A family of 5 with a zest for life, love of good food & passion for travel

Cobra Attack - Our new favourite game plus win a Megableu game bundle worth £100+

After loving Creepy Hand and Ghost Hunt Evolution from Megableu and having lots of fun testing them out during October half term, we were very excited to receive 3 new Megableu games to try.

Cobra Attack Review



This was easily our favourite of the three games and lots of fun for all involved. The aim is to creep up to the basket and steel the green emerald without the Cobra detecting you. If he does sense you are there, prepare for a fright!


When the light is green you can safely creep forward but when it's on red you must stand perfectly still. The sensor actually worked well and we were impressed.


Be warned though! One wrong move and this might happen:-



Haha! Lots of fun. We have played this over and over again and it never gets boring as you just never know when the Cobra will attack! 

One word of warning though - young children need to be supervised to ensure there head isn't near the top of the basket when they are trying to steal the emerald - otherwise the Cobra may hit them in the eye when they pop out as nearly happened to us. Ooops!

Trickin' Camel Review




Trickin' Camel features a series of memory and light games that can be played by up to four people at once. For example, follow the light sequence and select the light that goes out last (easier said than done). Choose incorrectly and the camel will squirt water in your face. This was hilarious the first few times but we all soon got wise and could tell by the music whether we we a winner or a loser which gave everyone enough time to move out of the way. I think the instant surprise element like Cobra Attack works a lot better. We still all did enjoy this game but for us it just wasn't as much fun as Cobra Attack. 


Alien Mission Review



Alien Mission is very similar Ghost Hunt Evolution. All you need to do is where the special goggles and wait for virtual aliens and monsters to appear (inside your goggles). You then zap them with your laser gun (but make sure you avoid the red robot). This game can be played alone so is ideal for children who don't have any siblings or you can challenge each other. Our kids loved playing this game and were happy to play it together whilst mum and dad cooked tea! 

Verdict


Overall, we loved our Megableu games. I like how a lot of the games can be played alone or with friends/family and they are fun for grown ups as well as children. Creepy Hand and Cobra Attack were our two favourite games and we'll definitely be taking them to various family parties across the festive season. If you are going to buy any of these games as a gift, please remember to buy batteries too :D 


Giveaway - Win a Megableu Game Bundle worth £100+


Woo hoo! Now one lucky reader is in with a chance to win a Megableu game bundle featuring all 5 games pictured in our latest giveaway, Simply enter using rafflecopter below:-


Giveaway has now ended
Share:

An Enchanted Christmas at Whitworth Hall - Review

Last weekend were invited to spend the morning at Whitworth Hall Country Park in County Durham and enjoy the Enchanted Christmas event which is organised by a fantastic local events company She's Gott it. Tickets cost £25 per child (Under 2's are £15 & babies under 6 months are free) and £21.50 per adult and include everything detailed in this post.

An Enchanted Christmas at Whitworth Hall



Christmas at Whitworth hall spans for 4 hours and includes 8 separate, special experiences that your children will love. About 1/3 of your time is spent outdoors and the rest of the time is in tipis/yurts so make sure you wrap up warmly. Wellies are also advised. My 4, 6 and 9 year old all enjoyed the experience but I would say it is best pitched at children aged 3-7 years old. Here's what we got up to:-

Feeding reindeer at Whitworth Hall




I feel terrible writing about this as it was dealt with by management and staff very well, however I do also believe it's important to give a clear account of what happened. We arrived at 9am and after checking into the elf hut were told our first activity would be to feed the reindeer. We headed into the field where there were lots of deer and each child was handed a bag of food. 

Now reindeer are hand fed by hotel guests all year round so I'm not sure if it was because we were fairly early and caught the deer before their breakfast (they were fed by their keeper about 10 minutes after we entered the enclosure and most of the larger deers left the public to follow their keeper at this point) or if they were just overwhelmed by a crowd of people entering the enclosure together but one of the stags charged at my 9 year old son whilst another stole the whole bag of food from my 4 year old. This obviously left them quite shaken and Harry was upset and started to cry :-( Not a good start. I was also a bit overwhelmed too and to be honest it is really lucky the antlers just went into his back and not his face. 


