COOL BUBBAS | Festive failures and Tropical success


Christmas is costly, not to mention boring for the kids after the 50th viewing of Elf (something I'll never tire of). There's soft play, soft play and MORE soft play, and because you are inspired to is everyone else!

Having visited a few farms over the festive season, we decided to add another to our bow; The Infamous Marsh farm. We've heard mixed reviews from friends, some say excellent, some say 'chav', but we were interested in finding out for ourselves.

However, after a 20 minute drive from Romford to South Woodham Ferrers on the 30th December, we arrived to discover it was closed! At least Old Macdonalds Farm had advertised VERY clearly on their website that they also were. So what's this all about? All the kids are off, surely a great money making incentive, or is it a case of lazy cows?

When my little one was 6 months old we took him to a Tropical Wings, which is a mere 5 minutes around the corner and was HALLELUJAH.... It was open. It also reopened on the 2nd Jan.

At £8.50-£10.95 each per adult, and under 2's free, you may wince at the price point, but you do get a lot for your money.

I don't know anyone who has criticised the zoo full of critters, there's a lovely butterfly sanctuary that's as warm as a sauna and perfect for this freezing weather, with gigantic koi carp, there are otters, meerkats, goats, birds that chirrup 'hellllooooo', and you're not sure if someone is pulling your leg.

There's a small soft play section, the toilets are clean and plentiful and there are plenty of pit stops for fodder. And while we're on the subject of fodder, there's a regular programme of feeding times which makes for interesting viewing for both parents and the kids.

A latte will set you back £1.85, while a pot of tea for one is £1.50, jacket potato with cheese and side salad is £3.75, and a snack pack for baby with 2 sandwiches, crisps, yoghurt, raisins and drink is £3.75.

We gave our 1 year old some potato, cucumber and tomato from both our lunches, plus quavers and raisins we had packed - variety is the spice of life!

Tropical Wings is oodles of fun, and still perfectly accessible even in Baltic climes, wrap up, pack wellies, and thick socks and enjoy!

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