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A Family Day Out at Chessington World of Adventures, August 2019 | Review

9.8.19

Chessington World of Adventures is somewhere I have been visiting since I was a child myself. I've shared a review on my blog before - back in 2015 when Indiana was 1 and I was 35 weeks pregnant with Parker. But as so much has changed since then, I thought it was about time I shared an updated review. We recently visited for Parker's 4th birthday treat and had the most amazing day out!


Rides and Attractions 

Chessington is much more than a theme park. Of course there are plenty of thrill rides for the whole family to enjoy, but there's also a zoo, a Sealife Centre and lots of fun interactive shows and talks. This summer Chessington is celebrating the amazing Gruffalo Summer Party, featuring lots of Julia Donaldson's beloved characters with interactions and a brand new show. Plus until 2nd September you can enjoy Beach & Bounce - a 100 metre long inflatable obstacle course and pop up beach that is included in your admission ticket.







In the theme park itself there are over 40 rides and attractions over 10 themed 'lands'. Our little ones are aged 5, 4 and 18 months, so we haven't really experienced the bigger rollercoasters and thrill rides. But there are plenty of rides that younger children can enjoy!

Rides that we all enjoyed as a family:

The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure
The Adventure Tree
Room on the Broom
Tomb Blaster
Tiny Truckers
Toadie's Crazy Cars
Sea Dragons
The Gruffalo Summer Party

Rides that Indiana (5) and Parker (4) enjoyed with either parent:

Zufari: Ride into Africa!
Scorpion Express
Treetop Hoppers
Seastorm
Flying Jumbos
Jungle Bus
Griffin's Galleon
Tuk Tuk Turmoil






We visited during the Summer holidays, but by arriving early (the park opens at 10am, but we like to arrived by 9.30am to get parked and ready) and making use of the Chessington App, we never queued longer than 20/25 minutes for any ride. You can also pick up a Parent Swap pass from the Guest Help and Information centre to cut down on queuing too - these allow one parent to queue with the child/ren, ride and then swap with the other parent via the exit, so you don't have to queue twice!

The Zoo and Sea Life Centre

Chessington Zoo is home to over 1,000 exotic animals, including tigers in Tiger Rock, gorillas, penguins, sea lions and giraffe. By riding Zufari you can get up close to some of these animals (you can also do feeding experiences at an extra charge), or you can simply wander around the zoo at a leisurely pace. Throughout the day you can experience keeper talks and feeding times, which are really special to see. We got to enjoy the Gorillas up close - including a teeny baby that was oh so sweet!

As well as the bigger zoo animals, there is also a children's petting zoo tucked away next to Room on a Broom. You can see sheep, goats, pigs and also meet guinea pigs, rabbits and kunekunes at certain times throughout the day. The Lawn in front of Room on a Broom is also home to an Animal Antics show which is usually on around 3.30pm each day. And don't forget you can feed the Lorikeets (extra charge), which is such a lovely activity for children.






The Sea Life centre is only small, but it's absolutely perfect for little children. There's lots of fun sea life as well as interactive rock pools, daily talks and feeding sessions, and the walkthrough ocean tunnel at the end is definitely a highlight! My three loved finding the Nemos and rays, and were even brave enough to stroke a starfish.

Food and Drink

To save money on our visits we have always taken a picnic with us to Chessington - we like to sit and watch the show at The Gruffalo Arena while eating, however there are lots of picnic spots dotted around the park too. If you do want to buy food while there though, there are plenty of options. From a quick burger and chips or fried chicken, to a proper sit down bbq meal, there's something for everyone. You can also buy meal deals in advance for places such as the Pizza Pasta Buffet to save some money.

There are also lots of places to grab a quick bite to eat or snack (the Gruffalo cupcakes looked SO good), and the the ice creams at Tuk Tuk Treats are a must. You can also purchase a Quencher drinks cup for £8, that allows you unlimited refills of soft drinks throughout your visit. These are a great deal, especially during a hot summers day when you're drinking lots more.

