Days Out & Holidays
On the weekend we went for a day out to Paradise Wildlife Park. Neither me or the kids had actually been to a zoo before! They have loads to do, both on the animal side and areas for the children to play so I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a family day out. It took us one hour from where we live in West London so not too bad at all.
First I will show you some of the animals we saw
Lemurs, these are the black and white and there are also some red ones. They have plenty of space in their enclosure where you can see them jumping from ledge to ledge, climbing around and eating their food
Camels, there were quite a few and it does say watch out because they will eat anything if you leave it within their reach eg even your bags and whatever you have with you!
I was really happy to see signing promoted here
But then I didn’t notice this anywhere else round the park. It would be lovely if they could extend it to all the animals, because even though one of my little boys communicates a lot in sign I don’t know all the specific animals when there are rare ones around like snow leopard (you will see later), I would have loved these signs to be up everywhere to support in teaching him the animals as we go around.
I did notice though that the park is overall pretty accessible and accommodating for special needs. The concession rate for those with disabilities and for carers is clearly marked. We didn’t actually need to get it because I had our tickets provided as a thanks from Buy A Gift for some work I did with them in the past, but I was happy to see this for future visits. They also have an area of the children’s playpark which is adapted for children with mobility problems, to use the swings in wheelchairs and they have ramp access up to the higher viewing platform in the animals area. At first I had not spotted the ramp and I was thinking it was going to be a pain to get up there – but it is there by the lions.
Anyway, that’s a bit of a tangent so back to the animals…!
Sheena the cheetah. These big cats do have quite a large area, so at first when looking into their space we could not see any animal, that is because they move around from the higher to lower levels and obviously don’t want to be too cramped. Once they start moving around they are easy to spot and the children were so excited seeing this Cheetah come near to them. There is information up near to every animal and I found this interesting to read and also reassuring to know that the animals are being well cared for and their welfare is being kept at the forefront of the agenda. I learned that this particular cheetah is one who has been born in captivity in another facility and came to the Paradise Wildlife Park later on. She was in a much smaller enclosure initially so they are gradually increasing her space so that she can get used to it without feeling freaked out
Here we have a white tiger. These are in a bigger space than the cheetah so you walk all round the edges of their enclosure and can see them that way. A really beautiful animal!
This is a ball which had been in with the tiger for a couple of weeks, on display so you can see how strong the tiger is and what damage it has done. This ball was originally stronger and harder than a human skull! My boys were quite interested in this tiger ball!
Lions! These lions were really beautiful and they have a 6 month old baby lion cub who was born in January. They were sleeping when we first saw them then we came back and the Dad lion was awake and roared (I had not heard a real lion roar before so quite cool!) and the little one was playing jumping on his head, which is so cute to see.
Here’s my older two (4 and 3 yr) looking through the glass into the snow leopards enclosure. You can see them either from above on the viewing platform or on the ground, depending whereabouts they are in their section. Here the two snow leopards are sleeping but after a little while they got up and their keeper was going to give them some food.
I just missed the second he jumped from up here on the higher platform down to get his food! Kids distracted me for a second – what a shame, I would love to see that but maybe next time!
There are two snow leopards here, a male and female and it was written that the male is newly arrived from another park and he is settling in well.
There are a lot more animals we saw but I don’t have photos of them all, and I don’t think we even managed to see all of the animals in the park as there are so many to get through in an afternoon so next time we go we will see the ones we missed. I would recommend going in the morning to get the full days worth, we didn’t get there til lunch time as we had a bit of a slow start in the morning.
As I had never been to a zoo before, I did not know what to expect in terms of the animals whether they would look well cared for and given enough space as some relatives have been to other zoos and found it sad to see the state of the animals, which is horrible! I can say I really did find the animals here looked well kept and healthy. Hearing the park workers talking about the work they do with the animals it seems like they do a great job with them and its a zoo you can feel happy to go to as the animals are treated properly and their welfare is the most important thing. The animal workers were saying they do go inside the enclosures with the animals and have built up a lot of trust with them.
As well as the animals, the children really enjoyed all the play areas and its great they have a lot of different attractions to balance it out, as I find with the young kids they need something active to do as well as looking at the animals.
