My sister came to stay to celebrate her birthday. We had a fun birthday tea and cake!
Then friends stayed over, so we had 4 little girls here for a sleepover. When you are nearly 3 years old and just starting to have sleepovers they are one of the BEST THINGS EVER. Our little nearly 3 year old did not get much sleep at all. So we had a lazy morning at home before heading to Knebworth House for the afternoon.
Knebworth House is a gothic stately home up the A1 near Stevenage. As well as the usual house tour and gardens it has an Adventure Playground and a Dinosaur Trail! I’ve wanted to go twice before but it hasn’t been open – it opens on weekends from the end of March to the end of September and only on weekdays during school holidays. It does open up on certain dates for special events such as at Halloween. We got tickets to the outdoor areas only, stately homes are wasted on toddlers, for £9 each adult. Under 4s go free so that does keep the price down for families with littlies. Rain threatened so we needed to prioritise! First up was food. We sat outside the cafe to breastfeed and eat – mediocre and expensive – sandwiches. Next time I would be more organised and take a pack-up. Seren did not eat a thing and was a bit out-of-sorts for the afternoon. I put it down to post-sleepover tiredness but it turns out she had a bit of a tummy bug but we wouldn’t find that out until the evening! Ooops.
Anyway, after our lunch we headed to the gardens and wandered round the sculpture exhibition.
Before heading into the maze to find the monkey in the middle! I liked that the maze hedges were waist height so easy to keep track of little people.
Then we found our way to the dinosaurs! Knebworth’s Dinosaur Trail has 72 life-sized dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures nestling in the shrubbery.
We (ok I) was especially excited to find the 3 dinosaur types we have toys of at home; Tyrannasaurus Rex (I hadn’t appreciated how BIG these guys were), triceratops and stegosaurus.
We also saw these old chaps, the Neanderthals.
And this little horse. Did you know that horses were originally dog-sized forest dwellers? They evolved to be the size and strength they are now to cope with wide open flat plain living.
After completing a lap of the park, we wandered back to the house to find the car and drive over to the Adventure Park. Seren was flagging by this point and I wished I’d bought the double buggy. She did perk up when she spotted auntie Leanne at the top of a hill, and followed her up there, determined not to be the dirty rascal.
I went up to there too to take photos and spotted a film crew, filming the “sponsored by” bits that wraparound Downton Abbey apparently.
Over in the Adventure Park the first things we encountered, including a zip wire, were more for older children but we soon spied a bouncy castle!
Then found the enclosed Fort Knebworth, a wooden play structure with a super exciting cluster of slides behind it. Seren and auntie Leanne had several goes on one of the slides, I don’t know who was most excited!
After a quick play in the fort, Seren just wanted lots of cuddles (so did Imogen as usual), it was time to bundle them in to the car and head home.
We’ll definitely come back another time. You could spend a whole day there with a morning in the Dinosaur Park and gardens then a picnic lunch and the afternoon in the Adventure Playground.