Persephone: Parent

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Grandparent Visit — Trips Out

on October 12, 2014

During a recent visit from Hubby’s parents we tried to pack in loads of fun things with Elvis. Sadly, Elvis is trying to drop to one nap a day so it was kind of tricky. After 5 and a half hours at nursery (without a nap), Elvis wasn’t really up for fun places in the afternoon. It’s probably why he spent that week having problems sleeping at night.

It wasn’t all bad though, we still had fun at the fair, pretty good times at Paulton’s Park and were amazed at the aquarium!

For the afternoon at the fair, I walked Elvis there from nursery so he had 30 minutes of sleep on the hour walk (and, yeah, with my pelvic pain and being roughly 20 weeks preggers at that point, the hour walk exhausted me!). He liked the arcades, loved the rides that you pay a pound for and find in shopping precincts (not that we put any pennies in for him. Ha!) and he was interested in the big wheel I took him on. He kept staring out across the sea when we were at the top!

A few more months, maybe by the beginning of next summer and he’ll love it. Which is good because his grandparents bought him a load of tokens to use on the rides. The huge bonus was, even though he’s walking, we only had to pay for me on the rides. So I guess, his grandparents bought the tokens for me!

On the Friday, after his swimming lesson, we went up to Paulton’s park. Now, usually he would nap before we even made it home from swimming, but he seems to be trying to delay that earliest nap. I had no idea of this, it was the first day it really happened. Well, that confused me and, of course, he refused to really nap in the pushchair. Although Daddy did manage half an hour out of him later in the afternoon.

As he’s under 1m tall, Elvis went free, but us 5 adults (Nanny came, too) paid over £15 each. It really wasn’t worth it. Fair enough, I couldn’t go on any of the adult rides I wanted to go on, but it was so busy (even though it was term-time) and I can’t expect Elvis in a tired or not state to queue. Meanwhile, all the rides he could go on were boring. They were all just simple big wheels or “trains”. Maybe other 15 month olds enjoy it, mine didn’t.

He loved the playpark areas (which are kept far better than a public playpark) and the tiny under 2 soft play part he could play in. Those things aren’t worth the two adult minimum entry fee, in my opinion. I also think that by the time he will be able to go on more rides, to enjoy more things, he will be over 1m and I’ll have to pay for his entry!

I’ve been before as an adult with friends and only because I won some tickets! I really don’t think I’ll be taking him back there for quite a while! If/when we do, I’d do it as a whole day. They have some lovely grounds so I’d take a picnic (food and drink prices are extortionate) and explore the whole place. I wouldn’t visit as a theme park to take Elvis on rides. I’d also wait until at least he was out of daytime naps. It still costs a lot for my liking and the season ticket would never be worth it for us.

The next day we visited our local aquarium, which is immediately far more cost effective than Paulton’s. A season ticket at Paulton’s is near £100 I think you’d have to go 4 or 5 times a year which with all of the queuing does not sound appealing to me. The Blue Reef aquarium, however is £10 each or £30 for a year season ticket. Well, after the time you buy the ticket you then only have to go another two times! So we got the season ticket here.

Elvis was quite interested in the fish, but he loved the play area out the back even more! It didn’t take us that long to make our way around, but I really don’t think it will take much longer before he loves it more. He does enjoy watching the fish at nursery, in pet shops and our local café. In nice weather the play area has a splash pool and a sandy area to climb over. There’s also some rockers and hula hoops to play with.

For £30 for the year I certainly recommend Blue Reef for toddlers (there is room for pushchairs to go around and I think there was an area they could be left in) in fact, I have vouchers for half price entry to another local-ish aquarium and I plan on taking Elvis there before Christmas. The jury on Paulton’s, for me and Elvis, is still out and I honestly don’t know when we’ll try it again. Currently, I’m thinking nearer the age of 5!

~ P

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