Sam now gets weekend homework. I say Sam, I mean me. He/I have to fill in a huge speech bubble with all the exciting things we have done that weekend. As much as I am trying to convince myself that clothes shopping, food shopping and watching DVDs in our jim jams is exciting, I have a feeling the teachers would disagree. So, when I saw a shout out for bloggers to attend Chill Factore for SLEDGING, meeting PEPPA PIG and FATHER CHRISTMAS last weekend I was bouncing! How good would that look in the speech bubble! *does a victory dance – kind of like Joey in Friends*
Although I have been past Chill Factore before I’d never been in so I think I was more excited than Sam! We were looked after by the very lovely Jon, Vicki and Rachel who were great with the kids and didn’t mind too much when Sam dissolved into tears for the 43rd time in an hour (bit poorly, early morning, needed sleep, very mardy). We got kitted out in full snow gear – just a side note, if you are plus size you have very little chance of fitting in these. The XXL trousers fit (but there was no way I could have gone sledging myself or even bent down for fear of ripping them! The XXL jacket (way to make me feel great folks!) didn’t zip over my hips. I’m a size 18-20 so not even that fat! Sam looked as cute as a button in his gear!
Sam was very ‘hexcited’ that is was real snow for about the first 10 minutes, then he fell over and got snow up his back and down his chin so he was a touch less enthusiastic then. Note to self – tuck in tops to trousers & zip up coats. Bad Mummy. He thought the sledging was ‘awesome’ – especially as we were there with his best friend, Louis (Grumpyish Mum’s eldest) – and they could have races! After he’d had enough he headed over to the kiddie bit to mess around with Louis’ little brother Rowan until it was time to get changed (no mean feat) and meet Peppa!
Sam has met Peppa before, a couple of years ago and although he is getting a bit old for her now he was still really excited about meeting her. Until he actually met her of course, then he had a complete meltdown.
There was been a bit of a wait though (take snacks!) and he wasn’t the only one but I couldn’t help laughing! After that we stayed in the queue for Santa’s Grotto (more snacks! There’s a vending machine next to the queue and I had to physically stop Sam from banging on it as he wanted chocolate & I didn’t have any cash!). True to form, he was very excited until he actually met Father Christmas and you guessed it, had a meltdown. Now this was one convincing Father Christmas. Lovely, beardy, kind, not at all bored despite seeing about 50 kids before Sam and very understanding about his hissy fit. He also gave me the opportunity to get possibly the best photo I’ve ever taken of, what I think, is typical parenthood. All it needs is me in the background chugging straight from a bottle of vodka and there you have it – the reality of having kids.
As soon as we left the grotto Sam stopped crying.
Of course when I said it was time to go the hysterics started again - he had LOVED every minute and DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE! I think we’ll be back.
Would I recommend it? Yes I would. It’s a fantastic day out (there’s shops and restaurants there as well), reasonably priced and the kids loved it. For older ones (and adults) there are ski lessons, snowboarding and plenty of other things to get involved in. This weekend (1, 2, 3 December) Scrat from Ice Age will be making guest appearances (see websites for more details). I love Scrat! I may go. On my own. Shh…
*Disclosure thingy* We went along to Chill Factore free of charge, had a ball & was not told what to write. Opinions…all mine…yada yada.