Jurassic Globalls – Brighton

Jurassic Globalls

 

What do you get If you combine crazy golf and dinosaurs that glow in the dark?  Jurassic Globalls!

Jurassic Globalls has newly opened in Brighton Marina with custom that’s so far come as word of mouth, they are so new they aren’t even advertised on the Brighton Marinas signposts yet.

The main draw is the price, it’s just £5 each for anyone and anytime. Under 3’s are completely free! There’s no need to book, just turn up but on busy days you may have to wait as there’s needs to be some kind of crowd control. If it’s too busy you won’t enjoy your game.

I visited on a Wednesday lunchtime and there was only 3 other people playing at this time.

There are small lockers available to put your belongings in, if you really want to focus in your game. You are given a score card with the name and par of each game. You are then given a neon club and ball.

We squealed with delight as we entered the neon dinosaur filled room. It isn’t big but it still took us 45 minutes to play, Tiger Woods, we are not.

Although some of the courses look really easy, they certainly aren’t. In fact one of the obstacles meant that my friend took 21 goes to complete, the par was 3!

Make sure you use the obstacles to make the games harder. It is brilliant fun and we were howling with laughter for much of the course. It’s a very friendly environment and we chatted and laughed to some of the other people playing.

There’s plenty of photo opportunities with neon dinosaurs and it is very light-hearted and amusing.

If you aren’t bringing children, in the evenings after 7pm it is just adults playing.

Jurassic Globalls is great value fun for any age.

During peak times you will need patience, as it can get very busy.

There’s loads to do in Brighton Marina with bowling, cinema, restaurants and bars. There are places to sit by the water and look at the boats. There are also public ping pong tables in the marina is you want to carry on being competitive! 

JURASSIC GLOBALLS

Unit 8, Ground Floor, Mermaid Walk, The Waterfront, Brighton Marina, BN2 5WA

KARAOKE NIGHTS WITH A TWIST

Karaoke Nights with a Twist

 

Are you a karaoke fiend? I’m not a fan.

Well I mean not until I’ve had a bottle of wine and some tequila. Then you just try getting that microphone away from me.

If you’re bored with standard karaoke here some ideas that may float your boat.

GOSPELOKE

Gospeloke is always a sell out so book early. It is bought to you by ‘It’s Unknown’ who also run Thom Foole’s House and musical bingo. You get to sing live with a spine tingling live gospel choir.
Read my blog here

 

HIP HOP KARAOKE

Hip hop karaoke has a regular night at The Social in Oxford Circus on a Thursday, but also pops up at other venues over London. You can see the song list on their website, so you can check your hip hop song of choice is available. Hip Hop Karaoke is popular so if you want to sing, arrive early to get your name down.

 

KARAUKE

On the 3rd Thursday of the month you can head to the wonderful bar boat Tamesis Dock, and get involved in Karauke.
Karauke is karaoke with a ukulele band. You can get up and sing, they’ll provide the words, the tune and even the backing vocals.

 

MASSAOKE

This is the perfect karaoke option for anyone who’s a little shy and everybody sings along to the songs played by a live band, The words are displayed on big screens.

ROCKAOKE

Rockaoke is karaoke with a live rock band, usually guitar, drums and base with the occasional keyboard. The band will do their best to support you and make you feel like a real rock star. Lyrics are available on iPads and are linked to TV screens so everyone can sing along. There are 200 songs you can chose from.

 

REGGAEOKE

Reggaeoke has 2 regular nights a month at Upstairs at the Ritzy and at the Queen of Hoxton with a live band. Reggaeoke is  reggae/dancehall/soca and lovers rock karaoke. Reggae Karaoke is hosted by Jay9 and crowd participation is encouraged.

 

VIDEOKE

Ok so this is taking it one step further. You can actually star in your own favourite music video in this interactive club night! There’s actors, dancers, video d.j’s, make up artist, lip sync battles and more.

 

HEIST BANK

HEIST BANK

 

Heist Bank is a new bar in Paddington which is the younger brother to the retro Coin Laundry in Exmouth Market.

Heist is a 5 minute walk from Paddington Station and a welcome, relaxed  addition to the area.

The feel of Heist  is industrial and laid back with amazing art work, delicious cocktails with a beautiful  florist Botanique attached. 

