A Night in the Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to stay overnight at Whipsnade Zoo with Frubes. We were challenged to find who had stolen the new banana flavoured Frubes in a twilight hunt around the zoo. We eventually discovered it was those cheeky Minions. You can read all about our Frubes Sleepover here.


After our Midnight adventure, we slept the night in one of the Lookout Lodges. This is an experience anyone can book and I can totally recommend it. As well as a lovely evening of moonlit walks around the park you wake up to find wallaby’s and rhinos are your neighbours. In the night I woke to hear the distant roar of lions. It was a magical adventure. IMG_2223

Although the lodges are small, they were really comfy and we had a great nights sleep. In the morning, we took a ride to our breakfast and spotted lots of animals on the way. They felt like old friends.IMG_2228

This was the truck we took our tour in as part of the Overnight Experience at the Lookout Lodge.
We toured with the friendly zoo keepers and gave the animals their breakfast before the rest of the visitors arrived.

We fed the wild pigs an assortment of vegetables.

They looked pretty hungry!

Then we fed a trio of bears.

Rose decided she would take the pictures from then on. Maybe she needs her own blog.

We were really looking forward to seeing the penguins. They have a beautiful area which looks like an exclusive spa. You could get pretty close to them.


I’m pretty sure he’s saying “Give me fish.”

The girls really enjoyed the whole experience and they loved seeing the animals in the morning before anyone was there.

After that, we had the rest of the day to explore the zoo. Luckily we had lots of Frubes to eat for whenever we needed a pick-me-up. Summer holidays can be very tiring.

We saw lots of other animals. The girls like the cute pygmy hippos and the giraffes the best.

It was a lovely couple of days and one we will remember for a long time. I thought Whipsnade zoo as really beautiful and one we will definitely be visiting again. It was lovely seeing the animals so well cared for. They had lots of space but at the same time you could get really close to them. There was so much to do and we could have easily filled another day with the things the girls wanted to do.


Find details here of the Lookout Lodge sleepover experience at Whipsnade  This is available from late March until October and costs £378 for a family of four, including tours, meals, and a two-day entry pass to the zoo, with access for vehicles.

Disclaimer: We given a family tour for the purposes of this review. 

Frubes Sleepover with the Minions

As soon as we arrived at Whipsnade zoo we knew we would be having a Minion filled stay. We had been invited to stay overnight at the zoo by the Frubes team and to go on a special hunt to find the Minions. We were greeted with lots of Minion themed treats and of course as many Frubes as we could eat.

Minion biscuits

The girls couldn’t wait to see where we would be sleeping. We had passed the Lookout Lodges and they just wanted to get inside and see what it was like.

Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

They were not disappointed. The inside of the lodges are really lovely. There is space for 4 people and they are really snug and cosy.

Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

The lovely Frubes team had decorated each lodge with lots of Minion themed goodies.

Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

They had thought of everything. Even a Minion themed blog sign.

Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

In the lodges there is space for tea and coffee and it is just next to the toilets and shower block – essential when you have young children.

Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

The girls didn’t want to leave. Except we had a fun tour of the zoo when everyone else had gone. It was amazing to see all the animals up close without any other visitors in the way. Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

The girls enjoyed giving the animals their food.

Lookout Lodge at Whipsnade Zoo

They liked being able to get close to the animals and not have to wait for other visitors.

Meercats at Whipsnade Zoo

We also enjoyed it being a guided tour. We learnt lots of interesting facts we never knew about all the animals. Molly enjoyed asking the tour guides lots of questions about each animal and learnt more than she would have otherwise as it was what she was interested in.

lions at Whipsnade Zoo

It was amazing to get this close to the lions. I was pleased they were behind glass. We even got to hold their well chewed ball.lions at Whipsnade Zoo


The zoo was so beautiful in the evening. The animals seemed really calm and happy.

tour at Whipsnade Zoo

As we toured through the zoo we had to look out for the clues to find where the Frubes had gone. You can play yo9ur own game of find the Minions with special packs of Frubes.

Minions with Frubes

Then out of the window we spotted some creatures you don’t normally see in the zoo. MINIONS!

Minions at Whipsnade zoo

I have never seen the girls so excited They couldn’t believe we were with the Minions.

Minions at Whipsnade zoo


Even the adults got to have a cuddle with the Minions.


