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.

Half term Halloween happenings National Trust

October 24, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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National Trust square logoHalf terms offers the perfect chance to spend time with Grandchildren and this week there is plenty of fun activities to participate in as Halloween is just around the corner-sewing kit at the ready for those last minute costume alterations.

I’ve read lots of ideas ranging from expensive trips away to affordable activities closer to home. So this week I’ll be sharing a couple of my favourite Halloween happenings which you and your family can enjoy this half term.

My Halloween happenings suggestions- National Trust

For family days out I rely heavily upon the National Trust as their heritage centres really are wonderful places to explore from beautiful countryside to breath taking properties and gardens. The National Trust offers so much character and charm that it’s hard to resist visiting.

This Halloween the National Trust is celebrating in style with various events across the country all with a spooktacular theme. Activities are dependent upon which properties’ you choose to visit but they are all fantastic family fun.

Halloweebn face paint

Ranging from fancy dress competitions, face painting, ghostly tails, scary storytelling, twilight tours, Halloween themed craft workshops and a pumpkin lantern parade the National Trust has plenty to offer. All which will be brilliantly authentic set in such statues properties and historic settings.

There is plenty of Halloween fun to explore within the National Trust; I would suggest researching events which are close to you. Most admissions fees are standard however, some do vary so it is always best to check beforehand. For more information visit National Trust website.

National Baking Week- Autumnal Pumpkin Bread

October 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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My daughter Lucy is a keen and rather wonderful baker. So upon hearing about National Baking Week I was eager to feature on of her much loved recipes.

Lucy is sharing an ‘Autumnal Pumpkin Bread’ which is perfect for late October days and is fairly easy to bake. 

The great thing about this particular bread is the pumpkin as it is in season and tastes delicious at this time of year.  Simply scrape the inside out to get all of those delicious flavours. It’s a great idea to get your grandchildren to help. Then let them keep the remaining pumpkin, so they can go on to make pumpkin Latin’s in time for Halloween.

The recipe is simply delicious and is a great way to relish National Baking Week. I hope you enjoy!

Autumnal Pumpkin Bread

Keeping safe around Halloween

October 20, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Halloween is just around the corner and it’s an occasion which I know many people look forward too as it’s a great chance to dress up and have fun with friends and family.

For children the best part of Halloween is collecting lots of sweeties from their neighbours whilst showing off their scary costumes of course.

However, it’s important to remember that Halloween can bring unwanted guests for some as Trick or Treating visitors can cause real worry for older people.

No Trick or Treat Whilst driving to work earlier this week I heard about an incentive which is aiming to protect vulnerable neighbours from Trick or Treaters. Staffordshire Police along with constabularies  from across the country have designed posters, which residents can display in their window or front porch asking to not be disturbed by Halloween enthusiasts.

No Trick or Treat

I think the scheme is a wonderful idea as an unexpected knock on the door can cause genuine worry for older and vulnerable members of a community. The inconvenience of answering a Trick or Treat visit can be a real problem and cause unnecessary distress.

Older people with mobility problems may struggle getting to the door, others may be concerned about letting the cold in, whilst some may stress about what to give Halloween guests resulting in handing over valuable items or even money.

If you’ve got an elderly neighbour or family member who you think would benefit from not been disturbed then collect a poster from your local police station or download one here. They are a polite (and official) way to note that you would prefer not to be visited. Offering peace of mind to everyone involved. 

Worried that you won’t be able to offer a sweet treat to your young neighbours on Halloween? Why not send a pack of sweets into your local school and get the teaching staff to hand them out. Alternatively post some sweeties through your neighbour’s letter box when you’re passing- they’ll go down a storm as an after school treat!

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