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Fairy Travels

A weekend in Luxembourg with kids

cobbled street

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

No surprises here – another Ryanair bargain flight and we were off to Luxembourg at the end of January.  Having got good flight deals on Gothenburg  and Eindhoven I was very excited to add another country to our travel list. I booked the flights end of November for January at €9.99 each. It was a very short pleasant flight around an hour and half long which was perfect for a weekend break.  We landed in Luxembourg around 7pm to really dense fog, I literally could not see the bus stop when we stepped out of the airport!!

The first thing you will notice is how clean everywhere is. The airport was immaculate. We jumped on the bus number 29 which departs outside the airport main door straight to the city every 15 minutes and takes about 20 minutes.  Again so efficient. We were very lucky as the bus stopped quite literally outside our hotel door.  We couldn’t wait to get a visual of the city but the dense fog and pitch dark meant that would have to wait until the morning.

Where we stayed

cobbled street

Pic Credit: Mamma Fairy Blog

We stayed at the Novotel Luxembourg Centre which claims to be a family friendly hotel and hand on heart it was one of the most family friendly hotels we have ever stayed in.  It is evident from the moment you check in.  There have a fussball table in reception and my kids were hyper about the next bit… a kids corner with an xbox. It was just perfect for us. I would be very remiss of me not to say a special thank you to Caroline on reception. The kindness and professionalism show to us was some of the best we have had in all the hotels we have stayed. She had endless patience with the kids and their questions and xbox requests and so much knowledge on things to do locally.  I hope Novotel realise what a gem they have with Caroline.

The room we had comprised  a double and sofa bed  – again ideal for our needs. The breakfast was really and I mean really good. The kids were borderline obsessed with the pancake maker and pretty much hogged it the entire breakfast each morning! I find a good breakfast when you are travelling really sets us up for the day of exploring. Thanks to the Novotel for the lovely personalised welcome to our room, absolutely made our day.

Temperatures hovered around zero and it was quite damp so kids were glad to have their Reima  which was kindly gifted to us for our Lapland trip.

What we did

Luxembourg is a stunningly beautiful city, the old buildings and walls and narrow winding streets. The fog was still pretty bad making visibility quite poor so we decided to head walking to get our bearings. Interestingly the old fortification walls of the city are designated UNESCO  sites. Its not hard to be wowed by the contrasting architecture. The old walls are just stunning.  The city also very uniquely have over 17km of underground tunnels (Bock Casemates)  which unfortunately were closed during our stay but can be accessed at two points in the city. The kids are begging to go back just to see the tunnels.

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Fairy Travels

Our Lapland 2019 Adventure

I have written this post so many times in my head but couldn’t grab the time to give this post the justice in needs.  We first visited Lapland in 2018, following this I wrote my Lapland DIY post which has consistently been in my top 10 read posts which I think it a testament to just how popular it has been as a destination.  In 2018, our youngest wasn’t well and added to that we have limited snow. I felt I needed to go back to experience Lapland in all its snowy glory.  So on the day of the EasyJet Winter sale release, I set my alarm and for £17.99 each way we were off to Lapland again!

Where we stayed

As with last year we stayed at Santa Claus Village. My kids just love it here. I know its expensive but for us there is just some sort of magic there. Wandering around the village when the tour groups of gone, playing with kids in the neighbouring chalets. Its almost like exactly as how id imagined it would be.

Breakfast each morning was at the Christmas House restaurant. We had drinks a couple of evenings in the Three Elves Restaurant and a dinner another evening at Santa’s Pizza, both on site at Santa Claus Village .  We loved the Three Elves but wasn’t 100% on Santa’s Pizza. It was manic and you got your chips first and then pizza and burgers were cooked to order it seemed and arrived 20 mins later.

We had a standard cabin which has a double, a double sofa and a little kitchen which was perfect for us.

What we did

Where do I even start. We packed so much into the 4 night visit.  I know this sounds so cliche but it was magical.

Huskies

  • We visited Husky Park located at Santa Claus Village. We did the 500m husky in -8 temperatures which was ideal length for the boys (ages 4 and 7).  A total bonus for us was the the husky hugging – oh-my-god. I was in love. We saw the most adorable pups.  We loved this experiences and could clearly see the love, care and attention the dogs get at Husky Park.  Kids absolutely loved this experience and cant wait to see their favourite dog – Batman again

Reindeer 

  • Also located at Santa Claus Village is Santa Claus Reindeer We didn’t get to experience a reindeer ride in 2018 so this year we could not wait to do this. We arrived at 10am and it was really quiet, no queuing so we were straight on. We did 2 on each sleigh and it was breathtaking. It was quite bright and the snow glistening as we were leisurely pulled around the woods.  Definitely a memory I will cherish.

