Ace was one last Sunday so we decided to have a day trip to The Cotswold Wildlife Park. We left way too early as I'd checked the Sat Nav on a Monday morning which added another half an hour to the journey, but it turned out to be for the best as Ace slept all the way there and for an extra 20 minutes while we had a drive around Lechlade!
We paid online the night before (you save £1 per ticket), gave our reference number when we got to the gate and then we were quickly ushered into a space in the large, free car park. We stuck around the Walled Garden area at first so it would be easy for later arrivals to find us and there was loads to keep us occupied. Honey was mesmerised by the penguins being fed and Ace fell in love with a little monkey (finally, a pet I'd actually consider). Spot the sloth was fun in the tropical house and all the children stood watching the giant fish in the wishing pond for ages!
Once everyone had arrived, we set off into the main park. The play area was a huge hit with all the children (ages ranged from 6 months to 12 years) so we spent quite a long time there while some of the group had a train ride or took a walk around the reptile house.
We had lunch at the onsite cafe which offered huge portions of homemade deliciousness such as lasagne, Chilli con carne and soup and all at reasonable prices. The huge windows allowed us to watch the train as it passed and overlook the farm area so Honey could plan what to look at next. Ace enjoyed eating my chips and lasagne and conducted his own, impromptu cake smash after we sung Happy Birthday to him!
Ace had a great time meeting goats and climbing their rocks in the farmyard, he put his welly walking practise to very good use here! We were lucky to find the train unexpectedly open and rushed to make the last ride of the day. Honey absolutely loved seeing all the animals as we drove round and had to be reminded to sit down quite a few times as she was so excited! After the train, Honey was particularly interested in seeing the lions and giraffes close up so we followed the path round to their homes and also caught up with some of the others in our group.
By that time we had been there for around 6 hours and people had started to head home. We didn't all leave at the same time so we had to make a couple of trips to the car to hand over party bags and cupcake favours but I suppose the only alternative would have been to have carried them round all day which would have been really annoying!
I'm yet to find the perfect kids birthday celebration solution, we've had small parties at home, bigger parties in the garden and a huge party in a local hall but I think this one was the best so far as people could choose to do their own thing then come back to the group and crucially, it took very little organising on my part!
Honey wears... Rainbow wellies (preloved, brand unknown)