Pumpkin picking at Rectory Farm Pick Your Own, Oxfordshire ?

Rectory Farm PYO welcomes visitors to pick-your-own pumpkins in Oxfordshire this Halloween season. It offers five acres of pumpkin fields, with over 25,000 pumpkins grown this year!

Be sure to wrap up warm and get into the Autumnal spirit with your family and friends at Rectory Farm PYO’s Pumpkin Patch. At £3 to enter (and free for under 18 months), you pay for what you pick. 

Pick-your-own pumpkins in Oxfordshire

You can grab a wheelbarrow or come armed with your own carrier bags. The pumpkin match is muddy – so be sure to wear some wellingtons or old shoes!

Pumpkin prices vary depending on weight. Traditional orange pumpkins are charged at £1 per kg or 80p per kg if over 8kg in weight. All other varieties charged at £1.50 per kg.

Cute Autumnal adventures at Rectory Farm PYO

On route, there are lots of fun Autumnal photo opportunities so get snap-happy on the pumpkin-adorned hay bales dotted around. You’ll also meet a selection of Autumnal characters to get you in the pumpkin picking spirit.

Once you’re done, you can:

  • Go for a ride on the tractor and trailer
  • Bounce on the onsite bouncy castle and slide
  • Be creative and decorate your pumpkin onsite in the undercover craft space
  • Take part in face painting (additional cost)
  • Enjoy the wooden play area and sandpit
  • Indulge in cake and coffee at the Rectory Farm Tractor Shop Café

You can enjoy this fun family day out in Oxfordshire until October 30! Additionally. Rectory Farm PYO hosts pick-your-own pumpkins each year, as well as seasonal produce from April – October.

A fun family day out in Oxfordshire

Whatever the season, Rectory Farm is a fantastic family day out. It offers plenty of PYO opportunities and an expansive adventure playground.

Be sure to grab a few treats from the Farm Shop as you leave, you won’t regret it. 

Want to join the fun? Book tickets for the Rectory Farm PYO Pumpkin Patch this Halloween

Have you been pumpkin picking yet?

Stephanie xox

Looking for more things to do in Oxford?

Exploring Stoke Wood, Bicester, part of the Woodland Trust ?

Exploring Stoke Wood

This weekend, we went for a stroll in Stoke Wood, part of the Woodland Trust.

Stoke Wood is a beautiful 32.5-hectare (87-acre) ancient woodland site located in Stoke Lyne. It is around 3.7 miles (6km) north-west of Bicester and a short 10-minute drive.

As you arrive in the carpark, you’ll be greeted by this wonderful broadleaved woodland via a bridleway gate.

Once inside, you’ll be surrounded by nature. As you trace your way around the woodland, you’ll see a variety of trees and birds, animals and insects.

Particularly noteworthy is the avenue of Corsican pines. They offer a grand walk through the centre of Stoke Wood alongside the Medieval woodbank which traces the woodland.

Exploring Stoke Wood and the Corsican Pine Avenue

Is the woodland accessible?

Stoke Wood is a truly lovely space to explore and features mixed woodland, open glades and a meadow. It offers two well waymarked trails (short and long) according to preference.

The short trail is 3/4 mile (1.2km) long and circles a section of the wood. It allows you to appreciate the woodland and the ornamental avenue in all its glory.

The long trail is 1 3/4 miles (2.8km) long and guides you through most of the woodland. You’ll be able to see the woods in all their splendour alongside the avenue, open glades and coppice stools.

Exploring Stoke Wood and the Corsican Pine Avenue

Both of these trails are accessible but the long does feature some uneven ground, tree roots and loose stones.

However, those with buggies and wheelchairs should be able to navigate both trails in good weather as the paths tend to be level and are well maintained.

Please note, there are no toilets or places to eat or drink onsite. However, adjacent to the northern boundary of the wood, you’ll find Cherwell Valley service station which has all amenities.

So, what did we think of Stoke Wood?

Stoke Wood is a truly lovely place to visit and offers a wholesome family day out in Oxfordshire. The area is popular with dog walkers and families alike and it’s easy to understand why as there’s lots to see and explore.

Additionally, if you go in spring, you will also be greeted by a sea of bluebells. Stoke Wood is one of the most popular and best places to see bluebells in Oxfordshire.

