Sunday, 8 March 2015

Day Trip: All Things Wild , Worcestershire

So I heard on the Facebook group about a Home Ed day at All Things Wild. (
I'd never heard of this place before but everyone who had been had said it was really worthwhile going as there was a lot there. It's only 45 minutes from home so we packed a picnic and wellies and off we went. I kind of thought that it'd be someones farm they'd extended a bit, that had a little playground and some animals. 

Was totally wrong! What a great set up they have there. The standard prices are about £7 for an adult and £6 for a child but we were entitled to a special home ed discount. (Yay! I'm absolutely skint so couldn't have gone otherwise!) However, even the standard price is well worth it!

Barnaby and his new python friend 
First stop was the reptile rooms where we saw all manner of snakes and iguanas - great to see as we'd been talking about iguanas the day before. There was a python being held by a lovely and knowledgeable lady who was being very patient with the endless questions and various parents squealing or terrified!(Ahem, Clearly not me, I am, of course, well 'ard) The kids were a lot braver as you can see!!

Cutest guinea pig of the lot (what are a group of guinea pigs called?!)
There was a tractor barn with ride-on kids tractors, a large outside adventure playground which seemed popular (we didn't stop there), lots of animals including meerkats, guinea pigs, mice, emus, wallabies, goats, skunks, llamas and alpacas (to name some!)
After a quick race on the go karts we entered Step Through Time, which was a trek through a large field with lots of friendly dinosaurs. I say they were friendly because not one tried to eat us. Amazing really. They must be fed well :) 

The walk was quite boggy and muddy so we were happy to have wellies on - well it is early March so only to be expected. I loved that all the signs told us the pronunciation of all the names so that Barnaby could race ahead and sound like he knew what he was talking about! 

After digging up some dinosaur bones in the outside sand pit we then headed to the dino barn which had some interactive touch screen games and lots of terrifying dinosaur noises! The set up was fab and the woolly mammoth looked really quite cute in the Ice Age area!

Lunch was eaten at the indoor beach (for that read a gigantic sand pit) because the cafe was chocka. I did think the prices were really reasonable though - £4.25 for a jacket spud and salad for example. Mum had a bacon and sausage bap and 2 coffees because she enjoyed her first so much.
I think I had my most special moment on our home ed journey so far sitting in this area - Barnaby munching on his picnic smiling away to himself for about 5 minutes. When I enquired as to why, he simply said 'Mum, I think this has to be the BEST day of my whole entire life!' - I think he'd just realised that while his prawn sandwiches tasted gritty from playing in the sandpit for an hour, though he was caked in mud and freezing cold, actually, if he was in school he wouldn't have been able to do all he'd just done! Happy days :)

We were given a trail to follow and a map to collect stamps, there were loads of educational features as we went too so something to learn at each area. There were plenty of benches for Mum to have a rest on, lots of picnic areas, and there were toilets in various areas (why do most places only have them at entrances?!?!)

All in all I thought this was a great place to visit. Not only from an educational point of view but when you were in, everything was free, they weren't trying to get more money out of us at every turn. Even in the shop at the entrance or exit, the prices were quite reasonable, if you happen to have kids who can't leave anywhere without buying a plastic chipmunk, for example!!! 
Every staff member we met had a smile on their face and said hello even if they were just walking past and the ones we stopped to speak to were really helpful, It accommodated all ages and there was lots to see and do (plenty for a whole day), The loos were also clean - is it just me who judges a place by loo cleanliness?! We'll definitely go back for a return visit, probably when it's a little warmer! 

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