The Pool Room at Heist Bank. Brilliant new bar in Paddington #pool #london

A photo posted by Lisa Raynsford (@emptypocketlondon) on

The space is airy and stylish but with plenty of fun elements and playing is encouraged. There’s pool, table football, board games and a large karaoke room. 

Heist serves delicious stone baked pizzas with tasty toppings, which are packed with flavour and They serve cocktails, wine and have good cider and craft beers on tap, including their own Heist Beer. 

The atmosphere of Heist is upbeat and lively, with plenty of things to look at and play with your friends. The art adorning the walls is wonderful and very interesting. The bar is unique and not a carbon copy of any other bar in London. They have wooden tables and the kind of chairs that remind you of going to school in the 1980’s. 

There is plenty of seating outside, should the weather be clement enough. 

One of my favourite pieces of art, I spotted, was the spotty dog either side of the karaoke room door.

The karaoke room sound system is good ,but this place is cool and there’s none of those hilarious cheesy accompanying videos. More than one mic is needed though! We had a lot of fun joining in a group sing along of Bohemian Rhapsody. This is the coolest and largest karaoke room I’ve ever been in. 

I was lucky to meet Goose the Dog,  a huge instagram star, modelling  a beautiful Botanique Workshop flower garland. I learnt how to make one myself also.

I had a brilliant time and Heist and I’d gladly returning. A great space to play and have a few drinks with your friends, a romantic date or even a casual work meeting. 

http://www.heistbank.com

5 North Wharf Road, W2 1LA

7 TIPS ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR WEDDING

7 tips to save money on your wedding

 

Add the word wedding to anything and like magic, the cost multiplies.

Although it should be one of the best days of your life, it is debatable if it is worth putting yourself in debt for. You could be using this money for a deposit on a flat rather than for 1 day of celebration. 

With a bit of research and planning you can save some money and also have some fun along the way. Surely the most important thing is to have a brilliant celebration and show your love for each other. You don’t want to do this is a carbon copy of other people’s weddings but in personal, thoughtful way. 

I’ve yet to get married or even consider it but I’ve picked up tips from listening to brides to be.  Funnily enough they just love to talk about weddings!

 

1) MOO

Moo do great greetings cards and you can print a personalised wedding invite. They also have flyers which can be used for save the date cards.

 

2) PHOTOBOX

If you like your photos natural, you can save money on an official photographer and get all your friends and family to download their best pictures onto a photo book. They can all access it from an online link and even leave messages to. Makes a great and thoughtful gift for any occasion!

 

3) YOU TUBE

You can learn and get so much inspiration using Youtube. I’ve been to weddings where the floral centre piece has been replaced by a Ferrero Rocha tree, with everything purchased from Costco. Get together with your friends and do some crafting. Paper corsages, wedding favours and invites are all things you could make yourself and you can have fun at the same time.

 

4) WINE

Get yourself a big car and head to France to pick up the booze. Save yourself a fortune by getting a venue where you can supply the drink. Even if you need to pay for corkage, you’ll still save yourself money on the venues alcohol charges. Great sparkling wine is so much cheaper. You also have an excuse to go to France.

If you’re not up for a drive to France try

MAJESTIC WINE; Majestic do great deals on bulk buys and you can go in and try the wine. They also will take any of the bottles you don’t use back.  Majestic do free glass hire at £1 per glass deposit with no time limit.

5) DRESS

Like a new car as soon as you buy your dress it decreases heavily in value. Unlike a car, you will probably never use your dress again.  Try some dresses on and work out what styles and designers you like. You may be able to find the same dress via eBay, from charity wedding dress sales or even as ex display dress that just needs a clean.

EBAY; Ebay is an online auction site.

PRELOVED; Preloved is a second hand sale site. Search over 500 categories including wedding dresses.

 

6) DESSERTS

One of the best things I’ve seen at a wedding is to get friends and family to bring a cake. You end up with a huge table of British Bake off style cakes of all different types. There’s something to suit everyone. People also feel that they’ve contributed towards the wedding.

 

7) VIDEO

If you have a couple of video cameras knocking about, as everyone uses their phones now, get your mates to film bits of the day. You can then edit them together.