What’s your favourite woodland in Oxfordshire?

Stephanie xox

? Free

? 10 minutes from Bicester

?️ Parking available onsite (30 spaces)

? Stoke Lyne, Bicester, OX27 7NH • Explorer 191 • OS Landranger 164

✅ Wheelchair and pushchair accessible via paths

☕️ No place to eat or drink

? No toilet

? Dogs welcome

?Woodland Trust – Stoke Wood

Looking for more things to do in Oxfordshire?

Bottomless brunch at Ballie Ballerson in Shoreditch, London

If you’re looking for a girly brunch in London with a difference, you’ll love bottomless brunch at Ballie Ballerson.

Ballie Ballerson is an adult ball pit venue in Shoreditch and it’s certainly a unique thing to do in London.

As part of its two-hour bottomless brunch experience, you’ll have full access to both ball pits, as well as 90 minutes of unlimited sourdough pizza, pornstar martinis and prosecco.

We decided to head to Ballie Ballerson as part of a girly weekend away. Little did I know, it would be a pre-hen celebration, making the occasion even more special!

Brunch options at Ballie Ballerson

There are two tickets to choose from, the VIP Brunch or Standing Baller Brunch. These are priced from £25 and £35 respectively. Do note, brunch tickets are more expensive for the afternoon session.

There are extras you can include. If you’re celebrating, you can also pre-order a pick ‘n’ mix sweet cake for your session.

The VIP Brunch at Ballie Ballerson

Annoyingly, you’ll need to pay a little extra if you want to be seated throughout the bottomless brunch.

The VIP Brunch seated tickets ensure your own private booth in the VIP area. In my opinion, the seated tickets offer a far nicer experience.

Standing Baller Brunch at Ballie Ballerson

However, if you do choose the standing option, you may be able to bag a high-top table. These are available on a first come first serve basis, so you’ll have to be quick!

On the plus side, it’s far easier to dance if you opt for the standing option.

What’s the music like?

For our Saturday session, we had resident DJ, Izzy Trixx. You can expect a mix of Disco, House, Commercial, Hip Hop, RnB, Garage, Rock and Drum and Bass.

Honestly, the music just made the occasion with non-stop nostalgic hits.

What’s the food and drinks like?

The food and drink at Ballie Ballerson is amazing. Within the 90 minutes, you can expect freshly made sourdough pizza alongside unlimited prosecco and pornstar martinies.

The delicious pizza is made to dietary preference, so everyone is catered for.

We all found the service quick and friendly. There was no chasing down staff to get more food or top ups and we all felt like we got good value for money.

What is this adult ball pit experience like?

Ballie Ballerson is a fabulous brunch venue. For the young-at-heart, it’s amazing to just go wild amongst the alleged one million balls. It’s kind of like reliving all of your childhood soft play memories.

There are two glowing ball pits to explore as part of the experience and they’re a lot of fun. You can enjoy the glowing semi-translucent white ball pit with its ceiling mirror. The second, a candy-coloured affair with a wall embellished with Love Hearts quotes.

Overall, brunch at Ballie Ballerson was such a wonderful experience, and I cannot wait to return with my girls.

Would you check out brunch at Ballie Ballerson?

Stephanie xox

Looking for more places to eat in London?

Discovering the sights at Southend Pier and Railway

Southend Pier and Railway Approach

Southend-on-Sea is a must stop for those visiting Essex. It offers blue flag beaches, Adventure Island and Southend Pier and Railway. Simply, there’s plenty to do in the area!

Southend Pier and Railway is a highlight for many, at an impressive 1.34 miles, It’s the longest pleasure pier in the world!

Southend Pier and Railway Food and Drink Huts

What is there to do on Southend Pier?

I have to be honest, although the pier offers impressive views and a truly lovely walk, there are only a few things to do on Southend Pier!

On the pier, you can:

  • enjoy a few rounds of crazy golf
  • learn about the piers’ history at the Pier Museum
  • visit the RNLI Gift Shop
  • fish on the pier
  • Look for wildlife in the Wildlife Watch
  • get onboard and enjoy a day trip with Jetstream Tours

Alongside this handful of activities, there’s plenty of places to eat and drink. If after your walk, you’re feeling peckish, you’ll find hot meals, afternoon tea and other light bites and snacks at the pier’s head.

How much does it cost to go on the pier?

