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Posts Tagged ‘Warrington’

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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Yesterday, during my mum’s weekly visit, we decided (in a fit of madness) to go to Ikea with baby and toddler.

We’re lucky that we have an Ikea in Warrington, a short drive from our house, and it’s always been a great rainy day option with Lilly – from when she was a baby to more recently before Isla was born.

But, BLIMEY. Now she is a fully blown little person with boundless energy, it was an exhausting experience!

The fun began right from the outset, as there is a little playground outside the shop which (not very) helpfully seemed to get Lilly hyped up and extremely excited about the shopping trip ahead.

Once inside it was just one treat after another – first the escalator adventure and once upstairs the chance to run around hundreds of “pretend” living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens – climbing on chairs, rearranging plates & cutlery, banging on pretend keyboards at pretend desks, rolling on beds, bouncing on sofas, looking in mirrors, touching fluffy rugs and throws, drawing with the little pencils and shopping lists they provide… and that was all before we arrived at the children’s section!

On arrival my mum (wisely) nominated herself to be in charge of Isla. At 4 weeks old, she wasn’t much of a challenge, and basically slept the entire time, allowing my mum to have a leisurely browse while I had the legs run off me trying to stop Lilly from lurching from one near disaster / accident to another.

And then came the next challenge… those immortal words: “I need a wee-wee”. Ok, right. Don’t panic! Find the toilets! Take the toddler seat! Let’s go quick… COME ON! RUN!!”

We made it to the ladies and Lilly managed to use the big toilet with the help of her seat, although the bribery I’ve been using of late has obviously been noted and as we were dashing to the toilet, Lilly was saying: “I go to the big toilet, and then I get Magic Stars, don’t I mummy?”

Anyway, that drama over with, we had to track down my mum and other child. Not easy. We’d parted rather hastily, agreeing to meet up again “in the marketplace”. Yes, good plan. The marketplace is HUGE and spread over two floors. We couldn’t find them and to make matters worse there is little or no mobile phone reception in there. We hunted them down for a good 20 minutes, during which time we were tantilisingly close to the restaurant, and it was dangerously close to Lilly’s tea time. “I’m hungry mummy” she kept saying. “I can smell dinners”.

Eventually, we were reunited. Meatballs were purchased for Madame. Cakes and coffees were purchased for Mummy and Grannie… well earnt I think! Best of all, being the proud owner of an Ikea Family Card (whatever that is) meant my refillable coffee was free, and Lilly’s meal was only 50p – and came with a free orange! Not to be sniffed at, and made the rather stressful day’s events seem a little less traumatic.

Before we left, Grannie treated us all to ice cream cones – 35p each! And Lilly said: “This is the best ice cream EVER!

So then. Ikea. Toddlers love it. As days out go, it’s cheap. But don’t expect you’ll get a chance to actually look at anything. And you WILL need wine once you get home and they’ve gone to bed!

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