Tyneside Rocks - The sweetest way to keep kids entertained this summer

Tyneside Rocks - The sweetest way to keep kids entertained this summer

Hello. I'm so excited to be bringing you this post to let you know that you and your little uns are invited to play the biggest game of Finders Keepers there has probably ever been in the North East. If that wasn't exciting enough, it's also got the sweetest Random Act of Kindness feel to it and I think it will be a brilliant activity for any North East kids.

Kids Eat Free this Summer in Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside

Kids Eat Free this Summer in Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside

Today I'm continuing the frugal theme of the summer holidays, and bringing together all of the places that I can find which offer free kids meals over the summer holidays. I have two toddlers who veer daily between human dustbins who want to eat everything in sight, to fussy bird-like eaters who are horrified at the suggestion you might expect them to actually try something that you have paid for. So when I couldn't be bothered to cook the other day, I was on the hunt for a somewhere that we'd get a free child's meal. I managed to find quite a few, but it took a fair bit of googling. So here is a list which will hopefully help you if you are on the hunt for a cheaper family meal out. 

Parents of the North - Sarah - Curlystiltskin

Parents of the North - Sarah - Curlystiltskin

Hello, the Parents of the North feature is back, after a brief hiatus whilst I was on holiday in deepest darkest Hertfordshire. Today's features is from Sarah, who not only runs her own online store full of kids clothes and toys, but she is the owner of one of the most stylish kids in the North East. Sarah is mum to the gorgeous Coco who looks picture perfect everywhere she goes, and is the perfect walking model for Curlystiltskin, which is Sarah's store. I have followed both Sarah's personal account @cocoandliquorice and @curlystiltskin for a while now, and she is always off somewhere interesting, so was high on my list of people ask to feature in this series. As expected she didn't disappoint and her post is full of ideas for places to explore. I particularly liked her honest response to the question about child-free time. Not only does Nat run a gorgeous children's store, but she used to work for the English Heritage, so knows her way around a family friendly visitors destination. Basically she is far more qualified than me to run a family blog - so lets all promise that we aren't going to burst my bubble and mention it to her okay? This post is a lovely long one, with lots of recommendations, and details about Nat setting up her own company. I loved it - Enjoy.

The Frugal summer holiday bucket list - 42 Free or Cheap Days out in the North East

The Frugal summer holiday bucket list - 42 Free or Cheap Days out in the North East

Entertaining kids can be so expensive, especially in the six weeks holidays. Whilst I balk at the idea of spending more than £30 on an item of clothing for me, we will regularly end up spending that if we head out for the day with the kids. We are really lucky in the North East to have so many options for free days out, from out beautiful beaches to the fantastic parks in the area. But sometimes it's hard to think of them all, so I've had a brainstorm and put as many as I can think of in this list. I considered 'cheap' to be less than £7 in total for the cost of an activity for an adult and two kids. I've come up with 42 so thats one for every day of the school holidays. Hopefully this might be a page that you return to a few times over the summer holidays to get some ideas that won't leave you eating baked beans for dinner 6 nights a week. 

Parents of the North - Kathryn - Brilliantly Social

Parents of the North - Kathryn - Brilliantly Social

Welcome back! I hope you are all well. Today's Parents of the North features Kathryn who runs Brilliantly Social - a North East social media management company, and Studio Paradiso - who provide painting holidays in Tuscany. She is also the owner of two very brilliant bairns. I asked Kathryn to tell us what she loves about the family friendly North East, as her instagram page (@brilliantlysocial) is jam packed with days out and kid friendly activities. She is also a huge fan of colour so it's a seriously pretty feed to follow. If you enjoy this feature then check out our previous posts here for loads of great ideas.  If you fancy featuring then please get in touch via the contact us page.

Not only does Nat run a gorgeous children's store, but she used to work for the English Heritage, so knows her way around a family friendly visitors destination. Basically she is far more qualified than me to run a family blog - so lets all promise that we aren't going to burst my bubble and mention it to her okay? This post is a lovely long one, with lots of recommendations, and details about Nat setting up her own company. I loved it - Enjoy.

Broom House Farm - Durham

Broom House Farm - Durham

Todays post is about Broom House Farm in County Durham (not to be confused with the farm of the same name in Northumberland). Its coffee shop with brilliant facilities for kids and parents, and a woodland adventure trail. Can't quite picture what a  woodland adventure trail is? Neither could I, but thankfully I've taken a photograph of pretty much every leaf in the forest, so by the end of this post you should have a good idea, but if you picture a very spread out park in the middle of a wood, with games and tasks to carry out then it's a good place to start. 

Hugo & Me - Review

Hello, today I've got a bit of a different post to my usual days out reviews. North East mam Victoria got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to review her new clothing venture Hugo & Me. I love to support local brands and all the more so when the founders are new parents, so of course it was a yes from us. We were thrilled to receive two gorgeous cream outfits, as I do love to dress my two the same when I can get away with it. Twinning is winning and all that.

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure

 * This is a collaborative post

Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure is coming to The Metro Arena this October and we can not wait to go. Like most kids I loved Disney when I was little. I played my tape of The Little Mermaid over and over until the film came off and I honestly thought that if I used a fork to comb my hair that it made me more mermaid-like.

Parents of the North - Natalie - The Simply Small Co

Parents of the North - Natalie - The Simply Small Co

Welcome back to the Parents of the North feature, where I've invited local mams and dads to spill about why they love to raise their kids here in the North East. This week its Natalie from The Simply Small Co's turn. If you didn't catch last week with super mam of  almost 5 kids (she's 39 weeks pregnant) Jayne's post, then check it out here. If you fancy featuring then please get in touch via the contact us page.

