Lincoln mum expands her focus to find more family fun

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Lockdown has given us all the chance to think about doing things differently in our lives whether we’ve wanted to or not. For one Lincoln mum of two it’s proved a great opportunity to expand her horizons from the city’s walls to the much wider county’s borders.

Emma Crellin owned and ran Lincoln Mums for the last five years but has used the strange time the pandemic period has afforded her to create the new brand Lincs Kids, taking her experience of running the parent-foucsed city community county wide.

The newly launched website aims to encourage Lincolnshire families to explore, visit and shop locally within the county.

“Lincolnshire has so much on hand for local families,” says Emma. “Now more than ever, people are shopping and visiting more locally.

“By launching Lincs Kids we have created a hub which allows people to see at a glance what is around for them to do and see, and to create some great value offers for local families.

“We will be there to support local businesses during this second lockdown time and afterwards as people get out and about again.”

Lincs Kids focuses on Lincolnshire’s activities, classes, retailers, food and drink, services, health/fitness providers and green spaces. Emma wants it to bring information together in one place with an events calendar, regular what’s on guides, social media pages and a blog with local parents contributing their reviews and views.

The Lincoln Mums discount card can still be used to access all the promotions offered to the community’s members and parents and carers new to the area and/or Emma’s work can now request a free Lincs Kids Family Card. It already provides more than 50 discounts off local attractions, eateries and services and the number of participating business partners is growing and is now expected to expand rapidly.  Card holders can also subscribe to a newsletter providing monthly updates on new offers and promotions.

Find out more at, email or follow @lincskidsuk on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Lots of trails are the trick to keeping your Halloween a treat this year

Halloween events 2020

Many of us may think that 2020 has been scary enough as it is but in a year when a lot of celebrations have been cancelled it’s good to highlight the events that are still managing to go ahead offering to put a bit of fun back into our mini ones’ calendars.

pumpkinaFamilies are being urged to help transform Trick or Treating into a Pumpkin Trail by putting one – real, decorative or crafted – in their window so children can dress up and walk around their neighbourhoods seeing how many different pumpkins they can find (just like the rainbow spotting during lockdown) and parents can always bring their own sweets or treats to hand out along the way. 

If you’re going to head to one of the events below as well then obviously it’s even more important than ever to check the details and/or to book your fiendish family’s tickets in advance before leaving your own haunted house for your disastrous destinations… 

Art and Craft
Day of the Dead Decorations
October 24th to 31st – 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, DN15 6TB.
Kids Halloween Pottery Painting Session – 
October 31st – The Little Pottery Studio, St Marks Shopping Centre, Lincoln.

Cupcake Decorating – October 29th and October 30th – Hosted by The Back Garden Bakery at Waddington Village Hall

Fear Island at Fantasy Island
selected dates between October 10th and November 1st – Ingoldmells, Skegness, PE25 1RH.
Halloween at Active Arena – October 31st – Active Arena, Lincoln, LN6 7JW.
Halloween at WoodcocksOctober 31st – Woodcocks, Burton Waters, Lincoln, LN1 2BE.
Halloween WeekendOctober 31st and November 1st – Heckington Windmill, NG34 9JW. 
Witchy SpooktacularOctober 30th and 31st – Wolds Wildlife, Horncastle, LN9 5LJ.

Hocus Pocus (PG)
October 27th and October 29th to November 1st – Kinema in the Woods, Woodhall Spa, LN10 6QD.

