Platform 9 3/4

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Because Maisy is such a big Harry Potter fan whilst in London we decided to visit  King’s Cross Station and see if we could find Platform 9 3/4. King’s Cross Station is huge and has recently undergone major building works so we were hoping that it wouldn’t be too hard to find.

As we walked through the station we didn’t need to worry because in the distance we could see a large crowd gathering around one of the old  walls. We reached the crowd and could see on the wall the sign for Platform 9 3/4. Half stuck in the wall was a station trolley with Harry’s belongings ready to go to Hogwarts.

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 There was a queue waiting to get to the trolley and as we waited, Maisy began to get very excited ! Hanging  on the railings were the scarves for each of the Hogwarts’ houses, we chatted about which one we would chose we decided that we had to be in Gryffindor. When we got to the front of the queue we were given a scarf and a photographer told us how to stand and took photos of us running and jumping into platform 9 3/4. The good thing about this was that although they were taking professional photos they were happy to allow you to take your own photos (the photographer even let mum stand were she was so she could get a good picture).

After having our photo taken we walked through the shop. Here you could see and buy the photo that the photographer took. It also sold lots of Harry Potter memorabilia such as wands and t-shirts etc. Maisy wanted to buy a wand, it was just like the film where you go to the counter and chose from a selection of wands to find the one that suits you best -Maisy chose Hermione’s wand.

Should you visit?

Any Harry Potter fan will definitely want to make the trip to Platform 9 3/4. It is very good value for money because  if you take your own photographs then it is actually free.

Where’s Abbie Rating

9/10

https://www.harrypotterplatform934.com/pages/about-platform-934

 

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Great Yarmouth Dogs

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On Wednesday we went to Great Yarmouth Stadium to watch the dog racing. Dad owns some greyhounds but none of his were racing so we could relax and watch the other dogs.

We had reserved seats in the race view restaurant so we had a 3 course meal while watching the racing. The food was lovely I had garlic prawns, burger and chips and then a chocolate orange cheesecake.

Dad had given us money to bet with, and a Tote man comes around to the table before each race but as I’m under 18 I was not allowed to hand the money to the Tote man or tell him my bet mum and dad had to do this. To start with I was betting £1 on a dog to win. In the race program it tells you lots about the dogs; how many times they’ve raced their grade age and weight where they came in each race, their name and lots of other things. I was carefully studying this but Maisy and mum were just choosing dogs with nice names!

We were not having much luck at first then dad taught me how to put on different bets which could result in winning more. We put on forecast bets and reverse forecast bets (you choose 2 dogs to come 1st and 2nd in any order) and trio bets ( you pick dogs to come 1st 2nd 3rd in any order) this resulted on my first of many wins!

It was lots of fun choosing the dogs and watching the races.In the restaurant there are lots of screens to watch the action on and the betting odds are displayed and updated for each race. You can also go outside and watch the dogs from the track side.

For the last six races you can place a ‘pick six’ bet where you pick the winning dog for the last 6 races, the jackpot was for this was over £3000 we all put a bet on and Maisy’s dog won the first race so we were very excited it didn’t last long as she then lost the second race!  On the last race there is a ‘hit or bust’ bet where you pick the full order of the last race. This jackpot was £146 and none of us did very well on this race! By the end of the night Maisy and mum had lost money but dad and I had won more than we had lost. It was a very good evening. At the end of the evening there was a tombola to raise money to re-home greyhounds , Maisy won an Easter egg.

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Should you visit?

An evening at the dogs is a great night out, it helps having someone who understands all the betting and odds. Its also a good idea to only have a set amount of money you are going to bet with so you don’t get carried away.

Where’s Abbie rating

9/10

http://www.yarmouthstadium.co.uk/greyhoundracing/

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Cosmo

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Last week we went for a meal at Cosmo in Norwich. Cosmo opened last year and is an ‘all you can eat’ buffet style restaurant with food from around the world. Since opening its been very busy and you have to book in advance to get a table.

When we arrived we had a short wait before going up the escalator to the main restaurant. It was very busy and lively in the restaurant we were shown to our seats and then the waiter explained how the restaurant worked. First we were given a glass and told to help our selves to the soft drinks and refill as many times a we like.

 

We then went to get our food there were lots of different stations with food from around the world. I started with sushi and salad. there was lots to choose from almost too much choice! The food was delicious and I got to try lots of different foods some such as squid which I wasn’t very keen on !

My favourite food was the pizza ! The restaurant was full of people but there were lots of staff to keep on top of things plates were quickly cleared and there was never any empty food stations.

