Review & Top Tips | Customs House Panto South Shields 2018

Disclosure: We were kindly invited along to panto press night and provided with complimentary tickets.

Review & Top Tips | Customs House Panto South Shields 2018  Beauty and the Beast


Customs House Panto | Overview & tickets

This year's Christmas Panto is Beauty and the Beast and runs from 27 November - 5 January. Tickets are available from £9.99 - £21.
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Beko Soup Maker | A Review

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Over the past few months, we've been working with Beko as part of their #EatLikeAPro campaign which has involved testing out various Beko appliances and using their tech to improve our diets and encourage healthier eating whilst still being convenient enough for busy family lives. You can find out more about the campaign and check out lots of healthy family recipes over on the Eat Like A Pro website here.
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Top Tips for Driving to Edinburgh Christmas Markets with Kids

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Christmas is definitely one of my favourite times of the year and one of the best ways to get into the festive spirit is to visit a Christmas Market. There are so many to choose from across the UK and Europe and this year, we decided to take a road trip with the kids up to Edinburgh. 

Top Tips for Driving to Edinburgh Christmas Markets with Kids
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Driving to Cornwall from Newcastle with Kids | Our nine day itinerary for February Half Term

Please note: This trip is a combination of hosted press stays (marked with a *) and accommodation/ experiences we have booked ourselves. 

Driving to Cornwall from Newcastle with Kids | Our nine day itinerary for February Half Term



I have so many happy memories of family holidays to Cornwall when I was younger. We used to spend our evenings walking around beautiful harbours and days filled with fun activities. It's such a beautiful part of the world and really reminds me of Northumberland in a lot of ways. I remember being intrigued to learn that those living in Cornwall have a secret language and driving through the single-track roads and narrow streets always felt like a real adventure. Steve has never visited Cornwall before and I know he'll adore the area as much as I do and for years I've been meaning to plan a family trip but something has always got in the way. We *almost* visited a few years ago and even had a lovely cottage booked but then something came up and we had to cancel.
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Review & Top Tips | Gala Theatre Durham Panto 2018


Disclosure: We were kindly invited along to panto press night and provided with complimentary tickets.

Review & Top Tips | Gala Theatre Durham Panto 2018 | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Gala Theatre Durham Panto |  Overview & tickets

This year's Christmas Panto is Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs and runs from 22 November - 5 January. Tickets are available from £6 - £17 (£50 - £58 for a family ticket) which I would say is a mid-range price to pay for a panto.
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The best child-friendly restaurants near Newcastle Theatre Royal

You'll find Newcastle's Theatre Royal in a prime location on Grey Street. The Theatre Royal is home to some fantastic family theatre. Over the years we've watched all sorts from The Tiger Who Came to Tea to Gangsta Granny and of course, the hilarious annual panto.

The best child-friendly restaurants near Newcastle Theatre Royal

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20+ Christmas Events for Kids across North East England (with no pre-booking required)


I've been asked a few times where my November What's On Guide is but the truth is, I found it too difficult to write. There is so much overlap with events between November and December and the same events run across many weekends so it was kind of getting repetitive. So my What's On Guides will be on holiday until January 2019 and instead, I've written this post which will hopefully give you a few ideas for places to visit over the next few weeks.

20+ Christmas Events for Kids across North East England (with no pre-booking required)
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How to Spend 24 Hours in Liverpool with Tweens

During our half-term road-trip, we spent 24 hours in Liverpool. It was my first ever visit to the city and definitely a place where I left wanting more. I loved how much there was to do and the abundance of independent businesses and restaurants. I have a feeling it won't be long before we're back. We only brushed the surface but I'd love to share with you what we got up to and hopefully inspire you to book a trip of your own.

How to Spend 24 Hours in Liverpool with Tweens - The Royal Albert Dock
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10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids

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We fancied something a little different as a treat to end half term this year so packed ourselves and the kids up to spend a night at Matfen Hall in Northumberland in celebration of our 12th wedding anniversary. We had the absolute best time and I can't wait to share it with you. Matfen Hall is a grand 4* resort and it does feel pretty fancy but on the other hand, it is super warm and welcoming and not the kind of place you feel like you have to keep your children seen but not heard. If you're looking for a luxury family staycation in Northumberland, Matfen Hall really delivers. Here are 10 reasons to stay here with kids: 

10 Reasons to Stay at Matfen Hall in Northumberland with Kids  - Par 3 Golf Course with kids
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Where to Visit & Feed Reindeer across North East England this Christmas


