Wow I can hardly believe that I am writing this school holiday blog again, it has only just been the Easter holidays hasn't it?! This is also a rather special one for me, as it means that I have now done an entire years worth of half term FREE activity blog posts since I started my first one last Summer.
So here is my round up of what you can do across Dorset during the May school half term for FREE.
FREE Toy Story party at Smyths Toy Superstore - 25th May 2019
Smyth's Toy Superstore are having a Toy Story party on Saturday 25th May from 9am, while stocks last. Join the party with FREE face-painting, DJs and FREE Toy Story 4 minis, stickers and posters to give away. You could also win a £50 voucher on the hour, every hour from 9am to 1pm! Please visit their website for more information.
The Great Wildlife Exploration - Kings Park, Boscombe 25-26th May 2019 10am-4pm
With a whole host of activities going between King's Park Athletics Stadium and East Cemetery 10am-4pm, for this fun, free, wildlife day. There is also a special dawn chorus bird walk taking place on 26th May at 6am.
FREE Unicorn or Dragon slime making workshop at HobbyCraft
On 27th, 29th and 31st May you can attend a FREE children's workshop at Hobbycraft where they can make their own slime to take home! These events need to be booked in advance, you can do this online. I have taken my children to many free workshops here, they have made the slime and it is a really good recipe, it keeps for ages and is not too sticky, so I can personally recommend this one.
Learning to grow at Wyevale Garden Centre - 2nd June 2019
A fun new activity for kids of 3 years + to learn all about growing plants.
Come along on the first Sunday of the month for an educational planting activity, and get your Little Diggers planting and learning! Each month we will be picking a fruit or vegetable to talk about. Children will learn all about planting seeds, and how to care for them. They will also have the chance to plant their own seeds to take home and watch them grow!
30 minute activity at 10:30am and 11:15am
FREE monthly kids’ planting activities
All activities include a cup with planted seeds, a colouring sheet, and a fact sheet to take home.
Please visit their facebook event page for more information.
Other things to do for FREE in Dorset
Some of the best things to do for free when you are stuck for ideas:
1. Check out your local library, there are lots of FREE events on over the holidays.
2. Go to the beach / park for a picnic
4. Crabbing at Poole or Mudeford Quay
5. Visit an outdoor paddling pool, you can find a list here.
6. Paint some rocks and hide them for others to find. There are lots of local facebook groups for this, some local ones are "Poole Rocks" and "BH Rocks"
I hope you all enjoy the holidays, and I will be back with my special summer holiday blog of free activities soon , it will soon come!
If you would like to be the first to know when I have written this, you can sign up to my bi-monthly newsletter at the bottom of my contact page.
A few weeks ago this gorgeous little girl came to see me with her beautiful Mummy for her baby photography session and I thought I would share some of the beautiful images with you all as often people are not aware that I photograph "older newborns" here as well as brand new ones.
This gorgeous little girl was 3 months when she came to see me at my home in Poole for her baby photography session. 3 months is such a beautiful age to capture, they are starting to show their own little personalities at this stage, and we may even get a smile or two!
The set up of your baby photography session will be very similar to my newborn sessions. I have some gorgeous larger props that I like to use for babies and we also do some simple, natural photos too.
Whilst most parents choose to bring their own outfits, I still have a few beautiful outfits and headbands here for older babies too.
Baby sessions are usually around 1 hour, which is a lot less time than a newborn session, as by now your baby will be a little more used to the world so will probably not need as much settling as a brand new baby. But please don't worry, we still have plenty of time to stop for cuddles and feeds if we need to, just like newborn sessions, my baby sessions are completely baby led, and if we need longer than 1 hour then that is completely fine.
If you have just missed the newborn photography stage or would like some up to date photos to show how much your baby has changed over these first few precious months, please visit the baby photography section of my website to find out more information and my prices. I would love to hear to you to start our special memory making journey together.
I little while ago I wrote a blog on why I offer newborn photography from my calm welcoming home environment, now I am going to share with you why I don't have offer studio family photography either.
