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  1. If you are based within an hour of Basingstoke then you really MUST get your family down to Milestones Living History Museum. It really is a hidden gem. Situation in the Leisure Complex inside a hanger we really didn't know what to think from the outside. However as you enter the reception/cafe/shop area and peer over the railing to the hidden street below you can't help but gasp. We were provided with a complimentary pass for the day (which is normally around £30), we did however pay £3 so each child could have their ration book and coin DO THIS!! It's so worth it really enhances the experience for the children.

    milestones living history

    There is so much to see and do. The hangar lends itself nicely to the buildings and vehicles, the high ceilings mean it's light and airy. You don't feel cramped nor overwhelmed. I also cannot tell you how clean it feels. It's a really well maintained exhibition.

    We made our way down the two flights of stairs to the entrance to the Penny Arcade. This is also a great touch. We swiftly swapped a £1 coin for 10 big old pennies and started playing some of the old games. The children loved it. We even found an old Fortune Teller machine, who worryingly told Charlie to be wary of men with beards! Not great when a) it's nearly christmas and b) your Daddy has been known to sport a beard or two!

    penny arcade milestones

    The living aspect of the museum is amazing you just don't know who you might see in a shop or walking the streets. For a Saturday afternoon I was surprised at how few visitors there seemed to be again highlighting what a hidden gem this place is.  

    milestones pub

    There is even a pub.

    The sweet shop is an amazing touch. The lovely shop assistant let the children try a couple of sweets. She explained to the children how the sweets rations only happened once a week on a Saturday and if you didn't like them a week was a long time to wait.  The selection is really limited too. No modern sweets only traditional ones, Megan opted for pear drops. 

    Megan was in her element when she found a tent full of vintage dressing up. 

    megan milestones

    Olive took over running the fruit and veg stall. 

    fruit and veg milestones

    Daddy Moo collects vintage signs and I collect vintage bottles. My favourite bottles are the Boots medicine ones I have one in cobalt blue and one in forest green so this truck was an exciting find.  Daddy Moo had to contain himself at all the old sweet advertising enamel signs. 

    milestones truck

    Inside a camera shop I found a clown shaped camera my brother had when he was 5/6. Was slightly alarmed that our 80's toy is considered vintage! Make sure Milestones Living Museum is on your list of places to visit in 2017. 


  2. We are massive Harry Potter fans and you might have noticed on Instagram that we have started to fill the hall wall with all our Harry Potter memorabilia. So when I was asked to take a look at some incredible Fantastic Beasts merchandise I couldn't say no! As avid HP fans we have already seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and oh my days it's good!! What isn't there to love about it? It has so many little nods to Harry Potter (yes when the music started that classic HP music over the title I had goosebumps and shed a tear) and yet so many exciting new characters and the 1920's lends it's self perfectly to witchcraft and wizardry.

    After the film I started searching for products to add to Charlie and Megan's stockings but sadly they seems to be very few at the moment. I mean come on! Surely EVERYBODY wants a Niffler teddy! Well I know I do complete with diamond ring in it's pouch please!

    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Character Guide from Scholastic. What better way to relive the memories and learn more about your favourite characters. This book is full of stunning photographs and it's hardback which I always think makes books that little bit more special.

    Every Christmas a new Harry Potter colouring book comes out so we have a fair few … however Charlie doesn't let anyone colour in them, I have to photocopy the pages! I'm so glad there's a Fantastic Beasts edition out. This one from Scholastic (£4.99) comes with STICKERS! I love stickers! On that note Panini are renowned for their sticker albums but what makes the Fantastic Beasts one so great? Well you turn the middle pages inside out and you have yourself a Harry Potter sticker album. How amazing is that. Makes opening the stickers exciting too are they Fantastic Beast? Or Harry Potter? Also who doesn't like trying ridiculously hard to make sure each sticker fits into the box exactly. No wonky stickers here (OK blatant lie Megan has them all over the place!) The Starter Pack (sticker book and 31 stickers) Panini Fantastic Beasts/Harry Potter Sticker Collection Album additional sticker packs are 50p each. Of course then you need to find a chum also collecting so you can SWAP!

    fantatsic beasts

    Charlie has been after a calendar for his bedroom since starting Middle School and having to fill in a diary everyday, he's started to be more interested in dates/appointments/days out. The Danilo Calendar has already been wrapped with love under the tree he is going to be over the moon with it. RRP : £8.99

    Paladone gadget decals, contains 27 decals suitable for laptops, smartphones and tablets. I'm going to share most of them put between my nephews and friends but the house crests will go on our Harry Potter wall in any space. So fingers crossed they stick! RRP £5.99 they make a perfect stocking filler. There are also a great collection of wall posters from Pyramid. After my initial can't find a niffler disappointment I soon realised theres a plethora of goods out there for every Fantatsic Beasts fan young and old. 

    We were sent the above items for free for the purpose of this review, however we'd probably have bought most the items because we are obsessed with all things HP!

    (PS. Scholastic also sell wand pens! Oh yes they do I ordered 6 of them for various people at £1 each they are super stocking fillers. I bought these myself and wasn't sent them as part of this review but felt I should mention who awesome they are!) 

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