Our naughty elves got the boys shoes out last night and lined them up like a train and then sat in them with some of the boys toys.
Its been almost a year since we last published a post on 2 Bottles of Milk, so where have we been?
Last Christmas I was so ill that I spent most of Christmas Day in bed asleep and it got me thinking about how hectic our lives were and how we needed to relax and let something rest for a while and that was unfortunately the blog! With everything that Leo had gone through and a new baby, as well as life in general it was the easiest thing to let go and allow more time for all the other stuff that was going on at that point.
Yesterday Oliver went on his first ever school trip to a local Farm and it’s got me thinking at how he is now growing up.
When I went to pick him up from the school yesterday afternoon he was full of the excitement of spending the day with his teachers and friends and everything they had done at the farm, including seeing a Sheep race, and I am pleased that he is growing up and becoming independent. However inside there is a part of me that realises that this is the start of a long journey that eventually leads to him moving out and getting a place of his own.
Now I realise that, that is a long way off but it did dawn on me, as he was telling me all about his day, that he was starting to move away from being almost completely dependant on myself or Keighley.
Oliver starts Primary School in September and so I know that during his time there he will be having more day trips out and also trips out to friends houses and also trips out with friends. I also know that this is part of growing up and that every child and parent go through it. There is part of me though that has been taken by surprise by the speed it’s happened. As I said at the beginning of this post I can vividly remember Oliver being born and bringing him home from the hospital and also those first few days however over the last few months he has grown in confidence and character and now in experiences beyond Mum and Dad.
I had read on a local Facebook Group about a farm that allowed you to go and pick your own pumpkins and thought the kids would love it. Last year we had taken them Potato Digging and they loved it so thought this would be a fantastic idea.
When we arrived we parked in a field near the entrance and were greeted by two huge round hay stacks with pumpkins painted on. Oliver loved them and ran up to them asking for his photo to be taken.
We entered the place which was obviously a great big field to be greeted by a very friendly person who explained what we had to do and what else there was to do once we’d finished picking our pumpkins. This included things like Pumpkin Bowling and other games.
We grabbed a wheelbarrow and headed off into the field. Oliver and Leo immediately started picking up pumpkins they wanted so Daddy had to step in and sort out what was actually useable for us.
We ended up with six pumpkins and Oliver also picked some corn on the cob to take home and eat, which in total came to £9 so a lovely cheap trip out. The kids had a lovely time and Oliver has asked if we can go again.
Earlier this year we were invited to join Dreamland at Margate to celebrate their First Birthday.
Talking to my parents and grandparents we were saying how nice it is that they are reinvesting in the seaside towns and it was what was needed especially in these troubling times when going aboard is getting more worrying for people with young children.
Richard was working so myself and the boys met my Nan and Grandad from their caravan and travelled up with my mum and dad. The park has a simple band system or you can pay per rides. I love this way of paying because it means the grandparents who wouldn’t normally go on rides can still come along and enjoy the day without having to pay for the privilege.
There were some great rides along with some of the old funfair stalls like “hook a duck” but not so much for the younger kids. They had a small area outside just for the toddlers, which has about 3 paying rides and also some buses/boats that are free to play in. Oliver loved the kids rides and if we go back I would just buy him a few tokens to go on thoserides until his a bit older to enjoy the bigger rides.
Leo really enjoyed seeing the animals which were at the park for the party. He spent ages stroking the snakes and rabbits and really enjoyed watching the spiders among all the other animals.
I loved the feel of the food court and the seating areas that are dotted around the place, we didn’t eat but my grandparents got chips and really enjoyed them.
My parents commented that they thought it looked a bit run down with peeling paint etcs, but to me I thought it added to the charm of the place especially since everyone was dressed up in 60’s outfits. The staff all looked amazing and were very friendly stopping to chat to the boys.
Inside there was loads more to do with a roller disco, a old fashion selection of video games, Modern video games and an inside children play area called “The Octopus’s Garden” we didn’t have time to check it all out this visit but if we were in the area we would make a return visit.
If you’re in the area or surrounding area I would recommend a visit to Dreamland for a fun afternoon out. I would suggest having a look round first to see if you would benefit for a band or just buying tokens for a selection of rides.
Happy Birthday Dreamland!
Written by Keighley Miles
We recently took a trip to our local Aquarium for Leo’s birthday and to be honest I was pleasantly surprised. I personally haven’t been there since I was in school and from what I remember it wasn’t that great. However since then it has been taken over by a local to Southend business who also run Adventute Island (a local theme park).
Since we went on a week day during term time we were lucky enough for the place to be almost empty so we were able to enjoy the displays without any bother.
We entered the Aquarium and first came across the seafront display which housed local fish including some starfish which were extremely interesting to look at. As we moved round we came across the reptile tanks including a baby Crocodile, frogs and turtles. The kids spent a lot of time watching the turtles and enjoyed seeing them slide into the water and swim around.
