Winchester Science Centre Christmas

Celebrating the run up to Christmas with a difference at Winchester Science Centre

At the age of almost 11, Isaac isn’t the biggest fan of Christmas days out where it is all about visiting Santa, so we have been on the look out for the perfect day out for all ages to enjoy. When we heard Santa and his elves were heading to Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium with pantomime favourite Jack and the Beanstalk, I knew the kids were going to love it as the experience unites the magic of Christmas with the excitement of science. The experience comprises two main events, an hour-long Santa and science experience and a 30-minute Reindeer Round-up in …

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Elves Outside Marwell Hall (3)

The Magic of Christmas has arrived at Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo is one of our favourite days out locally and we have enjoyed visits to the opening of their new Tropical House this year, as well as Isaac’s Zookeeper for a day birthday treat, so we were very excited to be invited along to their Christmas at Marwell event.

Set inside the zoo’s Grade 1 listed manor house, the Christmas at Marwell event sees you being treated to a visit to an enchanting Neverland-inspired world as well as being able to explore the zoo as part of your ticket on the day.

Marwell Hall

We were welcomed inside Marwell Hall by head elf, Jingle and his wife Belle who greeted the children by name as we headed inside.

Neverland

The room felt like you were walking into Neverland and the children were offered a scrummy biscuit and a glass of squash, whilst the adults were treated to a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.

Mince Pies

Isaac, Eliza and Sebastian loved the fact there was a large TV screen on the wall with a naughty list on it, featuring some of their favourite villain characters on it.

Naughty Lists

A simple touch of the screen then revealed another list – the good list and the kids were relieved to see their names on it!!!

Nice list

It was soon time to continue our journey and we were led down a festive corridor to find Mother Christmas.

Neverland

We found her in Pirate Cove and the children settled onto special cushions for an enchanting sensory reading of a tale inspired by Peter Pan.

Mother Christmas

With singing, dancing, puppets, fairy dust and audience participation, the kids were entranced by the story.

Pirate

We then ‘walked the plank’ into the mischievous elves workshop, where Eliza, Isaac and Sebby got to create their very own Christmas present bag to take home.

Painting a bag

With fabric pens and stickers to use, the kids got on with creating their perfect designs, with some taking more care than others.

Bags

We got around half an hour to complete our bags and for those that finished earlier, they were invited to write a letter to Father Christmas with their present wishlist and post it in the letterbox.

Letter to Santa

It was then time to go and meet the big man himself.

Sebby and Santa

Father Christmas greeted the kids by their name and sat them down next to him for a chat. He even asked if they were nice to each other and Isaac admitted that he wasn’t always, which made us all chuckle and resulted in Santa praising him for being honest.

Isaac and Santa

They all got an age related present each to take away, before posing for a professional photo by elf Flash and heading outside. Photo’s cost £7 each, or you can buy three for £15 which come in a presentation frame as well as a digital copy.

Father Christmas Marwell

The experience lasts around 60-80 minutes and is running until Friday 21st December 2018. Prices are: Babies (0 -12 months) – £7.50, toddlers (12- 36 months) – £15.50, children (3- 16 years) – £28.50, Adults (16+) – £25.50.

Wallaby

Guests who book onto daytime Christmas sessions (up to and including 3.30pm) will be able to explore the zoo as part of their ticket on the day. For guests who book onto evening Christmas sessions from 4pm, entry to the zoo is not included but they will receive a return ticket from the elves on arrival at the Hall to return to visit again by 17th March 2019.

Rica - Sloth

From endangered Amur tigers to majestic giraffes, Marwell is an 140-acre zoo which is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species.

Snow Leopard

The kids love seeing the animals, but also enjoy racing around the wide pathways, and testing their climbing skills in their numerous adventurous play areas.

Giraffe

If you are after a fun-filled day out on the run up to Christmas, then I can highly recommend Christmas at Marwell. The kids loved their presents, Eliza got a magic set, Isaac got a games set and Sebby a playdoh set and of course we enjoyed seeing the animals too.

Running

What is your favourite Christmas day out?

Lord of the Manor

A Fun Packed Summer at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

The New Forest is fast becoming our new favourite stomping ground, with several visits already under our belt this summer. A couple of weeks ago we visited Buckler’s Hard and on the way there we passed Beaulieu and made a promise that we would visit again before the end of the summer. There’s nothing like Beaulieu for a fun-packed day out, as there is so much to do including the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu Abbey and Beaulieu Manor to explore, plus rides on a vintage bus and the kids favourite monorail. This summer they have an exciting line up of …

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Buckler's Hard Living History

A visit to Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest

We are regular visitors to Beaulieu in the New Forest and always see signs to Buckler’s Hard, but have never been – until now. Buckler’s Hard has a fascinating history and was first intended as an import and export hub for sugar from the West Indies, but most famously became an 18th-century shipbuilding village, home to the craftsmen who built over 50 wooden ships for the Royal Navy, including the vessels Agamemnon, Euryalus and Swiftsure, all of which fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Now Buckler’s Hard is home to a Maritime Museum which was opened in what had been …

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