Kiss My Turku

A bit of a strange name for a blog post 🤣 but that seems to be the official slogan for Turku – Finland!

As most of you know we recently took a trip there and it was a beautiful experience! We both loved every minute of it and will 100% be back! So honesty is the best policy…we were invited to Moomin World so our entry was free! We were also given a media rate discount for our hotel. We flew with Wiz Air which was completely paid for by me!

Ok so let’s talk about the journey…

We used London Luton Airport for the first time because it’s the only direct flight from London to Turku using Wiz Air – the most dirtiest plane I’ve been on 🤢 but I’ll get back to that a little later.

Luton airport was a joke! I’m not sure if it was an off day but the security line was slower than a snail. No idea what was going on with the X-ray machines because it seemed like everyone had to get their bags double checked! I guess this is why it’s recommended to get to an airport 3 hours before your flight because of things like this!

We eventually got through security like 35 minutes later and then waited for our flight.

So not only was this out first time going to Luton, it was our first time heading to Finland AND our first time using Wiz Air!

Wiz Air is a budget airline. But as you know there are of course added cost like luggage, selecting seats, priority boarding etc.

Now the state of the aircraft explains why it’s so cheap LOL. It was filthy! I felt like I was on the Bakerloo line 🤣

There was food all over the floor! It was mental because I’ve never experienced a dirty plane like this before. I had to whip out the wipes and beg my daughter not to touch anything 😭

Despite all this though, we arrived safely and 30 mins early which was great! They also didn’t lose my buggy (British Airways did last year when we went to Amsterdam…clearly still not over that lol)

There are taxis right outside the airport so I don’t feel like there’s any need to prebook. We stayed at the Naantali Spa hotel which is about a 20 minute taxi ride and will cost you around €40-50 to get to 😬

Naantali Spa hotel

Omgggg this was the most beautiful hotel we’ve ever stayed in! It’s huge and has pretty much everything! A spa, plenty of restaurants, entertainment, a play area for kids and more!

I was super impressed with our room! Deluxe Double with terrace – The price includes breakfast and free use of the sauna and pool paradise.

So as I mentioned before there are a few restaurants within the hotel. The only restaurant we went to was called TK’s and the food was very nice! Very friendly staff that made Naya feel welcome!

It was a long day of travelling so went went straight back to our room after this.

Day 2 was Moomin World day! There are different opening times depending on what time of the year you visit. During our stay, Moomin World opened at 12pm so we had some time to kill before making our way.

Breakfast – I wasn’t too impressed by it so we just stuck to eating bread and fruit.

Playroom – there’s a play area for kids HALLELUJAH 👏🏽

Plenty of activities, books to read and toys to play with. Little miss was very content!

Moomin World!

It’s about a 30 minute walk or 15 minute drive from the hotel. I thought it would be nice to walk so I used my google maps to help us find our way. It was very easy to find I must say! I couldn’t get over how quiet our walk was. Kinda felt like I was in a horror movie 🤣 I was waiting for some sort of zombie to jump out the bushes 😀

We were both crazy excited to visit! I grew up watching the TV show and I recently introduced it to little miss and she fell in love instantly!!!

You have to walk across a bridge to get to Moomin World which was of my favourite parts of the journey. The views are fantastic!

As mentioned before our tickets were gifted but I will list the prices below.

Price:

1-day ticket

online €29

(at the gate €31)

2-day ticket

online €37

(at the gate €39)

Family tickets

for 4 €112

(at the gate €120)

for 5 online €140

(at the gate €150)

for 6 online €168

(at the gate €180)

As you can see it’s best to book online for a cheaper price!

Opening times:

For up to day opening times it’s best to check the website!

So what did we do at Moomin World?

Although it’s a theme park there are not rides which is absolutely fine because there is so much to see and do!

Of course our first stop was at the famous Big, blue Moomin house where we were greeted by the Moomins! It was magical from the get go!

Inside the house was AMAZING! Little miss was overwhelmed and just wanted to touch and play with everything which seemed ok as there were no signs saying that she couldn’t.

