It may have rained… and rained a lot… but when you’re visiting a wetlands, that doesn’t matter one bit.
I have been thinking of visiting WWT Martin Mere Wetlands Centre for a while but as it’s quite a distance away from us (45 minutes), we’ve always ended up at other nature reserves closer to home. Then, I saw they were having a Lego exhibition, so naturally, I packed up a picnic and off we went (unfortunately without Daddy as he had to work).
I thought the Lego trail would keep Seth interested and importantly, keep him walking without complaint. As it happened, after we found the first couple of models and I noted down the answers on the soggy quiz sheet in the pouring rain, he paid little attention to the Lego.
I’m super proud of my outdoors boy. He waded through the streams, jumped in extremely deep puddles, attempted to climb trees. He hopped between stepping stones – I insisted on holding his hand for that one (it was a bit deep) but I’m more than sure he would have had a good go on his own. There was some play equipment hidden in the woods. Where he would previously have asked for help, he got stuck in.
We went in a hide just by the main buildings. What a fabulous modern bright building. It was fully accessible – some wheelchair users were in there at the same time as us. There were resources for identifying birds, and lots of pairs of binoculars available to use – even child sized ones with little chairs. Rory was starting to get hungry so we didn’t spend much time in there much to Seth’s disappointment. I’m sure it will be great when they’re both older, or when we have a second pair of hands with us.
After almost completing the Lego trail, we headed into the main buildings and found the indoor picnic area. We peeled off our wet clothes – apart from Rory who was lovely and dry under the rain cover in his pram – and got stuck into our picnic. I was freezing. I’ve found it quite mild this last few days, so I was inadequately dressed for a draughty picnic room. After dealing with pooh-mageddon (always when your out of the house or going somewhere) we headed to the craft room where Seth did some colouring and paid 50p for the materials to make a pine cone owl. Rory got a bit restless at this point so we got the waterproofs and woolies back on and handed out to find the last Lego model that we’d missed the first time round.
We did it! We finally found the dragonfly – we were not the only ones who were ticking it off as our last one. It also gave us a second opportunity to look at the otters, the flamingoes and some of the other magnificent birds. We handed in our quiz answers and got Seth’s certificate and I treated Seth to a build-your-own Lego man on the way out.
One thing that we managed to swerve today was visiting Father Christmas. I’m hoping to do this somewhere else so it wasn’t in the plan for today. It was all going on over on an island and involved and Elf-driven boat trip so I’m sure it’s a good experience if you did choose to do it there.
I would definitely recommend Martin Mere for a family day out. Admission was about £12 just for me as under 4s go free, although it’s cheaper to book online. Car parking is free. We didn’t go in the cafe but I’d always recommend a picnic to keep costs down. The Giant Lego Brick Animal Trail will be there until 31st January and there is a Lego activity you can also book that is recommended for 4+ years.