Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Category: Adventures

  1. The Best Educational Days Out

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    Trying to find things to do with the kids that are educational as well as fun can be tricky, but fear not! There are plenty of days out to be had across the UK that your family will never forget. Whether you choose to visit a zoo, museum or go to an outdoor adventure park, there are always new things to discover.


    • Knowsley Safari is a great day out for the entire family. Get up close and personal with your favourite animals and watch on as they roam freely. Enjoy a wild day out whilst learning about all the conservation work that Knowsley Safari take part in, including their breeding programmes!
    • Get involved with loads of activities at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, from creating your very own Wonka Bar to storytelling. Your little ones will have the opportunity to develop their creative skills, learning how to create a story of their own - and then perform it!
    • Step back in time with The Beamish Museum. This town-turned-historical-treat shows what life was like in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s in North East England. You can explore the old town on foot, catch the tram, or travel around by horse and carriage! Learn how to make sweets in the old sweet shop or go to school and learn some of the oldest playground games.
    • The Royal Air Force museum offers lots of fun activities including exhibitions and displays about the history of the RAF and a flight simulator. The museum has free admission which makes the day a cheap trip out for those who wish to save money! The Royal Air Force Museum is a great day for birthday parties offering trails to complete and a goody bag each.
    • Situated in the North West of England, the Blue Planet Aquarium is a popular attraction for adventurous families. Come eye to eye with sharks, crocs and many more sea creatures! Whilst visiting, why not check out their conservation work and discover how you can help protect the planet?


    • Experience life as an Anglo Saxon in the West Stow Anglo Saxon village. Take part in an archaeological mini-dig, perform ancient battles, and enjoy some bush craft activities!
    • See the UK’s largest domed planetarium at the National Space Centre in Leicester. You can explore the universe and learn everything there is to know about planets. Discover the famous rocket tower up and see if you can spot some astronauts - that’s something for your kids to tell their friends about!

    Where’s your favourite place to go to as a family? 


  2. Short Trips Are Just The Ticket, When Travelling With Kids!

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    Just because you have young children doesn't mean that you shouldn’t go overseas on holiday. Yes, some parents are put off, especially because of the hassle of getting through the journey part of the break, before you get the actual fun part of the holiday itself, can be immense. However, going overseas with the kids really don't have to be a nightmare. In fact, there is one thing, in particular, to bear in mind that can make journeys abroad with the kids a lot more doable, and that is to shorten your trip as much as possible. 

    Do Pick Short Flights

    Speed is of the essence, as they say, and never has an adage been so true, as when you are travelling abroad with kids. That means for the most part short haul flights to places in the UK, or Europe is a much better choice than long haul ones.


    Yes, you probably do want to take the kids to Orlando at some point or have a fabulous family holiday in Lapland. However, for their first couple of trips at least, make sure that you are on the plane for no longer than three hours at a time. As this will make it both easier for your little ones, and for you if the kids don't take to flying that well.

    Do Take Carry-On Luggage Only

    You can also make the whole journey time shorter by eschewing hold luggage and taking only carry-ons. Then when you get to your destination, you can get straight out of the airport and on to your accommodation. Meaning you won't have to navigate the wait for your luggage with a clutch of tired, hungry kids to look after. To help you get this right use tools like this cabin luggage comparison site. As they can help you pick the right size cabin luggage for the particular company you are flying with.


    Picture source

    Just remember anything that makes the journey part of the break easier, means you will have more energy to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

    Don’t Go For Long Driving Holidays

    Now, I'm not saying that driving holidays are a bad thing. In fact,  they can be great value for money and fun for the whole family. However, there is a downside to them that you have to be aware of.  It is that to drive to a long distance destination, you will need to spend a long time in the car with the family, and I don't care how much you all get on, 10 hours and a ferry ride will test truly the best of us! This is without travel sickness and the inevitable "are we nearly there yet".

    So if you want to arrive unfrazzled and able to appreciate every single day of your holiday, go for shorter drives, something you can plan using sites like Leaving the longer ones until the kids are a little older.

    After all, what use is a holiday if it's not relaxing for you as well as them?

  3. Is Lapland Your Ideal Family Holiday?

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    If the lack of sunshine this summer has left you trying to figure out where to go on your next family holiday, have you ever thought of somewhere completely different? Maybe the thought of going to Lapland has never even entered your head. We went on a (very) long day trip a few years ago but there are some incredibly cool places to stay, and some seriously fun stuff to see and do. It’s one of the most memorable places to visit right now! 



    Take Your Kids To Meet Santa And Co

    It’s got to be the dream of every little person to meet Santa Claus. You might be able to take them to visit at your local garden centre, but it’s hardly going to be the same experience as taking them to meet him in Lapland - the perfect setting! There is nothing more magical than seeing Santa and his reindeers in the snow.

