Sunday, 28 August 2016

Great day out at Hirsty's Family Fun Park

Not far from us is Hirsty's Family Fun Park, this is situated along Great Yarmouth Road in Hemsby. Very easy to find, it roadside so you can't miss it.
Formally known as Hemsby Mega Maze, it is well known and loved by locals and holiday makers alike.

Hirsty's Family Fun Park is open 7 days a week 10am-6pm, through to 4th September and then reopens over the October Half Term for Hirsty's Halloween Hoot!

A full list of prices can be found here but we paid £25 for a family ticket which admits either 2x adults and 2x children or 1x adult and 3x children and also includes a Maze map. The children were also given a card which they needed to collect stamps on around the two mazes.

We arrived shortly after 11am and met our friends there. There was no queue at the entrance and we purchased our tickets and were given our wristbands. We had never been before so wasn't entirely sure whether there were any additional costs inside and we were pleasantly surprised to find that everything was included (except refreshments.)

As you enter the park via the Admissions hut you go into a large open grassy area which is fully fenced around the perimeter (I would still keep a careful eye on younger children mind you!)

This area has trampolines, Welly Crazy Croquet, a giant haystack, Go Karts, play areas, a sand pit, tyre swings, zip wire, tractor rides, a chance to meet Farmer Hirst, a large rope climbing frame and that's all before you even reach the two mazes!

Whilst the kids ran off to explore and play, us adults found a picnic bench and settled down for a chat.

Emily conquered the Haystacks in record timing and did a celebratory dance on the top!

After the children (and Dads) had been playing for about an hour and a half we were beginning to feel pretty hungry (all that fresh country air!) The small Cafe at the Fun Park sells a selection of food and drinks; burgers etc and these were reasonably priced, I have since heard from someone that the burgers were pretty tasty too! But we had taken picnics along which the Fun Park happily encourages.
Once we had filled our tummies it was time to tackle the Mega Maze!

We entered the maze and were determined to complete it without using the map. We started off with a lookout from the wooden bridge, from here we could see the vast expanse of the maze and we were surprised at the size of it, you couldn't actually see the furthest ends! There are 10 stamps to collect in the maize maze and we quickly found our first two, these were numbered 9 and 10. We continued on, eager to find the others just as quick, convinced that this was going to be fairly straight forward. 

How wrong were we!!!

After quite a while we ended up back at the entrance. Hmm, we'd gone wrong somewhere so back in we went and headed off in another direction, with luck we happened upon stampers 1 and 2. now we were getting somewhere!
By now we had been in the maze for about an hour and wishing we had taken more drink in with us. Oops! 

We continued on, the girls were enjoying the walk and picking corn along the way, leaving themselves a trail of leaves so that "we would know if we had already been that way" problem was I think everyone was doing that haha!
By now we were approximately 2 hours in the maze and were beginning to give up hope of finding the other stamps. We ended up in the furthest corner alongside a wire fence. Here we decided to open the map and Chris pondered for a few minutes before figuring out where we were. 
From then on it was easy sailing. We quickly found the remaining stamps and within half an hour we were finished!
Definitely worth using the map.

By now the adults were worn out so we found a table and had some refreshing drinks from the shop whilst the children tackled the small wooden maze by themselves. There were a couple of stamps within that and then the others they had to find around the play equipment. They were dashing around and finally completed these. They could then collect their sticker and sweetie prize! They were very pleased that they had succeeded!

We had to leave at 4pm as we had evening plans to get ready for but could have easily stayed longer playing, perhaps even having dinner here too. All in all we had a fantastic time at Hirsty's Family Fun Park and we would highly recommend that you visit before they close for the summer, or visit for some Halloween fun! We are sure to return next summer for another great day out.

One thing that pleased us the most was that the fun park doesn't have a gift shop where the kids would be wanting to buy stuff. There were no electronics, everything was just good, old-fashioned fun! 

For more information check out their website or follow them on Facebook.

Make sure you pay them a visit soon.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Mollie's Pastel Art Class

On 28th July my Grandma and Grandad took me to an art class in Tiptree, Colchester. The class is called Portraits in Pastels and is run by a lady called Alison Burchert. This was part of my birthday present and I had been excited for weeks about going. I really want to be an artist when I am older.

The class ran from 12.30-2.30pm and they also offer an earlier class 9.30-11.30am, they run on selected dates through the school holidays and cost £20 per person. The children's classes are for ages 6-14 year olds (6 years olds must have a grown up stay with them.)

At the start of the class Alison introduced herself to us all and talked about what we were going to do. She showed us the materials we were going to be using and we all sat around a huge work area.
There were 10 of us altogether, mostly children but a couple of adults too, my Grandad joined in with us as he loves art too.

We got to choose an image to work on, I choose a golden retriever. 

