of Sandwich
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Planet Hollywood, Disneyland Paris

We recently visited Disneyland Paris in October Half Term and as you can imagine we had a fantastic time. While we were there we had the opportunity to go to Planet Hollywood, one of the restaurants at the Disney Village.

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This Planet Hollywood is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, while the Park itself will be celebrating 25 year next year so it’s been a part of Disneyland Paris from very early on. Outside there are hand prints from various stars though not many names were recognisable to my two children. It just shows how fast the showbiz industry moves!

The staff were so friendly and helpful and my girls loved the atmosphere being surrounded by big screens and movie memorabilia. I must admit the decor could do with a bit of updating as it did feel a little tired, not that my children noticed this!

We had the classic food, sharing nachos and burgers. While my youngest girl choose pasta (typical! She ordered this in every place we ate out!) and the eldest had a hot dog and chips.

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The nachos portion was huge and really fresh, I ate so much I worried that I wouldn’t have space for my burger!

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planet hollywood, disneyland paris
planet hollywood, disneyland paris

planet hollywood, disneyland paris

The prices were similar to most of the restaurants in the park, if you are half board at one of the Disney hotels you can use your vouchers to put towards paying for your meal. We found it was a great place to go for lunch away from the hustle and bustle of the main park and really felt like we were being looked after by the staff. You might say that it was because we were reviewing it but a quick look around showed me that everyone was getting the same treatment.

planet hollywood, disneyland paris

We were given complimentary lunch for this purpose of this review, all views are our own.

morganaPlanet Hollywood, Disneyland Paris
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Disneyland Paris at October Half Term

Seeing Disneyland Paris on the television as a child, or Euro Disney as it was known back then, always captivated me. The place just seemed so magical and everyone so happy. It was like nothing bad could happen there. I didn’t get to go as a child but I knew that if I had children some day I would love to take them there and see if the magic was real. 

Since having my girls I’ve been desperate to take them, but my much more sensible husband wanted us to wait until they were older, to be the ‘right’ age so they could get the most out of it. Earlier I finally convinced him that with the girls being five and eight that time had surely come, so we booked our break for at Disneyland Paris for October half term. Unfortunately my girls don’t miss a trick and they soon caught wind of it so we weren’t able to do that magical surprise reveal, but they were wonderfully excited nonetheless, and gleefully counted down the days.

Prepare yourself now for a whole lot of Disney, I’m going to share with you our favourite things about our trip to Disneyland Paris at October Half Term.

We flew into Paris which was very exciting as it was the first time my youngest had been on an aeroplane and as my eldest girl was just a toddler on her last plan trip it all felt new and exciting to her too. 

Disneyland Paris October Half term

N’s new Jurni case was packed with her clothes, shoes, ipad and colouring books for the flight. She was so pleased to be responsible for her own things and thanks to the fact that it’s perfect hand luggage size she had it with her all the time. E’s Trunki on the other hand was full of toys and princess dresses, essential items, obviously! Don’t worry, all her clothes were safely packed in our main case. Having cases that the kids could sit on and in E’s case be pulled along on really helped with all the waiting around and queuing, especially when there was no where to sit in the departure lounge on the way home.

After a flight where the youngest girl squealed with excitement while the eldest held on for dear life, we arrived in Paris and made our way to Disneyland. We were staying at the Newport Bay Hotel, which is one of the onsite Disney hotels, and it was beautiful. We didn’t have tickets for the Halloween party which was happening in the park that evening so we headed out to a very busy Disney Village for dinner while feeling very tired.

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Disneyland Paris, October half term

In choosing October Half Term I was worried about the weather being bad, but we were so fortunate with the sun coming on all but our last day. Visiting during the Halloween period meant that much of the park was decorated with pumpkins and the ‘baddie’ characters came out to play. My two were so excited by this as it meant they got to meet Maleficent. As the week went on it transitioned to Christmas at the park and it was so exciting to see the little changes each day. Honestly the attention to detail at Disney is astounding.

disneyland paris october half term

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that my two girls are very different, the youngest loves bright colours, glitter, princesses and general silliness, while the eldest is a massive Star Wars fan, loves fast rides and thought she’d grown out of princesses and Disney characters, though if you saw her face during the parades you’d never have guessed that. I was keen to see how this would play out during the week, would there be enough for us to do as a family or would we spend most of the day split in half.

For those that haven’t been before the main park is split into different lands, each with a theme Fantastyland, Discoveryland, Frontierland and Adventureland. While we were there most of Frontierland was closed for redevelopment and half of Discoveryland was the same – this is where Star Tours is. Of course my Star Wars mad eldest was disappointed that the Star Wars part was closed off but she still got to be a Jedi – more on that later! Here are our favourite bits from each land.

Fantasyland

This was by far my youngest’s favourite, from the iconic castle, to meeting her favourite Princess, not to mention the teacups and Small World ride. She enthusiastically queued for nearly two hours at the Princess Pavillion to meet her very favourite princess, Ariel. I can’t say I was quite as happy about the long wait as she was but seeing her face when she talked to Ariel and hugged her kind of made it all worthwhile.

