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Posts Tagged ‘Walton Hall Gardens’

We’re not going on holiday this summer – but I have booked plenty of days off work so that we can have some lovely days out.

We started last week with three great days in the scorching weather that we’ve enjoyed for the last few weeks.

On Saturday, Tony had to work, so it was just me and the girls. After carefully considering how ambitious I could be while flying solo in charge of all three, I decided to take them to Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington.

It’s great there – they have a huge playground with equipment suitable for all ages, lovely gardens with plenty of spots for picnics, a pond full of huge fish, a free children’s zoo with rabbits, birds, donkeys, pigs, goats etc. There’s a land train, and, in the holidays, there are trampolines, bouncy slides, and a pottery painting workshop, all at an extra cost of course (though it’s free to get in, apart from parking).

Walton Hall Gdns 26.7.14-001

It took us forever to get out of the house – getting three children properly suncreamed takes a good 20 minutes! But once we were out we had a great time. They all loved the playground – Eve went straight for the huge Helter Skelter Slide; Lilly’s favourite thing was climbing to the top of one of those spider web net climbing frame things. A slightly hair-raising moment when Lilly was right at the top of the frame – and Eve was as far away as she could possibly be on the other side of the playground – a time when I really needed to be in two places at once! But we survived!

 

After that we had a nice picnic under a shady tree, followed by a wander over to see the fish, a game of hide & seek (modified after it caused war to be more of a hunt-for-an-interesting-object-game) and playing house under a weeping willow for quite a while.

Walton Hall Gdns 26.7.14 Walton Hall Gdns fish

Then the girls all went on the trampolines and had great fun bouncing together!

Walton Hall Gdns trampoline

Walton Hall Gdns ice creamsAfter all that fun, we relaxed with ice creams and a look around the farm. Eve was particularly interested in all the animals – she especially loved the pig which had its snout pressed right up against the fence oinking at her!

Last time we took the girls to the farm Isla hadn’t liked the noise of the peacocks and had cried wanting to go home. This time she was much better, telling me: “I’m being very brave, aren’t I?”

We had a great day and spent about four hours there in all. But that night I was absolutely shattered!

 

On Monday we met my mum in Liverpool and took the girls to The Beach at Liverpool One.

We’ve taken them there for a few years now – it’s basically an artificial beach in the centre of a shopping centre. A bit disappointing this year as they’ve taken the ‘sea’ away from the beach for “health and safety” reasons, which basically means it’s just sand. But it’s still lovely and the girls had a fantastic time making sandcastles and playing.

Liverpool One beach 28.7.14-001 Liverpool One beach 28.7.14-003 Liverpool One beach 28.7.14 2

It was a great reminder though of what a pain sand is! And getting three kids to eat sandwiches at the beach without getting sand in them is basically impossible!

It was really interesting to see the three personalities at work. Lilly went into creative artist mode and got very serious about making a dog sand sculpture. When they had beach games for the children, she didn’t want to join in because she was too busy with her creation! She didn’t even want to stop for lunch (but she did!). Isla really enjoyed playing with Eve and making sandcastles with me, but kept herself to herself and didn’t try to make friends with the other children. Eve had the time of her life exploring a tunnel through the giant sandcastle on the beach with the other children, and was happy to go up to other groups of children and start joining in with their games! At one stage I saw her go up to a girl of about 10 who was holding the hand of a little baby (probably her baby brother). Eve walked up to the other side of her and put out her hand, telling the girl: “hold my hand too”! And when they started the beach games, Eve was first up!

And on the last day before I went back to work, I took the girls swimming with Nanna. They’ve been asking to go for ages, and they loved it. Amazingly, Eve wasn’t so sure at first and just wanted to sit on the edge splashing her feet. But by the time we left she was quite happy to be in the water playing games and pretending to swim! Lilly was happy just doing her own thing – she really believes she can swim now and insisted in trying without her arms bands – which was when she found out what arm bands are actually for! And Isla was happy ‘learning to swim’ and playing silly games with me up and down the pool.

All in all a great three days, now I’m looking forward to my next two days off work next week… just need to come up with exciting plans to keep up the momentum!

 

 

 

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Last week on a day off work the girls and I spent a really lovely day at Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous so we decided to take a picnic and go.

We parked up and walked over the bridge, watching and waving to canal boats passing below. Then we arrived at the playground, which, if you are a 3-year-old or thereabouts is VERY impressive. Lilly’s absolute favourite being the helter skelter style slide – plenty of exercise was had climbing up there time after time after time!

After that we spread out our picnic blanket under a shady tree and enjoyed our lunch – I was really pleased that Isla ate some soft cheese sandwiches and had no choking issues, and also seemed to enjoy them and feel full up without me having to heat anything up for her – hallelujah! Isla also had her first taste of strawberries:

… as you can see she wasn’t too sure at first, but she enjoyed holding it in her hand and biting into it, so I’m counting that as a success!

Then we went for a look at the pond with some HUGE fish in – one even flipped out of the water while we watched with very much entertained Lilly. And the flower gardens there were looking beautiful in the sunshine, especially this one which was planted with hundreds of lovely purple tulips:

After that, it was back to the playground for a bit then a look around the ‘children’s zoo’, which basically comprises of lots of rabbits, guinea pigs, peacocks and things, and then Lilly had a little go at pottery painting which was taking place next to the playground

She chose a little aeroplane to paint (£3.50) and I was actually really impressed by the detail she put into it. Usually painting at home is a bit of a messy business, with LOTS of paint applied and all the colours mixed together. But at the pottery painting they had a big box of fine paintbrushes, and the children were using one paintbrush per colour, then putting the used brush into a tub, so no colours were mixed up. Lilly took a good ten minutes carefully adding little dots of colour to her plane before declaring it finished. Then we left it to dry while we sat down with an ice cream on the grass.

After that we had one last play in the playground – and strangely enough, bumped into a group of children from Lilly’s nursery on a day trip! Then we collected Lilly’s aeroplane and came home.

All in all I think we were there about five hours – not bad for somewhere that’s free (car parking aside). The weather obviously helped, but if you live anywhere near Warrington I’d thoroughly recommend Walton Hall Gardens for a nice day out with the children.

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