Monday 28 November 2011

Mummies come to the Ashmolean Museum

Its been mentioned on here before that we do love wondering around the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. A £5million project has just been completed to house 6 new galleries on Ancient Egypt and Nubia so we went along to take a look. It was really excellent, the detail and explanations were fascinating.
 Charlotte loved seeing all the mummies on display, bit worrying when she asked if they could be unwrapped though. She wanted to learn about the process of wrapping the body, and there was really detailed area on this, about parts of the body being removed and going into Canopic jars and the heart being replaced before the body is wrapped. There were also amulets on display and this got Charlotte thinking about about things that would be special to her.
The was a large Shrine of Taharqa from the temple at Kawa, the only complete free-standing pharaonic building in Britain, which you could walk all the way around and study the intricate drawings.
There was so much to see, being the first day open it was busy but we will be going back soon to take another look on a quieter day.
The Ashmolean has also been listed in the top 20 most popular free destinations in England, and the most visited outside of London. This is a must see place.

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London

Winter Wonderland is back in Hyde Park for the 5th year and its a great place to visit for all the family. Its already open and will be open every day (except Christmas Day) until 3rd January 2012.
We went along on a Tuesday soon after it opened to see what its all about and combined it with a trip to Oxford Street and Regents Street to see the Christmas lights, and to visit Hamleys.
There is so much to see and do you can easily spend a few hours walking round, there are markets, fair rides, Ferris Wheel, Father Christmas, food and drink, circus and ice skating.
Charlotte was delighted to meet Father Christmas, she was so overcome with excitement she ran across the park to see him dodging anyone getting in her way (thankfully there was no queue) and quickly told him her most wanted Christmas item. We went on the ferris wheel with lovely views over the city and Christmas music to get you in the mood, shame it was a foggy day, but we could still spot St. Pauls, London Eye, Battersea Power Station, BT tower. We then went on a few fair rides and stalls, all the usual things you would find at your local fair and a few larger ones like 2 roller coasters and Power tower (66m drop I think it said).
The ice rink is so magical, all lit up with fairy lights when the sun has gone down. There are plenty of food and drink places with a Bavarian Village, fish and chips, hog roast, beer, cider, mulled wine etc.
There is also a stunning Christmas market, offering so many lovely crafts items.

We never managed to go to the circus, there are two, a Christmas circus and also a Cirque Extreme, there are a couple of showings of both each day but we missed them so check the times out before you go.
Winter Wonderland is free to enter, Father Christmas is also free. Attractions you have to pay for by visiting the tickets booths dotted around the park.
We had a great few hours, and was lovely to be there as it was getting dark to see everything lit up.

Monday 14 November 2011

Cinderella on Ice

Charlotte and her pre-school friends are always pretending to be princesses, usually Cinderella and tangled (Rapunzel), so when I saw that Cinderella on Ice is coming to the New Theatre, Oxford, I thought I should get some tickets. With a week to go I thought it would be a good time to tell Charlotte we are going with her best friend, and I showed her the flyer I picked up from the theatre. I was expecting a oh wow mummy that's wonderful. what I got in response was "but mummy that's not Cinderella". She went off to find her Disney princess pencil case to show me what Cinderella should really look like!
Hopefully come Saturday she will be too excited to realise that its not Disney Princess and may be adding future ice dancer to her chosen career choices of polar explorer (from watching Frozen Planet) and ballroom dancer with Jason Donovan (from watching Strictly).

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Autumn Colour

If you fancy a bit of Autumn colour to lift your mood a little now the clocks have changed take a look at the Forestry Commissions website to find a forest near you showing some wonderful autumn colour they even have a colour change map which you can update after your visit.


Whist having a google I came across The Electric Forest running this winter which sounds really wonderful, but sadly none of the places are close to us. In December its at Thetford Forest, Suffolk and February 2012 its at Moors Valley Country Park & Forest, Dorset. Its run by the forestry commission and more details of locations and times can be found here