Tickets to enter the pier are pretty reasonable. It’s £2 for an adult and £1 for a child/concession ticket. It costs more to take advantage of the train.

Southend Pier and Railway Train on Track

What’s the The Pier Railway like?

You can choose to walk the length of the pier or take advantage of the train. The Pier Railway runs from the shore to the piers’ end.

It’ll allow you to sit back and enjoy the view and rest your legs! It takes 10 minutes from the shore to the piers’ head.

How much does the Southend Pier train cost?

If you’re looking for a single ticket on the train, it’ll be £5.30 for an adult and £2.70 for a concession.

For a return ticket on the train, it’ll be £5.80 for an adult and £2.90 for a concession.

Is it accessible?

For those with buggies and wheelchair users, Southend Pier and Railway is very accessible. You can make your way along the pier or opt to use the railway.

Once you’re done exploring the pier, why not check out some other Southend-on-Sea attractions?

Have you been to Southend Pier and Railway?

Stephanie xox

Looking for other fun UK days out?

Most heartbreaking moments in the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a masterpiece RPG. It’s offers a riveting dark fantasy storyline and interesting side quests in abundance. Saying this, it’s also got it’s fair share of sad tales too.

Expect betrayal, tragic marriages, infidelity and murder galore.

Read on for the most heartbreaking moments in the game but please be aware, there are Witcher 3 spoilers ahead.

Sad tales in the Witcher 3

Gretka and the Trail of Treats in The King of the Wolves

You are introduced to Gretka in Ciri’s first flashback in The King of the Wolves quest.

You will quickly realise that poor Gretka has been abandoned. Her father having led her to the trail of treats, a route to the cruel child-eating Crones of Crookshank Bog.

While on the harrowing trial, Gretka gets distracted by a butterfly who leads her away from it. She is later found by Ciri who saves her from nearby wolves.

Thankfully, Ciri’s temporary ward is led to safety and is later taken in by The Bloody Baron permanently.

  • Main quest

The Bloody Baron and his wife in Family Matters

This entire Bloody Baron storyline is littered with moments of sadness. During Geralt’s Family Matters quest you’ll be asked to locate the Baron’s wife, Anna and their daughter, Tamara. It’s certainly an emotional rollercoaster.

You discover that Anna has forced a magical miscarriage and the improper burial of the baby results in a Botchling.

If you decide to lay the Botchling to rest under the family threshold, the Baron will somewhat redeem his actions. She will transform into a Lubberkin once named, assist you on the quest and her spirit will be allowed to peacefully rest.

As you progress in the game, you will eventually find Anna. Depending on your choices, her fate and the Baron’s is sealed.

If she dies, the Baron will hang himself. If she lives, the Baron will seek to cure her mind far away.

  • Main quest

The end of true love in Wild at Heart

In Wild at Heart, you are asked to locate Hanna. Her husband Niellen, a hunter from Blackbough, and her sister, Margrit, are seemingly baffled by her whereabouts and fear the worst.

Although this may initially appear as an ordinary secondary mission, it’s a sad tale with numerous endings.

After a short investigation, you’ll conclude that Hanna was killed by a pack of wolves in the nearby woods. Weirdly, Margrit shows up and begs you to lie to Niellen about her sister in order to ease his sadness.

However, if your moral suspicion is raised, you can investigate further and you’ll be offered the full story.

Ignoring Margrit’s pleas, you can find Hanna’s corpse which has been ravaged by a Werewolf. Eventually, you’ll be led to a Hunter’s shack, which houses the werewolf’s lair beneath.

Meditate and it will appear, alongside three wolves. As the battle nears its end, Margrit will rush in and exclaim the werewolf is Niellen.

It becomes apparent that Margrit was jealous of her sister, hoping to show Hanna his true nature in the woods. However, this backfired, leading to Neillen killing his wife. Margrit had hoped Neillen would never find out and eventually fall for her instead.

You can choose to save Margrit or allow Niellen to take revenge on her. Either way, Neillen will die.

  • Secondary quest

Annabelle’s tale of woe in Towerful of Mice

Annabelle was the daughter of the former Lord of Velen. After a Nilfgaardian invasion, her family moved to Fyke Isle under the protection of Mage Alexander, while the peasants around them starved.