There are several real vehicles which have been turned into play spaces for the children. The old steam engine and fire engine here, and a digger too. They have stairs and a slide built into each of them and the children can also sit at the wheel and play with the old controls. This was a big hit with my transport crazy boys, as it probably would be with many young kids!
The digger one has a much bigger slide, which is more of a spiral slide and these two are slightly smaller.
The main adventure play area is good too, with a very exciting pirate area which they boys enjoyed
When you go behind the ship play equipment, you can find some secret paths and a secret cave tunnel which is pretty cool
It also has all the usuals like swings, slides.. plenty of equipment for all the children if it did get very busy. (It wasn’t too bad the day that we were there)
There are also little extras like a bouncy castle – free of charge (there are quite a few paid extras around the site though, like those little ride on rides, and the machines where you put some money and win a teddy)
A sand play area with bricks to do construction play
There is also a nice woodland train ride for 1 pound per person, which we all enjoyed. You see some large model animals and dinosaurs as you go around.
There is a soft play area too which we did not have time to go in. If you look on their website you can see all the different sections to the park.
Definitely worth a visit if you are nearby, we really enjoyed it and my personal highlight was the beautiful snow leopard and the baby lion cub.
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I am so happy we are going to get the chance to go and see and review Dora The Explorer Live! this summer. Since starting school, my 4 year old started to ask to watch Nick Jr as well as his usual Cbeebies and a show that immediately caught his eye was Dora The Explorer. Since then he has really enjoyed Dora and when we spotted the adverts for the live show on Nickolodeon, he started to hint that he would love to go. Every time we see the advert, he reminds me again! Of course the younger two also love the show now too because they have learned from their big brother.
The live show is currently touring all over the UK. It started in March and is running until August. We will be going to one of the August shows in Milton Keynes. If you want to check the dates and venues near you, have a look at the map here.
The new show is called Search for the City of Lost Toys and is a musical adventure. It will be featuring all the characters known and loved by children who watch the show, such as the Map, Backpack, Boots, Diego and Swiper along with Dora of course.
One thing I like about the Dora show on Nick Jr is that it does incorporate a lot of learning as well as being fun and entertaining for the children to watch, and the live show is supposed to include some elements of that too.
Once we have been, I will be back to share a thorough review with everyone but for now I just wanted to share our excitement! Is anyone else planning to go? Or have you already been? Let me know in the comments 🙂
This morning we had the chance to go to London SEALIFE with a group of Bloggers from Tots100. The last time I went was for my oldest boys 2nd birthday, which is almost 3 years ago now as he is turning 5 at the end of this month. (Times flies it does not seem that long ago!)
This time, I took my younger two boys aged 3.5 and 22 months, and travelled together with Mary from Over40andamumtoone and her 3.5 little boy aged too.
Unfortunately for my older boy he was at school and had to miss out. He is a massive Nemo fan though so we will have to go again sometime on a weekend so that we can bring him.
When we went in we were given some special cardboard diving goggles for the children to wear and a stamp book to stamp as they went around, and then we went on to see all the underwater creatures.
First we went over a shark walk way where we could see all the sharks swimming beneath us! My two boys weren’t scared at all, and they were quite fascinated by looking at the water and sharks beneath.
The above is not my own pic. We can not use flash because it scares some of the animals, so my pics did not come out the best – luckily we have been provided with some better ones! This shows you clearly how close you are to the sharks and how well you can see them – It is pretty cool!
We then moved on to the Sting Rays, which my boys loved so much. They are in an open tank, so you can see them right there at the top of the water. They are quite sociable animals, so when we came to look at them, they came straight up to the surface. My boys waved at them and they have even waved back! They are such an usual looking creature, with their big flat face – I found them quite fascinating to look at.
My youngest was not happy at all with being moved away from the Rays! But he did cheer up once he saw the starfish and had the opportunity to touch them. He loved dipping his finger in the water, and slowly built up his courage to touch. Both of them were given a sticker for being brave and touching the star fish and the guides who were in charge of the star fish were really helpful and encouraging to the children. The starfish felt quite spiky! Not exactly how I expected it to feel. They have no teeth at all so they are totally safe for even little toddlers to touch.
