Day out at Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Paradise Wildlife ParkWhen you drive through Broxbourne Woods you wouldn’t think that within the hornbeams there is a whole wildlife park with dinosaurs, a train and a speedway museum but thats exactly the beauty of Paradise Wildlife Park.

We visited Paradise Wildlife Park on one of those typical British September Sundays,  the park was buzzing with people enjoying themselves. We were given a map of the site which had times of all the shows. The bird show was nearby so we headed over and what a treat it was. The staff were clearly well informed, it was a small enough audience to really feel part of the show and the birds were close and impressive.paradise wildlife park

One of the things which Paradise concentrates on is its big cats and there are plenty to look at and learn about. The big cat area is really great as its wheelchair/ pushchair friendly and allows you to have a look at the cats from lots of different angles. We loved spotting the baby jaguar which was absolutely adorable.

baby jaguar

 

 

There aren’t just big cats though, there is loads to see. Inside the reptile house we got to meet a special turtle and ask the keeper questions. We saw otters, wolves, penguins, pigs, sheep and all sorts of things!

The great thing about Paradise Wildlife Park is that when the kids get bored of the animals there are loads of other things to do. My kids loved the different playgrounds and in particular the slides which kept them amused whilst we had a chance for a sit down and a cup of tea. We went on a little train ride and spotted dinosaurs and we even visited a speedway museum.snow leopard

The absolute joy of Paradise Wildlife Park is that although it is busy, there is so much to do that the queues for things are very short. There are plenty of toilets, places to sit down and eat and its not so massive that it wears you out. Its fairly easy to park and you can by pass the shop on the way out which is always a winner for me as it prevents the end of day meltdowns. We had a fabulous time and will definitely return soon as there is so much going on. If you are looking for a great stress free day out in Hertfordshire then we would highly recommend a trip to Paradise Wildlife Park.

paradise wildlife park

otters

slide

Fun on the slides

Book Review: Super Rabbit by Stephanie Blake

SuperRabbit_Cover_medOnce there was a little rabbit… “I’m not a LITTLE rabbit! I’m Super Rabbit!”

Gecko Press produce some really lovely books. They seem to excel in the production value of their books meaning that you get something that feels really good quality and stands out amongst the rest.

Super Rabbit is another story featuring Simon the rabbit from the best selling book Poo Bum. This is a simple story with a brilliant ending which every child reading it will be able to identify with. I would suggest it is perfect for the pre-school age group where the bright visual and graphic illustrations and the story will really set imaginations on fire.

Little Ned (4) thought that this was the best book he has seen for a while when it dropped through the letter box and he has been fiercely guarding it, making sure we read it at bed time. The idea of a Super Rabbit really captivated his imagination.

Well worth a read, especially if you fancy a book which is just good fun for your little one!

Find out more from the Gecko Press website

 

Book Review: I Have and Orange Juicy Drink by Andrew Sanders

i have an orange juicy drinkIf you like your picture books to be good looking from the point of view of design as well as being great little stories then this book is for you.

This is the story of a small boy and his orange drink. It has a strong message about sibling love and simply asking nicely. We loved this book as its so amusing in the hyperbole of what the character does when someone tries to take his drink from him. If i’m honest it reminds me of my eldest who makes outlandish threats about what will happen if we do various things.

I like a book which encourages literacy skills and imagination and this book is perfect for that. We have hours of fun talking about what might happen in various circumstances. What might your child do if someone tried to take their drink? Crush them with an ocean liner, send an elephant to sit on them? It’s all about expanding imagination and from that helping with sentence construction. Children don’t get many opportunities to develop creative writing in primary school these days as there is such a focus on grammar.

If you’d like to find out more and order the book have a look at FatFox Books website here.

Review: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Charlie Chocolate FactoryYou cant beat a West End musical for a fabulous family day out and we were lucky enough to be invited along to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane at the weekend. This was a major excitement for us as myself and the older children love Roald Dahl books and we all love west end musicals but this time was special as it was little Ned’s first ever experience.

Charlie Chocolate FactoryAnd what a fantastic introduction to the sheer magic of musical theatre Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is. Little Ned is still talking about his experience and the magic lift- he really couldn’t fathom how it lifted itself off the ground and floated.

This is a show packed full of the most amazing sets which are truly mind-blowing, especially when you’re little. The songs are catchy and varied and are performed brilliantly. On Saturday we thought that Ross Dawes who played Willy Wonka was superb. We couldnt fault  the rest of the cast either, they were all great although I should make a particular mention to the actor who played Charlie. The children found the fact that one of their peers could appear in a West End show quite inspirational and i’ve been asked about opportunities ever since!

In terms of the show, we all thought it was fabulous. If I was being highly critical I suggest  that the second half, when they go around the factory, is far stronger than the first, in terms of the music and general entertainment. However, I don’t think you’d be disappointed at all.

We had an amazing day out, probably the best for a very long time. The children were delighted, inspired and amazed by the show and it was really nice to do something special like this as a family. This is the sort of thing that you wont forget as part of your children’s childhoods and I’m sure that when little Ned is much older we will still be talking about how amazed he was by the great glass elevator.

Have a little look for yourself:

For those that don’t know the story here is the synopsis:

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors, and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

You can find out more here:

Book Review: Too Many Carrots By Kate Hudson

carrotsKate Hudson is  a rising star author and illustrator of the children’s picture book world and this is her second book.

In this delightfully illustrated tale Rabbit finds that his carrot hoarding has dire consequences for himself and his friends. It neatly illustrates why hoarding stuff is bad (brilliant for getting the de-cluttering message across to kids). It can also help explain  how real friends can overcome problems and that sharing with friends is always one of the best things you can do in life.

This is a charming little book which makes a lovely addition  your bookshelf, my children have really enjoyed reading it. The illustrations are full of humour and frankly, carrots. For us this meant a glut of drawings by the four year old all with an orange carrot theme. Nothing like feeling inspired.

If you want to get hold of a copy, i’m thinking it would be a good treat to go with the annual Easter Egg glut, then have a look at the Curious Fox website here.