This week, in the midst of a flurry of last minute frantic Christmas preparations, an oddity has appeared in Peterborough.

Bah Humbug! Fest is a welcome break from all things festive. With not a Christmas tree or even a mince pie in sight, families are invited to spend some time having (non festive) fun together. We were lucky enough to be invited to attend the opening and so I thought it might be helpful to offer a beginners guide to all thing Bah Humbug!

Here’s what you need to know

What is Bah Humbug! Fest?

Bah Humbug! Fest is comprised of over 40 fairground rides and attractions. Once your admission is paid the theory is that you can enjoy your 4 hour allotted slot – either 12 until 4pm or 5 until 9pm depending on your preference with very little if any additional expenditure. No festive decorations or songs will be around to irritate your senses here – if you recoil at the thought of hearing THAT Slade song one more time then this is the place for you!

But what is there to do?

I was a bit dubious about the poster. “Over 40 rides and attractions” was the claim and I wondered what the quality of those rides might be considering that they are all free and unlimited upon entry. So. Here is a list of just some of them:

For the younger guests
  • Thomas The Tank Engine ride
  • Runaway Train
  • The Fun House
  • Frozen Swing
  • Helter Skelter
  • Mini Miami
  • Flying Planes
  • Teacups
  • Wild West Coaster
  • Go-Gator
  • Mini Wheel

For the older ones
  • Dodgems
  • Freak Out
  • Superbowl
  • Waltzer
  • Miami
  • Extreme
  • Ghost Train
  • Crazy Bulls
  • Haunted House
  • Twist

A well as the fairground rides, Bah Humbug! Fest also offers a whole host of inflatables including some Wipeout style big balls! Moose spent ages playing on the inflatable slides and also the Toxic Labyrinth – think mini inflatable assault course. I don’t THINK it was actually toxic…

 

What age group would this suit?

I think 4 to 14 would be a safe bet here. There is plenty to keep this age range occupied at Bah Humbug! Fest. The younger ones spent ages playing on the inflatables. Especially the inflatable slides! It was great that the smaller rides were indoors too which offered a bit of protection against the colder weather for the younger children. Outside, the larger rides appealed to the older ones – so much so that Bess doesn’t appear in many of my pics. She disappeared to try out those bigger rides while I enjoyed the smaller ones with Moose.

What can I eat?

I always feel a bit apprehensive about the costs of refreshments at this kind of an event. This Mum needs her coffee – especially when I am in charge of some very excited small people. A cup of tea or coffee here will set you back £2. There is also a covered seating area if you get the chance to use it.

There were a few food vendors selling burgers and jacket potatoes which were priced at around £5 each. Pretty much what you would expect to pay I think. Donuts were 4 for £3.

There is no signage to suggest that picnics are unwelcome but it was really only toward the end of our session that the children seemed to feel like they might want to eat something. They were having too much fun to care!

How much will it cost me?

Individual tickets priced £20 per person

Family of 4 – reduced ticket price £70

Spectator only tickets priced £6

Under 3s go free

Tickets give unlimited access to a four-hour session at Bah Humbug! Fest

There are two sessions a day: 12-4pm and 5-9pm

 

What’s the parking situation?

It’s free and there is lots of it! Peterborough arena has 22,000 spaces. There is also a half hourly bus service nearby for non-drivers.

Is it really worth it?

£20 per ticket could be thought of as quite steep. Especially so close to Christmas. However, rides at a fairground can be anywhere between £2 and £5 per ride. That soon adds up!

Based on a cheap night at the travelling fair where rides are £2 a go, you would need to ride 10 times to get your moneys worth. My lot went on 10 rides in the first hour easily.

If your child isn’t really into fairgrounds then I would say it would be one to avoid. Maybe the panto instead? But if  like mine, your kids love rides then Bah Humbug! Fest will be a massive hit!

 


The winter months suck for colds and sickness bugs. This is not helped when your children appear to be complete magnets for them. No amount of hand washing reminders or dettol spraying door handles will ever stop it completely.

