Spirit Stable Sleepover: Making Dreams Come True

Every now and then I have a real pinch me moment when I realise that, through my blog, I am giving my children adventures and experiences which money cannot buy. And earlier this month, during our weekend at the Sprirt Stable Sleepover,  I’d go as far to say that in those two short days, all of my little girls dreams came true.

Spirit Riding Free

Dreamworks Spirit Riding Free, shown at 3.30pm on weekends on Pop, centres around a group of three friends who together experience coming of age and the power of friendship. Lucky, a gutsy 12 year old girl, befriends a wild mustang she names Spirit and, along with her two best friends Abigail and Pru, with their horses by their sides, they experience a world filled with endless rides and never ending fun. Together they’ll push their own limits and discover what it truly means to be free.

As a Mummy, I genuinely adore this show and all that it teaches my children. It is age appropriate, beautifully animated, and each episode has so many wonderful and inspiring lessons to learn. It’s safe to say that it’s not just my girls who are fans of Spirit, but me too.

Over the Summer Pop ran the most amazing competition where you could win a place at the Spirit Stable Sleepover and, along with the lucky winners, we were invited along for what turned out to be one of the most amazing weekends of my girls lives.

And so early on a Saturday morning Eva, Megan and I took the train up to Newcastle, completely oblivious to what lay ahead, and to say the girls were excited is a real understatement!

Horse Riding

After arriving in Newcastle and being met by the team we boarded the minibus to our first activity – horse riding! My girls have never done horse riding before, I think the closest they’ve ever got is a donkey on Blackpool beach, and yet as we arrived at the indoor riding school, Stepney Bank, they couldn’t wait to get started.

Having got their boots and hats on the children mounted their horses and began the first session. Watching from the gallery I was worried how the girls would cope as not only are they painfully shy, but they can be quite nervous in certain situations. I couldn’t believe it when I saw Eva smiling away, trotting around the track and looking as though she had been riding horses her whole life!

Megan was a little more timid during the horse riding but the staff were so good at helping the children with any worries they had and by the end of the session Megan was trotting along and beaming away on her horse Digby.

When the riding lesson finished my girls were bursting with excitement. “My horse was the bounciest!” Eva whispered proudly. “My horse was the cutest!” Megan told us.

After the riding lesson the girls all got to go into the stables to do some grooming which was very exciting for them. They loved getting up close to the horses, brushing their mane and most of all putting glitter on their hooves.

It was such a lovely experience for all of us and as we left I promised the girls that we would look into riding lessons when we returned home, and we have!

The Stables

Back in the minibus we all set off to our home for the weekend, the National Trust Gibside Stables Bunkhouse. You could feel the anticipation in the minibus as we turned down the long winding drive way and drove through the clearing amongst the trees. And as we approached the Stables I think all of us felt incredibly lucky to be staying somewhere so utterly beautiful, straight out of a fairy tale.

The Stables has two large dormitory rooms with one for the girls and one for us Mums, and yet before the girls were let loose on their surprises it was time for a quick snack. It was at this point when the team allowed us a sneak peek in the girls dormitory and, honestly, I felt so emotional at all of the hard work the team had put in and also how happy each of the girls would be when they discovered what lay in store.

The Grand Unveiling

As the girls raced into their dormitory I’m not ashamed to admit I shed a few happy tears at all of their little faces. The look of surprise and excitement is something I will never forget, and it was such a magical moment for all of us.

The room has been decorated with Spirit bunting and balloons, and each bed had a Spirit duvet cover and huge pillow.

Each of the girls received the most amazing bundle of Spirit toys and when they realised that they were really theirs to keep my heart literally exploded. It felt like Christmas morning come early and even now, sat here writing this, I can’t help but swallow a lump in my throat at the memory of those big eyes and happy faces.

Spirit Stable Sleepover

After the most delicious meal of fish and chips (literally the best chips I’ve had in my whole life!), the girls were excited to sing along to some karaoke, starting off with Spirit Riding Free!

Eva and Megan weren’t overly keen to join in the singing and instead took the opportunity to play with some of the Spirit toys and were completely lost in a world of imagination.


After karaoke, and a very exciting pillow fight where the camera man took the brunt of the hysteria, the girls got their duvets and pillows and settled down in the bedroom to watch the first episode of Spirit Riding Free on the big screen.

While the girls enjoyed their ‘midnight feast’ we enjoyed a sneaky glass of Prosecco and toasted the most amazing day, planned to perfection and above and beyond all of our expectations.

As you can imagine with 11 excited children, it was quite late when they finally got into bed and yet if you can’t have a late night on your first ever sleepover, when can you?

Crafts, games and a picnic

As predicted, the girls were up at the crack of dawn and I think we were all a little tired! After a leisurely breakfast the girls had the opportunity to do some crafting and enjoyed decorating horse shoes, picture frames, and getting creative with glue and glitter.

Before lunch the girls played outside and I have to mention here that Dale, the cameraman, deserved a medal. He was so good with the children, never tiring of their need to chase and torment him, and had all of the children playing games, laughing and joking, and completely entertained them while the rest of us helped to prepare the picnic for lunch.