I really don't want to dwell on it too much as the staff were superb and handled the situation very well (special mention the Sparkle the elf and Mrs Claus). We received a heart-felt apology from all involved including the hotel manager and have been compensated. They are going to change the way reindeer feeding is organised now and I am confident that this was just a freak accident that hopefully won't be repeated again. Harry has some bruising but will survive and there was no lasting damage.

Update - Whitworth Hall take your safety very seriously and have informed me that reindeer feeding will now be taking place behind a fence so there is definitely no chance of this happening again. 

Fairy tree topper




Our next task was to meet fairy tree topper who encouraged everyone to join in with a sing a long and then nominated two unsuspecting parents to act as Christmas trees which the children were encouraged to 'decorate' using her bag of treats. All good fun and I'm not sure who enjoyed it the most.


Mrs Claus



Next, we were ushered into Mrs Claus' tipi where everyone was handed a much needed warm hot chocolate and cookie and made themselves comfortable on the beanbags and benches as she told the tale of how Santa got stuck up the chimney. There were blankets and throws on the benches for extra warmth too which was a nice touch.



The Santa Express at Whitworth Hall




Our elves then asked us to climb aboard our very own Santa Express train which took us across the park to meet the main man himself.

Meet Santa Claus at Whitworth Hall


The anticipation was really building as our group stood outside a large wooden door and read the instructions for it to open - we followed the rules and then as if by magic, it opened before our eyes and the elves asked us to tiptoe inside Santa's room so we wouldn't wake him. I LOVED that there was a fire in here so it was beautifully warm and cosy.




All of the children shouted and cheered to wake up Santa and were truly captivated as he shouted their names one by one and knew who each of them were, a little about their life and what they would like for Christmas. It was magical! Just look at my 9 year old - he was astounded that Santa knew that he spent his time coding at home!




Sometimes this sort of thing can get a little boring for children as it takes time to go through each child, however the whole room listened carefully and I think our group size was just right to stop the boredom kicking in and keep the magic real :D

All of the children had the chance to personally meet Santa for a little chat and were gifted with a lovely Christmas Eve kit including a quality 'Oh Deer' soft toy (the stories from the characters throughout the day feature him) which children are encouraged to snuggle tight on Christmas Eve, plus their very own magic reindeer dust, reindeer poop chocolate drips and snowman soup.







Everything was beautifully packaged together and had a 'high end' feel to it. As Santa gifts go, this one has been one of the best. 

Jack Frost



After meeting Santa, we hopped back aboard the Santa Express to meet Jack Frost who was a very animated character and told us the tale of how he almost stole Christmas and ended with a dance to warm us all up! Even the grown ups got involved.

Christmas Cafe and crafts at Whitworth Hall


After visiting Jack Frost we were all in need of some proper warmth and headed to the Christmas Cafe and Craft area. You could purchase hot food and drinks here at an additional cost, write letters to Santa Claus, colour pictures and create your own snow globes. I don't think we've ever created our own snow globes but it was a really enjoyable and easy task. We were allowed to bring the snow globes home and they now have pride of place on our fireplace - I wonder if Santa will recognise them on Christmas Eve?



Meet Elf Pooper Scooper



Our final stop of the morning was to meet Elf Pooper Scooper who the children found to be hilarious - they loved shouting his name when he dozed off and learning a new rude version of Jingle Bells. A lovely end to our day.

What we loved


  • Father Christmas was magical, personalised and the gift was fantastic.
  • If you can afford the price tag I think the event offers very good value for money with hot drinks, cookies, a decent gift, Santa visit, reindeer food, snow globe plus 8 separate places to visit.
  • The staff were wonderful - they stayed in character throughout and took the time to chat with our children and make them feel extra special. Costumes and staging had obviously had money spent on them and weren't just sourced from poundland which is so often the case at this sort of thing. Everything was very professional. 
  • Little touches such as blankets, hot chocolates at the right temperature for children and Santa knowing everyone's name really made the day special

What could be improved

  • It really is freezing - more heaters would be fab.
  • We were advised by staff not to use the portaloo's so headed into the hotel when the kids needed to spend a penny. This is a fair trek from some of the tipis and you do miss out on some of the action. 4 hours is a long time not to go for kids who have had a drink though so maybe there could be a loo break incorporated into the morning?
  • The day did feel rather long and some of our group left before the end. It is a long time for children to stay outside - I think the whole thing could easily be condensed to 2.5 hours. 
  • We sang Jingle Bells about 8 times with various characters or the elves. A bit of variation would be nice and my 9 year old was rolling his eyes by the end.

