Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Dates for your Diary - Horrible Histories Double Bill Heads to Storyhouse, Chester

As a child I used to love reading the Horrible Histories series of books. They helped me to become interested in history and they made learning fun, enjoyable and entertaining.  I introduced my own children to the books over the past few years and along with regularly watching the TV show, they have become huge fans. We were therefore all really excited to learn that the smash-hit show Horrible Histories Live On Stage will be heading to Storyhouse in Chester in less than one weeks time with a double bill set to wow young and old alike.

The first Horrible Histories books were published in 1993, and to celebrate the 25th anniversary the team behind the successful books have brought two titles to life with brand new engaging, entertaining and educational stage shows.

The Horrible Histories double bill of Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians will entertain Storyhouse audiences with two hilarious shows featuring eye-popping 3D special effects.

Horrible Histories Live on Stage comes to Storyhouse in Chester from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November 2019. Tickets are on sale now and group rates are also available.

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is written by Terry Deary from his bestselling Horrible Histories books. Terry Deary is the world's bestselling non-fiction author for children and one of the most popular children's authors in the country. He has written 200 books which have been translated into 40 different languages. Over the past 25 years, his 50 Horrible Histories titles have sold over 25 million copies worldwide from China to Brazil.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

Terrible Tudors gives visitors the chance to take a trip through the Horrible Henrys to the end of evil Elizabeth and hear the legend (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors. Find out the fate of Henry's headless wives and his punch-up with the Pope. Meet Bloody Mary and see Ed fall dead in his bed. Survive the Spanish Armada as it sails into the audience! Terrible Tudors runs from Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

Awful Egyptians invites you to meet the fascinating Pharoahs, gasp at the power of the pyramids, and discover the foul facts of death and decay with the meanest mummies in Egypt. Are you ready to rumble with Ramesses the Great? Dare you enter through the Gates of the Afterlife? It's the history of Egypt with the nasty bits left in! Awful Egyptians runs from Wednesday 6th November to Friday 8th November 2019.

A special feature of the productions are the amazing Bogglevision 3D effects. Among an array of 3D-illusions the audience will see the Spanish Armada firing cannonballs into the auditorium or the Mummy reaching out to grab them!

Horrible Histories Live on Stage is directed by Neal Foster, design is by Jackie Trousdale, lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Nick Sagar, and music by Matthew Scott.

Birmingham Stage Company are also currently celebrating their 25th anniversary and are one of the world's top theatre companies for families. Their acclaimed productions include David Walliams' Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie, and Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine. They have been producing Horrible Histories Live on Stage since 2005, including their record-breaking West End series of Barmy Britain.

These two hilarious historical journeys through the squelchiest and yuckiest moments in British and Egyptian history are perfect entertainment for anyone aged from 5 to 105!

Tickets are on sale now and range in price from £13.50 for children under 14, to £18.50 for adults. Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

For more information you can visit the website www.HHliveonstage.com

What do the critics say about Horrible Histories?

'A brilliantly fun piece of educational theatre that taught this history graduate a few new things'
Daily Telegraph

'Is this any way for children to learn about history? Too right it is! If lessons were always like this, kids would be queuing at the school gates!'
The Times

'Mortgage the school if you have to. Ransom the governers, even. No child or adult should be denied the chance to see this: live theatre and history at its rip-roaring best'
Times Educational Supplement

'These actors should be in every school history class across the land. Or given how little most of us know, maybe every living room!'
The Scotsman

'Wholly accesible, educating, entertaining and enjoyable, Horrible Histories live on stage is a tour de force. Five stars out of five!'
BBC.co.uk

Listing Details

Horrible Histories 
Tuesday 5th November to Friday 8th November
Venue: Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR
Tickets: £13.50 children under 14 / £18.50 Adults
Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee

Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors
Tuesday 5th November - Friday 8th November
Tuesday 5th November 2019 at 5:30pm
Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 1:30pm
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 6pm
Friday 8th November 2019 at 10:30am

Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians
Wednesday 6th November - Friday 8th November
Wednesday 6th November 2019 at 10:30am
Thursday 7th November 2019 at 10:30am
Friday 8th November 2019 at 6pm

Tickets can be booked online at www.storyhouse.com, or by calling 01244 409113. Alternatively you can visit the Ticket Kiosks at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester, CH1 2AR.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

*Disclaimer - This post is based on a press release kindly provided by BEA. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Dates for your Diary - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the M&S Bank Arena 13th December to 24th December 2019

Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it's off to panto land we go as Shone Productions' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs comes to The Auditorium at the M&S Bank Arena from Friday 13th December to Tuesday 24th December 2019.