After a gorgeous lunch it was time to pack and I think at this point all of us realised that we had to return home with ten times as much as we had arrived with! It definitely took a little creativity in the packing department but despite the teams offer of posting out the toys to us when we returned home, there was no way on earth my girls were parting with their Spirit Riding Free goodies for even a moment!

The Toys

The Dreamworks Spirit Riding Free toys have only just been released in the UK and have the most amazing range ever. Each girl at the sleepover received the Spirit Barn Playset which is incredible! Inspired by the show, it comes with a Lucky doll and a Spirit horse and the barn itself has lots of fun features and 24 piece to re-enact all of their favourite Spirit moments.

The girls also received a collection of characters and horses to add to their collection, and I just know that these are toys they will play with for year to come. The Spirit Riding Free toys are available in Smyths stores as of today!

Making Dreams Come True

Weekends like this one don’t come around very often, if ever, and I honestly can’t tell you how grateful we are to have been a part of it. I have nothing but praise for the team who made the whole weekend run like clockwork and gave us the most wonderful memories to treasure forever.

And for all of us Mums, Grandma’s, children, and the team, it was a real bonding experience and as we hugged goodbye at the end of the weekend it felt as though we had shared something so special together, and we will remember that for always.

 

** We were invited to the Spirit Stable Sleepover and compensated for our coverage. All words and opinions are my own ** 

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69 Comments

  1. candy
    September 28, 2018 / 1:06 pm

    Wow! My granddaughter is into these horses and all the different stuff that comes with them. She isn’t as old as your little girl but Christmas is coming and sure she will get a few of these items!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 8:53 am

      It was an absolute dream for any little girl who loves horses! xx

  2. September 28, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    This is really something special. I would have killed to do something like this as a little girl. 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 8:54 am

      Oh me too! It was my 6 year old selfs dream come true! xx

  3. September 28, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    How fun! This would be the best sleepover. My daughter is all about horses. I’ll have to show her this movie.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:07 am

      It’s a great show, my girls love it! xx

  4. September 28, 2018 / 6:08 pm

    How amazing is this! I can’t even imagine how excited my girls would be to do this. They don’t even have to be huge horse people, this is just a fantastic event for any girl.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:07 am

      Definitely, it’s so hard to explain just how happy all 11 little girls were, and us parents. It was such a special weekend! xx

  5. September 28, 2018 / 6:44 pm

    What a lovely sounding sleep over, I would have loved to have ridden when I was younger. It always seems such a fun pasttime to partake in.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:17 am

      Oh me too! My girls have got the riding bug now! xx

  6. September 28, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    Okay, WOW!! This is amazing!!!! My daughter is obsessed with horses and around them any chance she can get. This sleepover looks incredible. I know your girls had A BLAST!!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:22 am

      It was the most fun ever, for all of us involved!! xx

  7. September 28, 2018 / 7:50 pm

    Seeing this post reminds me of how my sister was so in love with horses at this age. She would have loved to have had an experience like this one.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:23 am

      Oh I bet! I loved horses as a child too, I would have loved to do something like this! xx

  8. September 28, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    Wow what an awesome event. My daughter loves horses. I might have to steal something similar for her next birthday party!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:23 am

      Oh it would be a great theme for a birthday party! xx

  9. September 28, 2018 / 9:58 pm

    Wow! This looks like such a fun filled day. Great decorations and craft ideas.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:24 am

      It was such a great weekend. Crafting is always fun, glitter everywhere!! xx

  10. September 28, 2018 / 10:17 pm

    She is such a brave girl! I’m in my 30’s and I still haven’t had the chance to get on a horse! Those big horse teeth scare me a bit!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:24 am

      I wasn’t sure if they would be too scared but they loved it! I’m a little nervous of horses too though! xx

  11. September 28, 2018 / 10:41 pm

    I love riding horses. I love horses actually. I have to watch it.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:25 am

      Oh you would love the show, it sends out a great message to our children. xx

  12. SHELLEY KING
    September 28, 2018 / 11:35 pm

    This looks like an amazing weekend. My kids love to ride horses. We haven’t seen the movie before but now I want to go pick it up!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:25 am

      Oh you should watch it, it’s on every weekend on Pop TV! xx

  13. September 28, 2018 / 11:59 pm

    Now this looks like an amazing Spirit themes slumber party!! I’m glad y’all had a great time!!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:26 am

      It was the best! My girls first sleepover too! xx

  14. September 29, 2018 / 1:27 am

    It looks like everyone had such a great time! Our sleepovers consisted of acting silly, getting out of hand, and watching movies. Wow have things changed.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:26 am

      Oh ours too! It was the sleepover of dreams! xx

  15. Pam
    September 29, 2018 / 2:05 am

    That looks like an amazing experience for the girls. My granddaughter really likes Spirit Riding Free.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:27 am

