Drayton Manor’s War of the Worlds Fireworks Spectacular Review


Last night I took my family along to the best firework display I’ve ever seen! Full of atmosphere, drama and sparkle it’s an event you really shouldn’t miss. But if that isn’t enough to convince you then read on for sneak peaks in today’s Drayton Manor’s War of the Worlds Fireworks Spectacular review.


We arrived shortly before 4pm and delighted at the Halloween decorations strewn around the park (nothing overtly scary for the little ones either :) ).firework9+


As the sun went down, the lights came on and a wonderful sense of atmosphere flowed thoughout. Some areas (like the zoo) shut at 5pm, but most of the rides have been covered with lights and can be enjoyed right up until 9pm. The carousel is always a firm favourite and creates a magical blur of lights and sounds in the evening.


Shortly after 7pm we made our way to the lake to wait for the firework display. The show started at 8pm but if you want a front place view you have to get there reasonably early. Although I should add that the fireworks are huge so you can actually see them from most of the park. There’s also a screen provided from one of the lawns which is great if you’re taking smaller children.


At 8pm Liam Neeson’s voice came over the speaker and we knew that the Fireworks were about to start. For those unfamiliar with the War of the Worlds musical, Liam provided the narration.

firework5+The fireworks began in stunning style as they shot high above the lake. All perfectly timed to the music it made for a truly breath-taking display.


Complementing this was a kind of smoke cloud set upon the lake showing images from the critically acclaimed musical, plus an alien spaceship to one side which was shooting lasers!


I’ve seen many fireworks over the years and certainly some very impressive displays but never such a perfectly choreographed event that utilises images, lasers, music and the most stunning and gigantic fireworks! I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit if you can get there.


The fireworks close out the 65th Anniversary season at Drayton in epic style and they continue tonight and tomorrow (31st Oct, 1st Nov, but fireworks at 7pm) so there’s still time to get tickets and book a visit to the event.


firework8+For more information and to book your tickets (you know you want too!) then pop over to Drayton Manor’s website here.



Finally a short video showing the amazing fountain that rested on the lake playing images from the War of the Worlds musical.





The Amazing Human Body Detectives by Maggie Li Review

bodydetectivesMy children are growing up and with age comes curiosity. Why do they dream, what is a brain and why are their eyes blue? These are all questions that my youngest has bombarded me with in recent times. Of course I answer him but sometimes relating biological facts in a way that a young child can grasp and understand is remarkably difficult. Thankfully I was recently sent a copy of The Amazing Human Body Detectives by Maggie Li to review and we’ve been perusing the pages to see if they can offer a better insight for a small inquiring mind.Photo 26-07-2015 14 27 50

Maggie Li’s brand new book is aimed at kids aged five and above and it’s packed with fun pictures that illustrate various parts of the human body, what they do and why they do it. On the front cover there is an embedded magnifying glass that can be used at various points throughout the book.Photo 26-07-2015 14 28 09

My son was initially quite reluctant to look through the book with me, he just didn’t seem overly interested for some reason. However once we’d removed the magnifying glass and opened the pages he was immediately hooked! He loved the images and none were scary or intimidating. He was so impressed with any new found facts we discovered that he took the book away to show to his siblings.Photo 26-07-2015 14 29 15

We didn’t read the book from beginning to end, I chose instead to let my son pick out the pages that appealed to him. This means we’ve still got plenty to explore as and when he wants too. I asked him why he likes the book:

‘Because it shows things that are inside you and because the pictures have lots of parts and I like the magnifying glass.’

Photo 26-07-2015 14 31 48Would I recommend this book?

If you are looking for a child friendly book, beautifully illustrated but still able to answer some complicated questions then this is a great book to purchase. Perfect for young ones to read with an adult or older kids to read on their own.

Could it be improved in anyway?

Quite a minor complaint but once the magnifying glass is removed from the front cover where it is secured with clear tape there is nowhere within the book to keep it. I can see this getting lost quite quickly. Although the book isn’t unusable without it.


Publisher: Pavilion Children’s Books (11 Jun. 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-1843652977

RRP: £9.99


Sea Stars at the National Sealife Centre, Birmingham

A brand new attraction called Sea Stars at the National Sealife Centre, Birmingham opened this Easter and my family popped along to meet the new nautical recruits. We were expecting a brilliant day out (who doesn’t love seeing wondrous sea creatures) but did the new exhibit and the centre as a whole live up to our expectations?vintage lobster dress

I actually had the perfect outfit lined up for my trip, this is a 1960s vintage Lobster and Crab dress with matching jacket! Unfortunately the weather was conspiring against us, it rained cats and dogs (or starfish and seahorse) the wind was intense and our sat nav basically lied. Thankfully the Sealife Centre is well signposted and we got there in the end. The centre is entirely indoors (and safe from the rain!) with a walkway design, which means you never feel crowded or hemmed in no matter how many people appear to be there.


These extremely cute penguins greet you as soon as you walk in. I could write a whole post just about these guys but they weren’t the ‘stars’ we came to see that day.sealifehellos

Along the walkway we met some exceedingly friendly fish and shrimp who posed when I pointed my camera in their direction. They were probably saying something akin to ‘No pictures!’ or maybe they just love the limelight. Although this little fellow in the next picture definitely looked nervous! scared fish

About half way round the centre you come to the brand new Sea Stars exhibit and it’s wonderful! Starfish have an enduring appeal all of their own, their shape and style sets them apart from other aquatic creatures. While their slow movement gives them the appearance of a laidback and likable nature. But little did we know they came in so many sizes and varieties! Here you can get up close and personal with some of the more unusual kinds. Pop your head inside a bubble to see starfish from a brand new perspective.sealife bubble

We marvelled at this fashion conscious fellow with his funky red spikes.funky starfishstarfish2

And if you ever wondered what a starfish feels like to touch (rubber if you ask me) you can even stroke one in a small pool.starfishmeet

If you thought starfish were small, then it’s time to think again, we met the ultimate King of the Starfish! I never dreamt they could grow so large. Giant starfish

There were many more varieties who resembled suns, sponges and much more! Information points were dotted around the animals and if you weren’t a fan of starfish before I can guarantee you will be by the time you leave, or at the very least you’ll have a whole new respect for them.

Just after Sea Stars we spied some amazing jelly fish floating about in their tanks. Considering the sting these chaps can inflict they really are very graceful.jellysealife

Extremely playful rays (I love those guys!).sealiferay

The cutest frog ever!


tiny frog

The Sealife Centre even have otters (who were fast asleep) but given that they were sleeping in the most adorable way I think we can forgive them taking a morning nap.

sleepy otter

Of course there’s also the famous sea tunnel where the public walk through a humongous tank filled with sharks, rays, fish and even a giant turtle.sealifetunnel



If I had to sum up a visit to the National Sealife Centre and what you should expect I would say this:
Take a camera (but no flash please, we don’t want to scare anyone) and expect to spend a good part of your day going ‘Ooooh, aaaaahhhh’ and pointing like a toddler at everything and anything. Give yourself time to enjoy the exhibits and read the information available (I’m very bad at this, I tend to skip about in sheer delight at the animals). Despite being a busy weekend I found the keepers and staff to be enthusiastic and helpful, we appreciated their work which meant we could meet these wondrous creatures from the deep.
We hope we can go back soon and watch some of the animals for feeding time or other displays, but I’d definitely recommend a visit. I don’t think this one is just for the kids either, adults are equally pleased by the displays. Of course that means I’ll have to find a new sea themed outfit….
For now I’ll leave you with a short video showing some of the fun we had 