MUMBLER Reviews… Wharfedale & Craven

MUMBLER Reviews…

Mumbler Reviews… Adel Dam Nature Reserve

The Mini-Mumblers love nature, anything from flowers to squirrels!

We are regulars at Golden Acre Park but we have never walked around the Adel Dam Nature Reserve before. Adel Dam is a tranquil nature reserve tucked out of sight, has emerged from a centuries-old working dam and the surrounding land. A rare combination of wet and dry woodland surrounds a lake and pond frequently visited by kingfishers – the number one attraction. Masses of bluebells and fungi in season are also exceptional.It can be accessed through Golden Ace Park. Instead of walking across the new wooden bridge at the back of the lake verve down to the left and enter the nature reserve through the gate.

It can be accessed through Golden Ace Park. Instead of walking across the new wooden bridge at the back of the lake verve down to the left and enter the nature reserve through the gate.

It’s a beautiful peaceful walk with lots of species of bird previously spotted and we couldn’t wait to see what we could spot!

You can download the ADEL DAM NATURE RESERVE Self-guided walking trail PDF here but we managed without!

The walk leads you to the first of 2 hides, the hide is a small shed overlooking the pond with a bird feeding station. We were lucky enough to see numerous magpies and a beautiful small grey heron. From this hide we went on an adventure through the woods… winding paths, wooden stepping stones and little bridges crossing the marshy ground were very exciting for my little girl! Arriving at the lake hide we entered to be met by a local photographer who showed us his beautiful pictures of the Kingfisher we had missed by just minutes! Kingfishers – Adel Dam’s main attraction – have bred here; if you are lucky you will catch a flash of their bright blue. We waited to see if he came back -he didn’t but we were rewarded by a beautiful white heron!

As the walk continued we spotted lots of grey squirrels and various birds including a Red Kite (I was starting to wish we had a bird book as my lack of bird knowledge was really showing!!).

Elusive species include water rail and lesser spotted woodpeckers. Birds of prey also frequent the site, with resident sparrowhawk and visits from red kites and buzzards. Fungi flourish amongst the standing and lying dead trees. Badgers and roe deer visit the site, and a family of foxes have made the nature reserve their home!

It truly is a wonderful place to visit as long as your kids can understand that to catch a glimpse of the wonderful species who have made Adel Dam Nature Reserve their home, they need to be quiet!

Reserve Information

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Great for

  • birdwatching
  • fungi
  • historical interest
  • spring flowers

 

Best time to visit Mar – May and Aug – Oct

Opening Times: Open at all times

Pram & Wheelchair friendly paths from the car park to the nature reserve and Marsh Hide. RADAR key required by wheelchair users at the nature reserve entrance. Paths become more rugged and muddy after the Marsh Hide. Dogs are not permitted on the reserve.

Parking

Use either of the Golden Acre Park car parks, one of which is on the A660 and the other on the Adel to Arthington road.


Mumbler reviews ‘Brewtown Tours’ just in time for Father’s Day…


Mumbler Reviews Clip n Climb Leeds – Opening 26th May

Mr Mini Mumbler loves climbing so when we got invited to the brand new Clip n Climb in Leeds for a sneak peek (opening Saturday 26th May) he was beyond excited – and it didn’t disappoint!


MUMBLER Reviews… Deershed Festival


MUMBLER Reviews… Go Ape! at Temple Newsam PLUS Mumbler Discount Code

The Go Ape! Park Adventure at Temple Newsam Estate opened earlier this year and the North Leeds Mini-Mumbler’s were very excited (mummy was a little apprehensive!) to be invited along for family fun in the trees!

“For those of you not sure what Go Ape! entails my daughter’s summary to her Grandma sums it up well “a big adventure park in the trees!” By the end of our session, we had enjoyed wobbling over bridges, climbing through tunnels, scrambling along nets and whizzing down zip wires!   If you’re looking for a new challenge, something fun, or a family activity that burns some energy, then Go Ape!  is for you!”


Mumbler Reviews Grass Hoppers NEW Indoor Play Space


MUMBLER Reviews… Hesketh Farm Park

*This is a review post for Hesketh Farm Park, we received our entrance tickets in exchange for this post but as always this is our honest and fair review.