We live in such a beautiful place. Dorset has it all, from the beautiful golden beaches of Sandbanks, to the luscious green countryside. I feel truly blessed to have been brought up here, and I can't ever see myself moving away from it. Which is why I absolutely love photographing families outdoors in Dorset. Why have a plain studio backdrop when nature can offer a much more beautiful one, we live here , so lets celebrate it and use the beauty around us to capture some gorgeous natural photographs of your family that you will treasure forever.
Outdoor family photography in Dorset is a fun experience, it is not just having your family photographs taken, you will remember the day too. The children will be much more relaxed than if you were to bring them into a photography studio for a traditional family portrait session, and they can play during their session too. You may have a favourite family place that you would like to meet me at, or I can recommend somewhere ( I have my favourites list!) and the time of the year is up to you aswell. I used to think you could only do outdoor family photography sessions during the summer months, but there has not been a month of the year that I have not photographed outside in! That said my absolute favroutire time for outdoor family photography is during the summer evenings, when the light is just starting to settle down for the day is all soft and golden.
Family photography is often booked to mark a special occasion, such as your pregnancy, or your baby's first birthday. I have a special section on my website that shows you some options for baby's first birthday, and a maternity section too if you would like to find out more. But I really do believe it is important to have some beautiful family photographs taken when your children are small , even if it not a "special occasion".
If outdoor photography isn't really you, I can also come to your home to capture your family in your own surroundings for a family lifestyle photography session. This is sometimes a better option if you would like family photographs taken during the colder months, or if you have a small baby.
So what are you waiting for? Let me capture some beautiful family memories for you in the beautiful place we live, Dorset. Please contact me if you would like to book in. Or you can find lots more information, and lots more beautiful photographs in my family photography section of my website. I would love to hear from you to capture some beautiful memories for your family.
It is nearly Easter! Which means most parents will be on the look out for things to do to fill up the two weeks holiday that don't cost a small fortune! Last summer I wrote a blog about free activities and events and it went down so well I decided to repeat it for each half term since then, so here we are again! I absolutely love the school holidays, I work hard all year and really look forward to spending quality time with my beautiful children. It can get expensive though, so I always make a note of all the FREE things going on locally in Dorset and we use that as a guide. I have done all the hard work for you and decided to share it once again. I hope you enjoy it and find some fun things to do that will save you some money!
Bouncing Bunnies Easter Trail at Poole Museum 6-22 April
Throughout the Easter half term holidays, Poole Museum are running a FREE Easter trail. Collect your form on the way in and find the bunnies around the museum for a chocolate prize at the end. Please visit the Poole Museum website for more information and opening times. The museum is FREE to enter for all.
Easter Egg Hunt at Stewarts Garden Centre 6 - 19 April
Keep your little ones entertained this Easter with an Easter Egg Hunt! Pick up a form then explore the centre to find the Easter eggs hidden around the shop floor.
There's a little reward for every completed form and an Easter hamper for one lucky prize draw winner at each centre!
The prize will be drawn on Friday 19th at 5pm and the winners will be notified by telephone.
For more information please visit the event page on Facebook.
Learning to grow at Wyevale Garden Centre 7th April 2019
A FREE fun new activity for kids of 3 years + to learn all about growing plants.
Come along for an educational planting activity, and get your Little Diggers planting and learning! Each month we will be picking a fruit or vegetable to talk about. Children will learn all about planting seeds, and how to care for them. They will also have the chance to plant their own seeds to take home and watch them grow!
30 minute activity at 10:30am and 11:15am
All activities include a cup with planted seeds, a colouring sheet, and a fact sheet to take home.
Easter small furries workshop at Pets at Home, Branksome
Almost every day during the easter holidays, pets at home are holding FREE small animal workshops for children at 1130am. The workshops are aimed at kids aged 5-11, helping to teach them how rewarding pets can be and how to care for them, making sure you and your kids are all clued up on pet welfare and responsible pet ownership. They will meet friendly small furries whilst learning how to keep them happy and healthy during a fun and hands-on experience! You do need to pre book tickets for these events, you can do so by visiting the pets at home website.
