Review: Seaquarium Weston-Super-Mare

As Granadad and Nanny were in Burnham-on-Sea having a holiday, we decided, it’s really not all that far and we haven’t seen them in a while so we should go visit them. The plan was for a beach day, but we chose to go down on a day when the weather was drab. Though for us that’d normally mean “yay waterproofs”, Nanny and Grandad were on holiday with Ariella’s step brother Jamie. Jamie is on the ASD spectrum and doesn’t do much outdoors, and definitely not much that involves rain.

After much searching around for a plan, Jamie agreed that he’d be happy to go to Weston-Super-Mare and visit the Seaquarium. Again my inner (ethical) conflict came to the surface, but still we went. And I will try and review this without letting that come to the surface.

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The Seaquarium was well thought out, utilising different angles of the same tank as viewing space in order to maximise the size of the main tank (with tunnel). The tanks all looked clean and in good order and there didn’t seem to be overcrowding in any of the tanks. There was a good variety of sea life on offer and the aquarium offered up lots of opportunity for learning, not just of the view-able sea life on offer, but also about ecological and environmental stability.

As the ticket is valid for re-entry all day, we went around a second time. But the second time we did the treasure trail that we didn’t know was on until we got inside the first time. It was quite good, clues related to the sections of the aquarium. Each section had a board for them to go to so they could stamp it with a punch. And at the end they had a pirate related prize.

Situated on a pier of its own on the sea front between the Grand Pier and the old Tropicana pool, it is in a prime location. There is nearby roadside parking which is quite expensive (if memory serves, £10 for the day), but the nearby shopping mall was slightly cheaper so we parked there, which was a reasonable walk. It was by no means a cheap attraction, but was on par with other attractions of its type (£9.50/adult and £7.50/child). Discounts offered for carers and also (we found out) to West Midlands Safari Park pass holders (as they are operated by the same group).

Please note, this is a review based on our personal experience and opinion. The Seaquarium didn’t know we were going to write this review. 

Review: National Trust Brockhampton Estate

The property is entered directly from the A44 between Bromyard and Worcester. About a 10-15 minute drive from another National Trust property we visited the same day (The Elgar Birthplace Museum – The Firs). The long, high wall on the outer of the property gives an indication of a vast estate, but it doesn’t prepare you for what you encounter.

After driving a few minutes down a single track road, surrounded by open countryside and grazing sheep you get to a lay-by and a little hut where you are expected to pull over. A National Trust member of staff comes to greet you and ask what your plans are for the day (so they can give you directions). It’s here that we found out we weren’t actually “here” yet… the actual house and gardens are a further 1.5 miles drive through the estate down this single track. The beauty cannot be escaped though – even the children were making sounds of awe as we turned the corner downhill towards the Lower Brockhampton estate. And then again as the road became tree lined. And then cheers of excietment when they realised we were at the car park and the much anticipated end of journey was nigh.

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The medieval manor house (entered by a cute little gatehouse) takes you through much history and is very well presented and provides a lot of information. This is a house with no roped off areas, so you can really get up close to the displays and furnishings. And in one of the upstairs rooms there’s a chance for dress up; though the children didn’t actually dress up on this visit, the house is a bit dark which added an eerie feel, they didn’t want to stick around too long upstairs. With short films available in a room at the back taking you through how the house was opened, archaeology days and the like.

 

 

 

 

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There is a lot more information to be found on various signs around the gardens and also in the courtyard by the Granary shop and kiosk (which we didn’t use on our visit, as we didn’t have need to). You can find a lot of information about the history and uses of the estate and some of the history of the chapel, as well as some information about agriculture.

 

 

 

 

The chapel is in ruins, but still has 4 walls and and is in good enough a state to get some kind of feel for space and layout. And previous archaeological digs have found remnants that give an indication of how it would have looked, so there are pictures of that too. The children thought it was very cool to see the font in position in the chapel. More history about the property and the site can be found at their website here.

 

 

 

 

The grounds are vast and as such we didn’t cover much of them, there are many walks but we didn’t come prepared for off-roading with Caitlin (we had the standard town-friendly wheelchair, and no carrier). We did try, but after rolling through a lot of sheep poop, and flicking it everywhere as the wheels spun, we decided to call it quits and hope that we may be able to get back there on another day for a walk (perhaps with Bruce, so he can share the carrying duties hehehe).