This magical tale sees Snow White flee to the enchanted forest to escape the clutches of the evil Wicked Queen after the Magic Mirror foretells that Snow White is the fairest of them all!

Image credit: Activate Digital

The show will feature amazing 3D special effects along with plenty of laughter, music, comedy, breath-taking sets and costumes. So be sure to book early for this festive panto extravaganza.

Union J's JJ Hamblett will lead the all-star cast as the Prince; the hilarious Mark Hudson as Dame Dolly; local talent Ellie Turner plays Snow White; the Scouse queen of panto, Radio City's Leanne Campbell returns to play The Wicked Queen; and comedy star Bippo is back to play Muddles. Plus, it has recently been announced that Radio City Talk presenter, performer and media personality Pete Price will be the voice of the Dragon.

Listing Details

Event - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Date - Friday 13th December to Tuesday 24th December 2019
Times - Times vary so please see the website for the most up to date information.
Tickets - Prices start from £12.50
Booking - Tickets can be purchased from the website www.mandsbankarena.com/snowwhite or call the M&S Bank Arena Box Office on 0344 8000 400

Image credit: David Munn Photography

*Disclaimer - This post is written based on details provided by BEA. Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Win the Electronic Game of Bank Attack from John Adams Toys - Competition

Bank Attack is a brand new game from Ideal by John Adams Toys, which is sure to get families working together to crack the code and win the prize. This highly innovative and different play experience is both challenging and rewarding, but can you become criminal masterminds to break the vault and release the hidden gold inside?

Each player must pick their role in the group from Hacker; Money Man; Look Out or Explosives Expert and then use your special talents to break the bank. You can also select a difficulty level, then follow the spoken commands without delay: grab the right tools, pass them on at the right moment, use them quickly and grab the millions.

You can see how we got on when we recently played this game in our full review here.


Bank Attack is recommended for ages 7+ and has an RRP of £24.99. It is currently available to buy now from Argos, Smyths, Amazon and The Entertainer.

To find out more about Bank Attack or other games in the John Adams range, then you can visit their website and social media on the following channels:

Website - www.johnadams.co.uk
Twitter - @JohnAdams_toys
Facebook - facebook.com/IdealGamesUK
Instagram - @johnadams_toys
YouTube - JohnAdamsToys

We are delighted to be able to offer our readers the chance to win their very own copy of the electronic Bank Attack game and we have a fantastic competition for you to enter below. One lucky winner will soon be able to take on the Bank Attack challenge and see if you are able complete the mission!

If you are feeling lucky, then simply read the terms and conditions and enter using the gleam form below.

Win a Bank Attack Game from John Adams

Terms and Conditions

  • There is 1 (one) prize of a Bank Attack Game from Ideal by John Adams.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 31st October 2019 at 23:59
  • A winner shall be drawn from all eligible entries within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 14 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries
  • The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and permission shall be obtained from the winner prior to doing so.
*Disclaimer - This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. 

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Bank Attack from John Adams Toys - A Review

Bank Attack is a brand new game from Ideal by John Adams Toys, which is sure to get families working together to crack the code and win the prize. But can you become criminal masterminds to break the vault and release the hidden gold inside?

Each player must pick their role in the group from Hacker; Money Man; Look Out or Explosives Expert and then use your special talents to break the bank. You can also select a difficulty level, then follow the spoken commands without delay: grab the right tools, pass them on at the right moment, use them quickly and grab the millions.


Now that my children are getting older, I really like the fact that we can play more challenging games together. This new electronic game encourages players to cooperate with one another and follow the instructions carefully in order to win, so it was really nice to play something a little different as a family.

The product itself comes packaged in a recyclable cardboard box which features brightly covered graphics all over. The front doesn't really give much away as to what is included or what the game is about, however the reverse has very clear photographs that show the product well, in addition to some basic instructions which gives you a good understanding of what is involved. Both the front and rear state the recommended age of 7+ and also advise that it is suitable for 2 to 4 players.

It was really easy to set up the game and simply involved removing the tools from their packaging and placing some batteries into the safe. It requires 3 x AA batteries to play and it is important to note that these aren't included. The full list of contents are:
  • 1 x Electronic Safe (requires 3 x AA batteries which are NOT included)
  • 8 x tools consisting of goggles, drill, laptop, map, flashlight, headset, explosives and gloves
  • 12 x plastic gold bars
  • 20 x money bills
  • 1 x set of instructions
I read through the instructions briefly and so initially there was a little bit of confusion amongst us and we failed the first attempt spectacularly! However after reading through them again more carefully, it soon became clear as to what we needed to do and we very quickly got the hang of what was required.


