Halloween recipes for grandchildren

October 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Baking is a wonderful way to get around boredom on rainy half term days, much like today.

With Halloween right around the corner I’ve discovered some wonderful recipes which are easy to make- even with grandchildren- and will make perfect Halloween treats.

creepy crawlies


These crunchy creepy crawlies featured in Sainsbury’s ‘everyday easy’ magazine are chocolate goodness which children and adults will enjoy greatly. To make simply prepare as though you were making chocolate rice crispy cakes, use sweets and chocolate fingers to create eyes and legs. Yummy!

homemade toffee apples

Homemade Toffee Apples are the ultimate autumnal treat. I’ve chosen a recipe from the BBC Goodfood website which easily explains how to create the perfect toffee apples. Using only four ingredients they are simple to make, however when making with grandchildren I’d suggest letting them watch as heating the sugar and water can be extremely dangerous. I always put wooden skewers into the apples making them much easier to eat and enjoy!

easy halloween cookies

Cookies are great to make with children as they are quick and easy. Using shaped cutters cookies are simple to theme – perfect for Halloween. These Halloween Cookies on www.goodtoknow.co.uk offer a basic recipe which is delicious. To make extra special finish with coloured icing and edible decorations… spider web cookies!!

Halloween with Merlin Entertainment

October 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A special treat to an amusement park can be a great way to finish half-term and with lots of brilliant offers and promotional vouchers available online a family treat can be great fun at a reasonable price.

Many of Britain’s best amusement parks are brought to us by Merlin Entertainment, who put on great entertainment and events across the country. With something for everyone this Halloween here are my favourite…

Alton Towers A local attraction here in Staffordshire Alton Towers is one of Britain’s favourite theme parks and never seems to fail at a Halloween spectacular. The ‘Scarefest’ has become iconic with Alton Towers’ fans who visit from all over the country to see the park in all its Scarefest glory.

Scarefest logoOffering family friendly fun which everyone is sure to enjoy expect the park to be decorated for the occasion with costumed characters roaming around to scare you when you least expect it.

Daredevils can tour the Terror of the Towers to discover what lies beneath whilst those who love rollercoasters can ride them into the dark evening. For family entertainment I’ve been told that live shows are great addition to a Scarefest day at Alton Towers.

All and all a great way to celebrate Halloween- most visitors dress up so vampire teeth may be required.

Top Tip: I receive lots of promotional e-mails and often Alton Towers discount are featured. Search the web to find a deal which will make your day extra special.


warwick-castleWarwick Castle – An attraction with huge historical value a trip is Warwick Castle is quite spectacular especially for youngsters who get to take in all of the ancient myths and historical storytelling.

I’ve had some wonderful times exploring Britain’s Ultimate Castle and find that visiting with children is a fantastic way for them to become interested in history and heritage as they are such memorable days out.

At Halloween those old age myths and castle characters come to life as families can enjoy a tour around the castle and, for those brave enough tour The Castle Dungeons where the dark and most frightening historic events took place. Visit the Owl Show or take a ghost tour. Whatever your choice there is plenty of scary treats for Halloween visitors.

Top Tip: Give yourself plenty of time to explore the grounds as there really is lots to see.


The Dungeons- Expect to be scared as the Dungeons’ pride themselves on offering terrifying experiences to their brave guests. Undoubtedly Halloween will offer more screams than normal. 

The London Dungeons have become even more gruesome in perfect time for Hallows Eve as  ‘Stringy Jack’ will be roaming the dungeons dark corridors ready to petrify you at any moment- you’ve been warned.

london_dungeon_sMy visit to The London Dungeon a couple of years ago was brilliant- so much so that I’d highly recommend it to friends and family. Featuring live actors who make the dungeons as authentic as possible the London Dungeons fantastically bring gruesome pastimes to life. Re-enacting the terror of the plague, Jack the Ripper and the great folklore of Bloody Mary, the Dungeons enter deep into horrible history.

Accompanied by rides, special effects and fantastic acting the Dungeons really are a great day out and extremely fitting for a Halloween treat.

Top Tip: The Dungeons are situated throughout UK and Europe including London, Edinburgh, York, Blackpool, Hamburg and Amsterdam. So there is plenty of places to capture the Dungeon experience.

Current Deal for Merlin Entertainment: 25% off Annual Pass to Merlin entertainment

Halloween Happenings here in Stoke-on-Trent

October 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I’ve been looking into half term events in my surround area of Stoke-on-Trent and I’m delighted by the huge variety of things to do- all local, all offering something beneficial and all sound largely enjoyable for both myself and grandchildren.

Emma Bridgewater Factory-


Famous for her polka dot designs and kitch finishes Emma Bridgewater creates her pottery master pieces right here in the city. Attracting visitors from all over the Emma Bridgewater factory is open to explore and this half term has a special Halloween theme.

pumpkin archBoasting lots of creative activities children are encouraged to get into the spirit of Halloween with fancy dress as those in costumes are welcomed to enjoy time in one of the Emma Bridgewater decorating studios free of charge.

Additionally, the Emma Bridgewater team have created a rather spectacular pumpkin arch –the perfect place to pose for a family photo- and are willing all guests to guess the weight of the pumpkins.

With face painting and mask making facilities this really is a creative day out for the children. If you’re interested in learning more about how the factory works then I’d recommend the factory tour– a wonderful half term afternoon here in Stoke-on-Trent.

trentham estateTrentham GardensA huge local attraction Trentham Gardens offers lots to its visitors. A walk around the beautiful lake in the crisp autumn is a particularly nice way to spend time with loved ones.

Right in time for Halloween Trentham Gardens’ are hosting a ‘Wild Weekend’ complete with scary street performers, pumpkins carving and Halloween treats at the Monkey Forest, which children will undoubtedly adore.

The Potteries MuseumFor most the local museum is a brilliant place to retreat to during school holidays and The Potteries Museum is no different. Located here in Stoke-on-Trent the museum is a local hub for arts and culture and is currently in the midst of British Ceramics Biennial 2011 exhibition.

For half term, and not forgetting Halloween the museum is hosting ‘Who’s Afraid of…’ which will see children’s favourite baddies from Captain Hook to Cruella De Ville roaming around the museum. Children can also get their faces painted and take part in Halloween craft workshops during half term.  


In additionally this Saturday The Potteries Museum is taking part in The Big Draw, a campaign which gets people drawing, thinking and creating wonderful ideas which will be displayed on a Halloween inspired giant spider web at the museum.

I think all of these local events are brilliant ways to keep children entertained during half term. For me a visit to the local museum is a great way to keep heritage facilities in your local area alive. Admission is generally free so why not go alone and see what’s on.

Radio One- BBC Bite Size Revision

April 12, 2011 at 9:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I mentioned yesterday that most schools here in England are currently enjoying the Easter half term. However, many students will be spending their half term break revising for upcoming exams.

I was pleased to hear this morning that Radio One are promoting BBC’s revision programme ‘Bite Size’. Available online at www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/ Bite Size is an online revision site, which covers a variety of subject areas specifically aimed towards children who will be studying towards GCSE’s.

bbc revision bite size

Helping children or grandchildren with revision can be quite daunting in itself, Bite Size offers precise and accurate information which is easy to understand and pick up- Perfect if you’re trying to help!

As a former teacher I am really impressed with the site, the variety of information is brilliant and Bite Size has the added bonus of offering fun ways of testing children.

Good Luck with any exams!

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