A great day for dinosaur lovers – York Maze review…

Olivia and I have just returned home from a lovely long weekend visiting our family in Yorkshire.

Living in army quarters roughly 200 miles away, and being ridiculously busy with work all the time, means I don’t get to see them as often as I would like, but we did manage a solid 4 days of visiting! As it doesn’t happen very often, we ended up being very, very busy and visiting lots of different places (so expect to see a couple of reviews in the next few weeks!) It became a little mini holiday for us which was really lovely, and I had some precious quality time with Olivia, too.

One of the places we went to was York Maze. We spent about 4 hours there in total as there was so much to do, but some little legs got the better of us. Never have I done so many piggy backs before this weekend! I will probably regret ever demonstrating what a piggy back is, I am sure…

What is York Maze?

It’s a fantastic, fun-filled day out that caters to the entire family. Although I only went with Olivia, who is 3, we could easily have had just as much fun if 9 year old Kiera was with us too.

It isn’t just a maze, but they mazes (plural) are of course the main attractions. Over the years, the maze has been shaped into a number of different characters/features from films/television, including Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter. This year, the main maze was Lion King themed. You have 6 checkpoints to get to and answer some themed questions to get the magic word for the end of the maze. Olivia enjoyed shouting the secret word very loudly so that everyone could hear her!

On top of the main maze, there is also a separate Jurassic Park themed maze with 8 dinosaurs inside. Olivia insisted on stroking them all… but on the up side she was also able to name all but one! The spinosaurus evaded us, but there was a helpful list on the way back out naming them all so that you can see if you got them right!

The Jurassic Park maze is much smaller, but the classic theme tune can be heard throughout, and it’s great fun finding the dinosaurs. For my little dino lover, this was perfect!

Is it just a maze?

No, there are so many activities at York Maze aside from just the mazes, which is how we ended up spending so much time there.

As well as the maze, they have a sweetcorn themed obstacle course (which Olivia and I smashed) and meet and greets with the animals. You can hold a snake or a creepy crawly and the owls and reptiles are out for you to meet, too.

Is there much for little ones to do?

Yes! Olivia loved jumping on the popcorn pillow which had split sessions for little ones to jump together without the big kids. That worked really well and was much nicer for the children (and parents) not to worry about any big kids hurting the smaller ones by accident.

What can the big kids do?

There’s a lot of things for the bigger children to get stuck into, too! As well as all of the other activities, there’s a rock climbing wall and an adventure play park that’s suitable for big and little children.

The quiz in the main maze is probably more geared towards older children too, although Olivia still managed to have lots of fun!

Have you ever been to York Maze? Let us know what theme the maze was and whether you enjoyed it!

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

4 Woodland Themed Activities for Little Explorers

Butterflies

This is a really simple and quick activity we did. I cut butterflies by folding a piece of plain A4 paper in half and cutting a large number 3 and opening it up. We used stickers and a large coloured stamp for finger painting to make butterflies like the ones we saw on our walk.

Bug hunting!
 
We were looking under logs and leaves to find what different bugs lived there. But we also found wild berries, fungi and rabbit holes on our wander.
Rainbow Nature Hunt 
                                   
On our rainbow nature hunt we were looking for flowers, leaves and whatever other items we could find in the woods to glue down on to our hunt sheet. This was a chance to get my daughter talking about the different names of colours and doing colour matching.
Decorate Your Own Woodland Animal Masks
 

I found these masks in Poundland and my daughter used acrylic paint to colour them in. I used them to talk with my daughter about the animals that live in the woods and next time we go she can wear them.

We love any excuse for a woodland walk! We would love to hear about your activities that we can try on our next trip out. Please let us know in the comments. Happy exploring!

If you liked this you may enjoy reading…

5 reasons why we should all be walking with our kids!




https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsOne of my favourite things about my day, every day, is my morning walk with my daughter to drop her off with the childminder. She’s not even 2 yet, and this morning walk is already a part of our everyday routine… Why? Well, for starters, I can’t drive, and secondly, even if I could, it brings me so much joy walking with her. Of course, there are the odd stressful moments of characteristic toddler defiance, but more often than not we are both enjoying ourselves!

So here is a little list of reasons why, in my opinion, we should all be walking with our kids as much as possible – whether that’s walking them to school or to the local park, and no matter how old they are, the benefits are just incredible!

1. Children adore the world around them

Olivia is full of awe at everything – she’s at that age where she is curious about everything that she sees, and where she is beginning to ask me questions such as “What’s that?”

Walking outdoors with her gives her so much more exposure to things that she is naturally curious about! The last two days when we’ve walked through town it’s been a constant interrogation of her asking me what things are, but she’s learning, and she’s having fun doing it!

2. Children have sooooo much energy!


Seriously, Olivia runs faster than me. But again, the whole idea of her being outside makes her WANT to burn off that excitement and energy. What better way to start her childhood than doing exercise and enjoying it? God knows that probably won’t last if you stop encouraging your kids to go outside!

3. Dirt isn’t dirty


Bit contradictory this one, but being outside in the mud on a rainy day is ridiculously good for our kids. It builds their immune systems up immensely, allowing their bodies to fight off bad bacteria on its own. And you know what? WHO CARES if they get dirty? What are baths for? 

Olivia always comes back from her childminder caked in something, and it’s a sign that she’s had fun! You can always find her in the garden playing, and as much as I will be regretting putting her in a white cardigan/top while she’s rolling around in the grass, that’s more fool me, and to her, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, so why tell her that she shouldn’t be “getting dirty”?

4. You’ll benefit too

Walking is a form of exercise, and particularly if you go on a nice, ample nature walk with the kids, you’re going to burn a lot of calories! But even putting the physical benefits aside, you’re going to benefit mentally. Getting fresh air and exercise releases endorphins, and, of course, you will love the bonding experience of walking with your children, creating memories with them that will last forever.

5. You just might get a bit more of a childhood out of your little one


Too often now parents are quick to stick the kids in front of the TV for 5 minutes of peace… Trust me, if mine would sit still long enough I’d do it too! Screen time is normal for kids now, but to me it feels like it’s one thing that stops them from being children. Playing outdoors is such a normal part of childhood, and I would hate for that to end too soon for Olivia. Making a nice walk (or run, in her case as she runs everywhere!) part of a daily routine will hopefully give children that extra push to love being outdoors in spite of the attraction of the xbox or PS4. Then, in years to come, your kids will be instilling the same childhood loves in their kids, and so on! 


Times and technology may have changed, but the way we help our children to enjoy their incredibly short childhoods doesn’t have to!

Mummies Waiting
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com
Monday Stumble Linky

This post was featured on Confessions of Parenting as a post with the most clicks on the #WanderingWednesday linky!