To play the game all players need to firstly select their role in the mission. This can be the Hacker, Money Man, Lookout or Explosives Expert. Once all the positions have been decided then you next select your level. There are five progressive levels to choose from which each get quicker and more intense, so it is definitely the best option to begin on level one until you have had some practice. There is also a bonus level which we haven't attempted just yet. You also need to load your gold bars into the top of the vault which is really easy to do and takes less than a minute and replace the lid.

Once you are ready to play you need to follow the instructions from the Boss, whose voice comes out from the electronic safe. The Boss will tell you whether you need to grab certain tools, pass them to one another, use them quickly, or collect the money bills. If mistakes are made then the alarm will trigger, but if you manage to successfully work together then you will pull off the heist and the gold bars will be released from the top of the safe.


We thought that the audio was really loud and clear so it was easy to hear and follow the instructions, but it could sometimes be hard to remember who had what tool which added to the fun element of the game. It was exciting and challenging and I really liked the fact that there was no designated loser out of the individual players which certainly meant that there was no upset or arguments between my children.

Overall we really enjoyed this game. Admittedly it took a couple of goes of level one for us to fully get the hang of it, but once we knew our roles and what to do, it quickly became a fast paced and engaging challenge. It is recommended for ages 7+ which I think is definitely the right age bracket as although my six year old played with us fine, he found it hard to process the information and react as quickly as he needed to, especially in the harder stages. I really liked the fact that it encourages the family to work together, so there were no arguments about anyone being the loser. It stores away in the box easily and it's size also means that it is ideal for us to take away with us on holiday. I would happily recommend this game to families and groups of friends and I can definitely see this being a popular game to play on Christmas Day.


Bank Attack has an RRP of £24.99 and it is currently available to buy now from Argos, Smyths, Amazon and The Entertainer.

To find out more about Bank Attack or other games in the John Adams range, then you can visit their website and social media on the following channels:

Website - www.johnadams.co.uk
Twitter - @JohnAdams_toys
Facebook - facebook.com/IdealGamesUK
Instagram - @johnadams_toys
YouTube - JohnAdamsToys



*Disclaimer - We were sent this item for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. Video is from the John Adams YouTube channel.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Day of the Dead Festival at Southport Pleasureland

On Saturday 2nd November, Southport Pleasureland will play host to the spectacular Day of the Dead event, in what is set to be an incredible night of entertainment that is bigger and better than ever before. There will be plenty for families to enjoy including stage shows, stilt walkers, fire eaters, live music, dancers and plenty of surprises too!  A live DJ will be sure to get visitors into the party spirit as the flavour of Mexico will come alive for this traditional Mexican festival.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase and enjoy some Mexican food, or browse the arts and crafts stalls. There will be plenty of rides for guests to enjoy too and for this night only they will be available for the special price of only £1.50 a ride, which offers a great saving.

 Image kindly provided by Southport Pleasureland

Entrance to the festival will commence from 5pm and there will be plenty to enjoy throughout the evening, before the event culminates in a spectacular fireworks display that is sure to light up the sky of the popular seaside town.

This event is ticketed only, so don't miss out on your chance to purchase your tickets now. Individual tickets are priced at only £10 per person (+80p administration fee per ticket) and there is a family discount available for groups purchasing four tickets. Children under 90cm in height can enter free of charge!

They are available to buy in advance on the Southport Pleasureland website here.

Image kindly provided by Southport Pleasureland
Event Details

Event - Day of the Dead Festival at Southport Pleasureland
Address - Southport Pleasureland, Marine Drive, Southport, PR8 1RX
Parking - There are 3 car parks located on the Esplanade and on Marine Drive
Public Transport - Southport Pleasureland is easily accesible by public transport and is a short walk from the park and ride station, the town centre and Southport Railway station.
Tickets - Tickets cost £10 per person (+ 80p administration fee). Family discount is also available for groups purchasing 4 tickets.

For further information you can visit the Southport Pleasureland website or social media pages on the following channels:

Website: www.southportpleasureland.com/day-of-the-dead
Twitter: @SNPleasureland
Facebook: facebook.com/SouthportPL
Instagram: @snpleasureland



*Disclaimer - Details provided are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the attractions own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. Images kindly provided by Southport Pleasureland.