    See Some Incredible, Unforgettable Sights

    The Aurora Borealis can be seen from a few places around the world, including Lapland. This explosion of incredible colours in the sky is one of the most gorgeous things you’ll ever see, and not something anyone of your family members will forget in a hurry. This is called nature’s greatest light show for a reason, and although you can find many pictures online, they barely do the real thing justice.

    Stay Somewhere Super Cool

    Staying in a regular hotel can be a little boring, right? It’s a good thing there are a few alternative options in Lapland. You could potentially sleep underneath the Aurora Borealis in a little bubble, or even in the famous Ice Hotel. You should look at some of the best resorts in Lapland for families to find the ideal place for you, but rest assured, none of them are boring. Even if you stay in a cosy little log cabin, you’re going to have a magical time.  

    Try Plenty Of New Things

    You can try an abundance of new things in Lapland, and the great thing is they can be enjoyed by your whole family. How about dog sledding, or even snowmobiling? They can all make wonderful experiences and you’re guaranteed to have so much fun. Visiting Lapland can be a once in a lifetime experience, and those who have done it will tell you everybody should do it at least once. 

    How do you feel about Lapland now - would you consider it as a viable option for your next family holiday? If you're going to be traveling close to Christmas, it’s something worth considering. Kids of all ages will love meeting Santa, reindeer, and the elves.

    Have you been?


  4. Hatton Adventure World : Enchanted Christmas Kingdom Review

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    Enchanted Christmas Kingdom

    There is no escaping the fact that Christmas is looming and with a Santa experience available everywhere from the supermarket, school fetes or local garden centre, how do you choose the best place to go? We were invited along to Hatton Adventure World to experience their Enchanted Christmas Kingdom this year, so we gathered all the family up for a crisp November morning and set off in search of Santa and his reindeer.


    Christmas Shopping Markets

    Before you even step inside Hattion Adventure World, you get to walk through some fabulous Christmas market stalls that are just there for the festive season. The stalls change week on week and you don't need to pay entrance to the park to enjoy the shopping experience either. There was so many fabulous Christmas themed gifts from handmade plaques and personalised pictures through to our particular favourites of gorgeous scented soy candles from Wicks of Water Orton. There wasn't a cash machine working on site during our visit, so it is definitely worth making sure you have some cash available if you want to shop in the market area. 


    Zoobee's Christmas Cracker Show

    Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas at Hatton without Zoobee and his marvellous magic show. We have seen Zoobee a few times and every time is different and the Christmas Cracker Show doesn't disappoint. We won't tell you what happens as we don't want to ruin it but the jokes are as funny for the grown ups as much as the children!

    Farmyard Favourites

    No visit to Hatton Adventure World is complete without popping in to see (and feed) the farmyard animals and they have been given the festive treatment with tinsel and decorations around the farmyard too. The children love to feed the animals (but you need to double check as there are signs saying that not all the animals should be fed).


    Writing A Letter To Santa

    All children love to write their letters to Santa and if your little ones haven't done so already, they can sit on a toadstool and write their list in the Arts and Crafts tent area before taking a trip to see the big man!


    Christmas Decorations Making

    Hatton are all about children making memories and the Arts and Crafts area gives them a chance to make their own decoration to hang on your Christmas tree or personalise your own Christmas card or wreath. My girls loved this area and we actually went back again after we saw Santa as they wanted to make more things, after walking around for a few hours it was nice for us to sit down in the warm for half an hour or so too!


    Reindeer Quest 

    Ooh we forgot to mention that upon arrival you are told that elves have (carelessly) lost the reindeers and you are tasked with trying to find them. They are hiding around Hatton find all [12] of them and you get to win a Christmas thank you prize! (which is chocolate so that works for us). While we were hunting the reindeer locations we actually came across a real one ....


    One of the things I really liked about our day out at Hatton was that it wasn't overly crowded and as you are able to book a slot to see Santa, there are not huge queues (and bored children). The approach and entrance to the grotto is very twinkly and you could see the excitement building in the children's eyes. 


    Children don't sit on Santa's knee anymore but Hatton had provided a wooden chair to sit on next to Santa. My youngest was a little shy so I got the chance to sit next to him too!! Santa must see A LOT of children but he was so welcoming and engaging with the children, making them laugh and even raising a smile from the 11 year old!

    The look on the children's faces when they were told their key meant they could pick any present they wanted was only surpassed by their expression when they saw the toy workshop and all of its offerings.

    So overall, what did we think?

    Hatton Adventure World has enough to do to fill a whole day out, so if you are used to paying a couple of pounds for a quick visit to see Santa in a local grotto it may seem a little expensive. However the earlier you go, the cheaper it is with prices increasing up to £19.95 in Christmas week. The prices here are on the gate prices, and the website says there are discounts if you book online in advance.

    So what are you waiting for? Go ho ho ho .....