Moose was really excited to receive a special snot season survival kit this week. I mean, like, REALLY excited. Inside he found some Slurpees Snot Suckers, a hand warmer, a hat, a blanket, socks and a mug.

My 4 year old stared up at me with his big blue eyes and said

“Mummy, I’m so happy. I have never had my own mug in my entire life”.

Had I known how easily impressed he was I could have saved a ton of money on Christmas presents.. Thanks Bandai for making his dreams come true.

When Moose realised that the gross little fellas included in the package were sitting on tubs of slime, his interest was piqued.

Squish your Slurpees, push its nose/mouth into the slime and watch them suck it all up. Once your greedy monster pal has sucked up all the slime, you can squeeze them hard and watch them shoot it all back out.

Squeeze and spurt slime again and again, your Slurpee will never get bored.

Priced at less than £5 each the Snot Suckers make for really good pocket money toys or stocking fillers. Moose absolutely loves them. I was expecting the slime to leave a sticky residue but it wasn’t as messy as expected. It leaves your hands wet but still pretty clean.

As with a lot of Mums, I am not the biggest snot or slime fan but the kids love the stuff so what can you do? The Snot Suckers are suitable for ages 4 and up and are available from Smyths, The Entertainer, Argos and Toymaster..

We were sent product in exchange for our honest opinion

 

Let’s face it, Christmas is all about the children. With that in mind here is a selection of what we will be playing with this Christmas morning. Hopefully you will see something here to inspire you, it can be so hard to know what to buy!

Make your own Choc Ice with Mr Frosty, the coolest guy around!

This kit comes with everything to create your own Mr Frosty & Penguin frozen chocolate figures.Fill the 3D moulds with your favourite yoghurt flavour and place in the freezer. Melt your chocolate in Mr Frosty s igloo, then dip your Mr Frosty frozen shape in the melted chocolate. Place on the drying station and watch your Mr Frosty Choc Ice come to life!

Zoo imagination biscuits, which are both gluten and lactose-free, are the perfect stocking fillers this Christmas, and are treats that now the whole family can enjoy. A great choice for little ones who perhaps aren’t so keen on chocolate. They are available from Tesco.

There’s a new surprise waiting inside every Baby Secrets single pack. Each bath tub opens to reveal a surprise Baby Secrets figure with a different personality – which one will you find? Then fill the tub with water, and watch the baby’s nappy change colour when put in – will yours be a boy or a girl?

 

Hands down the best educational game for older children that I have played this year. If you have a child of 8+ then I recommend you buy this. Players race against the clock to form as many words as possible using the element symbol tiles, adding together the atomic numbers of each tile used to create a word. For example : Ba Na Na = Banana = 78 points! Amazingly there are over 10,000 words that can be created using combinations of the element symbols of the FReNeTiC game board.

This Discovery Nightlight 20cm Illuminated Globe

is easy to use, rotate and learn with, this illuminate globe shows children how the world spins on its axis! It also illuminates and shows countries in colour blocks and names seas/oceans and capital cities, perfect for exploring and learning more about our world!

This Discovery nightlight globe is a STEM toy which encourage children to develop skills in the core disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Suitable for ages 8 years and up. Fun for all the family.

I love this range of DC Super Hero Girls.

Unleash your power and explore your inner hero with DC Super Hero action dolls! Inspired by the powerful students of DC Super Hero High, the DC Super Hero Girls action dolls are ready for powerful fun.

The Incredibles 2 was a big hit in our house so I know Moose is going to love this toy! Jack-Jack comes with batteries too so there is one less thing to remember on Christmas morning. Simply flick his switch from Try Me to On and let the fun begin!

Press Jack-Jacks tummy to hear him giggle. Press some more and see his other powers! Hold his belly to make Jack-Jack “explode” into ultimate power mode – all colours, lights and sounds are activated

Count your final sleeps to Christmas with Smiggle’s 12 day advent calendar. Behind each door awaits either a prank or treats! Moose is going to love playing jokes on us all, it’s going to be an interesting month!

I love the bits and bobs Smiggle has for sale.

