Family days out around Hawes

1. Wensleydale Creamery

By far the best known attraction in Hawes is the Wensleydale Creamery, home of Wensleydale cheese. The centre offers cheese making demonstrations, a small museum and viewing gallery, cafes and shops. The creamery has a lot to thank Wallace and Gromit for; the animated duo helped increase production at a time when sales were slowing. Nowadays the creamery sells a cheese named after them, I bet it’s a popular choice for visitors.

The best part, for a family day out, is the cheese shop. It’s full of samples, even for those people who don’t like Wensleydale cheese.

 

You can visit the cheese shop for free; a family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids) to the museum and cheese making area costs £7.50.

2. Hardraw Force waterfall

Hardraw Force is England’s highest above ground single drop waterfall, with a plunge of 100 foot. It’s a short easy walk to the waterfall through the grounds of the Green Dragon Inn. We visited during a dry spell; I’d imagine it’s even more impressive after heavy rain.

 

The waterfall is open daily from 10am. A family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) costs £7.50.

3. Hawes Ropemakers (Outhwaites)

Located in the town this traditional ropemaker is worth popping into for 20 minutes or so. It’s mesmerising standing in front of the machines watching rope being made. There are machines making braids of all thicknesses and lengths from church bell ropes to skipping ropes. And if you’ve got a dog, their leads are available to buy and very popular.

 

Entrance is free.

4. Sheepdog demonstration

Countryfile have resurrected “One man and his dog” over the last couple of years which may account for the popularity of this evening out.

 

Run by a local farmer, Richard Fawcett holds weekly demonstrations in a field just outside Hawes throughout the summer season.

 

Visitors are introduced to the dogs and watch them working the sheep. They make it look easy even if the sheep don’t always behave according to plan!

 

Tickets cost £5 for adults, £1 for children.

 

Exploring Bristol with older kids

There’s plenty to keep young kids occupied in Bristol, from At-Bristol to SS Great Britain, but what did we do with a teen and a tween in tow?

Cabot tower

Built in the 1890s to commemorate the journey of John Cabot from Bristol to Canada the tower is free to visit. There’s a 360 degree panoramic view from the top although getting there may involve a squeeze. The spiral stairs are pretty narrow and things get interesting when you meet someone coming the opposite direction!

Giant’s cave, Clifton Observatory

Clifton Observatory is home to two attractions, a Camera Obscura and Giant’s Cave.  There is a touch of make believe about the tale, the steps lead out onto a platform with an impressive view of the gorge and bridge. 

 

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol

On the far side there’s a small visitor centre. Kids can play with a weighing machine that tells you how many of yourself can stand on the bridge without it collapsing. Quite a few fortunately!

 

Banksy art, Bristol

But there’s a lot more to Bristol than Banksy. Starting from City Hall and going through the city centre to Stokes Croft you can learn about the techniques used, artist backgrounds and the meaning behind some of the pieces.

 

Bristol street art

Depending on your point of view, our final destination, Stokes Croft, is either full of drug dens and brothels, bohemian and edgy or gentrified and expensive to live in. Whatever your thoughts there’s definitely lots of street art to see.

St Nicholas Market

Leaving street art tour head back to the city centre via the indoor St Nicholas Market. The market has the usual clothing and knick-knack stalls but what sets it apart are the food outlets. With options from all over the world it wouldn’t look out of place in Borough Market. 

 

3yr old Birthday Party ideas

At the age of 3, little girls are walking, talking and steadily developing their own personalities. When planning a party for 3-year-olds, keep their interests and cognitive abilities in mind. For example, while it would be appropriate to plan a children’s birthday party around the birthday girl’s favourite Cbeebies character.

Many little girls are into princesses, so consider throwing a fun princess party for the 3-year-old girl in your life. Ask the guests to dress in princess costumes or have costumes on hand for them to change into when they arrive. You could also give each girl a tiara as she arrives at the party. Play games with a princess theme, such as Pin the Tiara on the Princess, serve a cake shaped like a princess’s tiara and screen a movie that has a princess as a main character. The little girls will enjoy feeling like they are princesses for a day.

