What's on

Halloween events this weekend in your local area

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There is no doubt about it, it’s Autumn, it’s dark (remember the clocks are changing this Sunday!) and it’s cold but before we get anywhere near Christmas it’s Halloween!

There are lots of events on this coming weekend and at the time of writing this it looks like it will be a dry weekend too (fingers crossed!). No plans yet? Let me run through some of the local events and you can see if any take your fancy!

  1. Wand Workshop, Crombie

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On both Saturday and Sunday this weekend you can attend an hourly session to make your own wand!

“Explore your inner wizardry by designing and decorating your own wand in time for Halloween. All materials are supplied but you maust cast your own spells! 

Hourly sessions from 10am till 3pm

£5.90 Adult
£4.30 Concession

Book your tickets online or contact the Park for more details on 01241 860360 or crombiecountrypark@angusalive.scot”

Also, between now and the end of the month you can take a walk round Crombie and look out for the hidden spooky characters on their Ghost and Pumpkin Trails! Don't worry, I was up last week and people weren’t hiding behind trees waiting to give you a fright (that’s when I’d find out how fast I could really run!) so definitely family friendly and fun for the kids to explore and keep a look out for ghosts and other spooky characters.

You can buy a trail form from reception for £1, the event is free.

2. The Brownie of Ferne Den & The Den Fiend, Monikie

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These are two separate events in association with Monifieth Amateur Dramatics being held this weekend at Monikie.

“In a time, once, long ago, when fairies and bogles lived among us, there was one magical creature who used his powers for mischief. But Farmer Angus and his wife Jeannie have a kindness that is catching, and perhaps the mischief maker can use any powers to make that world of old a better place.

Has your sock gone astray? Did that door slam with no one there? And who was that tapping on the window?! It could have been...The Brownie of Ferne Den!”

This is an open air theatre event lasting 45 minutes, make sure you wrap up warm as it kicks off when the sun is down at 6:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Click here for full information and links to buy tickets. We might see you there!

The Den Fiend is on at 8pm-9pm on both Saturday and Sunday from ages 14+. You can find out more information on the event here.

3. Halloween at Glamis Castle

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From having a read about this weekend at Glamis Castle it looks pretty spooky! If you have been in previous years it would be great to hear from you, I found The Sixth Sense film scary so it doesn’t take much to give me a fright!

“Please be aware that the Haunted Tour, the Bewitched Wood and the Adults Only Halloween Tour feature dark surroundings, frightening ghosts and spooky stories. Parental discretion is advised.”

You can find more information and book tickets via their website here.

4. Craigtoun Halloween Event

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“Numbers are strictly limited so don’t miss out –
call our Ticket Office on 01334 472013 to book yours now!

Tickets cost £7.50 per person (adults need a ticket too but under 3s are free)
and include a hot or cold drink, a Halloween sweet treat and a ghostly tractor ride,
as well as a kids disco, party games, spooky story telling, letter trail,
lantern competition and fancy dress parade.”

You can find some photos from previous years events on the Craigtoun website here.

5. Halloween Storytelling, Barry Mill

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I love walking up by Barry Mill, they have different events on all year round so it’s worth keeping an eye on their facebook page. This event is on Sunday at both 5pm and 6pm (45 minutes long).

“Come & listen - if you dare! Halloween was a time for storytelling around the fire like no other! We want you to come along and experience spooky, funny and occasionally gruesome tales in that tradition.Our corn drying kiln is perfect for this as you'll be sitting above a giant 'cauldron of fire'!

Tickets;
Child £4
Adult £5
Family (1 adult and up to 3 children) £10

Available online and on the eve itself subject to availability

For reasons of limited space, only one adult can accompany the children into the storytelling area - but we do expect that all children must be supervised inside or outside of the haunted tower. Recommended ages 6+”

You can find more information here.

Do you know of any other Halloween events this weekend you would like added to the list? Let me know!

5 Birthday party ideas in Dundee for older kids

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You want to hold a birthday party for your child, you don't fancy holding it at home this year and you're thinking Dundee is nice and central. What options do you have? The kids always love soft play but you're looking for something different now they are getting a bit older. Have a look at these 5 ideas for your kids birthday party in the Dundee area.

