Yup I’m still refusing to call Harley anything other than a toddler. He’s too young to be deemed a child (despite what entrance fees say!) so I’m sticking with toddler for now. He is however growing up so quickly that it hurts. He’s mega independent and gets himself in and out of his car seat now (I obviously strap him in), can recite the alphabet and has a huge repertoire of songs he can quickly perform on demand. Ahh time needs to slow down! Anyway, we’ve been on lots of days out recently with me being on maternity leave at the moment so thought I’d share some of fave toddler days out in the Midlands (and slightly further afield).
Tamworth, Staffordshire B78 3TW
Well mainly Thomas Land but this place is amazing. Thomas Land is a must-visit for any Thomas the Tank Engine fan and houses 20 rides themed around the character and his friends, all suitable for toddlers. The park also has a number of bigger thrill rides such as Shockwave, Apocalypse (this ride scarred me so much as a teenager!) and G Force, as well as a 15 acre zoo. You can easily spend a full day there. Tickets are usually £39 for adults (cheaper if pre-booked), £7 for 2-3 year olds and under 2’s are free. But if you’re visiting during school term time they offer a Adult and Toddler ticket for £22 as well as an additional adult for £18.
Alton, Staffordshire ST10 4DB
Another local theme park we’re big fans of is Alton Towers although gone are the days I’d spend hours on Oblivion, Nemisis and The Black Hole (anybody else remember it?!), now we’re all about cBeebies Land. There’s a real mix of rides (Harley’s favourites were the Octonaunts Rollercoaster and Go Jetters Vroomster Zoom Ride), shows and experiences as well as character meet and greets. There’s lots to experience in the main park too including Sharkbait Reef by SEA LIFE – a mini SEA LIFE centre. Tickets are usually £55 on the day (£33 if booked online) and under three’s go free, however last time we went it worked out almost the same to stay over at the park’s Enchanted Village in a Woodland Lodge with a Midweek Deal – definitely worth taking a look online to see what deals are available.
Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 8UP
We had such a great day out here and it was totally free. There are four hangars to explore packed with aircraft, exhibitions and memorabilia as well as a flight simulator and 4D experience (charges apply for both of these). Whilst Harley was a little too young to understand the history of the planes he loved seeing the aircraft and had the best time in in the interactive Fun ‘n’ Flight gallery. Here there are lots of experiments to test your ability to fly a plane and learn more about the science behind flying. It all got a bit competitive whilst we were trying to guide a Hercules to the drop zone!
Birches Valley Forest Centre WS15 2UQ
Ok so this place is huge but we’ve been to the Birches Valley Forest Centre a few times – there is so much to do. There’s lots of exploring to be done, as well trails, a huge adventure play ground and a Go Ape Tree Top Adventure. Last year we visited whilst The Gruffalo AR experience was available, sadly it’s no longer there but there’s still a big statue of The Gruffalo which is mega exciting for the kids and makes a great photo op.
Birmingham B1 2HL
We’re huge fans of this place – it’s warm, dry and was our go-to place last year when I was heavily pregnant. The set-up is great and there are lots of different exhibitions including the Jelly Invaders and Octopus Hideout as well as a 4D cinema. My top tip if you’re visiting during term time is to go early afternoon, usually most of the school trips have finished so it’s much quieter. Also beware you have to leave via a soft play and gift shop so if you’re short on time or not planning on buying anything distraction tactics are everything.
If you’re looking to go a little further afield, we visited Legoland Windsor earlier this year (twice in fact as the first attempt was spent mainly at Wexford Park Hospital), you can see my review here.
Have you had any great days out recently? We’re always looking for somewhere new to try.
The Aspiring Yummy Mummy. x