Brighton & Hove

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Fancy winning a family day ticket to Halloween Shriek Week at Drusillas Park this half term? Just tell us who will be visiting the Park on Wednesday 30th October… there’s a clue below!

Good luck, competition closes on Friday 11 October!  Enter here

Get into the Spirit of Halloween at Drusillas Park

Put your nerves to the test and get ready to come face to face with g-g-g-ghosts and ghouls at Drusillas Park! Prepare yourself for a whole host of spine-tingling surprises and eerie entertainment. The award-winning zoo in East Sussex has plenty of fun events planned to keep your little horrors half term happy between Saturday 26th and Sunday 3rd November.

Venture through the creepy cobwebbed corridors of Haunted Heights into the terror-tory of sin sisters, Hocus & Pocus, as they play hide and shriek with the unsuspecting public! Step carefully as you pass this derelict castle, which towers high above the skyline of Drusillas, because deep inside lies a ghostly secret… knock on the trap door and discover the spook-tacular surprise within…if you dare…

Or take your chances in Mungo’s Adventure Maze; missing from the ancient tomb, a Mummy has been seen wandering through the shadowy pathways of the twisted maze…

Plus, don’t miss The Gruffalo (Wednesday 30th October) or the Creepy Crawly encounters in the Discovery Centre throughout the week.

Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information, please telephone 01323 874100 or visit


T&Cs: One winner selected at random from the Sussex editions of the Family Grapevine magazine will win a family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) for entry into Drusillas, for one day between Saturday 26th and Sunday 3rd November. No cash alternative.


Charity offers ultimate countryside fun for families.

Keen for the kids or grandkids to discover the delights of country living this spring? A visit to the Spring Live! show in Ardingly, West Sussex, will give the whole family all the inspiration they need and, even better, children under 16 go free*!

This year’s Spring Live! – organised by the South of England Agricultural Society – will be held over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend (5th & 6th May) and promises a jam-packed programme of interactive activities to keep everyone entertained.

Whilst the family can still enjoy the traditional elements of a country show with maypole dancing, the mini-sheep show, and animal barn, this year’s event will see an exciting twist on the activities.

Traditional wood spindling becomes a magical wand making workshop, knights and princesses can be wowed by medieval games and try their hand at axe throwing, animal lovers can get up close to creepy crawlies and reptiles, and wannabe drivers can test their skills on the exhilarating Segway or mini monster truck courses.

It’s not all for the kids though, parents and grandparents alike can explore the shopping area, get a few tips at the Garden Theatre, savour the delights of the artisan food hall, or simply soak in the atmosphere at the live music stage featuring an array of fantastic local talented performers. Even better, because the South of England Showground is blessed with so many barns and indoor event spaces, there’s no need to worry about wet weather – most attractions can go ahead or be moved undercover, allowing guests to enjoy Spring Live! come rain or shine.

A bumper number of visitors is expected at the show, and all profits will be used to help fund the Society’s charitable projects that support agricultural education and countryside learning. Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society, said: “We are delighted to be unveiling even more entertaining activities for all the family to enjoy and look forward to welcoming many new visitors to our spectacular showground this spring.

“While the show will be all about fun and entertainment, there’s a wider purpose to our events here in Ardingly. Any profits help us continue and develop our charity work in support of people with an interest or involvement in agriculture and other related land-based industries. From inspiring school children to learn about the land, to offering travel bursaries for people working in the farming sector or helping with funding towards agricultural research – when you support Spring Live!, you will also be doing your bit to help this incredible charity.”

Tickets for Spring Live! 2019 are available from and can be bought online in advance for a 10% discount. Tickets cost £12 for adults, £10 for senior citizens/students £10, and under 16s go free with a paying adult.

HORRIBLE HISTORIES celebrates 25 years of foul facts with a visit to Brighton.

Those TERRIBLE TUDORS and AWFUL EGYPTIANS headed to Theatre Royal Brighton between Wed 30 Jan – Sat 2 Feb.

Known for its blood, punishment and ruthless monarchs, the Tudor’s ruled England with a rod of iron! I was lucky enough to see Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors at the Theatre Royal Brighton. And it didn’t disappoint. We were quite literally transported back to the Tudor times. Overall it was an absolutely incredible, interactive, 3D experience that made us all feel part of the show. It really was a show of two halves, the second offering mind-boggling 3D effects including flying missiles, fireworks and boats sailing into the audience. Kids were excited and full of energy and life, dodging the missiles and participating enthusiastically when invited to do so. Shreaks of delight filled the theatre.

‘The Terrible Tudor Traveller Show’ in the form of Dr Dee, Drab and Dross prove that the Tudors really were terrible. Facts we so often take for granted are disproved by historians and suddenly new, alternative histories are presented. I have no doubt that the audience (kids and adults!) learnt more in that 90 minutes than they have ever done in any history lesson at school.

