As we all know, your 30th birthday is kind of a big deal. It signifies being a proper adult (even if you still feel like you’re 21!) and generally, most people choose the age of 30 to have their sh*t sorted by. Now that I’m 28, the big 30 is looming and I’m starting to put a lot of thought into my birthday plans – and what epic adventure I’ll be going on to celebrate.

I’ve got to be different, so of course a nice meal with friends and family just won’t do it. I’m only just starting to get my life together so I’m hoping by the time I’m 30, I’ll have a lot to celebrate. Therefore, I want to celebrate in a way that’s really fun, out there or special = which means planning/saving money kind of needs to begin ASAP.

Here are some ideas I’ve got so far (I’ll obviously just be choosing to do one of these and hopefully the others in later years…)

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RICKSHAW RUN
I can’t remember how I came across this crazy adventure but it’s one I would love to complete for my 30th. Not only is it fun, it’s also a huge challenge. The Rickshaw Run involves a team of two or three people to take part in a giant race across India – in a rickshaw. If you don’t already know, a rickshaw is a crazy tiny, um, compartment on wheels/a bike. If you’ve ever been on one of these in London (drunk or otherwise) you’ll know how crazy it is. Along the way, the rickshaw (which you can get designed/grafitti’d in advance) is more than likely to break down. There’s accidents and parties along the way and it sounds like an ultimate challenge. Plus it’s all for charity..

A CRUISE
I’m not fussed about where the cruise goes but I’ve heard great things about cruises – and not just because of how plush they are. There’s so much to do on ships that you don’t really have any reason to get off at ports if you don’t want to, there’s a huge variety of food and activities on board and you wake up in a new country/place each morning. It’s perfect. This is one I’d love to do with family.

VEGAS BABY!
I don’t exactly what I’ll do in vegas (except get drunk, party, gamble and probably end up getting married) but I’ve always wanted to go to vegas and what better time to go all out and go a little crazy than on your 30th birthday?!

TRY INTERRAILING
Another travel idea! My brother got me this fab book for Christmas once about how to travel around Europe on the cheap and I’ve always liked the idea of interrailing, even if I only chose to travel for a week or so. Luckily I’ve already visited a few places in Europe already (Spain, France, Romania, Amsterdam) but there’s still so much more to see without travelling half way across the world.

TREK AMERICA’S THE GREAT 48 TOUR
I have always wanted to do a road trip around America and, though pricey, Trek America’s tour sounds like just my dream trip. Although there’s so many trek’s I want to do with this company, this one stands out as being the ultimate dream – the trip includes visiting all 48 states (obviously) and includes visits to cities, deserts & canyons, mountains and national parks. Only thing is, I also want to do a road trip across America for my honeymoon (if I ever get married, that is) so we’ll see which one comes first…

BE A ZOMBIE EXTRA
And, finally, I’ve always wanted to be an extra in a TV show or movie just to say that I’ve done it and what cooler way to do so than by being a zombie? I’m such an expert on zombies that I can definitely say I’ve got that limp/movement down to a tee, and being an extra also involves getting paid.

These are just some things I would absolutely love to do for my 30th birthday but they are pricey of course! As it goes, I’ll likely only be able to afford one so I better get saving now. However, I’m hoping to rope my brother and sister into doing the rickshaw run with me, so we’ll see!

Do you plan to do anything out there for your 30th? Or, if you’re already over 30, did you go on any epic adventures? Let me know!

 

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I love a good date. Whether it’s the first date with someone special (complete with first date butterflies!) or the first date night in a long time with your other half, a date is such a wonderful thing. You get dressed up, you flirt, you try and impress…and after all, there really is nothing better than going out with someone lovely who thinks the world of you.

I also love a quirky date. Though for first dates I tend to stick to drinks or the cinema (meals out are a terrible idea because if you don’t click it can be super awkward, whereas the cinema is usually debatable. I like it because although you can’t talk, you can still discreetly hold their hand in the dark without them seeing you blush…!), there’s been a few dates that stand out as quite memorable in my mind. One guy took me to Southend beach front and we spent the day riding roller coasters, whereas the first date with my ex was spent mooching around town (coffee, to Tesco’s for avocado and ice cream, to food, to drinks…) because we didn’t want it to end.

