Thursday, 25 April 2019

Paradise Wildlife Park - Family Day Out

I love a good day out with the kids and Paradise Wildlife Park is defiantly one of my favourite places to visit. Thinking about it the last time we were here was for Harley's first ever school trip back in July 2016! Today (Sunday 21st April2019) was our first time at the park with daddy (Matt) which is just crazy considering we've been here a few times already, but he was very impressed with his first visit and could not believe the size of the park and the amount of things there are to see and do.

paradise wildlife park

The park is located in Broxbourne Hertfordshire. It is split across two, on one side you have all the playground apparatus, a splash park and the dinosaur exhibit. On the other side you have the animals. Considering it isn't your usual zoo the amount of animals they take care of is huge!
paradise wildlife park paradise wildlife park

We entered the park via the discovery centre as apposed to the main entrance as we were very kindly gifted a family pass for the day. This led us to a part of the park I had never actually been to. Here we saw many different species of bird like parrots, a kookaburra, a harris hawk and we even saw a baby owl! Ella was most impressed by all the different species owls they had as she is REALLY into her Harry Potter at the moment, her favourite was the great grey owl who came out during the bird show we watched later on in the day. A little fact we learnt during the bird show too is that owls actually can't turn their heads all the way around, did you know this?
paradise wildlife park paradise wildlife parkparadise wildlife park paradise wildlife park 
Next we headed towards the big cat section. Here you can see a great variety of different big cats, my favourite of course has to be the snow leopards! Every time we have been we have been lucky enough to see them, and this time one walked right past Harley when he was standing by the glass. We actually saw a lady doing an experience day where she got to feed the snow leopard so we really did get to see them quite close up.
We also saw the white lions who were quite happily lounging around and enjoying the sun. The park is building a new home for the white lions and is due to be ready in May 2019.
Other big cats we spotted were a tiger, a cheetah and a few jaguars just lounging around, one of them was just laying there on a tree branch all fours dangling.

paradise wildlife park 
There are several talks about the different animals at the park throughout the day and we managed to catch the penguin and the reptile talk. During the penguin talk we learned how the keepers identify each penguin by their chin stripes, there is one penguin who was very easy to spot as he had two stripes unlike any of the others. Then during the reptile talk we met a snake, it was very interesting to know that the snake could tell the shape and size of everyone in the room just by its tongue!

After we had a good wander round looking at all the different animals we decided to sit down and have some lunch. There are lots of picnic benches dotted around and even picnic areas too. We brought our own lunch, but there is onsite food places also.
Once we had finished lunch we ventured on to the other side to see the dinosaur exhibit.
The dinosaur exhibit is a MUST for any dinosaur fans, they are of what feels a realistic size the dinosaur would be and look out of this world! For each dinosaur there are plaques with facts about each one. Did you know that velociraptors were actually closer to the size of a turkey than how they are portrayed in the movies?

paradise wildlife park paradise wildlife park

paradise wildlife park paradise wildlife park

paradise wildlife park paradise wildlife park

paradise wildlife park

paradise wildlife park paradise wildlife park
There were a few things that we didn't manage to do such as the splash park (even though I did come prepared with swim wear and towels) the soft play or mini golf.
It honestly is such a great day out for all the family, even Harrison who is just 9 months old enjoyed looking at the different animals. I know for sure we will be back here.
paradise wildlife park paradise wildlife park

paradise wildlife park

Let me know if you've been here or are planning a visit, what are you most excited to see?
Be sure to check out their website for opening times and prices -
And thank you again to Paradise Wildlife Park for having us, we had the BEST day.


Sunday, 21 April 2019

Space2Play - Easter Holidays

The Easter holidays are almost over for us, but I thought I’d share some of the exciting new things we got up to.
I wanted to try and check out as many places that we hadn’t  been to since moving here in May last year, and what better way to get stuck in than during a school holiday.
Since having Harrison we haven't got out like we used to, but now that he is that bit older (and I'm more confident with breastfeeding in public) I finally feel we can start to enjoy our time out and explore more.