An uprising occurs and a village mob approaches to storm the tower. On the advice of Alexander, Anna drinks a sleeping potion to feign her death and escape being raped and brutalised.

On waking, she is paralysed and is slowly eaten alive by rats. Her lover Graham, part of the mob, watches on in horror. On realising she is dead, he blames himself for not being able to fight the others and save Annabelle’s life.

Geralt speaks with Annabelle’s spirit within Fyke Isle Tower. She asks that he seek out her former lover. Geralt must bring her remains to Graham to bury, allowing her to finally rest.

If you choose to deny Annabelle’s request, she will transform into a Plague Maiden. However, she won’t die and will continue to respawn. On advice from sorceress Kiera, you will seek out Graham.

Out of the two options, one is far less gruesome. If you deny Annabelle and bring Graham to Fyke Isle, he will prove his love for her and they will rekindle, On sharing a kiss, he will pass away and reunite with her.

However, if you bring the bones to Graham in the nearby village, he will agree to bury them with harrowing consequences. Anne will transform into a Plague Maiden and murder him, his screams echoing from his shack after you depart. Additionally, this will cause an outbreak of disease that ravishes the village.

  • Main quest

The sordid mind of Whoreson Jr. in Get Junior

Geralt will have to hunt down crime boss Whoreson Jr. in the Get Junior quest. This is in order to locate his friend, Dandelion, and to get further information regarding Ciri’s whereabouts.

On battling Whoreson Jr.’s guards and entering his hiding place, you’ll make your way upstairs. Here you will be greeted by many horrific sights with mutilated women surrounding you.

You can learn more of his deeds and choose to kill or spare the sadistic Whoreson Jr.

  • Main quest

Skjall’s end in The Calm Before the Storm

Skjall is a Skellige warrior who helps an injured Ciri in The Calm Before the Storm quest. He takes Ciri to his village, Lofoten, and nurses her back to health.

During this short time, he becomes her love interest. As Ciri readies herself to leave the village to continue her quest, the Wild Hunt attacks.

Skjall assists Ciri to the detriment of his village, wanting to ensure her safety. For his actions, he is cast out as a coward and tries to redeem himself via an impossible task. One, that leads to his demise.

Some time later, Yen reanimates his corpse to learn more of Ciri’s whereabouts.

Eventually, alongside Ciri, you may locate Skjall’s body and honour him at his final resting place.

  • Main quest

Finding Ciri in the Isle of Mists

After a long time searching, you’ll eventually find a motionless Ciri in the Isle of Mists quest. Understandably, presuming her dead, Geralt grips her tightly in grief.

Thankfully, this emotional rollercoaster is short lived and she reanimates quickly, embracing her adopted father.

  • Main quest

Lambert’s backstory in The Final Trial

Lambert’s a bit of an ass. Okay, a real ass. However, in The Final Trial quest, you’re caught off-guard by his explanation as to why.

It’s a combination of an abusive childhood and being forced to become a Witcher. This backstory snippet makes his ongoing angst a little more understandable.

Vesemir’s demise in Battle of Kaer Morhen

Vesemir’s death during the Battle of Kaer Morhen quest is a harrowing watch.

Cruelly defeated by Wild Hunt Commander Imlerith while protecting Ciri, her emotional response, piercing screams and loss of control due to his death is truly shocking.

  • Main quest

Olgierd and Iris’s relationship in Hearts of Stone

In the Hearts and Stone DLC expansion, Olgierd Von Everic will give you the seemingly impossible task to reclaim a rose from his former wife, Iris.

As you progress, you will discover Iris is long dead. Olgierd tried to regain his former nobility and fortune in order to marry Iris. Eventually, this desperation left their once loving and hopeful relationship in tatters.

On making a wish with the unholy Master Mirror, Olgierd is cursed. He becomes more irrational and loses his love for Iris, a consequence of his pact.

Olgierd murders Iris’s father after he announces his daughter’s wish to divorce him. Iris is completely isolated and left broken by his betrayal.

Eventually, Olgeird leaves and Iris succumbs to her loneliness, her spirit trapped in perpetual torment in the Painted World.

Entering it, Geralt must relive the couples tragic backstory and the extent of Iris’s pain in a hope to recover the rose. If he doesn’t, she is left in purgatory. If he does, Iris is freed. But it’s bittersweet.