Deary’s books have sold well throughout the world as they aim to make history fun and exciting. Amongst the nasty narratives and tortuous tales, Deary interweaves the vital facts from the period and this stage adaptation uses a troupe of travelling players to tell the tale of the terrible and fearless family that ruled over England for 117 years.

As Dr. Dee, Drab and Dross, Simon Nock, Izaak Cainer and Lisa Allen do a fantastic job in communicating the historical period’s key facts by way of song, raps, rhymes, facial contortions, cross dressing, puns, audience participation and alliteration! Their slapstick nature allows for great comic interplay between all actors.

From Henry VII to Elizabeth I and everything in between, Director Benedict Martin ensures Terrible Tudors is yet another historical hit from the Birmingham Stage Company. The script and actors delivery ensures that history can be fun and that Theatre in Education is so much more than pre-set morals and messages. Long may Horrible Histories continue to enlighten and frighten its audience.

If you get a chance to see these amazing shows, make sure you do. I will certainly be booking a ticket for the next one. My six year old will love it!


Rugbytots is a fun and engaging play programme focused on using the multiple skills of Rugby to create a fun and enjoyable environment, whilst developing basic core motor skills.

There are three different age groups of classes covering ages from two years old all the way through to seven and they are also suitable for both boys and girls. All classes are also inside so, particularly for younger age groups, it really is an all year round class. For the younger ages classes are 30 minutes and then progress to 45 minutes in length once children are five.

I took my six year old Michael along for a taster session and he loved it. He was immediately welcomed into the group by the two coaches and the other children. The session was really well thought out, activities were both Interactive and educational – not just treated as a run around.

What I loved most was the variety of activities. All the kids were kept thoroughly entertained and the coaches were attentive to all the kids, all the time. I loved the fact that parents joined in the last activity, a rugby version of dodge ball – all the kids were howling with delight. Even my nearly two year old joined it!

The Brighton and Hove based classes are held in Stanley Deason Leisure Centre, Patcham High School and Impulse Leisure. So lots of choice on days and times.

Esther and Becks have recently taken over our local classes and you can tell they have focused on keeping the kids entertained, rather than just getting the money rolling in. They have capped their class numbers to ensure the focus is on quality, not quantity and that shines through.

Classes may seem a bit expensive (£8 each with a one off charge of £29.99 for the kit and bottle) in relation to other sports or football clubs. But, you get what you pay for. The venues are big, clean and bright and coaches are fun and professional. The capped class sizes are an amazing touch and ensure each child receives quality coaching.

There really is something for all at RugbyTots, each class is so varied that children remain totally engaged and it provides a solid foundation for team sports. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Wow. What an AMAZING experience. If you haven’t yet been, go!

Father Christmas at The Brighton Marina. How this is a free experience, I will never understand. We have gone the last three year running and it never fails to disappoint. Yes you have to queue and yes it can be a bit long. But it doesn’t matter. We go with a few friends and the kids just entertain themselves. We are lucky there are table tennis tables there and there is lots of room for play.

Father Christmas himself is just AMAZING. He looks and sounds the part, but is also so funny. He had all the kids and adults laughing. I’m still smiling from the experience. Every child gets a present and the interior of the grotto is magical.

5 stars, we honestly couldn’t recommend this experience enough.

And the good news – it’s right on our doorstep! Jack & The Beanstalk at Hilton Brighton Metropole.

If you haven’t yet booked your family panto, or are just looking for an entertaining night out, then look no further. Ticket prices are really reasonable, starting at £19.99 and under twos are free. The theatre isn’t massive, so wherever you sit you’ll get a good view.

Overall the show was a crowd pleaser. It’s full of classic panto favourites, including a very flamboyant Dame played by David Rumelle. Who cares that some gags fell flat – especially the joke mocking our much loved Brighton and Hove Albion! I felt the show exploded on stage during the second half. The giant in particular was so much fun, as were the amazing dancers.

What gives the whole show some extra sparkle is the amazing singing, especially by the ladies. Kerris Lea from The Sundaes and Molly Scott, princess Danielle, belted out some beautiful tunes. I didn’t always get the correlation between some song choices and scenes, but it didn’t matter. When their beautiful voices filled the venue, you are completely captivated.

My son loved it. He knew the story line and was excited at every stage. The pyrotechnics were great and the detailed costumes added to the magic and detail. The Christmas market was also very popular, especially the sweets, rides and softplay!

This was my first pantomime at The Brighton Hilton Metropole and it certainly won’t be my last. In fact, they are already selling tickets for next years offering, Peter Pan… Jack and the Beanstalk is running from 20th-29th December. Go and see it before it’s too late!

Win a family ticket for Komedia’s family theatre show this Christmas.

Komedia Brighton are offering one lucky winner a family ticket (family of four) for their children’s Christmas show ‘Out of the Hat’ by Longnose Puppets.