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disneyland paris october half term

This is the face of a very happy five year old

Discoveryland

The highlights of this were the Buzz Lightyear ride, Space Mountain and Jedi Training Academy. We were really happy to find out that the Jedi Training Academy was still on despite the rest of the Star Wars attraction being closed. I must admit that it wasn’t really well organised or promoted. We relied heavily on other people in the queue that had done it before to explain the process. Basically you queue in the morning to book a time slot for the training and also for the show that follows. It’s also worth noting that your child must be between the ages of 7 and 12 for this activity. We queued and despite the confusion we booked our place for later that day.

The children get to ‘train’ as a Jedi and then come out to do a show for people to watch afterwards. Now we had no idea what to expect and were all shocked when the Storm Troupers and Darth Vader himself arrived. Each child got to put their Jedi skills to the test and fight Darth Vader! Honestly you should have seen their faces when that was revealed – they had no idea. I apologise for the blurry photos but I hadn’t got my camera settings right in time to capture the brief time N was centre stage.

jedi training academy, disneyland paris

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jedi training academy, disneyland paris

Jedi Training Academy

Jedi Training Academy show

I’m sure you’ll agree that some special memories were made that day! If you have a Star Wars mad child then I really recommend you get them onto this.

Adventureland and Frontierland

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is really the only bit worth noting here for Adventureland. The Blue Lagoon restaurant is situated about halfway round it, it’s like you’re in a cavern, and the hanging lights make it so atmospheric. We ate there on our second night and loved it.

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With much of Frontierland closed we didn’t spend much time there but we did get to meet Jessie from Toy Story, another of my youngest’s favourites. This time it was a much more manageable 20 minute wait!

We saw two parades while we were there and they are definitely worth trying to get a front row spot for. Our best view was at the start of the parade in Fantasyland. We managed to be right at the front and had a great view. Even our eldest girl, who’s ‘too old for princesses’ got swept up in the magic and excitedly waved at everyone!

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We made so many magical memories during our five days at Disney and all will admit that it lived up to our huge expectations. Keep an eye out for more posts on our Disney trip over the next couple of weeks, including our top tips for making the most of it as well as some restaurant reviews and our favourite bits of Disneyland Studios.

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Pin this post for later 😉

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What do you think of our trip?

Have you been to Disneyland Paris before? I’d love to know what your favourite bits were if you have.

 

This post is written in association with Jurni who provided my eldest girl with one of their brand new cases for teens.  Don’t tell my daughter but I’m totally borrowing it for my next trip away! 😉 For more information find them on social media here – Twitter, Facebook. All views are our own, as ever.

morganaDisneyland Paris at October Half Term
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Our family day out at Hever Castle for the Castle Triathlon

Last Saturday we camped in the grounds of Hever Castle, Kent, all ready for the Castle Triathlon taking place there the very next day. The mister had entered The Gauntlet (half iron man distance) and we were there to cheer him on and enjoy a day exploring the castle and its grounds.

An early start to see daddy begin the first leg of his triathlon, the swim. I can tell you I was rather glad to not be joining in. It looked freezing!

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After watching the start we embraced the day and began exploring. The mister wasn’t expecting to finish until after 3pm so we had loads of time to wander round and find fun things to do.

Hever Castle itself is beautiful and my eldest enjoyed learning about it’s history. Her favourite facts include..

It was Anne Boleyn’s family home. When Anne Boleyn’s father died (some time after Henry the Eighth beheaded his daughter) the King took the castle and gave it to his then wife Anne of Cleves.

We spent about just under an hour exploring the inside of the Castle, it isn’t huge and when you have two eager children that keep wanting to move to the next room and then the next it doesn’t take long to look around. 

 

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We actually spent most of the day exploring the gardens and the grounds of the Castle which are beautiful.

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Thankfully there was a lovely coffee shop that we just had to try out, the cakes where crying out to be eaten and they were yummy! I was thankful for the take away coffee I picked up soon after seeing the race start and it helped with being up so early on a Sunday morning with two vert excited girls who were eager to run around and explore!

We spent the later part of the day in the Events field going on fair ground rides, listening to the bands and eating street food. This was all part of the Castle Triathlon event.

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Waiting for Daddy at the finish is pretty tiring…!!

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This pretty much sums up how we all felt at the end of the day. Tired out!

For those that are interested the mister completed The Gauntlet in under eight hours, it took him longer than he hoped, but as this was his first one I think he’s pleased really. We were obviously very proud and relieved to see him finish in one piece!!