Hesketh Farm Park is set just outside the beautiful village of Bolton Abbey, boasting stunning views and in our opinion, a great family farm experience! Come rain or shine (both of which we experienced today) Hesketh has something to keep the whole family entertained!

We haven’t had a family trip to Hesketh Farm Park for ages so we were very excited to see the new additions which we have heard so much about. We arrived bang on 10 am as the farm sprang into life. With plenty of parking available we ditched the car and headed in. There was plenty of staff on hand to greet us and we were given a timetable of the live events running; there was a lot on offer!

Our first stop was the guinea pigs. I can honestly say I’ve never been a huge fan of small furry creatures but getting up close & personal with these little cuties have certainly changed that!* The Mini-Mumblers loved holding and brushing them and members of staff were on hand to answer ALL their burning questions.
*Please don’t tell the kids I said that – they are already begging for one!

Next, we couldn’t help but be drawn to the worlds loudest lambs! With only minutes until the Lamb Feeding Session, they were impatient, as were the kids, who couldn’t wait to try their hand at bottle feeding! The park assistants arrived with buckets full of bottles and were very clear on the correct technique to use to ensure the lambs didn’t get poorly tummies from too much air in their bottles and why it was very important to wash our hands after we touched the animals. There are hand washing stations in each area of the farm. Each child who was waiting (and today there were loads) got to have a turn at feeding the lambs.

Hesketh also had calf feeding, Egg collecting & donkey feeding or pony brushing sessions running during our visit.
The Mini-Mumblers really enjoyed learning about the different stages of the newborn chicks, from just hatched to 4 weeks old, we loved happening upon the giant tortoise as he wandered around the farm, and my highlight of the day was being lucky enough to get to stroke a brand new piglet. We then brushed a gigantic pig and fed another with a motorised tractor!

We headed down to the indoor play & cafe areas, the Mini-Mumblers explored the straw maze, played in the indoor sandpit and on the tractor slide while I ordered a cuppa and a cake from the cafe. I can highly recommend the caramel slice! The cafe also offers sandwiches and kids lunch boxes at a reasonable price plus there is ample space both indoors and out to bring your own picnic. After we had refuelled the kids raced on the indoor tractors circuit and then on the outdoor go-karts.

We timed it well and the rain had stopped so we made the most of it and explored outside. The new outdoor sandpit was a big hit! They built sand castles, used the diggers to dig craters and got completely covered in sand! What kid is not as happy as Larry when digging in the sand?

We spent an age climbing the full-size tractors, seeing the horses and the chickens and had another race on the go-karts – it has to be the best of three, doesn’t it? Then it was onto the park. Just as we had enjoyed our first slide the tractor ride opened so, of course, we raced over. This was the highlight of the day for my son! Farmer Chris on the tractor, pulled the trailer around the farm fields, stopping to answer questions and looking at all the animals out to pasture… I now know the difference between a meadow and a pasture – do you? The route is the bumpiest track it could possibly be, hence the kid’s HUGE enjoyment. Mum’s I’d recommend a sports bra! 😉
The tractor ride lasted approximately 15 – 20 minutes and costs an additional £1.50 per person.

Back at the park, the kids played while we enjoyed the last remaining rays of sunshine. The weather soon changed and the coats were zipped up before we could see the rain rolling in from Skipton. We headed home, kids happy and chatting about the fun they had before falling asleep halfway home.

 

 


MUMBLER Reviews: Lotherton Christmas Experience 2019

Last night MUMBLER were invited down to the Lotherton Christmas Experience, which opened to the public today. As one of the main attractions in Leeds at Christmas time, there are always high expectations of Lotherton.  We’re happy to say that yet again, this year’s Experience doesn’t disappoint and the addition of a new outdoor ice rink was a BIG hit with the mini Mumblers!


MUMBLER Reviews… Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience 2018

Last night Mumbler were invited down to the Lotherton Christmas Experience, which opens to the public tomorrow.  As one of the main attractions in Leeds at Christmas time, there are always high expectations of Lotherton.  And we’re happy to say that yet again, this year’s Experience doesn’t disappoint!

