Small Monkey’s George themed Birthday Party

facebook_1437605073170Hey guys! So my gorgeous lil man turned two there three weeks ago and as a Peppa monster I decided to have a George Pig themed birthday party. I know, I know, some people may scold my frivolity here with having a theme and all that, but that’s how I roll…for now. I think I managed quite well but there actually is very little George Pig themed stuff out there. Here’s what I did….

1) Invites. Total £4.49

I got these personalised George invites off ebay. 11698847_10205480768033431_8776173761295518389_nThese were probably my most expensive purchase and if I was computery I could have made them myself but I’m not, so here we are. They were really good quality though on a heavy card with blue envelopes. 10 for £4.49 inc free p&p. I did have to doctor them though as I had to change the party date at short notice with no time to order more anyway.

2) Lunchboxes. Total £33.11

As it was more a picnic than a party and rather than trying to cart lots of trays to the park, I decided to do lunchboxes for the kids. Now you can get really nice actual Peppa Pig ones from Ebay but I found them a bit more expensive, so I ordered plain blue boxes  (10 for £2.99 inc free p&p)and personalised  George 20150704_112620“thank you” stickers (21 stickers for £1.99 inc p&p) instead. So in each lunchbox I put a Pig themed box of raisins (12 for £1 @ B&M), a bar of chocolate (2 x6 for £2 @B&M), a packet of breadsticks (2×6 for £2 @ Poundland), a packet of jellies (2×6 for £2 @ Poundland) and a carton of juice (8 for £5 @ Tesco). I also included a Peppa book (Peppa Pigs Mini Library contains 6 books,normally £4.99 each, got them from The Book Depository for £6.14 inc del on special offer), some crayons (8 for £1.99 inc p&p) and I found some free George pics on the net which I got my friend to print off and created a colouring book. As there was also 3 pretty much, brand spanking new babies attending, I felt a bit guilty with them not being able to eat so Asda had these Little Tikes block teethers for £8 and I bought them to give them one each. I just used clear lunch bags, some ribbon and a “thank you” sticker to package them.

3) Other food. Total £22.26

I find that a lot of toddlers aren’t to big on sandwiches….well the ones I know, so I made some fruit cups up, using blueberries, grapes, melon and strawberries. This cost about £7 inc the cups and made 12 servings. I also made a big bowl of tomato20150704_095815 and sweetcorn pasta which cost about £2 in total. I made up a tray of chicken salad sandwiches for the adults (which cost about £5) and took along some fruit cordial and bottles of water. Ooh I also had some breadsticks (Asda x2 98p) and Pom Bear crisps (2×6 for £2 in Poundland). I cheated a little and bought pre-made buns (2×12 £1.78) and decorated them myself using Betty Crocker vanilla butter cream (£2 on offer) icing and edible George rice paper toppers (30 for £1.50 from Ebay).

4) George Cake. Total £6

My Ma used to always make our cakes so I want to continue the tradition although I like less hassle so I bought cake mix (2 for £2 @ Asda)….hey it means less wastage too you know! Asda also do big blocks of ready coloured icing @ £1.69 per pack. I bought the main colours I needed, my friend supplied some too. The cake mix was a doddle and was supervised by Ash so thankfully didn’t burn. I used the Betty Crocker as before and some jam as the filling for the cake. The picture of the cake is pretty self explanatory. George & Dinosaurrr were held together and in place using toothpicks. the muddy puddle was melted buttons. I’m really proud of how it turned out.20150704_120344

5) Decorations & extras. Total £12.78

I bought some brightly coloured party plates, bowls and napkins (£3.80 B&M). I also bought 10 bubble swords (10x50p £5 @ Morrisons). The bunting was £2 from Poundland and the balloons were from Ebay (20 for £1.98). I also actually spent £3 on a prize for pass the parcel but forgot to take it along with the bubble machine which we had anyway. My sister bought a football and frizz bee to take along too.

6) Venue. Total FREEE!!

It’s the height of Summer, it’s baking, my flat and myself couldn’t deal with that many people indoors on a day like it was so I invited everyone to the local park. Burgess Park has a really nice, world garden enclosed within some old Alms houses and we managed to set up camp beneath a tree there which was ideal. There was shade and as it’s enclosed there’s a lot less chasing of toddlers to be done, it was almost like a private picnic in the end. Also just outside this particular sight is the cafe, the loos, the playground and parking is a short walk away.

setting up camp!
setting up camp!

GRAND TOTAL: £78.64 this included no crying or fighting, the joy of the great outdoors and a really lovely day.

I think I did pretty well here and I think everybody enjoyed it. I know people who do go all out, hiring halls and characters, ordering super duper cakes and fair play to them if they can, but, personally for a two year old it’s the simple things they like the most.