  • Main quest

Daphne’s cruel transformation in A Knight’s Tales

Jacob, a lumberjack, prompts Geralt to investigate a story of legend from the book Tales and Fables in the A Knight’s Tales quest.

Jacob says a young woman has been transformed into a bleeding tree, awaiting her lover who never returned. Daphne, the cursed woman, now weeps for him.

As you progress, you discover Daphne may have been mutilated by the jealous Witch of Lynx Crag.

Sir Gareth had sought out the witch due to troubles nearby. However, she enticed Daphne’s lover and killed him for trying to return to her. Daphne’s longing leads to her horrific transformation.

On meeting the witch, you can plead, say you can handle the situation on your own or threaten her.

If you plead or handle it alone, you will need Sir Gareth’s bone to complete the ritual. With the bone, Daphne will emerge as a ghost, asking whether her lover remained faithful. Without it, she will emerge as a Wraith and you’ll have to fight her.

If you threaten, you’ll have to fight the witch and her panther. Jacob will die, mauled by his dog who becomes possessed by the spirit.

  • Secondary quest

Is there any happiness in the Witcher 3?

Okay, so I’ve painted a pretty depressing picture I’ll admit. Saying this, the game is complex and expertly written. It offers plenty of humour, action and redemption elsewhere.

So, if you love story and action driven RPG games that evoke every possible emotion, be sure to get a copy of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt!

What was your favourite quest?

Stephanie xox

Exploring Bibury in the Cotswolds with the National Trust

Arlington Row in Bibury, Cotswolds

A family day out in the Cotswolds village of Bibury

Bibury is a picturesque village in the heart of the Cotswolds. Located in Gloucestershire on the banks of the River Coln, it features quaint Cotswold-stone houses and is most famed for Arlington Row.

It’s a truly charming place, offering a pleasant countryside stroll alongside a fascinating history.

The River Coln flows through its centre, between the main street and Rack Isle water meadow.

Bibury from the River Colne, Cotswolds

What else is there to do in Bibury?

There is lots to see in the area. Bibury attractions also include Arlington Row, Rack Isle, The Church of St Mary’s, Bibury Trout Farm, and Arlington Mill.

A highlight for many in the area is Arlington Row, a row of 17th-century weavers’ cottages adjacent to Rack Isle. The National Trust owns Arlington Row and its cottages.

Built around 1380, the Arlington Row cottages were once used as a monastic wool store. Later, the cottages would be converted into weavers’ cottages.

Rack Isle was named so, as the wool from the Arlington Row cottages would be hung upon racks to dry alongside the boggy water meadow. 

The Gloucestershire village is one of the Cotswolds and England’s most photographed sights, featured in films including Stardust and Bridget Jones’s Diary.

What’s accessibility like?

Bibury is a village in the countryside so expect some accessibility issues. Navigating the area with a buggy or wheelchair is possible but may be difficult in narrow and/or muddier areas.

If you’re looking for something to eat, The Swan Hotel and Trout Farm Restaurant offer food nearby.

Parking is free but limited. You can park along the main road or opposite the Trout Farm.

Once you’re done exploring Bibury, here’s how to spend a day in the Cotswolds.

Where you like to visit in the Cotswolds?

Stephanie xox

Looking for more UK days out?

Reducing food waste with the Too Good To Go app

Too Good To Go app review

What is the Too Good To Go app?

Too Good To Go lets you purchase food in your local area that would otherwise go to waste.

How does it work?

Firstly, you’ll have to download the Too Good To Go app. Then, you can browse local shops and restaurants and see what surplus food is available in your area.

If available, you can select your Magic Bag for pre-order. Do be quick though as Magic Bags are limited. You will then have a set time to collect your bag that day or the following.

Most shops tend to refresh their offering each day so don’t worry if you initially miss out. You can also favourite shops to ensure you get availability updates.

Which shops are included?

There’s quite a lot of variety, depending on where you are. You can save food being wasted from:

  • Restaurants
  • Coffee shops
  • Food shops
  • Independent and local shops

What do you get in your Too Good To Go Magic Bag?

It’s a complete mystery! Depending on where you order from, you’ll get a selection of random goods.

These are often pre-chosen for you. However, you can try your luck and request things depending on dietary requirements.

Please note, these items often have a shorter shelf life. So, they may be due to expire that day or within a few days.