Almost forgot to mention but at the entrance you are given a wristband. The kids get a wristband with a microchip in them. They can use these wristbands around Moominworld to activate a special activity when they see these blue shells. It’s a very cool feature!

One of my favourite things about Moominworld was meeting the characters. There were no ridiculously long queues and they seemed to be there all day long with no intervals. We took plenty of photos which is great for our memory book!

Moominworld is huge and there’s a lot to do

The Giant Pumpkin was probably little miss’ favourite part of our day! If I let her, she probably would’ve spent the whole day in there cooking! 😀

There’s also a beach, a fairytale walkthrough (might be a little scary for the super little ones), live shows, different characters meets and MORE!

It’s honestly the perfect family day out!

Ooh you can even hire a stroller for the day

Wagons too…

Stickers to keep your kids safe! It’s a huge place so this is definitely a good idea! You just fill in your kids names and your contact details!

Almost forgot to mention food. There are a few places where you can sit down and eat. The usual prices you would get at any theme park. Little miss had a decent sized kids meal. For €7.90

After a long day of walking we took a quick trip to Naantali old town which was just beautiful. I didn’t get any pictures other than the Moomin shop but trust me when I say you have to visit there! It’s just visually stunning!

We ended up having a nap after returning to the hotel which was well deserved 😀

Day 3 – our last day

We skipped breakfast and headed straight towards the swimming pools!

We were not disappointed. There are two indoor ones, an out door one and a jacuzzi! Absolutely stunning 😍

I loved that there were swimming aids and toys for kids too!

There is a spa at the hotel too with plenty of different treatments! Definitely value for money!

I loved that they had robes for kids! I mean how cute is this photo 🤣😍

We loved everything about our trip! From Moominworld to the hotel! The locals were also super friendly too! I have no complaints and I’m looking to go back next year. We will also be back in Finland this year for Lapland 😉 so make sure you come back to the blog to see our full review!

Sticky Fingers

Little miss and I were kindly invited to check out this lovely place called Sticky Fingers – a Kensington based family-friendly restaurant, with food designed to get your hands dirty and faces messy!

We were greeted by such lovely staff who were welcoming from the get go. They provided us with menus as well as an activity pack to keep little miss entertained as she waited for her food!

I was quite impressed with the both menus but the kids especially! There were lots to choose from and I don’t feel like you get this in every restaurant!

Little miss went for the chicken burger and fries which she said was very yummy!

So much so that she didn’t want to share any fries with me 🤣

I had the Mac and cheese for a started which was super delicious and just the right portion! It was enough so that I still had room for my main meal ☺️

I had the buffalo chicken and fries which tasted so good! I wish there was a little more sauce on it but other than that no complaints! We both throughly enjoyed our meals!

For dessert Naya had some vanilla ice cream and of course she loved it. You can’t really go wrong with Vanilla ice cream .

Unfortunately I had to skip dessert as the only thing I would’ve liked had nuts in (I’m severely allergic) but that was ok. I think I was pretty full up anyway!

We had a lovely experience here. Lovely staff, clean restaurant and toilet might I add! The food was very nice and the atmosphere was welcoming and of course very child friendly which is very important to me.

Would we go back?

Most definitely! Little miss said she wants to try the ribs next 😀😋

(Meal and drinks were complimentary)

Eltham Palace

We recently took a trip to Eltham Palace and had such a lovely sunny day out! For those of you that don’t know, Eltham Palace is a huge house in South East London that is a former royal residence!

Inside is just stunning! It’s amazing how much we learnt about the former residents in one day. There are quite a few signs reminding visitors not to touch certain parts of the house as it’s of course very old and fragile but in most rooms you will find these little boxes that have amazing memories inside which you are allowed to touch!

We learnt quite a lot about Stephen and Virginia Courtauld (former residents) and we were able to imagine what life was life for them at their home!

Here are some more fabulous photos from our day…

What can the kids do?