1. Ancrum outdoor centre

Fancy an outdoor party? Ancrum outdoor centre have six different birthday party packages and includes an option for dry slope skiing starting from age 5+, indoor target archery from ages 8+ and dry slope snowboarding and introduction to climbing from from ages 12+.

You don't need a birthday as an excuse to take advantage of their facilities, check out their course calendar to see what's coming up or pop over to their facebook page to follow their goings on.

 

2. Dundee Science Centre

My kids love the Science Centre and I am considering this option for Jaime's birthday this year as I know she will love it! You follow the Science Centre over on facebook here.

They currently have the gross lab recommended for ages 4+ and a CSI mystery party recommend for ages 6+. Head on over to their party page for more information and free invitation downloads.

 

3. Ice Skating at Dundee Ice Arena

Ice skating is something I think I did a couple of times as a kid and never mastered but I remember it being a lot of fun! Dundee Ice Arena offer kids birthday parties at the weekend during the public skating session times. These parties are suitable for ages 7+ and are for 7-20 children. You can find out more information and contact details here and you can follow them on facebook here.

 

4. Go Karting at Scotkart

Scotkart have locations in Cambuslang, Clydebank and Dundee and offer kids birthday parties suitable from age 8+. Ages 8-13 use the Junior Track layout with ages 14+ racing on the full adult track. For more information head over to their website here, their Dundee facebook page is here.

 

5. Cinema party at the Odeon

Can you image being a kid and having a private cinema showing?! Yes the Odeon offer this but if that sounds a little crazy they also have packages for the kids weekend screenings (family films not currently on release) and blockbuster birthdays (current releases). You will need to contact them for pricing information, you can check out some FAQs and details here.

 

There are lots more options in and around Dundee, is there somewhere in particular you would recommend? If so I would love to hear from you!

P.s When researching this blog I also noticed there are two trampoline parks due to open in Dundee this year. Looking at their websites they will also be available for kids birthday parties. I'm looking forward to checking them out when they open!

5 local activities for you and your baby

There are lots of sessions and classes out there for you to attend with your baby, they are fun and interactive for your little one but also for you to meet up with like minded parents. Here I have listed 5 different classes with videos and links to find out what's on in your area.

1. Bookbug Sessions

I am a big believer that reading and singing to your kids from a young age have huge benefits and both my kids loved bookbug sessions. These sessions are free, last around 30 minutes per week and are available all over Scotland.  You can look up your local sessions here.

2. Baby massage

Baby massage is said to have benefits for both mum and baby. Babycentre have lots of information on baby massage here plus 4 different videos for baby massage for calming, helping digestion, strengthening and stretching for you to do at home.

Classes-

Dundee-Peapodbaby (IAIM*) and Deerbaby in Monikie (founded by Health Visitor Lynn Duncan BA BSc (Hons)

Angus-Jennifer Robson (IAIM*)

Fife-With Carly (IAIM*)

Perth-Baby yoga and massage Perthshire

*IAIM (The International Association of Infant Massage)

 

3. Baby Sensory

Baby Sensory classes are suitable from birth to 13 months and are available in Dundee, Angus (Broughty Ferry and Arbroath) and Fife.

4. Baby signing

We started baby signing with my eldest (now 8!) when she was a baby using a Sing and Sign dvd. Jaime was able to communicate in basic signs before she was talking and it was great! We did it a little with Finlay (now 3) but not as often or consistently and I wish we had. I also wish I had recorded Jaime signing as it blew my mind at the time! Here is a little video of Finlay, he is signing "pain", "doctor", kind of signing "again" and "where". At the time of recording he could fully sign along to the full song but I didn't catch it that day!

If you are interested in baby signing there are lots of local classes for you to checkout-

 

5. Water Babies

I am amazed every time I see a baby swimming underwater! I would recommend heading over to the Water Babies website where you can read a wealth of information about their classes, why they do what they do and how.   Water Babies North East cover Dundee, Angus and Aberdeen and Water Babies Central cover Perth and Fife.