We then moved on to more of the fish displays.
- Clockwise from top left:
- Nemo’s World – Clownfish and Blue Tang (Like Dory)
- More Nemo’s World – in the Coral Reef
My boys loved all the different displays of fish, they would have happily spent hours looking at each tank if I did not keep moving them onto the next! I do love looking at fish myself too, its very relaxing. I would love to have a massive tank of all these tropical fish in my house if we had the space!
There are plenty of Clownfish in the coral reef, which is pretty exciting for any Nemo fans. My 4 year old is the main Nemo fan in our house but the 3 year old was also pointing at the Clownfish to show he recognised them.
There are so many tanks, with sharks, turtles, seahorses, and also a crocodile at the end. When we were at the Shark tanks, the children had the opportunity to touch a piece of shark skin and some shark teeth which had been collected from the bottom of the tank! My 3 year old loved touching the shark skin, and like the star fish it did not really feel how I expected it to.
There is also an Antarctic Penguin Experience, which we actually didn’t see today but will make sure we look at that one next time we go as it does sound good!
There is lots to see, and I would say this is one of the attractions that spans all age ranges, so is a great one for all the family and definitely something to keep in mind especially for a rainy day because it is all indoors! There are some offers at the moment on cereal for 2 for 1 for all merlin attractions, which does include the SEALIFE centres so it would be worth looking out for those if you are planning to go!
I have to say, all of the SEALIFE staff who were taking us round for our tour were so good. They engaged and chatted with the children and were really lovely and helpful.
Some lunch was provided for us all, and a chance for the children to play a bit and do some colouring in, and then it was off to the tube back home! I had to stop by the gift shop on the way out, because I felt sorry for my 4 year old missing out so I wanted to get him something small. They do have quite a few things with a reasonable price range, and I got him this “grow your own aquarium”
When you put water in it, the little fish are supposed to grow bigger! He has not done it yet, so we will see how it turns out!
On the tube, we went via Westminster. The centre is located in between Westminster and Waterloo, so you could use either. I’m not sure how Waterloo is but there are quite a few steps when you come out from Westminster to get onto the bridge, so just something to bear in mind if you are travelling with a buggy. There are lifts inside the station though, so it could be worse! And the reputation people give about Londoners on the tube being unfriendly is totally untrue in my experience cos I always get offers of help every time I take the buggy on the tube.
The boys fell fast asleep on the way back! They had a great time and were totally tired out!
For more details on the SEALIFE centre (London Aquarium) have a look through their website. There’s loads to see and really the pictures can’t do it justice so you will have to go yourselves and have a visit! 🙂
Last weekend we went on a last minute trip to Brighton. When the sun is shining we just get in the mood to explore different places and amazingly I have never been to Brighton before. People are always mentioning it as one of the seasides with the best atmosphere, so I was really interested to see for myself and the kids always love the seaside.
When we arrived there was a mini owners convention going on, which was quite exciting for the boys as they love cars so they enjoyed spotting all the different varieties on display as we walked down to the pier.
As with other seasides we have been to, parking is quite in demand and we did have to park quite far away and walk – so I would recommend thinking about bringing your buggy if you do have little ones who get tired easily, as it may come in very handy for the walk back to the car at the end of the day. And bring plenty of change for the parking meters, unlike some places where you have a few options like paying by text, the machines we saw were very old school so it does help to come prepared. We had to dig out every last 5 and 10p we could find then we just about had enough.
By the time we arrived it was afternoon so we walked past the big wheel and little seaside train, as we wanted to go straight onto the pier to see the main area but if you were there for a full day these do look like fun.
Brighton Pier is quite a contrast to the last seaside town we visited at Dover. Flashing lights, music, bustling crowds! I am a believer in having a good balance so I think these two weekends quite complimented each other, to have half term sandwiched by the calm quiet side of the sea and then the loud, bright, traditional family fun of the seaside!
My boys love funfair rides so they were eager to get started. There is plenty available for young children. The offer is 30 tokens for £20 and this went far enough and was adequate for all of the children to go on the rides they wanted (and their dad to go on some to supervise) so that is not too bad in terms of value.