The image is printed in grey scale on velour paper which is specifically for pastel art work. At the end of the work area there were trays of pastels to choose our colours from.
With the large picture we were also given small photos of the same image but taken from different stages of adding colours.

We then got started. Alison went round the table during the session helping us when we needed it. I felt quite nervous to start with as I really didn't want to ruin my picture but I soon settled into it.

To start with we had to add the black details and then the white highlights. It was surprising how quickly the image started to take shape and look more "real."

My Grandad also took part and he had chosen a Clown fish picture, it looked like Finding Nemo!

After doing the black and white it was time to start adding the colour to the picture. 

Then the picture really started to take shape and look real! I was so happy with how it was starting to look. 

Alison showed us how to add some colour to the background. This helped to make the picture stand out and also hide any finger smudges!

I was so proud of what I had made and I just couldn't stop smiling. I couldn't wait to get home to show Mum, Dad and Emily!
At the end of the course we were able to buy clip frames, pastels and bits to use at home. I got another velour picture to do at home and have started work on it already. I'm just doing it a little bit at a time so I don't rush it. 

If you want to see me at work then check this out!

I really hope you enjoyed reading about my art class and I think you should give it a try! Alison also runs these classes as birthday parties which I think would be amazing! (I might have to have a chat to Mum and Dad!) More information can be found on Alison's website or the Portraits in Pastels facebook page.

Thanks for reading and please share!


Friday, 12 August 2016

Insect Lore Butterflies by Emily

For my birthday this year I got some vouchers to buy an Insect Lore Living Butterfly set. I was really excited for this as i have been wanting to get one for a long time.
The Butterfly Garden set comes with everything you need to "grow you own" butterflies! Which you can see if you click on the link.
I was excited to open the caterpillars and was surprised at how small they were!

I read through the instructions and it said that they needed a light room but not in direct sunlight so I put them on my desk in my room, away from the window.

After a few days the caterpillars had grown twice as big and were moving quite a lot during the daytime, i liked to watch them. The brown stuff at the bottom of the tub is their food and they started to dig their way into it making it look like crumbs.

After about 10 days the caterpillars were pretty big. They started to make their way up to the lid and by the time I had had them for 14 days they were cocooning on the top.

One of the cocoons didn't attach and fell to the bottom but when they had all cocooned Mum helped me to remove the lib from the tub and push it into the cardboard holder that came in the set.

We then put this into the net and laid the loose cocoon in the bottom to see if it would hatch.

Over the next 10 days not much happened but then I started to notice the cocoons getting darker. Then one morning I woke up and checked and found 2 of the butterflies had emerged!

I read up on the internet what food I should put in the net and found that they liked oranges and some flowers. We have a big bush in the front garden with big purple flowers and that always has butterflies on it so I guessed that they like it. So I cut a few blooms of flowers off and cut an orange in half and put them in the net. They went to both of these but they definitely liked the flowers the best, you could see their black tongue uncurling and going into the flower.

The other cocoons hatched over the next two days except for the loose cocoon. It was then time to release them in the garden. It was a nice sunny day so I was pleased that they wouldn't get wet!

The butterflies were quite tame and I managed to get two to sit on my hand when getting them out. The off they flew.

I put the loose cocoon into a lily flower to see if it would hatch outside. When i checked the next day it was gone so I hope it did.

I loved watching the caterpillars and butterflies. It was really interesting to see them change. The good thing with the set is that next time I just need to order replacement caterpillars.

I hope you enjoyed my blog

Emily :

Monday, 8 August 2016

Waterbombs - Mini Blog

  We found these on offer a while back in Morrisons for £5 so just couldn't resist. We have seen these on Youtube (the girls are addicted to watching stuff on there!) 

Now we just had to wait for a sunny day!

Last Sunday was just perfect, so the girls excitedly grabbed their swimming costumes and got ready whilst I looked at the instructions.

The pack also contained two hose couplings, I wish I had found these when I filled the first bunch of balloons mind you! The balloons came in three bundles, ours contained white, pink and purple.

I lined a box with a towel for the balloons to fall into and hoped that they wouldn't pop as they fell in.
Luckily it worked fine.
As you can see the balloons came attached in a bundle of approx 30, with elastic bands securing them to the tubes. These bands then worked to seal them as they fell off the tubes when filled. We just did the one bundle to start with and saved the others from friends coming over.

(The remaining used tubes worked well as a fun sprinkler afterwards too so don't throw it away!)

It was then time to enjoy a water fight!!!!

Great fun and Emily proved to have a pretty good aim!

The girls loved these balloons and we would definitely buy them again.
HOWEVER we did find that the purple balloons stained the towel so make sure you only use old towels that you don't mind being ruined!

 The girls verdict

Emily - I loved these balloons, 
We had loads of fun and 
it was funny getting 
Mollie on the head!

Mollie - I wish we could get these again 
as they were great fun.
I think they would be good
at a party or something.