Where to Visit & Feed Reindeer across North East England this Christmas

A few people have asked for suggestions of places to feed reindeer this Christmas so I've put together a little guide. If you know of anywhere else, please add the details as a comment on this post. We're heading to Azure this week and I can't wait. Visiting Reindeer is a lovely festive outing for the family and it's usually pretty low-cost too. I like visiting in a garden centre as you get the chance to see all of the festive lights and displays too.
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Pirates Village Santa Ponsa | Jet 2 Holidays Review

We stayed at Pirates Village during the first week of October in 2018. The holiday was to celebrate my brother's 30th birthday (and first holiday abroad in 5 years!) plus it was my toddler nephew's first holiday abroad. We travelled in term time as it's the only time Mark could get off work. Steve and Harry stayed at home for this trip (I'm not planning on taking Harry out of Secondary school to go on holiday) and I took Heidi and Jack out of school for the trip (I don't mind taking kids out of Primary School to go on holiday for 5 days). My mam also came along with us so there were 6 of us in total. Pirates Village is such a fun hotel for kids and definitely a place I'd recommend to visit with children in Spain. 

Pirates Village Santa Ponsa | Jet 2 Holidays Review  - Hotel exterior
Pirates Village Exterior
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10 Magical Christmas Events to Book Now

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10 Magical Christmas events to book in Gateshead now

Has anyone noticed that as soon as we hit November 1, Christmas has hit us in full-force? I'm actually surprised at how quickly it's come around and now that the kids are back to school after half term, my planning is in full-force. Many Christmas events have already sold out (some as much as a year in advance) so today I am bringing you 10 Christmas events across Gateshead which either don't require pre-booking or still have tickets available (at time of publication). There are some fantastic events on the list - let me know if you fancy any.......
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The Big Blue Hotel Blackpool | Pleasure Beach Package & Deluxe Family Room Review

Blackpool is generally somewhere you love or hate. For me, I can take it or leave it but I am always drawn to the fact that it's not far to drive and there's absolutely loads to do for families there. I also enjoy visiting the illuminations. We've visited Blackpool as a family 3-4 times now and have previously stayed at the Premier Inn Bispham (good if you're on a budget), the Hilton (lovely) and a couple of B&Bs. I've always wanted to visit The Big Blue Hotel which is joined onto the Pleasure Beach so this October half term, I treated us all to an overnight stay. 

The Big Blue Hotel Blackpool | Pleasure Beach Package & Deluxe Family Room Review  - exterior photo
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Marvel Universe LIVE! will visit Newcastle in 2019 - here's how to sign-up for priority tickets

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Marvel Universe LIVE! will make its Newcastle debut in 2019. A brand new UK tour featuring the stars from Guardians of the Galaxy and 20 favourite Marvel Super Heroes and Villains will visit Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena from 21-24 November 2019 (note 2019 - not 2018, I've made the mistake of turning up a full year ahead of a show before and would hate for you to do the same).

PHOTO: Marvel Heroes face off agains the villains.Marvel Universe LIVE! will visit Newcastle in 2019 - here's how to sign-up for priority tickets
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Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick Newcastle | A Review


Yes, we are that family who visited Father Christmas before Bonfire Night but when my friend messaged me to ask if I wanted her spare tickets to see Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick Newcastle, how could I resist? We sadly missed out on Fenwick Window's launch this year as we had already booked into Matfen Hall that night to celebrate our wedding anniversary and a trip to visit Santa on the Rooftop seemed like a very good alternative way to experience some of that special Fenwick Christmas magic.

Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick Newcastle | A Review  - elves on roof
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The Snowman at Fenwick's window 2018, etiquette and why I hate people who push in

Visiting Fenwick's Christmas Window is a tradition most families around the North East will carry out across the festive season and this year's window is nice and traditional - The Snowman. We tend to visit on launch night but couldn't make it this year so instead, visited on opening weekend. Perfectly paired with a trip to see Santa on Fenwick's Rooftop.

The Snowman at Fenwick's window 2018, etiquette and why I hate people who push in
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Visiting the Adventure Playground & Outdoor Play Areas at Wallington Hall

Wallington Hall is a National Trust property in Northumberland. We've visited lots of times now but always tend to stick to the areas around the parks. They're just so tempting with kids and you're really spoilt for choice with not one, not two but three play parks within easy walking distance of the entrance. I'm hoping to explore the wider estate soon but this post is going to focus on Wallington Hall's wonderful parks. 

Visiting the Adventure Playground & Outdoor Play Areas at Wallington Hall
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