Hours of fun at great value

Entry to the Christmas Experience is £7 per person, £3.50 per child, or £21 for a family ticket.   Children under 4 are FREE. For that, you get access to the Elf Village, The 12 Days Of Christmas Woodland Walk, The Fairy Dell, Winter Wonderland Courtyard, House, Play Areas and Wildlife World! Additionally, you can take a trip to the ‘North Pole’ and visit Santa and his Elves for an extra charge (if you’ve booked to see Santa, all of the above is included in the price of your booking). However, even without the trip to Santa, this is a full day out for the family at a very reasonable price.

The quality of what you’ll see and experience is excellent too, with beautiful lights, amazing decorations, interactive exhibits and Christmas characters popping up across the estate.  There are additional activities that children can do in the Elf Village including pottery painting, decoration making and story times read by a Christmas Elf.  The activities are £3 each, or you can do all 4 for £10.  Again, even without doing the activities there is still lots to do.

It opens on the 23rd November and runs until 23rd December, with late opening (until 7 pm Sunday – Thursday and 8 pm Friday – Sunday) meaning you can take in the magical surroundings in the dusk as well, which is when the Woodland Walk really comes into its own.

We took an 8-year-old, 5-year-old and a2-year-old.  It was suitable for all of them, although we bought the pushchair for the youngest on the Woodland Walk and it was all fully accessible.

Here’s a little taster of what you’ll get to experience….

The Elf Village

The Elf Village has been set up next to the play area.  It’s a lovely, cosy set up of log cabins and twinkling lights, all manned by Santa’s Elves.  The cabins are a mix of market stalls selling Christmas gifts, plus 4 indoor activities for children to take part in; story time, pottery painting, plate decoration and Christmas decoration making (as above, these activities are charged in addition to the general admission fee).  You can get hot and cold drinks and hot-dogs from one of the cabins, and additional food is available at the Courtyard cafe.    Tokens for the activities can also be purchased from The Little Christmas Shop.

The Woodland Walk & Fairy Dell

The Woodland Walk is based around the 12 Days Of Christmas and was definitely our favourite bit.  It takes you on a loop past the play area, through the woods, and into the formal gardens.  There are 12 interactive ‘stations’ for the children to play at, including playing a giant organ, hook a duck, a coconut shy style game and the chance to join the 12 Drummers Drumming.  It took us about half an hour to complete, bearing in mind we were there when it was quiet though, so there no queues to have a go on anything.  We also did the walk at dusk, which was definitely the best time to do it so you can experience all of the beautiful lights in the trees.  All areas of the walk are flat and pushchair accessible, although it was muddy in places.

The Woodland Walk finishes at the Fairy Dell, with lots of fairy houses and scenes set up around the rockery areas. These are lit with amazing lights, so again, definitely best experienced at dusk.  The Fairy Dell was not easily accessed with the pushchair though, so we left it and walked through.

The House and Courtyard 

Wow!  The house looks stunning both outside and inside and won’t fail to get you into the Christmas spirit.  Whilst I was in awe of the beautifully decorated rooms and trees, a trip around the house wouldn’t be wasted on the kids as there is a section where they can dress up as a festive Edwardian before taking a selfie.  If you wanted to take some time out and enjoy a story together there are Christmas themed books available to read as well as lots of Christmas hats for children to have fun trying on!

If you need refreshments the courtyard has a covered area outside for The Christmas Experience and is a great place to take a few minutes rest.  Children can play in the festive ‘snow’ whilst you enjoy a hot chocolate or mulled wine and a slice of cake. (There is also a takeaway kiosk available.)

Santa’s North Pole 

We have seen a fair few Santa’s over the years but if you’re looking for a ‘top draw’ Santa experience you won’t be disappointed.  The friendly elves meet you at the entrance to the North Pole and have a little chat with the children before you follow the magical fairy lit trail into Santa’s workshop.  The cheeky elves interact lots with the children throughout the visit and the children get to help them in the Elf workshop.  When we visited we made reindeer food with the elves.  You then progress further into the North Pole and children get the chance to write a postcard to Santa, again the elves were on hand to chat with the children and made the experience very personal.

Children then get the chance to go into Santa’s grotto and have a chat and photo opportunity with him before receiving a small present (which was age appropriate).  The Santa looked just like children see in the books and my two were captivated and came away buzzing!  We were advised that normally the full experience would last approx 40 minutes.

