Holiday flight essentials

I don’t know about you, but I always wish I’d packed a few extra things for a flight. So this year I’m going to be super organised and make a list. These are my Top 5 essentials for a long haul flight, please comment to add to this list.

1. A Portable charger for the electronic devices is so handy when you have children or just want a bit of ‘me’ time. The more powerful chargers can charge an iPad a 2-3 times. You can also share it around the family, getting everyone up to 30-40% charge, before a family war breaks out while waiting for someone to get to 100%!

I like this Ravpower one which can charge an iPhone 7, 9 times. Cost £36.99
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2. Baby wipes and bags

Very handy for cleaning your aeroplane table, your hand, messy children. I read somewhere that plane tables are not very clean so a few cleaning wipes in a disposable bag might be handy too.

3. Download your entertainment onto your electronic devices. There are various ways to do this including iTunes, sky, amazon prime and Netflix. We tend to download a couple of movies, audio books, games and a holiday playlist. There are some great online games where we can play together. Exploding Kittens is s very captivating and funny game. Essentially it’s a card game in real life and also an app game. The benefit of the app game is that multiple people can play on their own device.

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4. Take a variety of games to play. Dice and card games are great for this. Our family favourites are:

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  • In Zombie Dice, you are a zombie. You want braaains – more brains than any of your zombie buddies.
  • The 13 custom dice are your victims. Push your luck to eat their brains, but stop rolling before the shotgun blasts end your turn!
  • Ages 10+
  • 2 or more players
  • 10 to 20 minute playing time
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Exploding Kittens is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.

In this highly-strategic, kitty-powered version of Russian Roulette, players draw cards until someone draws an Exploding Kitten, at which point they explode, they are dead, and they are out of the game — unless that player has a Defuse card, which can defuse the Kitten using things like laser pointers, belly rubs, and catnip sandwiches. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens.

Star realms
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  • Star Realms Deckbuilding Game is fun, easy to learn, and keeps advanced players on their toes
  • From the renowned White Wizard Games Studio
  • Great fun for the entire family
  • Includes extensive game explanation and game rules
Poker dice
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These poker dice combine the fun and excitement of Poker and Yahtzee. Poker dice are dice which, instead of having number pips, have representations of playing cards upon them. Poker dice have six sides, one each of an Ace, King, Queen, Jack, ten and nine, and are used to form a poker hand. The classic poker dice game is played with 5 dice. Each player has a total of 3 rolls and the ability to hold dice in between rolls. After the three rolls the best hand wins. Five dice come in this lot.
We also take a dice rolling mat from http://www.allrolledup.co.uk/ which saves your dice rolling down the plane aisle and tripping up passengers.

5. Notebook and pens/pencils

Great for jotting down places to visit but also to play games such as noughts and crosses, hangman and battleships. Great for kids to draw or write down interesting things they have seen. I plan to create a holiday bullet journal, so taking a nice notebook with thicker paper and nice felt pens.
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Photo from Pinterest Honey.owl

And the obvious sweets to stop your ears popping. I find lollipops are best for this for kids and adults alike. Sweets tend to have disintegrated by the time I get to the ear popping bit.

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‘The Den’ has a new weekend venue

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The Den board game cafe has some exciting news! They have a new venue open every weekend from 12pm to 8pm. It’s located in St John’s Street, next to the BP garage in a building called ‘Temple City’. They have close to 300 games , lots of these you won’t find in stores. Some are new kickstarter games. The owners are very knowledgeable and will help you learn the rules.

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On a Sunday, there is a car boot sale within walking distance. It’s a perfect day for us, a stroll around the car boot sale followed by a ‘Subway’ from the garage next door to The Den and an afternoon of playing games.

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We played a car racing game last week which was fun and easy to learn.

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Saturday 7th April activities

The Den board game cafe
Paston Scout hut, Peterborough
http://www.theden.cafe
12:30-5
Over 150 board games and delicious snacks.

Enjoy lunch and a well earned rest if you’re out doing some shopping. This isn’t far from the centre of Peterborough and has car parking spaces. It’s great to try some new board games with experts on hand to show you how to play.

Lego Batman Movie 7pm
Travelchoice pedal powered indoor cycle cinema
Nene Park Academy

Join Travelchoice on Saturday 7th April at Nene Park Academy (Oundle Rd, Peterborough PE2 7EA) for a pedal powered indoor cycle cinema. In addition, attendees can pedal power a delicious smoothie. Not only will this be a great evening for all the family, it is also completely free!
The event will show ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ and is due to start at 7pm. The aim of the event is to add a fun and engaging element to cycling and sustainable transport, so please leave the Batmobile (your car!) at home and walk, cycle, get the bus or car share to Nene Park Academy!
Spread the word, we look forward to seeing you and working together to pedal power the big screen!

Easter Saturday, Sunday, Monday ideas

I’m always looking for ideas last minute. Here are a few ideas for the weekend if you’re a bit like me.