Elfs Farm Yard

  • I understand Elfs Farm Yard  is a new edition to Santa Claus Village and we were very excited to give this a go. This for us was a very surprise hit. How many people can say they skied across the Arctic Circle on traditional  Lappish skis or feed reindeer on the Arctic Circle. This place is very deceptive, there was so much to do. We cooked hot dogs (available to buy in the on site shop), we skied, we fed reindeer up close and personal, we used sledges up and down the man made hill there. We waited for the sun to set and sat around the fire pit chatting to other families. Magical and in terms of prices in Lapland, so reasonable. A true hidden gem not to be missed, definitely a surprise highlight for us.

Kids Snowmobiles

  • This was top of my kids wish list particularly the 7 year old. From September onward he stalked accuweather to see if there would be enough snow this trip for him to go on snowmobiles. He was not disappointed. He spent time each day at the Wild Nordic kids track at Santa Claus Village and just loved it. I have to thank the very lovely 2 female staff members who were incredibly kid to my pair, im sorry I didn’t get your names.  This was such a good option as it was contained, felt very safe for the kids and the kids felt they were getting independence. Just brilliant and I think if im honest the snowmobiles even topped Santa for my oldest!!!

Snowman World

  • Snowman World opens each year in early December, its also located at Santa Claus Village. It consists of the Ice Restaurant and Ice Bar and the “winter zone” the winter zone consists of a pretty epic snowtubing slides. There was also a separate smaller one for kids which was ideal for my pair. They must have went up and down a million times! We enjoyed a drink in the Ice bar we didnt do lunch this time but hopefully on our next visit.

Santa Park

  • Santa Park is located 2 km from Santa Claus Village and is all located inside which can prove a nice days respite from the cold. This was my youngest favourite morning. There is loads of cool activities to do here, crafts, gingerbread decorating, ice bar, train ride, crossing under the Arctic Circle, visit Santa and the highlight for all of us I think was the elf show. Its on a number of times during the day and its quite mesmerising. We had lunch at the buffet there while watching the show. I think the location in a underground bunker really adds to the charm here. We got there for the opening and it was nice and quiet. We took the bus between Santa Park and Santa Village which was ideal. There are large cloakrooms to store your winter gear also.

Pilke Museum

  • We were kindly gifted Culture Passes which offer entry to the top 3 museums in Rovaniemi. Its €20 per adult and €15 for children over 7 and under 7s free.  We had decided to spend a morning have a nosey around the town and make use of the card. In the end we only made to Pilke as we has so much fun in the snow at Lordi Square and also at the Irish Bar!!!  We decided on Pilke which is the forestry museum as boys really love this type of thing.  Its beautifully laid out, relax, lots of different activities. I found it so interesting learning all about sustainable forestry. Another ideal way to spend an afternoon out of the cold!

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Fairy Travels

Eindhoven with Kids

We wanted to go on a short city break over the October school mid term however, I left it a little late to book. A couple of hours on Skyscanner, €120 lighter we were off to Eindhoven with Ryanair. I knew very little about Eindhoven apparently for the football team PSV and its links to DAF and Philips.

Ryanair

Pic Credit:TheMamma Fairy Blog

Eindhoven has become known for its close cooperation between its universities and industries. In terms of industries Eindhoven is known for its biomedical and engineering research fostered in the main but its high tech Universities. The city of Eindhoven works hard to develop and grow its intelligent community credentials. As a result of these efforts, the Intelligent Community Forum (“ICF”) named the Eindhoven metro region one of the top-21 intelligent communities in 2008 and one of the top-7 intelligent communities in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, the ICF named Eindhoven the Intelligent Community of the Year.

One of the things that struck me most as we came into land in Eindhoven is how much green space there. I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that at all. The airport is located only minutes (8km) from the city which is brilliant couple with the flight over just over an hour long, making it the ideal city break destination.

Where we stayed

sky view Einhoven

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

When we started researching Eindhoven there were lots of accommodation options from chain hotels to boutique hotels to B&B’s. I used booking.com and got an excellent deal at NH Collection. it’s a five star hotel, in the centre of the city with stunning views from the breakfast room an another floor up again for Vane Sky Bar.