Visits to see Santa on weekends in December are now fully booked but you can visit him after school and pre-schoolers can visit Santa in the Elf Village on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s between 11am-2pm.  This is no pre-booking for the pre-schooler sessions and you just need to get a ticket from The Little Christmas Shop when you arrive.

In summary, The Christmas Experience is a great way to spend time as a family (a great one to do with grandparents as well) with a good mixture of activities including interactive trails, crafts, storytime, opportunities to burn off energy in the parks and visits to the animals as well as the opportunity to see Santa.

Mumbler’s Top Tips:

  • The majority of the experience is outside so we would advise wrapping up warm
  • The experience and woodland trail is suitable for prams but at busy times carriers may be more suitable especially in the Elf Village and House
  • Wellies are advisable as parts of the trail are muddy
  • Last entry onto the 12 Days of Christmas Walk is 30 minutes before the estate closes and the house is 1 hour before the estate closes
  • The toilets are in the courtyard area, we would recommend a visit before setting off on the Woodland Walk!

Lotherton is situated off Collier Lane which is just off junction 47 of the M1. If you are using a route planner the postcode is LS25 3EB.

Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3EB. Tel:  0113 378 2959

Christmas Experience Website

Facebook

*Prices quoted are for tickets booked online, prices on the gate will be slightly more.

*Mumbler was not paid for this review, although we were given free entry on the preview evening.  All views and opinions expressed are our own and are open and honest.

 

 


MUMBLER Reviews… Otley Boats

What better way to spend the day than messing about on the river!

With row boats or pedalos available to hire for a full hour for £7 per for adults, £4 for 6-16-year-olds, under 5’s free or half hour for half the price it’s not an expensive trip out!

 

It’s safety first at Otley Boats, with all the children needing a life jacket, fitted by a team member before you can board the boat! We opted for an hour on a pedalo- thinking it would be easier than rowing! I’m glad I dragged my sister along for the ride as my legs were killing after an hour pedaling!

Once aboard we headed up the river towards Ilkley. The kids were excited to choose which opening in the bridge we went through and loved seeing all the ducks and swans on the river.

A half hour hire would give you ample time to pedal up the river to just past Westgate Surgery to the turning point and back to the dock at a leisurely speed. In our hours hire we managed to pedal up river twice and back round the bhoy by the dock a couple of times also!

The kids sat back and enjoyed the experience but predictably both then wanted a turn at pedaling… swapping seats was not as nerve-wracking as I expected, the pedalo hardly moved at all as I clambered into the back seat. Mr Mini-Mumbler (6) could just about manage to pedal but my little girl was far too small (3 -but of course you don’t mind so much as they are FREE!). She hopped onto her Auntie’s knee and pretended she was pedaling before taking control of the steering. The pedalo was very responsive to the slightest movement of the rudder so we were all over the place!! She loved it…

The best part of this trip for me was how busy the river was… yes it was a Bank Holiday Monday but the sun was not shining (which I’m glad of because I was hot enough from all the pedaling!!) but to see so many people on the river having fun in our beautiful Wharfedale surroundings was delightful!

 

Otley Boats are open Saturdays with a range of pedalos and rowing boats available to hire from 10 am until evening, subject to weather conditions. Buoyancy aids will be available for children, and a safety boat manned by trained members of staff will be on the water at all times.

PRICES: 
Adults £7 per hour
Children aged 6-16 £4 per hour
Children under 6 Free

 

Let’s keep the boats on the Wharfe!!


MUMBLER Reviews… Puffin Pottery, Otley

Local Mum, Laura Turner, has just opened Puffin Pottery in Otley and she invited us down to see what they have on offer! This is our honest review of what we believe is a great addition to Otley!

Puffin pottery is a large, bright & airy studio with plenty of tables and aprons available for your budding artists! With high-chairs and baby changing facilities, milkshakes, tea, coffee and a selection of lovely cakes you can sit back and relax whilst your little (or big!) ones paint their pots. With lots of designs ranging from Unicorns and Mermaids to Fighter Jets and Piggy banks, there is something to tempt every child!

Once you are seated a member of staff will come over and talk your child through what they need to do, from wiping the pottery down with a wet sponge to selecting their colours and how many coats of paint each colour requires. My Mini-Mumbler especially loved the crackle colours which appear sparkly once fired!

