In spite of the fact that Cadbury World is less than an hour away, I haven’t been there for many years and the children; who are all addicted to Cadbury chocolate (who isn’t?) were very excited on Sunday as we set out to experience the wonders of the Christmas Celebration weekends.
As you arrive through the doors, you can see that Christmas has definitely come to Cadbury World with a huge Christmas tree that looks like it is made of chocolate (I think that would just be too tempting if it was), a cracker exploding with chocolate bars and the Chuckle Beans popped out for a photo too.
Our first stop of the day was a visit to Father Christmas who has flown all the way from the North Pole to see children in his magical grotto. Father Christmas was lovely and even managed to get a smile out of the ‘boy who is too old to see Father Christmas’. We all had our photo with him, which I liked as I don’t think I have ever had my photo with Father Christmas before and the children were all given a gift. You have to pay an additional amount for the photo and there are a range of gift options too.
Snow White and The Chuckle Beans is the Cadbury World Christmas pantomime and it is a funny and engaging panto that we all enjoyed. At only 40 minutes, it is perfect for little children and the cast were really funny; especially Muddles; Snow White’s companion, who was very entertaining and not forgetting the Chuckle Beans who also make an appearance in the show.
There was a great deal of talk about chocolate in the car on the way and as soon as we got out of the car, the children all took a deep sniff and declared that they could smell chocolate in the air. Not surprising as Cadbury World is the factory where the now world-famous chocolate is produced and packaged.
Even without the additional Christmas attractions, there is plenty to see and do at Cadbury World. The Cadbury World Experience is a tour through different interactive areas that take you on a tour of the history of chocolate and Cadbury. Starting in the Aztec Jungle where the cocoa tree was central to Aztec culture, you discover who was the first person to bring cocoa beans back to Europe, next stop is a life-sized replica of Bull Street where the first Cadbury shop opened. The Cadbury story is a fascinating one and both boys found it interesting to hear how the company started and grew and how Bournville village developed as a result of the Cadbury factory. Next was the science behind the chocolate and a very interactive film where you literally get shaken like a cocoa bean as you learn about the processes that cocoa beans go through to become chocolate.
You then do a tour of the factory and walk through all of the different areas and thanks to huge glass screens you can see the machines and people at work from the packaging through to the making and designing. The highlight of this part of the tour for the children (and the adults) is that not only do you get given bars of chocolate, but in the demonstration area, they do the intricate designing and show you how chocolate is tempered and put into moulds, you are presented with a little cup of heavenly melted chocolate and a choice of sweets to add to it. We all enjoyed this little bit of chocolate as we watched chocolate teapots and shoes being given the most amazing designs with white chocolate and admired some of the handiwork that is on display.
The Cadabra ride is a fun ride for children through a world of rather noisy chocolate beans and then you head off down memory lane as Advertising Avenue gives you the chance to reminisce about the many Cadbury adverts over the years and we had a long discussion about how Curly Wurly bars are so much smaller these days.
Outside, there is so much more to explore with an amazing 4D Chocolate Adventure which was one of my favourite bits of the day. The adventure starts as soon as you get in the lift (watch out for the naughty parrot) and you dive into a pot of chocolate and take a high-speed ride on a chocolate roller coaster. It is so amazing and so realistic and is the perfect thing to keep the bigger kids happy.
There is also a brilliant outdoor play area; the African Adventure Play Area which is split into two age appropriate zones and gives you a chance to take a breath while the kids run around, climb and whizz down the tube slides. There are also a couple of table tennis tables which caught my sons attention and they enjoyed a quick game before lunch.
No visit to Cadbury World is complete without a visit to the shop. It is amazing. It is the biggest Cadbury shop in the world and there are products there that are unique to the store along with lots of familiar products and some good bargains to be had too. The boys spotted the chocolate football before we had even gone into the shop and at 1.5kg, that is a serious amount of chocolate. Knowing how football obsessed my sons are, I had to buy that for them but I am not quite sure how we are going to eat it yet.
Cadbury World is a fantastic family day out. We spent the whole day there and all thoroughly enjoyed it. Whether you are looking for a festive day out or a day out for the whole family to enjoy, there is something for everyone at Cadbury World and I can’t recommend it enough.
The Christmas Celebration Weekends are running on selected weekends during November and December and prebooking tickets online is recommended to guarantee tickets . Find out more about Cadbury World here.
We were given free admission into Cadbury World for the purpose of the review. All opinions and images are my own.
Anyone who has read this blog will know that sport is a recurring theme in this house. A welsh rugby and football loving husband who has passed his sport obsessed genes onto our children and the two boys are completely obsessed with sport. When we were invited to experience a Match Day Coachclass with the WASPS rugby club I was very interested to find out more.
I was really impressed to discover that WASPS play an active role in their local community with their mission being;
“To educate, motivate and inspire through the power of sport.”
The WASPS Coachclass program which is sponsored by BRITA has been delivering rugby focused activity camps for over 12 years for children aged 6 to 17 through Premiership Rugby Academy. Through holiday and weekend camps, they offer children of all ages and abilities the chance to learn the latest rugby skills and techniques. The Match Day Coachclass is a ninety minute coaching session at a Community Match Day Training Venue followed by the chance to watch the WASPS in action in their home stadium.
When I told the male members of the family about the experience, I was quite popular I can tell you. They had the most amazing day. The Coachclass took place at local rugby club followed by a match against London Welsh at Adams Park Stadium in High Wycombe and I gave my husband the very important job of reporting back on the day’s events.
As a rugby fan and a fan of WASPS I was thrilled to be able to take my sons to a WASPS Match Day Coachclass. The morning was held at a local rugby club and just like every other rugby club it was friendly welcoming and had a wonderful community feel.