Note from me to you-

In an ideal world I would have taken my kids to these classes, I see the benefits of them all and at the time I felt like I was failing in some way that I didn't take them. I suffered from depression and found the thought of getting out and about overwhelming. What I didn't realise in the "early days" of my parenting journey is 1) I was enough and not "failing" my children 2) I was not alone in finding parenting a challenge at points.

I say this because if for any reason you feel "every other mum" does all these activities and you're not good enough, please remember-You are enough.

Catriona
 

p.s-Receieve a complimentary maternity mini session when you purchase a newborn session!

5 ideas to get out with your family this December in Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth

It’s December! The month of sparkly lights, elves making appearances on shelves, mince pies, chocolate and much more in between.

There are lots of events for families on during this time of year, too many for me to mention!

Here I have picked 5 local things to do with your kids in our local area plus links to what’s on in Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth this festive season for you to explore.


1) The Mills Observatory, Dundee.

The sky may always be there but during this time of year younger children have the opportunity to look up at the night sky before their bedtime!

Our interest in space started when we borrowed a DVD copy of Stephen Hawkin’s Universe. It still blows my mind every time we watch it! The kids love looking at the stars at night, to keep an eye out for passing satellites and we all look forward to our annual dose of the BBC’s Stargazing Live.

Cbebbies also have their own Stargazing programs for younger children which is worth checking out.


The Mills Observatory in Dundee have a few events coming up including Winter Planetarium Shows that look great!

Take a tour of the night sky in the Observatory’s Planetarium Room and learn about constellations, asteroids, galaxies and much more. Please note, Winter Planetarium Shows are not suitable for very young children.
— Winter Planetarium Shows, Mills Observatory, Dundee

Also you can download apps for viewing the night sky and to find out when a satellite is due to pass by for you to see.

We use an app called SkyView Lite to identify the stars and planets, really useful to have on your phone when you are out and about with inquisitive minds! 


2) Festive fun weekends at Monikie Country Park

Angus Council have a lot going on at Monikie country park and it’s worth having a look to see if anything takes your fancy.

I love the idea of Christmas Decoration workshop. In my house kids plus craft equals happy kids. I love the thought of getting them out and about, enjoying the doing and making plus I can come home plus I get to avoid finding glitter and lollipop sticks around the house for the next few days!

Tickets are available on each day for this event as a first come first served basis, however, some tickets are also available online if you would like to secure your place in advance.

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3) Get out and about with the RSPB

Although in this section I will cover the Perth & Kinross area, you can pop on over to the RSPB website to look for events in other areas of the country too.

It may be chilly outside but that doesn't stop the kids from wanting to be out and about! Although we are already into December there are still events on in the Perth & Kinross area with even more scheduled into 2018. If your kids love nature have a look at these RSPB events-

Nature Tots: Helping animals through winter will be held at RSPB Loch Leven on Wednesday the 13th of December (for children aged 5 and under).

Wild Woodlands, Winter Treats at Quarrymill Woodland Park is coming up on Thursday the 21st of December and is for families with pre-school children.


4) Victorian Christmas at Falkland Palace & gardens

Join us for this family friendly festive event where you can spend some time exploring our royal ‘pleasure palace’ with a Victorian twist. Listen to live festive music in the Chapel Royal while taking in your succulently decorated surroundings, learn about the Victorian Christmas traditions that transformed the celebrations into the holiday we know and love today, try your hand at some period arts and crafts and listen to Christmas stories!

Head on out to our terrace to try some of our Victorian school ground games and even have a go at pressing apples from our historic orchard. Visit our wonderful gardeners stall and take your chance to purchase handmade Christmas gifts and decorations, round off your day with some hot food & drinks!
— National Trust for Scotland Christmas at Falkland Palace event page

I don't know about you but this sounds pretty awesome and a great afternoon out with the kids. You can view more information here-I may even see you there!


5) Pantos!

Aladdin is showing at the Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy and Perth Theatre,  Sleeping Beauty at the Gardyne Theatre, Dundee and Beauty and the Beast at Webster Theatre, Arbroath.

In addition to these you may have more local pantos near you. You can find out what's on in your area with a quick google search or even by searching nearby events on facebook (you can find a lot of local events on facebook, worth a nosy any time of the year!)