Pumpkin Festivals
Pink Pig Farm – October 24th to November 1st – Scunthorpe, DN16 3RE
Rand Farm Park
October 23rd to November 1st – Rand, near Market Rasen, LN8 5NJ

PPatch2Pumpkin Patches
Coleby Lodge Farm
– Coleby, near Lincoln, LN5 0AR
Doddington Hall
– Doddington, near Lincoln, LN6 4RU
Maxey’s Farm Shop – Kirklington, near Newark, NG22 8PB
Red House Farm – SOLD OUT.  Maize Maze still open.  Waddingworth, near Woodhall Spa, LN10 5EE
Tattershall Farm Park – Tattershall, LN4 4JR
Uncle Henry’s – Grayingham, near Gainsborough, DN21 4JD

Fairy and Dragon Trailvarious dates from September 1st to NOW FINISHING NOVEMBER 4th –  Bransby Horses (LN1 2PH).  Adventure around the Visitor Centre yard on this magical fairy and dragon trail and meet some of our equine residents along the way!
Halloween Family Potion TrailOctober 30th – Sherwood Forest.
Halloween Hunt: Find the Hidden Pumpkinsfrom Monday, October 26th – Hanworth Country Park, LN4 2DX.
Halloween Monster Hunt
October 17th to NOW FINISHING NOVEMBER 4th – Rufford Abbey Country Park (NG22 9DF).  Help hunt down the creatures, ghouls and ghosts as you follow the map into haunted hideaways and creepy woods.
Halloween TrailOctober 17th to November 1st – Burghley House, Stamford, PE9 3JY.
Nocton Pumpkin Trail – October 31st – Nocton.
Outdoor Halloween Trail – November 1st – Wyndham Park, Grantham.
Pumpkin Hunt October 17th to November 1st – For under 5s. Thoresby Park (NG22 9EP). 
Pumpkin Trail – Otcober 31st and November 1st – Bassingham and and Carlton Le Moorland.  Hosted by Friends of Bassingham School.
Scarecrow or Autumn scene Trail October 25th to October 31st – Skellingthorpe, organised by St Lawrence School PTA.
Spooky TrailOctober 31st and November 1st – Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, Friskney, PE22 8PP.
Uphill Lincoln Pumpkin Trail October 17th to November 1st – Follow a trail of hidden ceramic pumpkins through Lincoln’s Cathedral Quarter and answer the clues to win prizes for all the family. 
Where’s Wally? Spooky Museum Search!October 24th to November 1st – Lincoln Castle and The Collection Museum in Lincoln. 
Who Dunnit TrailOctober 26th to November 1st – Age 4+. Thoresby Park (NG22 9EP).

A-maize-ing art

So many events have been cancelled or at least virtually modified this year that it’s absolutely lovely to read about two events we’ve enjoyed in the past managing to take place nearly as normal.

With a few Covid-19 tweaks – it’s obviously even more important, if not essential, to book ahead for days out now – both Doddington Hall and Uncle Henry’s have been pleased to announce that their respective biennial sculpture exhibition and annual maize maze WILL be taking place.  And both events take place predominantly outdoors with lots of space as well as fresh air.


The Maize Maze at Uncle Henry’s opened on July 18th and 2020’s design very appropriately pays tribute to the NHS.

Open daily until August 30th, the maze at Grayingham (DN21 4JD) is spread over five acres and contains a hidden letter challenge.

At £8 per person (under 2s free, £25 for a group of four), there’s also a 9-hole crazy golf course and jumping pillows to enjoy too.  Click here to book tickets.

SculptureDoddingtonDoddington Hall (LN6 4RU) is “thrilled in this most extraordinary of years that we can welcome you to our 5th biennial Sculpture Exhibition“.

Open from July 25th to September 6th, the 390 works of art from 68 artists from the UK and overseas will be placed around the gardens and in the Stable Yard Gallery with a safe route to follow.

Garden admission applies (no extra charge for the exhibition): Adult  £7.50, child  £3.50 and family £19.  Click here to book tickets.

Are you visiting any events as “normal” this year?  Let us know in the comments below.

Familiar faces are swinging into city theatre this Easter


The New Theatre Royal Lincoln’s Easter pantomime is returning with The Jungle Book, running from Monday, April 13th to Sunday 19th and the audiences of the venue’s last two Easter pantomimes, The Wizard of Oz (2019) and Alice in Wonderland (2018) will be pleased to see some familiar faces.

The Jungle Book - Press Image

Not only will Chris Johnson star in this year’s production as the Monkey King and Kaa but this year CBBC’s Chris will also be credited for writing the script.

