Today we have a guest post from the lovely Nyomi from Nomipalony. Nyomi blogs about the highs and lows of parenting, motherhood, feminism and family life. You'll also find Nyomi's family vlogging about their weekend adventures so check out their YouTube channel (new video every Sunday evening). Nomipalony visited Preston Park's Teddy Bears Picnic last weekend. Here's how they got on:-
At one point today, I was walking around the grounds at Preston Park Museum and thought 'there really is nowhere else I'd rather live than the North East'. We are so spoiled here. It was that good of an event.
I grew up in County Durham and remember going to Preston Park, near Stockton, as a girl. When the opportunity arose to go blog there for the day I jumped at it and I'm so pleased we did. We had a fantastic day.
Today was the Teddy Bear's Picnic there with tonnes of activities for kids. The weather was perfect too. Of course at times we were very British saying 'it's too hot'. I don't know about you but I'm never appropriately dressed this summer because of how changeable the weather has been. I can't keep up.
My 4 year old, Arlo, was super excited to choose a teddy to take for the day. It took him quite some time to choose. He even decided to sleep on it overnight! He chose Bernie bear and Lena (my 17 month old) had a trouser-less Greedy Gorilla (he was involved in a yogurt catastrophe before we left the house). Arlo was so proud all day to carry his bear around, it was very cute.
It was busy when we arrived so we parked in the overflow parking. We found it easy to find and park. There is so much on this beautiful site. A historic house with galleries, a huge adventure play park, lots of green space, a beautiful walled kitchen garden and orchard (you can get a bag of organic produce from the gardener for £5), a pop up beach, a Victorian street (this was a lot like Beamish but apparently this precedes Beamish), a skate park, cafe, donkey rides, a butterfly house and gift shop, mini golf and a miniature ride on train. The site is also surrounded by the river Tees so you can go on a boat ride too. Amazing. The entry for a family (including 2 adults and 4 kids) is £5 and that ticket gives you entry for a year which I think is fantastic. You could go a number of times and still have stuff to do. We've already half planned out our next visit of things we didn't have time to do today.
As we were near my home town my sister's family and my parents joined us for our trip. We had a lovely picnic lunch on the grass near the bandstand. The kids enjoyed watching the Punch and Judy show and then we tucked into the amazing picnic hamper Preston Park had kindly provided for us blogging at the event. The toddlers enjoyed running off around the grassed areas and after they burned off steam they both had a cat nap allowing the adults to have a well needed cup of tea at the quaint Victorian tea rooms.
The activity the preschoolers enjoyed the most was probably the Teddy Bears Hospital - they took their teddies to the 'doctor' for a check up and got a prescription, then took the prescription to the chemist where they exchanged it for some gummy bears. They loved this! Such a sweet little activity.
My niece loved going on a donkey ride, exclaiming 'I'm so happy mammy' as she did it - beyond cute! Arlo was a bit too frightened to do that though.
All the kids loved the pop up beach (there till September). Lena loved it so much she was eating sand (shudders). Arlo played hook-a-duck and we got some yummy ice cream from the ice cream cart.
My niece and nephew had fun making cupcakes but we didn't partake in that activity because of Arlo's dairy allergy. The kids also all had fun playing with old fashioned toys like blocks and metal hoops in the street on the way out and popped into the haberdashery to buy their teddies a bow. Bernie Bear now looks very dapper indeed.
One of the things I really loved about Preston Park was how reasonable all the prices were. It's a pet peeve of mine that often places you take kids to often try rip you off at every opportunity but here activities and even the gift shop were affordable.
The other thing I loved about Preston Park was the staff. Every member of staff o spoke to was not only polite but personable. They were enthusiastic and helpful - despite it being a very hot and busy Sunday. They've nailed customer service here and many could learn from their example.
On the way out we hit the huge adventure play park. All the kids loved this and I got the amusement of watching my 30 year old sister have to climb the rope netting to go rescue her 4 year old who had climbed too high and got stuck. I wish I'd had my vlogging camera out in time!
All in all we had a brilliant day and I can't wait to go back. It's definitely a new favourite of ours. Thanks to North East Family Fun for inviting us to guest blog and to Preston Park for their wonderful hospitality.
Need To Know
- Preston Park's Pop Up Beach is open daily until 4th September. Entry is included with museum admission. Donkey rides are £2 every Saturday and there will be Fish and Chips available every Saturday in the school holidays.
- Preston Park has a comprehensive programme of events. Subscribe to their events here.
- Follow Preston Park on Facebook & Twitter
Thank you Nomipalony for such a fabulous review and pictures. I can't wait to visit myself!
Disclosure: Nomipalony were invited to Preston Park on behalf of North East Family Fun and their expenses were covered. All images provided by Nomipalony and used with permission.