Rotterdam with kids – our 2 day trip

Rotterdam is a very family and tourist friendly city. We had a great (and busy) two days in August!

The package we booked cost £582 which included 2 nights at the Bilderberg Parkhotel with breakfast and return tickets on the Eurostar from St Pancras International. Although the hotel was very central and a perfect base, it wasn’t somewhere we would choose to spend any more time in than necessary (we did not see much for kids to do).

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Tram travel in Rotterdam

There are so many ways to get around the city (trams, trains, bikes, buses) which makes it easy to navigate with kids. We tried out as many as possible in our short stay which added extra fun for our boys.

Top tip: The Rotterdam Welcome Card is brilliant for discounts on various attractions, especially because we didn’t find any that were free. Buy it at  Tourist Information Point in Rotterdam rather than online, so you don’t end up paying more than you should.

Day 1
We took the tram to the Miniworld which is absolutely perfect for families. The boys said it was their favourite part of the trip. It’s full of recognisable Dutch landscapes and has so much to look at and interact with. There is a moving clock that turns the whole place from day to night every 24 minutes.

Rott miniworld

Although we didn’t use it, there is a children’s play park directly opposite.

We chose lunch on the move from a very cool self-service, cashless convenience store in Rotterdam train station. It was then very easy to get the train to Rotterdam Zoo. It had some wonderful animals with a great aquarium and regular feeding times. The zoo supports many conservation projects in the world and is one of the top zoos for participating in breeding programmes for endangered species.

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Crocodile at Rotterdam Zoo

We got the bus back to De Markthal and ate at a restaurant we found highly recommended on TripAdvisor: Very Italian Pizza was delicious! The staff were very friendly and gave great service. Nice and full, it was then time to walk back to the hotel for bedtime!

Rott pizza
Very Italian Pizza

Day 2
We started our last day at the Euromast Tower where you can try out the Euroscoop – a rotating glass elevator with panoramic views of the city. The boys loved looking at the industrial port as well as watching planes take off and land at the airport.

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View from the Euromast Tower

We then took the bus to the Maritime Museum which has an amazing indoor play area called Professor Splash. Even though the rest of the museum is not for children, we still managed to spend a few hours there.

If you are looking for food in this area, a street close to the museum called ‘Witte de withstraat’ is packed with restaurants. The boys wanted to eat rice so we got a recommendation from a lovely owner of another restaurant and got takeaway to make sure we didn’t miss our train back to London.

We also planned to go on a Splashtour but unfortunately, we missed it by a matter of minutes so if you do manage to give it a try, let me know how you get on!

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LEGOLAND Windsor with young kids

Legoland is so much fun! My 2 sons are the ONLY reason I have shown an interest in Lego, so it was great to be able to enjoy the experience with them.  The Miniland is amazing.  Its worth going just to see that.

We went with my 2 siblings and their children – both have already been back since because they loved it so much.  I frequently have to stop myself from booking to go again!

Here are some tips from our first trip to Legoland:

2 days over 1
With tired legs, regular food and nappy or toilet stops, lots to see and do as well as high levels of excitement, we were so happy we booked 2 days. With young children I would say it’s impossible to get around the whole park in 1 day. There is an amazing water area and if it’s hot you will spend a good amount of time there. Unfortunately, there were rides we still did not get onto either because the queues were too long or they were shut or the boys were too little – surely a good reason for us to go back?

Use a deal
Always look out for a deals on the Legoland website.   Before my eldest son started school, we booked the ‘1 Day + 1 Day FREE + Kids Go FREE’ on a Friday to Saturday. We stayed overnight in the Holiday Inn Heathrow T5 (close to, not in T5).  The price of the package was £179 for two adults, one child and one infant and included entry into the park both days, 1 night in the hotel and breakfast. We also spent £12 on parking in the park and at the hotel.

Holiday Inn Heathrow T5
For a night, this hotel was ideal as they are very used to Legoland families – from warming up milk to chatting to the kids to having a little Lego gift ready on arrival.   The idea of being packed into one hotel room with no floor space (due to 4 beds) is one I like to avoid but with 2 very tired little people and the excitement of the next day, it worked well for 1 night.

Peak time really is peak
On week days during term time the park is a dream. There were hardly any queues and it didn’t feel too busy at all. However, be prepared for the after-school influx. I did not realise it was a thing to take kids there after school but we spoke to a few locals who said with a yearly Merlin pass the few hours really is worth it. The Saturday was so much busier. We got to the park when it opened and we were immediately met with a queue – and some are quite long too – an average of an hour on the most popular rides I would say.  You also have to take into account the fact people have priority passes and will get on before you.