When asked about coming back to Lincoln and writing the show, Chris said, “I’m delighted to re-join the wonderful NTR Presents team once again for what’s guaranteed to be a swinging time in the jungle.  Lincoln holds a very special place in my heart so getting to write and perform another show here is an absolute joy!”

Chris Johnson - The Jungle BookChris will be joined by Michelle Morris who will get her wicked claws out as Shere Khan. Best known for her TV appearances in The Knock, Doctor Who, and Endeavour, Michelle’s theatre credits span more than two decades, including The Wicked Witch in last year’s Easter pantomime The Wizard of Oz, and Fairy Stardust in New Theatre Royal’s latest Christmas pantomime, Robin Hood.

Lincoln’s local lad, Chris Hayes, is back too.  After leaving audiences in stitches as Mama Munch in the The Wizard of Oz and Friar Tuck in Robin Hood, Chris returns as the loveable Baloo Bear.

Last year’s Scarecrow Jonny Weston and The Win Women Georgia Hayes-Cowley return as Bagheera and Raksha, Mowgli’s wolf mum.

Michelle Morris - The Jungle BookThe city theatre is also very excited to introduce local young talent, Kyla Hurdley and Ruby Grayson, who will share the role of Mowgli.

Packed with high energy dance routines, popular songs and a witty script, this family-favourite story will see the theatre’s artistic director, Natalie Hayes-Cowley, produce and direct the show: Who said pantomimes are just for Christmas?” she asks.  “This will be our seventh in-house pantomime since we took over the theatre in 2016 and our Easter pantomimes are becoming increasingly popular amongst our patrons.”

“Panto brings all generations of families together and it’s rewarding to see so many people joining in, laughing and booing (at the baddies, of course), then leaving with huge smiles on their faces.  I can’t wait for everyone to see The Jungle Book, it’s going to be another brilliant show!”

A relaxed performance will be held on Thursday, April 16th, at 2.30pm.  Tickets start from £19.50 (adults) and £11 (child).  Call 01522 519999 or visit New Theatre Royal Lincoln to book.

Ready, Steady, Yeti! ignites imaginations

YetiHow many festive theatre goers can say they’ve seen a show featuring a sly, upper class, anthropomorphized furry toy dog who is a master of disguise this Christmas?

Thanks to being guests of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre for the morning performance of Ready, Steady, Yeti! on Saturday, the minis can count themselves among the elite few who have not only been introduced to the cunning canine Colonel Snitterby but have rapped along with him too.

An ode to the wonders of youthful imagination, Ready, Steady, Yeti! follows a young sister and brother as they go on a Himalayan adventure to search for the Abominable Snowman.  Racing against the Colonel to find the legendary creature first, they sail through frozen seas, traverse treacherous terrain and make it to the top of ice-capped mountains without ever leaving their bedroom and making sure they are most definitely home in time for tea.


The warm-hearted story, supported by original songs and an inventive set, contrasts the ocassional cold heartedness of competitiveness with the fun and success that can be found in teamwork and friendship, revels in wordplay and celebrates creativity.


All three minis’ imaginations were thoroughly captured by the tale of the hunt for the mysterious not-so-monstrous monster and were even inspired to stage their own performance on the LPAC foyer’s mini platform after the show.  Willow proved that she had been listening during Yeti! when it was stated that all good stories begin with “Once upon a time”.

Taking on board the message that not everything has to be a race is clearly a work in progress however, loudly and proudly proclaiming herself the winner of getting back to the car first on the way home.

If you want to learn how to do the Explorers’ Salute and discover if a Yeti’s favourite food really is spaghetti then you can catch Ready, Steady, Yeti! at the Lincoln theatre until January 5th.  Find out more at 

Enter a wondrous wintery world but beware of the witch

LionA story that starts with a world trapped in a perpetual winter where the arrival of Father Christmas heralds the return of hope to the land is a perfect choice for a seasonal show.