There were lots of desserts on offer and they were small enough so that you could choose lots of different ones there was even a chocolate fountain and Maisy decided to just get a bowl of chocolate and a straw !!

Cosmo really is ‘all you can eat’ so you do end up stuffing yourself and eating far more than you normally would! but it is a good opportunity to try lots of different things. During busy periods Cosmo operates a timed seating arrangement meaning you are given 1hr 45 minute period to eat we found this was more than enough time and left before our time was up.

 

Should you visit?

Cosmo is good vaule for money however children over 1m 50cm are charged full adult price. There are lots of different foods to choose from and something to suit all tastes.

 

Where’s Abbie Rating

9/10

 

http://www.cosmo-restaurants.co.uk/locations/norwich/

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Snow White

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Last week the year 7&8’s went to the theatre royal to see Snow White. It seemed a bit strange going to see a pantomime after Christmas, but they usually adapt the jokes etc. after Christmas.

We all arrived and took our seats at the top of the theatre, we could see really well and waited with anticipation for the show to start.

It opened with a snowy scene set in the land of Norwichovia and we are introduced to Snow White and her family. However  Queen Evilynne plots to kill Snow White and reclaim her “fairest of them all” reputation. Snow White is then taken into the woods by the huntsman.

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The acting was very good my favourite characters were  Muddles (Ben Langley who we saw at Cromer pier in the summer) . Richard Gauntlett who was brilliant as Nurse Dorothy Dumpling (he is also the writer and director) There were lots of funny jokes about Yarmouth and Ipswich etc.. Unusually the dwarfs were puppets it was a little disappointing that they were not the Disney characters we were used to but as this wasn’t a Disney production they were called The Major, Hippy, Windy, Toffee, Hercules, Ramsie and Boris.

As expected there was lots of singing and dancing and lots of opportunities for the audience to join in singing and shouting ‘he’s behind you’ etc.

However half way through the first act the theatre alarms began to go off and the theatre had to be evacuated. We waited outside for about 15 minutes and were then allowed back in. The actors handled things very professionally and carried on where they had left of.

The end of the pantomime saw Snow White marry her prince and they all lived happily ever after!

Should you visit?

Panto’s are good family fun for all ages and there is something for everyone but they are very christmasy and are probably best seen before Christmas rather than a cold January evening.

Where’s Abbie rating

7/10

 

www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

 

 

Santa Paws

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This week we decided to get our dog Harry into the Christmas spirit by taking him to see Santa Paws at FAITH animal shelter in Hickling.

 

When we arrived we were greeted by the staff who told us what we could do and where we could take Harry (he was allowed everywhere except from the cat house!)

First we visited the stables Harry loved the horses and enjoyed smelling them and rubbig noses with them. He liked it so much he kept dragging us back to visit them again and again.

Then we looked at the nativity scene complete with real donkeys Harry decided to ignore the fence and try to crawl through to meet the donkeys!

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The sheep were next Harry wasn’t very interested in the sheep, But Maisy and I enjoyed petting them which made Harry a bit jealous.

We then took a look at all the dogs that need re-homing. It was sad to see how many there were but they were all adorable. The staff told us about each of the dogs and the sort of homes they would need.

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Having had a look around it was finally time for Harry to visit Santa Paws.  He had his own little grotto and as we walked in there was a small dog dressed as an elf. In corner sat Santa Paws! Harry sat on his lap and we told him what Harry wanted for Christmas , Harry enjoyed sitting with Santa Paws but wasn’t very keen on the elf! Harry was allowed to choose his own present from basket which he opened quickly and got a chew toy and ball he was very happy!

After mince pies and drinks we went outside and danced in the snow! (a bubble machine) Harry kept eating the snow! We then went to the shop and got some carrots to put in the horses stockings and we got Harry some special doggy crackers!

Should you visit?

FAITH animal shelter relies on donations from the public so taking your dog to see Santa Paws can help them raise valuable funds. The staff are very friendly and Harry loved getting up close with the animals.

Where’s Abbie rating

8/10

 

http://www.faithanimalrescue.co.uk/

 

 

Hakuna Matata

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This week I went to London with my school drama group to watch the Lion King stage show at the Lyceum theatre. The Lion King has been delighting audiences for 16 years.

We traveled by coach to London and were very excited about seeing the show , because we are going to be performing our own version of the Lion King next year. After what seemed like forever we finally reached the theatre. The theatre was busy with people all excitedly milling around, we bought a program and then made our way to our seats.

Despite having been built in 1834 the Lyceum has a new feel to it. The interior has been styled with an African theme.

