30 April 2018

Review & Giveaway: Dinosaur Number Crunch and What Would She Do Books

Carlton Books have done it again. They've only gone and released some more brilliant books for kids and luckily for Logan he gets to try out two of them. He was recently sent the Dinosaur Number Crunch book and What Would She Do? book.

Most of you will know by now that Logan loves a fact book. We've collected a good few fact books over the years so he was thrilled to receive the Dinosaur Number Crunch book. It's a book that promises the figures, facts and prehistoric stats you need to know. And it definitely doesn't disappoint. Inside you can find everything from tiny terrors and mighty mouths to dinner time tales and creatures lurking under the sea. All accompanied by amazing stats that'll keep the kids fascinated for hours.

We've had this book for a while now and it's still a firm favourite at bedtime. Logan particularly likes the part about the Epic Extinction and the Quick Quiz at the end to test your knowledge. I found it really interesting to read along with Logan too and loved learning about dinosaur eggs. The great thing about this book is it's so full of quick snappy dino facts it's sure to pull in even the reluctant readers. So if your child is a dinosaur fan they'll definitely love Dinosaur Number Crunch.

This book contains 96 pages of pure dinosaur bliss and retails for £9.99. It really is a lovely book and would make an excellent present.

Next up is the What Would She Do? book. It's a book filled with real life stories of 25 rebel women who changed the world. It's important for everyone to learn about the great female figures in history hence why Logan now has this book to read at his leisure. From historical world leaders to great scientists and artists, this amazing book tells the incredible life stories of inspirational women. You can learn about Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Malala Yousafzai and many more brave women who overcame huge obstacles to achieve great things.

The book has been beautifully illustrated by eight talented artists and each profile concludes with a 'What Would She Do?' question that invites young readers to draw guidance from these heroines on a host of modern-day scenarios and issues such as bullying, stress and self-esteem.

Logan is really into history at the moment so reading about these strong amazing women wet his appetite and quenched his thirst for events of the past. He particularly loved learning about Cleopatra, Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzai. I really enjoyed learning about them too so borrowed the book often after he'd fallen asleep.

This fabulous book contains 112 pages of true girl power and retails for £9.99. It's an excellent book to give any young reader and when Harlow's more interested in sitting for longer than 5 minutes I'll be reading this to her too.

If you'd like to be in with a chance of winning these two books from Carlton then please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.

26 April 2018

Family friendly places to eat in Fife

Eating out as a family can sometimes be a struggle, especially if your kids are wild like mine, so I’ve put together a little list of some nice family friendly places to eat here in Fife. Hopefully it’ll give you the courage to eat out a bit more with the kids knowing no one’s going to bat an eyelid if they start acting up. So read on to see what places I’ve selected.

Beijing Banquet – Glenrothes
This lovely Chinese buffet is a big favourite of Logan’s. Based in Glenrothes at Bankhead Park (quite close to the huge round about and near the petrol station) it’s open 12-4pm for lunch and 5pm-9.30pm for dinner. It has a massive selection of food and plenty that the kids will eat. Logan loves chicken and they have it in many different forms here so he’s a happy camper. Harlow’s a bit more of a fuss pot but she loves noodles, rice prawn crackers and of course chips so that keeps her happy and quiet. They also have a fab selection of puddings to choose from including a chocolate fountain with marshmallows and strawberries to dip as well as ice cream, cakes and fruit. It really is a great place to go and kids are very welcome. It’s so popular that it can get quite busy so I’d advise you phone and book in advanced of your visit. You wouldn’t want to be disappointed and not get seated. It is a little pricey but well worth it and they can accommodate large numbers so great if you wan to celebrate the kids birthday here.

Peacock Café – Dunfermline
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a quick spot of lunch with the tiny tots then Peacock Café is for you. It’s situated inside Pittencrieff Park right next to the Glen Pavilion so you can enjoy the grounds and play parks after some food. It’s open 10am to 4pm and provides a good selection of snacks, lunch options and drinks for adults and kids. It’s also has a little soft play inside so the kids can eat and enjoy some play time fun whilst you relax with a hot cuppa. Prices in here are reasonable and on nice days you can sit outside on the balcony tables over looking the park.

Anstruther Fish Bar – Anstruther
The famous fish bar in Anstruther is amazingly  child friendly. They have high chairs, child suitable menu options (with child prices) and the drinks they bring for children are in cute little paper cups with a lid and straw – amazing. It’s the little things that count. I can’t tell you the amount of times my kids have spilt a drink every time we go out to eat. I always wait for it to happen! The food in here is super fresh and super tasty so definitely go for a visit at some point. They also have lots of tasty ice cream and sweeties for afterwards with penny mixture bags to buy as well. That takes me back to my childhood. The fish bar is open 11.30am to 9.30pm every day so there’s no excuse not to pop along.

