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; email@example.com
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.
It is a true privilege being invited into clients homes to capture their new arrivals in their own surroundings and to be able to give them such beautiful photographs that they will treasure forever.
The majority of newborn photography sessions I do are at mine, but I wanted to share this session to let everyone know that they have this option aswell, should they prefer this. So with the kind permission of this lovely family, I have compiled this beautiful collection of just a few of the photographs from their session to share their story with you.
I visited this lovely family when their new arrival was 4 weeks old. We had "planned" for me to come sooner, but it can often take a while to adjust to life with a new baby and unfortunately Mum was a bit poorly too, so baby was 4 weeks by the time I got to them. With a lifestyle session, there is no "posing" so it really does not matter how old your baby is. I can come over and photograph absolutely any age, and I have done this in the past varying from 3 days up to 8 months and beyond. At 4 weeks though, he was still very new and it was lovely to be able to come and capture some of their story with their new baby and their gorgeous toddler too!
The beauty of me coming to you for your photography session, is that you do not need to prepare at all, you don't need to tidy up, and you don't even need to get out of your house in the morning to come to me. When I arrived they were just finishing up their breakfast and baby was in the living room so I went through and took some photos of him to start with. When I come to you I like to have a little look around to find the best place to take photographs, they had an amazing huge window with a lovely bench seat which was absolutely perfect! I loved the cards in the background too, it is so nice to be able to capture things how they were in that moment in time. The new baby cards won't stay up forever, but hopefully some of these photographs will.
Once I had taken some photographs of baby on his own, I popped in to see if big brother wanted to join us. He was only to happy to come over, I was very impressed! He was absolutely amazing, and I could really see the love between them, I was so happy to have been able to capture this, what a fantastic start to our session!
During my time with them we took lots of lovely family photos of them all snuggled up together both on their bed and on the sofa. I love being able to capture these precious natural moments, especially feeding time, and even nappy change time which I think is even a beautiful memory. These every day moments will become wonderful memories when you look back on them in years to come.
We then tried a few set up photos of the boys together , I managed to get a few but big brother was starting to get a little bit fed up at this point, so I took some time to do some more photos of baby on his own.
At the end of their session, we popped outside to the lovely woodland walk that they are lucky enough to have on their doorstep and took a few natural family photographs outdoors too!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about this beautiful photography session, if you would like to find out more about me coming to you to photograph your own family you might like to visit the newborn photography section of my website.
Following the success of my previous canvas product review, I was approached by Tesco and asked if I would like to test and review some photo calendars for them. Naturally I jumped at the chance as I love being able to show clients affordable and easy ways to use their beautiful photographs.
I got asked to choose two calendar styles so I picked a desktop one as I thought this makes the ideal gift for Dads (or Mums!) who work at a desk all day, and an A3 one which has plenty of space to write those important dates on. They also offer A4 and slimline calendars.
There are lots of different styles to choose from when you pick which size calendar you would like. You can opt for a full page photo with small dates printed on top of the photo, or something more traditional like the one I picked above, or you can even choose to have multiple photos on one page! I was very impressed by the options available, and the ease of creating the calendar. If anything it was a little to automated (and being a creative person I prefer a little more control myself!) but these are most definitely a fantastic idea for a beautiful quick and simple gift idea.
I opted for home delivery again as I was not in an immediate rush for these, but I was very impressed when then arrived the very next day!! and in lovely packaging too, which I now want to use for my own photographs! Tesco have told me its unusual for the calendars to arrive the day after as there delivery time is usually 8 days, but they are told that calendars usually arrive to clients within a few days of ordering which I think is very fast. If you need you calendar even quicker, you can also choose to collect it from you local Tesco store, this way you save on postage costs too!
If you would like to find out more about Tesco Photo Calendars and the options available, you can visit their photo website.
The school holidays can be an expensive time for us all. Especially when the weather is not so good and you can't spend the day at the park or beach. There are LOTS of fantastic events going on across Dorset for the October half term holidays, and I expect you have already booked some Halloween events into your calendars. However, I am sure that you still have days you need to fill, so I have compiled this awesome list of completely FREE things you can do in Dorset during this October half term holidays, enjoy!
On 25th October between 1-4pm, Scaplen's Court have their annual free Halloween event on for children. Meet their resident witch and explore some spooky museum objects. They usually have crafts and other activities for the children to take part in during this event too. It's worth popping next door to the Poole Museum too as they usually have a spider trail on during half term too.
Learn all about small animals at the Pets at home free pet workshops. Spaces are free but need to be booked by visiting their website.
Hobbycraft have FREE slime making workshops on again during the school holidays. We did this in the summer and the slime has kept really well all this time so its really worth going if you children are into messy play. We have kept ours in a pot in the fridge and its still as good as the day we made it.
Poole Zombie Fest is a free, family-friendly day of spook-tacular activities taking place within Falkland Square, in the Dolphin Shopping Centre. All visitors are encouraged to wear zombie fancy dress. This event takes place on Saturday 27th October from 12pm, with the zombie parade starting at 4pm.
On Saturday 27th October, Southbourne is holding its very own Halloween Event- lots of events and activities for little ghouls and ghosties during the day and a chance for the grown ups to come out for their very own Halloween spooktacular 7pm onwards until 10pm. For more information please check out their website.
There are lots of free events at your local library over the half term holidays. You can find out what is going on on different dates by visiting their website.
Other FREE things to do:Some of the best things to do for free when you are stuck for ideas
1. Go for a lovely Autumn walk and collect some leaves and conkers. You could extend this activity by bringing leaves home to make some arty pictures.
3. 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"
4. Get baking! Its the perfect time of the year to stay indoors and do some baking together. Why not try some Halloween themed cookies or cakes?
If you have heard about any other FREE events in Dorset over the October holidays please do let me know I would love to add them to my list.
I hope you all have a fantastic half term with your little ones.