Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ice Skating at Millets Farm, Frilford, Oxfordshire

So its a cold wet winter day and we decided to go ice skating. Completely mad I know, and the rink is uncovered, but it was so much fun and ideal for kids of all ages. So long as they can walk they have skates to fit.
The ice rink was a real ice rink not fake at all, so feels realistic and is easier to skate on. You book in for a session (usually starting on the hour) and the session lasts 45mins, which is plenty of time and if you need a sit down or rest you can step of the rink for a bit.
Spaces are limited to a set number for each session so the rink is never going to get over crowded, plenty of space for all.

For children under a shoe size 10, they get skates that strap onto a shoe (Bob-Skates), these worked well with trainers but don't think they would work well with boots. They also have 2 blades so more chance of keeping young ones upright. The strap-on skates shorten or extended to the required length, probably up to a shoe size 12 if needed. A standard single bladed boot is available from shoe size 10.

 Quite a lot of families had hired Bobby seals, suitable for up to the age of 8. They looked a really good idea for some of the less confident children who were on single bladed skates, and parents can also push kids around on them (few races going on too).

There were always helpers on hand if you had fallen over to get you back up again, and take a nice group photo for us too. Friends and family joining you at Millets but lacking the balance for skating can watch you from the viewing platform, or grab a cake and coffee from the cafe next door (where we all dived in later for a hot chocolate to warm up... and what a wonderful hot chocolate it was).

We had such great fun and it was excellent to see Charlotte really skating and even managing to do a lap of the rink not holding anyone's hands.

Tickets can be booked in advance online or at the booking desk. In November they are doing half price tickets for some days, book online or in person you will need the voucher from the Millets magazine which you can pick up at the customer service desk. The rink is open until 8 January 2013.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Christmas in Oxfordshire

Its almost December and Christmas is just around the corner. The weather is getting colder (or should that be wetter) and the shops are filling up with tinsel and goodies for all. But for the little ones the all important bit is... Father Christmas is coming!

So where in Oxfordshire can you meet up with Father Christmas or take part in some Christmas activities?

Christmas lights are being turned on around Oxfordshire, and most towns are having special celebrations. Take a look to see when your town is being lit up.

Local family friendly Millet's Farm, for the fist year ever, have an ice rink, and it's already open. It will be there until 8 January. Santa has already arrived and his grotto will be open weekends until 10 December. From 10th December he will be in his grotto every day upto 24 December. We really want to try out that ice rink and I've been told by Millet's that's its suitable for all ages, so long as they can walk they can skate.

Oxford playhouse is showing "Where's Father Christmas?" from 11 December to 30 December (book your tickets early as it sells out). Last year we went to "Dear Father Christmas" and it was so much fun, all the kids, and adults, loved it. See our review of Dear Father Christmas.
The Playhouse also has an excellent pantomime every year and this year is Dick Whittington. Charlotte is getting to go with school and i'm so jealous, would love to go with her.

Staying on the theme of theatres the Cornerstone Didcot is showing Miki  - based on the bestselling book by Stephen Mackey. This is for 3 - 10 year old so all the family can go along from 17-23 December.
And something Charlotte spotted in a magazine is Cinderella at the Kenton Theatre, Henley on the 21-29 December. They are also showing a puppet version of Rapunzel on 9 December.

How about getting the kids to do some Christmas crafts, drop into the Oxford Town Hall between now and the 6th January. There's also local craft stalls for present ideas, costumes to try on and a tree to decorate. How about a visit to Santa in his grotto on the 15, 20, 21 & 22 December?

The Pitt Rivers Museum and Museum of Natural History are doing letters from Santa with special post boxes from 22 December - 6 January. On a side note: The Natural History museum is closing on the 30 December for a year to restore its very leaky roof. The entrance and shop will remain open and the Pitt Rivers will not be affected.