When Doris and Delilah wake up to find something strange and sparkly has fallen from the sky, they are inspired to put on the world’s greatest magic show! Along the way they encounter some fabulous characters, from a transformative moth, a giant singing frog, an artistic spider and a rather grumpy stick insect to some beautiful fireflies who all help to create their dream. Will the conjuring trick work and will anything EVER come out of the hat?

A story about friendship and true magic. Full to the brim with lively songs by Tom Gray of Gomez that will have everyone joining in! It’s a spectacular theatre experience for all ages-especially 2-8 year olds!

Find out more about the show.


To enter all you need to do is one of the below:

– Like our Facebook page and share the competition post.


– Fill out our competition form.


The final date for competition entry is 30th November and we will let the winner know by Tuesday 4th December. Good luck!

Babies and children from Puddle Ducks in West Kent & East Sussex had fun raising £2,137 for CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading charity supporting children and young people with cancer and their families.

Every autumn, local swim school Puddle Ducks hold a week-long charity event where children raise money (and learn valuable water safety and survival skills) by attending swimming lessons dressed in their pyjamas.  This year Puddle Ducks’ chosen charity was CLIC Sargent which supported 315 children and young people from Kent and East Sussex in 2017 alone, from places such as Maidstone, Brighton and Battle.

In Kent & East Sussex, CLIC Sargent’s specialist care team of social workers and nurses provide emotional, practical and financial support out of the Royal Alexandra Children’s hospital in Brighton, as well as supporting young cancer patients at home or who are being treated at other specialist children’s hospitals in London, Surrey or Hampshire.

Clive Relf, who runs Puddle Ducks West Kent & East Sussex with his wife Lindsay, explained, “We were delighted to fundraise for CLIC Sargent. They do fantastic work and our Puddle Ducks families thought it was wonderful opportunity to help other children.

He continued, “Our Charity Pyjama Week is a great way of teaching our children important lifesaving skills in a fun and relaxed environment, whilst raising money for such a great cause. We had a tremendous time and we would like to give a big thank you to all our customers and their little Puddle Ducks who helped us to raise over £2,000 for this fantastic charity.”

Puddle Ducks provides award-winning swimming programmes for children 0-10 years of age. Taught by experts, they focus on teaching independent swimming in a nurturing environment with individually tailored activities to suit all abilities. Puddle Ducks swimming classes take place at 18 pools across West Kent and East Sussex.

For more information on the classes available at Puddle Ducks please call 01892 617246 or visit

Stanmer House, Brighton has teamed up with The Kids’ Table to launch a pop-up kid’s service offering supervised fun for kids aged 3 – 10 years old every Saturday.
The new concept is designed to allow parents to enjoy some adult time over a relaxed breakfast or lunch while their kids are entertained by childcare professionals who offer face painting, craft activities with a different theme each week, Lego building, friendship bracelet making, drawing, games and more. The children can enjoy making superhero cuffs, snapping crocodiles, finger puppets, flying rockets, fire breathing dragons as well as special activities for seasonal events such as Easter and Mother’s and Father’s Day.
The Kids’ Table founder, Sarah Frow said:
“As a mother of a four-year-old living in South London, I struggled to find decent family friendly pubs and restaurants that offered an equally enjoyable experience for both adults and kids. The places where my friends and I want to while away a weekend afternoon offer little to keep the children entertained. We were forever having to cut our lunches short because the little ones were bored and wanted to get up and play, or we would put the tablet in front of them to keep them amused. The Kids’ Table means that parents can enjoy the adult environments they want to hang out in during their precious spare time, while the kids have a ball – everyone’s happy!”
The Kids’ Table researched 200 parents and found that 81% avoid going out to eat as a family because it’s too much hassle entertaining the kids, while 79% said there weren’t enough restaurants nearby offering an equally enjoyable experience for parents and their children.
The Kids’ Table includes a fresh fruit breakfast and a health-conscious lunch buffer, available for just £5 per child (aged 3 – 10yrs) for customers of Stanmer House from Saturday 17th February. It will run from 10am until 3pm. Parents / guardians must stay within the Country House and private gardens. Tickets available at

For more information contact [email protected] or Proud Country House in Stanmer Park 01273 680400

Harmony at Home Nanny Agency are the premier childcare agency in Sussex offering many different forms of childcare to meet your wide and varied needs.  We specialise in providing permanent nannies in either live-in or live-out positions for full time or part time hours.  We can also supply household staff including mother’s helps, cleaners nanny PA’s.  Our service also includes temporary nannies, one off nannies for weddings and events and a personal babysitting service.  Our nannies can cover daily hours, evenings and weekends, holiday cover and we can also help with emergency needs.   All of our nannies are interviewed and registered with the agency first and also pass our strict vetting procedure including a detailed overview of work history, past references and DBS check before being presented to clients.

Harmony at Home are proud to offer all new clients a 10% discount on any agency service when quoting ‘Grapevine’ upon booking.  This can be used against any service including babysitting and events bookings.

Contact Clare today on 01444 212599 or email [email protected] for more information or to discuss your needs.