Bouncy Castle Party
● Although some people might think that little girls are delicate, they still like to play. Consider throwing a bouncy castle party for the 3-year-old in your life. Hire bouncy castles from a local party supplier. The little girls will be able to jump on the castle all afternoon and have fun being active.
Water and Sand

● When you are throwing a birthday party for a 3-year-old girl in the summertime, consider planning it outdoors to take advantage of the warm weather. Purchase several children’s pools and set them up in your garden. Fill several pools with water and some with sand. Ask the party guests to dress in their bathing suits and let them play in the sand and water. Place some water toys in the pools, such as floating ducks, and some buckets and spades in the sand pools. The children can move back and forth between the water and sand to feel like they are spending a day at the beach.

Arts and Crafts

● Many little girls enjoy creating things, so consider throwing an arts and crafts party for the 3-year-old girl. Plan a few arts and crafts activities that all the little girls will be able to handle. For example, pass out small clay pots and let the girls paint them with designs of their choice. Once the pots are dry, help them plant flowers in their pots. You could also give each little girl a T-shirt and help her decorate the shirt with paints, beads, sequins and other embellishments. Fun for all the family to enjoy.

Games for a boys 10th Birthday

Boys around the age of 10 are sometimes difficult to entertain because they are no longer “little kids” and they aren’t yet teenagers either. If you want to throw a fun kids birthday party for a 10-year-old boy, plan some activities that are suitable to this age group. By engaging the kids who come to the party, you will make the experience fun for everyone, including the birthday boy.

Backwards Relay; This activity gives your partygoers a chance to race each other in a non-typical relay game. Set up two obstacle courses before the game. Draw a starting line on the ground with spray paint. Place cones in a line extending from the starting point, being sure to leave about three feet of space between the cones. Use at least 10 cones for each line. Divide the kids into two teams.

Explain to the teams that each runner must race through the cones, alternating in and out of the cones in a zigzag fashion, until he reaches the last cone. When he circles the last cone, he must go back through the cones in the same manner until he comes back to the starting line. Upon crossing the starting line at the end of the course, he tags the next person in line to go. The catch is that everyone must complete the course by running or walking backward. If a cone is knocked over, the person must start over. The first team who moves all of its players through the course successfully, wins.

Mummy Wrap Race; This game works especially well for birthday parties that fall close to Halloween. Divide your party goers into groups of two to four people. Give each group a few rolls of toilet paper.

Instruct the teams to choose one person to be the “mummy.” When you give the signal to begin, the teams race to see which can wrap its mummy from head to toe within a certain time limit. Give the groups three to five minutes to wrap their mummies. When the time is up, let the birthday boy choose which team’s mummy is most thoroughly wrapped.

Gummy Worm Bobbing; This game offers a chilly twist on the traditional bobbing-for-apples activity. Fill a metal tub or similar container with water and ice.

Sprinkle in a pack of gummy worms. Have the boys take turns sticking their heads into the icy water to grab a gummy worm with their mouths. Make sure the water isn’t too deep, since the gummy worms will sink to the bottom of the container. You can turn this into a competition by giving each player 30 seconds to see how many worms he can retrieve. The player who gets the most worms wins.

Birthday Parties for 13yr olds

Children’s Birthday parties are fun at any age, but selecting a theme for a tween can present an interesting challenge. Children this age are no longer interested in “little kid” stuff, and yet they still might enjoy some young activities like going to the zoo and watching cartoons. Planning a 13-year-old’s birthday party should include age-appropriate things that are enjoyable and fun to do.

Sleepover Parties; Having friends sleep over is a fun way to spend a birthday, and you can help make the night extra special by selecting activities that you know your 13-year-old child is going to love. Make it a movie night by renting films. For snacks, order pizza, or cheeseburgers and hot dogs. You could also make a sundae bar for the kids to dress up their ice cream treats with a variety of sauces, sprinkles and other toppings. Other activities may include board games and rounds of karaoke.

Roller disco Parties; Roller disco parties can accommodate both large and small groups. Many rinks offer special birthday party packages that include group discounts for pizza, drinks and skate rental. Many skating birthday parties also feature games on skates, like a limbo contest and a variation of musical chairs in which participants must skate to a particular area of the rink when the music stops playing. For those who do not like to skate, many rinks also have an arcade. These parties allow your birthday kid to skate and socialize with friends in a fun and safe environment.

