Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Lego Safari at Festival Place

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I uploaded my last post – oops! I’ve really missed my blog and my YouTube channel but life has just got in the way recently. I had a huge deadline at university last week, so all my time and energy was going into getting my work finished and ready for that. I had planned to get back to my blog and video making as soon as I’d handed my portfolio in, but typical me, my body had other ideas! It’s been causing me a few problems recently, so as soon as my university work was finished, I just switched from writing and editing to medical appointments and resting. Not quite what I had planned! Things still aren’t right, but after a week of rest I decided I needed to get back to doing things that make me happy, and creating content was pretty high on my list.

So I thought I would start my return to blogging by telling you all about an event I went to at the beginning of April. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I collaborate quite a bit with one of my local shopping centres – Festival Place in Basingstoke. They contacted me towards the end of March to see if I would be interested in going along over the Easter holidays to blog about their latest event – a Lego Safari! I’ll admit my initial thought was no – I don’t have children (who the event was aimed at) and so thought it wouldn’t really be relevant to me. But as I thought about it more, I remembered I had been hoping to meet up with my friend, Charlie, and her two children, Izzi and Joe, and thought it would be right up their street! So I dropped Charlie a message and thankfully she said yes straight away.

On a rainy and cold Easter Monday, my Mum and I made our way over to Basingstoke and met up with Charlie, Izzi and Joe to begin our Lego Safari Adventure! We collected our maps from the information centre and set out on our trek to discover a range of wild animals, all in the comfort of a warm and dry shopping centre. We started off by a huge tiger (which actually made tiger sounds!) and gazelle, which even I was in awe of. Next to these two, there was also a Lego Safari jeep, which Izzi decided to hop into so we could take a picture. Festival Place were encouraging shoppers to snap a photo of themselves in the jeep and share it on social media using the hashtag #greatbrickadventure – so if you want to check out everyone’s safari photos, you can by searching with that tag. 

As we made our way around the shopping centre, following our map for clues, we came across a whole menagerie of wild animals. From a huge gorilla and Ormond the ostrich to a kangaroo with its baby and a couple of warthogs, all of us were amazed at the detail and size of the creations. I’ve been to Legoland a few times before, but seeing these animals out of place surrounded by shops just seemed to make them look even more spectacular. The signs that accompanied each animal especially fascinated Izzi; telling us how many bricks had been used and how long it had taken the team from Bright Bricks to make each one.

When we collected our maps, we were told not only to look out for the big animals, but also that some of the stores had stolen eggs and baby animals, so we should keep an eye out for those too. Izzi and Joe had so much fun peering in the windows of all of the shops while they hunted for the hidden surprises. My particular favourites were the three baby pandas playing on some grass in a shop window! 

Not included in the actual safari hunt, there was also a huge jungle construction in an empty window that everyone was excitedly looking at. There were some very realistic looking spiders (shudder!), some rather more beautiful looking butterflies, lizards, an armadillo and two brightly coloured parrots. It must have taken hours (and a hell of a lot of bricks!) to put it all together and it just looked fantastic. 

Despite all the animals looking incredibly realistic, my absolute favourite (for obvious reasons – with me being a medical zebra!) were the zebra mother and foal. I couldn’t resist asking my Mum to take my photo with them – I was definitely the biggest kid there! Once we had found all the animals on our map, we went to a cafĂ© for a hot chocolate and to count up all the animals and hidden eggs/baby animals. Our answers were then handed back in with our fingers crossed that we might win the prize on offer.

Overall, we all had a brilliant morning on our Festival Place Lego Safari and I’m so glad I decided to invite Charlie, Izzi and Joe along for it. The kids had a fantastic time seeing all the animals and learning about the work behind them, and even us adults joined in the fun!

I also just wanted to give you a little heads up – you might remember that last year I blogged about the Festival Place Fashion Event, which is always a brilliant day. Well, it’s back again this weekend – 28thand 29thof April – and I will be there taking photos and vlogging on the Saturday, so keep your eyes peeled for content about that. And if you fancy checking it out yourself, head down to Festival Place on either date. There will be a series of catwalk shows (11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Saturday and at 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm on Sunday) and fashion-lovers will also be able to have their outfits accessorised for free at “personalisation-stations” where skilled embroiderers will transform your newly purchased outfits into something really special. If you happen to come down and see me there (I’ll be the one in the electric wheelchair!) please come over and say hello!

Did you take part in the Lego Safari at all? It’s really made me want to visit Legoland again! And will you be checking out the Fashion Event this weekend?