Friday, 11 October 2019

Slap Ninja by Jakks Pacific - A Review

Last night after a rush of homework, driving children to various clubs, making dinner and general tidying up, I had prepared myself for an early night, or simply just relaxing on the sofa and watching television. However, my children had other ideas and my lazy peaceful hour actually resulted in sixty minutes of hilarity, fun and so much laughter that I cried!

Why was this? Well....allow me to introduce Slap Ninja! A brand new game which was sent to us from Jakks Pacific to review. It is suitable for all the family from ages 4+ and requires 3 x AAA batteries which are included. Designed as a game of skill, you must perfect your speed and precision on your quest to become the ultimate ninja champion.


The packaging is simple and you can see the full product on display, which is great for shoppers as you can instantly see exactly what the game is about. There is also a 'try me' function, so you can press the button whilst it is still in the box and listen to some of the audio as well as feel the buzz. My children found this extremely funny before game play even began as the buzzing would make the box move across the table and it was also very loud, much to their delight.

The game was easy to remove from the box and was simply a case of tearing some of the box and cutting a couple of plastic ties from various parts that were holding it in place. My only minor complaint with this, is that it is the sort of box that you cannot use to store the game in afterwards. Within less than a minute though, the game was ready to play and my mini ninjas prepared for battle.


Game play is super easy and simply requires two players to sit opposite from one another, with each player placing one hand around their handle. One player is the designated Ninja Student, whilst the other is the Ninja Master. The challenge if you are the student, is to press the red button three times without being slapped and believe me this can get tricky, especially if you have a very competitive Ninja Master in charge of the giant slapping hand.

If the student manages to do this, then the master gets a shock through the controller, however if the master successfully slaps three times, then this shock is delivered to the student instead. Super easy to understand, but not quite so easy to master the skill!


Whilst playing there is music provided, which adds to the tension of the challenge and I personally thought that this was a great idea. It certainly built the suspense as we each took it in turns to take a go of being the student. There are star lights which turn red to help you keep track of the score too, so there are no worries about missing a point.

My children are all extremely competitive and as most parents will know, this can often lead to arguments where games are concerned, but this one just resulted in so much laughter that it was fantastic. It was actually funny to lose, which helped to create such a nice atmosphere during play.


Overall we absolutely loved this game! In short, it is an electronic version of the age old playground game of slaps, but with an added twist and plenty of laughs. I really liked the fact that the game was good to go from the moment you got it out of the box. There was no tricky set up, no having to read through mountains of instructions, you just simply have to place it on your chosen surface and get ready to play. My family found it hilarious and the look on Riley's face when he lost the first round and the handle began to buzz was absolutely priceless. I would happily recommend this game to others and I can see this definitely being a Christmas must-have!

This game is currently available to purchase from Smyths Toys, Amazon and other good retailers.

For more information on this product or others in the Jakks Pacific range, then you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.jakks.com
Facebook - facebook.com/jakkspacifictoys
Twitter - @JAKKSToys
Instagram - @jakkstoys



*Disclaimer - We were gifted this product for the purpose of writing an honest review of the game. All opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Dough Nab The Game - A Review

We love a good games night in our home, especially now the darker nights are closing in and rainy days have been in abundance. We were therefore delighted to receive Dough Nab from Ginger Fox to review and add to our family collection.

Dough Nab The Game is described as being "Jam-Packed With Fun" so we were very excited to put this to the test. My children couldn't wait to find out what the bakery themed game was all about and whether we would enjoy a 'hole' lot of entertainment!

The game itself comes really well presented. We loved the bright and colourful design that adorned the box and the doughnuts that were visible through the clear window on the front. It opened just like a real bakery box and I thought that the packaging suited the theme of the game perfectly. The age recommendation of 8+ is shown in the bottom corner along with a player suggestion of 3-6 people and an estimated play time of 20-30 minutes.


The rear of the box provides some basic information on the game, along with the list of contents which includes:

  • 3 doughnuts (Not edible)
  • A 'Head Baker' winner's hat
  • 60 doughnut cards
  • Turn tracker
  • Game rules
In terms of setting the game up, then it really couldn't be simpler. You place the three plastic doughnuts in the centre of all the players and someone can then shuffle the cards. Each player is then dealt 10 doughnut cards in the face down position before the bakery blitz can then commence. Any spare cards can just be put to one side for the time being.

Each player must then take it in turns to flip over the top card in their pile. The first person can be given the turn tracker token so that it is easy to know whose go it is next, which is also great to eliminate any arguments that may arise. The cards must be placed face-up in front of everyone which quickly builds up the individual Dough Nab piles. As soon as you see three cards with the same coloured doughnut, you have to grab the corresponding doughnut as quickly as you can.