The room itself was plenty big for the four of us an spotlessly clean. The breakfast was plentiful an that view. I could have spent hours staring out the window. The night we arrived the lovely Rik at Vane made us some seriously impressive cocktails. I do have to compliment the staff here, it was busy with the early after work crown and our family was made so welcome.

There are some cocktails on the menu at Vane designed by the World’s Best Female Bartender Tess Posthumus. We were there quite early in the evening and didn’t try the food here but I can imagine it gets very busy at the evening progresses. Its uber trendy and the panaromic view of the sun setting over the city is a lovely way to chill after an evening sight seeing.

What we did

daf museum einhoven

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Our time in Eindhoven was short so we left it up to the boys what they wanted to do. It’s funny their own choices really do sum up themselves. The oldest wanted to go and visit the PSV stadium and the youngest the DAF museum. After a huge breakfast we headed first for the DAF Museum which was about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. This building is so deceptive. It looks small from the outside but once you get inside it is anything but. It’s fabulous, we began with a coffee over looking the vehicles and my youngest was hopping on the spot with excitement to get exploring.

The first thing that struck me when we walked in was that the place is immaculate, the vehicles are immaculate. It’s so well done inside, from the vehicles arranged in key milstones, the square with its own pub, to the top floor with a huge array of cars from the 1920 onwards.

The week we were there, the DAF museum were putting the finishing touches to their new exhibition spaces extending to over 1,100 square metres. We had a sneak peak and it’s a great addition brining the next phase in DAF’s history incuding trucks from the 1990 and 2000’s.

My boys truly loved this museum, its was right up their street. The Dada Fairy was equally enthralled being in a similar business himself. Our entrance was kindly gifted however at €9 for adults and €4 for kids age 5 up, under 5 free, this is a very good value and I can see why it is regularly ranked top of Trip Advisor ratings in Eindhoven.


PSV Tour
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Fairy Travels

Lapland – new for 2019

log cabin

Santa Claus Village Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Last year we went on what was supposed to be a once in lifetime trip to Rovaniemi, Lapland. It so magical and captivating that we have decided to go back again this year. In conversation with Visit Rovaniemi I asked them was there any new activities/ restaurants for 2019.  They very kindly sent me on all the new activities etc which I though might be helpful for return visitors like ourselves.

New Accommodation:

  • Happy Fox: Happy Fox Suites
  • Apukka Resort: 17 new Aurora Cabins, 3  Lappish Komsio Suites.
  • Forenom: Forenom Serviced Apartments Rovaniemi Valtakatu 35, 96200 Rovaniemi.
  • Sky Hotel Ounasvaara opening after renovation as a 4 star hotel.
  • Nova Skyland: New apartments
  • Santa Claus Holiday Village: 14 new Family Suites, each suite fits 2 adults + 3 children.
  • District Rovaniemi: Yurt accommodation.
  • Arctic Dreams House: Private Luxury Experience in Ranua. Wikkelä Villa all inclusive –stays.
  • Snowest Travels: Villa Snowest, Villa for 16 persons (420m2) https://www.snowesttravels.com/villa-snowest/

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Fairy Travels

Gothenburg with kids – A weekend visit

At the end of August we visited Gothenburg for 3 nights. It’s a city that wasn’t really on my radar up to that point but the lure of €9.99 flights from Ryanair made it very appealing! So with very little research I pressed book and we were heading to Gothenburg!  Gothenburg city is the largest non capital city in the Nordics and is located on the west coast of Sweden. It took just over 2 hours from Dublin which is perfect for a city break with kids.

Where we stayed

hotel receiption

How stunning is the reception of Gothia Towers Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy

There are a myriad of hotel options available in Gothenburg and it was hard to narrow the selection down. With it being a short break, kids in tow we knew we needed a central location.  We fell for Gothia Towers. This hotel is the largest in the Nordic region with a staggering 1,200 rooms, 8 restaurants including  Heaven 23 located on floor 23 with impressive views over Gothenburg.  The hotel comprises of three interlinking towers covering a vast 180,000 square meters.  Its hard to miss the swimming pool literally overhanging the street! Be warned if travelling with kids its ages 16 up for admission.

I would not normally be a fan of these big hotels however between the location, the services and the Trip Advisor rating we decided it was hard to pass this one.

