Storybooks are a place of magick and dreams. What is more amazing than an actual place where kids can physically go to make this magick and wonderment come to life in their own reality . Storybook Gardens brings our cherished and beloved nursery rhythms just that, to life .
(Located in London , Ontario)
There is a moat on both sides of the castle for entrance which of course there had to be it is a castle after all. Zach loved the moat and kept trying to sneak back to it. I am thinking in his mind he more than likely would have jumped in if he had the chance.
Once we successfully made it through the castle to gain our admittance; ( Disclosure : I was given a family pass and 10 free tickets from Storybook gardens ( my contact John thank you ) to enjoy the day and facilitate the review with. However no compensation in any other form was given , all thoughts opinions are my own ); we ran into The Whale. Here Zach met a new friend. Her name was Sarah and they got along instantly which was amazing to see. They had fun by themselves for about 10 minutes before any other kids even came near this exhibit. They had fun and it was great. I had to include Sarah in this blog review for sure, she is such a doll and has a beautiful carefree happy soul and with permission from her very cool mom (A) I was able to do so.
They came up with their own ideas and some sort of game , a lot of jumping .
As they played their jumping game together I managed to get this great shot of Zach and Sarah mid jump . To bad we met at crossing paths, Sarah on her way home and Zach on his way in. It was a perfect memory to cherish and nice to see how they clicked so quickly .
After our encounter with his new friend and we made our way in we managed to hit up where all the rides were. Now before I go on I need to insert my #MomFail here...
I never forget a change of clothes and I managed somehow to completely not see or not even register there is water play here in this park and a city run splash pad, meaning I did not even bring any shorts for swimming . I do not care about clothes getting wet , whatever it happens you wash them out, just would be a good idea not to forget a change of clothes and a bathing suit .
We hit up the Elephant ride, and of course mommy had to ride with him . I know my toddler and there is no way he would have sat in the ride and no tried to get out . Baffles me the little one just over one who happened to be on the ride ahead of us and he sat still, like completely still , not my kid. All the rides are one ticket each with the exception of the tattoos or face paint which are 3 tickets each . Tickets cost $2.25 a piece or you can buy in bulk or a day pass for the rides. All info about admissions and ticket pricing can be found here : http://www.storybook.london.ca/tickets
The Elephant ride lasted a few minutes well worth the ticket price . True to knowing my toddler he needed to be reminded to stay seated and not try and get off till we completely stopped moving. There are seat belts on this ride.
From here we found a really cool archery game of sorts. Felix the Fox's Archery Range. Safety is a big concern here which was amazing to see (even if the arrows are just a padded wad of soft fabric on the end ) . It was kept to one child at a time. If you think Zach decided to patiently wait his turn , that would be a giggle and a half. He loved it so much here that trying to get him to leave erupted a tantrum , of course it would. The only saving grace after some irritating minutes of whining is this Hands in the Sand Pit. Remembering of course that what he has on is what he has on . Inserting reminder bring bathing suit or at the very least a change of clothes.
He had a fair amount of time with just a couple other kids in the sand pit so for a good amount of time he could play with the water hose and sand toys without an issue . ( well sharing he is an only child after all )
I managed while sitting in the lawn chairs watching Zach play intently in the sand pit to snap a photo of the carousel.( at least I got one ride picture) As I said it was hard enough to keep him not jumping out of the elephants on our ride, this would be a no way .
Of course I brought along my Chapman's insulated bag with our snacks and drinks . They stayed fresh and cool all day long . http://www.chapmans.ca/
While in the sand pit a group of Day Camp kids came in . What I noticed was an amazing councillor who engaged his time with all the kids he was watching . Not only did he spend time with the camp kids ( older ages ) he took very precious time and gave his attention to my son. My son lacks a daily male presence in his life sadly and what Alex did, ( that is his name and I got permission from him for the blog to post about him) was worth more than he can imagine. It was such an amazing thing to watch . I am highly recommending that if you are in the area and able to send your children to camp that you see if Alex is available for your kids. I was told by a few of he kids how awesome he was and he was the best EVER. From what I saw I could only hope that if my son goes to camp one day he is lucky enough to have a councillor like Alex .