Although I wouldn’t suggest something really out there for a first date (unless you know they’re super special!), it’s always good to have some ideas for third or fifth dates (perhaps when things go from dates to ‘seeing’ each other or boyfriend-and-girlfriend), anniversaries or special times.

So I’ve put together a list of my favourite wacky/unique/uber-fun/out there date ideas in the UK…

REGENT’S OPEN AIR THEATRE
Even if you’re not a huge fan of theatre, seeing a play at this open air theatre in the middle of Regent’s Park just oozes romance. The setting is beautiful – think rustic stage surrounded by greenery and twinkling fairy lights when night falls – and there’s dining options on site too. The most romantic choice is a picnic or luxury hamper you can order in advance though. The picnic costs £49.95 and includes a mouthwatering menu of quiche, pork pies, freshly prepared sandwiches, chef’s ‘world famous’ sausage roll, crisps, dessert and even wine. Can you imagine scoffing this on the grass before the show on a warm summer day? So romantic.
Perfect for summer dates when you’re a few dates in but still looking for a date to impress.

ZED EVENTS
Horror and adrenaline fans; this one’s for you. Zed Events boast the coolest zombie apocalypse experiences – and they’re not for the faint hearted. Their last venture (still running until the end of February) saw groups undertake realistic training before being let loose to explore an abandoned mall, following a storyline to avoid getting bitten by zombies. The event even included realistic weapons which could be used to shoot at the ‘zombies’. This experience is just finishing up as the team put their newest venture, due to be launched very soon. We know little about it – except it’s based in a Wasteland (in Reading) and if it’s anything like the The Mall, you can be assured that it’s going to be a totally immersive and heart pounding experience. Stay tuned and keep your eyes on Zed Events to discover more.
Perfect for special events and group dates.

THE FORBIDDEN CORNER
The Forbidden Corner in North Yorkshire has been on my bucket list for years now. Annoyingly, I discovered it not long after I left uni, which is a shame because I was studying somewhat nearby for three years and would have had plenty of chances to visit! This wonderfully weird outdoor attraction is hard to explain but an exploration of the grounds will find you discovering bizarre statues and sculpted grottos, braving subterranean chambers and finding secret gardens. It’s kind of like a huge oddball real life fairytale, but more like a Tim Burton version. It’s best visited to really discover the place as words don’t do it justice.
Best for long term couples that want to mix it up a bit.

SOLENT FORTS
Solent Forts have been on my radar for a long time now. The three island resorts – off the coast of Portsmouth – have a lot to offer despite floating in the middle of the sea! Horse Sand Fort is great for history lovers – a visit includes the chance to explore the ‘living museum’ on the underdeveloped fort. No Man’s Fort is like a party hotel and is ideal for events and weddings with seven function rooms, a cabaret bar, games room, lazer battle area, a sauna and spa, rooftop hot tubs and a fire pit. Plush indeed. Spitbank Fort is the best of both worlds – it’s smaller and slightly cheaper than No Man’s Fort but offers just as much luxury. It boasts eight luxury bedroom suites, a function room, wine cellar, games room, a sauna and fire pit, a rooftop pool and a beyond beautiful lighthouse. If an overnight stay is too pricey, you can also visit the forts for just lunch or afternoon tea.
Perfect for special anniversaries or proposals. 

DRIVE IN FILM CLUB WITH EXPERIENCE CINEMA
Another London based date, but one that oozes old school romance. Drive In Film Club is just like those amazing American drive ins – you park up, you can order food direct to your car (hot dogs, popcorn etc) and channel the movie’s audio through your speakers. It’s so much fun and takes place in really stunning locations like Alexandra Palace. The added benefit is that it doesn’t matter about the weather because you’re inside your car and it’s super cheap – entry is based on per car as opposed to per person. Experience Cinema are the company behind Rooftop Film club and other cool movie experiences too, so you know you’re in good hands.
Perfect for first dates and mate dates.

These are just five of many, many quirky date ideas that will never fail to impress – may I suggest bookmarking this post for future reference? And if you don’t have a special someone to take you to these places, why not look online for potential dates? You could try Dorset dating sites, Wiltshire dating sites, West Yorkshire dating sitessingle women in Lancashire and date Surrey singles.

