Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Chessington - it's out of this world

As a special treat the day before Eldest Martini starts big school, Team Martini went en masse on a day trip to Chessington World of Adventures. It's not even ten miles from our house - who knew? - and I have to be honest, I wasn't expecting fantastic things (totally based on a fairly blah experience about 15 years ago. Hardly fair, but then, who said I was fair?). I was quite wrong. It was FANTASTIC. 




All three Martini children enjoyed different things at the park - and there were no queues, which was a bonus - so we could go on rides more than once when demanded! The Octonauts theme to the Sealife Centre was a big hit and I was super impressed with the First Aid team - eldest Martini was stung by a wasp, but thanks to the TLC he got from the first aiders it didn't ruin the day. 

We had also considered going to Legoland, but it was actually closed yesterday (it's closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in September) so the decision was made for us. But, after our experience yesterday, I think it was the better option. Here are my top tips to get the most from the day:

1. Plan ahead. Sounds obvious - but there are some really good offers online, some even better than the obvious 2 for 1 coupons that are everywhere. We made the most of the adult/toddler deal - £19 for one adult and one toddler under 5. Also, ticket prices aren't done by age (apart from this adult/toddler deal) - they are done by height - which is good news if your children are shorter - especially because they can still go on a good portion of the rides. 

2. Visit the zoo. The Skytrain ride is good, but you can't beat walking round the zoo. We did that in the afternoon, and it was a great way to entertain the children after the excitement of the rides in the morning. Leave more time for this than you think - I was amazed how fascinated the kids were to watch a lion basically lying down doing absolutely nothing. 

3. Print off the itinerary so you know what's happening when. I made the school boy error of not confirming when Captain Barnacles was going to appear at the Sealife Centre - not something I'd ever do again. Whilst I, bigger Martini, was not that bothered, apparently the smaller Martinis were not in agreement. A person inside a huge costume that bears more than a passing resemblance to a cartoon character is not to be sniffed at. Fortunately, they got to meet Kwazii, so total disaster was averted. Just.

4. Pack snacks. While I can't bring myself to pack a full picnic and lug it around all day, it's not so hard to take some water bottles and some fruit. Prices on the park are high and there are many tempting alternatives that smaller Martinis would have quite happily had - such as doughnuts, chocolate marshmallows and crepes (come to think of it, so would I...).

5. If you're going to be a total sucker like me and actually buy the extortionate photographs at the end of some rides (and in the Sealife Centre - that one was good because we could all get in one photo and pose for it!) - then admit this fact in advance and make the most of the 4 items for £20 option. I didn't and then ended up spending more than this by the end of the day - don't make the same mistake we did. 



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