• Sharna Leanne

5 Festive Things to do with a Toddler

Last Christmas…I gave you my heart…

What I mean to say was last Christmas I put so much pressure on myself to make sure that we had lots of things planned, little events to go to and to be honest it clouded my quality time with my dude – not many things even went to plan so it caused stress and guilted me even more! Not to mention it cost way too much over budget. As a solo parent every penny is claimed for something or other, mainly bills lets be honest.

This year i’ve decided to book a couple of things, because I’ve recently had to finish working due to ill health my purse strings are tighter than EVER so I’ve booked things that don’t break the bank and I’ll repeatedly tell myself that it’s enough – I don’t need to book the Polar Express, Winter Wonderlands here and there, I honestly can’t afford it! Don’t get me wrong they look INCREDIBLE but I’m looking forward to seeing other families photos on instagram and that’s enough for me this year.

So I’m going to show you where we’re going, things that don’t break the bank that mainly cost below £20 and some are even a couple of quid that I know Alden will enjoy just as much!

1: Elf Workshop with Little Learners Northumberland

Dude is already an avid Little Learner, it’s brought his mark making on so much, Georgia is an inspiring course leader and has launched two workshops one in Morpeth (2nd Dec) and one in Cramlington (29th Nov). During these classes little ones can have lots of the usual Little Learner mark making fun, dry messy play and Elf’y crafts but she has also teamed up with Teddy Mountain so little ones will stuff a 16″ Elf soft toy themselves with soft fibres, adding a heart too. There is even a certificate to name your Elf and a Christmas box to take your new Xmassy friend home with you! There’s limited spaces and they’re starting soon so book quick! Use code GPM093 to save 25% on the last couple of spaces it’s a Black Friday Discount Deal! I’ve gratefully been gifted our trip to the Elf workshop from Georgia. We’ve also bought a ticket to the Christ-mess event she is holding but this is sold out! It was the first Little Learners Event we attended and we’ve been on every term since we love it so much!

Some images from last years Christ-Mess.

2: Breakfast / Tea with Santa – Dobbies Garden Centre

This is our first year doing an actual sitting event with Dobbies. Last year we went to the Grotto and it was amazing, the lead up to the grotto with the miniature towns and the reindeers, polar bears and penguins Alden absolutely loved it and the gift we chose was a Lego duplo set so I’ve decided to book a breakfast with Santa this year at our local garden centre. Prices for children is £13.99 which includes a branded gift from one of the following Lego, Playmobil, Bigjigs, WOW Toys, Ravens Burger, Baker Taylor and GALT. Adult prices start from £5.99 depending on location and how much breakfast you’d like – they even have Vegetarian options available too.

A couple photos from last years visit to santas grotto – more can be seen on our instagram

3: Festive Tales with Santa – Woodhorn Museum

I love the idea of these sessions, I think hearing a story prior to meeting him will help little ones feel a lot more relaxed about meeting such a magical character! Woodhorn always has different events happening and Christmas is amazing there, theyve made sure they’ve got something for everyone hosting Relaxed and Under 5 Sessions alongside their usual Festive Tale sessions. We’ve booked on an Under 5 session. Included in the price is a 30 Minute session including a seasonal story, a photo opportunity and a little ones come away with a seasonal gift!

Tickets cost £6.50 – adults don’t require a ticket purchase unlike other places however this is alongside a usual annual membership which we already hold. It only cost me £7 for an adult membership earlier in the year, which is still valid.

4: Christmas Fun Events – Action for Children Centres

We go to a playgroup, for 0-5years, every week organised with our local children centre and we’ve bought tickets to their Christmas Event this year again. I can remember fondly when Alden was a baby – its cheap and cheerful there are always little craft and play stations all with Chrismas related activities. One year we made a little footprint card, some reindeer food with some oats and saw santa and got a lovely story book as a present. Alden can’t wait for this years – the ticket cost £2.50. There are Children Centres dotted all around Northumberland so it’s worth checking your local ones facebook page to find out the details about their event.

5: Feeding Reindeer – Azure Garden Centre

Garden centres are locally like a day out, lets admit it – especially at Christmas! Azure Garden centre is always immaculately decorated, starting with lights of all different colours and shapes, miniature set ups winding around through different themed set ups that are all full of wonder for toddlers! Iv’e been taking Alden since he was a baby, the lights alone are like a free sensory experience. At the end of the trail they have ‘Santa’s’ reindeers that you can feed from the dispenser for £1. They have a lot of different events from Christmas Markets to meals in the Reindeer retreat a tipi erected for Xmas – the photos would be so cute!!

Last year at Azure.

This is my frugal way to keep Christmas cheap this year. Mum guilt is truly an enigma, even though I have these things booked it sometimes pops in to tell me we should’ve booked this or that but I’m working on telling it there is more than enough planned – I’m focusing on quality over quantity this year – in between the few little events, I have some activities planned for in the house. We’ll be heading down to our village Christmas Lights switch on and ill take Alden out in the car light spotting like last year he loved that! I’ll be writing another blog post in December with some craft ideas and I’m thinking about taking part in vlogmass too – you can head to our channel and subscribe for updates.

Have you got any fun activities planned? Let me know in the comments i’d love to hear about them. Whatever you have planned this season I hope you have a wonderful time with your loved ones.

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