Do you have any go-to quirky date ideas? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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I’ve always talked about how London is a hub for quirky cinema experiences and although I’m planning to do a post rounding up some of these for this summer, today I’m blogging about my recent Drive in Film Club experience.

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As usual, I haven’t been paid or prompted to rave about this particular experience, unless you count how much fun I had as a prompt to write about it! So basically Drive in Film Club is a take on that classic American drive in movie experience – y’know the ones I mean, as seen in Grease and other popular American movies. It’s something I’ve always wanted to experience myself so I was chuffed when I found out there was a chance to do that without, y’know, actually going to America.It takes place at Alexandra Palace in London (I tried very hard not to point out and shout about the vague area where myself and my favourite rockstars once got drunk. I failed.)

Drive in Film Club is by the same people behind Rooftop Film Club which is something else I’d like to get around to trying. I suppose I kind of stumbled across Drive in Film Club by accident really – I’d been researching quirky film experiences for the blog and had come across another drive in cinema experience but wasn’t really sure if it was still running and besides, it wasn’t so local.

So the Internet must have taken note of my google searches and an advert popped up on my Facebook advertising Mad Max: Fury Road at Drive in Film Club. I wasted no time in booking tickets; £22 for a car, regardless of how many people are inside.Keeping in mind that an average car can seat five people, that could cost as little as £4.40 per person.

Such a bargain.

Now that I’m driving, I can book stuff like this all the time without having to check if I can get there or not, so that’s a really lovely feeling.

When Tuesday rolled around I took an early leave from work just because I didn’t know how the traffic would be and also because I’d never driven to London before, since passing my test I haven’t had much time to go much further than work and back really.

But driving there was fine. And home too, especially since I at last braved the motorway.

Upon arriving, our tickets were checked, we were handed a couple of menus, one of which was for the hot dog van (!) and the other for food you can order to your car window, along with further details of the experience and what to expect. Then we were shown to our car space which was sort of near the front but obviously it didn’t matter because we could see over the cars anyway.

We parked up and immediately ran to the hot dog van – well we didn’t run but y’know, rushed, because I love hot dogs. The hot dog van was Popdogs, who we’d actually stumbled across at Winterville just before Christmas and I ordered the delicious Clinton’s Lovechild. It was the perfect menu for a drive in cinema.

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Then we headed back to the car and settled down for the movie.

The whole process and running of the event was spot on and I couldn’t fault it one bit. From just the right amount of tickets being released so that it was busy but not too busy (so we still felt looked after), to the ease of simply flicking on your hazard lights mid-movie for someone to skate over with popcorn, drinks and snacks for you – it was just great and ran so smoothly.

I particularly loved that for the audio to the movie, you had to tune in through your car radio – so genius! It would be a shame if an event like this had to stop because of loud music and such for people living nearby but this simply wasn’t an issue.

It was without a doubt worth driving to London for and I just thought it’s such a unique but affordable idea. I love big nights out with my friends now and then but with something as fun but relaxing at this, I’d happy pay £4.40 to drive down and have the experience again every weekend.

And of course, there was no faffing about with getting trains, a taxi to the train station and then trying to find the venue because, well obviously, it was a drive in so you needed your car. But saying that, a friend had met us there as he’d been in London that day already and they were happy to let him just jump in my car.

Even on a Tuesday night it was just right.

My friends and I are already looking at booking ourselves in to another showing. There’s also a huge variety of movies too from classics like Labyrinth (a must do), Grease sing-a-long and even more recent films like Mad Max obviously (I’ve seen this a million times now so admittedly spent half the movie explaining to my friends what was going on, proclaiming my love for the crazy guy who plays guitar atop a speeding truck and murmuring inappropriate comments about Tom Hardy beneath my breath).

Without a doubt I’d recommend this – for dates, groups of friends or even family. The feel of the whole evening can be changed from romantic or just hilarious depending on the type of movie you pick, so there really is something for everyone.

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Drive in Cinema Club is currently running until 24th April and tickets can be booked here.

*Photos provided by Rooftop Cinema (apart from the hot dog one) with permission.

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