The rides my boys aged almost 2 to almost 5 went on were:
- Small car/ride on rollercoaster
- Bouncy Slide
- Merry go round horses
- Helter Skelter Slide
- Bouncy Castles
I would say the Helter Skelter was a definite favourite! Some of the rides do have height restrictions so if your child’s day out would be ruined by not being able to go on – do check it before you go! Generally they need to be about 90cm for some of the rides but all the info is on the Brighton Pier website so you can check it here
Of course a day at the seaside has to include ice cream. They were happy to make the portion smaller for my little one, which is always worth asking for to avoid the horrible dripping melting ice cream everywhere look when they can not manage to eat it fast enough. I love that they provide deckchairs for anyone to use on the pier these are just parked there for whoever wants to sit on them. I haven’t noticed this at other seasides I’ve been to, and it is a great touch – very convenient and there is just something fun about a traditional stripy deck chair! I want to get some for my garden now! 😀
The time went so quickly, we didn’t get a chance to go onto the beach itself! I know it is quite pebbly rather than a sandy beach. I didn’t see many families on there, the main attraction does seem to be spending time on the pier and just enjoying the traditional family seaside atmosphere along with the views.
There was a great mix of people around, from families with small children, to young couples, teenagers, and older people. It feels a pretty diverse place. My husband was really happy to see other mixed race couples like us so he felt very at home! (for those who think these things are never much of an issue any more in this day and age think about the recent issue with the cheerios advert!).
We finished the day with fish and chips while looking out over the sea – A perfect end to a lovely afternoon..
.. and I will leave you with these views!
For more places to go with kids in the UK follow my Pinterest board
Over the Bank Holiday with the weather being so nice for a change, we really wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before – somewhere outdoors, and preferably near the sea. My husband said he fancied seeing the White Cliffs of Dover, so we checked the journey time, which was only 2 hours from London (a little less than I would have guessed) and decided to set off the next morning for our day out in Dover.
When choosing a day out, I normally look carefully and try to choose somewhere with loads of children’s activities and features to keep the little ones entertained, but this trip was quite refreshing because it was more back to basics, and had no all singing all dancing flashing lights and entertainment for the boys, just sun, sea, and fresh air – and they absolutely loved it. It felt like a great adventure for them, and I’m thinking we should do this kind of trip more!
We set off in the morning and enjoyed the drive down as it was such a sunny day, and there’s lots of countryside and scenery to enjoy en-route so the 2 hours drive went pretty quick. As we approached Dover we could see the sea in the distance, and drove past the ports which the boys found really exciting seeing all the ferries coming and going.
There was a massive queue of traffic to get into the car park for the White Cliffs, so we decided to go along the road a little to St Margaret’s Bay, a small village nearby, where we could stop and have some lunch and go along to South Foreland Lighthouse
Here are the boys having lunch at the tea room at the Pines Gardens at St Margaret’s Bay. The lunch was lovely. The bread of the cheese baguettes was so nice and soft.
We didn’t have a chance to go into the gardens themselves as we wanted to get on towards the lighthouse but we did have a quick look at the fish pond just outside.
The next task was to try and find somewhere to park where we did not have too far to get to the lighthouse. Some of the information we had found suggested walking directly from St Margaret’s Bay for a one mile walk compared to a 2 mile walk if you go along the cliff edge from the Visitor Centre at the White Cliffs. One mile sounds okay, but we soon noticed the path was pretty uneven and hilly, and with two kids to push in a buggy, it didn’t look like it was going to be ideal. Luckily we managed to find somewhere a bit nearer. There is a road called Lighthouse Road which is marked as having no access to the lighthouse, but if you go down it then you can park much closer with only a small footpath to go down. This is definitely a much easier option for families with small children.
So very soon we arrived at South Foreland Lighthouse, which is a National Trust property. It is right by the sea and you have amazing views while walking around nearby the lighthouse.