Well explore the palace and the grounds of course but there are activities specifically aimed at children! At the entrance, little miss was given an activity booklet that had a trail. She was able to walk around the place, find the animals on the trail then use the a stamp to Mark she has found them. This was definitely her favourite part of the day.

There were also staff outside running fun activities for the kids. It’s a great time for us parents to relax 😀

There was also a cool opportunity in the basement for little miss to do more dressing up! She had so much fun and couldn’t stop looking in the mirror and smiling!

Food?

There’s a nice little cafe onsite. Soft drinks, tea and coffee are all available. It’s what you expect to get at a place like this. Little miss actually got a lunch bag (complimentary ) and what was inside was definitely worth the money! Less than a fiver!

How much?

You can find out more info about Eltham Palace here

(AD – entry and lunch complimentary)

Fort Fun

We were invited to check out Fort Fun in Eastbourne today and we picked the perfect day to come! The weather was AMAZING 😉

Where?

I had this question a million times in the DMs today 🤣 just a reminder to those who follow us on Instagram…the details of the places we visit will always be shared so no need to ask 🤣

Address: Royal Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 7LU 

Getting there?

I could not be bothered to drive so we got the train from Clapham Junction to Eastbourne. There are plenty of taxis outside the station. The taxi ride there cost £7 and £6.40 on the way back. The journey was less than 10 minutes.

You can also get the bus from the station

If you decide to drive then there’s a car park available. I didn’t get a chance to see how much it was but there was a sign inside Fort Fun saying they don’t offer change for the car park so make sure you bring some!

How much?

You can buy a membership from as little as £5.00 per child per month and just £2.50 per adult when paying by Direct Debit.

What’s there to do?

Water park – Probably what most people come here for! It’s so much fun! All the kids we’re having a blast! Lots of slides and water to splash in. Little miss was a little scared of the bigger slides at first but she built up the courage to go on one and pretty much had to be dragged off it at the end 🤣

Note: The water park is operated in sessions during busy times.

Outdoor and indoor play areas!

Both are lots of fun! Little miss burnt so much energy running around! There’s an area for under 5s that encourages creative play but it wasn’t in use today unfortunately.

There’s one of those slide down bouncy castle things (sorry I have no idea what they’re called 🤣) I have heard some horror stories about these but the one little miss used today looked like it was very secure so she went on it a few time!

Theres this huge bouncy thing (again I’m so sorry I don’t know the name🤣) but all the kids seemed to be having a blast. I kind of have wanted to have a go myself 😀

The indoor soft play was your typical soft play area! It all looked pretty clean so I had no complaints!

Food

I usually bring food for little miss as I know she can be quite picky but the food container I bought with it wouldn’t open 🙄 so I had to buy her food from their indoor restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised. This was from the kids menu and it was a generous portion. Also under a fiver! She enjoyed it! 😋

Would we go again?

ABSOLUTELY! I wish I knew about this place a long time ago! We’ve been to Eastbourne so many times over the years and I had no idea it even existed! It’s such a lovely place and I 100% recommend a visit this summer!

Le Touquet

We did a day trip to France with Coach innovations! I actually first saw the trip on Wowcher but when I had a look on their website, I saw that they were offering a returning customer discount so I decided to book directly with them. For those of you that don’t know, we did a dash to Disneyland Paris with them last year on Halloween!

So this is how much the day trip on Wowcher cost…

As mentioned above, I contacted them for a returning customer discount and they gave us a generous code for £50 per person. In case you were wondering, children aged 3 and under are just £30

So our day trip came up to £31!

Price Includes:

• Return coach travel

• Cross channel ferries

• Allocated seats

• Up to 7 hours in Le Touquet

• Entrance to water park from 2pm

Unfortunately it looks like this day trip is no longer available on Wowcher but Coach Innovations have a few different trips on their website you can check out!

Ok so back to our day trip.

You are given a list of departure points and you pick your closest one

Ours was London Vauxhall bridge which meant that we had to be there are 3:15am! I’m an earlier riser so that wasn’t a problem. The coach ended up getting there 5 minutes early which was great. We the pretty much slept all the way to Dover.

