Our day at Drusillas!

Right so, my life has been well and truly made. 


Because on Wednesday, I got to meet Bing & Flop. 

If you've got kids, I'm certain that you know who they are. If not, I definitely sound like a lunatic right now.

So, for those of you who are not subjected to Cbeebies every morning- meet Bing and Flop:

On Wednesday, we went with two of our best friends to Drusillas! Drusillas is a local zoo park which is known to be one of the top family friendly attractions in the area! I haven't been there since I was in primary school and all I could actually remember about the place was that I had "milked" a plastic cow (strange which parts of our childhood we remember, isn't it...) Anyway, it's fair to say I was seriously excited about re-visiting and seeing what's changed about the place in the last 20 years or so (wow I feel old all of a sudden.)

Drusillas is only about a 30 minute drive from us and I was actually thinking about taking my littlun there for his 3rd birthday but, when I heard that Bing & co were making an appearance on Wednesday 17th August, I simply had to take him along to meet them!
I'll be honest, I think I was far more excited about the idea of meeting the animated characters than he was, but when he saw them up on the meet & greet stage his little face lit up. 

The queue was long and we waited for quite some time but I'd say it was worth it to see my little boy a little bit starstruck over his TV idols whom he's watched every day since he was tiny! 

So, once we'd met the characters and had our picture taken with them, I wondered if we'd find as much enjoyment from the rest of the attractions at the park. We'd set aside a whole day to visit and had even packed a bag of swimming clothes since we'd heard about the new 'splash pad' play area at the park, which I'll explain later!

As we ventured off around the park with our maps we came to a halt at what appeared to be railway crossing gates, soon followed by the one and only Thomas The Tank Engine! A real, life sized Thomas chauffeuring visitors around the park! Such a fab idea! 

That's three children's TV icons we'd met in the space of about an hour! That certainly doesn't happen every day!

So, of course, we took a ride on Thomas and I'd say this was probably the highlight of the day for my son! For a little boy of 2 years, all of his dreams came true in getting to ride on the real Thomas, saying hello to some of the other engines in their sheds and passing by the Fat Controller! This ride was a total winner in his eyes!

 Upon departing the Thomas railway station, we decided to head towards the Zoo trail and meet some of the animals! I was really impressed with the amount of animals at the park, they had such a fab variety and some super cute fur babies too! For me, the highlight was the "Teletubby land" complete with flopsy bunnies and guinea pigs! For a moment, I felt like I had really entered the land of Tinky Winky and Dipsy- Ok, now I definitely sound like a lunatic. But I loved the creativity behind the way Drusillas had housed their furry habitants!

In terms of the zoo & farm yard area of the park, I felt that Drusillas had plenty to offer. From flamingos to a giant porcupine; meerkats to camels, there was loads to take in and my son met many animals he hadn't yet seen before, such as the snowy owls and the wallabies!
The farm area was small but it was pretty much everything to expect from a farm- and yes, it was complete with the aforementioned plastic cow milking contraption- which, alongside many of the attractions at Drusillas, was a great educational tool!

Drusillas was well equipped with learning tools and I felt it would provide the perfect setting for school trips! What with the animals, the large play areas and the paddling pool/ water play zones, I'd say it made for a well rounded, fun and exciting day out!

One thing I will say is that I bloody wish Drusillas had their 'Splash Pad' play area back in 1996 when I visited with my primary school friends! This water play area was seriously cool. I've never seen anything quite like it, it was full of water jets and spiraling sprays! As we had visited on one of the hottest days of the year, this play area was fully appreciated! The children loved running through the jets! It reminded me so much of being a child myself and running through the water sprinkler in my back garden- only, this was obviously much cooler than that.... I don't think any of us would have minded spending the whole day at the Splash Pad actually, it was loads of fun and definitely not something I've come across with my son before!

The play zones were all, from what I could see, well equipped. However, we only visited the 'Go Bananas' play area as this was the only one suitable for toddlers! It was made up  of all the usual playground equipment, with the added bonus of a trampoline- which my son loved so much that he later refused to move from it and caused a scene in front of everyone- thanks a lot, baby! But at least he had fun, right?

So, all in all, I'd say visitng Drusillas makes for the perfect family day out and, although slightly pricey, I think you get your money's worth in terms of just how much there is to do there and how well maintained the place is! 

My only negatives from our visit were:

1) My child's behaviour at times during the day which, quite frankly, was no fault of Drusillas themselves. But more, a reflection of the fact that he'd been having some late nights leading up to the day of our visit. So, I suppose I'll let it slide... ;)

2) The fact that the place was absolutely heaving with people due to the school summer holidays! But I suppose, during the school holidays, you can expect most places to be packed like that- it just meant that we didn't get to spend as much time at each attraction as we might've liked to! And that my son was , on average, walking into someone every 3.5 seconds. But again, can't really blame Drusillas for that either, can I? ;)

So, with that in mind- I'd definitely visit again, perhaps our next visit will be during term time when the bigger kids are back at school and the toddlers have a little more space to do their thing!

But, we had a great time and we certainly slept well when we got home! My son couldn't wait to tell his nursery friends all about his experience of meeting Bing and Thomas The Tank Engine!

Thanks for having us, Drusillas! 

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