 EDIT YOUR WEDDING can hire you 3 cameras for your friends to use and then they can edit it together for you from £299. For unedited footage, you can get 3 cameras to borrow for £179

The Guide to Places to Drink Gin in London

The Guide to Places to Drink Gin in London

 

Gin has had a bad reputation in the past. Formerly known as Mother’s ruin and a drink of the poor, gin has worked hard at shaking off this title ,and is now a popular choice.

I remember trying a gin and tonic  when I was a kid (my parents were very responsible) and wondered why anyone would drink something so foul.

Now a Hendricks and Fever Tree tonic with cucumber (hint) is my number 1 choice. 

There are plenty of places to sup gin but here are some places that are dedicated to the stuff, and may even help increase your gin knowledge.

 

214 BERMONDSEY

214 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3TQ

This intimate Bermondsey bar has 80 gins on offer and is even the home of their own tonic water, BTW tonic water.
Great for gin enthusiasts any time of the week, but on Sunday’s they host a Sunday social. Double gin and tonics on Sundays are priced at £5.

 

510 BELOW

510 Fulham Road, London SW6 5NJ

510 Below is a bar in Fulham that is dedicated to a decent gin and tonic. They have thought through everything from the double frozen ice, shape of glasses and the perfect ratio of gin to tonic.There are over 40 gins and gin based cocktails to choose from.  Become a member for free to get 10% off every time you visit, 2-4-1 cocktails 6-7pm and free room hire.

 

BINKS GIN SHOP

74 Brixton Village, Coldhabour Lane

Binks gin shop is in Brixton and serves a selection of small batch gin. They serve cocktails and a simple food menu.

 

CHARLOTTES W4

6 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, W14 1QP

Every Monday this fabulous bistro offers a free gin school from 6.30pm. Take your place at the intimate bar area, maybe order yourself a little drink and get ready to be educated. There are different gin brands visiting every week so you could attend weekly and have a different conversation and experience every time. You get to try samples of the gin and are also given a gin and tonic for free at the end. What’s not to love? The service is wonderful and it’s a very romantic, sophisticated bar. Read my blog here

 

THE DISTILLERY BANKSIDE

Hilton London Bankside, 2-8 Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0UG

The Distillery is part of the Hilton London Bankside. The distillery is housed the old Stevenson and Howell fragrance factory which opened in the 1800’s. The Distillery has been inspired by this local history using homemade aromatics, bitters and infusions to make cocktails. The bar has a 1930’s feel and pays homage to the history of the area. There is 50 gins to choose from including gins from local distilleries.

 

GRAPHIC BAR

4 Golden Square, W1F 9HT

A central London bar that strives to stock the U.K’s largest gin selection and is the host of the monthly gin social.
The Gin Social happens on the first Monday of the month and costs £5. Every month there are visits from small batch suppliers to huge brands. The ticket includes a welcome gin and tonic, tasters of the months gin and a gin cocktail.

 

 

LONDON GIN CLUB (AT THE STAR)

22 Great Chapel Street, Soho, W1F 8FR

The London Gin Club is dedicated to the enjoyment of gin. They stock a whopping 270 gins and are a table service only bar. They have a downstairs gin cellar and they claim to have the best Gin and tonic in London. They have a free to join gin club, that gets you exclusive offers and invites.

 

MR FOGG‘S TAVERN 

58 St.Martins Lane, Wc2N

Mr Fogg is a wonderful Victoria Tavern, named after Phileas Fogg, the world-renowned traveller from the Jules Verne novel. Drinks are served in tankards and pewter cups with British food being served.  There is plenty of gin to offer in the Tavern but upstairs is Aunt Gertrude’s Salon. The Salon is named after Phileas’s beloved aunt, with a whopping 300 gins on offer, 25 tonics and complementary botanics

 

THE PRINCESS VICTORIA

217 Uxbridge Road, W12 9DH

Is there any better place to enjoy a gin than a former Victorian gin-palace. They’ve kept the Victorian charm and their dedication to the  love of gin. They have gin events from tasting and talks and have gins of the month.  I’ve eaten here also and the food is fantastic.

 

Money Saving Tips for Freelancers in London

 

Money Saving Tips For Freelancers in London

 

I am a freelancer and I know there are so many pros and cons. I am  completely experienced in the unpredictable, but that is also what makes it so exciting. 

