Wriggle Exhibition – The Wonderful World of Worms

Last Saturday BattleKid and I were invited down to Cardiff Museum to the official opening of the new exhibition Wriggle! the Wonderful world of worms. I wasn’t sure what to expect and was apprehensive whether the Wriggle Exhibition would be above BattleKid’s age range.

We arrived at 9am and when the doors opened for the invitees, we made our way in and I found a place to stow BattleKid’s buggy and stashed his change bag in the lockers (they cost £1) before we had some of the breakfast refreshments that had been laid on. Once BattleKid had finished his snack, we took a look around the displays that were on the ground floor foyer for the event. Wriggle Exhibition

There was everything from microscopes to fossils and even stands explaining the importance of worms in food production. We had a look around and BattleKid honed in on the microscopes, fascinated with them, although I’m not 100% sure he actually saw anything under them. I explained to him that mama uses them in work, which he thought meant one of them was mine to take away. Eh no.

He kept going back to them time and time again to look through the eyepiece. You never know, we could have another scientist in the making! There was also a fossil-making stand where children could press fossil specimens into clay to take home with them which I thought was a great idea.Wriggle Exhibition

After about 20 minutes we were all called to the bottom of the stairs for the opening talk from Dr Andrew Mackie. All the children were invited to the top and I tagged along to get a front row seat, keeping BattleKid company. Dr Mackie thanked all the efforts from the scientists and teams who put together the exhibition as well as the local Primary School who helped put together some of the ideas in the exhibition. He then invited Dr Rhys Jones, an evolutionary scientist and BBC presenter, to the front to officially open the exhibition.

Rhys was a great speaker, funny and very passionate, and was extremely engaging with the children, particularly one little boy sat beside us. And although the exhibition wasn’t open to the public until after 10am when the museum opened, he managed to sneak us in for a preview, on the proviso we didn’t tell anyone!

Wriggle Exhibition
Dr Rhys Jones officially opening the Wriggle Exhibition

Wriggle Exhibition

Supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery and Western Power Distribution, Wriggle is an innovative exhibition which is both family friendly and interactive. And although he can’t read yet, the displays were enough to capture BattleKid’s attention. Wriggle delves into the world of worms in a number of ways including:

  • Awesome Worms – showing us weird and wonderful worms including the bone-eating snot flowers worm. Yuck! There were lots of different specimens to view, with descriptions alongside their display jars.Wriggle Exhibition
  • Worm or Not a Worm – an interactive wall which acts as a game to help see if we can tell a worm from another creature. Believe me, even I couldn’t tell with most of them!Wriggle Exhibition
  • Worms’R’Us – explaining the worm research going on behind the scenes. I was delighted to see some of the tools used and recognised them from my day job too! I felt right at home.Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • From Fossils to Fantasy – looking at worms in popular culture such as books and films.
  • Size Really Matters – exploring worms of various sizes from tiny worms no bigger than a fingernail, to a 30m long bootlace worm. They have a rope you can follow to the display that is as long as one of these and you can’t imagine a worm that long until you see this rope!
  • The Wriggloo – almost like a den, it gives you the opportunity to see the world from a worms perspective and the animals they live alongside, and often need to dodge. You can wriggle your way inside and believe me, BattleKid did just that. He loved this part of the exhibition, spending what felt like ages going in and out of the wriggle holes which were too small for mama which meant I spent my time running around trying to keep up with him. He was also quite taken by the animals in the display holes and the badger inside the Wriggloo. The Wriggloo also houses a real-live wormery.Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition
  • Wriggle Exhibition

There is so much to see and do in the Wriggle Exhibition and although I thought it would be outside BattleKid’s age range as I’ve said, far from it as he was fascinated by the worms and animals. He spent ages looking at the display panels in the floor and their contents as well as inside the Wriggloo. Wriggle Exhibition

There is quite a lot to see at the Wriggle Exhibition and unfortunately, as I didn’t have BattleDad with me, I didn’t get to spend time reading all the displays. However, that just means I’ll have to return!

The Wriggle Exhibition is suitable for all ages, even two year olds, and is both educational and fun. There is plenty of time to visit the exhibition as it runs until 30th September 2017 and the museum will be running supporting events throughout this summer, details of which can be found on the Cardiff Museum website.