For any of my friends and family reading, thanks to those who helped me out on the day and thanks to those who came xxx

I hope this post inspires some of you, please drop me a line and let me know what you think or about your parties.

Love Donna x

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Peppaaaaaaaa (Pig World)

Small Monkey is turning two next week (aaaagh!! How? 2yrs already???), so we decided to take him to Peppa Pig World as a treat……..

After a fairly peaceful train journey on the 9.05, from Waterloo to Southampton Central the smiles were turned upside down. We came out of the station, the sun was beaming and all was right with the world, then we asked a cab driver the cost of getting to Paultons Park. TWENTY-TWO POUNDS!!!! YES!!!!! TWENTY-TWO FLIPPING POUNDS FOR AN EIGHT MILE TRIP!!!! FECK THAT! We’ll bus it, there’s a special Peppa bus due in 20mins, failing that a regular bus runs by the end of the lane to the park, there’s one due in 23mins. Grand job! FORTY-BLOODY-FIVE MINS LATER every jayzus bus running by us that day was a 2!!! We slunk back to the taxi rank and got a cab for £20. *sigh* (our free “staff” travel to Southampton is feeling like it means nothing now.) FIFTEEN twenty pound minutes later we’re there!

There’s guy with a “height” stick measuring kids, measure your little ones before you go as kids under 1metre are free! I have the tickets downloaded to my phone, so we just go straight to the gates, scan and we’re in. The assistant gives us a park map and a bundle of other “recycle bin fodder” . Small Monkey also gets a badge as it’s his birthday…kinda. We released the Monkey from the pram and off he runs. Aaaah thank God Daddy’s here today! A short stroll down Show Street, passing the lost kids office and there it was, the gates to Small Monkey’s favourite world! He looked a bit stunned to begin with, but came through with a whispered Peppaaa! Delighted.com!

yes I know if you follow me on insta you'll more than likely see their faces but I'm trying to limit some of their internet presence for now xx
yes I know if you follow me on insta you’ll more than likely see their faces but I’m trying to limit some of their internet presence for now xx

By God, I felt just like I’d just stepped into the cartoon. It is reeeeally well done. The colours are so bright. Everything is soooo clean, the hills, trees and flowers are just like in the cartoon. There are characters dotted about everywhere, there’s even some hedges clipped into characters or flower shapes….I hate to admit, it’s really pretty.

We headed straight for Windy Castle with Mummy & Daddy Pig peeping over

Windy Castle
Windy Castle

the top, parked the buggy up with the thousand others and joined the queue. I’d say less than 5mins later we were sitting in a “cloud” swirling around Windy Castle. Small Monkey looked a bit apprehensive clutching Daddy’s shorts but he remained cool ( gets that from me…haaa) and managed to spot Peppa Pig herself making an appearance with George. Unfortunately they were gone by the time we came down, but they do make appearances at certain times during the day.

Our next stop was Peppa’s big balloon ride, again the queue time was only a few minutes and it was a really

Balloon Ride
Peppa’s Balloon Ride

nice ride. Small Monkey seemed to be relaxing a bit now and seemed impressed with the giant “bloon” above him. Once this was finished we had a quick look at the penguins. Most of them were sunbathing but one lil superstar did come over and swim right in front of us at the underwater viewing window. Monkey was delighted seeing the “bish”…no baby, penguin…”bish”…he swims under water too sweetheart but he’s a bird, penguin…Mammy bish. Ok baby…bish!

Next up, Mrs Rabbit’s helicopters. The queue for this one was a bit longer and so all good things must come to an end. The Small One had a bit of a breakdown.

Mrs Rabbit's helicopters
Mrs Rabbit’s helicopters

Aaah the joys of the queue!! But once on he enjoyed it.

We decided to head to Grandpa’s Little Train ride next. Oh Lord God! As soon as he seen it…choo choo…choo choo…choo choo. Another queueing episode, five minutes is a lifetime in toddler years it seems. Daddy has decided the excitement of going round in a wonky circle is to exciting for him and watches from the sidelines…laughing! Still train arrives, our go, on we get and peace has returned. The Grandpa’s little train song comes on and we have a sing-along which is nice. The look on Small Monkey’s little face is the best and of course he’s not over the moon to get off.

20150625_160652_wmNext stop and I think, all of our favourites…so good we did it twice … Daddy Pig’s Car Ride. This ride has the longest queue but in the grand scheme of queueing it’s not really. The cars, of course are just like the cartoon ones and Small Monkey gets to “drive” which is brilliant. Honestly, the way he uses his hands to turn the wheel, you’d swear he was driving all his life.