The minis were guests of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) on Thursday for the press showing of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe following the adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they stepped through the wardrobe’s wooden doors into Narnia.

Dark both in storyline and lighting design, the theatre’s production of C S Lewis’s allegorical tale earned the older recommended age suggestion the LPAC’s winter show normally advertises even more so than in previous years (with younger audiences catered for in the centre’s studio theatre production, this year Ready, Steady, Yeti!).


The production firmly found its footing when the children were treading the snowy  otherworldly realm and the dramatic scenes made use of the company’s trademark strength of its ensemble work.

The War Horse-esque, of the forest with knowledge older than time, depiction of Aslan, the transformative staging and the delightful light relief in Mr and Mrs Beaver contrasting with big murderous scenes featuring discordant music and the towering evil queen all combined to evoke the childhood imagination that was captured by Narnia when first reading the books.

Some, such as my five year old, may need to watch the scarier scenes from behind their mummy’s hand but many, including my seven year old and myself, will welcome the chance to immerse themselves in an alternate world where good eventually prevails, leaving its audiences looking sideways at their bedroom furniture again when they return home.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe runs until December 24th.  Visit to find out more.

Putting the puns and peril into pantomime

Robin Hood posterGreat vocals, a crowd-pleasing choice of rousing songs, both laugh-out-loud and pleasingly groan-inducing gags that appeal to all family members – the New Theatre Royal’s latest pantomime is sure to win over all members of its seasonal audiences this year.

Opening with a series of bread puns and a Queen medley, Robin Hood isn’t a first glance a traditional choice for a panto but the Lincoln theatre’s production based on the regional legend has all the elements fans of the annual family entertainment will expect and more.

Robin Hood - Press Image 1 (Credit Caroline Keyworth)

My four year old and I were guests of the Clasketgate venue for Wednesday evening’s show and enjoyed characterful performances, energetic dances and numerous opportunities for audience interaction.  Mummy’s favourites were Will Scarlett’s series of tree jokes and the If I Were not in Pantomime comedy song.

Robin Hood - Press Image 2 (Credit Caroline Keyworth)

The actors portrayals of their various predicaments were clearly very engaging to my four year old who was extremely invested in all the performances and almost found the mild peril of the second half’s dungeon scene too much to bear.  Fortunately our titular hero saves the day, of course, and Willow was soon up and joining in with all the celebrations of the finale.

The meet and greet after the show further made my mini star struck one exceedingly happy and I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the cast for how lovely they were with her.  It even given her the chance to meet the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham and discover that, off stage at least, he’s actually really nice.  Although she’s still convinced that “all the bad guys are on the naughty list”.

On Friday night, it was the turn of Daddy and our seven year old to join his Beavers group trip to see the show.  They not only thoroughly enjoyed the heroics and amusements of the medieval tale but the eldest mini also got to join in the fun himself being invited to take to the stage with Nurse Nora and Will Scarlett and lead the audience in a rendition of the song Robin Hood accompanied by his signature dance moves.

Does Robin Hood hit the target as a great way to start your festive season?  Oh yes it does!

Robin Hood continues at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln until January 5th.  Click here to find out more or call 01522 519999.  

Enjoy festive family fun whilst picking out presents

FandGParents will be trying all sorts of different ways to complete their Christmas shopping once again this festive season.  Alongside finding further childcare to keep them well away from the excitement of decorated and overheated stores to ordering everything online, mums and dads can also choose to attend an event that concerns itself as much with the enjoyment of its little visitors as it does with the selection of presents their grown ups have to choose from.

The Lincolnshire Food and Gift Fair is returning to the Lincolnshire Showground this month.  With more than 8,000 people expected to attend, advance tickets for the Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st event are now on sale.

Doors are open from 9am to 4pm on both days to allow customers to browse the more than 150 exhibitor stands showcasing the county’s finest foods and unique gifts but there will also be plenty of activities to keep little ones busy.