The tables are set up with a paint carousel in the centre and a paint colour chart tile to ensure your child selects the right colour for their pottery. With brushes of every size and specially shaped sponges for stamping even the littlest of children can enjoy this activity!

Once the masterpiece is completed they will be fired in the Puffin Pottery Kiln, we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of where the magic happens! You can collect your pottery a week after painting.

Puffin Pottery also offers Ladies Nights and Story Time Paint Along sessions. Keep an eye out on our events calendar for the next dates available to book.

Puffin Pottery, 2b Boroughgate, Otley. Tel: 01943 465731

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Website

 

Mumbler was given the opportunity to paint for free at Puffin Pottery this time but prices normally start at £6. This is our open & honest review of our experience there.


MUMBLER Reviews: Rainbow Factory Christmas Show – Jingle the Elf’s Fairytale Fiasco!

Yet again the Mini-Mumbler’s had a great evening at the Rainbow Factory’s brand-new Christmas production – Jingle the Elf’s Fairytale Fiasco!

About the Show:

Jingle the Elf’s Fairytale Fiasco follows the journey of Jingle, Santa’s cheeky elf who’s always getting into trouble, as she steals Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve in the hopes of getting herself onto the nice list. She goes in search of well-known fairy tale characters who are on the naughty list every year in the hopes of being able to get them onto the nice list, in turn getting her on it too. Filled with lovable characters, catchy songs and lots of laughs this Christmas show is a perfect alternative to the pantomime suitable for the whole family.

The show is designed for audiences aged 2 – 102. The relaxed, interactive performance style means you don’t have to worry about your little ones jumping around or getting out of their seats! With the show only being 40 minutes long and the children encouraged to sit on the floor on mats & cushions it is perfect for the littler wriggly ones.

The children were encouraged to join in with the Christmas “magic”, singing and dancing and the youngest mini-mumbler (age 5) was engrossed from start to finish.  I sat back in my chair enjoying my complimentary cup of tea and mince pie watching – the joy on her face when Elsa entered the stage making it snow was priceless!

The older Mini-Mumbler (age 8) still enjoyed the performance but is fast growing out of fairytales (SOB!).

With limited tickets available for each performance (so booking early is a MUST), the kids had room to move about the floor as the actors did about the stage meaning they had a clear view of every second.

Performances will take place between 14th December 2019 and 3rd January 2020 and run at 11 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. For the price of £8 per ticket, it is money well spent!

For some sessions, there will be craft activities available afterwards for an additional cost. You can UPGRADE your ticket to include TWO Christmas Crafts for £12.50. You get your children’s show ticket then they can create traditional tree decoration AND decorate a cookie plate for Santa.

If you are looking for a unique pantomime featuring old friends this is perfect for your little ones.

The show is recommended for children aged 2+
Ticket prices are:
£8 for a show ticket (for both children and adults)
£12.50 for a children’s show ticket plus the Christmas Craft Upgrade.
Craft upgrade includes a Santa Cookie Plate and Christmas Tree Decoration
Show Dates:
Running from 14th December – 3rd January
Shows run at various times depending on the dates, these show times are 11am, 1pm, 4pm or 6pm.
The show lasts 45 minutes.

Tickets are available here

 

The Rainbow Factory is a family-run business which specialises in Storytelling through the Creative Arts. It was set up in June 2015 with the social objective of helping to raise literacy standards and inspiring more children to develop a love of reading and find new ways to explore and enjoy books.

To find out more about the Rainbow Factory: www.rainbowfactorykids.com

*Mumbler was not paid for this review, although we were given free entry on the press night.  All views and opinions expressed are our own and are open and honest.

 


MUMBLER Reviews… Scrooge’s Christmas Carol at The Rainbow Factory

 

Well, what can I say… the Mini-Mumblers (and me!!) loved the Rainbow Factory’s brand-new Christmas production – Scrooge’s Christmas Carol!

Billed as a family-friendly, fun, musical show with “ghosts that are more silly than scary, focused on fun and laughter” we were not disappointed. Even the youngest visitors (2 years +) will enjoy this version of the classic festive tale A Christmas Carol.

