Wanderlust Kids #9

Wow, November has flown by. As I post this month’s Wanderlust Kids linky we are just days away from our first ever family trip to Disneyland Paris. And to say I am excited would be the understatement of the year. It’s been five years since BattleDad and I visited, and we cannot wait to see BattleKid’s face when we arrive at Disneyland. We’ve been watching Disney movies in preparation. But first, I must thank everyone who linked up their kids-based travel posts last month. I’d like to thank my returning linkees and say hi to the newcomers as well. I’ve loved reading everyone’s posts.

November’s Featured Wanderlust Kids Post

The post that has added another destination to our family travel bucket list and is this month’s featured post was from Celine at Family Can Travel. She linked up her post about How to see Oslo in 5 days with children. BattleDad and I flew through Oslo on our way to Tromso and are planning a return trip in a few years with BattleKid. But I think we are going to have to add a few days onto our trip to include a stopover in Oslo. The sculpture park sounds interesting as does the opera house where you can walk on the roof. But most of all I know BattleDad and I would be most excited to visit the Viking ship Museum as we are fans of Vikings, the TV series. The Vikings also settled in Dublin and established it over 1000 years ago, so to see real life Viking ships would be amazing.

November’s Special Mention Wanderlust Kids Post

The other post which deserves a special mention was posted by Helena of Babyfoote in which she tells us all about their stay in Chiang Mai around the festival of Loy Krathong. Thailand has been on our family travel bucket list for a while, but I wasn’t aware of the Loy Krathong festival until I read Helena’s post. The weaved baskets for the river look amazing as do the temples they visited. I just know we’d thoroughly enjoy visiting Thailand for this festival!

November’s Other Great Posts

Jenny from Travelynn Family shared her post in which she tells us why Doha I worth a stopover with young kids. Although accommodation can work out expensive, the half day desert trip sounds like so much fun.

Iris from Baked by Mummy Iris linked up her post about visiting Taipei with Kids. The post includes her one-day itinerary and it looks amazing, especially the Longhan Temple. I’d love to see it at night too.

Nicky of Go Live Young shared her post about doing a road trip along the Garden Route in South Africa with kids. Her 7-day itinerary includes whale watching, hiking and meeting ostriches. I’d be very tempted to do this before our trip to Kruger National Park, if we get the chance to go.

Wandermust Family linked up their post about dealing with jet lag going east. They have some great tips to help families with toddlers deal with jet lag if travelling east.

Truly Madly Kids shared their post about visiting the Cote D’Azur with kids. They stayed in a lovely mobile home and had a great family holiday. BattleDad and I have visited Nice pre-BattleKid, but I was glad to read there is plenty to do and see in the area with kids in tow. Another trip might be in order.

Helena from The Queen of Collage linked up her post about going to a baby-friendly bonfire celebration at Roves Farm in Wiltshire. There was plenty to do including a soft play area, food, and of course fireworks to enjoy. Great to see somewhere that caters for families with younger children.

Lisa of Baby Loves Travel shared her post about exploring Grennwich with a toddler. She visited the National Maritime Museum and Mudchute Farm. I just know BattleKid would have to be torn away from the AHOY area of the museum as it sounds great.

Claire from The Ladybirds Adventures linked up her post about their family’s adventures in October. Their month included a trip to a forest school and also to the Lake District, somewhere I’ve never been in the UK but always wanted to go.

Tracey of Mums Makeup Bag shared her very funny post about surviving their first family holiday. The experiences along the way and the laughs they had resonated with me and reminded me of our past sun package holidays with BattleKid.

Lydia from Hollidaze and Hellidaze linked up her post about visiting the Maldives with her kids. Despite having to choose from the limited resorts that would accommodate not one, but two kids, they had an amazing holiday and I’d love to visit. I’d also love to experience the Sand and Stars dinner.

Shades of Courage shared their post about seeing Jerusalem from ramparts. It is definitely an interesting way to see the city but not one for strollers.

Naomi from Trips with a Tot linked up her post all about their family holiday to Haven Thorpe Park in Cleethorpes. It sounds like one of the best Haven holiday spots with loads for families.

And last but not least, Rosie of Eco-Gites of Lenault shared her post about why you should choose one of their baby-friendly self-catering gites as a base for your family holiday in Normandy. They have everything you’ll need to avoid having to pack the kitchen sink.

I really enjoyed reading everyone’s posts last month and cannot wait to see what is linked up this month. I must say a big thank you again to everyone joining in with Wanderlust Kids.

This month I’m linking up my post in which I shared 5 things you can do around Lake Bled with a toddler in tow. We visited Bled when BattleKid was eighteen months old and wouldn’t have even considered it as a holiday destination with a toddler unless our friends had suggested it. We thoroughly enjoyed it. In my post, I hope I’ve shown that you shouldn’t discount Bled as a destination to visit with a toddler as we loved it.