Not only does Nat run a gorgeous children's store, but she used to work for the English Heritage, so knows her way around a family friendly visitors destination. Basically she is far more qualified than me to run a family blog - so lets all promise that we aren't going to burst my bubble and mention it to her okay? This post is a lovely long one, with lots of recommendations, and details about Nat setting up her own company. I loved it - Enjoy.

Wild at Kielder

Wild at Kielder

Earlier in the year we visited Kielder Water and Forest Park to follow their Gruffalo Spotter's trail,  where an augmented reality app for a phone or tablet brings the characters from The Gruffalo to life on your screen. We are planning to return again soon, but this time we'll be on the hunt for the real versions! 

This year Kielder have launched Wild at Kielder which is a campaign to encourage families to explore the park and highlights all of the wild and wonderful animals, birds, insects and plants that call Kielder Forest and Water home. 

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park - South Shields

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park - South Shields

So this weekend is The Hoppings!  Did I ever bore you lot with how I met my husband when we were both working in Metroland? I shall save that old chestnut for another post, but having worked at a theme park (with the 'fastest scariest indoor rollercoaster in europe' i'll have you know) for two years I've always get a bit nostalgic about fun fairs. And when I start to see the photographs from the Hoppings then I always want to go. My husband is a bit less nostalgic (should I be offended?) and is pretty adamant that the busy-ness of the Hoppings with two toddlers would be no fun, and the rational side of me agrees it'll be better to wait a few more years. 

Parents of the North - Jayne and Co

Parents of the North - Jayne and Co

Welcome to our brand new series! I'm really excited about this one! One of my favourite things since starting this blog is getting to know other local mams, and through the wonders of social media seeing their updates, where they have visited and often discovering new places. So Parents of the North is my way to showcase some of that. There will be a new post every fortnight, and will feature mams and dads who are up for telling us a bit about their life with kids in the North East. If you fancy featuring then please get in touch via the contact us page.

Splash Pads, paddling pools and outdoor swimming - water play in the north east

Okay, so we might not get many hot days, but when the sun is shining there is nothing quite like playing in water for kids. In the North East we are really lucky to have a quite a few options for where to cool down when it warms up. Lets face it though, we could have a cold and wet summer and most kids would still love to play in a splash pad or take a dip in a paddling pool. Read on for some ideas about where to head and information about opening hours. 

Daisy Baby Tinies Classes Competition - Jesmond

Daisy Baby Tinies Classes Competition - Jesmond

The Daisy Foundation offer a one stop shop for pregnancy and birth classes, Local mum Jenny is bringing the classes to Jesmond, and to celebrate we are offering one lucky reader a complimentary 6 week course on the Daisy Baby Tinies class. 

#NewcastlewithKids - April

#NewcastlewithKids - April

Hello, this is the second in my series of nosing on instagram pics and where people have been taking their kids in the past few weeks. I run the #newcastlewithkids and #northeastwithkids hashtags - use these on your photos and I'll pop over and give you a like, comment and might even ask if it's okay to include your photos in an upcoming blog post. They are great hashtags to find a bit of inspiration about where to visit with kids too. Don't forget to use them over the Easter Weekend and whilst you are over there, don't be shy, give me a follow too. 

Five Theatre Shows for Pre-Schoolers

Five Theatre Shows for Pre-Schoolers

Just a quickie for me today. This posts doesn't have all of my usual random musings, but instead is a roundup post of a the pre-school theatre options on offer over the next few months. There aren't many big shows which are suitable for pre-schoolers, but after seeing Stickman, The Scarecrow Wedding and The Hungry Caterpillar all advertised recently I thought I'd pull together all of the offerings from local theatres so they were in one place. I've loved looking at all of the trailers, some of the staging looks fab.

Lets Play Big - Washington

Lets Play Big - Washington

Last week we visited Lets Play Big in Washington the brand new children's role play centre. I love these centres, they always seem a bit less hectic than soft play, and considering I'm often outnumbered by toddlers I appreciate that. 

The FREE Thomas the Tank Engine PlayStation comes to the North East

The FREE Thomas the Tank Engine PlayStation comes to the North East

My toddlers LOVE Thomas and Friends and I consider the fact that I can sing the (quite complicated) theme tune in full, one of my specialist skills. If your kids are Thomas super-fans then they are in luck as the Thomas Playstation is on a UK tour and there are 2 stops in the North East.  

The Playstation is a mobile play space with 8 stations of different activities, including;

#newcastlewithkids - February

#newcastlewithkids - February

Hello, February is over! In the blink of an eye. I'm so looking forward to the lighter nights in March. Summer is just around the corner... right? As always there are a whole host of events for kids, or places to visit, and this post might give you a few ideas. If you'd like my handpicked picks delivered to your email inbox every fortnight, then you can sign up for it here: Bubele. 

Another great place for ideas is Instagram - even soft plays look more appealing through a filter! I was surprised that there wasn't a hashtag which brought together all of things that you can do with kids in the North East, so I started my own. Check out #newcastlewithkids for some ideas about places to visit, and if you are on instagram then (a) follow me and (b) use the tag #newcastlewithkids on any photos you are uploading of the places you've taken the kids. Include anywhere in the North East anywhere that is travelling distance from Newcastle.