The children were encouraged to join in with the original songs, dancing & most of all laughter! With the show only being 40 minutes long and the children encouraged to sit on the floor on mats & cushions the mini-mumblers (3 & 6) were engrossed from start to finish. It is perfect for the little wriggly ones. I sat back in my chair enjoying my complimentary hot chocolate watching the joy on their little faces! Bliss!

With limited tickets available for each performance (so booking early is a MUST), the kids had room to move about the floor as the actors did about the stage meaning they had a clear view of every second.

Performances will take place between December 6 and January 5 and run at 11 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. For the price of only £6 per ticket, it is money well spent! For the earlier sessions, there will be craft activities available afterwards.

If you are looking for a pantomime perfect for your littlest ones but still entertaining for the big ones then look no further.

For more details about Scrooge’s Christmas Carol click here

 

Scrooge’s Christmas Carol

Written, composed & performed by Bruce Sharp & Lydia Toumazou

 

The Rainbow Factory is a family-run business which specialises in Storytelling through the Creative Arts. It was set up in June 2015 with the social objective of helping to raise literacy standards and inspiring more children to develop a love of reading and find new ways to explore and enjoy books.

To find out more about the Rainbow Factory: www.rainbowfactorykids.com

 

Enchanting entertainment at the Rainbow Factory this Christmas

 


MUMBLER Reviews… ShopAppy

We all know the hassles of getting the Christmas shopping sorted with the kids in tow or in-between working and daily life. We also all know the benefits of shopping locally but we don’t always have the time to nip into town for a browse- Much as we would like to!

 

This is where Shopappy comes in to play! You can shop everything you need for Christmas, from table decorations and presents to meat and veg- You can have Christmas wrapped up in one online shop!

In a few simple clicks, you select your town, choose your wares and decide whether to collect your items from each individual shop or from one local collection point! In Otley the single collection point which is The Otley Tavern after 6pm. In Ilkley the collection point is the Black Hat and in Guiseley, it’s the Station pub.

Today I’ve been on the hunt or a small present for my Mother in Law, the main present is sorted but she just needed a little something extra. I had NO IDEA what that was going to be so I began browsing the categories. Special Offers was obviously my first port of call, then Flowers & Gifts- Perfect! After a few minutes browsing, I hit upon the perfect present. I added it to my cart and headed to the checkout.

 

The checkout process is quick and simple and the site offers you the option to create an account for an even quicker checkout experience on your next visit. The store I bought from was collection only which is fine as I have other things to do in Otley this week. You can choose to collect on the same day or at a later date.

Now all that is left for me to do is pop down to Otley and collect the gift! Job done!

Shop local, ShopAppy!

https://shopappy.com/

 


MUMBLER Reviews: Studfold Adventure Nature Trail

Our sister site Ripon & Nidderdale Mumbler recently visited Studfold Adventure Nature Trail & they had such a good time and it’s so nearby we just had to share their review with you!


Mumbler Reviews Toddler Sense North Leeds

Our guest reviewer Charlotte and her Mini Mumbler recently went along to Toddler Sense, the next step from national award-winning Baby Sensory, offering multi-sensory and developmental adventures. Find out what they thought here…

Toddler Sense is an established franchise that delivers a fun and stimulating environment to children aged 13 months to 5 years. Through weekly themed sessions, a combination of exciting soft play and engaging group sensory elements allow children to freely explore, learn and develop. Having taken Emily to Baby Sensory when she was younger, I knew roughly what to expect and was keen to see what exactly the Toddler Sense classes had to offer.

Lou has recently taken over the franchise and runs the classes across three venues in North Leeds during the week. We opted for the Roundhay venue where sessions run Friday mornings at St. Edmunds Church Hall and were warmly greeted by Lou. The theme of the week was trains, and the hall was displayed with lots of soft play equipment including 2x bouncy castles, climbing apparatus, push-bikes, and a ball pool. This was interspersed with on-theme accessories such as wooden trains, foam train tracks, and a giant blow-up Thomas The Tank Engine and friends!

The class began with 20minutes of free play where the children were free to explore the array of apparatus and accessories. Emily delved straight in! She was intrigued by Thomas but favoured the bouncy castles and ‘Rody’ the hopping horse. We were then invited to sit on mats for the structured play section of the class. This started with the ‘How do you do?’ song where everyone had a pair of sticks to tap to the beat, followed by the introduction of Tod; the Toddler Sense mascot, which was a big hit with Emily.