Breakfast views at Gothia Towers Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

The location can’t be beaten it is located across from Liseburg which is a beautiful amusement park which has been open since 1923. Its also within walking distance of Avenyn which is the main street in Gothenburg. Both close by and within the hotel complex there are many options for food and drinks.

We had a family room with two double beds and 2 bathrooms which more than met our needs it was really big and spotlessly clean. Breakfast each morning was served on floor 29 which the kids really loved. Breakfast was so tasty and plentiful and really did fill us for the day. There was a great selection of breads, hot food and cold meats.  We tried two of the onsite restaurants and one of the bars:

  • Heaven 23 – located on the 23rd floor known for its cocktails and its world famous shrimp sandwich. We had a late lunch here and while we didn’t sample the cocktails we did opt for shrimp sandwich and it really was spectacular. Drooling just thinking about it again.
  • Ristoria – We had pizza here the night we arrived as the kids were starving and we thought best to get them feed before we head out exploring. Kids enjoyed it. Ours was just ok nothing overly exciting for the prices for example the kids was around €10 and adults mains were around €25 each.
  • Twentyfourseven – We had some very tasty cocktails the night we arrived at this lovely lobby bar while the kids played away at the kids play spaces at reception.  A great idea making it enjoyable for us and for them!

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Fairy Travels

Grand Opening of Christmas 2019 – Lapland

snow on cabins lapland

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

When I was a child I dreamed of going to Lapland, as an adult I always assumed such a trip would be so far out of reach so I pushed it to the back of my head. Fast froward 2018 when my childhood dream came true, we visited the stunning city of Rovaniemi, Lapland  it was everything we hoped and more. I learned so much from our first visit and really only scratched the surface of this beautiful place that we have decided to go back for 2019. We are all super excited and going for longer this time to experience all that Rovaniemi has to offer.

I recently saw on Visit Rovaniemi that the Grand Opening and start of the Christmas season is scheduled for 10 November at 4pm.  Per their website,

Santa Park entraceLapland

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

the Grand Opening of the Christmas Season is an annual and traditional event  that starts the Christmas season in Rovaniemi. The event begins at 4 pm at the central square of Santa Claus Village. The elves and local artists put on a festive concert that culminates in Santa Claus’ speech which officials opens the Christmas Season.

The event is free of charge. The celebration is organized by Visit Rovaniemi. Its also live streamed on their Facebook page so whether your going, planning a trip or even just a Christmas lover its well worth checking it out.

 

For anybody thinking of going ive pulled all my post below and im always happy to answer questions via comments below, DM or across social.

  • Lapland on a budget – our how to guide – here
  • Dressing for Lapland – here
Fairy Travels

Planning a holiday? Here are some money saving tips and tricks I use

Tips and tricks when booking holdiays 

Since I published this post I have been asked lots of times for any money saving tips and tricks I have for taking the family to Lapland on a budget.  I thought I’d set out some of those which helped us  anyway!

Source: Pixabay

Money, Money, Money

I know this is old fashioned but what we tend to do when we book a holiday  is keep a jar of our loose change and convert it the week before we head away.  For example, we had 8 months of saving for Toronto and had a nice sum of coins saved which converted into CAD$225. Along the same vein and I know this sounds a bit crazy myself and my husband put aside a small amount each month and covert it that month to the currency of our destination this meant another CAD$470  to add to the pot.  While we try not to a couple there are short term loan options like cashlady.com

Deals, Deals Deals

I am the queen of the deal! I just love a good deal. I scour the internet for good deals in our chosen destination.  Groupon is your friend. For example we had pancakes for lunch one of the days at Krepesz, that was pancakes for 4 and drinks for CAD$50.  While in Niagara Falls I booked the Captain Jacks Fun Zone  tickets which the kids thoroughly enjoyed and I saved 70% off the normal price.  There are so many options in these places so by buying in advance (the kids and the adults) know what included and we have a set amount of tokens each. There are also lots of hotel options on Groupon too with great saving or added extras.  A couple we spoke to at breakfast had got a great deal at the Sheraton on the Falls via Groupon with a Falls view room.

Shop around especially for accommodation

There are a myriad of hotel booking options with varying rates of discounts.

Source: Pixabay

One of my personal favourites is booking.com.   Also check out Expedia or hotels.com or as mentioned above Groupon hotel deals. Sign up for alerts for these site to keep up to date on the latest deals and offerings.   It can also be a good option to call the hotel direct as I have found that some will match the rates found elsewhere.

