A festive weekend

We have had such a festive and busy weekend, and we haven't seen Father Christmas once! The girls and Little Man have experienced so much this weekend, and we have all learnt loads too. Our weekend started a little earlier on the Thursday when we were invited to the press opening of Enchanted Christmas at Brodsworth Hall and Garden.

Last year the girls were treated to an evening at Brodsworth Hall and Garden and they had been asking to go again this year. Last year [and the year before] they met Father Christmas, and it is still one of our favourite places to meet him, but unfortunately this year we were unable to. Not to worry as we were still in for a real treat. 

 Having been for the past two years, I was a little worried the girls might feel like they had seen it all before but there were so many wonderful new additions this year.  The girls favourite was the fairy garden.

It was certainly clear to see why too. Such amazing attention to detail. 

It was a real challenge to try and get any half decent photos given how dark it was, but I am hoping these at least show just a little of how beautiful the fairy garden is. 

The girls were simply captivated and at one point it was the quietest I have ever seen them as they stood and took in all the sights surrounding them.

Whilst I still cannot pronounce the word, the illumaphonium was magical. A large structure which you could play music on. The melody would travel up the 6ft structure and the lights change as it went. 

All around the gardens you could hear the sounds of the illumaphonium. It was so magical. Such a wonderful addition. 

The girls loved walking through the gardens. Following the lights, and seeing where they lead us.

Finding magical fairy doors to knock on, before entering the dell.

Warming hands on the opening fire, which we were told was also for toasting marshmallows on.

The glittering disco ball casting patterns or light on the woodland floor.

The whole experience was magical and a great way to start our festive weekend.

The girls have been wanting to make slime for some time so on Friday we too inspiration from  ex Blue Peter presenter and craft queen Konnie Huq, as she has partnered with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to create the homemade STEM toys of Christmas, rivalling some of the must-have toys on the market. This is a more economical way of creating some of the must have toys this Christmas, and it is also a lot of fun to do too.  I have included the video in case you would like to have a go as well.

It would not be Christmas without a trip to a Christmas market. Saturday was a trip to York to visit the Christmas market and do some last minute shopping. The girls love the chocolate pancakes and they always work well as a treat during our visit to the market.

Whilst in York we visited Fairfax house. It took us just over an hour to walk around and was a rather interesting visit. Fairfax House is laid out in the traditional décor of 17th century life, with a whole host of treasures waiting to be discovered. There are a range of family friendly activities to encourage children to learn about life in the 17th century. This includes following the tail of the town house mouse Gregory.  

The house was decorated in traditional Georgian Christmas style and so in some rooms Gregory had been moved to make space for Christmas, this also meant that some of the quiz we were unable to complete too, but we did our best. My youngest daughter at 5 found some of the questions quite tricky and instead counted the clocks throughout the house and spotted Gregory, my 7 year old managed the downstairs questions and a few upstairs.

There are no photos or videos allowed inside the house, so I could not take any as we were walking round. The girls enjoyed looking round but would have preferred much more hands on activities. Perhaps some Georgian dressing up, or baking in the Georgian kitchen. There was an event later that day at 5pm, but it would have made it too late for Little Man as he would want his dinner. It was still a nice way to spend an hour, especially getting out of the cold and breaking up the shopping trip too. We did learn a lot about Christmas in the Georgian period and we were astonished to learn about their 30 course dinners!

Having done shopping, learnt about Christmas past, made Christmas crafts, visited Christmas fairies and elves, there could be only one festive activity left for Sunday a festive show!

We headed over to Cast in Doncaster to watch 'The Great Christmas Dig' by Handmade theatre. Last year we saw the 12 birds of Christmas and absolutely loved it so we were very excited to see the performance this year. 

Whilst last year we were sat in nests, this year we were on an exciting archaeological dig in Egypt and so we were sat on rugs and benches. We were greeted to our seats by a camel, which set the tone and got the girls giggling from the start. Christmas spirit came to introduce herself too, which was nice. 

As is always the case with Handmade productions their shows are incredibly interactive and also lots of fun,  which makes them perfect for the whole family to enjoy. The Great Christmas Dig did not disappoint. There was singing and dancing, and audience participation. The girls loved digging to discover Christmas decorations and getting the chance to decorate the tree. Each cast member should be congratulated in ensuring that no one was forgotten about or left out and that every child got to participate if they wanted to. 

50 minutes just flew by once again but it is safe to say the dig was successful and we all left full of Christmas Spirit! We all thoroughly enjoyed the performance and would highly recommend it.

It has been such a wonderful festive weekend, I am not sure we could have fitted anything else in! The final week of school to go and a week full of Christmas productions and carol singing lies ahead.

This day I love a festive weekend

Enchanted Brodsworth - Fri 15 - Sat 23 Dec 2017

Fairfax House - Check website for events

The Great Christmas Dig - 9th - 31st Dec 2017

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