Supermarket sweep
We took our own snacks and bought Tesco meal deals for both days. My sister went one better and made her own sandwiches – love money saving on a day out! This meant food could be available on demand for the hungry little ones and we (pretty much) only needed money for ice creams. Like most places the picnic areas get very busy so we were sat down by midday.

And not forgetting the best part…our favourite rides!
I loved the fact there were so many rides the boys could go on – even at 2.  Obviously when they are older they will be able to go on so much more.

Here is a list of our favourite rides.  I will try to write it from the kid’s perspective, not mine! A full list can be found on the Legoland website.

  • Sky Rider
  • Fairy Tale Brook
  • Coastguard HQ
  • Atlantis Submarine Voyage
  • Balloon School

Suffolk & Norfolk: a perfect UK break for families

We’ve made this trip from London 6 times now – and we are going again next year – so it’s quite obvious that I absolutely love it!  It’s the first holiday I took as a Mum. It’s where I go with my parents and its so child friendly. Here are my recommendations for a perfect break!

Suffolk 1
Stunning Suffolk!

Wheatacre Hall Barns is a warm and welcoming place to stay with children. There are eight converted self-catering barns on a working farm.   We always stay in the Mallard barn as its all on one level, very spacious, overlooks the duck pond and has a great garden. There is a soft play room for younger kids and a games/movie room for older children. My boys love visiting the cows and taking their granddad’s dog for a walk – with a stop on the swings. The farm is so beautifully quiet and sitting having dinner on a warm summers evening with the ducks peeking in the large open doors is bliss. You also get homemade cakes on arrival and can order home cooked meals which are absolutely delicious!

Top tip: bring black out blinds if you use them at home.

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Wheatacre Hall Barns

Where to go
Southwold is one of the most beautiful beaches I have visited in England and I would definitely recommend it for children. Off peak it’s lovely and peaceful too. It’s about a 30 minute drive from the barns and there is a large car park as well as some residential road parking. We always have lunch on the seafront at Suzie’s Beach Café. Once the boys get fidgety, we watch them play on the beach with a lovely cup of tea. We then walk up to the town for a look around the shops and stop to take in the beautiful view of the beach huts lining the golden sand. I can’t wait to go back again!

suffolk 3

Great Yarmouth is the quintessential British seaside experience with lots of fun for a family day out. As well as a large, well-kept beach, there are activities to keep everyone occupied in most types of weather. My boys love the Merrivale Model Village with its animated scenes and model railway – and they can even feed some very big koi carp. We always have lunch at their tea room but on a lovely day it can get very busy. The model village itself probably takes about an hour/hour and a half to get round which is enough for young children. Then what is better to end the trip than an ice cream on the pier!

Top tip: Maybe give the Sea Life Centre a miss. It’s quite expensive and not the best example of conservation – I don’t think anyway.

Beccles is a very cute little town which has lovely boutique shops as well as the shops you might need when on a break with children. It’s also home to our favourite lunch spot – The Waveney House Hotel. They are very child (and dog!) friendly and serve beautiful food. What better way to occupy your children than sitting eating their lunch waving at all of the boats passing down the river.

If you have any questions on anything I have written, just drop me a message.

Thank you for reading!

What did we learn from our first time using Airbnb with kids?

The few experiences we have had sharing a hotel room with our boys since becoming parents have not been very positive.  For our week in Malta we had decided – let’s try an Airbnb!


Here is what we learnt:

Home away from home
We found being able to stick to the boys routine as much as possible was the best thing about the experience.  They could nap and sleep in their own rooms leaving us to have dinner by ourselves as well as some chill out time in front of the TV – the World Cup was on at the time unfortunately for me though!   We also did a sweep of anything breakable at child height and put it up high!

Research more than just the reviews
We chose our Airbnb because it had such great reviews, however, we should have researched the surrounding area a bit more ourselves.  The apartment was on a very busy main road and opposite a karaoke bar – quite a shock when arriving at 2am in the morning!  The ‘beach’ was not actually a beach but a small cove where the boys could paddle but not that safely.

Double check the address
On the site, the address was written in English and we wrote down all the directions in English.  Unfortunately we had not considered that all the street signs were not in English! Sounds like a silly mistake but one you don’t want to realise you have made when you are driving around in the middle of the night in a strange country!

Where will your host be during your stay?
We found that having our host around was vital especially with kids.  Simple things like knowing where to buy nappies and are certain tourist areas suitable for a buggy are tips that make everything a bit easier. Our host was just brilliant and so understanding – hence why he has his ‘Superhost’ status!