Cookery workshops hosted by 42nd East Bakehouse, a reindeer food bar, pet bandanas designing workshop with Zukie Style, Christmas pottery painting with The Little Pottery Studio, willow weaving with Lincolnshire Willow and storytelling from Lincoln Performing Arts Centre will all be waiting to help mini participants to start their festive fun.  Hobbycraft Lincoln will also be giving children a chance to make festive wrapping paper and design their own Christmas cards.

Jayne Southall, CEO at Lincolnshire Showground, said: “Preparations are well underway for the Food and Gift Fair, and we are getting ready for this year’s Fair to be the best yet! It is a fun festive event to suit all ages and tastes, including foodies, families and Christmas shoppers and is guaranteed to get everybody in the Christmas spirit.

“Visitors will be able to sample the best of Lincolnshire produce, including famous pork pies, speciality cheese, wine tasting, locally distilled gin, chocolate, fudge and much more.

“There will also be free activities for children including hands-on-crafts, Christmas storytelling and baking activities and we also have a few more surprises rolled up our sleeves!”

Tickets for the Fair can be bought at £5 each (plus postage) in advance and are £6 on the gate.  Under fives go free when accompanied by an adult.

Visit for more information about #FoodandGift19 or call 01522 522900.

Are you visiting one of Santa’s helpers this year?

Christmas 2019

As Halloween’s witching hour ticked by did your avid trick or treaters wake up instantly transformed from creatures of the night into overly-enthusiastic apprentice elves?

Whilst some might be momentarily distracted by the promise of a few flashy fireworks many will already be anxious to start opening Advent doors even though there’s a month to go until the start of the official countdown to the big day.

If finding out what’s on your mini ones’ not so mini Christmas wish lists in time for you to possibly be able to fulfill it on behalf of the man in red then get them booked in early for a special seasonal experience and be prepared to take notes surreptitiously.

The list below predominantly includes grottos but if quantity is what your child is after, or the chance to don the beard themselves, then don’t forget there’ll be a sea of red and white at the county’s Santa Fun Run and Walks including Belvoir Castle (December 1), Wyndham Park in Grantham (December 1)Lincoln (December 15) and Cleethorpes Santa Stride (December 15).

As always, live events can be subject to last minute changes and selling out so be sure to check booking details before you travel and before making any promises to little believers (second edit for Bransby Horses – the equine welfare chairty near Lincoln has been severely affected by flooding and has now had to cancel all its seasonal events unfortunately – it is still asking people to please still visit its gift shop and cafe though, find out more here)

If you know of one we’ve missed, then please email with the link and I’ll be happy to add it or let us know where you’d recommend in the comments below.

November 2, 9-10, 13-17, 20-24, 27-30 and December 1-24:
Santa’s Grotto
Brigg Garden Centre

November 2 – December 24:
Winter Wonderland
Baytree, near Spalding

November 23-24, 30 and December 1, 8-9, 14-24:
Santa Grotto
ARK Wildlife Park, Stickney

November 23 – December 23:
The Real Christmas Experience
Rand Farm Park, near Market Rasen

November 23 – December 24:
The Springfields Grotto
Springfields, Spalding

November 24:
Christmas Charity Fayre
Rhys’ Donation Foundation, Cherry Willingham Village Hall

November 24:
Meet Santa!
Cheeky Monkeys, Guildhall Street, Lincoln

November 29:
Santa’s Grotto at Christmas Light Switch On Event
Old School Hall, Winterton

November 29, 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 and 21-24:
Santa’s Workshop Grotto
Hildred’s Shopping Centre, Skegness

November 29 – December 24:
The North Star “Narnia” Experience
The Pink Pig Farm, near Scunthorpe

November 30:
Sleigh Ride Through Spilsby

November 30, December 1, 7, 8 and 14:
Santa’s Grotto
Normanby Hall, near Scunthorpe

November 30, December 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20-24:
Father Christmas and Friends
Belton House, near Grantham

November 30, December 1, 7, 8 and 15:
Father Christmas Grotto
Fillingham Trees, near Gainsborough