I like that they are fun designs and I think you would be hard pushed to find a child who couldn’t find something they like. Smiggle is a firm favourite in our house.

Gel-a-Peel allows you to express yourself through your own designer creations. Create gel fashions, patches, accessories and jewellery using the Gel-a-Peel Fashion Station. It’s so easy and fun. Just pick your stencil design, gel, squeegee and peel. Includes accessory hardware for three clutches and two pairs of earrings.

Project Mc2 is a team of smart and seriously cool girls who use their love of science and their spy skills as they go on missions for secret organization, NOV8. They are real girls with real skills ready to take on anything. Watch new episodes of the project Mc2 original series, only on Netflix. Adrienne Atoms next mission is to use her cosmetic chemistry skills to formulate the ideal look for saving the world. Formulate your own perfumes with project Mc2 perfume maker. You can perform this same cool steam. Experiment at home using just household items again and again.

I always like to include something for the children to do at Christmas.

I am really looking forward to trying this out with Moose. He loves birds and I think he’s going to enjoy playing with The Window Bird Feeder. The large portal with two-way mirror allows you to observe birds without disturbing them. The feeder is made from quality components and easy to install, refill and clean. Full instructions and a garden bird guide are also included in the kit.

Now Bess is 12 it’s getting a little harder to find “toys” for her to play with, but Interplay have us covered with fab labs.

Create the latest cool fashions by adding vibrant and trendy colours to clothes and accessories with Interplay’s Designer Tie Dye Kit. It is fun and easy to do and the 8 page instruction booklet explains the techniques to get the latest trendy looks. The Kit contains 4 dyes in applicator bottles, rubber bands and PVC lab gloves. There are enough ingredients to dye the equivalent of 5 T Shirts

The Best Friends Style Lab lets you customise your look with this jumbo pack of fabulous styling activities that are fun to do with friends and great for parties or sleepovers. Add colour to your hair with 3 vibrant, easy to wash out hair shadows – Design salon style nails with 6 solvent free varnishes – Create glamorous glitter tattoos with 4 glitter colours and over 25 cool designs.

Get the latest festival look and create beautiful face art with the new FabLab festival face tattoos! Contains over 12 gorgeous temporary tattoo designs especially formulated to be easy to apply and easy to remove with the oil provided. Also includes glittery tattoos to customise and to add sparkle to your look! Great fun to do and perfect for festivals, parties and sleepovers!

Moose is going to love getting creative with the Little Brian range. I really enjoy playing with paints and chalks but to be able to have messy play without the mess. Well, that has to be a Christmas miracle!

I have some plain white T Shirts at the ready so that Moose can get busy with the fabric paint sticks too!

This might seem like an odd choice for a house with no bath

But the range from Zimpli Kids which includes Gelli Baff, Slime Baff and Snoball Play will be perfect for some Tuff Spot fun – preferably outdoors of course! The idea of a snoball fight after our Christmas lunch seems like a good one to me!

 

We always stock up on sweet treats over Christmas but it’s nice to have a change from chocolate and Swizzels fit the bill perfectly. Everyone has their favourites, mine are Parma Violets – unfortunately they are also Bess’s favourite too!

Toy Story 4 is going to be huge in 2019 and Mr Potato Head is a classic. He never goes out of fashion and is a great educational toy.

If you have a little one who has an interest in nature, the Living World Pocket Microscope might be the perfect choice. Small enough to fit in your pocket, but powerful enough to make an ant look the size of an antelope!

Orchard toys have loads of great puzzles and games for key stage 1 aged children and older.

Is there anything more Christmassy than Pigs in Blankets?

I found this game by Orchard Toys in our local Aldi for less than £5!

Moose loves imaginary play and he has a few dolls now but this one I think will be a firm favourite. Baby Born cries real tears, goes to the toilet (in his potty hopefully) and even eats food! He comes with 11 accessories including feeding bowl and spoon, nappy, bottle, dummy, birth certificate and bracelets.