I’m a jobbing performer, this is why I was inspired to start Empty Pocket Guide, as I never know when or if I’m working. I have to make the most out of my money.

 Being a freelancer means the work never stops. Even when our assignments are officially finished we have to constantly promote ourselves to find more work, invoice, do our taxes, go to lessons, practice and so on! We don’t get holiday pay, and goodness forbid we should jump off a monument in Edinburgh whilst watching the fireworks and break our foot (yes this is a true story!) 

Here are some hints and tips ,that I found useful ,on ways to promote yourself and work without spending a fortune. Also tips that keep you self motivated. 

 

CO WORKING AND DESK SPACE

It’s pretty tough being self-employed when you work from home. There’s a huge temptation to stay in your pyjamas and watch Netflix all day.
There are many offices popping up over London that are perfect for freelancers and small business owners. It means you can get out of your home to get your work done, network with other freelancer and you don’t have to make a massive commitment.
Even sitting in a coffee shop isn’t free so if you want somewhere more permanent without a hefty bill, this could be perfect for you. It’s also more professional if you want to conduct meetings. It also means that you can have something in your life that is a routine, which is something that you don’t get often in a freelance world.

WORK HUBS; Based in Euston. You can get community membership from £10 a day to work at a communal table. This includes tea, coffee and healthy snacks.

GUMTREE; This website is good for everything and that even includes desk space, there’s currently desks listed for £40

NETIL 360; This amazing informal workspace is free to use and is available 10-5pm Wednesday-Friday. All they ask is all food and drink is purchased from them. Each workspace has their own charging station. 

CANVAS CAFE; A cafe in Shoreditch that has a free co-working space available, all they ask is that you purchase food and drink.

 

MOO BUSINESS CARDS 

I love these easy to design business cards. You can get regular sized or minicards which means you get more for your money. Moo also make letter heads, postcards, stickers and more. You’d be surprised how much you get asked for a business card still.

Get 15% off round corner business cards until 30th June 2016 using code JCH27Z.

COFFEE SHOPS

You can’t go to a coffee shop now without noticing how many people are sitting alone with a lap top, head phones on, completely immersed in their world. I love working in coffee shops as now everyone seems to use them as an office.  Coffee shops are great to work in as  someone else makes you refreshments, you save the costs on an office and on wifi. The downside is you can’t control who sits next to you and sometimes the wifi isn’t reliable or quick. Most large chain coffee shops are now geared up to people using their laptops and phones ,so have ample plug sockets and speedy wifi. The problem we also have in London is seating space, and everywhere seems to get crazy busy, especially if it rains!
I have written a blog about recommended Independent coffee shops for a freelance to work at, I am on a mission to support independents and will continue to add to this list. Read my Guide to best coffee shop for freelancers in London here.

Some places have free refills on coffee, therefore saving you the feeling that you need to keep buying drinks.

WETHERSPOONS;  Free coffee refills until 2pm

STARBUCKS When you purchase a filter coffee and drink inshore they will give you a free tall filter coffee.

BARBICAN CAFE; Coffee refills for 4 hours for £6.

 

GRAPHICS

Don’t think you can knock up a quick graphic yourself and tearing your hair out? There are some very easy solutions.

CANVA; Whether you need to make some graphics to mock up a poster or a twitter header this website is brilliant. It’s easy to use and you can upload your own photos and add text. There are loads of free images to use or images to buy are just $1

 

QUIDCO

Check that anything you are buying is eligible for cash back via quidco. This goes from absolutely everything from credit cards, mobile phone bills and insurance. I have now got over £500 cash back from buying things through Quidco.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

If you don’t think you can handle your own social media there are tools that can help you. You have to be social media savy to get your product or service out there. These websites will help you schedule your social media so you can plan ahead.

BUFFER; This scheduling tool is a website and app and is very easy to use. Buffer is user-friendly and basic. You can schedule up to 10 tweets and Facebook messages for free. You can add photos and even create images for free via Pablo.

HOOT SUITE; This is a more technical tool with many more features. You can schedule up to 10 social media alerts for free.

 

WEBSITE

Make your own website, trust me, it’s not as hard as you may think. It may not be all singing, all dancing but it will be a start. When you have made your first million you can make improvements.

WIX; Easy to use with great templates. A basic package using your own domain costs around £36 a year.

