Friday, 23 October 2015

Visit the Rainforest and the Mediterranean in one day at the Eden Project.

One of our favourite places to visit when we stay in Cornwall is the Eden Project. Well I say 'we' when I mean me really. The boys tolerate a is it because I make sure they have plenty to do when we are there. There are proper Cornish pastys for Hubbie, local ice cream for Big Boy and Baby Boy just goes wild for all the dogs that he sees all over Cornwall, but especially at Eden. 

I first visited when the Eden Project opened and it was a much smaller attraction back then. It was mostly a quarry with a car park and the biomes were new and the main reason for visiting. Since then the site has been developed further and you now have plenty to see and do on a day there. We've been 4 times in the last two years and still haven't done everything.

When we visited earlier this week we knew we'd have a large part of the day, but wanted to make the most of our visit. When we arrived we all decided to walk down - you can also take the land train which is great fun and goes every 20 minutes taking around 15 minutes to go from the top to the bottom and vice versa. Me and Big Boy decided to walk down the playful steps which are great fun and a lot faster then at the path that we usually take. 

One of the things that makes repeat visits so much fun is that the activities at the Eden Project are seasonal. When we visited last Christmas we went to see Father Christmas and had an ice skate - more of which later. For half term there are special events for 'Halloweden' including a 'wishcraft' area.

Something else that is lovely to see is the changing colours of the seasons. This is more evident in the Mediterranean biome which has a temperate climate and varying displays. It's also where they stroytime is held and we've taken the boys to see this a few times. They really enjoy the craft activities and stories and singing. You can check the times for these on arrival so you an plan your day in advance. On the day we went there was also a tea tasting of Pukka Teas - they're wonderful and hearing about the origins of the ingredients was really interesting too. 

Inside the Mediterranean biome there is room to roam and my boys like to explore. It's colourful and spacious and you will often see school parties taking part in challenges that encourage them to visit all the different zones. Last time we visited I took Baby Boy to the Rainforest Biome with me, but this time I asked Big Boy if he wanted to come with me. We left Baby Boy with Daddy to listen to stories and went for a wander.

In the past we have had to cut short visits to the Rainforest Biome as it does get very humid and on a hot day this can be very difficult to deal with. When Big Boy was younger he really didn't like it at all. This time we took our time and it wasn't too crowded so we were able to take it at our own pace. I showed Big Boy the waterfall that provides a dramatic centrepiece for the biome and showed him the highest point you can stand to view the whole thing. We've made a deal that when he's older we will climb all the way to the top.

I'm very proud of my boys for taking an interest in something that I love so much. As a reward we had planned something very special for Big Boy to do with me at the end. Because he enjoyed the ice skating so much at Christmas we booked to go again this time. The rink is open now and there are sessions every day with sessions for toddlers, lessons and half price times. We booked a penguin aid for Big Boy to help him skate and he did amazingly well. By the end we were gracefully gliding across the ice - sort of. Baby Boy and Hubbie watched from the side and popped outside for a stroll when they got bored. While we were skating a wheelchair user also joined us on the ice and she was having a whale of a time. It was fantastic to have the room to enjoy the rink on a not so busy day.

We were lucky to be able to visit on a day outside half term and I imagine it will be much busier next week, but even when we've been during the summer months it's always a great day out. We have lovely food, walk lots and spend time together doing fun things.

You can book tickets online for the Eden Project and get a green travel discount if you walk, cycle or take public transport.
You can gift aid a ticket so it's valid for a year and you can visit as many times as you like - it's worth it ! You can also book Ice Skating online.

Disclosure: The lovely folks at the Eden Project gave us complimentary entry and ice skating. 

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