Dino Dump: The Prehistoric Kids Game with a Smelly Twist Introducing one of the newest items in Big Potato’s range of games for kids. It’s called Dino Dump, it’s a kids game for age 6 and up and it’s based on the classic adult card game Sh*thead. This time around, we’ve cleaned up the name, added some cheeky dinosaurs and made it about a hundred times easier to learn. We even added a bunch of scratch-n-sniff dino-poo forfeit stickers – just to keep things interesting. The aim of the game is to lose all of your Dino Cards as fast as possible.

From My Little Pony and Paw Patrol to Star Wars and Shimmer & Shine – the fun range of character illumi-Mates from Spearmark will be a welcome treat for little ones this Christmas.

The power is yours!

What do you get when you combine the incredible adventures of the Avengers: Infinity War heroes with Mitre’s legendary footballs? The best football in the universe… or at least we think so! Go to battle with your friends in the park – shoot and score, with this iconic Marvel Mitre ball.

These books by Jenny Ford are sure to appeal to any little bookworm. With a great adventure, lovely illustrations and even some blank pages for your child to plan their own story, they would make an excellent gift choice.

Mojimoto are talk back characters that will repeat what you say in their own funny voice! They can also lip-sync when they hear talking or music. Their eyes and mouths move when they talk or sing. Each Mojimoto also has a ring so they can be attached to your belt or backpack and you can take them wherever you go. With 8 different styles of Mojimoto’s to choose from, you can pick the one that best suits your mood!

Learning Resources Playfoam Pals Wild Friends 2-Pack. With this fun Playfoam Pals Set, young learners dig into the Playfoam to discover their new animal friends hidden inside! There are 12 Playfoam Pals Wild Friends to collect with a super-rare golden, endangered animal critter to find too! Each pet has a pop-apart body and head, for mixing & matching and creating brand new species. Once children have discovered their Playfoam Pal, they can use the Playfoam to build perches, nests, beds and more for their new pet! Playfoam is a completely mess free creative play resource that is great for sensory play and helps develop fine motor skills for little hands.

A personalised storybook is always a really popular gift.

This one from Bang On Books even allows you to add a photo of your child inside!

Christmas pyjamas are one of our little Christmas traditions and I love the set we received recently from La Coqueta. I think that the packaging would make it a great gift choice! You can see more here

Some of the products shown were sent in exchange for inclusion. All opinions remain my own.

Now that Bess is in year 8, she really needs a device to help with schoolwork and studies. I did wonder originally whether I should just let her use my (now ancient at 5 years old) laptop but it is slow and a bit cumbersome due to it’s size. Bess has worked really hard this year and has an amazing attitude to school (and life generally). So, when we were asked recently whether we would like to try out the new Asus Zenbook UX410U I, of course, said yes!

asus zenbook

The Asus Zenbook UX410U is a lot smaller than my old thing. It’s a really pretty grey colour which when it catches the light looks a little purple. Purple is her favourite colour so I know Bess is going to love it!

The Zenbook has a 14″ screen so it’s small enough to slip into a backpack or bag without it weighing you down. It weighs just 1.4kg. This is a great device for using at home or taking along with you to be able to get work done on the go. With up to 8 hours battery life I can imagine it would be very comfortable to use at our local cafe.

The slimline design of the Asus Zenbook gives it a great aesthetic. The NanoEdge display means that you have a great field of view. There is very little wasted space around the edges of the screen. This makes it perfect for watching box sets or movies. Or in my daughters case Hamilton. So much Hamilton.

The Asus has an aluminium (rather than plastic) casing which adds to the feel of quality. Along with a combo audio jack, there’s a full-sized HDMI connector plus USB 3.1 and USB Type-C ports on the left-hand side. An SD card slot and two further USB 2 ports sit on the right. Asus tucks the speakers under the front lip of the laptop, and they’re worthy of the Harman Kardon branding – loud, clear and detailed.

I am not so keen on the keyboard. For me, the keys seem a little large? Maybe the keys on my old thing are on the small side though so it might just be personal preference. That said, they are fine to type with and backlit. I have heard murmurs about there being issues with the Zenbook’s touchpad. I haven’t found it to be a problem at all.

