5 Reasons To Book An All-Inclusive Holiday

We love all-inclusive holidays. This time last year we recently returned from our second all-inclusive holiday abroad. Our first was to Menorca where we stayed at Insotel Punta Prima, while last year we visited Majorca where we stayed all-inclusive at Insotel Cala Mandia. While the kids are still relatively young we will probably continue with this type of holiday as they have so many advantages. In fact we are currently looking for our next adventure for when the kids finish school in July.

 

View from hotel balcony across pool at the all-inclusive holiday resort at Hotel Cala Mandia Resort, Majorca

 

If you’re considering going all-inclusive for your next family holiday, but still need a little help deciding, here are my top 5 reasons why you should make your next family holiday an all-inclusive one.

 

1. No Hidden Extras

You know in advance how much your holiday is going to cost. All the essentials are paid for up front. You don’t have to worry about additional budgeting once you’re there so you don’t run out of cash by the end of the holiday. And not having to budget means you are able to relax more, which is what holidays are all about. All you need to remember are a few Euros for any souvenirs you want to bring back and in case you want to venture of the resort to explore.

 

2. The Food

The heat can do funny things to little appetites. The joy of all-inclusive breaks is that there is food available pretty much all day. There are dishes to suit every taste and the quality wouldn’t be out of place in a 5 star restaurant. There is always plenty of choice. From the standard nuggets and chips to healthier choices such as fresh fruit, vegetables and pasta. You can get choose from full three course meals to poolside snacks and of course, ice cream. My kids love the fact that they can just have a sample of lots of different meals, which mean they get to try lots of new things.

 

3. The Drinks

One of the big attractions of an all-inclusive holiday for a lot of people is the alcohol. However, if you’re travelling with small children I wouldn’t advise you take advantage of this too much. That said you’ve got to admit that being able to send your OH down to the bar for a chilled glass of sangria or a cold beer while the kids are napping has it’s appeal.

My kids also loved the constant supply of slush drinks that they could, almost, help themselves to.

 

 

4. The Facilities

Most large hotels now have kids clubs and activities available, however some of these incur extra charges. With an all-inclusive holiday you can avoid the extra costs as the majority of activities are included; although a small deposit may be required.

Also, if you’re lucky enough to manage to escape the kids for a couple of hours you may be able to treat yourself to a spa treatment or massage. It is worth noting that in a lot of places beauty/spa treatments may incur additional charges.

 

5. Something for Everyone

An all-inclusive holiday generally has something for everyone. Whether you want an activity packed break or would prefer to lounge by the pool with a drink in one hand or a book in the other there will be something for all the family to enjoy.

 

So there are my top 5 reasons to book an all inclusive holiday.

 

I hope you find this post useful if you if you’re considering an all-inclusive holiday. If you have been on one (or more), I’d love to hear your thoughts – pop me a comment below!

Mummies Waiting

Highland Games at Matlock Farm Park

​Yesterday was the first ever Peak District Highland Games which were held at Matlock Farm Park and we were invited down to join in the fun.
The day got off to a rocky start when we ended up running late followed by two toilet stops that didn’t come with quite enough notice when you’re on a motorway. Nevertheless we eventually made it to our final destination, Matlock Farm Park.
The combination of fantastic weather and the Highland Games meant that by the time we arrived the car park and overflow car park were full. Plus there were still plenty of people arriving which meant additional parking had to be sourced. Luckily we were directed to an empty spot just inside the gates.
Having never visited before we didn’t know what to expect so we were all eager to get inside and explore the park. On this visit there was the added bonus of the Highland Games hosted by Man Beast Events.

Matlock Farm Park Regular Attractions

Once inside our first stop was for a pony ride which has an additional charge of £2.50. After a lap around the paddock it was time to move on to the ferret racing, which the kids loved.  There was also sheep racing too.
We found time to stop off and watch The Amazing Lorenzo in the marquee. This allowed us to have some respite from the glorious sunny weather while we watched his entertaining magic show.
The Amazing Lorenzo performing a trick
The small animals were another hit with the kids. Although we didn’t get the handle the animals we did get to see the rabbits and ferrets as well as the birds outside. We also saw some llamas, emus and alpacas.
Llama, Alpaca, Rabbits, Ferrets, Guinea Pigs
Unfortunately because of the event and our delayed arrival, we didn’t actually get time to see all of the animals or the adventure playgrounds. That will be top of our list on our next visit.
We opted to take a picnic with us for this visit which worked our for the best as the food venues were really busy. However the food I saw from the cafe looked lovely. We did stop off for a couple of hotdogs and a burger for tea before we left once the queues had died down, which were basic but nice.

Highland Games

In between the regular attractions at the park we stopped off to watch the events taking place as part of the Peak District Highland Games. The kids also attempted the strongman assault course that had been set up.
We had a fantastic time cheering on the competitors in the various games. However, the highlight of the day for me was definitely the stone carrying event. One or two of the contestants decided to raise the bar by carrying the stone back again after reaching the end, which resulted in it being a competition about distance rather than time.
In addition to this there was a tractor pull and caber tossing. Both events had the guys showing sheer determination and impressive strength.
Tossing the Caber

Our Thoughts

On the day of our visit the farm was extremely busy. After chatting with the staff we found out that they had nearly double the number of people attend than usual.
However the attention to things like emptying the bins and keeping the toilets clean was still there. It was nice to see smaller details not being overlooked despite over 1000 visitors. It really made a big difference.
My only criticism would be that it was difficult to navigate around the park. The map/leaflet wasn’t easy to read/navigate.  Additional signage around the park and on the enclosures would make big difference.
With a few small improvements, especially when hosting an event, Matlock Farm Park could be an amazing day out for everyone.
We had an amazing day and will definitely be back for another visit. I will also be keeping my eye out for next year’s Highland Games.
Hopefully they will be back at Matlock Farm Park and I can get the date in the diary.