Here are some recent examples of our Magic Bags:

Order from Greggs

We paid £2.95 for our Greggs Magic Bag and got:

  • Two sausage rolls
  • Steak bake
  • Egg and mayo sandwich
  • Ham and cheese baguette
  • Milk chocolate cookie
  • Two novelty buns

This bag had a retail value of £10.

Order from Costa Coffee

We paid £3 for our Costa Coffee Magic Bag and got:

  • Tropical Muffin
  • Free Range Egg, Mushroom & Spinach Breakfast Bap
  • Vegan Smoky Ham & Cheeze Toastie
  • Vegan Bac’n Breakfast Bap

This bag had a retail value of £10.

Order from Crompton’s Bakery

We paid £3 for our Crompton’s Bakery Magic Bag and got:

  • Sausage roll
  • Double chocolate muffin
  • BLT baguette
  • Steak bake

This bag had a retail value of £9.

Is Too Good To Go worth it?

It’s so worth it. Not only are you saving money when you buy a Magic Bag, you’re also reducing food waste and helping the planet.

One thing to note, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may get a selection of meat products. However, you can try your luck and ask for alternatives. We did this with our Costa Coffee Magic Bag above.

Unfortunately, you cannot choose dietary preferences beforehand on the app. Ultimately, the contents of your Magic Bag is random. Saying this, hopefully it’s something that is implemented in the future.

Overall, it’s a fantastic app and great for those who are conscious of waste and/or on a budget.

Have you tried the Too Good To Go app?

Stephanie xox

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Baby and toddler fun at Cha Char Chimps Bicester

Cha Char Chimps Bicester - interactive blanket

If you’re looking for something fun and interactive to do with your little one look no further than Cha Char Chimps Bicester!

This family-friendly musical show offers an entertaining session of singing, play and so much more.

Cha Char Chimps Bicester - wiggly worms

The best baby and toddler class in Bicester

Cha Char Chimps is my favourite baby and toddler class in Bicester. It offers a pay-as-you-go system that’s not only flexible but super affordable.

Prices start from £4. This includes entry for your little one and yourself.

Once inside, you’ll participate in a series of interactive songs with a host of included props to ensure they come to life.

These sessions focus on developing the following:

  • Language skills
  • Co-ordination
  • Co-operation
  • Confidence
  • Concentration
  • Sharing and socialising

Each week, you’ll see your little one grow and develop in these action-packed sessions. My son, Theo, even sat independently for the first time during a session. Proud mum moment.

After each session, you also get a slice of the best tiffin I’ve ever eaten. It’s a win-win.

Cha Char Chimps Bicester - playtime

What makes Cha Char Chimps Bicester so special?

We’ve been to the Kingsmere Community Centre sessions since Theo was nine weeks old and there’s one thing that makes them so special, Katie!

Katie is the ‘Entertainer’ and hosts the classes. She’s bursting with energy, makes everyone feel so welcome and all the children adore her.

It’s just wonderful to watch them build confidence and interact. Katie works her way around the hall and makes each individual child feel so important.

Christmas special baby class

What sessions do Cha Char Chimps Bicester run?

There are two different classes depending on age which are offered in three locations in Bicester. These include Kingsmere, Heyford and Arncott.

Sessions are in the morning and last between 30 minutes and an hour and a half, depending on the group age.

You can choose to join the baby session, recommended for up to 12 months. There’s also a toddler and older session, recommended for ages 1–5.

Alternatively, Arncott offers an all-ages session for ages 0–4.

Kingsmere Community Centre – Monday

  • Toddler and older session – 10–10:45 am
  • Baby session – 11–11:30 am

Heyford Park Community Centre – Wednesday

  • Toddler and older session – 10–11:30 am
  • Baby session – 11:15–11:30 am

Arncott Village Hall – Thursday

  • All ages session (ages 0–4) – 10–11 am

Occasionally, Cha Char Chimps will run special seasonal sessions and also offer exclusive children’s parties.

You can book their pay-as-you-go classes on the Cha Char Chimps Bicester website.

Have you been to Cha Char Chimps yet?

Stephanie xox

Looking for more things to do in Oxfordshire?

Halloween special baby class

Playing video games at Power UP, Science Museum, London ?

