Charlotte and her Mumbler family went along to Stockeld Park’s Talking Animals Week yesterday, running the whole of half term week, from 19th-27th February; 10am-5pm. See what they thought here…
Stockeld Park is well known for its themed holiday events. With so much to do on a general day-to-day, it’s always good to try a specific adventure to add a bit of variety to the trip, whilst experiencing the overall fun and games of the Maze and the Enchanted Forest. This February half term is Talking Animals Week, and it did not disappoint! Dotted around the Enchanted Forest, there is plenty to find out about each species as the animals call out a bunch of facts and findings, interspersed with fun pop culture references. There is also a panel of information each time too!
We learned a lot of different and interesting facts about the animals and there is even a quiz to take as you go round to make sure you not only pay attention to the interesting facts, but retain them in order to for a chance to win a special Stockeld Prize. Did you know squirrels are born blind? And did you know no two spots on a giraffe are the same? And did you know rabbits can jump as high as 90cm?! That’s as high as my 2-year-old!
Emily’s favourites animals were the Lion – the leader of the pack and ‘breaker of chains’; and the Alpaca’s who kept asking us ‘Are you looking at me? Ae you looking at me?’ and who, apparently, don’t have any front teeth…who knew?!
Stockeld Park is an outdoor space, so we knew to dress accordingly. We had lots of warm layers on, and learning from past experience, had many pairs of socks on under our wellies. The children were also in snow suits, which, as luck would have it, came into fruition as ‘the snow fell fast and the wind blew wild, but we weren’t scared’, said the parents and child(ren)!
Gretel’s cabin was a welcome retreat half-way round the Enchanted Forest, as the snow really set in and we all started to feel the cold. Thankfully a tasty hot chocolate warmed the cockles enough for the children to power through!
Knowing the weather wasn’t supposed to be the best, we decided to make a day of it and opted to purchase ‘add-on’ tickets for both the ice skating and the pantomime when we got there. Both are available to purchase online in advance, otherwise it’s a first come first served situation. As we had booked a 10am slot to enter the park, we had no trouble booking onto both.
Emily was super keen to try herself on the ice rink. As this was her first time, and a long time since I myself had been on the ice, we opted for helmets and a skating aid in the form of a penguin (again, an additional cost for this, but worth every penny). We chopped and changed between Emily skating whilst pushing the penguin versus standing on the penguin platform while I pushed her around, screaming with excitement!
The panto was great fun too, with comedy and pop references for both adults and children. We watched the animals ‘fight, fight, fight, fight for (Farmer Foster’s) farm!’, and with lots of singing, dancing and audience participation, it was a great half hour well spent! At only just 2yrs old, I wasn’t sure how Robin would be, but he was equally as enthralled as Emily, waving, singing, and high-fiving the animals as they came into the audience. We chose the 12pm slot, but it’s available daily at 12pm, 1:30pm and 3pm.
The Maze is always a sure-fire winner with our kiddies, and every time we enter, we find a new path and new direction. We had a great time winding through Wrong Way Street, and Not Again Avenue, initially separately, and then together as we found each other from the bridges.
All in all, it’s a great day out, which we would definitely recommend, in all weathers. And with 5 adventure playgrounds to boot, you can be sure there is something to suit everyone! Just make sure you are prepared for any weather that comes your way. We started with a chill, that turned to rain, and quickly to snow! Making it one hell of an adventure and a day out we are going to remember for years to come!