Paradise Wildlife Park – ‘A unique attraction in Hertfordshire’

If you’re looking for a great day out for the whole family, Paradise Wildlife Park should definitely be on your list. Situated in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire just off the A10 (near junction 25 on the M25) or if you’re travelling by train, they offer a pick up service from Broxbourne station (£3 per person, under 2’s go free).

Tickets are cheaper if booked online (have to be done at least the day before your visit) and there are normally discount codes available (PWP20 currently giving 20 % off – at time of publication). Cheaper prices are offered for kids, senior citizens and disabled (carers too) visitors – click here for more info. If you live locally you can also purchase annual passes which can be paid in one lump sum or monthly – I have one of these and have been over 20 times since March.

OK, what all can you see at Paradise Wildlife Park ?? As you can see by the map below, its quite a large park with many attractions.

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My daughter LOVES dinosaurs and as ‘WORLD OF DINOSAURS’ is right in front of you when you enter, i’ll start here.
This attraction opened in March this year – here you can experience 30 life sized, moving, ‘breathing’, roaring dinosaurs. Take a walk through the woods (and back in time) experiencing these big animals, there is also a dino train (Tickets £2 per person over 2 years old or free with an annual pass) that takes you through the World of Dinosaurs – be carful as some dinosaurs spit ! Don’t forget to see if you can uncover a dinosaur skeleton before you leave..

Another favourite of ours, especially during the warm summer we had was Paradise Lagoon. A lovely splash pool with slide and turfed picnic area. They have a little hut selling inflatables and ice creams which is a big hit with the little ones. Picnic tables are available meaning you can bring lunch from home and enjoy it whilst the little ones cool down in the pool.

Before heading over to the animal section there is a lovely play area with slides coming out of fire trucks and trains, climbing frames and an area with equipment adapted for wheelchair users too. There is another play area in the animal section which is covered. It has a climbing frame, sea saw and slides. If the weather isn’t great there is an indoor soft play area, Tumble Jungle with a cafe and coffee shop for mums and dads to rest and refuel.

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There is so much to see and do in the animal park, we love feeding the goats and sheep the fresh food (available to buy from the kiosks for £1), then over to BIG CAT TERRITORY.  If you’re lucky you may be able to see some of the big cats being fed which is awesome!

BCEYou can also feed the big cats / wolves – £199 during the week (£249 on weekends) – which is often half price for annual members ! After welcome drinks, you receive a health and safety briefing. Once in position you will feed your cat of choice through the bars of their enclosure.  The experience lasts 30 mins. The price includes access to the park and is wheelchair accessible too.
Click here for more info.
If you don’t fancy feeding one of the big cats / wolves, there are a few other animal experiences on offer (Meet the Red Pandas, Meerkats, Lemurs, get up close and personal with a sloth just to name a few). More info can be found here.

My daughter loves the penguin enclosure as well as the outback trail too. The monkeys are playful and loud and can be heard from almost all over the park – they’re definitely worth a visit.

We absolutely love our days at Paradise Wildlife Park, there is SO much to do there that even having gone 20 + times there are still bits of it we’ve not visited. If you’re looking for a fun, educational day out – Paradise Wildlife Park is for you!

 

 

 

 

Cuddledry – Cuddlebunny Toddler Towel

The same company that created the award winning hands free baby bath towel have created a toddler range, including the Cuddlebunny, Cuddleroar and Cuddlepanda. The cutest bath towels come in 2 sizes (1-3 and 3-6 years).

We were sent the cuddle bunny for Georgia (2 years) to try out.

Georgia loves bath time and hates getting out, there are often tears but ever since her bunny towel arrived, she loves getting out and lying in it. She particularly likes the bunny ears and tail.

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All Cuddledry products we’ve reviewed are of a very high quality and this is no different – the packaging it comes in is beautiful – Georgia loved carrying it around like a briefcase when it arrived. They retail for £29.99 which is on the expensive side but for a product thats used daily, its certainly lasted. It washes well and is still super soft.
Click here for more info or to buy your own. Use code FRIENDS15 to get 15 % discount at checkout.

I love taking her bath towel with us when we go away, its compact and light so these products are great for everyday use as well as while away.

 

DOCK & BAY microfibre towels

Do you hate how long normal beach towels take to dry ? or even worse, sand all over your damp towel? If your answer is yes then you need to try Dock & Bay’s microfibre towels.

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Andy and Benno designed the Dock & Bay towels with some great features:

* They’re the biggest on the market
* They fold up really small
* Sand slides right off due to the smooth texture
* They’re absorbent and smooth
* They dry up to 3 times faster than normal towels

We were sent a bundle that included XL and L towels as well as their mini ponchos – something for everyone in the family.