 

Django Bango Gold Rush

Django Bango Gold Rush

 

Did you know there’s gold in them there hills……in Vauxhall? Over summer weekends you can now visit Django Bango Gold Rush at The Yard in Vauxhall.

There’s a 5 course menu, that includes crocodile,  a train (just a little one), country music and gold coins are hidden in your food.  I found my inner child at the sheer joy of finding one of these coins ,that you can cash in for prizes.

So let me sum that up. A train + gold coins in your food  = sheer joy.

I dare you to try it and defy me on this, although maybe add a Miney Mcmineface cocktail into the mix too!

Django Bango started as a pop up bar in Brick Lane, complete with wooden houses and even a church, housed in an old shooting range in Whitechapel. 

I was lucky enough to visit the new venture Django Bango Gold Rush last week at The Yard in Vauxhall. 

When we turned down the street there was a cowboy ready to meet us at the door of The Yard.  You walk in to the sight of a toy train, the Django Bango Express, chugging along at the steel works. There’s a wooden bar and gingham clothed tables, full of happy chatting cowboys and girls. You can get as immersed as you want but the more involved you get the better time you will have.

Although you are outside in a yard there is a roof so even the torrential rain didn’t spoil our fun.

Every one is seated at the same time, so be on time otherwise you will miss out. There are 6 people seated at each table ,so you may be seated with people you don’t know but you’ll all get talking by the end of the night as the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed.

Trixie Dixie who explains we are in her Dad’s mine. Unfortunately there is a gold thief amongst us should we find any gold we should give it back to her. In return we can barter for a prize. Gold coins are hidden around the mine and in the food.

This little coin trick is brilliant, as when you are served each of your 5 courses you are excited in anticipation of finding a coin in your food. These coins are large so don’t be concerned you’ll choke or break a tooth. These coins are also branded so bringing along your own won’t work.

All the staff are in character and are witty, full of banter and appear to be having the best time.  This is immersive theatre well done.

The ticket price of £35 includes a 5 course western themed menu, Cocktails are delicious and are priced from £7.50 I tried the fantastically named Miney McMineface. A delicious take on a margarita with hibiscus and Mezcal, trust me it was pretty potent and very delicious. Whilst we were sipping our gorgeous cocktail the music started.

We saw the brilliantly talented Tommy Hare who played the guitar and passionately sang some country songs and classics including the Rolling Stones. Entertainment is shared between Tommy and the incredibly talented Dom Pipkin, who I’ve yet had the pleasure to see perform but always hear amazing things. There will also be a DJ performing at the Gold Rush Experience.

You are served bread with a chipotle butter to help soak up the cocktails before the dishes start coming. Once everybody has arrived and is seated the cowboys and girls start serving the food. This is when the gold coins start being discovered and the cries of joy begin.

The food menu is subject to change. The first course we were served was a muffnut (tee tee tee) which are soft butternut muffin filled with pulled pork and cheese and are delicious.

Next course is crocodile  and chicken popcorn which was beautifully presented in tiny hanging buckets served with a yummy sauce.

Then is was the turn of the beef ribs served with slaw in baskets, some pieces were huge! Lenny, the cowboy, wandered around asking if anybody wanted anymore of his meat.

Remember there’s still 2 more courses to go before thinking about eating more food!

At this point my friend, with complete elation, discovered a coin at the bottom of her slaw. She called over Trixie and managed to negotiate a cocktail, Trixie hinted the usual prize is more a shot!

Our whole table thought we were on the dessert but we were served a delicious smokey gumbo with an arancini ball in individual crock pots.

This time is was my turn to discover a coin in my food.I too managed to wangle a delicious strawberry cocktail. The coins are thrown into the dishes at random by the chefs but chatting up the cowboys and girls won’t do you any harm! 

You are encouraged to tweet, facebook and instagram pictures and in return you are given Buffalo Trace based shot.

As the night went on people let their hair down and it all became a little more rowdy, mainly due to the shots, but there was a wonderful atmosphere.

Last course was a huge slab of rocky road or as they called it ‘The rockiest Road on which you’ll ever walk

Once we had filled our cowboy boots we carried on listening to the music and drinking cocktails. People got up to have a little dance and some nights the tables are pushed back to make room.

Trixie intersperses the courses with stories and jokes that the audience laugh and groan at.

