Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Top tips for a tip top time at Thomas Land, Drayton Manor

Thomas Land at Drayton Manor is one of our favourite places to go for a fun family day out, as it's close to home (we're in Birmingham) and offers a lot of different experiences in one place, all year round.


Ethan, like many boys and girls, has loved Thomas the Tank Engine since a young age and having the chance to see the characters comes to life never fails to put a big smile on his face. At the weekend, we were invited along for a family day out - our first visit since we went to the Magical Christmas event last December (tickets are on sale already for this year) - and although it was busy because of the summer holidays, we still had a great time.

Here's our favourite things to do:


* Enjoy the rides

Ethan is big enough to go on all the rides at Thomas Land and seems to be a bit of a daredevil in the making, loving them all. On Sunday, we went on the Captain's Sea Adventure, as well as Bertie Bus and the Diesel's Locomotive Mayhem. Ethan was really patient when waiting and remembered our last visit too.


He also particularly loves Jeremy Jet's Flying Academy and Troublesome Trucks, and I like going on the aerial tour with Winston.


* Catch a show

The 4D cinema is well worth a visit, with regular mini movies on every half an hour or so, which is great for fidgety little ones and gives you a chance to put your feet up for a minute too. At the moment, it's Yogi Bear.


* Visit the zoo

There's a good range of animals to see and it's close to Thomas Land too, so you don't have to venture too far into the rest of the park. The tigers are impressive to see and the Tamarind Trail is also worth walking around - the children seem to love their funny facial hair!

There's also some farm animals, and reindeer, to spot the other side of the far station so lots for animal lovers to see.


* Walking with dinosaurs

This area can be found at the back of the zoo and of course Ethan loves this part as a big dinosaur fan. He just doesn't want to get too close to the T-rex at the entrance... just in case!

* Wear them out at the playground

The play area is pretty big and comes at a great time during your visit, so you can rest a little while your little ones let off some steam.

* Make a stop at the model display

The traditional Thomas the Tank Engine railway display, just past the tearooms and station stop, is really worth stopping by to see and Ethan loves to follow the Thomas train around the model houses and hills and station stops.



* All aboard!

The highlight for any fan I'm sure is catching a ride on the train pulled by either Rosie, Percy or Thomas himself. And the highlight for us this weekend was watching Rosie and Thomas in turn pull into the station, as the driver got talking to Ethan and even let him hold the keys to Thomas! A proud moment and one that we will put on the wall in Ethan's room so he can remember what a fun time he had.


My top tips for visiting the park are:

> Arrive early, so you can get a few rides under your belt early on - or hang on until the last couple of hours (rides close at 6pm most days at the moment I believe) as it's always a little quieter later in the day once other people are worn out

> Be prepared to queue for your favourite rides, so pick the ones that you simply have to do and make sure you fit them in

> Take a picnic, as there's benches around the lake and another spot where you can grab a bite to eat and save some pennies

> Enjoy Thomas Land then walk around to the other family friendly areas, before catching a ride back with Thomas - it's a great way to do less walking but cover off all the key activities

> Pack light - hard to do with little ones (but if you have a buggy, you can put it to good use), but a backpack is great to keep you comfortable and take all the things you need


Ethan still has his map of Drayton Manor in the car and keeps pointing out things he'd love to see and do next time - and he keeps thinking that the next time we are going is the next day!


We do have a free child return ticket, which was given as a gift when he met Santa at Christmas (hopefully they will do the same again this year as this is an added bonus for parents), so I am sure that before he starts school in mid September, we will be back again when it's a little less busy and Ethan's legs are a little less tired so we can pack even more into our day out.

Magical Christmas tickets are now on sale, with prices starting from £6-£18 excluding Father Christmas visit, to £12-£24 with a visit to the man in red, when pre-booked. We loved our visit last time so well worth checking out.


* Thank you to Drayton Manor for inviting us, we will be back again soon!


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