42 Days of Summer – frugal summer fun

It’s been a busy old summer for us, it’s our last before the small boy slips on a school uniform and goes to the nursery at big school, so we’ve been busy making the most of our time together. We don’t have a lot of money to lavish on grand days out, so our fun is usually fairly frugal, with the odd treat thrown in for good measure.

When it’s hot, there is nothing more enjoyable than an afternoon playing in the paddling pool with some friends, it’s important for Mums to keep cool with a jug of Pimms too. Playdates are a great opportunity for the kids to burn off some energy while the parents have a catch up and a sit down.

42 days of summer

Picnics in the park are a brilliant thing to do, we live close to lots of great parks as well as National Trust properties. We often just throw together a pile of sandwiches, pick up a ball and his scooter and go and spend an hour picnicking and relaxing in the park.

Dunham Massey

One thing we like to do on rainy or dull days, is a spot of baking or creating in the kitchen.  The small boy loves baking cakes and helping Mummy make lunch. His latest fun thing to do is making milkshakes in the blender. He likes helping to tip the ingredients in and whizz them up. But I think he enjoys sampling his creations as much as he does making them.

Malteaser milkshake

When the clouds gather and it’s wet and miserable we like to curl up with a good book. As a family we’re quite big on reading, a book can transport you anywhere in the world, or beyond. His favourite book at the moment is Dear Zoo.


There’s lots to do locally if we want a day out somewhere. Again to cut down costs we’ll take a picnic, but so far this summer we’ve been to Blackpool to see a show and go on the beach, CBeebies Land at Alton Towers, Brookside Miniature Railway as well as to the Foodies Festival and to various National Trust properties. We’ve used vouchers and membership cards where we could to help cut down on costs.

photo 3 (8)

Having fun can be hard work, so a quick juice and a biscuit break is essential. We like McVitie’s BN biscuits, they’ve got a cheeky smiley face which appeals to kids, the biscuits themselves are not too sweet, but they come in raspberry jam, chocolate and vanilla flavours. The boys loved the jammy raspberry ones and I like the chocolate. They’re a nice treat if you’re out and about, or if you’re just having a fun day at home.


Hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze a few more days of sunshine and frugal fun out of this summer. We’ve got lots more adventures on the agenda before we have to pack his book bag ready for school in September and enter a new phase of childhood.

Review: Cirque Du Hilarious, Blackpool

I hate magic shows.

No, I hate quite a lot of magic shows. To explain, my Dad is a magician and I’ve been around magic and magicians my whole life. I’ve watched a thousand rehearsals, I’ve seen most tricks a million times. It takes a lot to impress me, so I never go to magic shows.

I was given the opportunity to go and see the Cirque Du Hilarious at Blackpool’s Central Pier; so I consulted my Dad, who told me that father and son performers Clive Webb and Danny Adams were the best in the business, so I snapped up a trio of tickets and took the boys, one big and one small.

The show is on Central Pier, slap bang in the middle of the Blackpool action. It was one of the hottest days of the year, so we welcomed the cool shade of the theatre. The small boy was in awe of the lights and the scenery and I was genuinely excited to be taking him to his first magic show.

cirque du hilarious

The show was 90 minutes of non-stop slapstick, comedy and magic. It was definitely a mad-cap show with barely any let up for the performers. The small boy is nearly 4 and he loved it, I think a lot of the jokes went way over his head but he liked the action, the slapstick and the dancers a lot. He especially liked the band playing at the end and the catchphrase (repeated all the way home to Manchester) “I haven’t got a guitar”.

It was as expected, hilarious. There was a little bit of blue for the Dads, which had my hard to please husband laughing out loud, some of it was edging towards too smutty for a family audience, but most of that seemed to go over the kids heads.

What did I think of the magic? There were several riffs on old favourites, Danny made a number of doves appear ‘as if by magic’, and it was beautifully done. There were plenty of appearing and disappearing girl illusions, the boys (one big and one small, remember) were transfixed and impressed by what they saw. It was all very well done, even for a magic snob like me.

cirque du hilarious

The dancing girls were beautiful and my boys were transfixed, the small boy was especially enamoured with the dancing monkeys, who doesn’t love dancing monkeys though? My highlight was “Find the Turnip” which you have to see to fully appreciate. There were a few deliberate and accidental slip-ups but they truly added to the craziness of the show.

To find out more about Cirque Du Hilarious you can visit their website or you can book tickets here.

cirque du hilarious

Note: I was sent tickets to the show free of charge, the opinions in this blog post are my own and are as honest as I can be.

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