Wriggle Exhibition

Although worms are not my thing, I thoroughly enjoyed what I got to see of the Wriggle Exhibition and have no doubt I’ll return, either with BattleDad in tow or on my own. i would like to spend some time reading and exploring those displays I didn’t get a chance to see, due to running around the Wriggloo after BattleKid. Thanks to Cardiff Museum for inviting us to the official opening of the Wriggle Exhibition.

So if you are looking for both a fun and educational thing to do with your children, especially this summer, why not visit Wriggle! the Wonderful world of worms at Cardiff Museum. You might be squeamish like me but I bet you enjoy it and your kids will love it!

Cath x

Cardiff Museum details:

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm.

Closed Mondays except most bank holidays.

Free entry, although there are donation points in the foyer.

Visitor parking is located behind the museum and costs £6.50, exit token available in Museum shop.


Cuddle Fairy

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff – Our Visit

Last weekend we were kindly invited down to the Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff in the Red Dragon Centre for a game of bowling and some food. Now, it’s been a number of years since I’ve been bowling and to be perfectly honest I hadn’t been overly impressed by the Hollywood Bowl the previous time I’d been. I was also apprehensive about taking a 2 year old bowling and whether he would get bored with it. But I need not have feared.

Firstly, the Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff has had a complete make over and looks nothing like it did 5 or 6 years ago when I last went with work. Gone is the drab interior and sticky carpets. The Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff is now modern, fresh and really cool now. We arrived shortly before our 11am slot and made our way to reception where we were greeted by our Lane server, Morgan. Also new, and a surprise to us, was the fact we didn’t need to don bowling shoes as we were all in flat shoes so could remain in our own shoes. This was a first and the set of socks I’d stashed in BattleKid’s change bag weren’t needed after all. I think this is quite a good thing, so be warned, if you are in heels you will be required to change shoes, so go in flats of your own ladiesHollywood Bowl in Cardiff

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

After checking in at reception we were shown to our VIP lane, number 26, which is the last lane and was a nice quiet one out-of-the-way. The VIP section consists of four lanes with coloured pins, more comfortable seating than the other lanes and with more professional bowls as well. With them being out-of-the-way they are ideal for families wanting some quiet time or if you want to be away from possible parties. That said you could also hire them for a party if you wanted and they don’t actually cost too much more as I’ll explain later.Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

Morgan put our names into the computer and once we got settled, we were soon all set for our game of bowling. BattleKid wasn’t sure at first but as soon as he saw someone in a lane nearby knocking down the pins with their ball he shout “crash” and wanted to do the same. We used the ball launcher and had the sides up for him and off he went. He couldn’t quite understand why we had to take turns and in the end we let him take most of the turns to save having a tantrum. To be honest we didn’t mind at all, we just had to have patience while he decided which ball he wanted to use, all based on colour mind you, not weight! I have to say I was very impressed with our server, Morgan, as soon as she realised BattleKid was taking all our goes she asked if we wanted the bumpers up permanently and we said that might be best.Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

Each lane, VIP or regular, has a dedicated lane server to get you drinks and food if you want, handy for parents who might not want to leave their children unattended. There are also ample ball launchers for younger children or wheelchair users (there was a wheelchair users using one in a lane near us). The lanes are wheelchair friendly with ramps for chairs and plenty of space around them.

During our game the manager, Keith from Dublin of all places, came over to say hi and to make sure we were being taken good care of, which we were. Morgan had brought us over our drinks and sorted out the bumpers for us without us having to ask. Halfway through our game the lighting on the lanes was changed and it looked mightily impressive, very cool I have to say.

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff
Before the lighting change
Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff
After the lighting change

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

BattleKid thoroughly enjoyed his game of bowling, with a little help from mum and dad at setting up his balls for him. He enjoyed pushing the balls down the launcher and watching the pins being knocked down, all accompanied by shouts of “crash”. He even managed to get a few strikes which was more than what mum and dad may have managed had we been allowed to take our turns. We were both very surprised that his attention was kept for the majority of the game as we were sure he’d lose interest before we’d gotten halfway through. Who knew a game of bowling would be such a hit with a two year old!