November 30, December 7, 14 and 21:
Santa’s Grotto
Oldrids, Scunthorpe

December 1:
Christmas Extravaganza
Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln

December 1:
Photo with Santa
Tiny Feet Studio, Nettleham

December 1:
Santa Paws Christmas Extravaganza
The Pavilion, Sidney Sussex Recreation Ground, Cleethorpes

December 1 – 22:
Father Christmas
Doddington Hall

December 7:
A Victorian Christmas

December 7:
Breakfast with Santa
Jolly Scotchman, Sleaford

December 7 and 8:
Christmas on the Farm
Bluebell Wood Goats and Farm Shop, Nettleham

December 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22:
Tea with Santa
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park, near Skegness

December 7-8, 14-15, 21-24:
Breakfast With Santa
Harvester, Brayford, Lincoln

December 7, 14 and 21:
Breakfast with Santa
Uncle Henry’s, Grayingham

December 7, 14 and 21:
Breakfast with Santa
Captain Kids Adventureworld, Skegness Pier

December 8:
Christmas Fayre
Ruskington Village Hall

December 8:
Glentworth Christmas Fayre
Glentworth Village Hall

December 8 and 15:
Santa Special
North Scarle Miniature Railway

December 13:
Christmas Extravaganza
Sutton on Sea

December 14:
Breakfast with Santa
Whisby Natural World Centre

December 14:
Children’s Christmas Party
Willingham Village Hall

December 14:
Umbrellas Christmas Party
Dunholme Village Hall

December 14-15 and 19-22:
An Audience with Father Christmas
Lincoln Castle

December 14-15 and 21-22:
Santa Specials 2019
Lincolnshire Wolds Railway, Ludborough

December 14-15 and 21-23:
Breakfast with Santa
Skegness Aquarium

December 21:
Christmas Party
Captain Kids Adventureworld, Skegness Pier

Plump, orange and spooky – the ceramic pumpkin search returns!

Lincoln’s uphill Pumpkin Trail challenge is back for its second year this autumn.

The free half-term activity challenges families to track down quirky ceramic pumpkins hidden the windows of the city’s uphill shops and other businesses and has once again been devised by a partnership of the Bailgate Guild, Lincoln BIG and Visit Lincoln, tapping into the artistic talents of staff at The Little Pottery Studio.

There’s plenty to play for too, because your family could win anything from gift vouchers to an afternoon tea or coffee experience, cuddly toys or a book voucher.

The Pumpkin Trail leaflet includes 29 pottery pumpkins to find as well as some fiendish clues to solve.  The pumpkins will be in the windows of shops and other businesses in the area which stretches from The Strait to Newport Arch.

Many ceramic pumpkins have been individually painted, including those which have been decorated by Lincoln Minster School pupils and the trail area will be easy to spot with the hanging of black and orange bunting on the streets.

Running from Saturday, October 19th, to Sunday, November 3rd, families can pick-up a trail leaflet from the city’s Visitor Information Centre in Castle Hill or participating shops and businesses or download it from

Completed leaflets can be left with one of the shops taking part in the trail or posted to the Visitor Information Centre, 9 Castle Hill, Lincoln, LN1 3AA. They must arrive before midnight on Monday, November 11th, 2019.

Visit Lincoln’s Chief Executive Mike Timson said: “As a Partnership organisation it’s great to work with 29 businesses and Lincoln BIG to provide another reason to come into Lincoln over half term and in the lead up to Halloween.  The trail will help visitors find shops, pubs, and tea rooms they might not have visited before and will be a fun and active family activity to enjoy in the city.”

Bailgate Guild Chair Nicola Lockwood said:  “We are thrilled to be supporting this year’s Pumpkin Trail.  All the businesses involved are pleased to sponsor this event and they have donated a spectacular range of prizes for the winners.  We’re sure it is going to prove to be more popular than ever.”

Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Sarah Loftus said: “We are very pleased to be a partner in this event.  We know that everyone really enjoyed the Pumpkin Trail last year and we think this attraction will bring many more people to the uphill area this time around.”

Find out more at