October half term

October half term seemed to fly past in the blink of an eye. I think our school was a lot later than most. We luckily had both Halloween and an inset day to cover bonfire night so we made the most of spooky happenings!

I still had to work so it was a case of juggling both work and fun with the kids but we seemed to manage. First to get us in the Halloween mood was a spooky party. I was there working, taking photos of people in my spooky Halloween booth, the kids however had an amazing time playing party games and joining in with all the craft activities. The best way to combine work and fun for the kids too!

Trying to make the most of the weather, so after a morning of work in the studio we all ventured outside for a walk and a picnic. My children love a picnic, even in the cold, so it was a treat for them. I cannot say that Little Man was too impressed about having his photos taken though!

The girls wanted to carve pumpkins in preparation for Halloween. I was a bit unsure how I could supervise 3 children carving pumpkins and so opted to pay for tickets at the local garden centre. It was worth it as I had help to carve 3 pumpkins and I didn't have to worry about any of the mess. 

It might have taken an hour but it really made the girls day. They had so much fun carving pumpkins and after Little Man had finished his two year old paddy under the table he had fun also.

I wanted to try a few different experiences this half term and also try to make the most of different events happening near us. My youngest daughter has been learning about the Victorians at school and I thought a visit to Abbey House Museum in Leeds would be perfect. I had been sent tickets for us to visit but we spent money in the gift shop and in the cafe too.

Having never been before I wasn't sure what to expect but was simply taken back by the attention to detail. We entered the museum into a Victorian street. It was here we began our hunt for cats in hats! A treasure hunt if you like.

Downstairs is the Victorian streets and upstairs is more of a museum with interactive elements and lots to look at. In fact I found it really interesting. We stumbled upon spooky science, now this appealed to all three of my children. Little Man could play with water and the gel beads. 

The girls meanwhile carried out several spooky experiments! They didn't want to leave and did some of them twice!

We decided to head back downstairs to explore some more, and see if we could find more cats. It was so fascinating wandering through the Victorian streets and looking at all the artefacts, we even stumbled across some Halloween crafts and ended up staying there until closing time.

I can imagine that Abbey House is equally as beautiful at Christmas and might have to take the kids there to see a Victorian Christmas.

It was Halloween and time for some spooky fun. Staying away from the traditional trick or treat and this time trying something new. Temple Newsam was to be our location in the evening for a spooky spectacular. I was unsure what to expect having only ever visited in the daylight before, but the event sounded good so after grabbing something to eat in the cafe we made our way over to the spooky farmyard. 

The girls were each given a quality street when we entered and we then made our way around the farm yard in the dark. Werewolves were running loose, a graveyard was in the corner and the tractor looked rather frightening.

Whilst many of the animals were asleep there were a few awake for us to look at. Instead of animals though there were many other spooky happenings on the farm. A zombie house to trick or treat and a clairvoyance in her spooky house. I was rather impressed to the attention to detail. A good fright it certainly was. 

After walking round the farm it was time to enter the haunted house. All the lights were out and we had to follow the candles on the floor. A soft orange glow illuminated the path ahead. As we walked through the rooms in the house you became aware of figures standing in corners. Dressed in black with white faces, it was rather frightening. Little Man had no clue what was going on but the girls were scared.

We left to be given a small toy, a yoyo and a stamp for the girls, and that was the end of our evening experience. The girls were terrified and wanted to come home and slightly disappointed by the lack of treats, so to make up I bought them some sweets from the gift shop on the way out.

A very unsettled night followed as both girls had bad dreams but we were up out again the next morning to visit the Industrial museum in Leeds. 

Another chance for my youngest daughter to learn about the Victorians. This time she took on the role of a doctor as we made our way round the industrial mill diagnosing the rather sick co workers. 

Leeds Industrial museum also had a slightly different Halloween event and it was here that the girls learnt all about the origins of Halloween. An event run by Pagan circle the girls got to ask lots of questions about witches and Halloween. It was really interesting. They learnt about the healing properties of certain herbs and got to make their very own bath bombs. 

We had spent all day learning about Pagans, Halloween and making our own bathbombs and wands. It was therefore time for a treat and time for dinner and that could only mean one thing, Five Guys!

Our half term was flying by and after work on the Friday the girls and I headed into Leeds for a very special visit. We had been invited to visit the opening of Frugi pop up store in Leeds. The colours and patterns were so bright and vivid and so much more impressive in real life. The girls wanted to bring the store home!

We had received a rather special delivery over half term too, a box of American Candy from Taffy mail. Taffy mail is a monthly subscription box that delivers American candy direct to your door. The girls couldn't wait to try them all, and have made a video which is coming live soon on YouTube. Make sure you subscribe to see what the girls think of American Candy. I on the other hand rather like candy corn and need to find some more! It certainly was a real treat to try all this different candy, there was just so much a huge box worth!

The weekend weather was looking good and so we decided to make the most of it, and our final few days before school started again, outdoors exploring. Little Man is at that funny age where he refused to go in the pushchair but he gets tired quick and wants picking up, except he really doesn't want to be picked up and instead just wants to be independent. I have however found a solution to this and that's the Step2 neighbourhood wagon. 

You may have seen on my instagram stories as I built the wagon with Little Man climbing on my back and sitting in the wagon. It took around 10 minutes to do. The handle is actually meant to go the other way so that it can fold underneath for storage, but I actually find it more comfortable this way round.

The Neighbourhood wagon went everywhere with us this half term and without it I probably could not have managed. Little Man loves it. He doesn't see it as a pushchair and calls it his car. He climbs in himself and has even had his lunch whilst sitting in it!

He has two cup holder spaces, which he makes full use of and a space which I think is meant for juice cartons but he likes to put his tablet in it! The bottom of the wagon has two small holes in so that when he decided to pour water in to the wagon it came straight out again, this also makes it easier to wash as you can give it a good hose down.

I find the wagon is easier to pull rather than push as I feel I have more control over the direction. Either way though it is surprisingly light weight and easy to manoeuvre.

His sister are not allowed to touch the handle of the wagon, he instead likes to pull the wagon with them sat in it. Which is rather funny watching him move his sisters around, that is until he gets distracted by a rock or a plane!

The Step2 neighbourhood wagon has been so helpful. Not just with transporting children and keeping Little Man safe but also with moving things. I was able to use it to transport the kit for parkrun recently and it made things so much easier. I honestly don't know how I would have managed this half term without it.

Final night was bonfire night. With Little Man falling asleep early and my youngest daughter not feeling well it was a chance for me to spend some one on one time with my eldest.

We headed to a local bonfire. It had a few fairground rides and live music and it was a great evening except no one knew when the fireworks would be starting. After discovering we had over an hour to go, despite arriving over an hour ago, we wondered if we should just head home. We tried warming ourselves by the fire and passing the time by walking around but nothing seemed to work. My eldest was now cold and fed up and we still had 30 minutes

After what felt like forever the fireworks started. My daughter and I stood and watched the fireworks together. We watched for five minutes or so and then she asked to start walking home. We took the long way home together so she could continue to watch them as we walked. Whilst it might have been cold and we got a bit fed up waiting, I loved spending time with her one to one. It's not often that happens and it was just lovely to be able to.

Our half term holiday was over, but we had fitted so much in. The only thing the girls wanted to do and didn't was go to the cinema so I am hoping to do that one weekend with them soon.

Tickets to Leeds Industrial museum, Abbey house and temple newsam were sent to ours in exchange for a post. The Step2 wagon and candy box were also gifted to us. All words are my own opinion. 

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