Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas Review


Drayton Manor reopened yesterday resplendent in Christmas finery. We’d been counting down the days (in a super excited style) and can now finally bring you our Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas review.DChris

We arrived just after lunch and made our way through to Thomas Land. Everywhere you turn there’s snow (the non-melting, permanently fluffy variety) glittery lights and Christmas music.DChris4

The kids were particularly excited to try out the indoor ice-rink (called Slide & Glide) and had oodles of fun whizzing (& falling) round the rink. It isn’t a real ‘ice’ rink but one of the plastic gliding kind (I’m not sure if there is a technical name for that kind of rink) but that did nothing to damper their enthusiasm. The ice-rink is one of the few attractions that has an extra charge (£2 per person for 15mins) but it’s certainly a lot of fun.DChris3

Thomas the Tank has had a festive makeover and his track has been strewn with snow. Take a trip on his carriages and you might even catch a glimpse of Santa’s reindeer at the farm park!

The 4d cinema is playing a special 15 minute version of the Polar Express complete with snow that splashes you in the face!

Then every half an hour the large Christmas tree at the centre of the park plays a wondrous light show which looks fantastic once the daylight fades (see the vid below).DChris6

Of course the main event has to be a trip to see Santa in his Castle of Dreams! We had a bit of a wait but thankfully the queue has overhead heaters and there are TV screens playing Christmas songs to keep you amused.

Once at the head of the queue we were greeted by a jolly elf who gave each of the kids a fabulous medal from Santa. Then we went into the castle to meet the big man himself.DChris9

After some very important present talk, Santa took a pic and gave each child a giftbag (I’ll leave the contents a secret!)

After saying our goodbyes (until Christmas Eve) we left to view the pics. Incidentally all photo orders come with a free digital download which I thought was a really nice touch.DChris8

Before the exit there’s an area with seats, various props and crafts, there’s even some Princesses sitting on thrones!DChris2

But our day wasn’t over yet, we made our way to the lake and waited with anticipation for the festive fireworks. I love the fact that they end every day with this festive display, it really ends your time there with style.DChris10

Given that we had high expectations before our visit (which is sometimes a recipe for disaster) we loved our day at Drayton’s Magical Christmas. There’s a fabulous atmosphere in the park and despite the larger rides being closed there’s so much on offer (we missed the snow shows and various performances due to lack of time). See my previous post to get an idea of what else there is to see, I’ve also made a little video which gives you a sneak peek of features like the Christmas tree light show.

The event is on until 31st December For full details and to book tickets visit Drayton’s website.





Mike The Knight: A Very Knightly Christmas DVD Review

A Very Knightly ChristmasMy kids are all dedicated Mike the Knight fans so when we heard there was a brand new festively themed DVD called Mike The Knight: A Very Knightly Christmas’ we were first in line to review it!

Mike the Knight: A Very Knightly Christmas

‘It’s Christmas Eve in Glendragon and one of Santa’s reindeer is sick. Mike makes it his mission to save Christmas and does everything he can to nurse the reindeer back to health, making sure he is included on Santa’s ‘nice’ list. Meanwhile, Mr Cuddles is sent on a wild toboggan ride, Squirt gets stuck in a giant snowball and Mike learns that Vikings like to have fun in the snow too.’

This brand new DVD features six fun and festive episodes that my children thoroughly enjoyed. For a parent it is a little hard watching them one after the other (or is that just me?) but if a little quiet time is needed while you sneak away to wrap some presents then I think this is sure to suit. Mike saves Christmas in interesting and ingenious ways as one of Santa’s reindeer gets sick or he’s accidentally spread presents far and wide. As is usual with the program each episode has a happy and heart-warming conclusion. My youngest knight had this to say about the DVD:

Sir N – ‘I love it, it’s cool and very nice too!’

Even better there is also a special bonus DVD in the pack called:

Mike’s Hidden Treasure

This bonus disc contains six additional episodes which are sure to delight Mike fans far and wide. They are not festively themed in anyway but you might well find that a relief!

The RRP is £12.99 but if you’re quick I saw it priced at just £3 on Amazon.co.uk. I think this DVD set would make a great stocking filler or child occupier as it contains over two hours of footage.


For more details about Mike the Knight and his chivalrous adventures visit him online at www.miketheknight.com.


Christmas Favours

Favourpic1At this time of year many of us find our diaries full to bursting with social occasions. Whether that means large scale parties or small family gatherings, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get creative and make Christmas favours to give any guest that comes your way.

As a family we make Festive Favours to place in the centre of the table. Cute little cones that are incredibly quick to make and can be filled with anything you like. I fill mine with after dinner mints, but they’d look just as good filled with sugared almonds or chocolate coins. They’re also simple enough that children can make them and have huge versatility when it comes to design. The only limit is your imagination!


You Will Need:

Card to make the cones

Paper, ribbon, lace and/or ric rac to decorate the cones

Narrow ribbon or string

PVA glue

Tissue paper



Step 1

First you need to make a template for the cones. I did this by drawing around a medium sized plate onto packing paper. The template needs to be 1/3 of the total circle, the easiest way to find this is by folding the circle in half and then each half into 3. This will divide the circle into 6 sections and you want to cut out 2 of these sections which equal 1/3 of the circle.


Step 2

Using the new template as a guide, cut out several flat cones from coloured card. I used green card but any colour would work just as well. I managed to cut 3 cones out of an A4 piece of card.

Step 3

Now comes the fun part, decoration! Mine are decorated with handmade paper bought in Venice, but wrapping paper, magazine cut-outs or collages all work beautifully. If your children are helping how about getting them to decorate some paper with festive images or stamps.

Spread a layer of glue over your flat card cones and stick to the paper of your choice. Once dry, cut the shape out again.


Step 4

Take each decorated shape and roll into a cone. The two flat sides should overlap slightly and can be glued or taped together.

Next make a small hole in either side of the cone, this is to attach a ribbon for hanging later. I used a single hole punch, but any sharp object should work..


Step 5

Finally add some finishing touches to the cones, I used lace, ric rac and sequins. Glitter glue looks fabulous, but anything will work.


Then thread a piece of ribbon through the holes on each cone and tie ready for hanging. Place a little tissue paper into the base of each cone to act as a cushion. Fill up with your chosen sweets and they’re ready to go.

I like hanging the cones from a mug tree. I bought this from a local charity shop and painted it green. Then I decorated a tin can with Christmas paper and stuck the mug tree on top. You can even glue Christmas decorations onto the tin, making it into a lovely table centre. Of course you could hang them from anything you can think of. I add more cones as necessary while my guests take their yummy favours home.Favourpic8

I originally wrote this tutorial for the Boden Community which has now become the Boden Blog. You can find it if you look through the archives but it’s much quicker to share it direct with my readers over here. :)