- Now that the dust has quite literally settled on the Christmas toys, two months on im always curious has the must requested item been cast aside or is it as much loved and wanted as it was when it featured on the infamous list. First up are those that are still very much played with.
1 – Irish Fairy Door Worry Plaque
Once the oldest saw this on the Late Late Toy show it was a done deal, Santa HAD to bring him one. Santa being the great man that he is duly obliged. Oldest is a real worrier about everything. The worry plaque for anybody who doesnt know is a genuis idea by the Irish Fairy Door Company. You put your hand on the plaque and it turns from red to green meaning your worry has gone. Simple but very effective. Our resident fairy JoJo (cuddly teddy by the Irish Fairy Door Company) brought the worry plaque and he sits a the end of the oldests bed to look out for him. The magic and wonder is so beautiful. I am a firm believer in letting kids be kids and the magic that the Irish Fairy Door products brings is just magical. Our worry plaque is ably guarded by Batman and Robin!!! The worry plaque is available from Irish Fairy Door Company and in my opinion well worth it.
2 – Melissa and Doug Horse trailer
This was a last minute addition as I dashed around TK Maxx on Christmas eve. The youngest absolutley loves this toy. The trailer carts Peppa, Ryder and all sorts of wierd and wonderful characters around. It cost €9.00 and it was so worth it. I have seen it in a couple of places since albeit slighlty more expensive. Melissa and Doug toys in my experience are really well made and last the test of time.
3 – Furry Friends Watch
Despite the fact that he can’t tell the time he insists on wearing his watch everytime he leaves the house! We were sent these before Christmas and I kept one as a stocking filler which turned out to be a great idea! Big hit here, they are well made and an ideal size for my 4 year old. They come in a range of colours and a reasonable price tag of £12. Available here
So what didn’t make the 2 month test!
The main item on the Christmas list was the board game Soggy Doggy. It was played with for approximately 10 mintues and that was it nothing….. it barely made out of the box after that. There is nothing wrong with the game I think he just expected more from it. Board games can be a bit hit and miss anyway unfortunately this one was a miss for us.
We ended up making a flying visit to Belfast last November and while we set off with little expectations of seeing much of this lovely city in 24 hours we ended up thoroughly enjoying our stay. The dada Fairy was on business so we were tagging along to keep him company.
Way back before kids I worked in Belfast for a time so know the city pretty well, always enjoy my visits there, this one being the first with kids in tow!
Where we stayed
We booked last minute on booking.com. There was very little choice so last minute so we took the only suitable place we could find! The Clayton Hotel it was.
- Location was central
- Child friendly
- Good breakfast included in rate
- Could have been how late in the day we booked but the room was tiny for the 4 of us.
- The parking situation – appreciate you are in a city but the parking is a huge public multi story behind the hotel which I wouldn’t fancy having to go back to my car in the dark to get something its quite eerie!
Overall, stay was fine, would stay there again, kids also enjoyed and location as very convenient for us.
Where we ate
This was absolute highlight of the trip! We ate at a restaurant called Fratellis across from the Europa hotel. The kids are still talking about this place. Its is quite possibly the most kid friendly place we have ever eaten. The kids menu was set price Stg£7.99 and included a starter – Garlic bread or dough balls and mains was either pasta or make your own pizza. There was no contest! It was make your own pizza. The little men were given aprons and chefs hat and their selection of topping to make their own pizza at the table. Following this they were served ice cream and a babycinno! The adults had an equally enjoyable dinner, with the kids so excited and preoccupied, there might have been wine and cocktails and 3 courses for us too. No mean feat with 2 busy kids in tow! If you are ever in Belfast with the kids a visit is a must, do bear in mind it does get very very busy. We were there on a Saturday and had a bit of a wait for a dinner not a issue for us as it gave us time to sample some of the delicious cocktails on offer!
What we did
No trip to Belfast is complete with a trip to the Titanic museum. The boys are probably a little young to fully appreciate this fabulous attraction. The tour itself was an hour long taking you on a journey to follow in the footsteps of those who took the fateful trip. The experience itself really draws you in from the moment you begin.
It is really interactive and engaging. You do it as your own pace which is ideal with kids, its also very buggy friendly. Price wise its pricey enough for adults at Stg£17.50 however kids under 5 are free. They have lots of different events on like afternoon tea for Mothers Day or Valentines which I can imagine would be very enjoyable in this setting. We didn’t get to sample the on site eateries this time, maybe next time!