Netwalking with Joanne Dewberry - 8th April
If like me, you run your own business, a good friend of mine Joanne Dewberry, organises regular netwalking events where you can get together with other local small business owners and chat as it can be lovely sometimes working for yourself. This Easter she is organising a child friendly meet up at Potterne Park, where we will walk to Moors Valley and have a picnic together. The children can bring their bikes or scooters if they like and make a day of it. I went to one of these events she organised last year and I have to say it was one of the best days of the school holidays. If you would like to find our more you can visit Joanne's facebook event page.
FREE Children's writing workshop in Christchurch on 9th April
7-16-year-olds are invited to come along to Meeting Room 1, at Mudeford Wood Community Centre, Pipers Drive, Mudeford, BH23 4TR on Tuesday 9th April, 10am-12pm. We will be focusing on short story writing, on the theme, Christchurch – Past, Present and Future.
To book onto this workshop please contact Chantelle directly via email; firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit their website for more information.
Spring craft day at The Furlong, Ringwood on 13th April
Join in on the courtyard on Saturday 13th April between 11am & 3pm for a day of spring themed arts & crafts, Easter activities & bunny-tastic mask making fun for all the family.
The talented team from Arts2Educate will be again providing craft workshops and spring themed activities such as making mini chick cards, bunny masks, flower garlands, bug art displays and more! There’s also face painting & a giant selfie photo frame to capture that perfect picture.
The event is free to attend (with the exception of the cakes which will require a charitable donation) and in the event of bad weather some of the activities may need to be modified. Please visit The Furlong website for more details.
Lets Play, The Eco Hub, Poole Dolphin Centre on 16-18 April
The arts festivals theme is all about the importance of play and enjoyment of The Arts. It will run as an open 'play centre'. Activities will set up around the Eco-Hub for children and their adults to engage with. As well as that there will be workshops for children to sign up for, run by The Dorset ScrapStore and artist Immy Fooks. Keep an eye out for these workshops as will book up quickly!
Suitable for ages 4 - 11. Please visit their facebook event page for more information.
Hobbycraft kids club - FREE colour in eggs
Hobbycraft have FREE craft workshops during the Easter holidays on the following dates: Monday 15th, Wednesday 17th, Friday 19th April 2019. Suitable for ages 4 and over. All children under 16 years must be supervised by an adult at all times. To book a place you need to visit the hobbycraft website.
Free children's crafts at Dorset Scrapstore, 18th April
Members children are invited to join in for an afternoon of free Easter themed crafts . No prebooking is required for this activity. Please note you must have a membership to take part in this activity. You can become a member when you visit us at a cost of £5 per family. Please contact Dorset Scrapstore for more information via their facebook page.
Brewery Square Easter Egg Hunt
The 4 day Brewery Square Easter Egg Hunt is back for another year!
Families are invited to Brewery Square to hunt for the Easter Egg images around the square, in return for a free prize!
The Easter Egg Hunt is being held from Good Friday until Easter Monday (19-22 April) from 10am until 4pm.
- Collect a form on the day from the Concierge Office (we can be found opposite the Dorchester South Train Station)
- Hunt for the Easter images around Brewery Square
- Complete your form, and return this for a FREE Easter prize!
The event is free to enter, and is suitable for children up to 15 years old.
Easter in Poole - 20th April
Poole in the place to be on Saturday 20th April with lots of FREE entertainment including an Easter trail, kids’ crafts and face painting.
Everything will be taking place mid-way down the high street, next to W E Boone & Co.
All day: face painting and children's entertainers Jamie Jigsaw and Carol
10am - 1pm: Mad4Animals
11am - 3pm: The Parkour Project workshops & displays
12pm - 4pm: The Project Climbing Centre slackline workshops & displays
Collect your Easter egg hunt entry form from one of the Poole BID team and explore the town to find all the clues and win a FREE chocolate egg. For more up to date information, please visit their facebook event page.