      It’s a great show isn’t it? I love the message it sends out to our children. xx

  16. September 29, 2018 / 2:25 am

    This is all kinds of awesome. My girls would have LOVED this! I don’t think you could have made it any more perfect.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:27 am

      It really was perfect. I am so grateful to the team for putting it all together, they did the most amazing job! xx

  17. September 29, 2018 / 3:44 am

    This looks like so much fun! My daughter rides horses and she is obsessed with them. She would love to host a sleepover party like this.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:28 am

      I think most little girls love horses don’t they?! I know I did! xx

  18. September 29, 2018 / 7:56 am

    This is such an adorable weekend, I bet your kids absolutely loved it. I love how they decorated the girls dorms x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:28 am

      Oh me too! We were all so emotional when we saw it, their little faces were priceless!! xx

  19. September 29, 2018 / 8:26 am

    I love how your blog is becoming an instrument to achieve your kids dream. Indeed a great feeling for you as a months and of course you cannot buy the happiness that it your little one will remember.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:29 am

      Exactly that Anosa, I think it makes all of the hard work seem worth it. xx

  20. September 29, 2018 / 1:34 pm

    It is indeed the stuff of dreams. I can see that the girls had a whale of a time. The experience is something that shall remain etched in their mind for long and they are always going to be thankful to you for the wonderful time.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:29 am

      Oh definitely, they will remember that weekend forever. xx

  21. September 29, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    Wow this looks amazing! What a fab time! Lovely pictures too!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:29 am

      Thank you Rachel, it was the best weekend! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:30 am

      It really was! They are still on a high! xx

  22. September 29, 2018 / 10:12 pm

    Oh my goodness – that pile of gifts on the beds! That really did look like Christmas came early! My 12 year old is obsessed with horses – she wants one having had riding a few lessons … (I’m hoping it’s a phase!)

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:30 am

      Hah yes it can be an expensive hobby! I’ve said they can have a monthly riding lesson but can’t commit to it become a full time hobby! xx

  23. Devyani Ray
    September 29, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    This looks like such a great weekend!

  24. September 29, 2018 / 11:46 pm

    For the first time ever I watched spirit on Disney channel and absolutely loved the gusty 12 yo and her friends. Glad blogging is bringing some best experiences to your family.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:31 am

      It’s great isn’t it? It gives a great message to our children! xx

  25. Jenn Mitchell
    September 30, 2018 / 12:32 am

    This would be such an adorable party. I know that my kids definitely love horses!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:32 am

      It was amazing, I don’t think any sleepover will ever live up to it! xx

  26. September 30, 2018 / 2:11 am

    Oh what a great new collection for her! My nieces love the new Spirit series.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      October 1, 2018 / 9:32 am

      They haven’t stopped playing with the toys since we came home! xx

  27. September 30, 2018 / 10:08 am

    Wow what an incredible experience for your children! This looks like such a fun themed sleepover!

  28. September 30, 2018 / 11:24 am

    What an extraordinary experience for your girls! Isn’t it amazing the opportunities we get with blogging. It’s a fabulous business to be in. 🙂

  29. Katrina Ellen
    September 30, 2018 / 2:45 pm

    My kids really love these toys. I absolutely love that she had the experience to have such an amazing party as this!

  30. September 30, 2018 / 3:33 pm

    This would be the best day ever for Eliza. She loves Spirit and loves horse riding too

  31. September 30, 2018 / 4:40 pm

    A very cool sleepover. I used to horse ride so would have loved this as a little girl x

  32. September 30, 2018 / 6:33 pm

    That looks like a pretty amazing experience there. I know my daughter would have loved this when she was younger. She loves horses and the ability to ride them. So nice.

  33. September 30, 2018 / 7:05 pm

    It looks like your girls had a wonderful weekend. Glad you all enjoyed it!

  34. September 30, 2018 / 8:26 pm

    Aww, what an amazing weekend away! My eldest would have loved to have participated in something like this when she was younger 🙂

    Louise x

  35. Jeanine
    October 1, 2018 / 12:21 am

    This looks like an awesome sleepover! Looks like a really fun time and I ilkniw my girls would love it!

  36. Jem
    October 1, 2018 / 5:57 am

    What an awesome idea for a children’s party. My little boy would love this!!

  37. Jenn
    October 1, 2018 / 10:38 am

    Oh my- what an amazing adventure! What fun they had- and it was so well put together. I’m sure this would be a dream for any little horse loving girl! So glad you all got to enjoy this!

  38. Talya
    October 1, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    My son LOVES Spirit!! This party looks like so much fun and you did so well with the whole Spirit theme! I am definitely jealous of all of these little girls!

  39. October 1, 2018 / 11:26 pm

    Such an awesome experience for those little princesses. I liked the toy horses and houses because it reminded me of when my 3 daughters used to be them.

  40. October 4, 2018 / 5:55 am

    Oh wow! Looks like your daughter had an amazing time there. My daughter would love to have a sleepover like this

  41. October 5, 2018 / 10:50 am

    Aww this looks amazing and not too far away from me either – my girls would love this, they are horse crazy!!

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