The Kirklands Hotel – Kinross
This recently refurbished Kirklands hotel has lovely places for eating in including their very relaxed bar/café at the front of the hotel and a beautifully large dining room at the back. A lovely young couple own this hotel and they have twins themselves so they know all about being child friendly. As well as providing the usual high chairs they also have toys and child friendly options on their menus. I’ve been here quite a few times with Harlow for a spot of lunch with friends and I also booked a table in the dining room for my father-in-law’s birthday with kids in tow. The prices are reasonable and the food is super tasty. I especially love their mac and cheese and the great thing is you can ask for a small portion if you’re not that hungry. You can do this with a few options on the menu. Great for the kids if they want what you’re having and you don’t want to share haha.

Dine at 29 – Dunfermline
We visited Dine at 29 for the first time back in January for Harlow’s 3rd Birthday. Since she wasn’t having a party we thought a special meal out for her would be a great substitute. The people at Dine at 29 couldn’t have been any more accommodating for us and the kids. They let us choose a comfy corner table (so I could keep the kids out of everyone else’s way) and they also took the cake I had made for Harlow and brought it out after the meal with big candles and sparkles on it. Needless to say she loved every minute. The fab thing about Dine at 29 is kids can eat free!! Totally brilliant and there’s a great variety of options for the kids to choose from. They get their own special menu which has a colouring sheet on the back and some crayons are provided to keep them busy until food arrives. Opening times are 5pm-9pm Monday to Thursday and 12pm-10pm Friday to Sunday so you could always do a cheeky lunch at the weekend. Also they do some amazing cocktails, alcohol free ones too so the kids can join in.

Peking Inn – Cowdenbeath
Another Chinese restaurant on the list but this one isn’t a buffet. It’s a small venue on Cowdenbeath High Street but it’s excellent value for money. They also do takeaways if you don’t want to sit it. The people who own it are lovely and honestly can’t help you enough. We’ve ordered takeaway loads but had our first sit down meal for Christmas last year. They were great with the kids and didn’t mind them running around or getting excited at all. The food’s yummy and they have lots of different meals to choose from. It’s perfect for an impromptu treat with the kids. It’s open from 4.30pm every day but closed on a Tuesday.

Loch Leven’s Larder – Kinross
A lovely family run café and shop on the edges of Loch Leven it’s the perfect place to take the kids for a cuppa and cake. They’re open 9am to 5.30pm every day and you’ll find some amazing goodies in their shop. If you want an unusually fabulous gift then it’s worth checking out. The Larder Café is lovely providing breakfast, lunch and meals throughout the day with a separate children’s menu and they newly built Greenhouse Café supplies a wealth of tea, coffee, cakes, paninis etc. I’ve never been to the café since it opened a few months ago but I really must take Harlow along for a visit when Logan’s at school. I like it that the larder use a lot of local suppliers and they have a little play park on site as well as outdoor pods you can book for a nice lunch. I can see myself booking an afternoon tea here soon for my birthday as having a pod will keep them contained. Loch Leven’s Larder is also very breastfeeding friendly, I’ve tried it myself and the staff were lovely. You can also take your dog as they allow up to 4 well behaved dogs in the Larder café and 2 in the Greenhouse café so it really is an inclusive venue.

I’m sure there’s even more fab family friendly venues out there in Fife and if you have any you know of then please shared as I’d love to try somewhere new.

24 April 2018

Review: Landmark Forest Adventure Park

During the Easter school holidays the family and I took a trip up North to stay at the lovely Ancarraig Lodges in Drumnadrochit beside Loch Ness. I always do a quick internet search before we visit a new place to see what sort of things we can do with the kids and the Landmark Forest Adventure Park popped up. From their website it looked like a fabulous place to visit with lots of different attractions from playparks, rides and tree top walks to a butterfly house and world of illusions. There was even the chance to spot red squirrels! Luckily for us the lovely people from Landmark got in touch and offered us a family pass to try out their park. The kids were very excited and couldn’t wait to visit.