Ask your host the questions that will make life easier
Our Airbnb did not have curtains in the boys room so as soon as that sun was up – so was my 2 year old!  If your kids need their rooms dark to sleep, can you fit the black out blind in your case?  Do they have bed guards?  Do they have kids plastic plates and cutlery?

Additional costs
We didn’t know that we had to pay a government tax to the host per adult per day.  It didn’t really matter – we just didn’t know.  Guess that links back to needing to do more research!

I would love to hear your experiences of using Airbnb with kids!

Enjoy Malta with young children

When did we go? June 2018 for 1 week
Where did we stay?  Airbnb in Buggiba

We had a wonderful time in Malta with our boys this year. The locals seem to love children and we were met with friendly faces wherever we went.

My 2 biggest tips: rent a car and take picnics on day trips!

Any questions about our holiday or my blog, please drop me an email!

Here are my top tips for enjoying Malta with young children:

Ghadira beach at Mellieha bay

IMG_2050Malta does not have very many sandy beaches and this is by far the best sandy beach we found. The water is beautifully clear and extremely shallow so safe for lots of swimming and paddling. There is lots of free road parking, but just keep in mind that it’s on a busy road where speed is at the driver’s discretion! We paid 13 Euros for 2 sunbeds and an umbrella the first time we visited and just left our non-valuables on the beach the second time.

Playmobil Funpark

IMG_2082So good we made two trips! The Funpark is about 5/10 mins drive from the airport so it was a great time filler before we flew home. The boys absolutely loved this place and we were very impressed too! Endless play with a huge variety of Playmobil in a child friendly air conditioned building. There is a café and a newly built outside play area with safe climbing equipment. The kids can happily roam about freely so parents were taking advantage of being able to sit down! The best part was it only cost 7 Euros for us all to get in and you can stay as long as you like.

Ferry to Gozo & Ramla Bay

IMG_2052We have never driven onto a ferry before so this was an exciting experience for all of us! You get out of your car once on board and enjoy the journey on any of the decks. The ferry leaves every 45 mins and you pay on Gozo when getting the ferry back to the mainland. The cost for us was 21 Euros 50 cents.  We went later in the day so didn’t see that much of Gozo but we drove to Ramla Bay which is definitely worth a visit – if your nerves can take the drive down some extremely narrow streets to get there!  We highly recommend eating at Ta’ Vestru, Qala,  They went out of their way to accommodate us with the boys and delicious food.

Malta National Aquarium

IMG_2032This wasn’t unlike most aquariums we have visited. If your children like fish then it’s a good place to visit to get out of heat and let them explore. It only takes about half an hour to get around but the boys said it was lots of fun. It cost us 41 euros 80 for the 4 of us and you get free parking so remember to get the ticket validation at the aquarium reception desk. There is seating to eat lunch or a snack opposite the aquarium and next to a good play park. We didn’t find much else to do in the immediate area so we had the afternoon to keep exploring the island.

Malta 5D at Valetta

IMG_2100My partner found this cinema on another blog and wanted to give it a try. The film is a history of Malta which lasts about 15 mins. The 5D element is the fun part though. Very interactive!!! My 4 year sat on the moving seats with his Dad but I sat on the non-moving seats with my 2 year old. Both boys were happy with their experience and the adults enjoyed it too. Show times are at regular intervals throughout the day. Tickets are 9 euros for adults and they didn’t want to charge us for the boys which we appreciated.


IMG_2076We were told to visit the famous Sunday fish market and that is exactly what we did! We guessed that the street parking was free and seemed to get away with it! The market itself is not the most interesting thing for young children to do especially in the heat but checking out the boats was definitely a hit. It was our own exploring that lead us to uncover a few gems…over-sized and much needed ice creams, a big enough play park and a small sandy beach. I had left the swimming stuff in the car so I wasn’t very popular that the boys couldn’t go into the water!


IMG_2110 A stunningly beautiful island with a very fun boat ride to and from but do not expect it to be child friendly, especially with little ones. There are no man made roads or paths so don’t take a buggy. The blue lagoon is off a steep cliff with no real safe way to get into the water. There were jellyfish in the water, which was colder due to the strong wind. It was also very busy. I can’t imagine what it must be like in peak season. We walked to the other side of the island pretty soon after arriving to try and find a flat place to eat a picnic which ended up being a wall. We did find a little sandy beach but with the jellyfish and the fear of being stranded amongst the large amount of visitors, we just got on the boat back to the mainland!