Following on from the turtles we came across a huge Ray tank. Where we spent quite a lot of time spotting Rays and watching them swim. The finally of the Aquarium was the underwater tunnel that they have. This tank contained all sorts of fish and also included some small sharks which our Nephew loved.
Just over two weeks ago my wife and I invested in a second car. It had been decided a while back that we needed one as I need our only car for work and due to where we live my wife was essentially trapped with two kids at home whenever I went to work.
As soon as we had taxed and insured the car we my wife and kids were out having fun with Oliver telling me what they have done on that day when I get it from work and saying that Mummy’s car is cool because it meant he could go to soft play.
I for one am so happy that they now have the freedom to go and do what they want when they want and aren’t trapped at home just because of the need for me to have the car due to work. The car was an expensive purchase for us but has made such a difference that it was money well spent. I dare say that some of the ‘Little Fellas Fun Days Out’ in the future, will be because of the days out my wife and kids have due to this car.
We recently took a trip to our local theme park who last year opened up an indoor area called Adventure Inside. There are some typical theme park rides inside including a Swing Boat ride and a Merry Go Round along with some typical seafront arcade machines. There is also a big soft play area that you can visit separately which is why we went.
The soft play area is spread across four levels with multiple slides and climbing areas and also a ball pit area. It is also split into two areas a four and under and a four and over, but when we went children four and under had the run of the whole area as it was during school hours. All of which was for £4.
Oliver had a lovely time as did Leo who was playing with his little friend outside the soft play bit.
I would throughly recommend Adventure Inside as a great place to go during the winter and when we went last Summer it was a lovely addition to the park itself.
On Sunday we were lucky enough to be invited along to a new soft play that opens in Basildon today, going by the name of 360Play it promised a new take on children’s indoor play areas and it didn’t disappoint.
Upon entering we were required to register but Oliver and his friend Anaiya (a daughter of a friend of ours) could see the play area and were itching to get playing. The main play area itself is huge, well beyond anything I’ve seen in terms of height and was connected to the floor above as well. The main play area didn’t have anything beyond the usual but built next to it was an indoor dodgems track that we were able to go on as well.
We allowed the kids to play for a while and then had lunch from the cafe. The menu was reasonably priced and for two kids packed lunches a sandwich, chips and a pasta dish it all came to £15.
Following on from lunch we decided to take a look at what was upstairs and were surprised to find a street set up from shops running down both sides to a “park” area (baby soft play) in the middle and also a carousel which was available for the kids and adults to ride. The shops consisted of everything from a school through to a garage, vets and supermarket.
We were amazed at what they had available and are wanting to take the kids again in the future so Keighley looked online at their prices and we were slightly shocked to see that it would cost around £20 for us all to go as a family of four. That’s not including food and drinks once in the venue, so this is definitely a place to go as a treat rather then a regular soft play day out. That being said we are planning on taking the kids again and would recommend it to anyone that wants somewhere to go that is for a special event such as a birthday, because although it is on the expensive side it is somewhere where you could actually spend all day.
For more info on 360play click here.
Back at the beginning of October my wife and I decided to take a return trip to Marsh Farm on a day when we knew it was not going absolutely rammed with people as it was when we went for Kidsfest in August. An added bonus this time was the tickets were free after I had been talking about Kidsfest to a work colleague whilst (not to my knowledge) had been serving the owner of Marsh Farm, with shirts at work.
The day we went was a lovely Autumn day with lots of sunshine but not to hot. When we arrived and entered the Farm we noticed that there were a lot more animals around this time and also that some of the bits running at Kidsfest were running on this day too so that was an added bonus.
First off we went to see the goats and Llamas then headed round to where they had the potato digging was to see when we could go. Having identified a good time for us we decided to explore and see if there were any more animals then last time and we weren’t disappointed as we came across birds of prey giving a show and also rabbits, ferrets and a whole host of other pet type creatures. We also came across an walk through enclosure consisting of different types of birds from parrots to finches which Leo loved.
Following lunch we went back to have a go at potato digging, upon meeting at the designated point we were taken with a group of other people outside the main farm and into a field which was split in roughly half, half potatoes and half pumpkins. Both Oliver and Leo were allowed a bucket and a kiddie sized fork and then we were taken into the field and given an area in which we could dig and look for potatoes. Although Marsh Farm had dug them up previously they had slightly buried them in the soil so the kids felt like it was them digging up the potatoes.
Once we had filled our buckets we were given paper bags in which to take them home and eat (Oliver thought this was the best bit). Following on from this we decided to have a ride on the tractor and trailer which took us out across the extended farm up to the seawall along the seawall and back again, this was Oliver’s favourite bit of the day.
We had a fantastic time on this visit to Marsh Farm and were happy to see many more animals then the last time, when all we saw were the general farm animals. We would thoroughly recommend Marsh Farm to anyone as a great day out for kids young and old.