We recently celebrated Bear’s 3rd birthday. His actual birthday fell on Easter Sunday, so we held his party the weekend before. It wasn’t anything too fancy, just some friends, picnic food and mooching about in our sunny garden. The children all had a great time and the parents got to load up on tea after a few too many drinks at a dinner party the night before (especially me).
For his actual birthday we decided to have a really chilled out day at home, we stayed in pyjamas until lunchtime, opened presents, had a DIY Easter hunt and watched some Disney movies. It was really nice to slow down for the day and just enjoy not doing anything. Bear was a little bit spoilt for his birthday this year, we only actually bought him a few presents but our friends and family were really generous. We bought him a Sylvanian fFamilies set and a VTEC Kiddzoom camera, Mr. C’s parents bought him a new scooter, my dad bought him a live butterfly garden, aunts and uncles sent money for tickets to places during our travels (such as Disneyland) and our friends gifted him an array of new books, duplo, a kite, new pyjamas and some money for his trust fund.
Our main present to Bear was taking him to Drayton Manor for a day out at Thomas Land. So on Bank holiday Monday, we piled everyone into the car along with an extensive packed lunch and set off on the motorway.
This was the first time we had taken the boys to a theme park and to be honest we weren’t sure how a day out to Thomas Land would go down. Bear can be a bit hesitant when it comes to new things, but it is a bit of a lucky dip with what he will and won’t try. By the time we reached Thomas Land it was lunchtime, so we had a wander around the place to give the boys a chance to familiarise themselves with their surroundings and then all sat down to eat our lunch.
After lunch we set off exploring, it was at this point that Bear decided queuing and rides with seat belts weren’t for him. Thankfully we found a few rides that had very short queues, no seat belts and once Bear had a go on a ride he was hooked! One thing I noticed about Thomas Land is that you can purchase a VIP ticket, which means you don’t need to queue and can just go on the rides through a different gate. If we go again, we will be investing in one of these to make the day run a little more smoothly.
What I really loved about Thomas Land though is that even though the day out was for Bear, it catered for Monkey as well who is only 18 months. It was really nice to be able to include him and take him on some of the rides… he doesn’t mind seat belts either so that made it easier!
After we had been around the rides, we boarded the Engine Tours train, which took us to another part of the park that contains a zoo, outdoor play area and Dino Trail. The boys loved the Dino Park, Bear is really into dinosaurs and pointed out which ones he recognised. We pretended to hide from the T-Rex and had a great time learning about the dinosaurs we didn’t recognise.
We then then headed to Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play area. The boys loved running around and climbing on all of the different park equipment. It was really busy in the play area though, with a lot of older children also using the equipment. It was a bit chaotic to be honest and at one point Bear slipped trying to avoid another child and hit his face on a step. Personally I think the area needs to be separated into different age ranges because when toddlers and junior school children are using the same park equipment it yells out for disaster. That aside, after a few tears and a big cuddle, Bear was off again, so I don’t think he was too traumatised.
By the time the boys were finished playing at the park, it was time to start heading home, so we didn’t get a chance to wander around the zoo. We did see some reindeer and ostrich on the train ride back to the theme park though, which the boys were more than happy about. Bear now thinks Santa’s reindeer live at Thomas Land when they aren’t at the North Pole over Christmas.
There isn’t actually a ticket just for Thomas Land, so we had to buy tickets for Drayton Manor as a whole theme park. We booked in advance so the tickets cost us £57 in total, in my opinion that is a little steep if you are just visiting Thomas Land. If you have older children and teenagers who would like to go on some of the bigger rides outside of Thomas Land however, this is actually a really good price.
We don’t often get to spend time as a family, so it was really nice to do something together and the boys really enjoyed themselves, which is of course the most important thing. I’d really recommend visiting if your little one(s) loves Thomas, it’s a great place to visit as a ‘first theme park’.