 

morganaOur family day out at Hever Castle for the Castle Triathlon
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DAY TRIPPING – Legoland Discovery Centre and Sealife Manchester

 

Now that the girls are five and eight gone are the days of having to bring everything but the kitchen sink out with us. I remember going out anywhere when they were babies and toddlers and having to have a checklist before going anywhere. A bag full of nappies, clothes, snacks, drinks, toys – everything! Now I can grab my handbag and head out the door with the girls, I forget what a luxury that is! It certainly makes day trips a lot easier I must say. I don’t envy those who still have pushchairs and overflowing bags to cart around. I think we go out on day trips a lot more now that the girls are bigger to be honest.

We had a fantastic day out last weekend in Manchester, at the Legoland Discovery Centre and Sealife Manchester. They are both located next to each other at the Trafford Centre and are great fun for all the family.

Sealife Manchester

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Considering it’s really not a very big space I’m always so impressed with the way the centre has been designed and laid out. You follow a path around the attraction and there is so much to see and learn about. The giant turtle Ernie is always our favourite sea creature to spot.

There’s a touch pool where you can learn about crabs and starfish. My eldest always loves to share one of the facts she learnt there, that crabs actually drink through their bottoms!

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Even though there’s lots to look at (and there’s even a little soft play section) it doesn’t take more than an hour or two to get round and have a good look at everything. This is why we recommend considering a double ticket deal for the Leogland Discovery Centre, which is situated less than a minutes walk away.

Legoland Discovery Centre

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We love Lego and have lots of different kits so a trip to the Legoland Discovery Centre always goes down well with my girls. Like Sealife the centre itself isn’t huge but they have really made the most of the space and there’s lots to see and do.

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At first there’s a fun talk about how they make Lego, this is informative and really interactive and my girls love it. Once you’ve done that section there’s a fun ride and a mini land to walk through to get to the main section where there’s lots of rides, a soft play, 4D cinema, cafe and of course plenty of areas for building Lego. At 5 and 8 my girls are the perfect age for this and can go on all the rides.

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TOP TIPS

  • Make sure you book in advance as the queues are eye watering, even for those that have pre-booked, especially at weekends and school holidays. So be prepared to queue either way. If you don’t book in advance you will have to queue to purchase your tickets and be given a time slot to come back to the attraction at. This is to ease congestion as the centres are only small.
  • Make good use of the Sealife log books that the children get. My girls enjoyed collecting the stamps on the way round and learning new facts.
  • If there are queues for the first ride in Legoland then skip it and come back, unlike Sealife you can move around most of it without following a route.
  • The main part of Legoland can get crazy busy so keep a close eye on your kids. We found a toddler wandering round on their own after presumably coming out of the soft play section in the middle.
  • Take your own snacks – the queues for the cafe in Legoland are long and its not particularly cheap either.

We loved our trip to Legoland Discovery Centre and Sealife Manchester and will no doubt be back again sometime this year!

Thanks to 365 Tickets for making this trip possible – check them out for fantastic attraction tickets, deals and offers

morganaDAY TRIPPING – Legoland Discovery Centre and Sealife Manchester
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A change is as good as a rest

The week before half term we were all exhausted. Each morning I would have to wake two very sleepy children up, cajoling them from their slumber with the promise that it would soon be half term. The littlest would beg for five more minutes, a big change from the child that would practically leap out of bed at the thought of school in September. I wrote on social media how much we were looking forward to a rest.. Little did I know that as I was writing this my lovely friend in Cornwall, that would be hosting us during half term, was starting to panic. In a house with four children and a dog there’s not a lot of peace, sleep or indeed rest, how were we going to get the rest we so wanted in her house. She messaged me with her worries, forewarning us that her children hadn’t been sleeping well, and they’d started to get up early, but I reassured her that all would be well and we were just looking forward to seeing them.

After a very long drive from the North West of the country right down to the South West, their gorgeous cottage right in the countryside was such a sight for sore eyes. We were met at the door by my beautiful pregnant friend and ushered inside with all our bags and belongings. What followed was the best few days, full of quality time for our family with their family. As a couple it can sometimes be difficult to find friends where the husbands get on just as well as the wives and vice versa. Although I had been friends with Jo ever since we were 16, our husbands had only met a handful of times, yet they get on brilliantly, they have so much in common and can rival Jo and I when it comes to the time they can spend talking to each other! We had a wonderful couple of evenings crashed on the sofas chatting about everything from our families, worries, God and well life in general as well as laughing over old photos of Jo and I of course!

Our children had great fun together. Both my girls were born within weeks of Jo’s eldest two sons so they had a ball, and you know what N is like with small children so the younger two of Jo’s brood were well looked after too! We spent much of the time we were there exploring the outdoors and giving the children a chance to run wild. As I grew up in Cornwall it holds a special place in my heart and I love getting the chance to share it’s beauty with my family.

 

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We had the best few days in Cornwall, sure it wasn’t a ‘rest’ in the conventional sense. There were no lazy mornings or time spent lounging around, but yet my heart felt so happy. That change of pace away from the busyness and stress of our every day lives was just what we needed. Fresh air and the company of friends that just get you is a wonderful combination, and I am so thankful to have Jo, Chris and their family in our lives.

 

morganaA change is as good as a rest
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