The organisation of the entire night was brilliant and everything seemed to run smoothly.

The venue is lovely and you’d have no idea you were in central London. As the sun goes down the venue looks gorgeous with all the coloured lanterns strewn over the ceiling.

Gold Rush is a wonderful experience and exactly why I started Empty Pocket Guide in the first place. So I could tell people about the brilliant and unique nights they can have in London. It’s a night out that people need to know about, it’s unique and great value for a 5 course meal with brilliant entertainment. The whole experience was just wonderful.

Gold Rush was definitely up there with one of the best nights out I’ve had this year. I can’t wait to go back and bring more people. Great food, atmosphere, music, dancing, cocktails, shots, banter, muffnuts, a train and prizes for finding coins. What’s not to adore.

DJANGO BANGO GOLD RUSH – £35 

Use discount code ‘goldenprosecco’ to get  a free glass of prosecco on arrival on 24th and 25th June.

The Guide to cheap activities for kids in London

The Guide to Cheap Kids Activities in London

There is so much to do in our wonderful capital city, but the price for children’s admission for many attractions is very often near enough the same as the adult cost. 

Here are some of my ideas to make your money last longer on a day out with the family.

I don’t currently have children but I do have nieces and nephews and I understand how often kids change their mind. For instance, those beloved dinosaurs all of a sudden are scary and queues are boring. Therefore not spending a fortune on one activity where you may only spend 5 minutes isn’t the best option.

APPS

BUBELE – This app is perfect for planning activities for children of under 8 years old. The app is available on iTunes and free to download.

OBBA; This free app is available on itunes. Obba helps you find family friendly activities, classes and fun places in London:

CRAFT ACTIVITIES

WATERSTONES PUTNEY; Free creative fun every Sunday at 11.30am

DAYS OUT GUIDE

Whether you travelled by train or not you can get 2-4-1 on attractions when you show a valid orange national rail train ticket with a downloaded voucher. Any national rail ticket is applicable, so even if you didn’t travel by train you can buy a cheap ticket and grab the discount. You need to download , pick your offers and print off the voucher to claim. This includes 2-4-1 on The London Eye, Tower of London, Madame Tussauds and The London Aquarium.

DISCOUNT LONDON

Discount London is a website that offers all things London at a discounted cost. Worth checking to see if they have discounted tickets or offers on your chosen London attractions. They sell attractions, river cruises and tours. There’s also sections on what there’s to do during school holidays and things to do with the kids.

FARMS

There are a few farms in London where you can walk around and look at the animals for free. They also run other activities including making pottery and horse riding.

GOLDERS HILL PARK ZOO – Open at  the same time the park is open with rare exotic birds and mammals

KENTISH TOWN CITY FARM; This farm is open daily. Your child can even volunteer for the whole day and learn about the farms. They do pony rides for £2 at the weekend.

MUDCHUTE PARK AND FARM; Free to visit farm with special activities organised over the holidays.

STEPNEY CITY FARM; This farm is free to visit and open 10-4pm Tuesday-Sunday. You can see the animals, watch the blacksmith, potters and woodworkers in their studios. You can visit the cafe and also buy fresh eggs.

HACKNEY PLAY BUS – FREE

Hackney play bus runs free play sessions in Walthamstow, Hackney and Tower Hamlets.

KIDS EAT FREE

At some restaurants you can get a free kids meal when you purchase an adult meal.

SMOLLENSKYS; Every weekend kids can eat can eat of the kids menu for free ,when an adult buys a main meal. This offer is up until 7pm.

BENUGO; Benugo has restaurants next to some of the London Museums and you can get a free kids meal when you purchase an adults.

KUPP Kupp is a Scandinavian restaurant in Merchant Square, next to the canal. The bottomless brunch is available all weekend 12-5pm. The sitting lasts for 90 minutes and costs £30 for adults and 1 kid per adult eats free.

TOMS KITCHEN – Kids eat free at weekends at the Canary Wharf branch of Toms Kitchen. If that wasn’t enough there’s a playroom and also an entertainer between 12-2pm on Sundays.

KIDRATED

This is a website for kids activities that are rated by kids themselves. As adults, we sadly forget our sense of adventure and get a little cynical which is why this website is invaluable. The kids still see the magic in certain activities. There are reviews and videos from kids but the parents are also allowed to have a say as well, as it’s usually their hard-earned cash that they’re spending.

