If we ask the Little ones if they fancy a trip to Slimbridge they always say 'Yes', Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands is not far from us, we are paid up members and visit throughout the year. Pretty much every school holiday there is something different to entertain the children, we have been wildlife explorers, searched for giant LEGO animals, entered the puddle jumping championships several years running, we have been to burn off steam in the winter and cool off in Wellyboot land in the summer.
This summer is no different, this season you and your Little Ones can be global adventurers at Slimbridge, we were invited along on the opening day to see the unveiling of a new exhibit and to see what we thought of this years activities.
On arrival we checked out the map and headed to the South Lake discovery hut to pick up our global adventurer passports. It was lovely to see the hut there set up like a cabin, a trunk, coats, tables, chairs and camping equipment as if an actual adventurer was based there. The Little Ones located the passports and stamped their first page before checking out the list of activities. First up was an all time favourite- den building.
Slimbridge is set up with different lands or habitats for the different species of birds and wildlife that reside there, the global adventure passport sends you around the centre visiting the different areas and getting stamps along the way for having a go at the challenges in the book. There are various things on in different places at different times from otter talks, pond dipping and wild safaris along the river (additional charge), we decided what we wanted to see at what time and set off....
Our next stop was North America, we played in the wigwams and got out our pencils to complete the activity in our passports- to draw our own totem pole, then it was time to have a snack whilst we listened to animal stories.
With passports stamped we made our way to the new Arctic Tundra exhibit ready for the grand opening with none other than Fearne and Rory from Cbeebies, Little 2 was rather excited as she still watches it sometimes and was keen to meet them.
We Listened as Fearne and Rory opened the exhibit and the girls were pleased to get to meet and chat to them (Little 3 went all shy), posing for some photos along the way. Head over to the Slimbridge website to see if you can spot us on there!
This time we decided to have a cooked lunch as everyone was starving, Daddy demolished the fish and chips while I enjoyed the hearty soup with a huge onion roll the Little Ones had to help me eat and the Kids lunchboxes went down a treat with the children.
All fueled up we went off to continue our adventures, the Little Ones wanted to go canoeing again as they enjoyed it so much last summer but we had so much still to do we promised we would come back again and do that later this summer instead.
Another new thing this summer is the Greater flamingo talk, Little 1 loves flamingos (did you notice her t-shirt?) which is on at 2.30pm each day, determined to find out more about her favourite animal we went along to listen.
We found out why flamingos are pink, saw a replica flamingo skull and realised why the flamingo pen is a bit pongy! A lovely addition Slimbridge, the whole family enjoyed it.
Another passport stamp and time to head back up to the centre for the amphibian talk and a good long look at all the colourful frogs that Little 3 likes so much, a bit of colouring for the girls and a romp in the mini soft play for Little 3 before suddenly realising that it was time for pond dipping.
The Little Ones each had a tray, magnifying glass, a net and an identification sheet and set themselves up at the raised ponds to see what they could find. Little 3 and Daddy had the best pond, they found sticklebacks, dragonfly nymph, water boat men and lots of snails. The girls found mainly snails and mosquito larvae.
What I love most about Slimbridge is no visit is ever the same, this time around we didn't even venture down to the play area or see the otters or stop for a paddle in welly boot land. There is so much to do, one of the reasons we are members and come back time after time and throughout all the seasons. I do love the summer at the reserve though there is so much insect life to see, I managed to snap this butterfly sunning himself .
There really is so much to see and do at WWT Slimbridge, what will be your favourite?
N.B We were invited to the Tundra exhibit opening ceremony and given a voucher towards part of our lunch in return for this post, BUT we are paying Slimbridge members and DO really love it there.