The activities then explored the Train theme using a range of sensory experiences, from shaking rattles and looking at train imagery alongside a runaway train song, to threading ‘carriages’ along the track, as well as a trip on the night time express train, and going to ‘train land’ crawling through train tunnels and walking along train tracks. Emily loved exchanging her pennies for a train ticket and held on tight to her light tube whilst we bounced up and down and swayed left and right on the night time express! The class then finished off with a cheery ‘Wave Goodbye’ song, where we all waved, clapped and stomped goodbye.

These classes are great if you’re looking for a good mix of free-play and structured learning in a safe environment. Lou is very good at explaining the benefits of the different activities and how they help aid in development and learning through exploration and play. So, it also provides adults with a lot of inspiration for at-home play, with a lot of the equipment available to purchase to continue the fun outside of the classes.

Toddler Sense classes last 50 minutes, and take place as follows:

Monday. 9.30am & 10.30am. Moortown RUFC, Far Moss Sports Ground, Moss Valley, LS17 7NT.

Wednesday. 9.30am & 10.30am. Robert Craven Hall, Old Lane Bramhope, LS16 9AZ.

Friday. 9.30am, 10.30am & 11.30am. St Edmund’s Church Hall, Lidgett Park Road Roundhay, LS8 1JN.

Class cost £8 per session when you book a full term, and Lou is currently offering 3 for 2 taster sessions when you sign up, giving you a chance to decide whether this is the class for you. There is also a half price discount for siblings.

The classes are also broken down into different age ranges:

  • New Explorers (13 – 20 months): Introduce your toddler to equipment and fun activities suitable for his or her age and stage of development.
  • Adventurers (20 months – 3 years): Encourage your toddler to take on new challenges, learn new ways of doing things, and develop essential physical and social skills.
  • Rangers (3 – 5 years): Build on previous skills learned, engage and participate with others, and become more creative and imaginative.

Toddler Sense are also available for parties with lots of different themes to choose from, exciting soft play elements teamed with fun activities to get the party in full swing!

To get in touch, contact Lou on 07870275916 or email at northleeds@toddlersense.co.uk or for more information visit their Website  or Facebook page.

 

*Mumbler did receive a complimentary class but all of the comments in this review are our open and honest opinion.

 


MUMBLER Reviews: Tong Garden Centre’s Santa’s Grotto- A Magical Journey

Charlotte and her Mumbler family went along to Tong Garden’s Centre’s Festive Fun Weekend to experience their Santa’s Grotto; A Magical Journey. Find out what they thought here…


MUMBLER Reviews… Twigs n’ Stix Forest School

We were very excited to be invited along to the very first Twigs n’ Stix Family Forest Workshop running at Bramhope Scout Campsite and Activity Centre. Twigs n’ Stix have been running forest schools in Ripon & Nidderdale and we have heard great things!

 

We arrived at the Bramhope Scout Campsite & Activity Centre, which has recently had a lottery grant and sports a new Low Ropes course (which was officially opened by Bear Grylls on the 29th July 2018!!) and we couldn’t wait to have a turn.

After completing the Low Ropes course we headed off into the 13 acres of land surrounding the main buildings on the hunt for “Snappy Sticks”, the perfect stick for fire building. Sticks in hand we made our way to the fire pit and Liz told us her top tips for how to build a fire and each child had a turn using the flints to set fire to a cotton wool ball –  this was much harder than I expected!! Of course the kids had no troubles though!

Fire lit and the real fun began… each child found a long stick and using a potato peeler cleaned one end ready for marshmallow toasting! The kids gathered around the fire and toasted their marshmallows whilst rich tea biscuits were handed out to the parents. Once toasted the marshmallows were sandwiched between the rich tea biscuits and the kids devoured their “smores” which were accompanied with steaming hot chocolate warmed on the fire!

No-one leaves a Twigs n’ Stix session without something to take home with them, all the children were given a piece of clay, some moulded them into an animal, some used leaves to create patterns in the clay and one child gathered sticks and created a mini-campfire!

 

After a fun-filled 2 hour workshop, we headed home full to the brim with smores eagerly awaiting the next session!