LONDON MUSEUMS

Museums such as The Museum of London, Natural History Museum and The Science Museum are wonderful for kids and admission is also by optional donation.
One of the most outstanding and memorable museum for children must be the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum, this was my main love anyway due to the film ‘One of Our Dinosaurs is missing’.
At weekends the kid friendly museums do get busy but many museums also hold extra events to keep the kids entertained. If you live in London there are also regular free events you can take the kids to.

MUSEUM OF LONDON ; Free weekly classes for babies with Mini Moles babies group

MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS; Free weekly classes with Mini Mudlarks babies group

NATIONAL GALLERY; Magic carpet story time happens every Sunday 10.30-11am and 11.30-12pm

NEWSLETTERS

Sign up to these newsletters to keep your finger to the pulse of family goings-on in London.

FREE LONDON FOR KIDS; Sign up to this newsletter to get a weekly round-up of free events for kids.

PARENT FORUMS AND GROUPS

There are some great online forums for parents in your local areas. You can read tips on local events and even swap or buy kids clothing and toys. There are also several discount schemes set up.

NORBURY MUMS A Facebook group and website for everything to do with children in Norbury. 

GREENWICH MUMS; A local website for parents with local information and offers.

PARKS

Parks are free to visit and many have loads to do including playgrounds, art galleries and wild life.

HOLLAND PARK; A lovely park with lots to do for everybody. For children there is a playground, a sports field to have a kick about and also a nature trail. There are birds around the park for children to spot, including peacocks

QUEEN ELIZABETH OLYMPIC PARK ;This wonderful park in Stratford is brimming with things for all the family to do. It’s a wonderful legacy after the pride filled 2012 olympics which was housed here. You can now even go down a giant slide on the Accelor Mittal tower! There is the olympic swimming pools with affordable sessions. There are also play areas a plenty and climbing walls for the kids. It’s wonderful and there’s plenty to do for free. Read my blog here.

REGENTS PARK; A wonderful park that houses London Zoo. You can see the giraffes, birds and a few other animals from the park itself. I love having a stroll through the park and to take a look at the giraffes. If you walk along the canal and once you’re past the aviary head into the park and take a left and the giraffes are right there! There’s a bird walk and a wildlife garden as well as 4 playgrounds.

Regents Park Bandstand - London for free

RESTAURANTS WITH FREE KIDS ENTERTAINMENT

GOAT CHELSEA; Every Sunday kids get entertained whilst you eat your Sunday Brunch between 12-3pm. Entertainment is provided by Froggle Parties and includes magic, balloon modelling and puppetry and is suitable for 2 years old and above. There will be no kids club from 7th August until 11th September 2016 during school holidays.

STORYTIME

There’s something special about a good bookshop and children love books. Sit back and listen and watch your child’s imagination run wild at a free storytime. Most children’s book shops and libraries will have one.

WEST END LANE BOOKS – In West Hampstead on Mondays and Thursday at 4pm you can come along for a free storytime. No need to book, just turn up.

KIRKDALE BOOK SHOP – In  Sydenham every Saturday  there is story time for the under 4’s 10.30-11am

WATERSTONES ISLINGTON – Every Sunday there is storytime at noon. Parents can browse books whilst the kids are entertained.

 

SHOPPING CENTRE EVENTS

WESTFIELD
You can register for the free kids club, you will receive a goody bag on joining, discounts and advance notice of children’s events. They include free arts and crafts, face painting and shows

WESTFIELD STRATFORD
Regular free events for children, including easter egg hunts.

I hope you found some of these suggestions useful and you make some wonderful memories together.  It’s the experiences we have, not the things we own, which we remember. 

Guide to Immersive Games in London

THE GUIDE TO IMMERSIVE GAMES IN LONDON

If you’re looking to do something with your mates, other than having some pints down the pub, you can now go and play a game together.

You feel camaraderie and have a laugh. Perfect for team building and special occasions.  Here are some places you can go.

CLUE QUEST

169-171 Caledonian Road, London, N1 0SL

Clue Quest is a 60 minute team boding experience for 2-5 people. You have to solve puzzle and mysteries using just your brain to escape the room. Prices start from £19.80,  and is cheaper the more people you have in the team.