FREE Easter Egg Hunt, Fisherman's Haunt, Christchurch, 21st April
Join in for a traditional Easter egg hunt, starting at 10:30am on Easter Sunday. Free tea and filter coffee for accompanying adults, all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Free entry numbers will be limited due to the popularity of this event last year. Please visit their Facebook event page for more information.
I hope you all have a lovely Easter break with your families, and hopefully this has helped you plan in some things to do and save you some money. Please do let me know in a comment below if you know about anything I can add to this, thank you.
This is the third time I have been lucky enough to be asked by Tesco photo to review some of their photo products. I am delighted to be able to share my experience with you, especially as you can easily order your own direct from Tesco photo from the beautiful photographs I have provided you from your photography session at a very good price.
I was delighted to see that Tesco offer photo mugs, and I have often thought about ordering some personalised ones to serve tea and coffee to my lovely clients when they come in for their newborn or baby photography session. So I decided to design and ordered myself 4 mugs. I also love having some products to show off when clients come here, to give them ideas of what they might like to do with their photographs from their session. I was very surprised to see the large range of mugs you can get. I had my idea of what I wanted on mine, a logo on one side and a collage of photos on the other. It was very easy to use the online designing and ordering system, you can even rotate the mug 360 degrees to see what it will look like when it is printed! Once ordered, the mugs arrived within 2 days! Like most photo gifts you can choose to collect from store the very same day or choose home delivery.
Photo mugs make a great gift idea, especially with Mother's day coming up soon. You can check out the range of photo gifts that Tesco Photo offers on their website.
I honestly cannot believe where the last year has gone, and that it has been 12 months since I last shared an entire newborn photography gallery via my blog! So it is about time that I shared a recent session with you all so here it is! I think it is important for you to see EVERY single photo from one session to help you decide if I am the photographer for you.
This gorgeous little girl was 14 days old when she came to see me recently with her big brother. We started off with some photos of them together, and at just 15 months old big brother was amazing! When siblings come to newborn photography sessions, I tend to take baby wrap them up nicely, and settle them down before bringing their older sibling over. I know I have to be ready and quick for these shots as toddlers are not often keen to lay there for more than a few seconds!
After the sibling shots she was still awake, but very content. So we moved onto her first set up, one of my favourite baskets with a nice lace wrap. Mum and Dad were keen on neutral colours, with a touch of girly, which is what I do best for girls. I do have a small amount of pink or lilac which I can use when requested but mostly my style is creamy, neutral colours. I really love the ones where she is kicking her leg out, she really liked stretching and was not too keen on being bundled up into a ball. Every baby is so different, I love working with them and seeing their own little individual personalities.
After the first set up she was still awake but still happy so we moved her into my wooden crate which I like to use as a little bed with my soft fluff. We popped a little headband on her too. She was happy having a little stretch and we got a great shot of her looking right into the camera which I absolutely love. She started getting a bit sleepy after being snuggled in there so I decided to take her out and wrap her up and get some sleepy shots next.
Mum told me she liked the photos of baby wrapped up on my fur so we went for these next. She was happy to be tightly wrapped up now and was beginning to fall asleep. We got another fantastic set of photos including a windy smile which I chose as the featured photo for this blog!
She was fast asleep by now so we got some lovely sleepy photos. She was not keen on being on her tummy so positioned her on her side and we got some lovely photos. After this we managed to get one more photo in a new set up and then she woke up and we decided it was a good time to end the session.
Hello, I am Samantha. I would like to welcome you into my beautiful home and my world of newborn baby photography.
Bringing your tiny precious little newborn baby into my home is a perfect relaxing experience for all of us. I want you to feel at ease here, as you would in your own home. This is my main reason for choosing my home as my "studio" space rather than a purpose built studio which can sometimes be a bit daunting to brand new parents. Let me make you a hot drink for you to enjoy as I settle you and your baby in.
My lovely open plan space has a full kitchen should you need to warm up any bottles, and I can even provide you with a tub of cotton wool and water which to clean your baby if we need to, sometimes newborns have gacky eyes so a quick wipe now saves me lots of editing time and helps your beautiful photographs stay natural. My bathroom is just the other side of the wall where the photography session will take place, so you will never be far away from your baby should you need to use it whilst you are here, please don't feel you need to wait until you get home!