The player who successfully gets their hand to the doughnut first, can then choose a player to receive their dough nab pile who then adds it to their collection. Play then continues until you have managed to not only offload all of your dough nab pile, but also played all the cards in your hand too. The winner then receives the fabulous Head Baker's hat which can be worn with pride! 

The aim of the game is to be the first person to get rid of all their cards, so it's vital to be both extremely observant and very quick. It is important to note, that as well as the coloured doughnuts, there are also some 'Special Cards' which add even more fun to the game. These are:

  • The Magic Doughnut Cards - These can be matched with doughnut cards of any other colour, but you must grab the doughnut that corresponds to the majority colour. This is unless three Magic Doughnut cards are visible at the same time, in which case you can select any colour.
  • Crumbs Cards - These can't be used for a grab and have simply been included to cause some confusion amongst players.
  • The Don't Nab! Card - You cannot grab any doughnuts until the Don't Nab! card is covered up
  • The Nab! Card - If this card is revealed then all players can immediately race to grab any doughnut. 

Overall we found this game to be great fun and VERY competitive. It is really fast paced and all of my children really enjoyed trying to be the fastest to grab the matching doughnut. The suggested age is for children aged 8+ however we played as a family with children aged 6, 11 and 12 and my youngest had no issue understanding or keeping up with the game. We loved the design and simplicity of the product and would definitely recommend it to families looking for a fun game that can be enjoyed together.


Dough Nab is currently available to buy from Amazon and other good retailers.

If you would like to find out more about Ginger Fox games, then you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Instagram - @GingerFoxUK
Twitter - @GingerFox_UK


*Disclaimer - We were gifted this product for the purpose of writing an honest review of the game. All opinions and photographs are my own unless otherwise stated. This post contains an amazon affiliate link.


Saturday, 5 October 2019

Dates for your Diary - Christmas at Dunham Massey 2019

Christmas at Dunham Massey has been one of our most favourite winter attractions for the past couple of years. The magical, after-dark, illuminated trail is simply spectacular and it never fails to get my family and I, into the festive spirit. Our reviews from the past couple of years have also proved to be very popular with our readers and I am therefore delighted to provide further details on this years beautiful event.

Christmas at Dunham Massey will be returning to the historic National Trust property in Cheshire from the 22nd November to the 30th December 2019.

Visitors will be able to discover new immersive installations as the magical winter trail is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Now in it's third year, the seasonal trail is established as a much-anticipated experience for all.

New for 2019 see world-renowned light installations as you enter a grand avenue replanted with gigantic illuminated flowers and the house brought to life by festive projections. Walk through the dynamic, glowing Vortex Tunnels and stroll towards the mesmerising reflections made by Fire on Water. Watch out as lights seem to tumble from the undergrowth and light up trees like fizzing fireworks and take time to pause at the delicate carpet of colour-changing blooms.

Favourite installations will also return, including the larger-than-life glittering deer and the towering Tunnel of Light twinkling with thousands of pea-lights. Take in the Field of Light and discover the woodland world festooned with seasonal cheer, accompanied by festive music along the way.

Image from the 2018 event

Have a holly, jolly Christmas and complete your walk under the stars with spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate.* Gather around the fire-pit with family and friends to toast marshmallows* and end the evening in Dunham Massey's well-stocked shop.*

For the young ones there's a Victorian Carousel*, helter skelter*, and other family rides* and keep your eyes peeled for Father Christmas and his helpers along the way.

Christmas at Dunham Massey is brought to you by leading events promoter Raymond Gubbay Limited, a division of Sony Music, in partnership with the National Trust (Registered Charity 205846). The trail is created by Culture Creative Limited.

For further information on Christmas at Dunham Massey, please visit their website or social media channels which can be found here:

Website - National Trust - Dunham Massey
Facebook - DunhamMasseyNT - Facebook
Twitter - @DunhamMasseyNT

Event Details

Attraction - Christmas at Dunham Massey, the magical, after-dark, illuminated trail.
Location - Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 4SJ
Dates - Selected dates from 22nd November to 30th December 2019.
Admission - From: Adult £17.50, Child (3-16) £11.00, Family £54.00
Website - For full details and pricing, please visit the Dunham Massey website Christmas at Dunham Massey

*Additional charges are applicable for vintage rides, food and drink.

Image from our attendance at previous event

*Disclaimer - Details provided in this post are believed to be correct at the time of writing, but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the events own website in order to obtain the most up to date information. This post is a combination of our own opinion of the event from previous years, as well as a press release which was kindly provided to us. Images in this post are my own from previous years.