As I’ve mentioned the new decor is brilliant and the Hollywood theme is evident throughout the Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff, with Hollywood stars on the lanes and floors, and pictures of famous actors and actresses decorating the VIP section.Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

As we neared the end of our game Morgan came to take our food order to ensure it would be ready once we’d finished our game and were ready to move to the diner. We were given the option of eating at our lane but we thought it would be best to sit at a table with BattleKid. The diner in the Hollywood in Cardiff is called Harry’s and has a good number of seating available with booths as well as comfy chairs. Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

We were seated in a booth and our food was with us in minutes. It was nice and hot when it arrived and looked great. BattleDad chose a Sloppy Joes Burger while I went for a Chicken Caesar Salad and we asked for a children’s chicken nuggets and chips. I have to say the food was really tasty and fresh. BattleDad’s burger was delicious and BattleKid’s chicken nuggets were really yummy, made from fresh chicken too. BattleDad commented that his fries were tasty and the burger and bun were really good quality.

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff
BattleKid’s lunch
Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff
BattleMum’s lunch
Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff
BattleDad’s lunch

Another plus was our drinks. BattleDad and I went for lemonades and were glad they actually tasted of lemonade, while BattleKid had an apple juice. They weren’t watered down like some fast food chains. Another thing I’ll say about the food at the Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff is the menu is quite good and the portions are generous, they don’t skimp on food quantity. While my salad was nice and tasty I ended up wishing I’d gone for the Empire Burger as recommended by Morgan, but there’s always next time (and there will be a next time).

After we finished our lunch, and after we had high-fived the Hollywood Mouse (see below), BattleDad brought BattleKid into the arcade while I spoke to reception to get some information on prices (see below). We had promised him a ride on the car at the entrance so off the boys went while I got the particulars. Once I’d spoken to the girl at reception I joined the boys and did one car ride with the boy before we headed to the Lightening McQueen car for BattleKid to have a go in before we headed home.Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff

What we liked about Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff:

  • Great, fresh, modern decor.
  • Regular and VIP lanes which won’t break the bank.
  • VIP lanes have coloured pins and pro-bowls and are perfect for quiet family games away from the crowds, or for intimate parties.
  • Can wear your own shoes provided they are flats.
  • Plenty of lanes (26) and ball launchers too.
  • Wheelchair accessible.
  • Parking is free within the Red Dragon centre car park and there are plenty of spaces.
  • Diner has also been redecorated.
  • Food is tasty, fresh and with generous portions.
  • Soft drinks are not watered down like in other fast food retailers.
  • There is a bar serving alcoholic drinks for over 18’s.
  • Each lane has a dedicated lane server meaning parents do not need to leave children unattended.
  • Arcade area to keep kids and adults entertained before or after your game of bowling.
  • Value-for-money.

What we didn’t like about Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff:

  • Nothing, we had a great time!

I have to say our experience of the Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff was nothing like I’d envisaged and was a thoroughly enjoyable outing for us. We hadn’t been sure of what BattleKid would make of it all, given he is only 2, but he enjoyed himself and to our surprise his attention was kept throughout the game of bowling. He was really well-behaved and even got a strike sticker from Morgan for his efforts. Stickers win all the time.

We came away very impressed by both the service we had received and the decor of the revamped Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff, and now that we know BattleKid will enjoy it, we can see us returning in the not so distant future. I can highly recommend the Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff as a place to spend a few quality hours together as a family having fun!

Thanks again to everyone at the Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff for a very enjoyable first game of bowling with BattleKid.

Cath x

Hollywood Bowl in Cardiff
High Five!


Our Visit to Bristol Zoo

Having not spent Easter with BattleDad we decided to take BattleKid to Bristol Zoo on the first weekend of April and today I’m sharing with you a round-up of our visit to Bristol Zoo. I looked into buying tickets online and decided to buy annual tickets as we would probably be back a few times in the year seeing as BattleKid is older and starting to become more interested in animals, so it would work out cheaper to get an annual ticket.

Armed with a printout of our confirmation email we set off before 8.30am on the Saturday and headed over the Severn to Bristol Zoo. We arrived around 9.30 and made our way to the membership desk to get our cards. The lovely lady at the desk explained our membership pack, took our pictures and we were set.