Another great option is booking via Airbnb. One of the key things to remember about Airbnb is to read the reviews of the property and look for hosts with good feedback. Secondly good Airbnb etiquette will help ensure good feedback is left for you in return as that’s the cornerstone of the community.

Flights

Source: Pixabay

This one is bit more tricky and sometime can just be down to the fact that the stars align and sales and timing of your trip work out. But failing that some things you can do include:

  • Settting up Sky Scanner alerts – im a big fan of this. You get emails relating to prices changes for the flight you are considering.
  • Timing – some times of the year are simply cheaper than others so do your research and look for the off peak times in the destinations you plan on visiting.  The more research you can do the better as there are some fantastic resources to help you with best time to book flights
  • Avios, this is currency of a number of airlines and you can collect point by purchasing flights or with the airline or any of its partners. For example you can convert you SuperValu real rewards to Avios points.  I had a quick look and its around 8,000 points for a return European flight. Not too bad!

Has anybody any other good holiday saving tips they have feel free to add them in the comments.

 

Note: Contains affliate/ spon links
Fairy Travels

Planning a short hop to the British Isles? Here’s what to see

boarding the ferry

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

Whether you’re planning a trip on Ryanair during the autumn school break or catching the ferry to Holyhead, making your way over to the British Isles has never been easier.  If you want a getaway that isn’t a major hassle to get back from, then travelling to England and Wales is just a short hop-skip and a jump away from Dublin airport or port. Below are a few places to visit that could be of interest; whether you’ll be on-foot or taking the car. 

Porth Darfarch Beach

If you are planning to drive into Britain through Holyhead, then Anglesey is a great place to visit. It’s not too far from Holyhead and offers some stunning beaches that are Blue Flagged. If you’re after a quiet day out with the kids, then Porth Darfarch Beach is just about as perfect as it gets. It’s surrounded by cliffs and has plenty of shallow waters. 

LEGOLAND Windsor Resort 

large lego figures

Pic Credit: Pixabay

The area of Windsor is perhaps one of the most quintessentially British areas you could visit. If you’re flying into London, there are plenty of easy transport links over to Windsor, as it’s situated just to the west of London. If you’re based in a central London hotel, this is an easy day trip to organise. 

This area is home to some brilliant pubs, historical monuments and Windsor Castle. Also in this part of Berkshire is LEGOLAND Windsor Resort, which is ideal if you have little kids who need to be actively entertained. Every child’s favourite multicoloured bricks create some magical spectacles at this impressive funfair park and resort. You’ll find replica cities, a waterpark and events throughout the year. Thanks to its location, there are also plenty of places to visit for dinner afterwards. If you don’t fancy eating at the resort then you can enjoy some seasonal pub grub at the nearby tap houses in the Windsor area. The Corner House is one such establishment that offers a carefully thought-through menu and warm atmosphere. 

Liverpool’s endless culture 

beatles band statues

Pic Credit: The Mamma Fairy Blog

You may opt to travel a bit further up on the British coastline if you’re planning to jet across by ferry. Liverpool has so much culture to offer, it’s a rewarding destination for a quick British getaway. In fact, it’s home to the largest cathedral in Britain. This city comes complete with exhibits on The Beatles, the Tate gallery and a ferry tour of its coastline; if you’re ready to hop back on a boat that is! For those who enjoy a creative atmosphere, the Wirral Arts Festival is just around the corner, which hosts plenty of events not too far from Liverpool city centre. 

Whichever city you land in, you’ll find plenty to do during your short stay in the British Isles. Arriving in Wales could see you spending serene days walking on the beach, Liverpool could see you indulging in the arts and a weekend in London has endless amounts of nearby attractions for children of any age. 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Fairy Travels

A Quick Irish Parent’s Guide To Skiing

child skiing

Pic Credit: Unsplash

I honestly think there’s an unwritten rule that lets us know when it’s almost ski season in Ireland, and it has nothing to do with getting a ruler to measure non-existent snow: you see ski clothes suddenly pop up in the middle aisle of Lidl. And while you’re not going to get inches of it here anytime around Christmas, it’s hard to justify buying those bright, puffy jackets when the hopes that were going to get a snowy blizzard incoming around the colder months are beyond low.

I can tell you one good reason to buy the jackets and Google around though! 