To go up to the top of the lighthouse there’s a charge of 5 pounds per adult. We did this but to be honest that may not have been worth it for us on this occasion, because we didn’t stay up there too long. It was not easy keeping an eye on the little ones up there and I worry they will end up throwing themselves off the balcony! For those with slightly older children, you can go on a tour where they will tell you all about the working of the lighthouse as you go up. The guides were friendly and seemed willing to tailor this to however much level of detail will be suitable for your family and the age groups you have with you.
The boys were mainly happier just exploring and running around in the area outside. There is a little boat which children can get inside and play about on, which they loved especially the 3 year old. They also have kites freely available for any visitors to borrow and use. They are just kept outside the shop in a little treasure chest and you just help yourself!
I love kites! Seeing them flying in the blue sky on a sunny day is just such a nice sight, but somehow I had not actually taken the boys to fly kites before! They were really excited to have a go, and after a few attempts, we managed to get it going.
We also took the chance to have a cup of tea and some scones and cakes while we were there. It came with proper china crockery which is a nice touch! The boys had Victoria Sponge cake which they enjoyed.
We still hadn’t been to see the White Cliffs by this point, and it was starting to get a bit late. We couldn’t go without seeing those as its a major landmark! So we went back over and by that time the car park situation was much better.
It’s a beautiful view! I love these pics my husband took of my 4 year old at the cliffs.
Soon it was time to start heading back home, but we had a great day. I would definitely recommend the area for any families wanting to get away from the city for a bit and have some fresh air and countryside. This was pretty different from the usual “seaside” experience which we have done before. Much quieter, really peaceful and a bit rural.
We are thinking of going camping soon and this day out really gave me a taste for doing the more simple, natural and back to basics kind of activities with the kids, so I’m now starting to think of all the different areas we could explore within the UK.
Linking up to:
Brent Lodge Park in Hanwell is locally known as Bunny Park. We went for a day out recently as it is quite near to us and free to enter.
It’s a large park with animals to see, a playground for the children, a maze to explore, a cafe to buy ice cream and lots of greenery all around.
The animals we noticed first were the monkeys, and my younger two were especially interested in those. There are also exotic birds and some more animals that we didn’t have time to see like the bunnies and goats, and there is a reptile house with butterflies which I think you may have to pay a small amount to go in.
Then they were very eager to move onto the playground. There is quite a variety of equipment, not so much for very young toddlers as some of the equipment is a little high up to climb, but my littler ones were fine with some help.
After the playground, we moved on to the maze which was probably my boys favourite thing. They had not been in a real maze before, but were very eager to try it out.
It’s a great place to let the toddlers run around, and really fun for them following all the path ways around and chasing each other.
When you reach the end there is a small tower with stairs, so you can go up and look out over the rest of the maze. There’s my oldest at the top, as he reached there before me!
Here they are all, hiding underneath the tower. (It’s raised a bit off the ground)
Its a lovely free day out for anyone not too far away. You don’t feel as though you are in the middle of the city, you get a bit of a rural feel and an escape from the usual hustle and bustle of life and with all the different features like the maze and the animals, it is more exciting than just your average park.
There is a car park next door which is also free to use. Make sure you come out of the car park and turn left, to take you directly into the main area of the park. The first time we went, we entered from the car park itself but that is a really long way round to get to where most of the exciting bits are. There is another playground at that end, and if you have more time to take a stroll and explore, then it would be worth having a look around that side too.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the £1 coin, MoneySuperMarket are asking UK bloggers to come up with their best money saving tips. With 30 tips per person, they are aiming to collect a total of over 1000 fantastic ways to save some cash.
There are also lots of apps you could use to help you track your finances and spending habits, such as monthly subscriptions and memberships and work out where you are losing money unnecessarily. To get more of an idea of one of these popular apps, you could check out some truebill reviews.
Here are mine!
Savings For Days Out
- Using loyalty card points to pay for days out. With Tesco Clubcard you can exchange your points for upto 4x their value in rewards vouchers, which include all of the merlin parks and loads more. You have to get organised and order your tickets in advance, but once you have them they don’t have to be used on a specific day.
- With Nectar, you don’t have to order the tickets in advance you can just pay directly with the points on your Nectar card – so suitable for those last minute trips! You will get double your points value when using it on days out
- Look out for Kids’ clubs at the cinema, such as Odeon where certain children’s screenings are only £2.50, or Vue for £1.75 or £3 for 3D. These tend to run on weekend mornings or school holidays.
