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…
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.
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/