An afternoon of nostalgic gaming at the Power UP exhibition

Power UP is an interactive gaming event that highlights the very best of video games and their respective platforms over the last five decades.

You will discover 160 consoles in this unique hands-on experience in the heart of London. It’s a lot of fun and a must-see for gaming fans!

What is there to do?

There’s plenty to do! This is a truly interactive experience with something for everyone. The event offers visitors an in-depth history of gaming, just waiting for you to explore.

You will enter the darkened Basement Gallery with a buzz of tapping and happiness surrounding you.

An immediate point of interest is the physical timeline at the back of the room. Here, you can learn more about gaming’s fascinating history with each respective console being illustrated via a placard.

You will work your way through this evolution from some of the earliest consoles such as the Binatone TV Master to modern consoles such as the Wii.

The sense of nostalgia is wonderful as you stop by each console and seek out the games of your own childhood. Across the exhibition, you’ll find yourself pausing to reminiscence constantly.

What are the games like at Power UP?

You can expect a sea of platforms and a plethora of genres. These include:

  • Sandbox
  • Shooters
  • Role-playing
  • Simulation and sports
  • Puzzlers and party games
  • Action-adventure
  • Platformer
  • Music-rhythm

You’ll find early and next-gen consoles, PC games, handheld games, arcade games and VR experiences.

Expect to see familiar franchises such as Pac-Man, Pong, Zelda, Mario, Sonic, Halo, Fortnite and Minecraft. There’s also a selection of indie games to boot.

For the competitive gamer, there are even opportunities to attempt to make it onto the leaderboard!

It’s a really fascinating and truly euphoric experience as you dash to and from each platform to play.

You’ll certainly find yourself lost for a few hours in this nostalgic and immersive experience that not only celebrates gaming history, but also its technological advancements.

Without a doubt, you’ll leave with a deeper appreciation for how far gaming has come. It’s incredible to visualise the vast improvements in graphics and user experience as you work your way around the room.

Is Power UP family-friendly?

Power UP certainly is family-friendly. This is an experience for all ages with an interest in gaming!

There are loads of games children can battle it out on. Of course, do expect some age restrictions (most of which are at your discretion). However, this doesn’t take away from the fun and community spirit of the event.

The multiplayer section is particularly fun with your family in tow. You can learn more about what games and consoles are available via the Power UP floor map.

Where can we eat and drink?

The event has its own dedicated cafe counter allowing you to refuel as necessary. Outside of the exhibition, the Science Museum also offers several cafes and picnic areas.

How much does it cost?

The exhibition has now been extended and you can pre-book your tickets for Power UP on the Science Museum website.

The event is open daily from 10am to 4.30pm and will run until Monday 6 June 2022.

Please see the entrance prices below:

  • Adult (17-59 years) – £10
  • Child (4-16 years) – £8.00
  • Concession (student, unemployed or disabled) – £8
  • Senior (60 and over) – £9
  • 3 and under – free

Once you’re done, be sure to explore the rest of the Science Museum for free and its fascinating exhibitions!

Looking for more things to do in London?

The Power UP exhibition entrance was gifted by the Science Museum, but all views are my own

Seeing all the animals at Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Family Day Out

A family day out at Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park?

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park is a 44-acre farm in the Buckinghamshire countryside that offers a lovely day out for everyone.

Onsite, you’ll discover a large variety of farm, pet and wild animals alongside numerous play areas.

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Pet Lambs in Buckinghamshire

What is there to do?

There is so much to do! There are lots of animals to see alongside opportunities to play, eat and unwind.

As you enter, you’ll notice the daily animal encounters illustrated. These include feeding and interactive opportunities.

You can then choose to follow the nature and/or farm trail which loop around the paddocks.

There’s an expansive outdoor play area, field, soft play barn, messy play barn, eco-centre, greenhouse and walled garden, the animal barn, pond and even go pedal karting!

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Reindeer in Buckinghamshire

What animals can I expect to see?

You can expect to see lots of animals – and not just farm animals either! There’s also a pet corner and wildlife zone.