- Many bowling places also have cheap offers in the morning during school holidays – such as bowling for as low as £1, so make sure you have a look and time your visit accordingly!
- Taking a picnic rather than buying meals out at attractions. You could end up saving a lot and often it may be much healthier too.
- There are lots of days out which are absolutely free, for example the Science Museum in South Kensington or many of the other London museums. We go on a Sunday so no congestion charge to get there, and free parking!
- Look out for free weekends at the National Trust where they open many of their properties for free, making a very thrifty day out.
- Look out for local fun days or events run by the council. Sometimes there will be activities on in the library during half terms, or for toddlers during term time and these tend to be free or very cheap.
- Days out in the woods, park or countryside tend to be very cheap or free. You can also use the chance to collect stones, twigs or leaves for the children to use for crafts when you get home – so a 2 in 1 money saving opportunity, as well as a chance to get some exercise and fresh air.
- If you use trains, think of a Family Rail Card which gives you 1/3 off adult fares, 60% off child fares. When we used this, it paid for itself in just a couple of trips and also guaranteed us a table seat on the train, which can be a life saver while travelling with toddlers – enabling you to do activities at the table rather than fruitlessly trying to keep a wriggling little one in their seat.
- Plan your days out in advance – that way you have time to get all your vouchers and offers ready, and you will know the cheap places and tips for the place you are going. When you go last minute,I find it always costs more.
Money Saving Online
- Use cash back websites, such as Quidco. For those who do a lot of online shopping, these websites work out almost like just free money! For things you were going to buy anyway, you can get a percentage back by clicking through from Quidco then over time your cash back builds up and is paid back into your bank account or paypal. Since joining Quidco a couple of years ago, we have earned nearly £500 in cashback!
- Use voucher codes. Always have a look through the newsletters you get sent from companies. Sometimes we may be too quick to delete them as junk mail, but hidden inside could be discount codes and savings to get you a great deal. You can also try googling for codes before making big purchases, as you never know there may be codes on the internet which are fine for anyone to use. Some of the best places to look include MoneySavingExpert and HotUKDeals
- Use daily deal websites, like Groupon for away breaks or general shopping deals or Zulilly for kids deals. There are loads more similar sites too if you have a look around. You can save upto 90% off the RRP, meaning you get great quality things for bargain prices.
- Get free samples online. If you follow the companies you like on Facebook, or visit their websites, often you can find free samples being given out especially for things like perfumes or moisturisers, so you can see if you like it before you buy – potentially saving you money on purchases as you will only have to buy it once you’re sure! You can even get full sized samples of grocery products, from pages like this, which will of course save you money from your supermarket bill!
- Have a look on Facebook for local buying and selling groups. Similar to E-bay where you may get some great bargains but as it’s local, you won’t even pay postage. It also gives you a chance to sell some of your own unwanted or children’s outgrown items and earn some money back.
- If you do decide to use e-Bay, to reach a wider audience or browse a wider range of goods – have a look out for their free listing days to save you that little bit extra.
- You can also connect your nectar account to ebay, earning you money for nothing every time you shop, enabling you to have free days out at premium attractions as mentioned earlier!
- Join all the loyalty schemes, and if you have a baby then all the baby clubs. Boots is one of the best – when joining the baby club you can get a free changing bag! Aptamil also give you a free polar bear toy, and cow and gate a free cuddly cow. They will also keep you up to date with offers and money off vouchers which can come in really handy.
- Use price comparison websites and always look around before committing to a big purchase. It may take time but you will do the best to have a look at several comparison sites, and then also double check the prices on the companies own website, and check those who have not included themselves in the comparison. For larger purchases such as car insurance, this extra bit of effort will normally pay off.
Every Day Money Saving
- Meal Planning. This is something I really need to do, I keep meaning to start. Plan your meals and stick strictly to your shopping list. I have heard from my friends who do this, that it ends up saving a lot and also cuts down waste too – so more eco friendly!
- Related to the above – cooking in bulk and freezing some can end up working out cheaper.