 

 

 

Whilst we were there, they were running the “Make do and mend” trail, where the children got to hunt for different things whilst learning about how people used to make do and mend. They found it both interesting and fun and were excited to chose their prizes at the end. It was an additional cost of £2.50.

This is a genuine review and all opinions are based on my own experiences during the visit. The National Trust are not funding my visits, we have a year annual pass that was gifted by a family member as a Christmas present, hence our numerous National Trust visits. 

Review: Croft Castle and Parkland (National Trust Property)

As we received a National Trust membership for Christmas, we have been aiming to visit as many properties and locations as possible. Thanks to the move and the slightly disappointing time we have been having housing and health wise this hasn’t been achieved to its fullest potential, so we are giving it our all before Christmas if we can.

Croft Castle was the first of a run of these undertaken, and here’s what we thought:

Entered via a very long single track driveway down into the parkland, you instantly get the feeling of how vast and extensive the parkland is. Situated deep within the countryside it is surrounded by vast amounts of mostly unspoiled beauty. The car park is situated slightly ahead and to one side of the main house.

 

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The grounds are very clean and tidy, well presented and welcoming. With various different areas to explore, including a walled garden, various other gardens, a chapel, many walks and the main house of course.


 

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The house has 1000 years of history, which I shall not spoil, if you want to know more about the history/background you can ready it at the National Trust’s page here. The children enjoyed that it was not roped off inside, meaning they could get right up to everything and see it all. In the main house there was even a little “spot it” type guide for the children to draw interest and focus in each room (this was for fun, and as such was free).

As it is the UK Summer Holidays, there was also a fun trail (with prize) for the children to do, which had them going from one place to another to find clues, puzzles or riddles to untangle, or tasks to perform, and get an answer sorted on their trail booklet. Once all was finished they were able to choose a prize (this was at an additional cost of around £2 on top of the entry fee per child). It was well thought out, very well sign posted and very clear for them to do. They really enjoyed it.

 

We can make no comment about the eateries on site as we did not utilise them. But we did see a cool little park (where they’d even built a mini castle). The toilets near the cafe/park were clean and well equipped.

The site was accessible for a wheelchair on the most part, and seemed quite family friendly. If your children like exploring and don’t need things to be overly stimulating to enjoy. If they like things to be electronic and very interactive then it is perhaps not the place for them.

Review: West Midlands Safari Park

First I have to say, I am always very conflicted about places such as zoos, aquariums and safari parks. Like, I understand that many can do great work with conservation projects and endangered species, or even rehabilitation efforts with rescue animals that have been hurt, kept illegally or abused to the point of not being able to return to the wild. But there are also many that are terrible, keeping animals in poor, cramped conditions; caring more about profit than animal welfare. But after a debate in a recent Eco Kids magazine about the positives and negatives of zoos and the like. And actually I decided if I want the children to make an informed choice they’ll need to experience it themselves and draw their own conclusions.

With that in mind, the following will ignore my underlying moral and ethical conflict to the extent that I would consider “fair”; that is to say, if I comment on what I feel is not ethical, it’s above and beyond the “normal” level of conflict within me.

So West Midlands Safari Park happened.  The  safari itself is well thought out, with many animals experiencing a relatively “wild like” atmosphere. I am not keen on the fact that you can feed some of the animals, it takes away from the “wild” for the animal, and is purely indulgent for the humans involved. And can end in reactions that can scare or hurt the animals. That said, on the safari drive itself, although they don’t have the masses of land they’d perhaps have in the wild, the animals all do seem to have a fair amount of space, shelter food and care. But in general the overall experience of the safari itself is quite good, the animals look happy and healthy on the most part.

The walk through area contains: Penguin Cove, Sea Lion Theatre, Lorikeet Landing, Reptile World, Creepy Crawlies, Seaquarium and Twilight Cave.

The Penguin Cove does have a medium sized pool, a “beach” area and some caves. The penguins are seemingly able to retreat from spectators, the area looks well maintained and the penguins seem happy and healthy. They have balls etc. in the water to play with. The keepers to timed penguin feeds for spectators to watch, we never attended so I cannot comment on this.