The Asus Zenbook UX410U was really easy to set up. The power button is right next to the delete button though. Guess which one I accidentally hit.. The Zenbook sprang to life and was soon talking me through password set ups and the like with the aid of Cortana!

Key Features

Up to 8 hours battery life
Light and portable at 1.4kg
Intel® Core™ i3 processor – for work & entertainment
4GB RAM – run 3 to 6 things like streaming & work docs
128GB SSD offers plenty of storage & super-fast loading

I think Bess is going to be absolutely over the moon with this laptop and I am even tempted to get another to replace mine! It has everything you would expect from a laptop in the mid range bracket and I am sure it will help Bess with her studies and socialising!

I received this product in exchange for a review. Opinions are honest and my own.

Do you have a foodie to buy for this year? If you do then this is the gift guide for you! Read on for some of the best ideas around for the food or drink lover in your life.

 

24 sleeps to go, times two truffles hidden behind each window. Share the run-up to the big day with someone you love. Discover flavours such as Salted Caramel Cream, Gingerbread Praline, Madagascan Vanilla and Raspberry Rush. Classic truffles with a twist, alcohol-free!

If you are searching for a special treat for a younger gift recipient then the Hotel Chocolat posse of penguins make a perfect choice.

King Cobra is the world’s first double fermented Pilsner-style lager for discerning drinkers and the perfect, indulgent complement to banquets of the finest Indian cuisine. Lovingly crafted in Belgium’s world famous Rodenbach brewery. King Cobra is the only Pilsner-style lager to be re-fermented in the bottle, following a process normally reserved for Trappist ales.

Ideal to share over a great meal at 7.5% ABV and bottle conditioned for a particularly smooth, sophisticated taste, it’s brewed using the very finest natural ingredients, a superior blend of barley malt and yeast with imported maize, hops and rice.

Co-Op have lots of ideas this Christmas

Willow and Stone wine is a great choice to offer your guests this Christmas. A refreshing wine full of cranberry and cherry flavours, it’s less than £5 a bottle at your local Co-Op

B&M have some great budget foodie gift ideas. Check them out – this tea set was under £10

Every foodie needs a good pan and what could be better than this copper stone pan from JML? beautiful copper toning and finish, as well as a hand-sculpted, wood-styled Bakelite handle, that gives Copper Stone Pans a professional, high-quality look that will wow family, friends and guests.

MEATER® is the world’s first wireless smart meat thermometer, designed to make it easy to monitor cooking of meat & fish on your smart-phone.

 

This Christmas, think fair trade!

Come on an intriguing adventure which takes you from the Sri Lankan mountains to the rainforests of Brazil, meeting astonishing new characters and utterly delicious new flavours on the way. Pack your bags and prepare your senses for the journey of a lifetime.

This chocolate library from Eat Your Hat is the perfect gift for a true chocolate connoisseur. The collection contains 7 different milk and dark chocolate tablets that are all fairer than fair, organic, eco-friendly, completely sustainable and utterly delicious – all at once.

The Rose Gold Cocktail Shaker from Find Me A Gift is a great foodie gift choice. With it’s gorgeous rose gold and silver colour scheme. This is the classy way to make any home feel like a swanky cocktail bar. A fabulous gift for cocktail lovers, or a treat for yourself!

Heavenly Honeycomb Gourmet Chocolate Pizza is made of the finest Belgian chocolate and features chocolate curls, fudge and honeycomb balls. It’s presented in a pizza box, so looks just like the real deal. Until you get inside and smell the rich gorgeousness of the chocolate! Scoff alone or share with friends and family if you can bear it.

Chocolate Making Kit Gift Set from Indigo Herbs is a fantastic gift set comprising of premium quality ingredients for those who want to make their own Natural Chocolate. A wonderfully presented gift box that will make the perfect present. These chocolate ingredients are 100% pure resulting in the final product being both nutritious and delicious. Enjoy hand crafting your own chocolates at home with this simple and easy kit

Some of the products featured were sent in exchange for inclusion. All opinions remain my own.