Minions at Whipsnade zoo

Charlotte declared Bob was her new best friend and wouldn’t put him down. She also got very jealous if anyone else tried to cuddle him.

Frubes Minions

The Minions really were as happy and friendly as they are in the film. the twins loved it when they copied what they were doing.


Frubes Minions


The Minions went off to eat their Frubes and we had some dinner at the Wild Bite Cafe. There was lots of choice of food and of course Minion cakes to finish.

Minion cupcakes

After that, we headed on our moonlit walk back to our lodges.My camera had run out of batteries but luckily the lovely Jen from Mum in the Madhouse took some pictures of the girls for me.
Whipsnade zoo tour

I was a bit worried I would have to carry the girls as they were a bit tired. They loved the moonlit walk, especially having their own torches. It was a lovely evening and amazing seeing the animals as they tucked in for the night. Whipsnade zoo tour

After all that excitement, the girls were really happy to tuck up into the lodges. Lookout lodge at Whipsnade zoo

Here is our review of the Minions movie.

To see other reviews of our Frubes experience look here:

A sleepover at the zoo by Actually Mummy

Lions, Tigers and Minions by Northern Mum


Disclaimer: We were invited to stay at the zoo for the purposes of this review. 


The W Factor at Warwick Castle

Warwick castle

On Wednesday we were invited to watch The W Factor, a special stage show at Warwick Castle. It was part of the Horrible histories stage shows where contestants battled it out to win a guest spot on the show and a nights glamping experience on the grounds. We live really close to Warwick castle but never had the chance to visit, mainly because the twins were too young so we were all really keen to go and visit a real castle. https://youtu.be/a4m9y1Mpu_Q

Warwick castle

The castle is set right in the middle of Warwick and was incredibly easy to find. Another time we would arrive early as there was a bit of a walk from the car park to the ground. I hadn’t realised how beautiful the who castle area was and we were lucky as the weather was wonderful so we all enjoyed the walk through the woods. Rose particularly loved seeing all the beautiful woodland flowers.

Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle

The show was lots of fun. It was in a wonderful location on a hill overlooking the River Avon. Lots of brave contestants took part in a talent show with a Warwick Castle theme. Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle

The lucky winners were:

  • Lucy Edwards, Stratford upon Avon who won with her rendition of a Horrible Histories song about Henry VIII
  • ‘The Pirates’ who came second with their poem about Blackbeard.
  • George and India Day (aged 10) and Noah Day (aged 6)
  • Carole Holland and her daughter Tori (5) and son Arthur (4) with their historical skit.
  • Oscar (13) and Ben (11) Blakeborough and William (11) and Rosie (8) Dodd from Bristol came in fourth with their limericks and jokes

If you visit over the Summer you might see them perform a cameo appearance in the stage show.

Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle

We also enjoyed watching the Wicked Warwick stage show from the Horrible Histories. This show will play twice a day until 6th September. The girls have only recently started watching the show and are still a little nervous of the gory parts. Luckily this show was full of songs and quips and no actual blood. Here is our video of our favourite part of the show.

It is a brilliant way to learn about history with exuberant performances from the two actors who manage to play all the parts between them.  The girls thought they were hilarious.

Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle After the show we went for a walk around the castle. I was pleasantly surprised by how lovely and unspoiled the grounds were. The girls enjoyed meeting the stunning peacocks which were strolling around. Peacock at Warwick castle We got pretty close to the peacocks. Peacock at Warwick castle

Their feathers were stunning. We didn’t manage to find one though.

Peacock at Warwick castle

Other than the show the highlight for the girls was the Princess experience. This is a great little show for children aged 4-8 years old. It was really magical as you saved the Prince from being trapped in a painting.

Warwick Castle

The girls loved pretending to be princesses and archers. Warwick Castle

We didn’t climb the battlements as I took the girls on my own and the twins are still a bit scared of heights. There were several things we would like to do and so we will definitely be visiting again.

Warwick Castle
They also enjoyed playing in the castle themed adventure playground.
Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle play ground

You can walk around a lot of the inside of the castle. The girls were fascinated to see what it is like in a real castle.

Warwick castle

I particularly liked the beautiful library. There were several spookily realistic wax-works which gave a real flavour of what it would have been like in the castle.