What if you’re already in the midst of planning a big ski holiday for the family this year and it’s your first time taking everyone to the slopes. What do you need to know about booking a ski holiday, what things to buy, and how to make sure everyone stays safe while having fun on a family ski holiday?

Well before you start looking up how much it costs to add a pair of skis to your luggage (you never need to btw) let me fill you in on some of the pre-planning essentials every family needs to do.

Get used to skis on dry land

child skiing

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Want to avoid bumps, falls and general cluelessness when using skis for the first time? You can prevent getting embarrassed on holiday if you’re lucky enough to be near a ski centre.

There are only two spots in the country I know of that have those outdoors dry slopes you can practice on: the Ski Club of Ireland just south of Dublin on the road to Bray, and the Craigavon Golf & Ski Centre up north (you take the M1 exit on the way to Belfast and its beside Lough Neagh). 

It’s not exactly the same as the alps, but they do have gentle slopes that help get anyone used to wearing skis for the first time. I think it helps take away some of the jitters everyone in the family (dad included) might get if they leave that first time using skis right up until they’re standing in the middle of the ski resort.

Get a holiday that has all the mod cons included

I love doing a bit of savvy research when booking our family holidays, but when it comes to skiing, it is something you can’t skimp on. It’s important to know that most ski resorts people travel to in Europe (around the Alps in France & Austria) are anywhere from an hour to 3 hours away from an airport.

building set in the hills in austria

Pic Credit: Markwarner.co.uk

Unless you actively like the idea of getting a hire car and traversing up the side of mountain roads for hours, just look and see where you can get a family ski holiday with everything included. For example, Mark Warner ski holidays look after everything to help families have a seamless journey from the airport to the resort. You can do things like book in for lessons, get your ski passes and get equipment sorted before you travel to the resort.

And because you’re in the middle of nowhere for up to a week, I’d suggest treating yourself and going all-inclusive for once. You’ll never want to see yourself trudging through snow first thing in the morning to get a pint of milk at the Spar.

Make sure parents get freedom

Does the resort have a ski school? Grand. Then get the kids signed up and you’ll have freedom all day long (I liken it to leaving them off at regular school). When looking up resorts, see if they offer childcare in the afternoons and evening, so you both get to enjoy the après-ski. 

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Fairy Travels

Sunday Fun at Tayto Park

Sunday before the school started back we hit Tayto Park for a day of family fun. We had never been before and really didn’t know what to expect. The boys are 7 and 4 so a bit mixed in terms of what interests them. The older is the ultimate thrilled seeker and my youngest man is a bit like myself, pretty much afraid of everything. Having spoke to friends who had been the advice was get there early. We arrive about 15 mins after opening and I was glad to have taken their advice, the car park was busy but there was no queue to get in.

We were kindly gifted admission for our family to Tayto Park, we got our tickets, arm bands and off we went.  It was lovely and quiet inside so we took our time to get or bearings and decide what rides we wanted to do. The first ride in our eyeline was Viking Voyage. My little man was  under the height requirement so I stayed behind with him which to be honest I didn’t mind too much when i caught sight of the dryer machines!! I won’t ruin the rides for anybody going as part of this post however suffice to say this was a mega hit! so much so it was done 3 times…..(and none of those was me!).

Given the little man was under 1.1 which tended to be the height requirement for a lot of the rides in whats known as the Eagle Zone, the youngest and I decided to head for the Zoo part to see the animals. I knew this would be a hit with my animal loving wee man.  I was really surprised with the eclectic collection of animals on show here from vultures, to lions to pygmy goats. It was still nice and quiet so we took our time and observed the animals free from the crowds.  My little man was really enthralled with the owls and the alpacas although he kept telling everybody who would listen that alpacas spit to stand back!!!

We regrouped at the Eagle’s Nest Adventure Zone which was more suited to my younger mans age and height.  It was heading towards the afternoon now and it was getting visibly busier but we didn’t queue long for any of the rides. Staff were efficient loading and reloading the rides each time. We pretty much sampled all the rides here from the honey pots, to the steam train, the rocking tug, pony rail, the Ferris wheel, the climbing wall, the shot tower and my favourite the carousel. There is something of an old school magic about a carousel. Also in this zone is the vortex tunnel, a playground and the Nissan Driving School which my oldest really loved. The height requirement for this one 1.1 which was meant a very disappointed 4 year old here. This was a busy activity which is probably the only place we queued for any length of time.

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