The Twilight Cave, Creepy Crawlies and Seaquarium are all housed within the same building, in a “route through” style. You can skip the Twilightcave if you do not wish to go through (it is dark, damp and has bats flying around, so if bats flying or dark, damp, strong smelling rooms are an issue – for Caitlin they are – you can by pass this). It is a large room, with freedom of movement for the bats and plastic flaps that prevent the bats from escaping. It’s not possible to see much in it, but we have been there as the room’s cleaning is just finishing – so they do ensure the place is cleaned. The Seaquarium is setup with fish tanks containing the usual suspects you’d find (nothing like an Octupus in a cramped tank or anything) and Creepy Crawlies contain usual suspects of spiders, snails, ants, stick insects etc. All of the tanks looked well maintained and clean and filled with fresh supplies of relevant food and water sources.

Similarly the Reptile World seemed adequate, clean and well supplied. I struggle personally with the size of the crocodile enclosures, and perhaps some of the larger snakes (but I don’t have sufficient training and professional background to criticise the adequacy of it all – so please do just understand that is just my personal struggle).  We have not visited Lorikeet Landing.

In all of the areas you will find masses of information about all of the animals, also access to hand cleaning facilities if you have come into contact with animals etc.

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The Sea Lion Theatre provides “shows”, which are described as part of the sea lions’ enrichment program. It is packed with educational information regarding sea lions. I cannot comment further on this, as shows are an area I do not morally agree with beyond being conflicted.

Near to the Sea Lion Theatre is the entrance to the Ice Age exhibit. This is a large area of models, information and animatronics applicable to, and representative of, the Ice Age. The children absolutely loved it (Caitlin in a slightly conflicted way, as she’s still at that young-naive, “it’s alive” kind of stage). You get to walk through the smoking volcano on your way in, and there are cracks with Lava under your feet (along with rumbling sound affects). And then an adventure through the Ice Age area, complete with little finger-trail Identification games. Then at the end you walk through an Ice cave under the volcano, which is complete with its own little “secret tunnel” which the children loved going through. Even a small child’s wheelchair could fit through.

But one of the things that got them very silly and laughing we signs like the below. “No smoking. Only the volcano has permission” and “Keep to the paths. If not, the mammoth may tread on you and that might make their feet sore.” There were many others too.

 

The Land of the Living Dinosaurs had similar signs too. And was equally enjoyable. Similar to the Ice Age exhibit it is filled with models, animatronics, information and finger trail identity games. Unlike the Ice Age area though, it has a large sand pit for fossil discovery, a themed shop and a geyser sure to attract some attention. Again the children absolutely loved it (even with Caitlins slight fear that the raptors would eat her). It’s definitely a well thought out area, and fun for all ages.

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What was also fun was noticing the evolving foot prints on the floor, on the way in and way back out… see below gallery.

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Once you are through this area you cross a small, private road (with zebra stripes on the zebra crossing) which takes you over to the theme park, the Boj Giggly Park (for the little ones), the Hippo Lakes and the African village. Despite more than one visit (you get a free return included in your ticket) we didn’t have time to do everything. We did see the meerkats briefly, and breeze past the hippos and park, but didn’t really take time there. The children, were naturally, drawn to the rides, and that’s where we spent much of our remaining time.

You can purchase ride wristbands to get unlimited rides, and really, if you plan on going on rides this is the advisable thing to do. You just show your wristband and on you get. They have quite a selection of rides you can go on, from carousel-based rides and a kiddy coaster for the littlies, to flying hippos, rhino-coaster and snake helter skelter for the slightly more adrenalin filled littlies to wild water rapids,  twister-coaster and even bigger rides for the even more adrenalin fuelled theme park go-er.

There is clear signage and height checkers around this area so you’ll know what each guest can go on (whether independently or accompanied) including by the wristband exchange area where you’d purchase the wristbands from (so you’ll know if the guests can do what you expect/want them to do). The staff are very efficient at trying to get everyone through and filling up the rides etc. And were all friendly and welcoming; trust me, I know how boring it is to repeat the same safety stuff over and over, and I have been multiple places where actually they kind of show hatred towards guests who mishear/misunderstand/ask questions etc. We did not experience this here.

Then the important bit – food of course…

We only used the Dino Diner. I mean – it has a Jurassic Park feel to it and I have 2 dino mad children. Of course we ate there. The whole restaurant is decorated to have a dinosaur feel, with various dino creatures featuring around the place. The most amazing part of the decoration though was the light shades which are themed as hatched dino eggs. The children honestly wanted to take some home with them. They can not be purchased though – the talents of team they have on park created them. I think the children would lay an egg apiece if I got them a light shade like that each.