- Eating more vegetarian meals can save a lot of money, as meat is expensive and many other forms of protein such as pulses are much much cheaper.
- Write down what you spend. It will help you keep track and cut out any unnecessary spending patterns that you might not have been as aware of.
- Enter competitions! Whatever you win, is something that you don’t have to buy so potentially saving you loads! Of course only entering for useful things that will be suitable for your family. Those who know me, will know that I am always on the look out for great competitions and I have been lucky to have plenty of lovely prizes over the years. Just this morning I won a dvd for the kids from All Baby Advice blog. We also have some great competitions running here at In The Playroom so click here and have a look!
- Walking wherever you can – saves on petrol or transport costs. Also healthier and gets the children into good habits.
- Recycling packaging to use for children’s junk modelling. You can save all sorts of kitchen roll tube, sweet wrappers, bubble wrap, ribbon and tissue from packaging and it will keep the children occupied in an educational activity, for absolutely free.
- Downgrade your branded food to supermarket own, or supermarket brands down to basic. On some items you won’t always be able to tell a lot of difference, and can save quite a bit!
- Always try to pay off your credit card balance in full each month – any interest paid is just a real waste of money
- Always be generous to others, give to charity and never let money saving turn you into a stingy person. I truly believe when we give to others, it comes back to us in one way or the other and I have seen this so many times in life.
My links Quidco and Zulilly are referral links, all that means is that if you sign up after seeing it here and use these websites, I will also get a little extra as a thanks for introducing new members. They are genuine recommendations from me as websites I do use myself and find good.
Win a One Day Family Pass to
One Lucky Winner will win a One Day Family Pass to Chessington World of Adventure (RRP £150)
It’s a whole world of Wild Adventures all in one place.
Discover the Serengeti in Surrey; go on the exciting new safari; or explore the ancient ruins of Wild Asia, a mythical land where families can take on the KOBRA, an awesome spinning disc ride! Go truly wild on an expedition through the Lorikeet Lagoon in amongst the exotic colourful birds. With exciting rides and rollercoasters, amazing animals and a SEA LIFE Centre – Chessington really is Britain’s wildest adventure!
Chessington’s amazing new ride for 2013
Initial investigations have unearthed a new land called “ZUFARI”. The only signs of civilisation are some mysterious African carvings that we believe are warnings. Journey through the extreme terrain in our off-road trucks and encounter many species including giraffes and white rhino.
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The family pass consists of 2 adults and 2 children under 12 and is valid for any one day
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On the weekend, we decided to take the kids to Peppa Pig World. We don’t normally go to theme parks without planning in advance and getting our tesco club card rewards ready, but the boys have really got into Peppa Pig lately and we really fancied a family day out so we decided to just go for it! It comes to £98.00 for a family ticket which is quite expensive! This is for 4 people, our youngest was free as he is under 90cm. Booking online would have saved £12 from that so would definitely be the better option, but unfortunately we didn’t plan in advance this time! This admission covers the whole of Paultons Park, not just the Peppa Pig World.
I don’t know whether there is any concession price for children receiving DLA and their carers, as some other theme parks do have. We didn’t ask and the website only mentions that wheelchair & Mobility Scooter dependent guests are admitted free of charge – so whether they do take other disabilities and conditions into account, I am not sure. I would be interested to know, if anyone has asked them let me know in the comments! I am also not sure whether they operate a Qbot system like some of the Merlin Parks but the queues were very short on the day we went, so it really wouldn’t have been needed at all. We did not have to wait more than 5 minutes for any ride.
When we arrived at Paultons, we went straight to Peppa Pig World. The first ride the children chose to go on was the Windy Castle which you can see in the background below. It’s actually a little scarier than it looks, it goes quite high! My 4 year old was a little scared while riding on it, but the little ones were fine. It gives you a good view of the whole Peppa Pig World so it is a good choice to go on this first. All 5 of us were able to sit together in the carriage and there was no restrictions of height or age.
The children also went on the following rides:
Grandpa Pig’s Boat Trip – this is a very gentle and calm ride, not scary at all for any more sensitive little ones. They go round and round in a boat on real water, with a slight up and down motion. Only 4 were allowed in each boat, so we had to split up and have one parent per boat to take all the children. Again there is no restriction on height or age on this ride, just a recommendation that it may not be suitable for under 12 months. All 3 of my children enjoyed this ride.