If you haven't already given me your "wish list" of photos we will sit down together to discuss which props and colours you would like me to use. I focus on this more than which "poses" you would like, as every single baby is different, some like to go in certain positions, some not so much. You can expect to spend 2-3 hours with me, and I spend all this time getting to know what your baby likes and what soothes them, making your baby led experience with me as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. I have years of experience on hand, but your baby is always in charge. Quite often they will not want to sleep as it is a new environment for them, but please do not worry , I have lots of ways of photographing awake babies, and I absolutely love to see their eyes open in some of the photographs.
Most parents to be / new parents have lots of questions when they get in touch to book, so I have recently created a new page of FAQs to read. If you would like to read more about your newborn photography experience with Samantha Prewett Photography, I have another useful blog I wrote a couple of years ago but it is still applicable. This goes into more detail about what to expect when you come to me. I hope you have enjoyed reading this little insight into my world of newborn photography, and please do get in touch if you are interested in booking your newborn photography session with me.
Can you believe its not long until the next half term holidays, AGAIN! Last summer I wrote a blog about free activities and events and it went down so well I decided to repeat it for October and Christmas half terms too, and so here we are again! I absolutely love the school holidays, I work hard all year and really look forward to spending quality time with my beautiful children. It can get expensive though, so I always make a note of all the FREE things going on locally in Dorset and we use that as a guide. I have done all the hard work for you and decided to share its once again. I hope you enjoy it and find some fun things to do that will save you some money!
Graffiti fun at Meet and Sip Bournemouth on Tuesday 19th February 2019
A 45-minute workshop for children aged 7 - 11 where you will create your own Graffiti -Style picture. You will learn how to create your own Graffiti tag and design your own Banksy-style image. You can get FREE tickets by clicking here.
Rossmore Lesiure centre is the place to be on Sunday 24th February. Poole Bumps, Babies and Beyond are holding a FREE social event / fun day for all its members. There will be many local baby related businesses attending including me to showcase their products and services, and a FREE boucy castle! For more up to date information please visit their facebook page.
On Thursday 21st February, Dorset Scrap Store in Poole are holding a FREE fun day with free children's craft activities. You can visit their facebook event for times and more information.
Poole Museum is always free to enter to it is a great option to fill a few hours during half term, especially on a rainy day. They have an art detective exhibition trail on between January and April too, don't forget to ask for your trail sheet on the way in.
Castlepoint shopping park are holding a knights and princesses academy between 19th - 21st February where your little ones can make puppets, decorate a treasure chest or tiara, dress up and make a shield! You do need to pre register for this event, you can do this on their website.
Light up Poole is happening again this year. We went last year and it was a fun evening, something different. They have lots of mini light exhibitions set up around the town and you can collect a map to follow it. You can find out more by visiting their website.
The Red House Museum in Christchurch is also free to enter, so a good choice for a rainy day. Every day during half term (apart from Monday) they are running a family pirate treasure trail too. Find all the treasure boxes on the map and receive a FREE chocolate prize!
As this blog post is all about saving you some money during the holidays, I thought I would share a helpful article written by my friend and fellow small business owner Joanne Dewberry. You can find lots of money saving tips in her article.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my round up of FREE events and activities in Dorset. If you know of any I have missed please feel free to share them in a comment below for others to benefit from. I hope you all have a fantastic half term.
A couple of weeks ago I ventured out into one of my favourite outdoor Autumn locations in Dorset to capture some beautiful natural maternity photographs for this lovely family.
I don't usually book in outdoor sessions between November and March as the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. But then again we are in the UK, and even in the height of summer we don't know what to expect, so when they got in touch a few months ago to book we scheduled a date in.
On the day of the session we were very lucky with the weather, it was very mild for January. We met at Wareham forest and found some fun places to stop for photographs.
This lovely family were amazing during their session, and we had a lovely time and I was really excited about sharing their beautiful photographs. I can't wait to see them again really soon with their new addition. It is such a privilege to be able to capture families journeys for them.