But the food. You could argue it’s over priced if you are used to your chip shop, Spoons or McDonals prices, but actually as seasoned day trippers the menu is on par, at the lower end of the scale, of attraction prices (especially when you factor in portion sizes). The first visit saw the adults with “Chip-izza” (a plate of chips covered in pizza topping) – completely by accident, I forgot what was meant to be ordered when I got to the till and end up ordering that – which was enjoyed. And the children ordering their usual “can we get away with it today Mumma?” chicken goujons and chips. The second trip saw us order a platter of sizzling chicken fajitas for 4. Including drinks, dining for 4 was around £30-35. but you can see the prices in the above gallery.

The food wasn’t fast, but it was busy, and still came out within a reasonable time frame (the kids had started moaning they were hungry but weren’t on the verge of meltdown both times, this usually happens within 20 minutes in a busy restaurant so reasonable). The food was ok, good portions as stated before. Not of excellent quality or flavour, but also not bad. For example, the chicken in the fajitas was not bad, but it was tough. But the overall flavour was good.

You can also purchase a guidebook packed full of information about the animals found at the park. I also have to point out that I am aware that safari parks and zoos such as this do important work towards conservation, research and endangered species.

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To summarise. 

Safari park and the walk through discovery trail are mostly good (well maintained, clean and the animals are clearly cared for), it just depends on your moral position on certain aspects. But the Ice Age and Land of the Living Dinosaur exhibits are unquestionably good. Theme park is good, with attentive and friendly staffing, clear signage and ability to purchase unlimited ride wristbands. The food isn’t cheap and isn’t amazing, but it’s on par with other attractions prices and a good portion and isn’t bad either.

*** As an aside. The site is wheelchair friendly (if not hilly in places). And if anyone is visiting with adults/children who have issues with busy places (but feel safe in the comfort of their car) I would say, on arrival head straight to the car park. You can do the Ice Age and Land of the Living Dinosaurs before the Discovery Trail opens, then do the Discovery Trail before the theme park opens and then get that done before people start really coming in and queuing and making it feel busy. The safari itself can be done multiple times if you want and at any point in your day. ***

Review: Berrington Hall (National Trust)

We visited Berrington Hall at the same time as visiting Croft Castle (they are within 10 minutes drive of one another).

As with Croft Castle, there is a long drive up to the car park/property and it is surrounded by beautiful countryside imagery. The grounds are immaculate and have various points of interest including the walled garden (which is an area growing edibles), a produce stall, and various walks and trails. And of course the Georgian house. Details of the history etc. can be found on the National Trust page here.

 

 

 

Though there was a definite “roped off” section in the main house, the children still loved it as much as, or perhaps even a little more than, Croft Castle. Though this may have been something to do with the dress up they could do; there are various bits of dress up in the house, from male court-wear to a petticoat for a court mantua dress on the way around, to the dress up room at the end of the tour around the house. Strangely Caitlin suits the look (and unsurprisingly wanted to take the dresses home).

There was also a kids treasure trail on for the summer here too. This one was based on the story of the Robinson Crusoe family, and the kids found this one slightly more interesting than the one at Croft Castle. It was a similar sort of setup, they just enjoyed the puzzle clues more here. Including, having to make a den in the den building area.

The grounds were fairly accessible, though the house would be inaccessible for someone with mobility issues as the house itself is entered and exited via many steps. We did not use the eating and toileting facilities here.

Review: Worcester Woods Country Park

One Autumnal morning we found ourselves in Worcester, in need of breakfast with a strong desire for nature… so, we ended up at Worcester Woods Country Park.

We went into the cafe (The Orcahrd Cafe) where we ordered toast and jam and, of course, some hot chocolate. The kids were super excited to make a riot of a mess by spreading their own butter and jam; both have some motor skills problems, so we really did get some looks.(I should clarify the mess was riotous, not the children). But the staff were friendly and polite regardless. The cafe was clean, the food was served promptly and was as ordered.

After we had our fill of food, and the obligatory toilet break, we headed out to the trail. Caitlin has what we call “poorly legs” (that will be covered in a later post once we have more understanding of definites). So we have a game, or a dance, we do on walks where she walks and then she gets up in our toddler carrier (yes, I quite literally mean a sling-babywear type thing – it’s the Beco toddler version so will take up to 27kg). So, we started with her up until we could make sense of the terrain and how it would be for legs.

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Fox print

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A little owl

Much of the trail was accessible and potentially even pram/wheelchair friendly, and there were plenty of things for the children to stop and marvel at, little sculptures and information signs etc., we even found a painted rock (and rehid) on the way around. The children really had fun.

