Much as a bit of sunshine and heat is always very much welcome (says she who is just back from a hen weekend in Marrakesh!), sometimes sticking close to home can be just as good. I think we’ve realised that going away with a one year old and a three year old is just not what we want to do. Flights, heat, shared hotel rooms and trying to get them to sleep, just don’t appeal. And that’s not even considering the cost of going abroad. So, we’ve definitely found ourselves being far more open to staycations since we had the girls.
At the end of half term, a couple of weeks ago, we headed off to Flamingo Land for the weekend, with my mum and stepdad in tow too. Flamingo Land is in North-East Yorkshire and is quite unique in that it is both a zoo and theme park in one. As we went out of season, most of the theme park rides were closed. Luckily, the ones catering to smaller children were open, so it suited us perfectly.
We stayed in one of the luxury caravans onsite. It was fab, less caravan more bungalow really! And only a 5 minute walk from the zoo entrance, plus the entertainment complex. Our stay included entry to the zoo, so we made the most of it and went there all day Saturday and for a few hours on Sunday too before we headed back home.
The zoo had all the usual animals. Giraffes (a family favourite!), lions, tigers (though we only caught a brief glimpse of one, they seemed to prefer to stay out of sight!), hippos, zebras, rhinos, and most of the animals you tend to see in zoos. The log flume ride around the lion enclosure looked particularly cool, but was unfortunately shut for the winter. There was also a dino park, where there were a good few rides. A scarily high swing ride that Sean had to go it alone on! And the only rollercoaster open, which Ella just managed to pass the height requirement for. She’s very tall for her age, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s one of only a very small number of 3 year olds to go on it. Let’s just say, I was terrified! I’m not really a rollercoaster person, especially as I’m terrified of heights. But Ella absolutely loved it!
There was also a farm section, with more rides. Little helicopters that circled up in the sky, a tractor ride, a haunted house experience, a carousel, and a big play area too. We went on quite a few of the rides a couple of times, and I’m pretty sure the rides were the girls favourite part of Flamingo Land. There’s only so long young kids can stare at animals (and only so long that I can!). So they definitely found the rides far more exciting.
I can see us going back to Flamingo Land again. It was great to stay on site, but next time we might think about staying in a nearby seaside town, and doing Flamingo Land as a day trip to have a bit more variety in the holiday. The only impact we found in going out of season was the lack of food choices. We saw lots and lots of restaurants that were closed until the summer season, which was a shame. But I don’t think we missed out on the main theme park, as the girls would be too small for most of the rides anyway. It was fab to get away and the girls absolutely loved it!! And Ella still loves to tell everyone that she has been on a rollercoaster!