A lot of people have asked me about the timings which is something I usually make sure I remember but I was in and out of sleep I have no idea 🤦🏽‍♀️🤣

We ended up getting the ferry to Dunkirk and not Calais. We were told that we would have to wait a little longer for the ferry to Calais. Apparently the ferry ride to Dunkirk is slightly longer but the drive to Le Touquet would be quicker. There has been soft play on every ferry we’ve been on to keep kids entertained! I would of course recommend bringing toys and anything else you can think of!

Again I have no idea about the times as I was so sleepy but we arrived at Le Touquet before 11am. Then the coach driver told us our meeting point and that we had to be back there by 7pm

The beach here is just BEAUTIFUL . We spent a few hours building sandcastles and trying to find crabs! We also saw a few horses on the beach too which you don’t see everyday!

Our coach drivers told us to meet them outside Aqualud (the water park that’s included in the price) for 1:45pm for our 2pm entry. Little miss really loved the water park. There’s so much to do for ALL ages! I just wish it was a warmer day as the outside part of the park looked amazing!

After the water park, little miss burnt off some more energy by going on nearby rides and another long walk on the beach!

We did a bit of window shopping and then had some food before we left. There are a few restaurants nearby but I would suggest bringing loads of snacks! If you don’t manage to find anything decent then you can always eat food on the ferry!

We had a lovely day trip here and arrived back in London at 1am! It was tiring but I would definitely do it again! Le Touquet is a lovely Place and all the places I mentioned above are all in walking distance of each other!

The Postal Museum

We were invited to check out the Postal Museum today and while it was a gifted day out, I would most definitely return as a paying customer and here’s why..

We started off at the Mail Rail (which I had no idea even existed)

The Mail Rail was a driverless underground railway in London that was built for the purpose of transporting mail. It operated from 1927 until 2003. Today we got a chance to go on a educational historical ride to see what the Mail Rail was like!

This ride lasts around 15 minutes and very safe for those who were asking! It’s a little cramped in terms of leg space (the kids will be fine) but it’s just a reminder that the Mail Rail was designed for mail and not people 🤣 Through the use of a projector, you’re able to hear and see the people that use to work on it.

It was all so fascinating!

Mail Rail Exhibition

We then hopped off the ride and onto the Mail Rail Exhibition where little miss got to do some dress up, play games and learn every more about how the Mail Rail use to operate.

Sorted! The Postal Play Space

I had lots of questions about this. You can play here for 45 minutes which is more than enough time! The kids will tire themselves out by constantly delivering mail 😀

Little miss had such a great time dressing up and she took her job role very seriously 😀

The Postal Museum Exhibition

This part was really cool! Again we learnt so much. See the video above! I had no idea there were so many different types of post boxes!

Pneumatic systems (messages that travel by air pressure) is another thing I never knew existed! Little miss got the chance to send her very own message this way!

She also got the chance to create her own stamp which I think is just too adorable

We had such a great day out and as I said before, we will definitely be returning.

Where?

15-20 Phoenix Place, London WC1X 0DA.

The nearest Tube stations are Farringdon, Russell Square, King’s Cross and Chancery Lane.

King’s Cross St Pancras and Farringdon stations are both less than a mile away.

Routes 17, 19, 38, 45, 46, 55, 63, 341 stop near The Postal Museum.

How much?

Where can I find out more info?

On their website

The Worst Witch

We were invited to the press performance of The Worst Witch and it was just a great performance! Full of laughs, singing and MAGIC!

With this being a show about magic, I was interested to see what the special effects would be like and they were really good! It was enough to have my little one at the edge of her seat! She was convinced it was all very real!

It was all super magical! From the set design, to the flying broom sequence! This is a show any child would love!

The singing in this show was brilliant! All the ladies had lovely voices that filled the theatre! The songs were all original too and very catchy! I hope they have a CD we can purchase!

At the start of the show the characters started off in the audience taking to us (in character of course) and we both really enjoyed that! Throughout the show they break the fourth wall which just makes the whole show even more hilarious!