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Farm Animals

Farm animals

You’ll certainly get to see the usual suspects. The farm animals you can see include:

  • Alapacs
  • Cattle – Dairy Shorthorn, Highland, Friesian and Dexter
  • Chickens – Black Marans, Buff Orpington, Cream Legbar, Dark Brahma, Ex-Battery, Jersey Giant, Lemon Pyle Brahma, Light Sussex, Red Orpington, Speckled Maran and Wellsummer
  • Ducks – Aylesbury, Cayuga, Khaki Campbell, Silver Appleyard and Tufted
  • Equine – Donkey
  • Geese – Roman and Toulouse
  • Goats – Anglo-Nubian, Golden Guernsey, Old English, Pygmy and Saanen
  • Pigs – Gloucester Old Spot and Oxfordshire Sandy and Black
  • Sheep – Badger Face, Balwen, Boreray, Herdwick, Jacobs, Poll Dorset, Portland and Soay
  • Turkeys – Crollwitzer

You can get up close to the alpacas and sheep within the barn. You’re even welcome to feed them with pellets pre-bought at the entrance. It’s honestly such a wonderful experience and was the highlight of our day!

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Pets Corner

Pets corner

There are lots of cute animals to see in the Pets corner. Expect amphibians, arthropods, molluscs, reptiles and small mammals!

Animals you can see include:

  • Amphibians – African Clawed Frog, Axolotl and Poison Dart Frog,
  • Arthropods – (arachnids, insects and myriapods) – Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula, Cricket, Giant Millipede, Hissing Cockroach, Locust, Pachnoda Beetle and Stick Insect
  • Molluscs – Giant African Land Snail
  • Reptiles – Bearded Dragon, Corn Snake and Panther Chameleon
  • Small mammals – Chinchilla, Continental Giant Rabbit, Ferret, Gerbil, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Harvest Mouse, Rat, Skunk and Tenrec
Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Wildlife Zone

Wildlife Zone

There are lots to see in the Wildlife Zone too. Expect owls, eagles, wallabies, small cats, squirrels and foxes.

Wildlife animals you can see include:

  • Birds of prey – Common Buzzard, European Kestrel and Golden Eagle
  • Mammals – Deer, Red Squirrel, Reindeer and Silver Fox
  • Marsupials – Bennett’s Wallaby
  • Mustelids – European Polecat
  • Owls – Barn Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Little Owl and Tawny Owl
  • Passerine birds – Raven
  • Small cats and wild cats – Eurasian Lynx and Scottish Wildcat
Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Bouncy Pillows

Is Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park family-friendly?

It’s super family-friendly and perfect for all ages.

Children under two are free and our one-year-old absolutely loved it. We had so much fun feeding the alpacas, stroking the sheep and bouncing on the ginormous bouncy pillows outside.

Children can also take advantage of soft play, the outdoor play area, the amazing bouncy pillows, and for those slightly older, peddle karts!

There is just so much to do and it’s well worth the entrance price.

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Park

Where can we eat and drink?

There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or drink and you’re also welcome to take your own picnic. These include:

Playbarn Café

The Playbarn Café is within the Play Barn. They offer adult and children’s menus and serve hot and cold dishes and snacks. There are a few gluten-free options available.

We opted for the children’s Grab ‘n’ Go Bag (£5.95) for our toddler, Theo, which includes:

  • Tuna mayo or cheese sandwich
  • Pom-Bear® crisps
  • Gingerbread man
  • Fruity pot, or fruit, or yoghurt
  • Your choice of drink

They open at 10 am each day and close at 5.30 or 6 pm depending on the time of year.

Takeaway Pizza Saturdays

On a Saturday, you can order and collect fresh wood-fired pizza by the pond with a host of toppings.

Coffee and Snack Truck

Open on select days, the Coffee and Snack Truck is located outside the play park. It serves hot and cold snacks and drinks.

Bring your own picnic!

Alternatively, you are welcome to bring your own picnic! The picnic area is next to the play park and there’s also a field available under the shade of willow trees.

You can eat within the picnic shed or messy play barn on rainy days.

Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park | Toddler Friendly

How much does Hogshaw Farm and Wildlife Park cost?

Please see the entrance prices below:

  • £10.95 – Adult
  • £9.95 – Child (age two to 15 years)
  • £8.95 – Senior citizen
  • £8.95 – Concession for visitors with disabilities (one registered carer goes free of charge).

Entrance to the farm is free for visitors under two years old. There are unique encounter opportunities available at an extra cost.

The farm is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm and you can pre-book tickets for your visit.

Have you been to Green Dragon Eco Farm yet?

Stephanie xox

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