Shopping Centre Scavenger Hunt; For a 13-year-old girl’s party, choose activities that you know she and her friends would enjoy. For example, you can set up a scavenger hunt at a local shopping centre. Some items to include on the hunt list might be a picture of a woman in red heels, a receipt for one pound and a stranger’s autograph. Make sure each team has an adult supervisor as a safety precaution.

Sports Parties; If your 13-year-old likes to play sports, consider centering the theme around a favoured sport. You can take the group to a party at a local sports centre. There, your child and friends will be able to play basketball, tennis and other indoor sports. Some sports centres also include a pool. Another sports theme involves taking your tween and a friend to watch their favourite team play. These fun sports event is sure to be something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

Party ideas for 6yr olds

Around the age of 6 is when kids start to reveal their true personalities. They absorb so much information, are super opinionated and they know what they want. It’s usually the year they transition into Reception and go from being a “baby” to a little person with attitude. When it’s time to celebrate their birthday, now is when you can include them in the party plans to make their sixth birthday party one they will talk about for years.

PJ parties
● Pajama parties for children at this age are full of energy and fun and you’re likely to be worn out after a night of rambunctious 6-year-olds. Invite a few friends from your child’s class over for a sleepover. Set up plenty of arts and crafts activities for the kids to move from station to station as they are likely to bore easily. Use one station for colouring and creating, another for watching a show or movie and another for something active like pavement chalk writing, blowing bubbles or making water balloons.

Talent Show
● Host a talent show for the kids to showcase their favourite talents. No matter if it’s singing, dancing or creating a masterpiece, allow each kid a chance in the spotlight. End your talent portion by bringing out the ice cream and cake and allow everyone to salute the birthday boy or girl before the party ends.

Pizza Party
● Celebrate the birthday at school by offering to bring in pizza for your child’s classroom. Replacing ham and cheese sandwiches with pizza will make you the superhero of the day, and your child will enjoy the excitement of having you appear for lunch. Bring balloons and a cake to accompany your special visit. Use this in-class party to kick start the birthday bash over the weekend.

Safe Face Painting

Face painting at kids parties is becoming increasingly popular. Face painters of today are artists using cosmetic-grade paints and creating designs so amazing they go viral! When booking a face painter for your birthday party, corporate event, grand opening, or anything else, make sure you’re getting not only a great artist, but a safe and sanitary experience.

What’s your hygiene like?

Face painters must sanitize their brushes between dips and only use one sponge per child. (Face painters often use sponges for bigger areas.)

Are you insured?

All professional face painters are insured against accidents. This is especially important for corporate parties or company events.

How do I take face paint off afterwards?

It should be pretty easy, but some brands are easier than others. The face painter you book should be able to walk you through the removal or cleanup process.

Do you do background checks?

If you’re dealing with an agency who hires multiple artists, ask if they do background checks.

Are your paints vegan or cruelty-free?

Kids love animals, so why not ask? An increasing number of makeup brands contain no animal products and are not tested on animals.

Can you cater to my special needs?

From autism to non-English speakers, make sure the professional face painter you hire can accommodate to your needs.

What kind of paint do you use?

This is a “trick question.” A professional face painter will be using FDA-approved cosmetics that we call “paint.” It’s hypoallergenic and safe for kids, Make sure they don’t say craft paint, acrylic paint, or anything else not made specifically for skin.

Summer Outdoor Party Ideas

For summer birthdays or just a fun get-together, kids love a good party! Why not take advantage of the (hopefully) summer weather and have the party outside? Get going with these 4 fun kids party ideas for outside!

1. Kids Olympics Party
Cabin fever may be setting in after all the April showers and being stuck in school, so get the kids outside and burn off some energy! Tap into their competitive side and set up a Kids Olympics party! “Active” is the name of the game with this theme. Discus throws (using Frisbees), obstacle courses, balance beams, or hula hoop contests are great choices for a Kids Olympics Party. You can also encourage teamwork with relay races. At the end of the party, give away small prizes or even have a medal ceremony to bring the festivities to a close!

2. Just Add Water Party
Looking for a way to cool off in the summer heat? Just add water! Have your guests bring their swimsuits, towels, and sunscreen for a day of fun in the sun. Activities like Slip n’ Slides or sprinklers are easy ways to add a little H2O to your outdoor party. Water games are always a great addition to outdoor kids party ideas. If all else fails, pass out squirt guns or water balloons and let the battle begin!

