Saturday, 12 August 2017

Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare review - Adventures with Toddlers

On Thursday we met up with friends for a play date at Raystede near Halland.  If you don't know it, Raystede is an animal rescue centre with animals ranging from bunnies to horses and it's a lovely place to visit with the kids.  Entry is free but you can make a donation or become a sponsor to give continued help to one specific animal section if you wish or become a Friend of Raystede for just £3/month and as well as helping the animals you also get perks like Friends Only events and discounts.  It's good to have some free activities available in the holidays as it all adds up with various trips out but even if you can't afford to make a big donation, I'm sure everything helps and if you visit the cafe, you're also helping to support the centre.

The twins love it here, it's safe for them to run about and explore without having to worry too much.  They love the duck pond which is also a nice place to walk around on a sunny day and there's a play park area too.  We started off with one of their highlights of putting some coins in one of the donation spinners before trying to spot a tortoise (we didn't, they must have been sleeping) while we waited for our friends to arrive.

We met them at the park and did some climbing (and snacking) before heading off to explore the other areas.  We only spotted one dog today but they have a few waiting to be re-homed at the moment, I wish we could take one home but it's tricky with Nik's allergies (and still a bit too early for me with the kids still being so young, maybe one day...).

The rabbits were a big hit as we saw quite a few and there was a game at the end of all the hutches with a giant dice with various boards giving instructions as well as bunny info.

The duck pond was full of angry geese, we saw quite a few fighting although it's not nesting season (they actually close some of the paths off when it is due to aggressive birds).  The kids all had fun on the rainbow platform and looking through the telescope (20p).

All the way around the centre we found information points and buttons to press which they all loved.  Some were part of a trail for the holidays, you can pick up a sheet at the information desk and go around finding posts and answering questions for a bit of fun learning and extra entertainment.

When it started to rain, we decided it was time to head back to the cafe for lunch.

It was very busy in there, unsurprisingly but our food came quickly.  I would definitely avoid it if you don't like noise, maybe take a picnic to eat outside instead.  I ordered scampi & chips (£6.95) for the twins and I to share although they mostly ate the rest of the snacks I'd brought.  Kalyan's recent favourite thing is mayonnaise so he had cucumber smothered in mayo, a few chips and one scampi.  Since they'd been so good I treated them to an ice-cream (£2.00, they had 1/2 scoop each) and I had a slice of chocolate cake and a mocha which were delicious!

We had a great morning out with our friends, we go to Raystede often as it's such a great place as well as a great cause.  Maybe one day we'll be able to adopt a dog too!

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