We popped into Whitworth Hall before we left and I loved the Christmas tree in the hotel bar. The smell of Sunday lunch was AMAZING and if I was to plan my day again I would certainly finish with a family lunch inside the hotel restaurant - the perfect way to warm up.

I have been reading reviews of Lapland UK this week and I think An Enchanted Christmas seems fairly similar but on a smaller scale. If you can't make the journey to the New Forest (and don't want to pay the £65 per person price tag), I think An Enchanted Christmas is a good compromise and probably the closest you will get to that sort of experience in the North East. If your children are aged 3-7 years old, they will definitely love it, just make sure you wear lots and lots of layers and three pairs of socks! 



Share:

Four ways to help your Community at Christmas

It's oh so easy to get lost in consumerism at this time of year. Tempting shop windows, special offers and never ending Christmas lists. The food, drink and nights out. It's all very indulgent! Which is why I think this time of year is more important than ever to take a little time and give something back to your community.


There are lots of projects happening around the country, some require your time, some your money and some a small gift. Here are the four projects we will be supporting this Christmas:-

Cramlington Food Bank


Our local food bank is organised by the Church of England in Cramlington. St Nicholas Church in Cramlington village help 12 families per week and will help an additional 70 local families with food parcels over the Christmas period. I've included a shopping list with approved items for donation below, you can donate as many or few items as you wish. Reverend Steve is also keen to point out that special Christmas items such as nice biscuits/chocolates/Christmas cake ect.... are also very welcome at this time of year.

Recommended shopping list:- 

2 750g bags value cornflakes
3 1L cartons UHT milk
1 80 tea bags
1 500g bag sugar
6 Tins condensed soup 
2 Tins baked beans
2 Jars pasta sauce
1 500g dried pasta
2 200g Tins ham
2 198g Tins tuna
2 Tins potato
8 Tins vegetables
2 Smash instant mashed potato
1 Tins steamed syrup pudding
1 Large tins fruit in syrup
1 Tins jam pudding
1 evaporated milk
2 500g ready to serve custard
1 Large packet value biscuits

You can donate at Cramlington Sainsburys (there is a collection box near the cafe entrance), at St Nicholas' Church during service times and I noticed a collection box at The Keel Row this week too.

We are hoping to add a few of these items to our shopping basket every week and donate at Sainsburys. 


Cash for Kids Mission Christmas


There are 3.7 million children living in poverty in the UK. This is a truly shocking statistic and makes me feel mega guilty about how lucky my children are. Their toy cupboard is bulging to the point where some of the gifts they received last year haven't even had the seal broken on them. It's embarrassing! 

Steve and Karen from Metro Radio have teamed up with B&M Bargains and Cash 4 Kids to help the 40,000 children in the North East who are living in poverty. All you need to do to help is donate a NEW and UNWRAPPED toy or gift suitable for children and young adults under the age of 18 to one of the registered drop off points before 15th December. There are drop off points in most towns and all gifts will be passed onto a child to make their Christmas morning extra special.

We are donating the brand new toys that haven't been opened and are still sealed from last year.


Crisis Newcastle


Almost 1 in 10 people say they have been homeless at some point and you can expect more than 2700 people to be sleeping rough on any given night in England. Crisis is a national charity for single homeless people who run Crisis Skylight Newcastle which aims to provide homeless and vulnerable people with a hot meal, warmth and comfort, fresh clothes, access to services and advice. The centre will help 300 people this Christmas.

This year we will be donating gifts in kind to help the centre. They are particularly looking for non-perishable foods and drinks (eg tea, coffee, hot chocolate), toiletries, warm clothing and christmas decorations to decorate the centre.