Saturday 31st March

The Key theatre
Coco the movie
11am and 2pm
£3
https://vivacity.org/whatson/theatre-and-arts/coco/

Sacrewell EASTER EGG TRAIL
https://www.sacrewell.org.uk
(30 March – 2 April)
The Easter Trail (£3.50) will be on foot and take young adventurers across the whole site to find the hidden word. Meet the Easter Bunny in the mill garden and collect a chocolatey prize.
As well as the Easter Trail, you can meet the cade lambs at daily lamb shows, race against friends and family in the ‘Easter Egg Roll’, and get creative with some Easter crafts.

Sacrewell BREAKFAST WITH THE BUNNY
https://www.sacrewell.org.uk
Celebrate Easter at Sacrewell by having Breakfast with the Easter Bunny! He is taking time out of his busy schedule to join us on the farm between 9 – 10am on the 30th and 31st of March. For £5.95 enjoy some breakfast whilst meeting the Easter Bunny, followed by story time with the Bunny and his friends.

Bounce Peterborough -Easter egg hunt – 11-4
We have hundreds of mini eggs ready to hide around the park next weekend as well as larger Easter Eggs as prizes for our Bounce-Off’s!

Sunday 1st April

Burghley Easter Egg Hunt
https://www.burghley.co.uk/events/burghley-easter-egg-hunt/

The popular Burghley Easter Egg Hunt will once again be taking place in the Gardens of Surprise, from 11am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Follow the treasure hunt around the Gardens of Surprise and solve the riddle to claim your full size chocolate egg from the Easter Bunny. Parents are also asked to test their Easter knowledge to try and win an afternoon tea in The Orangery Restaurant. All entries will go in to the prize draw for a giant chocolate Easter Bunny.

Admittance is free of charge with a House and Gardens or Gardens only ticket and is free to our Friends of Burghley.
If you purchase a house and garden ticket, it automatically allows entry for the whole year, automatically becomes an annual pass. Annual Pass tickets will not be accepted for admission on this event day unless they are purchased on the day of the event or online etickets being used for the first time.

Tip – Buy a Garden or House and Garden ticket online, use it for the first time on Sunday and you’ll have free access to the Easter egg hunt. The Garden ticket is well worth getting as it includes the wonderful gardens of surprise all summer.

Exotic Pet Refuge
102 Station Road
PE6 8RH Deeping Saint James,
http://www.exoticpetrefuge.org.uk
Our First Open Day of this year is on Easter Sunday, 1st April! We have our Egyptian fruit bats on show now in a new Bat House and of course many more other animals for you to see

EASTER EGG TRAIL
https://www.sacrewell.org.uk
(30 March – 2 April)
The Easter Trail (£3.50) will be on foot and take young adventurers across the whole site to find the hidden word. Meet the Easter Bunny in the mill garden and collect a chocolatey prize.
As well as the Easter Trail, you can meet the cade lambs at daily lamb shows, race against friends and family in the ‘Easter Egg Roll’, and get creative with some Easter crafts.

Monday 2nd April

EASTER EGG TRAIL
https://www.sacrewell.org.uk
(30 March – 2 April)
The Easter Trail (£3.50) will be on foot and take young adventurers across the whole site to find the hidden word. Meet the Easter Bunny in the mill garden and collect a chocolatey prize.
As well as the Easter Trail, you can meet the cade lambs at daily lamb shows, race against friends and family in the ‘Easter Egg Roll’, and get creative with some Easter crafts.

Good Friday

A few activities to do today:

Dinosaur World Live looks great for younger children or under 10.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Broadway Theatre
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/thebroadway

Showcase cinema Peterborough

Peter Rabbit PG – lots of times available but I would recommend booking online to avoid disappointment.

Peter’s (voiced by James Corden) feud with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as their fight to gain control of McGregor’s coveted vegetable garden and the affections of the warm hearted animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne) extends to the Lake District and London.

Ready player one 12A
When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

Pacific Rim:Uprising 12A
In March 2018, John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) leads the cast of ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’, the follow-up to 2013’s cinematic epic of monsters and mechs, inspiring a new generation to become the biggest heroes to ever walk the earth.

Sacrewell Farm EASTER EGG TRAIL
(30 March – 2 April)
The Easter Trail (£3.50) will be on foot and take young adventurers across the whole site to find the hidden word. Meet the Easter Bunny in the mill garden and collect a chocolatey prize.
As well as the Easter Trail, you can meet the cade lambs at daily lamb shows, race against friends and family in the ‘Easter Egg Roll’, and get creative with some Easter crafts.
https://www.sacrewell.org.uk

Bounce Peterborough
Easter egg hunt and bounce session
http://www.bouncegb.com
We have hundreds of mini eggs ready to hide around the park next weekend as well as larger Easter Eggs as prizes for our Bounce-Off’s!

Legoland Hotel in November?

