How about getting the train into London & then doing natural history museum? We did this with DS when he was just over 2 and again for his 3rd birthday and he loved it. The first time we went on a Sunday & then did some of the sights by foot, Hyde park, green park, buckingham palace etc. The second time was August bank holiday Monday & we did a river cruise down the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich & back. He loved it & still talks about it now a year later. There are lots of good museums in London, the transport one is supposed to be very good. I like the science museum and although not an obvious choice there are some interesting bits in the v&a too.
We did chessington this year and again he loved it, has asked every week when we're going back! Another favourite is a day trip to the seaside.
My daughter is 4. We've been to Peppa Pig world and found the rides in the Peppa world section not thrilling enough for her- slow and family like- lovely, just not great. However... they have a dinosaur section and a new Africa area and highly recommend both. It's a lovely day out and there are enough rides you should be ok to avoid an excessive queue, or equally there are splash parks and other parks dotted around.
My daughter loves any of the following-
- beach days, collecting shells, looking for fish and staying to eat dinner in the evening sunshine
- adventure wonderland in Bournemouth. It's a huge travel for you, so perhaps not good, but it's a lower key/ chapter alternative to Paultons Park. Is there somewhere like this near you?
- we have a national trust membership and just enjoy forest walks/ exploring lighthouses and cliff tops. Is there anywhere near you that's like this that your DC would love? The Isle of Wight is fab for Blackgangchine and a boat trip in itself is pleasing for my 4 Yo.
- camping for a night; toasting marshmallows and bbqs away from home. We go locally and enjoy the novelty of having a sleepover elsewhere. You could combine this with Paultons Park and i would highly recommend Hill Farm Caravan site in Sherfield English (if you have a tent or van) which is 10 minutes drive from Paultons Park, but in the countryside with beautiful walks etc around. It's really cheap, has a lovely cafe and park on site and close to the new forest without the price tag. Drive from the beach for the day- recommend Lepe Beach as has a county park if the weather isn't super warm, and Mottisfont Gardens is also 10 min away and has a Tiger that came for tea story trail; it's national trust.
Paultons Park! The peppa pig world does get very busy but the rest of the park is not as bad and our 3 year old coped as the queues weren’t that long (that was last summer hols) we plan on taking him again in a few weeks although we will avoid peppa rides!
I second the Postal Museum. I have some great photos and memories, we did it for a relatives special birthday & it was a fantastic day out for all generations.
If you pre-book the play area, they get to ‘run’ the Post Office counter, stack & file parcels and letters by chutes and pulleys, stamp and press papers, dress up in tabards and hats, drive vans, the list is endless. The photos I have a superb.
In the grown-up part of the museum there is one of those systems (my mind has gone blank as to what it’s called!) where you write a note and put it in the shuttle tube that goes the whole length of the building to your buddy at the other end. There’s also an opportunity to design on a screen with a computer and camera a selfie pistage stamp that you can email to yourself.
The whole day was great, we’ll definitely be returning.
What about a show in London then lunch? DD is about to turn 6 but over the last two years we've caught the train to London, seen a show (Julia Donaldson adaption/tiger who came to tea etc) and then had lunch in Chinatown a few times. She's loved it every single time.
Our daughter turned 4 last month. We took her to see the tiger who came to tea at the theatre and also to Hever Castle (she's going through a princess phase and was fascinated to see where a real princess lived, plus they have mazes and play areas - it was a great day out).
For my ds' 4th birthday we went to London on the train. We saw the dinosaurs and played in St James park, looked at the lions in Trafalgar Square had dinner at a restaurant . We spent the night in a cheap hotel and then spent birthday money in the Lego shop and hamleys the next day before the train ride home. He loved it.
Free choice LEGOLAND or open top bus tour, however in school hols LL will potentially be horrific. Dd2 is nearly 4 and had a whale of a time at Great Yarmouth pleasure beach when we were on holiday. Agree with pp paultons park non Peppa pig bit is fab and when we went in the last week of school hols last year it was v quiet (compared to LEGOLAND or Chessington) Colchester Zoo? London Zoo?
I've done days with mine at that age where they were able to totally choose. It as interesting what they chose. I think I had: 1. Picnic at the park. That was our local park up the road, nothing special. 2. A ride on a top deck of a double decker bus
3. Sainsbury's shop choosing the food for the evening meal. 4. McDonalds!
5. Pick your own fruit followed by jamming it in the evening
Thank you all. Going to research some of these now and see what they're like. Ideally if going into London would be handy if there's a few places quite near each other so we don't have to keep getting on trains as will have his sister and her pushchair. Thanks again all.
Haha. I love washing the car! My4 year old would love to do that, but we don’t have a drive.
I’m echoing London and the museums. We did the natural history museum when DS1 was nearly 3, and DS2 was a babe in sling. Had an amazing day.
We got the train there and back same day. Next time I would book a cheap hotel and go out for dinner and hamleys, maybe a boat ride in the morning. Mine are into animals and dinosaurs, and Andy, so NHM is perfect for us, but I’ve been told the science museum is great. Never heard of the postal museum... I’ll have a look at that.