Monday, 25 February 2013

A Half Term In Devon (on a budget)

Well I don't know about you but we have definitely had a busy half term week and we've also been to lots of, new, exciting places. 
This half term I had four children to look after with an age range of 2 to 8 so I not only had to find things that were suitable for all of us but also things that weren't going to cost a fortune, which is actually quite a challenge but I think I managed it quite well in the end. 

Here's what we got up to...

On Monday we spent the day at home as I actually had 5 children on this day and therefore not enough room in the car. So we spent the day doing craft activities, den building, playing in the garden and going for a long country walk.

Card Making Activities

 On Tuesday we went to Occombe Farm (review to follow) in Paignton and took part in a pirate treasure trail. It was only £2 per child which was great value and they all got a bag of buttons when they'd finished.

After the trail we headed over to Babbacombe in Torquay, to Cary Park to have our picnic and a run around. This park was great for us because it had stuff for both the younger two and the older ones to play on.

On Wednesday we headed over to Paignton again, with the intention of going to Junior Browns UV Crazy Golf. I thought that this would be a great place to go as it was a bit different, all of the children would be able to give it a go and it wasn't very expensive. However when we drove passed it was closed! Looking back now it could of been because we got there too early, we were up and out very early most days.
Luckily after we drove past there I spotted a massive park on the seafront so we went there instead and saved ourselves some money in the process.

The park is fantastic with all sorts of fun things to play on and in the summer I imagine it would be even better. It was rather nippy there with the wind coming off of the sea so we found a shelter, had our picnic and then headed over to the indoor pier to defrost.

On Thursday we went to Escot (review to follow) and had a fantastic time. It was their red squirrel day so all children were free to get in, which was brilliant! 
I have never been to Escot before and I didn't really know what to expect but I needn't have worried because it was amazing. There is so much to do and is definitely an 'all day' place.  
There's a huge maze, various parks, an indoor play barn, a saxon village, a death slide and all sorts of other things. We spent the entire day here and had some very tired little ones by the time we got home.

On Friday we had a slightly quieter day as everyone was feeling a little tired after such a busy week. 
In the morning I made a treasure hunt for the kids to do around the house with 'treasure' lollipops that they had to find. This kept them entertain for quite a while as they had to work out all of the clues.
We then went to a small, hidden, park in Heathfield that has a basketball court and a few other bits to play on. 

 After this we then went home and the kids built a den and had there lunch in it. They then spent the afternoon watching a DVD and eating popcorn. 

and there you have it, our half term in Devon on a budget. So what did you get up to? Did you find any exciting new places to visit?

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Weekend in Devon

The last few days have been quite busy in our household and we have visited  quite a few different places so I thought I'd share with you where we've been.
On Friday we went up to Dartmoor, Haytor to be specific, and had a lovely walk up to the rocks. The kids love it up there because there is loads of space to run wild and be free. We also got to see the famous Dartmoor ponies and it's all free (always a bonus).

 After a lovely refreshing walk we then headed down to Widecome-in-the-Moor to have lunch at the Old Inn. I love it there, the fires were roaring and it was all lovely and cosy, just what you need after all that fresh air. 
We had a really nice lunch (as we always do there). I had a baguette with roast chicken and garlic mayonaise and the kiddies had sausage, mash and peas. 

After our meal we headed back down to Bovey Tracey and the kids rain wild again in the park and got stuck up a tree!! After this we headed home with two very tired little ones.

On Saturday we went for lunch at Ullacombe Farm (another one of my favourite haunts) and again had a lovely lunch. I had a cheese and ham ploughmans with homemade freshly baked bread and the kiddies had tuna and mayo sandwiches. 
This is a great place to go with children as they have a small play area in the corner which keeps them entertained while you wait for your food. 

  They also have an outdoor play area with swings and a little play shed.

 After we had finished our lunch we headed over to Totnes to raid the charity shops (I'm a bit of charity shop fiend). We found some great bargains and the kiddies had a play on the new pirate ship down by steamer quay. 

On Sunday we headed over to Trago Mills to have a wander around and a bit of lunch.  
I love taking the kids there because it's free to get in and free to park. Once you're there you can then decide whether you want to pay to go on anything or not. Today we walked around the (free) animal park and then paid £1 (for adults, free for under 4's) to go into the model railway village. My son loves it in there and spends the whole time chasing the trains around. We also had a quick play in the (free) play park before lunch.

There are a variety of places to have some lunch but today we chose to eat in the big restaurant (I forget what it's called!). It's a canteen style place with a whole range of options.

 The kids had chicken nuggets and chips which only cost around £1.75 including a free drink, which I thought was a great price. Granted it's not a very healthy lunch but every so often it doesn't hurt. The adults had full English breakfasts and a pot of tea which didn't cost more than a fiver each and they were really nice.It is very basic food but very reasonable priced.

After lunch we went to have a play in the fun house which costs 2 tokens per child (two tokens costs £1). You get to play for up to an hour. It has slides, poles, ball pits and lots of other fun things to do.

 and that was our, rather busy, weekend. 
What fun places have you discovered this weekend?

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Mr Biscuits Review

Today we had a lovely lunch at Mr Biscuits in Newton Abbot.


 I love this place because it has a small indoor play area for the little ones. So while you are waiting for food they are kept entertained and you don't have to rush your lunch if they finish before you. It's only a small area but perfect for little ones.

For lunch I had a chicken tikka roll and the kiddies had a special lunch box with egg mayonaise sandwiches, a drink a three little biscuits. My roll was lovely and fresh and as you can see the kiddies enjoyed theirs...

I also had one of Mr Biscuits homemade white chocolate cookies,  one word, delicious!

All of the food is really reasonable priced and there's a great selection of different things. My father, who was with us, had a ciabatta pizza with pepperoni and mushroom which looked rather nice (might have to have that next time!)

 Mr Biscuits is open 9:15am - 4:00pm and is located above Wilkinsons in the middle of town. If you park in the Multistorey car park then you can just walk across the bridge straight to the cafe. Nice and easy. For more info checkout Mr Biscuits facebook page here or ring 07873 310670.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Monkey House Dawlish Review

Today we have been to the Monkey House soft play cafe in Dawlish. I had heard about this place a while ago but today was the first opportunity that we have had to go for ourselves. 

I was really impressed with this place! 

'The Monkey House is a children's indoor soft play centre where parents (and or Carers) can relax, while the children monkey around and play happily on our two tier play equipment, in the safe and secure environment which the Monkey House has to offer'.

It costs £3 per child for unlimited play. Adults and children under 12 months are free. They are open Monday to Saturday 9.30am - 5.30pm. They are closed on Sundays but the place is available for private parties.

 I don't think they have their own car park (as far as we could see) so we parked right outside the front for £2 for 2 hours.

On this visit we didn't eat but I had a look at the menu and the prices seem very reasonable. We had a cup of tea and coffee which cost £1.35 each.
The cafe sells a good selection of food such as pizza, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, pasta, fish fingers etc.

They have all the usual facilities like baby changing, milk/food warming equipment, high chairs, toddler toilet seats and potties.

 We go to quite a few of the soft play/cafe places around the area but this is definitely my favourite so far. The kids really enjoyed themselves and I'm looking forward to going back another day. Maybe on a Wednesday when they have their Coffee Morning between 10am - 12pm if you pay your £3 entry (per child) you the get a complimentary hot drink for the adult & juice and biscuits for the kids. Sounds good to me.

For more information then check out their website at

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Tumbling Teds Review

Tumbling Teds is an indoor soft play place in Newton Abbot that is specially designed for 0-6 year olds.
It has slides, climbing frames, ball pit, fun bus, playhouse, a ball run and all sorts of other fun things for little ones.

You can play as long as you like for just £3 per child and adults and under 1's are free.

My two love it here and if you visit regularly you can get a loyalty card which entitles you to one free visit when you collect a certain amount of stamps. They are open Monday to Friday 9am-4pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm.

There is a cafe on site selling a good range of very basic food such as paninis, beans on toast and jacket potatoes all at reasonable prices. Food is served all day.

 In all Teds is a great place to take your little ones and an added bonus is that you might actually get to drink a hot cup of tea or even better eat your lunch without getting indigestion!

Teds also cater for parties, details available on their website.

For more information either call 01626 335678 or visit their website here.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Torbay Family Market

Torbay Family Market, Castle Circus, Torquay
Saturday 23rd February 2013  10 - 4pm

'Come and join us at the first Saturday Market of 2013.
With so many talented local businesses in the background of Torbay we thought it was only fair to provide a place where they can all get together and showcase what they do.

We have some fabulous stalls taking part from Local Food and Produce to Local Craft and Businesses.

We even have some entertainment on and something for the kids so please pop along and support your local small businesses and 'BUY LOCAL'!!