Out first stop was to a new (for us) soft play area in Hitchin called Space2Play.

First impressions were great when entering the building. At the desk they give you a card with a number on and the childrens shoes go into a basket with the same number, you also use this card to pay when exiting the building. I was able to add on the zip wire fee through the card too meaning that I only had one payment upon exiting. As I didn't use the cafe I'm unsure if you could do the same for that in terms of adding it onto the card, I would like to think you could. 
UPDATE: we was back here on the Friday and you can indeed add the food into your card. There is a great selection of food for adults and children.
There are two different play areas, one for older children and one for under 2's which has a toddler and baby area. There is also a high up zip wire which opened at certain times for an extra £2, children are to wear safety harnesses provided when riding. Ella was going to go on it, but she decided not to in the end and they did not charge me. But when we revisited on Friday she gave it a go and really enjoyed it.
There were also some go karts, but sadly they didn't open it in the 2/3 hours we spent there. That was an extra £1 per ride/child.
Again they didn’t open it up when we were there on Friday, so I’m wondering if you physically put the £1 in the kart and can go on them whenever as apposed to set times.
There is a very large seating area with tables and chairs spaced out nicely, and a small cafe. I didn't purchase anything from the cafe or look at the menu on our first visit, but I noticed others buying hot food, coffees and having it delivered to their table which is always handy. However on our second visit I did purchase myself and the kids some hot food. I had the ham and cheese panini which comes with crisps and salad, it was very tasty. The kids had a hot dog/burger which both came with chips, cucumber and carrot sticks. They were decent size portions, but my children are fussy buggers so they didn’t eat it all.
space2play food   space2play food
I have to say it is very clean and tidy, both kids came out with clean socks! I say clean basically they weren’t black on the bottoms which is usually a given when soft playing. Another little thing to add is that the staff were great at making regular announcements when older children kept entering the under 2’s section.
space2play under 2
Now onto the price. Ella (8) and Harley (6) were £9 each and Harrison being under 1 was only £1, and for myself FREE! In all honesty the fact you don’t have to pay for an adult is a BIG hit with me, I will never understand why soft plays charge an adult pretty much the same for a child. Without food our total was £19, but our second visit cost £35 rounded. 

If you are in the area I would definitely recommend visiting this play area, I know we will be back again.


Monday, 8 April 2019

Baby Bath Time Essentials

Bath time can be a little exciting/daunting to any new parent, there are so many new 'gadgets' and products out there these days that I thought I would share with you what I find to be my personal baby bath essentials/favourites.  

First off nice and simple is a baby bath. Any will do, but I would recommend the IKEA baby bath I loved the design and funnily enough it was the cheapest one I'd looked at, just £7.

Once it is time to move out of the baby bath the Angelcare baby bath support is an absolute must have. (I do believe it fits in some baby baths, but we never tried it that way) Or you can just go straight into the big bath with this support, but if you want to save some water then a baby bath first.

We actually used the baby bath support a little longer than the recommended age limit, but after that we moved onto the Angelcare bath seat once we felt Harrison could hold himself better.

Harrison has eczema prone skin so we have to be careful what we put into his bath. Our personal favourite is Childs Farm baby bedtime bubbles. It's been approved by dermatologists and paediatricians so we know it is not going to cause a flare up with his eczema, it's also tangerine scented so he comes out smelling sweet and fresh.

We were using the Childs Farm baby shampoo, but Harrison was developing a thick layer of cradle cap at the top of his head (not due to the shampoo) so we switched to Dentinox cradle cap shampoo and it cleared it up really fast. We had used this shampoo previously with the older two children so we knew it worked well.

Last but not least a simple soft sponge. You can get these in a variety of places and they can come in many shapes and sizes, but we use some round ones from Asda.

Harrison has a bath every other day to help not dry his skin out too much, plus that is just how we have always done it. Matt is also the 'main' bather in our house, I think it's nice seeing as there are some things that only I do.

Be sure to let me know your bath time favourites and must haves and who is the main bather in your house?