Grandpa Pig’s Little Train – Again there is only 4 allowed in each carriage, so we had to split up for this ride, and there is no restrictions so all of the children were able to go on this ride and they all enjoyed it. My boys are mad about trains so this was very popular with them. You can see my 3 year old below, excited to go on this train ride!
Daddy Pig’s Car Ride – Only the 3 and 4 year old went on this ride, with their dad. I never went on it as I was keeping an eye on the little one sleeping in the buggy, but my 4 year old tells me it was one of his favourites!
George’s Dinosaur Adventure – This was the other definite favourite. Again only my 4 and 3 year olds went onto this, the 4 year old riding alone and 3 year old together with Dad. They really enjoyed this one.
There are 2 other rides in Peppa Pig world – Peppa’s Big Balloon Ride and Miss Rabbit’s Helicopter Flight (which you can see here in the background below), which they didn’t chose to go on. There are also loads more in the main Paulton’s Park, including some much more advanced and thrilling rides for the slightly older children. My husband did try to persuade the 4 year old onto the Cobra ride, but he didn’t go for it (which I was glad – I would be so nervous seeing my little boy on such a big ride!)
Some of the other rides that were suitable for my 4 year old in the main park were the Flying Frog, the Astroglide slides, the Raving River and the Wave Runner. There are also plenty more, if you have time.
Back in Peppa Pig World, there are quite a few attractions to see other than just the rides. One of the main favourites with all 3 boys was the George’s SpaceShip Playzone. It is an indoor soft play area. There are loads of slides, and different sections for different age groups (baby, toddler and slightly older). I can imagine this would get packed out if it rains!
The playground in Peppa Pig World is also really nice. It’s very spacious and really well designed. We did this at the end of the day and the children would have been happy to spend much longer in it, if the park was not closing. Because it is so big and spread out, I don’t think it would get too over crowded so is fine for even little ones newly toddling around. Some pics below to show just a little bit of what there is!
(Excuse the lack of shoes, he threw them out of the buggy half way through the day and we never found them! This child is a nightmare for always chucking his shoes!!)
In Peppa Pig land you can also go inside Peppa Pig’s house (shown below, outside and inside!) – just note there is no buggy or wheelchair access for this.
The characters inside the house move and speak.
You can also see the camper van, but not go in it. Still, the boys enjoyed looking.
Other attractions in the main Paulton’s park, which we had not known about before but enjoyed, were all the animal attractions.
Throughout the park, as you walk around there are various exotic birds you will see – flamingos , cranes, emus and even more. Apparently there is a meerkat section too, which I have now seen on the website but did not spot while we were there.
There is also a penguin section which is located inside Peppa Pig World and you can see the penguins at their feeding time. There is a ramp which allows access for pushchairs, and there they have windows to see underneath the water so you can see many penguins coming past and diving to eat the fish.
Going through the gardens and the birds section was really peaceful and quiet. I found this brilliant, for my 3 year old. He has ASD and although he really enjoys these type of theme parks, after a little while I felt like it was starting to get a bit much for him and he was starting to melt down a bit. Lucky that I was able to put him back into the buggy and take him to spend some time quietly looking here.
Another nice and quiet area in Paultons is the Dinosaur Land. You go through the path and there are so many models of different dinosaur species which you can see, among the real trees and mud. This would be great for any dinosaur enthusiasts, and is quite educational too. My younger two really enjoyed looking and pointing at these dinosaurs. 4 year old was busy on the astro slide, but I know he is scared of dinosaurs so maybe its better he missed out!
My 3 yr old loving his new mr Dinosaur!
Overall I would say it was a good day. It’s a shame we didn’t plan and get the slightly cheaper tickets as I’m not sure its the best value at the full price but there is lots to do and the children definitely enjoyed it. The next day my 4 year old came home with a note he had written in school: “Mum, I like you. Can we go to peppa pig land again one day” So I’m sure we will be back – after all how can I say no to that? 🙂
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