Ticket Options and Prices

Booking online will always save you money, however you can of course pay on the day. Chessington offer four different types of tickets: basic entry ticket, an 'all inclusive ticket' (includes entry, a meal deal and a Quencher drink cup), a late entry ticket (entries after 3pm), and an adult and preschool child ticket (entry for one adult and a child aged 5 and under). Children aged 3 and under are free.



We actually got our tickets from 365 Tickets, which offer amazing deals to attractions and days out across the country and worldwide. You can save up to 40% off tickets when booked 5 or more days in advance - making standard entry as little as £29.50 per person. This ticket is then instantly sent to you via email (which you can then print off and redeem) meaning you can save lots of time at the gates.

Parking is an extra charge at Chessington, which can either be prebooked or purchased on the day. Standard parking costs £4, and express parking (which parks you closer to the entrance) is £10. To find Chessington, make sure to use the postcode KT9 2NE on your Satnav or Smartphone.

This post is written in collaboration with 365 Tickets. We received our tickets in exchange for this review, however all opinions are honest and my own.

A Day Out in Covent Garden, London with Young Children | August 2019

7.8.19


Living in Kent, we are lucky enough to be only a short drive or train journey away from many fantastic places. One of our favourite places to take the Littles is on an adventure to London; there's so much to see and do for children in the capital, plus it's only 45 minutes on the train so it's not too far away either!

So last week we decided to hop on a train and spend the day at one of favourite London spots - Covent Garden. Located in London's West End, Covent Garden is a must-see for anyone who enjoys shopping, theatre, restaurants, bars, history and culture. Our train takes us straight to London Charing Cross station, so it's just a 10 minute walk from there. I would absolutely love to stay overnight in the area though, and there are plenty of Covent Garden Hotels to choose from if we did decide to in the future.





When a lot of people think of London, they probably don't think of it as being a great day out for young children (our three are 5, 4 and 18 months). But this couldn't be further from the truth! Covent Garden is perfect for young children, as there is just so much to see and do in the area. We arrived around 11am and instantly stumbled upon the first of many street performers. Covent Garden is well known for it's street performers in the Piazza and Covent Garden Market - a mixture of circus acts, card tricks and interactive shows. We also saw a fantastic string orchestra later on in the day, which the Littles especially loved!

There are so, so many places to eat and drink in the Covent Garden area so we weren't stuck for somewhere for lunch. We ended up eating at Wahlburgers, which is located just off the Piazza on James Street, as they are currently offering 'kids eat free' during the Summer holidays! Owned by the Wahlburg brothers (as in Mark Wahlburg fame), the Covent Garden restaurant is the first to open outside North America. It's your standard burger and fries kind of place, but the food was really tasty and it was great for the children.





After lunch we spent the afternoon at the amazing London Transport Museum. We used the National Rail 2-for-1 offer, and as under 17s enter the museum for free, we only paid £18 for all of us to get in! One ticket is also a yearly ticket, so now we have somewhere to visit in the future too. While exploring we enjoyed following the free stamper trail, which makes sure you see every part of the museum. There were plenty of vehicles you can actually explore, as well as a fab family play zone called All Aboard (for children 0-7 years) that has a real interactive bus, tools, mini vehicles and uniforms to dress up in. There's also a Baby DLR which is a dedicated area for young babies.

After the museum, we made a quick pit stop for the yummiest ice creams we've had in a long time (we got ours from Venchi, which constantly had queues out the door), before heading to the Disney in the West End popup. Located just along Long Acre, the popup is a collaboration between two current and two future West End musicals - Aladdin, The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Frozen the Musical. You can see props from the shows, take part in activities such as kite making, and also take special pictures in a Frozen Photo Booth. It's only small, but definitely worth taking a look if you've got young children (or just love Disney!). 








All absolutely exhausted, we made the short walk back to the station and hopped on a train home. We had the loveliest day out in Covent Garden, and we only managed to scratch the surface on what's to offer in the area. There are more museums, places to shop and of course shows to see, that just means we'll need another day out in the future! 

Have you been to Covent Garden? What's your favourite place to visit in London?

This is a collaborative post. The spending money for this trip was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.