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Weekend in Leicester: What Did We Get Up To?

This is a collaborative post with Leicestershire Promotions

Last Friday, I wrote about our weekend getaway with Stay Play Explore – with huge thanks to Leicestershire Promotions. It was surprisingly hassle-free travelling up to Leicester from sunny Brighton with the two kids in tow. My stepson, James did a sterling job of fake arm wrestling Emma for most of the journey – you wouldn’t believe the amount of joy she got from it!

When we arrived at the hotel, we dumped our bags and did what any family with a toddler does – we let Emma run full pelt down a very long corridor. Or is that just me? She absolutely loves doing this, as we don’t really have big hallways at home and eventually collapsed in a heap when she’d had enough. We then had a little look around and found the swimming pool so James could go for a swim. I always think it’s a massive plus having a swimming pool to keep the older children entertained and it was a spacious pool too with a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.

We then made our decisions – we knew Emma would love going to a zoo to see the animals, so decided on Twycross Zoo. It sounded lovely and although there was a safari to visit as well, I thought she’d love it. Next we decided on the Space Centre as we’d never visited anywhere like it. We also wanted to try the water park – Emma loves swimming and James just loves the slides but agreed that we’d just play it by ear. So off we went…

Twycross Zoo

In the morning, we set off and it was pretty grey and miserable outside, but we soldiered on to see the monkeys! We needn’t have worried though as when we arrived at Twycross Zoo, we saw a huge soft play area with a little Costa next to it. It was perfect for a rainy day and we paid £3.50 extra for James and Emma to play while we had a cheeky coffee. There was also a big monkey saying hello to all the children, which I thought was lovely. This soft play had several different areas and was had an under 5 year olds section, so Emma didn’t feel intimidated at all – not that she has much of a problem with standing her ground these days.

Once the rain had cleared, we started having a look round the zoo and saw so many animals – monkeys, a gorilla, elephants, giraffes, zebras, a huge turtle and deers too. There are lots of wide open spaces for toddlers to roam on their own and Emma was so excited, especially when we saw the elephants. It was a fantastic afternoon together with so much to see and fun for all the family. To finish it off, we had a fish and chips from the zoo’s fish bar before heading home for Emma’s afternoon sleep.

National Space Centre

I was so intrigued to visit the National Space Centre – I’d never been anywhere like it but as we saw a few signs for it on the journey up, we all really wanted to check it out. As any parents of toddlers will know, when you spend the night in a hotel – the day starts early. Emma was up at the crack of dawn and almost immediately spotted her brother sleeping. “James James…wake up”. When he didn’t wake up, she decided to stand by his bed staring at him (poor boy) so breakfast started soon after and we arrived at the Space Centre at 10am. We didn’t realise it but this was actually the opening time, though to us it felt like lunchtime.

We all found the National Space Centre so interesting – it is another place with wide open spaces and also huge rockets in the hallway, which were spectacular. Emma couldn’t stop saying “woooooow” everywhere she went, and also loved the twinkly lights (stars) she saw on some of the screens. There was so much to see and I’m sure we didn’t quite cover all of it but we went upstairs to see the videos about the man on the moon. Here we found a 1960’s room, which Emma adored. She’s a big fan of an office in general so she was in her element and discovered an old-fashioned telephone and a typewriter for the first time.

Afterwards the boys went to the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium to watch a video on the history of rocket science, which lasted about half an hour. We did initially take Emma in too, but it was a little dark in the beginning and she got scared so I took her out. Having looked on the website, they give age guidelines for each of the screenings so it’s worth checking before you go in with little ones. The planetarium was impressive though and the seats reclined to give an amazing, interactive experience.

Unfortunately, after our visit was over, it was time to head back to Brighton and we didn’t quite have enough time for the water park. Our family ticket offered us 3 attractions but even though we only packed in two, I felt we got amazing value for money. The tickets are £149 for 2 adults and 2 children with 3 attractions and 1 night’s accommodation. I imagine it would be easier to fit in more when Emma is older and doesn’t need her afternoon nap. We had such a fantastic time and I was so pleased we took the trip up for a weekend together. I’d really recommend this one for a family getaway that’s hassle-free and fun for all the family!

Disclaimer: We were given a complimentary Stay Play Explore Family Fun ticket for 2 adults and 2 children for the purpose of the review, including one night’s accommodation at Hilton Leicester.


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I’d love your vote in the Brilliance in Blogging 2017 awards in the FRESH VOICE category.

If you enjoy reading my blog, you can vote here – it only takes 5 minutes, thank you! http://www.britmums.com/nominate-for-the-bibs2017/



  1. Sam | North East Family Fun Blog
    May 19, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    I am so excited to visit the Space Centre next month after your pics – my three children will love it x

  2. May 25, 2017 / 8:23 am

    What a fab weekend and you packed in loads too. I think 3 things is ambitious with a toddler too! We love a zoo trip! And that 30’s themed room was great, I’d love an old phone. Thank you for linking up to #PointShoot

  3. May 27, 2017 / 2:16 am

    All of that in one weekend! What fun and gorgeous shots too! #pointshoot xoxo

  4. May 30, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    We live in the midlands, yet I’ve never thought of heading over to Leicester for the Soace Centre. – wills wfiNteky be adding it to our list of day trips for the summer! Thanks!