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My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, a travel review, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up by everyone, and I’ll be featuring my favourite one, linking back to everyone’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment. 

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

And last but not least, I’ve created a Wanderlust Kids group on Facebook. The idea behind it was that not everyone who travels with their kids will have a blog. So, by creating the group we can share our posts and travel tips with non-bloggers, and maybe even help each other out by sharing advice or ideas about travelling with your kids. I don’t know if the group will go anywhere but I’d love it if you could join up, and add anyone you think might benefit from the group. Feel free to share your travel blog posts there too!

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration.

WanderlustKids

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Our Visit to OMSI, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

Those of you who have read our USA Road Trip Holiday Diaries will know that we visited the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or OMSI as it is known, while we were in Portland. This had been recommended to us and was on our Portland Bucket List. In this post I’ms haring with you our visit to OMSI as well as some useful information should you plan a visit there yourself.Our Visit to OMSI

The day after we arrived in Portland we decided to head there. I was quite excited as I had found out they had a Pompeii Exhibition on at the time of our visit to OMSI. BattleDad is a huge fan of Roman History and we’d love to visit Pompeii at some stage so to see the exhibition was an unexpected bonus. Our only reservation for our visit to OMSI was whether BattleKid would enjoy it. We need not have worried.

OMSI was founded in 1944 and was originally located in Washington Park at the site of the Portland Children’s Museum. However, as visitor number grew, and exhibitions got bigger, a new location was found for it on the east bank of the Willamette River.

The OMSI building is huge and houses no less than 3 auditoriums, a planetarium and numerous exhibition halls. They also have a submarine exhibit in the form of USS Blueback which was used for the film The Hunt for Red October before being towed to its current location at the pier adjacent to the main OMSI building.

Exhibition halls include the Featured Hall for special touring exhibits and the Turbine hall with exhibits for engineering, physics, chemistry and space travel. There is also the Life Sciences Hall which is all about biology, and includes talks and demonstrations with live animals. The Earth Science Hall features geology-oriented exhibits with two specialised laboratories. The Planetarium holds astronomy and laser light shows. And there is the Science Playground which we spent the most time in.

We arrived shortly after 9.30am after driving from our hotel and once we’d bought our tickets for the Pompeii Exhibition (including museum admission) and planetarium tickets, we made our way to the café for a quick cuppa and bite to eat. There I had my very first peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which was quite nice.

After we had eaten, we made our way upstairs to explore the exhibitions halls. As soon as we entered this area, BattleKid made a beeline for some giant cubes and dived right in. He and I had great fun at a giant pinball machine which was designed to educate children about food groups. Although he was too young to understand these, he still had fun trying to whack the balls!

Our Visit to OMSI - BattleKid falling into soft bricks
Giants soft cubes!
Our Visit to OMSI - BattleKid playing with the food pinball machine
Fun with the pinball machine

There were exhibits about recycling and garbage, exhibits about animals where we saw a Dire Wolf skeleton and saw live animals, and my personal favourite, an exhibit about fluorescent materials. This brought me back to my science background.

Our Visit to OMSI - Fluorescent Minerals at OMSI
Fluorescent Minerals
Our Visit to OMSI - A Dire Wolf skeleton
A Dire Wolf Skeleton

Next, we moved onto the Science Playground. And BattleKid had a whale of a time in the Science Playground. This area has been designed for families with newborn to children of six years of age. Fully enclosed and designed so that children are visible and secure at all times, it encourages children to discover through play and imagination. It has various experimental stations including

  • a stimulating infant area
  • a giant sandbox
  • a water area
  • a reading area and
  • a physical sciences area.

First stop was the water area of course. Only, we hadn’t quite planned for the wet floor. We had to take BattleKid’s shoes off as we entered but forgot to take his socks off. Wet feet were the result for spending so much time having splashy fun in the water area. It also meant he couldn’t really go into the giant sandbox as his feet were still wet and I didn’t fancy trying to get sand off his feet!

Our Visit to OMSI - BattleKid having fun with the water area at omsi
Fun in the water area

Next BattleKid had fun at the physical sciences area and was playing with other children, putting balls through holes and down ramps.

Our Visit to OMSI - BattleKid playing at the physical sciences area
Fun at the ball wall

We moved into one of the rooms off the main one and he and I did a fun game with magnetic balls in a maze. I ended finishing it when he got bored!Our Visit to OMSI - BattleMum helping BattleKid with a magnetic game

As were we getting close to our 12pm time for the astronomy show in the planetarium, we had to drag BattleKid away from the Science Playground. This was the first time BattleDad had been in a planetarium and he and I enjoyed it. It was great being shown some of the star constellations we can see above our house in Portugal, although I couldn’t tell you their names, apart from the Plough now. BattleKid got a bit restless before the end but stuck it out thankfully.Our Visit to OMSI - BattleKid pretending to be an astronaut at omsi

After the stars show we made our way to the Pompeii Exhibition. They allowed entry at timed intervals, which was to allow them to show the short video at the start of the exhibition. This gave some background about Vesuvius and Pompeii and the build up to that fateful night in 79AD.

Once you had watched the video, you were let into one of the main exhibition halls which featured artefacts from Pompeii including urns, gladiator clothing and weapons, mosaics and frescoes. Between this hall and a second one, there were over 200 artefacts on loan from the Naples National Archaeological Museum.Our Visit to OMSI - One of the Pompeii displays at omsi Our Visit to OMSI - Roman vases from Pompeii at omsi

It was amazing to see how well preserved some of the items were and the level of detail in them, particularly metalworks such as jewellery and coins. After the main hall, we were led upstairs where there was another short video. However, it was advised that it was unsuitable for young children and we were allowed to skip this video and were let into the next exhibition hall by a member of staff. #

The video we didn’t see was a 4D one in which you could experience the fury of Vesuvius in an immersive theatre with vivid sights, sounds and shaking ground. I think it was very helpful of OMSI to allow families with younger children to skip this part.

The last room of the exhibition had more artefacts and also body casts of people from Pompeii. It was a sobering place, especially seeing the body casts of children. We didn’t stay long in this room with BattleKid.Our Visit to OMSI - The Pompeii Exhibition was at omsi during our visit

Before we finished our visit to OMSI we visited the gift shop which is well stocked, and BattleKid got a little space ship souvenir with his name on it for his room. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to OMSI and highly recommend it. Had we known how good the Science Playground was going to be we might have booked a later showing in the planetarium and let BattleKid enjoy it even more. I am so glad it was recommended to us and made it onto our Portland Bucket List.

Visitor information for OMSI

  • There is a large car park adjacent to the OMSI building with a charge of $5. WE were there early on a Wednesday morning in September and there was plenty of parking.
  • OMSI is served by public transport. The OMSI/SE Water Ave Station connects to the MAX, bus and Portland Streetcar lines.
  • The museum is open from 9.30 to 5.30 Tuesday to Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.
  • The café is open from 8.30 to 5.30 Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday and from 8.30 to 8.00 on Friday and Saturdays.
  • Submarine tours are from 9.50 to 4.30 and you can even do sleep overs!
  • Entry to the museum costs $14.50 for an adult and $9.75 for a child (3-13 years).
  • Entry to the submarine costs $6.75. For the Empirical Theatre, which we didn’t go to, an adult costs $7-8.50 and a child is $6-6.50. Entry to the Planetarium costs between $5.75 and $7.50.
  • The Pompeii Exhibition ended in October. To see up-and-coming events, please visit the Events page of the OMSI website.

Our Visit to OMSI

We can highly recommend visiting OMSI if you are ever in Portland, Oregon. There is plenty to see and do for children and adults alike. Children will particularly like the Science Playground, so give yourself plenty of time in there.

Cath x

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

**We were not asked to write this review.Our Visit to OMSI

Our Visit to OMSI

Wanderlust Kids #8

Last month I had a record number of people linking up to Wanderlust Kids and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single one of the posts. I got some great ideas for destinations to visit with BattleKid in the future and also some excellent hints and tips.

September’s Featured Wanderlust Kids Post

The post that got me really excited while reading it last month was by Jenny of Travelynn Family, who shared their 16-day itinerary of their visit to Sri Lanka with their boys. I’ve always wanted to visit Sri Lanka and BattleDad and I almost did for our honeymoon, but we chose Cuba instead. That said it is still on my wanderlust bucket list. From beaches and elephant sanctuaries to the capital Colombo, they covered a lot in this detailed tour itinerary. I have this post pinned to one of my travel boards on Pinterest for future reference!

September’s Special Mention Wanderlust Kids Post

Another post which I thought deserved a special mention was from Annette at Four Acorns. In her post, she gave us comprehensive details of all the places her family enjoyed wild swimming in France during the summer. From incredible beaches to swimming under a derelict Roman bridge, she had some stunning pictures in her post. What a way to spend the summer!

September’s Other Great Posts

Wandermust Family shared their post about favourite city breaks in both the Middle east and North Africa with babies from the bloggers who have been.

Andrea from Topsy Turvy Tribe told us about learning lessons from travelling with toddlers including some great tips for travelling with them such as always carry cash, something BattleDad rarely does.

Elizabeth from Dutch Dutch Goose shared her post about their trip to visit Mount Pilatus in Switzerland. It reminded me of a similar trip we did to Mount Rigi pre-BattleKid.

Paul at Family Makes told us all about their visit to Hadrian’s Wall. I never knew you could actually walk on the walls and their children got to meet a Roman soldier too.

Helena of The Queen of Collage shared her post about their visit to Gisacum in Normandy to see a Gallo-Roman archaeological site.

Annabel at Smudge Postcard showed how enjoyable slow travel on a narrow boat on the Basingstoke Canal could be for celebrating a birthday.

Nat at Awaybies shared her post about visiting Kidzania with her 8-year-old. This kid play area at Westfield Shopping centre looks amazing and kids will love it!

Katie of Mum of 2.5 shared her post about their lovely family holiday to Spain to visit the grandparents.

Zen Baby Travel shared their post about an amazing hotel which they went to for their first family holiday as a foursome. It looks incredible.

Tara of After The Rain Comes Sunshine shared her post about their visit to Felbrigg Hall, which is a stunning National Trust property. From her pictures I can certainly see why she fell in love with it.

Johlene from Johlene Orton linked up her post telling us why you should visit Sioux City if you are ever on Gran Canaria island. I think BattleKid would love it after our recent trip to Yellowstone in which we met real cowboys and cowgirls.

Laura from Side Street Style shared with us her post about their action-packed weekend at the Just So Festival. They stayed in vintage tents and had an all-round amazing time. I urge you to watch her video of their weekend, the pillow fight looks like so much fun!

Claire from The Ladybirds Adventures share her post about their September family adventures. They’ve even started autumn by collecting conkers, pine cones and acorns.

Melissa at The Family Voyage shared her comprehensive post about car seat options if travelling with babies or young children.

Niamh from Treasure Tales shared her post about a family break in Wexford, Ireland. I can’t believe I read someone mentioning a baby bowl. If you’re not from Ireland, you won’t get the reference. It’s something I always missed when eating out with BattleKid in the UK!

And finally, Lisa of Baby Loves Travel shared her post about their experience pf the Camper Calling Festival. I must admit I’d never heard of it before reading Lisa’s post, but it looks and sounds great.

I really cannot thank you all enough for linking up so many wonderful travel posts last month. I enjoyed reading every single one of them and am getting excited to see what is linked up this month.

And for this month, I am joining in with my post all about our recent mid-week stay at Bluestone. We have stayed at Bluestone before but for weekend breaks. This was our first time to enjoy it mid-week.

My ‘Wanderlust Kids’ linky will open from the 1st of each month for you to link up a post, old or new, which involves travelling with kids. It can be a day out, a family holiday, a travel review, somewhere new your children have discovered or a post with hints and tips about travelling with kids. As long as it features kids and is travel based it can be linked up. The following month I will write a synopsis of the posts linked up by everyone, and I’ll be featuring my favourite one, linking back to everyone’s blog.

So, if you’d like to join in, just grab the badge below, add it to your post and link up your post via the link up button below. Please make sure you visit a few other posts that have linked up and leave a comment. 

Don’t forget that throughout the month you can use the #WanderlustKids on your Instagram photos which involve travelling with kids. These photos can be abroad, home or days out, so long as they feature your children and have a travel theme attached to it. Each fortnight I will pick my favourites to showcase. I cannot believe how well this little community is growing and appreciate everyone who has adopted the #wanderlustkids on Instagram.

And last but not least, I’ve created a Wanderlust Kids group on Facebook. The idea behind it was that not everyone who travels with their kids will have a blog. So, by creating the group we can share our posts and travel tips with non-bloggers, and maybe even help each other out by sharing advice or ideas about travelling with your kids. I don’t know if the group will go anywhere but I’d love it if you could join up, and add anyone you think might benefit from the group. Feel free to share your travel blog posts there too!

I look forward to reading your posts, maybe gaining some inspiration.

WanderlustKids

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Planning Our First Family Visit to Disneyland Paris

BattleDad and I have been to Disneyland Paris (or EuroDisney as we still refer to it) two times. Each time it was a special anniversary for both Disney and my husband. You see my husband worked at Disneyland Paris for a year as part of the opening crew in 1992. Our two visits coincided with the 15th and 20th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland Paris. Well, this year is the 25th anniversary and so we are due another trip but this time things are a little different. You see it will be our first family visit to Disneyland Paris, as I mentioned in our holiday plans for 2017. Not only is it our first family visit and hubby’s 25th anniversary, but BattleKid will be almost four and my 40th birthday is looming this year too. So how do we even begin planning our first family visit to Disneyland Paris? Continue reading “Planning Our First Family Visit to Disneyland Paris”