Showing posts with label zoo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zoo. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Animals of the Ice Age at Howletts Wildlife Park

Many zoos and wildlife parks seem to be expanding with new Dinosaur areas, but Howletts near Canterbury in Kent has created an Animals of the Ice Age walk featuring the creatures that walked the earth after dinosaurs and we were invited along for the day to take a look.

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

I visited Howletts often as a child but I don't remember the last time I was there so I was excited to see if it was the same as I remembered it.  We didn't pick the best day to visit, but it was dry when we arrived and we decided to go and find the ice age walk straight away.  Howletts is one of very few wildlife parks that has elephants and they were clearly in a playful mood when we arrived as we could watch the younger ones play fighting and teasing each other.  The animals of the ice age walk is situated right next door and we were given books at the front desk to help us explore the area.  Unfortunately we completely forgot to take them out the bag but next time we will as they look perfect for my six year old with challenges to draw, right and puzzles to complete as you walk through the area.

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

The ice age starts where the Jurassic period (which you can walk through at the sister park Port Lympne) ends and along the walkway we could spot little and large creatures as well as living animals too.  Many of them resemble the animals we know and love like elephants, rhinos and anteaters but the size and shapes were different and each one came with a board giving us help on how to pronounce each name and a few facts about the animals.  It was the perfect size for my six year old to digest and easy enough for him to read.  He has been learning about herbivores and omnivores at school and loved that each board had this information.  The little ones were excitedly running between the animals amazed at the size and pointing out familiar features.  

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

We had brought Grandma and Grandpa along for the day and the children couldn't stop telling us all about the animals.  Towards the end of the walk there is one with a huge horn coming out the top of his head which was definitely a big hit and some of the animals were situated close enough to the barriers to be touched.  The woolly mammoth was indeed woolly and the children loved feeling the fur.  

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

It wasn't long after the animals of the ice age walk, or possibly during it that it started to rain and it only got heavier as the day went on.  Of course I am that unprepared mum who just told the children to put some shoes on so none of them were in wellies.  My coat didn't have a hood and none of us had umbrellas.  Many of the animals seemed to be hiding away to escape the rain and we didn't blame them, but there were a few that just weren't bothered and as the park was quiet we got great views.  The tiger was on top form and we loved watching the lemurs feeding.  The gorillas were fascinating to my mini monkeys and the elephants were great fun to observe.  The ice age walk was definitely the highlight of our day though and the good thing about model animals is they are always exactly where they should be!

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

As much as we love dinosaurs, and we really do, it was really fascinating to learn about a different era that we know much less about and the exhibit is unique and fun for children and adults of all ages.  My camera was hastily hidden away when the rain started gushing but I got a few pictures before hand.  On a seperate note if you have children that love muddy puddles then bring wellies as Howletts is great for splashing as the three boys will tell you!

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

Thank you to Howletts for hosting us for a fun day, the kids thought it was fantastic even in the rain and have asked to go back again over Easter! I am definitely up for it as long as it is a little drier!

Howletts, animals of the ice age,

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Experience Fresh at Port Lympne with Panasonic

Panasonic are passionate about cooking with fresh ingredients and as part of their Experience Fresh campaign we were invited along for an overnight stay at one of the glamping tents at Port Lympne.  Our trip combined fresh food straight from some of their brilliant small kitchen appliances, fresh air and a chance to see some endangered species up close.

Daniel from the Naked Nutritionist talked to the children and us about the importance of eating fresh foods, getting lots of vegetables into your diet (you should be eating far more vegetables than fruit) and how the Panasonic small kitchen appliances can help make this a possibility from green juices to pumpkin soup.  He used fresh and in-season produce and we were able to taste his creations.  The blue cheese and walnut bread from the bread maker was a hit with all the kids and the purple juice was perfect for Halloween as well as being quick to make in the slow juicer (named that because of the way it juices the food to retain the most nutrients).

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne, Tootsa Macginty

After our chat we were shown to our accomodation for the night, a glamping tent in 'Bear Lodge' which looked out onto 40 miles of countryside including the resident bears of Port Lympne who we could hear growling during the night.  We have done glamping before but these tents were even more amazing with ensuite toilet and shower, warm duvets and a log burner.