If you are looking for some beautiful natural maternity photographs, I would love to capture this special time for you. You can involve your children as you see here, or if this pregnancy marks the start of your family, I capture that for you too. If you would like to find out more you can visit the maternity photography section of my website here where you can find prices and then choose to get in touch to book in.
Christmas is the most expensive time of the year. Whilst I have never been one to spend what I haven't got but I still need to save up to pay for it. Which is why I am helping you out again by sharing lots of FREE events and activities you can do with your Children over the festive season. I have done all the hard work for you by compiling a list in date order of what is going on for FREE across the area. Enjoy!
The Christmas tree wonderland in Bournemouth is now in full swing. There has been so much amazing feedback from this already, people are saying it is the best Bournemouth have done for many many years! I can't wait to take my children down really soon, but we try to hold of with Christmas until December. I am not sure how much longer I can wait though, it looks absolutely fantastic! The event is so big they even have their own website, and best of all its FREE! It takes place between the 16th November 2018 and January 2019. See over 100 magical trees all decorated to resemble Christmas all around the world.
The Annual Christmas Time at Brewery Square event is back for 2018
There is a host of events lined up this Christmas, including live music, performances, lights illumination and more. We will also be raising money for local charity Julia's House Children's Hospice.
Saturday 24 November 2018 from 4pm
4:00pm - Brass band
5:00pm - Performance in the Square - Not to be missed!!
5:30pm - Lights illumination
5:35pm - Olly Murs tribute act
6:30pm - London Gospel Choir
7:15pm - Santa Disco with Jack Daniels Events Management
Celebrate Christmas in Wimborne on 24th November. Live entertainment from 10am. Lights switch on at 430pm.
Escape the Christmas crazyness for a few hours at this unique event at Lodmoor County Park in Weymouth, Dorset. You can find out more here.
Once again the Dolphin Centre are putting on a FREE Christmas event for children where you can take part in activities and meet Santa at the end of the Nordic Trail! The event is different each year, but they usually have free craft activities and a free visit to Santa. Again, not one to be missed! This takes place on certain dates through out December. I am yet to see this event publicised online so I haven't provided a link, but I saw this up when I went into the shopping centre this week.
The iconic Coca-Cola truck is coming to town again this year! on 1st and 2nd December 2018, you can see the stunning truck in Bournemouth. This year the truck will be coming to Pier Approach, and you can see it on either day between 10am - 10pm. This is definitely something not to be missed!
On Saturday 1st December you can celebrate Christmas in Southbourne from 10am. Meet Santa and watch the lights switch on. You can find out more on the Christmas Wonderland website.
On 1st December the Sovereign shopping centre in Boscombe are welcoming Santa with a grand parade, free arts &crafts, face painting, singers, dancers are more! This event is completely FREE! You can find out more by visiting their facebook page.
On Sunday 2nd December, step back in time at Scaplens Court museum in Poole. Soak up the festive atmosphere of days gone by, explore the building and take part in some Christmas crafts. You can find out more and join their facebook event here.
Also on 2nd December in Poole you can see the Santa parade! At 11am Santa arrives on Poole Quay then travels through town to Falkland Square. Their is a full programme of entertainment in Falkland Square from 12pm. You can take a photo in their giant Christmas snow globe too and take part in a fancy dress competition! You can find out more and join their facebook event here.
Starting on the 6th December, you can watch Christmas movies for FREE in Poole at their outdoor cinema! They have a great line up this year, we are really looking forward to going to some of these.
On 13th December 2018 you can join in the Poole lantern parade, starting from Falkland Square at 6pm then walking through the town to the guildhall to end with carols and mince pies. You can keep up to date and join their facebook event here.
As you can see , there is so much going on that need not cost you a penny over the Christmas season. I am sure I will find more to add to here as time goes on, and please do let me know if you know of any FREE events in Dorset that I could add to my list.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and have found things you can do.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and new year, and remember its not about how much you spend over Christmas its just about those wonderful memories that you will create and remember for many years to come.