Daddy Pig's Cars
Daddy Pig’s Cars

Now this is one of the rides that takes a pic as you go round…Daddy and Monkey are in the front and I’m chilling in the middle of the back seat. EH-EHHH!!! Wrong move Don! The camera flashes as we pass and I realise I’m not gonna be in the fecking pic!!! Once off, and Daddy has convinced Monkey, we’ll go again, we check out the pics. Yep! I was right! I’m not in them…well one shoulder is just visible. If I’d have sat either side I would’ve been ok….so word of warning if you’re a threesome, watch where you sit if you want to be in the pics. *sad sigh* I try to make up for it by taking Monkey on George’s Dinosaur ride. It was a bit of a battle getting him to bend his body into a seated position, but by jayzus we were having a pic and that was that…I won out! Or so I thought….I’m looking straight at the camera, a smiling lobster (it was baking boys! Baking!) and of course Monkey is looking off somewhere else…ugh…it turned out an ok pic but still….the fecking car pic!

Time for grub. There are loads of places to sit and eat, both in Peppa Pig world and outside. We sat by the Duck Pond, which has the three little ducks swimming around quacking loudly. Monkey really liked this…not so keen on the real ducks that kept wandering around under our table while we ate though! 2015-06-28 19.42.43_wmLunchwise, however, I did bring us a packed lunch. Now that might seem stingey but I’ve gone out to loads of places with monkey now and bought him ridiculously priced sandwiches and such, which he just doesn’t eat.

just to give ye an idea of what you can eat..
just to give ye an idea of what you can eat..

So I made a big fruit salad, some ham salad rolls and pasta, he ate loads and it went down a treat. We bought two bottles of tango and a fruit shoot and that itself cost five pound odd!!20150625_142452-1_wm

After lunch we had a nose in Peppa’s shop….came out £13 lighter, which actually wasn’t bad really and one poopy bum heavier. How does a small child smell so bad?? How???

One bum change later and we were sailing around on Grandpa’s Boat ride, although it just goes in a circle it was a really nice ride (apart from when Monkey tried to climb out of the boat and into the water) and Monkey loved it.

Peppa's House
Peppa’s House

After this Monkey and I had a quick look in Peppa’s house, then all three of us had our pics taken with Peppa and co in the schoolhouse. Monkey wasn’t to keen on either of these, I think he was a little perturbed by the life sized characters.

Apart from the cars, I think Monkey’s favourite bit was Mr. Potato’s playground. There are loads of different sized slides and climbing frames for all ages.

Rainbow path
Rainbow path

A rainbow path winds through it, there are tunnels annnnd Muddy Puddles….which we had to keep secret as I forgot to pack a towel. But he loved it regardless and he’s back on the slides again! It really was hard taking him away from this, I felt so guilty. But we made up for it with one more go on the cars.

Our last rides were the Trekking Tractors, which wind through a “working” garden and the Paulton’s Park Railway. Monkey and I also took a stroll through Critter Creek where we seen more “bish” and other critters.

Back outside the park, there are no waiting cabs and of course no bus service. Shur why would you have a bus service at this time of the year??? Lord God!! We walked the 10mins back down to the main road (which is actually a really nice walk) only to discover that the last buses into town were at 4.25!!! Like seriously….this is not Rhode boys!! Luckily there’s pub on the corner, Small Monkey is panned out so we make the most of a bad situation and ease the pain of having to pay another TWENTY-JAYZUS-POUND cab fare with a pint!

So there ya go, that was our trip to Peppa Pig World, we did give George’s play zone a miss just because it was to nice to be inside. Hubby and I are glad we took Small Monkey, everything was just perfect for his age. I’m also glad we went now as I can imagine it being rammed once school’s done. There was also lots more to see and do, they have rides for older kids (and adults) and there are lots of animals to see too. We only went for the day as we were staying over with family in Southampton too but you can get some 2 for 1 deals here https://paultonspark.co.uk/tickets . Obviously things would’ve been even better if we drove but….shur hey….it’s on my list of things to do!

** IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER**

If you don’t drive, do thorough research on local bus times and road maintenance (as this is what they were at when we were passing through). You may need to ring the gods of Southampton transport to see if the x7 or the x24 Peppa Express actually exists! Although the park doesn’t close til 5/5.30 the last “bus” runs into town at 4.25.

Make sure you’ve got plenty of sunscreen, the park is very open with little shade in Peppa World anyway. Hubby now looks like a lobster!

Pack a swimming costume or at least a towel and spare vest for the Muddy Puddles.

There are 10 rides throughout the whole park that have photo installations, the four in Peppa World are £8 each. They do do (hee hee …do do) a photo pass for £25 which allows you 4 pics and a digital download of each pic too. There are no atms but you can get cash back. Ooh and make sure you sit where you can be seen in pics!

There is WI-FI!!! Yay!!

Hope you found this helpful…lemme know about your visit.