First stop was the flamingos, BattleKid’s aunties favourite. BattleKid looked on in awe as we watched one stamp the ground at the water’s edge before gobbling up whatever he or she had been after.

our visit to bristol zoo

our visit to bristol zoo

We then headed to the lion enclosure where BattleKid exclaimed “oh lion” before giving a roar as he does at the right parts in our ‘How to Hide a Lion’ story books. Imagine his delight when he realised there were two big cats in the enclosure.our visit to bristol zoo

We made our way clockwise around the zoo from the lions, passing the red pandas and giant tortoise which BattleKid thought was a dog! We then went into the reptile house and showed BattleKid the lizards which we called dragons for him and he loved them. BattleDad and I had a leopard gecko until a few years ago so we’ve always had a fondness for lizards, although I don’t like them all and definitely won’t have one as a pet again. BattleKid also enjoyed seeing the different types of frogs in the reptile house.

We decided to have a pit stop at the food court, so BattleKid tucked into fruit and a yogurt I had brought with us while BattleDad and I had cake and tea. It cost us £10.50 for two of each, which considering the size of the slices of cake we got was actually reasonable in our opinion. BattleKid had a little bit of cake but soon lost interest much to our delight. We polished them off and got on our way again.

Next on the agenda was the gorilla enclosure to show BattleKid one of his favourite animals. He is mad about monkeys ever since George entered his life nearly a year ago. Zoos can be a little bitter-sweet for me having been born in Africa but at the same time I do think they are a good place for children to see and learn about animals they would only see on TV, and if they help with conservation then all the better.our visit to bristol zoo

Soon after the gorillas we arrived at the highlight of our visit to Bristol Zoo for both BattleKid and us: the penguins. He has loved penguins just as much as monkeys, particularly since we started reading the Oliver Jeffers book “Lost and Found” which features a ‘pen pen’.

One particular penguin came over to BattleKid and he spent ages looking at him and talking to the ‘pen pen’. I think if we could have taken that penguin home with us BattleKid would have been overjoyed. It was lovely just watching his little face light up when the penguin came over to him. It is like it knew what it would mean to this small boy to interact for a minute with him.

our visit to bristol zoo
Watching the penguins swimming

our visit to bristol zoo

our visit to bristol zoo
Saying hi to the “pen pen”

BattleKid eventually prized himself away from that penguin to watch others swimming in the water, still truly fascinated by them. We then saw the seals swimming in their pool before going underneath to watch them in the water. It never ceases to amaze me how graceful a creature they are in the water. In the aquarium section we came across an interactive sensory feature that combined bubbles and different coloured lights which BattleKid did not want to leave. He spent a long time just watching the bubbles float upwards while the light changed colour. We had to remind ourselves that this was the first time he had ever seen anything like this and to be patient while he discovered it in his own good time. He also watched the seals through a port hole.

our visit to bristol zoo
Sensory Lights and Bubbles
our visit to bristol zoo
Peering through a port hole at the seals

Soon after the penguins and seals, little legs started to give way and a small boy asked to get into his buggy. We decided to wizz by the meerkats and through the butterfly house before heading to the car, having spent the best part of two hours at the zoo by that stage. We didn’t see all the animals but as we now have annual membership we can return at our leisure and maybe go anticlockwise next time to ensure we see the animals we missed.

We had a lovely few hours during our visit to Bristol Zoo as a family, spending quality time together amongst the animals after missing spending Easter together. Needless-to-say a small boy slept the whole way home and then some! And he loves his new ‘pen-pen’ we picked up in the gift shop on our way out.

For details on visiting Bristol Zoo and ticket prices, please visit their website. We’re looking forward to our next visit to Bristol Zoo already!

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

Our Visit to the Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary

Two weekends ago we were undecided what to do with ourselves on the Saturday. We generally only plan something for Saturday as Sunday involves swimming followed by brunch and BattleKid’s nap. We didn’t want to stay indoors if it was dry out but couldn’t make our minds up. We had an early enough breakfast and afterwards we were upstairs, me starting to clear my office desk, BattleDad and BattleKid watching bike videos together on YouTube. BattleDad decided “that’s it, we’re going out” so I stopped mid-cleaning and we got ourselves dressed and headed for the Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary.

The Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary lies a few miles off the A465 from Glyn-neath and is exactly as it sounds; a sanctuary for apes and monkeys of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

We arrived within 30 minutes of leaving the house and BattleDad went to pay in the office as I sat in the car with a snoozing BattleKid. BattleDad came back with our receipt, parking ticket, a book about the monkeys at the sanctuary and a small monkey teddy for BattleKid. He woke up after and we asked if he wanted a surprise, not that he knows what one is.