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Leaf identification

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Rock finding

We eventually ended up back in the field near the cafe, where the children were able to play in the park for a while. Well, it’s actually 2 parks one open, and one fenced in. With a mixture of slides, swings and climbing makng use of park equipment whilst trying to incorporate natural play area pieces in too (log stepping stones etc.).

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Open park area

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Enclosed park area

The Country Park is only a few minutes from both junction 6 and 7 of the M5, and has a free car park available on site. Details of location, and a guide, and details for the Orchard Cafe can be found in the links at the bottom.

The Orchard Cafe

Worcester Woods Country Park

Review: Blue Lagoon Waterpark Wales

Being a swimming pool, I can’t really do much in the way of photography here… and being a very wet day, most photographs were akin to the featured image here, for the “outside” picture. But I can certainly let my words build the imagery, and the web page for the pool has 360 views anyhow.

The Blue Lagoon pool is actually part of the Bluestone National Park Resort Wales, and the mornings sessions are exclusively for guests of the resort. However, they do allow the public in for paid, timed sessions in the afternoon. Pre-booking online is advisable as they get busy, but also because you can save up to 15% on the entry price that way too.

To get to the pool, you have to come in through the driveway up to Bluestone, and turn off for the pool car park, which is rather large so capable of handling even busy sessions. And on arrival you have to walk over a bridge from the car park to the building, this gets the kids excited everytime, they feel like they are walking into a castle over a moat.

Once inside, entry is via a turnstyle barrier, activated by scanning the barcode on your ticket which will become active a little ahead of your time slot. There’s then a lift, or stairs, down to the changing rooms which have family, female and male changing areas, ample lockers, separate showers and toilets and a big drying machine.

Immeditely as you enter poolside you are faced with the beach pool, a large walled pool which gradually gets deeper. When you reach 1.1-1.2 metres deep, in the right hand side of the pool is an exit outside by way of a lazy river, which after flowing out to a small cove pool, meanders its way back indoors to the left of the main pool. You can exit the pool in the outdoor cove (and brave the elements) to access the outdoor jacuzzi. Inside, above the lazy river’s re-entry to the pool is a bridge over to the indoor jacuzzi. No children are allowed in these (last time I checked it was 12+ for indoor and 16+ outdoor).

Just to the left as you come in to poolside from the changing rooms is “Nippers Cove” a small fenced off area which houses a small pool about 20-40cm deep, with a bubble jet area, some interactive “squirty” type scupltures and some rock pools built into the wall that the children can explore. Just off to the right on poolside is a small pool, probably about 50-60cm deep, with lots of jets and splashy things, including a small tower that slightly older children can explore and enjoy, it’s themed to look somewhat like part of a pirate ship.

Above the pirate splash area are the steps up to the flumes. There is the wild water, which is an open flume that goes outdoors into 2 landing pools on the way down, with 2 slightly bigger, round pool areas outdoors, before coming down a short enclosed slide back into the main building. Then there’s the blue, entirely indoors flume – which is the fastest of the flumes in the Blue Lagoon, and you are required to lie on your back with your legs stretced and crossed and arms crosed across your chest. It is very fun. And quite light until the final stretch which is in darkness for a couple of seconds.

The other 2 flumes are still reasonably fast (depending on how you slide down), but for those who have issues with it, are both entirely in darkness the whole way down. We quite enjoy these as a family, because they are next to each other and so you can kind of race each other to the bottom.

There are then geysers, jets, waves etc. to be enjoyed throughout the main pool and lazy river. I have to comment on the waves too, considering they are the most powerful ones I have ever experienced. It’s amazing, waves with actual power – if you think sitting in the shallows will be the best option for a gentle experience – think again, as the waves break you will slide backwards with each wave, though great for jumping over or for family comptetions to see who can hold their ground the best.

It cost roughly £10 a ticket, but it’s not just a pool, it’s a water park so, you kind of expect to pay a premium. Normally, when we go it’s free as we are staying at Bluestone, but on this trip we were public guests, however in spite of the expense we are always happy to be there.

Blue Lagoon Wales

Review: The Dinosaur Park

Whilst gate crashing Nanna and Grandad’s holiday in Saundersfoot, we visited the Dinsosaur Park, near Tenby.

It was on a main route and easy to get to by car, although the sat nav indicated I should enter through a field rather than the actual entrance, which crept up on me on a fast road, so I did have to find somewhere to turn around. But that said, it was immediately obvious I had made the mistake as the park is visible from the road.