We’ve used the towels while camping, at home around the paddling pool and whilst away on holidays – here’s how we got on.

The first outing for the Mini Poncho and 2 of the towels was a camping trip. This product is perfect for camping or when going travelling. They’re small and take up no space in your bag and dry quickly! They’re also really trendy and the kids LOVE them

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The second outing was on our family holiday to the Costa Del Sol in July – the weather was perfect and we spent a lot of time around the pool. The girls all loved their ponchos which were perfect to pop them in whilst they had a snack in between swim sessions.
We did make it to the beach one morning but the girls weren’t fans of the cold sea so we aborted that mission and went back to the pool. Before we left i threw a bucket of sand on my towel to see what would happen when i picked it up, and just like the website says, it all slid off

Not only do they sell towels and ponchos for the kids, they also sell mens swim shorts that are made from 100 % recycled plastic bottles. Their Active collection is made up of 30% recycled plastic bottles. Last year they replaced all plastic bags used while transporting their goods and have replaced them with 100 % biodegradable materials

Dock & Bay have a brilliant ethos and are all about taking risks, living your best life all whilst building a more sustainable business.

Dock & Bay featured on Dragons Den in 2017 and received 3 offers (Tej Lalvani, Touker Suleyman and Deborah Meadon). They are now working with Deborah to ‘change the face of towels forever!’.

Get yours here. If you sign up to their mailing list you can get 10 % off when buying 2 or more products, they also offer free delivery within the UK.

Chilly’s Bottles – Chilled or warm – you decide.

A few of my friends have told me about these amazing water bottles. When I say talking – I should say, RAVING about them. I got in touch with Chilly’s as I wanted to see what all the fuss was about – They are amazing. Perfect for every member of the family especially on days out.

They’re made with a double wall vacuum technology that keeps cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and warm drinks warm for up to 12 hours. They’re also Eco-Friendly, reusing your bottle means you will use less single use plastic. It also helps you drink more water – I’ve always struggled to drink water but I’ve been drinking it by the bottle load as theres nothing better than ice cold water on a hot day.

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We received the bottles in the midst of the UK Heatwave a few weeks ago. I put iced water in it straight away and headed out to a friends house. I forgot to take my bottle out of my bag which was in direct sunlight. I went for a sip and when I picked up the bottle, the outside was warm – i thought ‘oh no!’ but when I had a sip, the water was still lovely and cold.

My husband was sceptical at first but he drinks a lot of water through the night so I gave him my bottle and told him to test it for himself – the next morning he was sold! We went on a family holiday to the South of France last week and we took our 2 Chilly’s bottles with us – the temp was no lower than 33c degrees all week, with one day reaching 38c. We spent a lot of time around the pool, meaning our bottles lay around in the sun all day, for days on end – but the result was always the same – our water was always the same temp it was when we filled the bottles.

One note of advice – after reading a few comments on the Chilly’s Facebook page I saw people saying their water hadn’t been cold after leaving it in the fridge or it wasn’t as warm as they’d have expected after a few hours. Chilly’s recommend that you fill the bottle with iced cold water from the fridge, as apposed to using tap water and then refrigerating it in the bottle. The double walled technology means that if your water is room temperature when you put it in the bottle and then into the fridge, thats the temp it will be even if left in the fridge over night. And the same with hot drinks, they advise you to pour boiled water from the kettle into your bottle, warming it up before you add your coffee / tea to keep it warm for up to 12 hours.

Not only do Chilly’s sell bottles, they sell tumblers, food pots and accessories too. The bottles come in 4 sizes, 260ml, 500ml, 750ml and 1.8l. Ranging from £15 up to £35.
They come in many different designs, trendy prints, pastels, metals, neon, matte, mono as well as the Refill bottle.

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Chilly’s is in partnership with Refill, a free tap water initiative designed to reduce single use plastic and promote hydration. There are over 12000 business that have signed up across the UK so far (with over 2000 refill stations in London alone). All you need to do is look for the ‘Free Tap Water’ sign, pop in and fill up your bottle on the go! For every Refill X Chilly’s bottle sold, Chilly’s gives £10 to City to Sea, who runs campaigns to prevent marine plastic pollution and safeguard our oceans.

I would highly recommend these bottles, not only while out and about, but they’re great when flying – have you ever seen the price of water in the airport and nearly died ?? Take your empty chilly’s bottle through security and fill it up when you’re airside saving you on extortionate airport water prices. A 750ml bottle of still water was being sold for EUR4.50 at Nice airport on Sunday. They also make great gifts for those people who have everything.

Holiday Tots readers can get 15% off their Chilly’s order using the code HOLIDAYTOTS15 at checkout. Order yours here

 

KeepEmQuiet – The ultimate Travel Entertainment pack for kids !