Fun and Foam at Piglets Adventure Park

I’ve heard lots of fantastic things about Piglets Adventure Park near York so thought it was about time we paid them a visit, which is exactly what we did last week when we met up with some friends.

 

Piglets is an outdoor fun park which is fantastic for kids of all ages and ours (aged between 18 months and 5) had such a good time Corey asked if he could come again the day after.

 

We got there shortly after opening and parked up quite near the entrance, which was good as it began to rain as soon as we got out of the car.

 

After a quick toilet stop we set about exploring, the kids were totally spoilt for choice as to what to do as there was so much choice, although the weather wasn’t in our favour at the beginning.

 

After realising they couldn’t go on the bouncy pillows due to the rain the kids made a bee line straight for the obstacle course and the quirky fairy tale themed climbing frames. The sand surrounding the houses was also a hit with them.

 

Barrel Rides and Maize Maze

From there they went on the tractors, followed by a barrel ride.

Piglets Adventure - Barrel Rides

 

We then attempted the maize maze challenge, although I don’t think we did too well as we kept getting lost trying to avoid the big muddy puddles.

 

 

By the time we found our way out of the maze, they sun had found it’s way through the clouds and the weather improved considerably. It was also getting close to lunch so we headed to Truffles Trough Cafe for some food.

 

Myself and Rik had a burger while the kids had hot dogs. The food was reasonably priced, although there selection here wasn’t all that great. If we were to visit again I would more than likely take a picnic as there were plenty of seating areas.

 

Tractor Rides and Tricks

After lunch, and an ice cream we took a tractor ride down past the pigs to the Bale Play Baaarn which gave us some respite from the heat while the kids played in the dig n play corn pit and on the hay bales, tractors and slides.

 

Another tractor ride later and we were back in time to catch some of the show in the big top.

 

Piglets Adventure - Tractor Ride

 

During our visit Fatt Matt was the main attraction and I’d have happily have paid the entrance fee to just watch him. Unicycles, acrobatics, puppets and juggling were the order of the day and the kids, and adults, were enthralled and amused throughout the performance.

 

Farm, Fairies and Foam

After the show we went to explore and animals around the Farm. The kids loved them all, especially the pigs and the Shetland ponies.

 

Piglets Adventure - Farm Trail

 

Crazy golf, the newly opened Fairy Trail and a bounce on the bouncy pillows followed before it was time to head for home.

 

 

But not before the kids attended their first ever foam party. This went down pretty well with the kids who both ended up covered from head to toe in foam. I was eternally grateful I had brought a change of clothes for them both!!

 

Piglets is a fabulous summer attraction. We will definitely visit again as we didn’t get around all the activities, missing out on the pig racing and water wars. They also have some events on over Halloween and Christmas so, providing we wrap up warm, we may be back for those.

 

Prices range depending on the time you visit. Weekday visits are £5.95/4.95/3.95 for children/adults/concessions respectively, Weekends are £8.50/£7.50/£6.50 and the Summer Fun prices are £9.50/£8.50/£7.50. Discounts are available for booking online and there is also an annual membership scheme.

Superhero Training at The Rainbow Factory

If you are looking for a fantastic day out that isn’t dependant on the weather than The Rainbow Factory in Leeds ticks all the boxes. We haven’t had the opportunity to visit since last year so were more than overdue another trip. All throughout the holidays they are running themed events and our visit fit in perfectly with our superhero theme.

 

There are exciting new themes each week of the holidays:

  • Circus: August 7th to 11th
  • Sci-Fi & Science: Aug 14th to 18th

  • Fantasy, Myths & Legends: Aug 21st to 25th

  • Mysteries, Spies & Detectives: Aug 28th to Sept 1

We chose the VIP Pass for the day which was £12.50 per child (adults go free!) and allowed us access to all of the activities throughout the day. Activities are scheduled every half an hour from 11.00am until 2.30pm and cover everything from science to arts and crafts.

 

What we got up to

After a brief introduction from the fantastic staff we started the day with some science activities with Storm. The first was all about controlling the weather; the second was exploding sandwich bags, both of which the kids loved and recreated at home for their Dad later in the week.

 

 

Picture shows a boy and a girl conducting a science experiment by adding shaving foam to a vase of water.
Adding the ‘clouds’
Photo shows a girl and a boy adding more shaving foam to the water in the vase
Then some more ‘clouds’
Photo shows a girl and a boy adding the 'rain' to the clouds in the form of red and blue food colouring
Adding some ‘rain’

 

Superhero Training

We had a quick break for lunch which we purchased from The Gingerbread Cafe before moving on to some heroes and villains training.

 

Photo shows a section of The Rainbow Factory all set up for some superhero training in the form of 'lasers' across the room
All set for some hero and villain training
Picture shows a giant head made from paper mache, in front of which is a 'volcano' made using various household items
Using a ‘volcano’ to steal the giant’s jewels

 

After the training we listened to Supertato before making our own Supertatoes. We then moved to the next room to make some superhero biscuits (which didn’t last long enough to get a photo) and undertake some further training, this time with marshmallow shooters.

 

After this it was time for the goodbye song before we headed home as fully trained superheroes.

 

The kids had a fantastic day and participated in almost all the activities hosted throughout the day.