One of the things I really liked about this place is that, unlike other small parks of a similar nature, once you pay your entry fee most of the rides are included. Though, when I say most of the rides are included, the ones I am excluding are 2p/ride. And they even gave the children some 2ps to get them started.

The park itself had a walking trail, which we didn’t get to do (2 people with mobility issues with us, so we stuck to what they could manage that day. And during certain periods they have the “safari” tours. Don’t be fooled by the queues on this one, they get people through as quickly as possible… we were waiting for about 10 minutes max. And bascially, you get on a large golf buggy, and get driven around a small trail with large model dinosaurs and sound affects. To the person who expects 5 star quality and comfort from a 2 star hotel, you are probably going to be disappointed. To the person who can respect “I didn’t pay masses, so this isn’t going to be the most magical experience ever” you may very well enjoy it, especially if you can look at it from a nostalgic and playful perspective.

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There is a small information centre and a cafe that does your average “day out” food (chips, sarnies etc.), which was reasonably priced and well portioned. The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful.

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Then there are the rides, some of them are manned like the water zorbing, tubing, “skiddy cars” etc, and then there are orb cars, kids bikes, mini karts etc. that are unmanned and are either help yourself, or insert 2p to ride. There’s also a maze, a play barn and a park. The rides there aren’t all listed here, click on their web link at the bottom to see a full list.

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But we had 3 very different personality 5-10 year olds with us and they all were completely enertained right up until the moment we said we had to leave. They loved it. Red faced, sweaty, full of fresh air, laughed out, tired and happy. You know you are on to a winner when that’s the end result of the day. And it didn’t break the bank either – around £30 for the 3 of us to enter, and if you get the receipt stamped during your visit, you can return within 7 days for a heavily discounted price.

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The Dinosaur Park

Techniquest

Techniquest Blog_review_pic_techniquest_01 Cardiff Bay, Cardiff. http://www.techniquest.org

Before our children arrived, I have been to Techniquest several times as a child/young teen myself and with other children (friends and family). And I have to say, it’s consistent in capturing the audience. Child, and adult alike, are captivated by its play-based approach to science.

Yet, for all of its play focus of the main exhibition, there is so much to be learned. Even if you forget the additional educational shows. There is a bit of information about each interactive experiment, and many questions and suggestions to get you thinking as you play. It opens even the most educationally shy child to a world of possibility, which is something we struggle against (with our eldest) on a daily basis.

Then there are the shows in the planetarium and science theatre; different themes run at different times, which can all be checked on the website. There’s usually a show in the science theatre, where they offer a series of short and engaging experiments that fit the theme of their show. And then 2 shows in the planetarium – one suitable for the younger audience (under 7s) and one aimed at over 7s.

Whilst we were there, we attended the science theatre show (Switched on, which was an exploration of light) at no additional cost. And also the under 7s planetarium show (Space Hunters – a planetarium, show that had an interactive and fun story involving a treasure hunt in space to get the children involved and interested, before having a look at some constellations), which was about £1.50 each extra. There was also a group in, from the University I believe, educating children on healthy eating with some fun games and activities to show them about being hydrated, making healthy choices (low fat, low sugar) and gave them some information to bring home too.

The exhibition itself was very entertaining, and could easily form the basis of a very fun few hours out (or by utilising the wrist band to pop out and back in, going in the morning, popping out for a lunch and explore of the bay and then having a few more hours after lunch). Experiments range from things to do with light, to the physics of movement, to biology and human evolution. A popular section is always the water area, where the children can manoeuvre objects through a little stream, fill up various household objects to see which uses more water etc.

The entry fee wasn’t too bad we went as a family group of 5 (2 adults and 3 children) and the price was £25 for all of us. There is a small gift shop, as well as a coffee shop selling pre-packaged sandwiches, hot and cold drinks and snacks, 2 hot drinks, 5 sandwiches and 5 packets of crisps cost us £16. And there’s a car park directly opposite the back of the building (Mermaid Quay), 5 hours parking cost us £7, though if you are making a day of it, the Red Dragon centre is only a 5-minute walk away, and if you spend £5 (dinner/drinks/bowling/cinema) parking is free.

It’s somewhere we always come back to, and would always recommend to others for a bit of educational fun.

PS. I couldn’t add more than the initial picture as all of ours captured other people’s children too… difficult not to get photobombed in a place as busy as that.