I have seen a few posts about these bags and as I’m always looking for things to make travelling with kids easier, I got in touch with KeepEmQuiet and they sent me a bag to review on our recent trip to France.

I requested a girls pack, and this is what I received:

This pack retails for £16.99 (Long trip pack) and had snacks, toys, sticker books, a puzzle, magic painting book, a colouring book with crayons and a story book. 9 entertainment items and 4 snack items. Very good value I thought. I love how you are able to almost personalise your pack by choosing from not only Boys and Girls, but 3 age groups (1-3, 3-5 and 5-10 years) as well as the length of the journey (short, medium and long). Prices range from £10.99 up to £16.99.

Georgia loved the tiger and as she’s very into stickers at the moment, these were a god send. Our flight was 1h40 and this kept her busy for the majority of the flight which meant I could read my book and dad could catch up on some Netflix – winning !

When you check out you’re asked if you want a second pack for the return journey, which is clever. As our flight was only 1h40, our pack had enough for both the journey there and back. I kept some of the books/toys separate and gave them to her on the way back so it was all new for her too.

I normally spend a fair amount of money getting things to keep Georgia occupied during flights, so for £16.99 I felt like this travel pack was really good value for money.

These packs aren’t only great for flying, they’re perfect for car journeys too. Any journey where you’re racking your brains for things to keep your little ones busy – get yours here.

Bob Books – personalised photo books !

Earlier this year we were contacted by Bob Books to see if we wanted to try out making one of their photo books. They make for great keepsakes / gifts. Our Georgia has been fortunate enough to travel quite a bit in her first 2 years so I thought what better way to savour the memories – I’m hoping to keep the book for her until she’s older and go through it with her.


If you’ve never made a photo book before, its quite simple.

 

 

I downloaded the app onto my phone, as I have all of my photos saved to my mobile. I did struggle to navigate their desktop site so was much more comfortable using the app.

You choose your book type, cover type, paper type, the size and a theme. You then choose photos you’d like to import and get to making your book. You are able to change the layout and type captions onto your pages to really personalise it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It auto populates your pics onto the pages but you’re able to crop them. It also tells you if the quality of the photo is good or not so good. The finished product is of  a very high quality.

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Bob Books are offering all Holiday Tots readers 20 % off all photo books – click here to start creating your own memory book.

Magic Garden – Hampton Court Palace

If you’re looking for something different to do as a family and you’ve not visited the Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace, move this day out to the TOP of your list.
We’ve had some amazing weather over the past few weeks and i’m not sure about you but I just want to be outdoors in the sunshine. My little girl is definitely an outdoor child. She loves playing outside, loves a sandpit and is a definite water baby so when I saw some pics on a friends Instagram, I knew this place was perfect for her.

We left home just after breakfast to be there as it opened, at 10am. You cannot book tickets for the magic garden in advance so I wanted to get there early, especially as it was looking to be a beautiful sunny day. The cost is £7 per adult and £5.20 for children over 3 years old. Under 3’s go free.

MAGIC GARDEN MAP

Upon arrival, you are greeted by a magical childrens paradise. There is a dragon, towers, castles, a secret grotto and much more. Each area represents something different; myths, legends and stories and provides a different way for your family to explore the palaces history.

There is a buggy park on your right as well as a little cafe that sells drinks, sandwiches and coffee. There are a few tables and chairs (some covered and some out in the sun) that overlook the tournament areas and tower. There are loads of places to sit and watch your kids have the best time.

I would definitely recommend bringing the following items so that you can let your kids run wild and not have to worry.

–  SUNCREAM
– CHANGE OF CLOTHES
– SWIM SHOES
– TOWEL
– WATER BOTTLE  – there are 2 drinking water fountains in the garden.

Georgia absolutely loved splashing in the fountains and spent most of her time there – so much so that we didn’t even make it to the Maze (which is also included in the ticket price )

We will definitely be heading here again over the summer as we do have to visit the Maze, i’ve heard this is brilliant too.

Toilets and baby chance facilities are found to the right just as you walk in. If its peak season or a busy day when you visit your stay may be limited to 90 minutes. They have a coloured wrist band system and tell you what time you need to leave by. You can come back later that day if capacity allows (say after visiting the maze) which is quite a nice touch. If you have a ticket to visit the Palace itself, entry to the Magic Garden and Maze is included too. You are not allowed to picnic in the garden due to them wanting the area to be enjoyed by the kids (not having picnic set ups get in their way) and there have been rumours that the Dragon could eat your picnic blanket and all your yummy goodies if he see’s you setting one up.

One of the dragon’s top tips was to have fun, and we certainly did.

For more info click here