Guests of Bear Lodge are able to go on one of the later safaris, after they have shut to the public and it was fascinating seeing the incredible enclosures, the different species and hearing about the  amazing conservation work that Port Lympne are doing as they prepare to release animals back in to the wild.

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne, Bear Lodge, Tootsa Macginty

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne, giraffes

After our overnight stay, we had a day to explore the zoo and we all loved it.  Having done the safari the day before, we were free to discover the rest of the park on foot and we started with the tigers.  The boys were captivated by the different species and we spent ages watching the monkeys behaving in an all too familiar way as the smallest ones started getting cheeky and the elder ones chased them around.  Most of the animals at Port Lympne are endangered species and they work hard to breed the animals and release them back into the wild with plenty of success.  

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Panasonic had talked to us about experiencing fresh and the weekend gave us the opportunity to do this in different ways, sleeping closer to nature in our tents and exploring the huge green park on foot.  We found one of the play areas and the children loved having the freedom to move and climb as they pleased.  We found the park really well set up with areas to sit and eat and a few different playgrounds to break up the visit

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

We loved exploring Port Lympne with the children, it was such a brilliant place to get up close with the animals and the Dinosaur Forest was their absolute favourite, filled with lifesize models of dinosaurs throughout the different ages.

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Staying at Bear lodge in October meant it was really cold when we woke up in the morning and I would have done nearly anything to have stayed under the warm duvet and fleece blankets they provided.  By the time we got home the next evening the children were covered in mud, snoring on the back seat and Daniel's pumpkin soup fresh from the Panasonic food processer was exactly what I needed!

Experience Fresh, Port Lympne

Thank you to Panasonic for inviting us along to learn more about experiencing fresh.

Disclosure - This post is in collaboration with Panasonic
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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

An Easter Outing

This year the Easter weekend has seemed even more special than usual.  I have two children old enough to know what is going on, a little one who can have his very first taste of chocolate and the promise of two weeks with no school run and my biggest little boy at home,  Over the long weekend we managed to fit in some spring cleaning, catching up with friends, quiet time in the house, family time and an Easter outing too.  The winds blew, the sun shone, the chocolate disappeared pretty fast and three little boys were already asleep as their heads hit the sheets each night.

Easter Monday was the day we had planned a day out and despite the fact the wind had howled all night (and blown over our fence panels), the sun was still shining and we needed a day of fresh air.  We headed to our local Wildlife centre as it has something for everyone and had such a lovely day that we all came home smiling.

I love seeing the big cats but we seem to spend the longest time in the reptile house as the big two are fascinated by lizards, snakes, crocodiles and rodents.  It works out well if you manage to time it so that you are in there whilst it rains and enjoy the nicer parts of the day outside though.

We love this park as it has a playground inside that has so much to do and we spend just as long climbing and sliding as we do looking at the animals (and there is a soft play inside so that Finn can get out the buggy or sling and explore too).  There are also ride on electric trucks that they have to have a go on each time we visit.

I can't wait to spend two whole weeks with my favourite small people now, especially considering that when the new term starts Archie will be doing more hours at nursery and our time together will be even more precious. 

How was your Easter Weekend?

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A Day at the Zoo

I love being a stay at home parent, but I do look forward to the weekends and some family time together.  Seeing my boys playing together, getting some one on one time with each of them and of course having someone to help during the more demanding times.  This weekend we enjoyed some wonderful family time and set off to London for a day at the zoo.  Dylan is at the perfect age for it and I got to have a play with my new camera as well (sorry for the photo overdose!)

Dylan made it very clear that the gorillas and giraffes were our priorities and he loved exploring and watching everything from the penguins to the monkeys.  

He wasn't so keen on the pigs and tigers but he was desperate to feed the giraffes and zebras and I think he would have taken a gorilla home given half the chance.