CRYSTAL MAZE

Somewhere secret, near Kings Cross.

If you were a child of the 90’s then you’d know about the crystal maze. The crystal maze is a team game with 4 different zones in London. This live version is complete with the eccentricity of the original version, with maze masters embodying the spirit of Richard O’Brien. The challenges are mental and physical. You get a crystal for every challenge you complete, giving you more time in the final dome where you need to grab as many tickets are possible. Tickets are £50-£60 but i’m told the experience is well worth it.  Perfect for team building or a special occasions.

ENIGMA ESCAPE 

Enigma escape in an immersive escape game. They lock you in a room and you have 1 hour to escape. You can do Enigma escape with 2-5 people. It gets your mind ticking and your pulse racing, as you have to work out codes, riddles and puzzles to open hidden doors.
The more people you have in your team the cheaper it is. 2 people cost from £31 and for 5 people £23 for off peak bookings. For peak booking, which are after 5pm and Friday-Sunday all day, the cost is £34 for 2 people or £26 for 5.

THE GAMES AFOOT

Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Road, NW1

This immersive game is bought to you by the wonderful Les Enfants Terribles who bought us Alices Adventures Underground and Madame Tussauds, . There is 1 crime with 5 suspects and 100 clues. You will travel back to Victorian London and delve into the world of Sherlock Holmes. You will be looking for hidden clues, interviewing suspects and read reports. There are two different games alternating each day, The case of the poisonous poet and the case of the Bloodthirsty Beast
The game is running 18th July-30th September. The tickets are priced from £45-£65 depending on what day you wish to book.

HINT HUNT

72-76 Eversholt Street, NW11BY

Hint hunt is an escape game for 3-5 people where you are locked in a tiny room. You need to solve mysteries and puzzles to be let out of the room. There are currently 2 challenges running, JM’s Office and Zen Rooms. The minimum playing age is 9, accompanied by parents or carers or 15 if there are no parents present. Prices start from £17 per person.

 

LADY CHASTITY’S RESERVE

360 VICTORIA PARK ROAD, E9 7BT

This Handmade Mysteries  game is based in The People’s Park Tavern in Hackney. You have to solve the mysteries in time to win a bottle of Lady Chastity’s reserve. You can play with up to 5 mates. The People’s Park Tavern serves food and drink, there’s live music and a regular quiz night on a Wednesday too.

 

 

Ways To Make Money from your Home

Ways to Make Money from your home

Whether you are strapped for cash or just need a little cash boost, here are some ways you can make some money from your home.

AIR BNB

Do you have a spare room or are you going on holiday? You can list your home for free and rent out a room or your whole home. People pay to stay in your home on a bed and breakfast basis. I have stayed in Air BNB’s and have met people empowered by the company to be self-sufficient. People who have gone through separations or lost a partner and are using Air BNB to make some money and meet different people.

HOME AS A LOCATION

 Ever fancied getting an insiders knowledge  on how the magic happens on television? Well your home can be listed as a possible location for photo and film shoots. You will need to have available places for vehicles to park and also be happy for people to walk all over your house. The majority of work for locations is within the M25.

Shoot Factory; Shoot Factory is a London based locations company with locations around the U.K and abroad.

JJ Locations ; JJ locations supply unique and interesting locations throughout the U.K.

 

OVERSEAS STUDENTS

Host overseas students in your own home.

HOSTS INTERNATIONAL; Hosts International is provider of home stay accommodation specialising in London. They also operate in Bristol, Brighton, Canterbury, Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Leicester and Birmingham. Students benefit from home stays as the accommodation is competitively priced, they can stay in a friendly home environment and their language skills improve as they have people to converse with. If you have a spare bedroom you can apply to become a host family. You can benefit financially and you may also make a new friend! 

RENT OUT YOUR PARKING SPACE

You can rent out your garage, driveway or parking space on this free to register website.

YOUR PARKING SPACE; You can create a free listing and update all the details of your available parking space. You can choose to rent it out on a daily or long-term basis. You can also list features including CCTV and include photos. You will receive bookings via text and get paid monthly. 

If you have lots of clutter lying around the house, then also read my blog on how to sell unwanted stuff

Enjoy the best time with the money you have