We started off with the left hand enclosures from the car park and saw a variety of monkeys including Gibbon, Baboons, Spider Monkeys and Lemurs.Wales ape and monkey 1

Wales ape and monkey 2

Wales ape and monkey 3

Wales ape and monkey 6

Wales ape and monkey 9

On one enclosure we saw one monkey race over to another and give it a hug. I even caught it on video. It was very sweet. BattleKid was mesmerised, as he loves monkeys from his obsession with Curious George! We didn’t bring BattleKid’s buggy and instead let him walk around at his own pace. He enjoyed it and all we could hear was “oh monkey, wow, monkey”.

On the right hand side of the car park was an area of enclosures which housed two wolves and the chimpanzees, separately of course. The chimps were hilarious. One in particular was blowing raspberries as we got around to him and he then proceeded to mimic the actions another visitor was doing. No wonder they are considered our closest relatives in the animal world. When we passed him for a second time he’d wrapped himself in a purple blanket!Wales ape and monkey 4

Wales ape and monkey 8

We only spent about an hour to an hour and a half there but BattleKid thoroughly enjoyed it. I can see us visiting many more times in the future as BattleKid gets older.

The Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary is open throughout the year from 10.30 to dusk and costs £6.50 per adult, £3.95 for 3-14 year old while under 3’s are free. You can get yearly passes too. There is a charity shop on site, you can sponsor an animal for a year from £30 and you can even be a keeper for a day for £100. For this you get to accompany regular keepers as they feed, clean and look after the animals. I’ll definitely let BattleKid do this when he’s older if he wants. I might even join him!

The Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary is not very big but there does seem to be signs of expansion plans in place. There’s a good variety of monkeys to see and it’s really nice knowing they’ve been saved from an uncertain fate due to various circumstances like zoo closures or sold as pets in the Far East. Many of these animals may have been put to sleep or used as laboratory subjects if Jan and Graham Garen hadn’t rescued them and brought them to South Wales.

So if you are based in or are visiting South Wales, especially with animal mad little ones, why not check out the Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary for a family day out.

Our visit to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor

Last weekend saw us travel to the Midlands to bring BattleKid to see Father Christmas at Drayton Manor and to visit Thomas Land there. We had been due to spend the weekend near Birmingham with my sister-in-law Corrina (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ) and the mini Stones but we were unable to stay the weekend. However, that didn’t stop us travelling up on Saturday morning to meet up with BattleKid’s cousins for a day of train fun!

We got up early and had a quick breakfast, packed the car and we were on the road by 8am. It was quite windy out and we could really feel it in the Landy. I decided to sit in the back with BattleKid in case he was sick, as we’d both been ill during the week in the run up to Saturday, and I thought it was a safer bet to be near both him and the sick bags! He didn’t nap on the way up until 20 minutes from Drayton Manor. Beforehand we chatted away to each other, sang songs, spotted trucks and buses and played peep with his Trunki Yondi!Playing peep

We arrived at Thomas Land at 10am, about 15 minutes after Corrina and the family and we parked the car easily enough and made our way inside. Thomas Land20151205_101338They had to go see Father Christmas pretty much straight away so we stopped by the Knapford Station for a cuppa tea and a sausage roll, BattleKid having healthier fruit and a yogurt pouch. He was amazed to see the trains up close and personal and he decided to drag BattleDad out to see the trains leaving from Knapford Station.


Snapchat-3942724731354969604 I got my best picture of the day of him pointing out a Rudolph Thomas! Such a cutie if I do say so myself.

Rudolph Thomas
Rudolph Thomas

Once Corrina and the mini Stones had seen Father Christmas we met up with them briefly before it was our turn to go see the man in the red coat. Nan had sent over a Thomas the Tank Engine hat and jumper for BattleKid, and he very quickly let us know he wanted to swap hats. Needless-to-say the Thomas hat did not come off his head until we were in the car going home later! We joined our queue a few minutes early and were let in to make our way to the entrance of the Castle of Dreams where Father Christmas was. Each child received a silver medal as a memento of the day just before going in to see Father Christmas. We didn’t have to wait too long before it was our turn to go in and see him.

BattleKid really wasn’t sure about him at first, clinging onto BattleDad and saying “No” to anything we tried to get him to do. We gave him back his dummy (which I tried to confiscate for the pictures) and once he had that he relaxed and started to chill out, albeit still on BattleDad’s lap. We helped him answer Father Christmas when he asked what he’d like for Christmas (bikes, cars and trains) and he said Thank You when he received his present from Father Christmas. We had our picture taken before leaving him to let someone else come in.