On a side note for Alex I am so thankful to you for the time you took to acknowledge my son and I am so grateful. i am not sure if there are any awards for outstanding youth in the community but this guy deserves to be recognised. It was easy to see that that was his real character and a wonderful thing to see.
The truth is once we found this amazing sand pit ( really bring a change of clothes and do not forget the bathing suits) the most time was spent here. I would have loved to have walked the entirety of the park and seen everything it had to offer but the day was about my toddler and we went with his lead. (until the train but I will talk about the Storybook Express farther down). The only place I know he would have loved and it is to bad he missed was the Pirate Island. I suggest not missing it . I also suggest grabbing their map brochure so you can plan. Honestly I go with my toddlers flow there is no planning for me . Here is their map this pic taken from their website and here is the direct link to all the attractions .http://www.storybook.london.ca/interactive-map
After some hilarity and getting sand out of every place imaginable , I dressed him back in his de-sanded clothes and we headed on our quest for Humpty - Dumpty. Zach loves Humpty so it was easy to persuade him to move toward the exit.
As a footnote, we had had hopes that the store Treasure Chest Gifts would have had some clothes , but no such luck, though toy treasures were ample . The sun was hot enough that Zach dried off very quickly actually .
Storybook Animal Hospital
The Firehouse which was really done well and very realistic .
Was so cool the functioning items from a Firehouse.
Bank of Storybook Gardens, which had it's own little crawl through prison . As there was a puddle of muck , we did not go through there .
I am getting such a giggle from this . His shirt when we started the day was his brand new white shirt he got from his big brother, it is now tie-dyed due to the sand pit play .
I love this cool wrought iron stove in the corner of the house , such history in that stove.
Above is a cute little family house , below is The Woman Who Lived in A Shoe Show . This is so cool. Zach had fun running through it and checking out all the cool drawings of the nursery rhythm alive on the walls.
The drawings were really done really well and the entire shoe was covered with the complete nursery rhythm.
Had to get a picture with him looking out through the Shoes window, that poor lady with all those kids .
At this point Zach really wanted to see Humpty , these geese were headed some way down the trail and we figured they would lead to our destination .
And lead us they did. Our quest to find Humpty fulfilled.
He was so happy to have found Humpty .
What happened to be really cool was that local Children's Author David Carruthers was there set up with his amazing children's books .
David showed Zach a really cool trick with the basketballs. Though once Zach got a hold of one of them it was hard to make him give it back.
David was selling his books 2 for $10.00 and thanks to Grandma, Zach got two . David graciously autographed both of them for him .
We decided to get The Wolf That Couldn't AROOOOO and The Candy Dragon .
Below are all the titles he had out for purchase . If you would like to email him if you are looking to purchase some great children's books you can here : EMAIL
The Hickory Dickory Dock Clock , with of course moving arms for children's interaction was a cute last exhibit to entice the kids on the way out.
Strategically placed at the end of the parking lot is the Train . The cute train that takes you on a nice lengthy ride, a way to bribe the kids out of the park and get them to go to the car with as little upset-stations as possible. Or so the hope is . The train itself was 1 ticket per person too.
Here is the thing with the train ; did my toddler want to ride the train , absolutely not. Did I in fact drag ( not literally dragged) and force him to go on the train most absolutely. Sometimes you just have to push a little and not let the tantrum win . Though I know he had a few seconds of joy on the train and that makes it worth it .
All in all , Zach loved it there and has since talked about it.
Big shout out to Grandma and to Uncle A for taking us and enjoying the day with us. Such delicious picnic lunch we had too.
Due to the extreme generosity of Storybook Gardens ( my contact John) I received 2 sets of tickets and admission passes. I was using the second set as a giveaway for this blog post. Due to unforeseen circumstances and unable to get to the park early in the summer I had a reverse blog contest on my Facebook page for the contest so that someone could enjoy a day out. Here are the direct links to the contest post and the winner CONTEST POST WINNER POST
Stalk Storybook Gardens / WEBSITE
Their website has everything you need to plan a fun day at the Gardens .
Highly recommend going if you have not been or even if you have great to go again.
We attended Storybook Gardens on Thursday, August 18, 2016 .
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