I popped Archie in a sling on my back so that he could see everything as the pushchair is quite low and he was silent and wide eyed the whole way round, taking everything in as he snuggled. (well until he fell asleep at least)

A lovely walk through the beautiful Regent's park where autumnal colours and fallen leaves lined the paths, and we stopped to take in some Christmas lights (and enjoy some gingerbread men) before heading home worn out for a quiet family day in on Sunday.

I love visiting the zoo this time of year and we were lucky it was such a mild and dry day.  The paths are quieter, queues shorter and the animals are busy and active which is great to watch.  I love showing the boys new things and Dylan hasn't stopped talking about our day out.

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Friday, 6 July 2012

Wildlife Park Adventures

There are some definite advantages to being a stay at home mum and one of them is getting to go on little adventures when everyone else is at school or work.  Today we went to Wingham Wildlife Park to see the Tigers and penguins and had beautiful luck with the weather.  One of the best things about our day was that the zoo was so quiet, we could mooch at our leisure and enjoy the animals.

flamingos, wingham wildlife park

We set out nice and early (I still consider
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Monday, 2 July 2012

Summer Sun - Ways to have Fun

The white midriffs, pasty legs and abundance of sunglasses tell me that summer is here. Time for pub gardens and ice cold cider  the park and a carton of ice cold juice.  Living so close to the beach has one major advantage - free entertainment.  It doesn't matter if you are one or one hundred, the beach seems to be a source of constant amusement in the summer.  From sandcastles, to sunbathing, to sitting in deckchairs scoffing fish'n'chips, we do like to be beside the seaside.

This summer the baby will need entertaining a lot more than last year.  Last year he spent half the summer as a bump, and the other half as a sleeping, feeding, pooing machine, waking up only to feed, and even then he seemed half asleep.  This year I will have a (presumably) mobile, active toddler on my hands.

So here are the things we plan to do if the glorious weather stays this way:

-Lots of trips to the beach.  We are lucky enough to be a 5 minute walk from a gorgeous sandy beach so any spare time will be spent down there. Dylan loves feeling the sand between his fingers but I have yet to convince him that the cold waves are actually a lot of fun!
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Friday, 27 April 2012

Trunki Day Out Review

When we were invited to London Zoo to see the new Trunki products it would have been rude to say no, so armed with a bag full of nappies and milk, off we went.  They were all set up in the reptile house which was luckily under cover as the rain was relentless.   Dylan has developed a bit of an obsession with his cot, meaning that he will sleep perfectly in itt, or not at all if we are anywhere else.  The first Trunki product was something that may remedy this.

The Snoozihedz are a fantastic invention, consisting of a soft animal face pillow, with a blanket and inflatable insert inside.  When your child fancies a sleep, you remove the blanket, and blow up the inflatable to form a pillow for their heads.  The blanket attaches both sides of the pillow meaning that even a fidget won't get cold as it stays put.

The snoozihed currently comes in blue and pink, but the new range has four new animals, including Pippin the Penguin (my favourite) and Leeroy the Lion.  Purchasing one of these new characters feels great not just on your little ones head, as they donate 50p from each one sold towards the corresponding animal charity at either London or Bristol Zoo.

Dylan loves his, and I love the security of knowing that he cannot kick the blanket under the pushchair wheels anymore.  They are great for carseats, pushchairs, airplanes, anywhere your child may want a little snuggle really.

Pippin penguin , Trunki, Snoozihedz

dinosaur Trunki Snoozihedz

The second new product was the paddlepak's new designs,
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Monday, 27 February 2012

Day 24- The Mini Zoo

rabbit, mini zoo, baby and rabbit

Day 24 saw Dylan being introduced to some creatures he had never come across before.  In turn he met a rabbit, a guinea pig and a budgie.  He has been around cats and dogs before, but has always seemed happy to be ignored by them.  This time he had no choice but to examine them closer.

baby and rabbit, mini zoo
First came a rabbit,
a beautifully soft white fluffy rabbit which I could not help but stroke myself.  Dylan seemed fascinated and happy to touch and play with the furry thing.  I had to hold him back from pulling the poor creatures hairs out as I think he fancied a quick taste.

baby and rabbit, mini-zoo

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