Each child received a gift bag with a giant gold chocolate coin, a Drayton Manor Magical Christmas money-box which can be hung from the tree and a voucher for a free child place for entry into Drayton Manor in 2016 with a fee paying adult. In my opinion this was ok considering the price for entry to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor and the visit to Father Christmas only cost £20 per adult, and under 3’s go free. Please note that the Drayton Manor rides themselves are closed during this time of year. Once outside we made our way to the photo station and we chose to get the print and two snowflake tree decorations for £20. You also get a code to access your photo online so you can print it out or use it as your Christmas card image.Christmas Tree in the Castle of Dreams

After the photo station is a grotto in the Castle with reindeer, Christmas trees, face painting and an area to write a wish and post it in the magical letter box. We didn’t do this for BattleKid this time around but I’m sure we’ll be visiting again and will do it when he is a bit older. I have to say that Father Christmas was really, really lovely and so understanding with an uneasy toddler. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer Father Christmas to visit for the first time ever as a family!

Once we were finished and had visited the bathrooms we rejoined with the Stones and I took BattleKid on the Lady’s Carousel, which he really enjoyed, especially once I told him it was a horsey!

Selfie with my boy on the carousel
Selfie with my boy on the carousel

After this I took him on the Sodor Classic Cars ride with some of his cousins and he did not want to get off, despite a long queue for it! He calmed down quick enough and we made our way to get a bite to eat after his cousins had been on Bertie Bus. We ate at the Burger Kitchen and after along wait for our food we were left feeling rather disappointed. BattleKid’s chicken nuggets were ok but our burgers weren’t great. This was the only real disappointment of the day.

From here we made our way around past Knapford Station towards the back of Thomas Land to let BattleKid’s cousins go on more rides and to try their luck as ‘Hook-a-Duck’. It had been windy all day long and by this stage BattleKid was getting a bit tired and cold so we put him in his buggy and put socks on his hands (mama forgot his gloves) and put his Trunki snuggle blanket around him. Snug as a bugHe warmed up quickly but refused to nap, scared he would miss something! We caught part of the 2pm show on the balcony of Knapford station before going back to look in one of the shops while the mini Stones went on some more rides. I have to say I think BattleKid will love Thomas Land even more than he did this time when he’s a few years older, and so will we!20151205_140545

Just before 3pm we decided to say our goodbyes and head for home. We were gutted not to be able to spend the weekend in the Midlands with the Stones but still enjoyed our day with them and can’t wait to see them again, be it in Ireland or the UK. Unfortunately we were enjoying ourselves with them so much we forgot to get any pictures of us all together!

It took us just under two hours to get home and BattleKid slept the whole way home. I have to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our day at Thomas Land. For £20 per adult, and BattleKid free of charge, it was worth the money. We had fun on the rides and Father Christmas was really lovely, a nice man to see on our first time as a family. Thomas Land is nicely decorated for the festive season and there’s even snow at the end of the show on the balcony at Knapford station.

There is only two things that could have made the day better for us. Better food at the Burger Kitchen and if we’d had a chance to take a ride on the trains departing from Knapford Station. I just didn’t think of it when we were waiting for Corrina to see Father Christmas and by the time we had returned to the area around the station after lunch the queues were quite long. I guess that’s something to look forward to on our next visit. We also missed the fireworks as we had to leave to drive home and didn’t get a chance to visit the zoo either, but again these are things to look forward to the next time we go to Thomas Land, which we definitely will!

Corrina has also written about the visit to Thomas Land and you can read her post now. Magical Christmas at Drayton Manor runs until 31st December on select days. The park gates open at 9.45 am and rides start at 10.30am. Entry to the park only costs £15 per adult, £10 for ages 4-11, £5 for ages 2-3 and under 2’s go free, with free car parking, of which there is ample space. To include a visit to the Castle of Dreams to meet Father Christmas and receive the gift bag and silver medal, it costs £20 per adult, £15 for ages 4-11, £10 for ages 2-3, and again under 2’s go free. These are the online and pre-book ticket prices. You can buy park tickets at the gate (not including the Castle of Dreams) but prices are double for adults and ages 4-11, so I’d advise pre-booking.