Saturday, 13 December 2014

Christmas is coming and the kids are getting excited, yet bored.....

Sounds like your house too?  

With only 11 days left until Christmas my boys are getting really excited and finding things to do to keep them entertained is never easy.  

We make a point of going on the train at least once every couple of months, with no car it is by far the quickest and easiest way to get to our destinations, see new places and make great memories.  We renew our family and friends railcard every year as it saves us so much money, especially when you consider the cost of fares at the moment.  We've just booked return day tickets to London for next weekend. Including a travel card it set us back £130 (2 adults and 2 children) (£238.50 without).  However when you compare that to the cost of petrol, the stress of driving and motorway traffic it's definitely worth it. 

I decided to set myself a challenge, a look this year to see just what was out there that we could get to on the train if we fancied it.

I had a really exciting trip planned last weekend to one of our favourite places, Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester.  Unfortunately for us hubby booked the day off work and refused to go anywhere near the Trafford Centre on a weekend **humph**.   He couldn't see why I would want to
  If you live near Manchester now is a magical time to go.  Not only has LDC got glittering lights and spectacular Christmas trees but they are also giving away the chance to win an Annual Pass or an amazing Lego set!!
   we particularly love the seasonal Factory Tours.  The Halloween one this year was great as the kids had to scare away ghosts to make their lego bricks and I can only dream of the excitement a Christmas one will have,
  There are snowmen and reindeer hunts, fancy dress competitions and even the chance to build a Lego Gingerbread House.
go there when it is Christmas, and when I explained it was because LDC don't have their Christmas Bricktacular in March I was accused of being sarcastic.
LDC have the Christmas Bricktackular running up until the 2nd of January and with Transpennine Express running trains all the way from Edinburgh or Glasgow, Newcastle, Scarborough and, Liverpool to Manchester frequently you can leave the car at home.

 Why not get the train to Blackpool and take the kids for a uniquely different Santa experience by
It is expected this event will be really busy but Santa will see as many children as possible.  So why not leave the car at home to avoid standing in the cold and defrosting it and unnecessary traffic jams. Get the train early and avoid the crowds, Santa will see as many children as possible on the day. Please arrive early on the day to avoid disappointment.
riding on the Santa Tram.  From 10am outside the North Pier on Saturday 20th December children can see Santa inside his grotto on the biggest toy train in Blackpool! Santa will be on the Illuminated Western Train tram and any adult who has a valid Blackpool 1 Ticket may take their child to see Santa free of charge.   Even better children can enter a prize draw on the train for a £50 voucher from Toymaster.

Whilst Cleethorpes may be delightful in the height of summer when you can relax with buckets, spades and ice cream it can be just as enjoyable to wrap up warm and have a stroll in the winter. With
the kids full of pent up energy you can let them loose to burn it off without falling over sunbathers. As for the picnic well why not get a table seat on the train on the way home and have your tea while someone else gets you back.

I may be a little biased but Sheffield is lovely at Christmas and with the train stopping in the city centre (and some at Meadowhall) its easy to access fun for kids. As I write this I am sat in one of the amazing play centres (warm when it's cold out) , tomorrow I'm spoilt for choice.  Do we go to Western Park Museum which is so interactive, free and Santa may even make an appearance. Or do we put hats, scarves and gloves on and head to Eccashall Woods for their festive trail?

But why stop at Christmas for getting out and about? My roots may lay in Essex but since my Windermere and show them the World of Beatrix Potter museum.
university days my heart has been won by Cumbria. I can't wait to take the boys back next year to

If you live on the North side of Manchester then chances are Transpennine Express is one of your more frequented services.  If you are planning on travelling between over Christmas and the New Year you will want to check out this Christmas link, or one of the other methods below, for changes and closures that will affect their services.


What's top of your list for entertaining the children at this time of year?   Do you go by train?

Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Transpennine Express, however the content and opinions are all my own.

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