3. Animal Party
While we’re all fans of furry creatures, sometimes the thought of having them inside is a little daunting. That’s why animals are the perfect addition to an outdoor party! Does your kid dream of riding a pony or holding a hedgehog? An animal party can deliver! Most petting zoos or pony parties only need a small amount of space outside, like your garden. Reptile shows are great for Jurassic Park or jungle-themed parties. The animals are usually enough to hold the kids’ attention, but animal games can be just as fun!

4. Outdoor Movie Night Party
Would you like to give your kid a drive-in movie party under the stars? Bring it to your Garden! Your kids and their friends of all ages will love being able to pile onto blankets in the grass and watch a family-friendly film. Rent an outdoor movie screen or make your own by stringing up a white painter’s canvas. Set up a movie snack bar with popcorn and classic sweet choices. Set up tin buckets filled with ice and bottles of pop to bring out the nostalgic vibe. Outdoor kids party ideas don’t have to be complicated; sometimes it’s just about spending time together!

Toddler parties on a budget

Let us help you find budget-friendly alternatives to an over the top toddler birthday party..

1. Sensory Party
If your tiny guests are in the early stages of exploring, consider throwing a fun children’s party centered around helping them explore. Find large, shallow clear boxes at your local diy shop. Fill them with different textures and colours, such as shaving cream, sand, water, marbles. Anything you can think of. Place them in an area that will be easy to clean, hand out plastic art jackets and let them go to town.

2. Princess and Superhero Parties
There is no doubt that you have glass slippers or capes haunting your dreams right now. That is one of the many perks of toddler parenting. Even though you’re well aware that they may not remember their early years, you still want to make their birthday special. Cut your budget by making your own crafts!

3. Dance
Toddlers love to dance and parents love to watch. Hire a Children’s Musician for a birthday celebration that will keep a smile on everyone’s face! Since it’s a Dance Party and the centre of the party is music, you don’t really need a theme. Go to your local party shop, grab some brightly-coloured party supplies and arrange them on a white table cloth to bring it all together. Give your cake a musical theme and congratulations, This party is a success!

4. Circus Party
Even without elephants or acrobats, you can still bring the circus to your garden! Think small-scale entertainment and keep decorations simple with a red, white, and yellow theme. Frost your cupcakes with red and white icing and arrange them into coordinating stripes, then top them off with tiny yellow flags made from toothpicks and card stock. Create your own Puppet Show stage using cardboard boxes and paint. There will be so much to do that toddlers can run free and have a good time! Hire a Face Painter or a friendly Clown.

No matter what your budget is, it is always possible to have an extra special fun party. With a little hard work and some creativity, use your budget savvy to make the best party of the year and still have enough leftover to treat yourself. You’ll need it! Make your kid’s birthday one you will all remember and include some birthday traditions.

May the Force be with you

Now that the Force has awakened, no doubt you have a kid in your life begging for a Star Wars children’s birthday party! We have some great ideas to help you throw the ultimate kids party.

Spacey Decorations

Luckily, recreating “space” isn’t too complicated! Use a black tablecloth or sheet and splatter with white paint to add a galactic feel. Hang it up as a backdrop for food/cake table or for a photo booth! Lay out black plates, cups, and cutlery, and blue and black balloon bouquets as centrepieces. There are tons of resources for printable garlands.

Finally, try gathering some white paper lanterns and using gray paint to create the Death Star ship.

Food and Drink
You can get really creative with the snacks at your Star Wars party, and this is a great opportunity to use puns. (Even if the kids don’t appreciate them, it’s fun!) Party foods like Obi Wan Kabobies, Yoda Soda, and Padawan Popcorn are all great choices. Use your clever wit and put your own sci-fi twists on old party favourites.

As for your Star Wars birthday cake, you can have one made by the pros with expert detail or you can take the DIY approach. If you opt for making your own, there are some pretty simple designs that the amateur baker can try, like this awesome BB8 cake. Cupcakes are also a great option, and you can include multiple Star Wars characters.

There are a lot of kid-friendly games that you can incorporate into a Star Wars birthday party. Create lightsabers out of pool noodles! Set up target practice with Nerf guns to take out the toilet-paper roll Stormtroopers. Add some “Jedi Training” with a galactic bean bag toss and a “laser” obstacle course made out of streamers. Or, Pin the Bun on Princess Leia, anyone?