Its the most wonderful time of the year...
My house is officially full with my sister, BIL and niece (5) and nephew (1) and we are counting down the days to Christmas. Its the first year since I was about 19 that I have had the time in between Christmas and New Year off and I'm pleased to have family round to help fill in the days!
So today we did the Almond Valley Museum, Farm and Discovery Centre - more of a small city farm meets outdoor play areas. Its great, you can show the kids some sheep then move onto the trampolines then go and see the goats before playing in the sandpit. Despite a particularity chilly start, the day warmed up and, after a visit to Santa, everyone was warmed up and enjoying the day.
Apart from the cafe, everywhere in te heritage centre is dog friendly, so whilst Missy and I missed out on the Santa visit, she was able to keep up with her cousins looking at all the animals and running about all the different activity areas. I've done Almond Valley quite a few times now, and the favourites amongst my God-kids are the sand pit and the trampolines, so it great to discover that the sledge slide and the many play parks were the top priority of my niece and nephew.
My sister was most pleased with the special Santa entry price, as well as getting to pet all the bunnies and my BIL seemed to just enjoy the easy going nature of the place - it was that perfect level of busy where there are enough kids about that the place doesn't feel like a ghost town and yet quiet enough that they aren't fighting over getting on things...
We've also managed to fit in some festive baking and, whilst I very much took charge, I am pleased with the joint effort of the cake I made with my niece:
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and I have the joy of seeing what new traditions my sisters family have taken on - there is a much talked about 'Yule Cat' who is set to be a big part of tomorrow night and I've made some stockings to hang up for my niece and nephew. I hope they are pleased with the outcome!
As a final note, Missy finally got to meet her doppelganger in Cerberus form:
Until after Christmas!