Cotswold Wildlife Park Playground

Learning About Animals at The Cotswold Wildlife Park

One of the things I struggle with as the stay at home parent of a toddler is how to keep him entertained on a daily basis.  I’m not one of those crafty, creative parents who always seem to have great ideas for little projects and games to play around the house.  I’m one of those parents who wakes up most mornings and says to herself, “right, what am I going to do with this kid today?”

For me, the best answer to this question is to get us out of the house, to go see and do.  It’s England so there will be plenty of days where it’s miserable and rainy and we end up inside playing trains all day.  So, it’s important on the days that it’s not to get outside, despite the fact that the little man has recently decided he’s not that interested in wearing clothes.

Luckily, there are plenty of things nearby that we can do once we’ve gotten through the painful process of getting dressed.  In addition to Blenheim Palace and the National Trust, I’ve also taken advantage of the annual pass at the Cotswold Wildlife Park.  In just under 30 minutes we can be out for the day learning about animals, playing in the playground, and having a picnic on the lawn.

And, oh yeah, there is a train.  A TRAIN!

Cotswold Wildlife Park Train

On our visit there this week, the little man even had his first milkshake, a strawberry one which he refused to share with me.  He is definitely my child.

Milkshakes at Cotswold Wildlife Park

There is a wide variety of animals to see and learn about at the park.  We love to visit the penguins as they really get up close and personal.  And, I’ve been amazed at how close you can get to the giraffes when they’re feeding in their big tall house.  The little man always asks to see the snakes and the crocodile.  When I asked him later in the day what his favorite animal was, he said the “dinosaur.”  I think he meant the crocodile.  At least I’m going to go with that given that the crocodile probably looks as much like a dinosaur as anything else to a two-year old.

Cotswold Wildlife Park Animals

The white Rhinos never disappoint.  Something about the juxtaposition of these animals and a Cotswold manor house always strikes me.  Yesterday, they were closer to the fence than I’ve ever seen them, hunkered down in the ditch for a little snuggle.  And when I was there just a few weeks ago, I even caught them in a little sexy time.

Cotswold Wildlife Park White Rhinos

With our annual pass, we just need to go 5 times in the year to make the pass worthwhile. We’ve already been 3 times and still have nine months and a whole week of English summertime to go. And, it’s open every single day except Christmas Day.  Money and time well spent.

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  • Reply Nanette April 5, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Such sweet images of the animals and your son!!

    • Reply katherine April 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks for the comments Nanette!

  • Reply Belle April 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I am the same way! And even when I do find myself in a crafty mood, my little boy is completely uninterested. He doesn’t want to color or paint. He wants to put the colors back into the box and pull them out again and then throw them on the floor! Needless to say, it’s never quite the bonding experience I imagined.

    This looks like an awesome outing! Animals! TRAINS! It doesn’t get any better than that for a little boy!

    And your pictures are fantastic!

    • Reply katherine April 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      So glad that I’m not alone! I do get crafty things out but he’d really prefer playing trains, cars, etc. Anywhere they have a train ride, we’re all over it!

  • Reply Mary April 6, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Beautiful shots, Katherine! Your son is adorable! Revel in this time—it goes by so quickly!

    • Reply katherine April 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      Thanks Mary. I know the time FLIES by. I can’t believe he’s almost three already!

  • Reply Kathy Benson April 6, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Great pictures and you are funny!!!!! Thank you for sharing this day with us. As a not Mom- it is great to get a glimpse into being one.

    • Reply katherine April 6, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Kathy – thanks so much for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the little glimpse into our world.

  • Reply Matma April 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Have you thought of contacting CWP?
    Your blog is a fantastic advertisement for the park.
    …. and what a fantastic model little monkey makes 🙂

    • Reply katherine April 6, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Yes, I’ve tweeted them and they’ve tweeted me back. He’s the best model ever.

  • Reply When a Picture Isn’t Worth 1000 Words July 5, 2012 at 10:05 am

    […]  And we’ve ridden a number of what I would call “miniature trains” at the Cotswold Wildlife Park or Blenheim Palace.  Even vintage trains at the Didcot Railway Centre.  But he’d never […]

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