What I really loved about this show was the little digs at Harry Potter! It made the whole audience laugh! I grew up reading both books and I love them both equally!

Overall I must say it’s a fantastic performance! The show is 2 hours and 10 mins long and I worried that my 3 year old would get bored but she was so in awe! It’s a fantastic show with fantastic actors! A must see and we will definitely be going again!

Age Recommendation: Most Suitable for Ages 7+

Performances: 1.30pm, 2.00pm 5.30pm & 7.00pm (Please check the website for full schedule details)  

Running Time: Approximately 2 hours 10 minutes including interval

Ticket Prices: From £20

Address: Vaudeville Theatre, 404 Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 0NH          

 Box Office: 0330 333 4814

The Worst Witch is on at the Vaudeville Theatre until 8th September 2019! More info can be found here

Lingokids

[AD]

My little girl has been using Lingokids for a whole now and I’m so impressed with the app! For those of you that don’t know, Lingokids is an English learning App for kids aged 2 – 8!

Now I do try to limit screen time so little miss only uses it for around 15-20 minutes a day which is recommended and I’m already seeing improvement when it comes to her writing the letters “a” “t” and “r”

My favourite thing about the app is that there’s so much content! Podcast, games, audiobooks and more! It’s all very educational as well as safe! Absolutely no adverts which gives you peace of mind! As mentioned above, my daughter has been practicing writing and she’s really improving.

She usually spends around 20 minutes a day learning how to trace letters on the app and then I give her a pencil and paper to continue practicing. She’s become more confident and I expect that she will be writing her own name very soon!

I’m also loving the Offline mode! The offline mode means that the app can work without an internet connection which is ideal for us as we are always on the go!

There is also a parents area where I can track her progress! So much thought, time and effort had been put into this app which is the reason why it is now our favourite! The reports are weekly and I can see how much she has been learning!

The app works with a monthly subscription but with the link provided below, you can download it and get a FREE trial

Download here

Club Petit Pierrot – Fun French For Children

My little one was given the opportunity to learn French for an entire term with Club Petit Pierrot – Fun French For Children

I’ve always been told that this is the best age for kids to learn a new language. She previously did a term of Mandarin but I felt that it was a little too hard for both of us 😀

I think learning a new language is so important especially if you like to travel like us! It also will bring amazing job opportunities for her in the future. I can’t tell you how many amazing teaching opportunities I’ve missed out on because I don’t speak a second language (I wish I paid more attention in Spanish and French in secondary school now lol)

My first thoughts about our first class

I was a intimidated by the fact the classes are completely in French. I can just about say “bonjour” 🤣 That quickly changed. With actions and the tone of voice, you can quickly start to understand what’s being said. Little miss on the other hand just threw herself into the classes! She took part in every activity and was completely confident!

What I liked about the classes

That fact that it was completely in French. I know I said at first I was intimidated by the fact I didn’t know any but I can see why it’s better than having the words translated for you. You get to hear and see the language being used in every day situations.

Parents are encouraged to join in. There’s a sign saying no mobiles which is great (I did of course use mine just for taking photos and videos for the purpose of this post) Kids learn more when we get involved too!

I also liked the structure of the class. There was a new topic every week but the structure was the same. Kids this age (she’s 3) need structure especially seeing as she is starting school soon. The classes seem very well planned too. As a parent you will be happy to know you’re getting value for your money as well as teachers that care about your child’s learning.

What little miss liked…

I asked her what she enjoyed about her lesson and she said she really liked her teacher which was super sweet to hear! It’s important to have great teachers when learning because then kids will of course enjoy the classes more!

What little miss learned…

She learned to say “hello” “thank you” and a few colours too! After a few sessions it was like she understood everything her teacher would say. “Sit down” “stand up” “listen” etc, she responded the correct way to all these commands.

Will we continue?

I would absolutely love for Naya to continue. She’s really enjoyed this term and I’ve seen great progress! There’s a possibility that she might be starting “big school” in September so we’re just waiting to hear about that before making any commitments.

I do highly recommend these classes and you can find out more information on their website here