Both of my sons commented on how friendly everyone was. The coach for the class was friendly and supportive. He had a great manner with the children and managed to engage all ages and all abilities. R has just began playing rugby and learnt a lot from the session. L is a rugby fanatic but lacks confidence to play I am sure the Coachclass has changed that. Lots of mud and dropped balls but a great experience.
We were then lucky enough to watch WASPS play London Welsh the atmosphere was fantastic with WASPS playing their final game before moving to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. R could not understand how both home and away supporters sat by each other. I had to explain that rugby fans are happy to sit by each other and discuss the strengths of both team. Thank you WASPS coach class and BRITA for inspiring both my sons to play a sport that teaches so much about fair play and engenders a wonderful sense of community. I may even put my boots back on.
When the boys came home, they were buzzing from the whole experience and I am really impressed not only by the WASPS commitment to children and the local community but also by offering experiences like this which really do inspire kids and encourage them to play a sport. The combination of the Coachclass session followed by watching a match is a fantastic idea. WASPS are moving to their new home at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry in a few weeks and the boys were so excited by their day, that we have booked to take them to the WASPS first game at the new stadium. L is already counting down the days, hours and minutes.
BRITA are the sponsors of WASPS Community Foundation and you can find out more about the Coachclasses here.
We were given a complimentary Coachclass session and tickets to watch the match for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.
My daughter has wanted to do a Build a Bear for two years. Luckily, we don’t live that close to one so it is only when we visit larger shopping centres that she becomes obsessed with the idea again. I have avoided it until now as it is rather expensive but a couple of weekends ago, we went Christmas shopping in Bristol with my mum and there they were; Elsa bears from Frozen.
Frozen is the thing in this house as I’m sure it is in houses of little girls everywhere. She was so taken with this bear that I didn’t have the heart to say no again and it is nearly her birthday, so I agreed that she could build an Elsa bear as an early birthday present.
It was lovely to finally let her do the Build a Bear, they do the whole process very well and make the children feel very special. We arrived at the sound bit of the process and the kind lady offered to put ‘Let it go’ in the paw so that when it is squeezed, it sings. What a lovely idea. I thought. How wrong was I?
Elsa was ‘magically’ transformed into a proper teddy bear and then we had to choose an outfit. A and I had a long
argument discussion about the necessary accessories; she would have bought the whole shop plus the very nice wardrobe that you can also purchase and we had some very strange conversations;
“Does the bear really need to have pants?”
“Yes mummy, she does. I have to wear pants, so she does too. And she is not ‘the bear’, she is Elsa”
That told me then didn’t it. So we added pants to the list.
“I am not buying a wig!” (For the Ana and Elsa dolls there are plaited wigs which is my opinion is wrong. Bears with wigs??)
“But she has to have the wig mummy, she won’t be real if she doesn’t have a wig!”
“Erm, she isn’t real, she is a bear. Bear’s don’t wear wigs.”
Cue puppy dog eyes filling with tears. We bought the wig.
She loves Elsa bear more than anything in the whole world and takes it everywhere. I was so right about the wig, it doesn’t stay on however hard we try, so it has been abandoned. The downside of this new addition to our house is the song. It plays constantly. Often it is A who squeezes the paw and she loves to sing along, clutching Elsa as she sings. Other times, it gets knocked or sat on. The worst is when she is in bed. She has to take Elsa to bed with her of course but then when she rolls over it sets the song off. After three nights where everyone in the house was woken up by ‘Let it go’, we were all ready to let the bear go, out of the window. We now have to remember to sneak in once she is asleep and move Elsa onto the floor
It’s that or an emergency operation where Elsa bear’s arm might have to be amputated for medical reasons (my sanity). These things always seem like a good idea, don’t they?
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I have so many photos that I do not know what to do with them. I have pretty much tried everything; framed photos, collages, photo books, canvasses, photo gifts. I love my collection but space is an issue and I often have to take much loved photos down to make way for newer ones. When Frame Again asked if I would like to do a review, I jumped at the chance as this offered a new way of displaying photos and I have to say that I love them.
Frame Again take your digital photos and put them into a colourful plastic square frame (the photo size is 14cm x 14cm). The frames come in a range of colours and you can choose which colour you want for the frame base (the colour on the outside and inside of the frame) and for the frame ring. This means that you can upload your photo first and then choose colours that work well with the colours in the photo or you can choose photos that match colours in your home. I chose two of my favourite photos from the last few months; a photo of the boys at the Liberty Stadium when they went for their Swansea City Mascot Day and the three children on their first day at school in September.
Uploading your photos and choosing your frame colour is simple and it only takes a few minutes to order the frames. You can upload photos from your computer or from Instagram which is a great feature as I am a big Instagram fan and the photos fit perfectly in the frames. Delivery was quick and each frame comes well packaged in individual boxes.
The frames are solid and great quality and the photos are kept firmly in place behind glass by the magnet system inside the frames. It is possible to change the photos.
Apart from the funky, modern design of these frames, the magnets are my favourite thing about Frame Again frames as they are designed to lock together, meaning that you can put them anywhere and you could create amazing colourful displays with lots of different Frame Again frames all put together. Genius. You can also hang the frames on the wall if you prefer. If you take a look at the Frame Ideas on their website, you can get some ideas and inspiration.
I have a lovely space on my desk and I would love to put a collection of these frames of all different colours there, I think it would look amazing. If you love photos or are looking for a great present ideas you need to go and take a look at Frame Again. They are currently priced at £9.99 (plus delivery, see website for details) which is great value and I know that I will be ordering a few more.
We were sent a voucher to cover the cost of ordering two Frame Again Frames for this review. All opinions are my own.