We had an idea of visiting the Legoland Windsor hotel while Legoland is closed. It was on our bucket list but we felt it was a bit too expensive at other times ie when legoland is open.

We got a really good deal for £111, which includes accommodation in the standard pirate themed room with free swimming and breakfast the following morning.

We will write a review when we get back. We are super excited.

The Den

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We have become regular visitors to The Den, a boardgame cafe. I am always looking for activities to do with my 11 year old to get him off electronic devices and I’ve found it at The Den for sure.

The Den website http://www.theden.cafe/

The Den is suitable if you’re looking for something to do with the family , a lover of board games old or new, or are just wanting to sit and enjoy a lovely relaxing lunch.

There is a collection of over 150 games ranging from classics such as Chess, Monopoly, Othello and even Mah-Jong to the newest of new, including JamSumo, Click Clack Lumberjack and Sub Terra.

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They open from 12pm until 5:30 pm and will be at:

Paston Scout Hut
1087 Lincoln Road
Peterborough
Cambridgeshire
PE4 6AH

Standard entrance prices, giving entrance and access to the games:

£3 for 12s and up
£2 for students showing an NUS or Student card
£1.50 for children over 5
Under 5s go in for free.
For entry, plus a sandwich or salad deal

£5 for 12s and up
£4 for students showing an NUS or Student card
£3 for children over 5
My 11 year old and I have visited on two occasions now and has become a family favourite. The cafe is open once per month at present and my son really gets excited when the day arrives. He wakes up at 6am, gets dressed and is super excited to be going.

The current location is handy for the city centre with ample free parking. There is a warm and welcoming feel to the event. We have always been greeted by one of the organisers and felt welcome.

We paid our £5 which included a sandwich and the entrance fee, then chose a table to sit. We were given a ticket to take to the counter to exchange for our food.

On each table there is a varied menu with sandwiches, toasties, cakes, drinks and snacks. There is always a ‘special’ of the day, which is a well thought out and delicious sandwich. There is a list also of sharing snacks that can be ordered for your table such as popcorn, cheese biscuits and pretzels.

 

We chose our sandwich, drinks and snack, then went up to the food counter to place the order. That’s it. Then we choose our first boardgame and started playing until our food was very kindly delivered to our table.

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The toasties we ordered were tuna mayo and ham and cheese. They arrived beautifully presented with a crisp, fresh side salad and pretzels. The toasties were freshly made to order and arrived lovely and hot. The ham in the ham and cheese toastie was lovely thick and flavoursome deli ham with a good quality cheese. The quality of the ingredients is superb, we always look forward to a Saturday lunch at The Den Cafe.

The drinks are pretty impressive too! I ordered a cola which came in a pint glass and only cost £1. The drink was cold, fizzy and tasted good. The milkshake was very impressive with a large swirl of cream. The photo here is of the milkshake but my son couldn’t wait for me to take a photo, he had eaten most of the cream already.
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At first my son was in complete awe of all the games on offer, neatly stacked on the table. Therefore we played a variety of games for about 5 minutes each. However Adrian kindly recommended suitable games, based on games we already liked. We then settled down to play JamSumo. This now is our favourite game we play each time. There are few rules and it’s great for children and adults to play together. On each table are 2 pegs with ‘help’ or ‘join us’ labels on them. I love this idea and we were lucky to be joined by 2 more gamers.

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Having more players made the game more interesting and fun, especially when you have to knock out another player, as it adds a whole new dimension to the game. For me, I didn’t want to knock out someone I had just met but on the other hand if I kept knocking my son out, I could see a family feud developing. Once we were in the middle of the game this was no longer a problem. The competitive streak was unleashed in us all and we were out to win. We managed to complete a whole game of JamSumo which wouldn’t have been possible if it was just me and my son.

 
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We then went into play another game recommended by Adrian called Tsuro. Adrian now knows the types of games we like (few rules) and this game was perfect again.

This game is based on the puzzles in children’s magazines where they follow a trail on the page to find the item, like a maze. Each player has 7 square tiles to place on the game board. Each tile has a piece of a pathway and the aim is to follow the pathway and stay on the board.
The competitive element is that another player may be in the pathway and your tile may cause them to go in s different direction. This was easy to follow but also competitive and hugely funny.
The boardgame geek explains it well https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/16992/tsuro

I can highly recommend The Den to everyone. It’s great for families to get out of the house and away from game consoles and electronic devices. It’s also great for adults, groups of friends or you could even come on your own as joining others is the aim of the cafe.

The upside is the chance to play games before you buy them. Games can be expensive and to be able to ‘try before you buy’ is such a good idea. I found the cafe to be very friendly and sociable. It’s a social event where you can have a laugh, meet new people and enjoy a delicious Saturday lunch at such a low cost.

I have bought a few games that we played at the cafe and I know it’s a game we love and will play at home.

The next Den cafe is on the 4th November from 12pm to 5.30pm.

We’ll see you there x

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