The Landmark Forest Adventure Park is based in Carrbridge which the sat nav advised was about an hours drive from our lodge. In reality with the quiet roads up North it only took us around 40 minutes to get there. It was really busy when we arrived (probably due to the amazing weather and school holidays) but if you booked tickets online/had a pass/are a season ticket holder then you got to use the fast track lane and walk right through. Since it was our first visit to the park the lovely gentleman on reception gave us a map and explained all about the different attractions within for us to visit. Because it was the Easter holidays he also informed us about the golden Easter egg hunt taking place. The kids were buzzing to find some and eat the chocolate inside. As Logan is autistic he received a fast track assistance pass to wear so he could skip the queues for the rides. This did come in really handy and is well worth asking for if he need it.

After heading out of reception we crossed the little bridge and went straight into Ant City. It’s a lovely big outdoor wooden play park/ climbing frame with lots of slides, nets to climb, things to jump on and discover. We spent a good bit of time here letting the kids burn off some energy before we went on to explore the rest of the park. Next up Logan chose to have a go on the trails. He was big enough for the Tarzan Trail so off he went with his Dad to try it out. They even had a trail for toddlers called the Wee Monkey Trail and Harlow was excited to give it a bash. It was so cute and she did really well.

By this time Harlow was desperate for a snack so whilst she was eating we had a walk around a little fenced off area which included a vortex tunnel, growing shrinking room, topsy turvy room as well as some lovely carved wooden structures. The vortex tunnel was brilliant and we’ve experienced the same thing at Camera Obscura in Edinburgh. It literally makes you lose your balance, such a brilliant illusion for the mind.  The Runaway Timber Train was next and it’s basically a roller coaster. Logan loves a roller coaster and he was excited to realise that you got to have two shots in a row. He even got to sit in the front carriage so was very pleased.

The adventure park has a butterfly house within the grounds so we decided to have a nosy inside. When we went in there were lots of butterflies flying around every where and it was nice to see lots of educational signs posted around to read. There were even a few cheeky little birds doting about in there and one landed near the fish pond right beside the kids. We kept our hands to ourselves though as we read the signs that they like to nip. One man wasn’t so lucky and a cheeky bird decided to sit on his arm and peck his hand. The kids thought it was hilarious and there was no harm done.

Next to the butterfly house is Wonderwood where the massive Fire Tower is located. We never counted the amount of steps we had to climb but getting to the top of Fire Tower took a wee while for small legs. The views at the top were so worth it though. You could see across the whole park and even further spotting the Cairngorms Mountain Range in the distant. It was breath taking and there’s a telescope at the top if you want a better look. By this point it was now lunch time and the kids were starving so we headed back down towards reception were Foresters Restaurant is located. They had a lovely selection of cakes as well as soup, sandwiches and hot options such as beef nachos and fries. Everyone scoffed down their lunch so we could visit another part of the park.

Right next to the restaurant is the Landmark Shop so we had a quick look in there before heading to the Bamboozeleum. Inside the bamboozeleum is a world of illusions which will keep the kids busy for ages. It was hoots of fun and even us adults really enjoyed ourselves. After a good few giggles we headed out into the open again to explore the Red Squirrel Nature Trail. It’s brilliant because it’s a wooden walk way built up high into the trees. It’s all very safely fenced in with lots of fact boards along the way and the kids really enjoyed it. On our way back down we managed to spot of red squirrel way up high in the trees. Further down towards the exit we passed the wildlife feeding area where there were 2 more red squirrels jumping around. Logan loved seeing them especially after having learned about them from the nature trail.

It was getting later in the day now and there were still a few things we hadn’t seen so our next stop was The Lost Labyrinth. It’s a fantastical maze to get lost in and this is where we managed to find some golden eggs! The kids were overjoyed and the chocolate within the eggs gave them a second wind to keep going. There really is so much to do and see here. After the maze was a trip to the forest safari so Logan could have a shot on the little electric cars then it was a hop skip and a jump to the Haggis Farm Shooting Gallery to try out our aim. I was rubbish but Logan and the hubby were quit good. Well done boys.

Before it was time to go we spent the last of our day letting the kids play at the Ant City and there was a smaller Kids Zone opposite which is great for toddlers. When it was time to go we grabbed some snacks and drinks from the Xplore Store and headed to the car park ready for our journey back to our lodge. What a fantastic day we all had.

So if you’re ever up North, say near Aviemore, then definitely pop into the Landmark Forest Adventure Park for a full packed day of family fun. The kids really enjoyed themselves as well as us adults and there was never a dull or boring moment. You could easily go round most of the attractions more than once and there’s plenty of seating throughout the park if you need to rest your tired legs. When we’re next up North we’ll definitely be back. Thank you Landmark Forest Adventure Park for such an amazing day!

We received a family day pass in return for an honest review.


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