Warwick Castle I had been worried about taking the girls when they were younger but they really enjoyed it and most of the attractions are accessible with a pram and without having to climb any steps. I wish we had visted sooner as we had a lovely day. Warwick Castle

Look here for all the details of the Horrible Histories show.


Disclaimer: We were given a family ticket on the day for the purposes of this review.

La Berangere Hotel Review Mark Warner

Mark Warner holidays

In the Easter holidays, we went on our first ever ski holiday. It was a bit nerve-wracking before we left because we had never done anything like that as a family. In fact, hadn’t yet been brave enough to take all the girls abroad. Luckily we were travelling with Mark Warner as part of their Mark Warner Mums blogger ambassador program. This meant everything had been planned for and there was always someone on hand ready to help if we needed anything.

We stayed in the chalet hotel La Berangere in Les Deux Alpes, France. This was a wonderful location, right next to the ski slopes with simply stunning views. The trip to the hotel from the airport took about two hours through beautiful scenery. The girls were so excited as we went into the mountains and saw all the snow as we haven’t had any this year. It’s useful having the Mark Warner staff on the coach ready to answer any questions and set everything up to make things easy when you get to the hotel.


The only slight worry during the journey was there wasn’t a toilet on the coach. Luckily we didn’t need to ask the driver to make an unscheduled stop. On arrival at the hotel we found our room and our bags were taken up for us which meant we didn’t have to fuss with them.


Mark Warner pride themselves on providing fun family holidays. The staff at the hotel were unfailingly cheerful and helpful. The interior of the hotel, while a bit old fashioned, was clean and well maintained. The beds were really comfortable and there were plenty of fresh towels.


We had two double rooms, one with three beds in it for the girls. The rooms were really quiet, we were away from the main part of the town and we couldn’t hear noise from the other guests.


The main plus for the rooms was the amazing view out of the large windows. When we arrived there was a thick layer of snow over the slope and the mist obscured the view. It was incredibly beautiful.


The buildings in the distance looked like a palace from Frozen. 

When we awoke the next day we were amazed to see the view free from clouds. The mountains of Les Deux Alpes are spectacular. I could watch them all day as they are constantly changing.


The cloud formations were really interesting to watch. This is a banner cloud which is quite rare apparently.


During our weeks stay, we had lovely weather. This caused much of the snow on the lower slopes to melt and totally changed the view. It was lucky because it made it much easier to walk around the town. The only slight problem this caused was that normally beginners would be learning on the slope right outside our hotel, meaning a short walk to lessons in the morning.


As well as the incredible location the other big plus for the hotel was the amazing childcare which I am going to write about in a separate post. The other big plus point was the food. Every meal was delicious and there was so much choice there was always something we liked. Included in the holiday, was breakfast, high tea and a three course evening meal with wine.


Breakfast was a feast of creamy porridge, cereals, and a full English. The girls got into the habit of finishing breakfast with a pudding of croissants or pain au chocolat.


My favourite meal was the afternoon tea. Timed for just when you have finished your day’s skiing and come back to the hotel absolutely ravenous. The tea is served in the bar so you can sit and point out all the adventures you had on the mountains that day. I love soup for lunch and these were all delicious, with fresh baguettes on the side. There were freshly baked cakes and biscuits. They were always snapped up so quickly it was hard to get a picture.


The children could either eat with the adults in the evening or have children’s high tea. This was either at 5 or 7 depending on the age of the children but the staff were really flexible and didn’t mind if the older children ate with the younger ones. We did a mixture of both and even took the food to our rooms, on the suggestion of the staff on the first night as the girls were so tired from travelling. The children’s menus had a big selection of childhood favourites, with a pudding as well. There were also children’s choices on the evening menu or they could try something more adventurous. 

It was lovely having the freedom to eat as a couple in the restaurant. The girls were happy in the cinema club and we found it actually made them settle for bed better. We booked an early dinner on a couple of nights and enjoyed three course and a bottle of wine.


All the food was presented beautifully and particularly in the evening. There were three choices for starters and main course, including a meat, fish or vegetarian option.


Another lovely thing at the hotel was the swimming pool. It was really nice to take the children for a dip in the pool and a good way to relax those aching muscles. The hotel also had a play area for the children with wendy house and water table.


Of course, if you ask the children what they liked best about the holidays, as well as the skiing and the kids clubs they loved being near so much snow!