Twigs n’ Stix are now running their Twig-let Toddler Sessions at Bramhope Scout Campsite & Activity Centre each Tuesday morning (starting November 8th 2018) and will be running Forest School Holiday Camps for children in year 1 and above at the same venue in 2019!

Watch this space for the full details, these sessions will book up fast!

“Twigs n’ Stix Forest School grew out of a desire to provide children with the sorts of opportunities I simply took for granted and enjoyed every day growing up; the freedom to play; build; cook; explore and discover in a natural environment. Through giving children the freedom and skills to interact with and use our ancient woodland, each child’s innate connection with the natural world is nurtured, their responsibility for its conservation strengthened and their self-esteem and confidence supported.”

For further information or to book:

Call Liz on 07715 001394
Email liz@twigsnstix.co.uk
or visit their Facebook page.

The Family Workshop was priced at £10 per child or £20 per Family and was suitable for children aged 1 – 11 years (accompanied by an adult).

***We were invited along free of charge but as always this is our true & honest review.

 

 

 


MUMBLER Reviews… Yorkshire Wildlife Park

After just over an hours drive we arrived at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park bang on 10am at the opening time. We had booked our tickets online saving us £1 per person and joined the short pre-booked tickets queue. There are plenty of windows at the entrance so we only waited a minute before we were inside. We opted to head left as the crowds seemed to be going right and we weren’t disappointed!

Firstly we arrived at the Baboons. The cute babies were very entertaining, pushing each other into the water and swinging on their ropes. The path then leads us through the “Woodland Trail” where the mini-mumblers were very excited to see what British Wildlife they could spot amongst the trees! We arrived at “New Lemur Woods” at 10.25, just 5 minutes before it opened, we waited and we were rewarded by seeing all the lemurs being released from their night enclosure. The ran out, up the trees and all around the enclosed woods… much to the delight of all the spectators!

 

Next was what I had been waiting for!! “Project Polar”! There are 2 pairs of Polar bears at the park, the first had just been fed so were right up by the fence, they were so close it felt like you could almost reach out and touch them! The second pair were just waking up and dozing in the sun but again were very close to the path.

We continued round the edge of the park and into the “Land of the Tiger” and through “Leopard Heights”. The Tigers were both still snoozing but that didn’t stop the kids being excited to spot them! The Leopards, on the other hand, were much better at hiding and even after climbing up to the viewing point we couldn’t spot them amongst the logs and rocks!

Then came “Into Africa”… an amazing section which made you feel you were actually on Safari! We spotted Giraffes, Rhinos, Zebras, Ostrich and Antelope!

We then doubled back to see the Red River Hogs, Anteaters, Giant Otters and the kids favourite The South American Viva – the cheekiest, cutest thing I have seen by far! We spent a good 15 minutes watching them fighting and racing each other around!

 

Then we stopped for lunch. There are plenty of places to eat a picnic but we opted to buy a sandwich from the Tsavo Bakehouse. There was a good choice of hot & cold food and a good kids lunch box with a sandwich and drink plus 3 other items for £5. After lunch, we hit the giant slides in the Zoom Super Slide Barn across the way. There are 3 slides, 2 which you have to be 1m tall to ride and one which is for over 140cm only- The VERTICAL DROP SLIDE! The kids loved it! To use the slides the kids need long sleeve tops, trousers, and socks.

Outside the slide barn there is the “Meerkat & Mongoose Mansion” and the Amphitheatre where they have regular shows such as BIG Bugs Live! The map you are given on arrival details all the timings of the shows and the feeding times throughout the park. We missed the show but headed off to the “Wallaby Walkabout” for feeding time.

Last but not least we entered “Lion Country”…

There are 3 prides in Lion Country which are situated in different areas next to each other. The Mini-Mumblers loved reading the lion facts posted on the fences on the way round and learning the lion’s names, distinguishing marks and relationships to each other from the signs.

 

We couldn’t leave without trying out the “New Play Area” and we weren’t disappointed! It was amazing! With a smaller side section for younger children and a MASSIVE play-area, there was loads to choose from to do. From slides, rope ladders and to an obstacle course -the kids were hard to prise away!

All in all a great day out with something for everybody!

www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com

Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Branton DN3 3NH

01302 535057