The Ikea Ideas Festival

Last weekend we needed to go to Ikea.

My mother-in-law wanted to get some chests of drawers and I really needed to get some bits and bobs together for work.

It turned out that Ikea were launching their new catalogue that weekend and were hosting what they were calling their “Ideas Festival”.

They had loads of great activities going on in-store.

As we arrived, there was a chap with a microphone telling everyone what was going on, and when he spotted Jack, who had insisted on going dressed in his spiderman outfit, he started calling out “Look everyone, we have a real celebrity here. The real spiderman is right her doing his shopping in Ikea” Obviously this was a great start!

Then in the dining section we found a lovely lady doing facepainting, and there was no queue, so Rachel hopped straight up and asked for a cat. The lady offered her the choice of a generic tiger sort of face or Hello Kitty.wpid-wp-1410638797164.jpeg

Guess which one she chose??

Then Jack’s choice was a no-brainer – a spiderman face to complement his outfit and trainers!wpid-wp-1410638811190.jpeg

Then in the bedroom section, it was Mummy and Grandma’s turn to be pampered. In the alphabet according to Ikea, M is for massage and we both had a really lovely Indian head massage. I am not sure how wise it was to do this in the bedroom section as I for one, could quite easily have got right into one of the beds afterwards to catch 40 winks!wpid-wp-1410638785739.jpeg

By the restaurant there was a lady making dreamcatchers with the children. Jack was not interested, he wanted to go round into the toddler play area, but Rachel decided to have a go. We worked on hers together and made one for Jack as well.

Bet you never would guess which one was Rachel’s and which one Jack’s?

Then we had a lovely lunch in the restaurant. I mean who goes to Ikea and doesn’t stop for either a hot dog or there super delicious meatballs.wpid-wp-1410638752340.jpeg

Eventually we got around to doing the shopping, and for the final treat, as we reached the tills there was a very big, little ted there meeting all the children and shoppers and dancing away! You may or may not know little ted. We discovered him when Rachel was a baby and at the time we had a dog that very much enjoyed eating stuffed toys, so we had approximately 6 little teds in the cupboards at any one time, just in case!wpid-wp-1410638742455.jpeg

Except for a bit of whining and stroppiness, from a tired, grumpy 3 year old, half way through the trip, it was a pretty fun trip to Ikea.


Beaulieu Motor Museum

On the Thursday of our week away, we had to drive Grandad David to the train station in Southampton, as he needed to go home to work.
So we decided to make a day trip out of it and looked for somewhere close to Southampton that we could visit that day.
We were very close to Paulton’s Park, the home of Peppa Pig World, but we had done that last year, and we knew how busy it was likely to be during the summer holidays, so we decided to avoid it and look at somewhere else.
We decided to visit Beaulieu Motor Museum.
We had both visited the museum as children and wanted to share it with the children.
The drive through the New Forest was lovely, the children loved spotting the horses and were thrilled to see some just standing in the middle of the road at the junction in Beaulieu village!

The first thing they spotted when we arrived inside the museum was the Monorail, but we managed to convince them that we would go on it later, after we had had an initial look around.
They both had little worksheets, aimed at their different age groups, with things to spot and write about (for the older ones) as they looked around the different areas.

Firstly we took a ride on the old open topped bus down to the Palace House and Abbey, and had a look around there.wpid-img_20140828_125859.jpg

The children enjoyed a rather quick look around the Palace House, looking for the things they had to spot, before rushing around the Abbey doing the same!

Their favourite thing down there was looking at the Birds of Prey that were hanging out in the gardens. They was a display/talk about the birds happening at 1pm and 3pm but we didn’t get the chance to see it.wpid-wp-1409998353027.jpeg

Then we took the bus back to the main museum, where we firstly took them into the cars from tv exhibition. Considering there were some pretty cool cars in there, including Mr Bean’s car, they were more interested in the games machines in there…


We went into the Brabazon restaurant for lunch. They had the standard children lunch bag option and a wide selection for grown ups. It was not cheap, but it was fairly nice.

After lunch we finally gave in to the demands to go on the Monorail.

The cars had pretty low ceilings so Daddy and Grandad P really had to squish down a bit.

After the round trip on the monorail, we had a look at the Top Gear exhibition before going into the main museum.

It was lovely to see some of the cars that we had seen as children.

The gold old Orange Outspan car is still there – they don’t let you get in it any more though!wpid-img_20140828_163323.jpg

The bluebird, chitty chitty bang bang and truly scrumptious’s car are still there too.wpid-wp-1409998191484.jpeg

We found a table in one corner where they were doing some craft activities with the children, so we stopped there to make some plastic caravans.

Then we went on the ride which takes you on a trip through the history of motoring. The children absolutely loved this and both went on it twice! Poor Daddy ended up going on it 3 times!wpid-wp-1409998313965.jpeg

Once they had tired of looking at the displays and riding the ride, we took them over to the playground.

Here they found their favourite thing of the whole day – a track where they could drive electric cars round and round. Jack particularly loved this and he was actually surprisingly good – hardly crashing or stopping at all and overtaking the other children left right and centre. Rachel loved it too, but her driving wasn’t so great – definitely not a good advertisement for women drivers!!

wpid-img_20140828_163131.jpgAll in all we had a lovely day out.


"I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen."……………AA Milne

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