We are donating toiletries which we are adding to our basket when we are next at Home Bargains.

Friend to the elderly at Christmas


Friends of the elderly are running a campaign this Christmas to raise awareness of the loneliness some elderly people can feel around Christmas time and have lots of simple ways we can help. From writing an sending an extra Christmas card to inviting neighbours over for a mince pie and cup of tea, there are lots of ways to get involved. Read 10 ways to be a friend at Christmas and share your own ideas on social media using #beafriend.

We are definitely going to make a conscious effort to wish more elderly people 'Merry Christmas' on the bus in the supermarket and will be writing extra Christmas cards for our elderly neighbours and relatives. 

We are going to ask our elderly neighbours if they fancy popping over for a mince pie and are sending extra Christmas cards from the children.

Helping your community at Christmas time doesn't have to cost you anything, there are lots of way you can join in and support your local community.





Share:

Christmas Fayre at The Keel Row Pub, Seaton Delaval

We were delighted to be invited along to The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval this week to road test their Christmas Fayre menu (you really can't have enough Christmas dinner's can you??). The Keel Row is one of our favourite local pubs - Sharon and the team are always so welcoming and make the time to chat to every single customer. The pub really feels as if it is the proper heart of a community - just like pubs should be! The Keel Row had been transformed earlier in the day into a magical Christmas wonderland. From the real tree at the door to crackers on the table and beautifully transformed fireplaces - I have to say it was all very tasteful too. 




Any Christmas meal has to begin with a few jokes from our crackers and the kids were highly amused!


Whilst myself and Steve were enjoying our starters, the children ventured over to the lovely indoor toy and play area which has had a few new additions since our last visit. The new playhouse went down a treat and the kids busied themselves playing 'mams and dads'.






Starter - Floating mushrooms in a Creamy Garlic Sauce

Starter - Prawn Salad

Child's Christmas dinner

Lots of extra gravy = thumbs up from us

Adult Christmas dinner


We all very much enjoyed our meal - the only tip I would have is don't be tempted by too much of the bread that is brought to your table. Our portions were huge and after a few bread rolls plus our starters we started to flag a little during our main which was a shame! The kids did us proud eating all of their vegetables - even their sprouts! Children can choose a Christmas dinner or an option from the children's menu (2 courses £4.95).


Heidi loved colouring in Rudolph as she waited for her pudding (well actually she informs me this is Rudolph's girlfriend apparently!).

Children's ice cream for pudding

Although I struggled to squeeze much more in, the Christmas pudding was definitely my favourite course. It was so rich, moist and boozy (that will be the rum) and I would definitely recommend you choose this to end your meal.

Christmas pudding and Rum Sauce

Our meal wasn't of the quality you would expect from a high end Gastro pub. For example the Roast potatoes and Yorkshires are frozen rather than homemade (which is reflected in the price). However what I love about The Keel Row is that every time we eat here I just feel so warm, comfortable and cosy. It is difficult to describe the feeling but it feels as if you are sitting in your mum's dining room eating your mum's home cooking together with the family. It's all very nostalgic. Our meal reminded me of how Christmas should be - there was laughter (and lots of it), Christmas music, people making new friends and old friends being welcomed through the door which all left me with the warm fuzzy feeling you get at this time of year. 

I'm not going to hide from the fact that we are in the lucky situation that we get to eat out a lot - so much so that the kids will sometimes moan when we tear them away from the tv and their computers to try somewhere new.  Whenever I say we are visiting The Keel Row though, there is none of this moaning and they are ALWAYS happy to visit (it's definitely the play area that does it).


If you're interested in visiting The Keel Row this Christmas period, their Christmas Fayre menu runs from 1st December and should be pre-booked. For menus and booking enquiries, visit www.thekeelrow.com , call 0191 237 0060 or simply pop in:-

The Keel Row
Foreman's Row
Seaton Delaval
NE25 0QG

You may also be interested to hear about the Keel Row carol service which will be happening around the Christmas tree at 5pm on 23rd December. There'll even be a visit from Santa himself. Tickets are FREE but limited and available behind the bar. 

Image courtesy of The Keel Row



Share:
© North East Family Fun | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig