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Archive for the ‘get away’ Category

Does the notion of palaeontology not surprise you? Then you sure have a child who seeks knowledge of the dinosaur science. You may be one of those parents who make their way to the Natural History Museum every half term! If you are- then you know how crowded it gets and how difficult it is to reach to the life like T-Rex.

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The answer to your prayers is the “Dino Snores for kids” – the sleepover at the Natural History Museum. “Dino Snores for kids” is the event for children aged 7 years to 11 years. My daughter has been talking about sleepover at the museum next to dinosaurs in her sleeping bag since she was 3 years old. She heard from her friend how her big brother went to the Natural History Museum with his dad, carrying their sleeping bags to sleep next to the dinosaurs. Just the idea of camping in a museum full of dinosaurs and other artefacts excited her very young mind. I have been waiting for her to be at the right age. As it’s an awe-inspiring, action-packed night and not for the faint hearted. We were really delighted when we were offered review tickets to the “Dino Snores for kids in association with Airbnb. Why Airbnb- you ask. Here is some background info.

BlueWhale

 Airbnb has joined forces with the Natural History Museum to offer guests of the popular ‘Dino Snores for Kids’ sleepovers a chance to stay at a new Airbnb Base Camp. Inspiring a future generation of explorers, ‘Dino Snores for Kids’ is a special sleepover, giving children aged 7 to 11 the chance to explore the Museum after dark while taking part in fun and educational activities. Upon booking a place at Dino Snores for Kids, the Museum will give guests the opportunity to win one of the 20 spots at the Airbnb Base Camp. The lucky winners will get to sleep in a specially designed camp area on the balcony of Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum. As a guest of Airbnb, you will sleep beside a giant sequoia that is over 1,300 years old, overlooking the Museum’s brand-new star specimen: a 25.2 metre real blue whale skeleton that is suspended from the ceiling and plunges through the heart of the newly reimagined Hintze Hall. The Airbnb guests will be met by their very own explorer host, before enjoying a wide range of fun activities over the course of the night, which in our case included torch-lit trails, Dino-design t-shirt making, science show explaining how the universe works and the educative session with animal man in the morning. The ticket prices are adult £60, child £60 and member £54.  The price tag includes all the activities and the breakfast at the museum, I think this would make perfect birthday or Christmas gift for children and adults alike. Each child must be accompanied by an adult, and the required ratio for adults to children is, as set by the Museum is:   for 1 child- 1 adult required, for 2-4 children- 2 adults required, for 5-12 children-3 adults required, for 13-20 children- 4 adults required, for 21-28 children- 5 adults required, for 29-36 children- 6 adults required.

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 Now let me tell you about our “Dino Snore for kids” event. As we were lucky enough to be one of the Airbnb guests, we did not need to bring our sleeping bags. We only needed to pack our pyjamas, toiletries and our food to be consumed in the evening in the museum. The food bag needed to be clearly labelled with our names, so it would be easy to find it later. We came to the Natural History Museum with a bounce on our step trying to anticipate what we will experience.  We queued up and went through the security check. I admit this put my mind in peace as we would be spending the night with these people. Once inside all of the children were given gift bags by Airbnb. It had a bottle, an activity book, a luggage tag, a pen and a winding torch. Most of the ids used the first and the latter straight away. We were all divided to teams and met our team leaders and team mates. Our food bags were placed in a special bag in our team’s colour. We were then shown our place to sleep the night. As we were Airbnb campers, our places were on the third level next to a 1300 years old giant Sequoia. The Airbnb camp was made in a true olden days’ camp style. This has added to the magical feeling of the night and we were feeling ourselves as a part of an adventure film. The camp host right away divided each child’s responsibility at the camp. We were shown the map of the camp and met by the camp fire to go to our activities of the night.

 

First activity of the “Dino Snores for Kids” event was a science show full of experiments, 3D shows, questions and answers and by true scientists working at the museum. This excited the kids very much as they learnt how our universe worked, how the human knowledge is progressing. The kids were called upon to the stage to be a model of the universe. The 3d shows made the experience that much closer to reality. Epi the scientist showed the kids real pieces of Moon and Mars, that are currently at the museum. They were shown in real examples what is the distance between planets and the crescendo of this was a real life comet making. We all came out wiser and hungry. So everybody went to the café area for our dinner. Our bags were carefully laid there by teams. So we could easily find our food. Hot tea, coffee and water were provided by the museum. After having a dinner we were all ready for the next adventure.

He next adventure was t-shirt designing. The children were explained how they could transfer their designs to the t-shirts (t-shirts were provided by the museum), they had a blast coming out with different designs and names. Then the staff explained to us parents, what to do with t-shirts at home to preserve the design the children did. We all left the t-shirts in named bags to be collected next morning. This kept our hands free for the next activity.

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The next activity was the highlight of the night. Different teams were asked to find different clues in a dark dinosaur gallery. All of the children were provided with torches, pencils and papers to write down the clues they have found. Everybody loved this activity. Going round the gloomy gallery full of dinosaur fossils, we suddenly came across the lifelike T-Rex and some people let out a squeal. Little detectives did well and the activity finished. It was past 11p.m. and everybody was tired. So we all went to our sleeping areas. We went up to Airbnb camp base.  We had a quite story time by the fire. Put our pyjamas, got ready for the night and fell asleep on our camp beds. That had clean sheets, pillows and warm blankets – what more to ask. We dimmed our lantern and the museum lights went off at midnight. 

The next morning we were gently woken at 7a.m. We brushed our teeth and had our breakfast by the camp fire. There was tea and coffee readily waiting for us. The breakfast was served in camp tins that said “Adventure begins”. This cheered us up and we were ready for the next adventure.

After the breakfast we put all our things to our bags and made our way down. The final activity of the “Dino Snores with Kids” was the live educational session with Animal Man. He brought some animals to show to children, to let them touch and feel them. He explained how the animal kingdom worked. He had list of birthday children who he was calling one by one to hold a tarantula, pancake tortoise, a huge snake and more. He was very funny and informative at the same time. Me and my daughter we had a go at handling 3.5 meter long python, that weighed more than 30 kilos! This was the first time we held a snake in our lives!

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After this activity we were all shown to where our things were. We collected our belongings and enjoyed an extra hour of browsing through the museum galleries, before it would open to the public at 10 a.m. We went through the galleries that would fill up quickly first, we went on to glance at the newly redone Hintze Hall and it’s new exhibits. We also made it upstairs to “The Vaults” to enjoy watching natures precious and semi precious formations. A truly treasure gallery indeed!

 

The “Dino Snores for Kids” was a phenomenal experience for both me and my child. We came out knowing a lot more than we did before; we came out with an experience of camping at the Natural History Museum. We lived through torch lit dinosaur trail and the privilege of walking through almost empty museum without the usual hassle and bustle to see some of the favourite exhibits. This provided us with opportunity to learn more and to appreciate more the fossils we were looking at. The phenomenal work done by the scientists inspired my child a lot, she could appreciate this thanks to the fact that we were in the museum during the night and could learn at our pace the next morning too. In this day and age we often break our heads as to what excite with or inspire with the young minds of our children. I believe “Dino Snore for Kids” is the answer.  A perfect Christmas present, birthday gift or an experience they deserve paying their way with their exceptional behaviour and stars on their charts.  The next “Dino Snores for kids” event dates are as following:

9th September, 7th October, 14th October, 18th November, 20th January 2018.

Go on and try it, you and your child will remember it for years to come! We will!!

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If you are out of ideas like me what to get to people who have it all. This might help you.

We have visited Cambridge and Norwich and this costed us a lot! Hence when I saw this I was excited.

The trainline is having a sale on Greater Anglia service that normally goes between London, Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester for £5 one way! That’s a lot less than £82 we paid per person!

So if you think you might commute that way or visit a Colchester Zoo or any other reason you will use Greater Anglia service between 2nd January and 28th February in 2013 buy your ticket now, the offer ends January the 1st 🙂

Here is the clickable link to the deal.

Enjoy your CHEAP ride and your journey. Or this will make a good present. Well I would like smth like this 🙂

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The other day when I was walking around the Richmond riverside I saw couple of Geocaching boxes. If you don’t know what is this and have kids over 3 years old you are seriously missing out!

Just go to http://www.geochaching.com

It is basically a game at you play with your kids. Like a real treasure hunt set up by real people. You follow the clues and find the treasure I.e. the plastic box with a little gift inside a paper with date when it was placed there. You replace the gift with smth of similar value usually smth small btw £1-£5. And that’s it. It is all free activity and lots of fun for little treasure hunters and map readers!
Now in stead of sitting at home or shopping just put the layers, willies and other weather proofs on and go 🙂 Arrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

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I checked the weather and it is staying this gorgeous over the weekend as well. So I have proposed to my husband why not to take advantage of this gorgeous weather and go to the seaside. It may well be the last chance of us bathing in the sea this year (well in UK). So we decided to go on a day trip to the sea side.

Options are countless. But being a family we would like to take the best that is on offer. I have checked redspottedhanky (as it does not charge for the debit card) first. Than to make sure I get the best fares I checked thetrainline (beware they charge, but it is good to compare). I found out what train company the redspottedhanky was offering the best deal (£23.45 for 3 of us a return ticket to Brighton) and it was the Southern. In the spirit of checking it all I went to the Southern‘s webiste and found an offpeak day return ticket for 3 of us for £22.50. Bear in mind we do have a family and friendsrail card. (And it always saves us 1/3 of a ticket price. We even use it to buy Zone1-4 day card for London and it pays itself off within first month alone. Sometimes a little investment of ths sort pays off in the longer run.) And of course I went through Quidco. A cashback site I always use and I got so much in cash back within last two years of using it, I can not believe people who do not use it. So I will get 6% of my ticket price back, i.e. £1.35 not much but these type of little things add up and by the year of the year you get at least £350 back from all your shopping and switching (energy, phone etc).

So happy now and I hope the Great British weather will stay this good and warm so we can enjoy a day of sunbathing and swimming in the sea. Yippee. Now off to prepare for our trip 🙂 I just thought I would share this with the rest of you, so you could enjoy the weather 🙂

P.S.:

All the links are clickable. And NO, nobody is paying me, I am just sharing the research I have done so you do not need to spend much time and just continue enjoying the sun 🙂

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We parents always try to think ahead and use those few days to get away from the hustle and bustle of London.
Usually we can not afford to go away for a whole weekend, due to prior commitments but I found a great deal that provides us with a seaside getaway for a small fee 🙂
How nice is that a day of the sea air for £12. Plus, groups of three or four (adults and children) travelling at the same time can buy a DaySave ticket for £24. For any additional children travelling, it’s £1 extra. So for a small fee we can go to Portsmouth, Brighton Beach from Clapham Junction, yippee!!!


Here is the link
http://www.southernrailwaytickets.com/buytickets/daysave/DaySave.php?sEvent=TicketDetails

As it’s an off-peak ticket valid for one day, you can travel any time on Saturday, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. It can also be used on weekdays, but not before 10am or between 4.45pm-7,15pm when boarding trains from East Croydon and London stations such as Victoria, London Bridge and Clapham Junction. Railcards and other discounts can’t be used with this offer and it excludes Gatwick Express services. Tickets can’t be refunded or exchanged. You’ll need to register with Southern before buying tickets.

  • Routes included: London Victoria to Portsmouth, Brighton to Southampton, Eastbourne to Ashford. See the Southern network map for full journey info.
  • How to book: Visit Southern Railway website
  • When does it end? Ongoing
  • Any restrictions? Excludes Gatwick Express. You must travel on the date shown on the ticket and buy at least seven days in advance, online only.

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