The show began with The Circle of Life which was my favourite number because it is the first sight we had of the spectacular costumes. The animals are puppets attached to people which you loose sight of and they quickly just become animals dancing around pride rock.

The show is true to the film and takes us through Simba’s adventures. The songs are performed brilliantly by the cast and you can feel the music pounding in your chest. It was hard to imagine how they would recreate the stampede but this is done fantastically with lots of dancing wilder beasts and moving screens to create the full impact of a stampede.

My favourite characters were Timon and Pumbaa they were very funny and taught Simba the true meaning of Hakuna Matata, their costumes were very detailed and just like the characters in the film.

Should you visit ?

The Lion King is a fantastic show to go and see. Even if you haven’t seen  the film or didn’t like it because the costumes and singing make it an amazing show.

Where’s Abbie rating

9/10

http://www.lyceum-theatre.co.uk/

Bouncing high at High Altitude!

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This week we visited High Altitude in Norwich. High Altitude is a new trampoline park with ‘wall to wall trampolines all connected together to form one huge bounce area with angled trampolines forming the sides, you can literally bounce off the walls.’

We were excited about going and couldn’t wait to try everything out.

We booked our tickets on-line we paid £7.95 for an hour session and £2 to hire some special socks which have to be worn. Just before the session starts there is a safety briefing; a video tells you all the things that can go wrong and how to avoid them!! The staff explain the rules and what will happen if you break them!

 

There are trampolines on the walls which you can bounce on, it takes a bit of getting used to and to try and land (mum found it very hard to land on two feet!!) but once you get the hang of it you can start adding tricks and flicks as you bounce against the wall ninja style!!

As well as the trampolines there is a giant air bag. This is where you can practise your somersaults and tricks with help from the staff if you need it. There are two long trampolines to bounce along before jumping into the big air bag which almost swallows you up as you land – its amazing and gives you confidence to have a go at new moves before then attempting them on the main trampolines.

Although this time we didn’t play, there is an area to play dodgeball whilst bouncing across the trampolines.

It was quite busy when we went however there was more than enough trampolines and space, for this not to be a problem. The music playing was really good giving you a beat to bounce to. The staff were very friendly and helpful and encouraged you to try new moves, but were also firm with anyone breaking the rules. So overall High Altitude  has a very safe and fun atmosphere.

 

Should you visit?

High Altitude is suitable for all ages and abilities its really good fun and great exercise. Its a great place to go with friends and good value for money. There is also a cafe selling snacks and drinks . After an hour of bouncing you will defiantly deserve a slush puppy!!

Check on-line to see what is happening in each session.

Where’s Abbie rating

9/10

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http://highaltitudepk.co.uk/

 

 

 

Halloween at the Hippodrome

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During half term we visited Great Yarmouth Hippodrome for their Spooky Halloween spectacular. The show was only running for a week and this meant that most of the shows were sold out. We went with friends and went in Halloween fancy dress – I went as a sugar skull !

We arrived at the circus early and found our seats right near the front. We could see the stage was all set up as a spooky museum there were creepy statues and paintings on stage. Suddenly the music began the lights went out and Dr Plum stormed onto the stage and removed his assistants head !!

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The story throughout the Circus was that Dr Plum had taken over the museum and was controlling all of the exhibits with a special controller. He had an evil plan to turn anyone that got in his way into paintings using his frightening chair. The comedy duo of Jack Jay and Jonny Mac were there to foil Dr Plums sinister plot.  The story is woven around traditional circus acts such as jugglers, acrobats, trapeze and comedy routines.

My favourite part was Jonny Mac being on mastermind answering Jacks questions it was very funny. We held our breath as the acrobats balanced on each other and somersaulted over and over again landing on his partners feet. The costumes of the dancers were beautiful my favourite costume was the puppet doll dancer complete with broken strings. The dancers captured the essence of their characters being under the control of Dr Plum very well, their faces were frozen with sinister smiles as they moved across the stage.

The show lasted for 2 hours and despite the spooky theme it was suitable for all ages. The final dance encouraged the audience to all stand and take part in a hip Halloween dance off!

After the show there was an opportunity to sit in Dr Plums evil chair and meet the cast.

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Should you visit?

Although the Halloween show has now finished there are lots of other shows and events taking place at the hippodrome throughout the year. The next show is the Christmas spectacular. The Hippodrome shows are always entertaining and  suitable for the whole family. They are very good value for money.

Where’s Abbie rating

8/10

http://www.hippodromecircus.co.uk/

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