Avoncroft Museum

working windmillWe’ve been to Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove a couple of times in the past for a birthday party for one of H’s friends.  They were a lot of fun and were themed around the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.  One or two of my pictures for this post might look a bit wintry and that’s because a few were taken on these previous visits, partly because we struggled to fit everything in on the day we last visited as there was so much to do.

black and white timber framed buildingAvoncroft is a museum of historic buildings. A lot of these buildings are of a rural nature like this handsome windmill, which still works and sometimes can be seen in action.  There are barns and other agricultural buildings, but also houses. They are set in lovely green grounds and there’s a really feeling of space and being in a country village when you are in the museum.  You wander from house to house, building to building, getting an insight into life in Worcestershire in times gone by.  There’s a chainmakers workshop and the nailshop, which reflect the industrial heritage of the area.

prefab church One of my favourites is the prefab church.  It’s amazing to think that you could just order a church from a catalogue and it would arrive ready for your congregation to assemble: a bit like going to Ikea to buy flatpacks I guess, but on a huge scale.  Sadly this church had fallen out of use and it was moved to this site to preserve it.

riding the train

On site too is the Bromsgrove Society of Model Engineers’ miniature railway, trains run every Tuesday (plus some other event days – we went on a Wednesday) and luckily we’d timed our visit perfectly to get a ride.  This is an extra 50p, but it’s a bit of fun and H certainly enjoyed his ride round the track.

We’d also were able to take in some of the summer holiday activities.  We tried pond dipping and bug hunting finding quite a range of creatures.  The pond is a really pretty part of the site and it is brimming with wildlife.  Bug hunting took us round the orchard and we found everything from bees to ladybirds, spiders to woodlice.  I am loving the sound of the brick making activity so we might have to find an opportunity to fit that in and I know H will want to try out archery.

phone boxThe museum has some interesting special collections including the National Telephone Kiosk Collection, which is made up of 32 phone boxes,  including every type used from 1912 right up till now.  Fans of Doctor Who will love the police boxes too and it’s very easy to get your picture taken with the tardis.

police box

Avoncroft is a great family day out.  It’s very easy to get to and there is good signage from the motorway junctions (we came in from junction 5 of the M5).  Don’t be put off by the approach through a sort of business park area.  There’s plenty of free parking and the most amazing tea room (housed in an historic building of course).  I was sorry we ate too much packed lunch to fit a cake in as they look fantastic.  If you bring a picnic there are quite a few picnic tables and lots of spots to spread a picnic blanket.  There’s also a nice children’s playground and lots of grounds to run around in.  There’s enough to occupy you for a full day’s visit.  There are bits where you could spend a little time indoors, if there was a rain shower, but it’s better on a dry or mostly dry day as you have to move from building to building.

Win Littlest Pet Shop- Little Pets, Big Adventures on DVD

Littlest Pet Shop DVD

Discover a world of tiny marvels as Littlest Pet Shop- Little Pets, Big Adventures debuts onto Digital Download and DVD on 3rd August.

Blythe Baxter and her dad Roger move into a new apartment in Downtown City above the Littlest Pet Shop. Remarkably Blythe discovers that can she can speak to the animals that live in the Pet Shop and beg her to help them save the Pet Shop from going out of business.

Blythe races against the clock to save the Pet Shop, not only for her new furry friends but also for the Pet Shop’s eccentric owner, Mrs. Twombly. Using her talents as a fashion designer Blythe organises a fashion show featuring the animals modelling her original designs. Can Blythe’s fashion flair save the business?

This looks like a really fun DVD and readers can win a copy.  Enter via the Gleam widget below.

Competition Terms and Conditions

1. No bulk, third-party or automated entries.

2. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older.

3. The winners will be chosen by a random draw.

4. The winner will be notified by email and will have a week to claim their prize. Should they fail to respond within this time, an alternative winner will be selected.

5. Promoter is responsible for fulfilling the prize and full contact details of the winner will be passed onto the promoter.

6. Competition closes on 10 August 2015.
Littlest Pet Shop- Little Pets, Big Adventures on DVD

Week 31 of 2015

father son cooking on campfireIt’s been a great week overall.  We’ve been out and about a bit more, but we have still had some relaxing days. Last weekend we went to visit H’s grandparents as we were going to a blogging event that was just a few minutes drive from their house.  We’d been to Conkers before, but this time we got to take part in a fun day of orienteering, den building, campfire cooking and more.

in the garden in mum's welliesSunday to Tuesday were fairly quiet days as the weather wasn’t so good.  When we did venture outside it was either into the garden or the local park.  Why is it that nearly every time he’s in the garden H has to wear my wellies?

owl outside the townhall

Wednesday saw us at the local library for a ‘Mad Science’ session which involved one child hurling a bucket of water around near all the books, but the science worked and all was dry.  Then after lunch we headed into town to a see The 3 Little Pigs at the Town Hall.  That was a lot of fun and we got to do a bit of owl spotting along the way.

On Thursday we met up with lots of mums with children in a local park.  It was organised by Brummy Mummy of 2 and it was a big success.  H made some new friends and enjoyed running around the park playing football and exploring the playground.

Hanbury Hall 50 thingsFriday was another highlight.  We went to Hanbury Hall, which is a favourite of ours, and was H’s choice from a range of options that I offered him.  It’s a local National Trust property and the one we are most likely to visit because it’s easy for us to get to.  This year they had a number of things that you could do on site that were part of the 50 Things to do before you’re 11¾.  One of those things was pond dipping.  Now this was H’s third time pond dipping within a month and he’s becoming quite the expert now.  We caught a water beetle, a water boatman and a leech. 

Games From Megableu

cobrattackOver the last few weeks we have been trying out a selection of games from Megableu.  We got a few games to try, but I’m going to tell you about our favourite: Cobrattack.  This game is a bit like the playground game of Statues (can’t remember what we used to call it – it was something else I think), but combined with the traditional motif of a snake in a basket.

The players have to try to get emerald in the centre of the basket without being spotted and caught by the cobra.  To do this they have to move closer when the eyes are green.snake charmers basketBut when the eyes are red you have to stand still and don’t let yourself be spotted moving.  You can set the game to different difficulty levels depending on who is playing or how good they are.  You could also have different settings for older children or adults.

red eyed cobra
standing still to avoid being caught

Once you have been caught moving often enough the cobra will escape or if you have been successful you will have managed to get the emerald out before you were spotted.  As you can imagine this is a lot of fun.  A child can practise on their own too, although it’s much more fun to play as part of a group. We had loads of laughs playing it.

There are plenty of other fun Megableu games to take a look at too.  We also enjoyed Ghost Hunt and Creepy Hand.