  5. May 30, 2017 / 5:41 pm

    looks like you packed quite a bit into your weekend. All of it looks great and your pics are awesome #dreamteam

  6. May 30, 2017 / 5:42 pm

    I’ve learnt something today.. a space centre in Leicester!! My eldest will love that!!! Lovely photos too looks like you had lots of fun and yes def got to have a corridor run!!! 🙂 Nicky xx #DreamTeam

  7. May 30, 2017 / 5:55 pm

    Twycross Zoo is brilliant isn’t it? I haven’t been since having Little Man so I would love to take him. I hadn’t actually given it a thought until now so thanks for giving me the idea! #DreamTeam

  8. May 30, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    I can’t wait to take the LO to the zoo. I’ve been waiting until he can understand a bit better, and it looks like so much fun! #dreamteam

  9. May 30, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Looking forward to visiting the zoo with the LO as well! #dreamteam

  10. May 30, 2017 / 8:25 pm

    Wow that place looks absolutely amazing! £3.50 for soft play too and Costas nearby – you can’t go wrong with that! Amazing shots of the animals too. 🙂 #DreamTeam

  11. May 30, 2017 / 11:27 pm

    Glad you all had an awesome day!


  12. May 30, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    How do you manage to do it all??? This looks amazing!!!


  13. May 31, 2017 / 6:15 am

    Sounds like a great weekend. I’ve always wanted to visit the space centre x

  14. May 31, 2017 / 7:15 am

    Looks like you had a great little trip away! that play zone looks like it would keep my feral children busy for a few hours! The zoo looks amazing!!


  15. May 31, 2017 / 10:03 am

    Sounds like an awesome weekend – I didn’t realise Leicester had so much to offer! The zoo looks brilliant! #dreamteam

  16. May 31, 2017 / 11:37 am

    Looks like you all had a fab day- I love the sound of the Space Centre my 8yo would definitely be interested in that. Funnily I’m reading this on a train to your hometown Brighton for an adventure with the kiddos!! #DreamTeam

    • May 31, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Ah how funny! Hope you have a fab time, the sun is shining for you 🙂 xx

  17. May 31, 2017 / 11:55 am

    Some fab place to explore, awhile a go we went to the tropical birldand in Leicester and we had such a fab time. Definitely recommend if you go to Leicester again X #dreamteam

    • May 31, 2017 / 12:01 pm

      Oh that sounds amazing, we’ll have to go next time…the boys already have their heart set on the safari and water park so another trip is on the cards! X

  18. May 31, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    I love the zoo! I didn’t even know the space centre was there! #DreamTeam

  19. May 31, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    Wow, there is so much to do here!!! Sounds interesting and definitely one to try when our little boy is a little older!! I am in awe that you managed to do so much with a toddler. Go you! 🙂 x #dreamteam

  20. Mom Of Two Little Girls
    May 31, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    My kids love the zoo, even though we live in Africa. And they would have gone bonkers at the space centre.
    Thanks for sharing

  21. May 31, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    #dreamteam …so I’m guessing you came back more exhausted than before you left? i was shattered just reading through all you got up to, don’t blame you for not cramming in attraction 3…save it for another adventure 🙂

  22. May 31, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    Space centre and a zoo in one weekend: fantastic! Love the post and the pictures.

  23. May 31, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    Wow! looks like awesome place for whole family! need to check how to get there from my place:)

  24. May 31, 2017 / 10:33 pm

    Wow what an eventful weekend together! I love the look of that zoo, we love a visit to the zoo and haven’t done this one. I think Lewis would love the space centre too! Gorgeous photos as always! #dreamteam

  25. May 31, 2017 / 11:35 pm

    Looks like you had a great trip! We visited Twycross last year for our little boys birthday and really enjoyed it! #dreamteam

  26. talkingmums1
    June 1, 2017 / 7:28 am

    Sounds action packed! Looks fab though and worth a visit x

  27. June 1, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful zoo!!! Lovely pics and what a lovely trip you look like you had!

  28. diynige
    June 1, 2017 / 8:00 pm

    What an amazing weekend and you really got so much done looks like you had a fab time thanks for hosting #dreamteam

  29. June 1, 2017 / 10:09 pm

    It looks like you had a great time, I would love to go to the space centre! #dreamteam

  30. June 2, 2017 / 6:35 pm

    I am amazed that you managed to fit so much in. Emma looks like she had a lovely time, and I agree that having a swimming pool in the hotel really makes a difference. What a lovely little family trip. #Dreamteam xx

  31. June 2, 2017 / 10:21 pm

    That sounds like such a good value weekend break! The Space Centre looks incredible and I’m sure that “Daddy Pig” would love that! The highlight of all of our mini-breaks is always seeing the tots chase up the corridors in the hotel too. It’s such a tradition haha. Thanks for co-hosting #DreamTeam with me lovely xx

  32. June 3, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    Looks like a fab trip! I didn’t even know the National Space Centre existed but it looks amazing! Love the photo of Emma I’m the 1960s room!! #DreamTeam

  33. June 3, 2017 / 9:25 pm

    It’s great to get away from it all and have fun. I like the sound of the zoo but space freaks me out. #DreamTeam

  34. June 4, 2017 / 9:25 am

    Looks like you had a fab time. I loved the Space Centre #dreamteam

  35. June 4, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Oh wow, these places look pretty awesome! We’re always on the look out for family trips now little man is a older and is into doing things so i’ll show this to hubby and see what he says! #dreamteam

  36. June 5, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    I love Tycross zoo, it’s one of my favourites. Never been to the space centre though, it looks fab!

    Popping back for a very late #DreamTeam! Extremely sorry, last week just got the better of me!

  37. June 5, 2017 / 10:36 pm

    Wow I’ve never heard of this place! The space part looks incredible. I love all that. Epcot in Orlando and the Space and Air museum in DC still have a special place in my memory. And I just love those elephants; huge elephant fan me. #dreamteam

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