Keeping the kids entertained can sometimes seem like an endless task. When another trip to the park doesn’t suffice, it can be tricky to come up with new and fun ways to entertain toddlers, without straying too far from home before nap time!
We’ve collated our favourite toddler-friendly days out in Gloucestershire, from visiting farmyard animals to exploring incredible indoor playgrounds, in this hot list sponsored by The King’s School Gloucester.
The King’s School Gloucester’s dedicated kindergarten, Little King’s, gives children aged three to five an incredible start to their school journey – with caring and experienced staff that help them build the foundations of their future.
Little King’s provides a stimulating curriculum that is both structured and balanced, offering children the chance to develop physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally, as well as learning new skills, concepts and attitudes. Treating each child as an individual, children leave Little King’s happy, confident, independent and eager to learn.
For more information, visit thekingsschool.co.uk.
Start the day at Slimbridge Wetland Centre by feeding ducks, geese and swans, who’ll happily eat right out of the palm of visitors’ hands!
Explore the watery world of Toad Hall, getting up close to frogs, newts, salamanders and other pond life, before heading to visit the family of otters and harvest mice. Then let off some energy with a splash around at Welly Boot Land and an indoor soft play session!
Toddle back in time at Dean Heritage Centre, where visitors can discover the forester’s cottage, Victorian school classroom and replica free mine, as well as enjoying a picnic in the beautiful grounds.
Explore the walking trails around the heritage centre where visitors can spot the resident wildlife, as well as Gruffalo sculptures nestled in amongst the trees. There’s even the opportunity to return for free if it’s too wet or flooded to enjoy all the attractions.
Enjoy a fun-filled day out at Adam Henson’s farm, starting off in the Discovery Barn where children can say hello to chicks, rabbits and smaller residents, before heading to the Animal Barn where visitors may get the chance to bottle feed some new arrivals.
Cotswold Farm Park has also reintroduced Messy Play, where youngsters can splash, squeeze, crunch and squelch a whole load of messy material on selected dates. There’s even a flower field open during July and August, where toddlers can enjoy frolicking through a field of colourful wildflowers.
Warehouse Climbing Centre in Gloucester allows little ones to reach new heights with its Mini-Mice toddler sessions. The hour-long sessions give toddlers a chance to climb up to 6.5 metres and have a go on the touch-sensitive DigiWall, with lights, sounds and interactive games.
Overseen by qualified climbing instructors, the sessions help kids develop fitness, co-ordination and confidence. There’s also a pushchair parking area and siblings under 18-months-old can come along as spectators for free!
A trip to the farmyard with children is always a hit, and at Cattle Country Farm Park, visitors get to meet calves, pigs and even alpacas.
Take a change of clothes, or swimmers in the summer, and let the kids loose in the waterplay area and covered beach. There’s also fantastic outdoor toddler areas where little ones can play on rope bridges, tractors and seesaws, all specifically designed for small children.
Providing a colourful backdrop for a day out at any time of the year, Westonbirt is a great place to take toddlers – especially as the incredible STIHL treetop walkway is pushchair friendly.
Wander through the wood and meet the Gruffalo sculptures, build a den out of sticks, cross the troll bridge and crawl through tyre tunnels on the outdoor adventure trail for a thoroughly outdoorsy day out.
There’s nothing quite like a child’s imagination, and they can run wild at Dinky Street’s role play centre in Bishop’s Cleeve.
Kids can be anything from a doctor to policeman, beautician to builder – or all of the above – for an educational and playful day out that’s great fun for children and grown-ups, too.
Nestled in the Forest of Dean, Beechenhurst has a spectacular sculpture trail with a variety of options for little legs and bigger ones.
Start the day by wandering through the forest and spotting the magnificent sculptures, inspired by their surroundings; recharge with a bite to eat at the café before taking the kids to the play area, which is full of exciting activities such as a giant bird’s nest swing!
Throughout the year, Sudeley Castle puts on lots of fun activities for families. Surrounded by gorgeous Gloucestershire countryside, adults can soak up the fascinating history of the castle while children have a fun day exploring the grounds.
A day out with the little ones wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the playground, and the one at Sudeley Castle won’t disappoint. When the kids have burned off some of their boundless energy, visit the pheasantry where visitors can see some of the rarest pheasants from around the world.
Visit animals from all over the world without leaving the Cotswolds. From zebras and lions to giraffes and camels, toddlers will love meeting animals of all different shapes and sizes – with 160 acres of parkland to run around in as well.
Take the kids to see penguins, lemurs or lions being fed, before paying a visit to the animals in the children’s farmyard. From April to October, hop on the narrow-gauge railway, which takes passengers on a trip around the park too.
If the kids are feeling especially energetic, spend a day at Leisure at Cheltenham – with Mini Gym sessions offering a range of activities for little ones to burn off some energy by jumping, climbing and running around safely.
There’s also a new soft play room with an array of sensory activities to enjoy, as well as the toddler-friendly splash pad – with entry to both costing just £5 on a Tuesday.
With an interactive play area designed especially for under twos, Cotswold Clubhouse provides plenty of fun for kids, as well as helping to stimulate children’s learning and development.
Cotswold Clubhouse also offers baby gym sessions for children aged six to 18 months to introduce them to gymnastics. There’s even a café serving food and drinks all day, when a well-earned break is needed!
For more information about The King’s School Gloucester, visit thekingsschool.co.uk.
By Chloe Gorman
Wednesday 23 June 2021
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