Top Trips Out for Toddlers on the Isle of Wight
Who better to ask than Mum on an Island when it comes to the best places to visit on the Island with a toddler or 2 in tow……
Heading out with a toddler can certainly present its challenges and questions: will they be entertained? Can I manage my pushchair? Baby change? Cleanliness? The list goes on… However, I think we’re very fortunate on the Isle of Wight to have a whole host of places and attractions ready to welcome parents and toddlers. For us, with a one-year-old and a two-year-old, here’s some of our top trips out with tots:
Tapnell Farm – Toddler Heaven
We love heading to Tapnell Farm for our ‘treat day’. We save this as our place to go to for special occasions – we can always guarantee we’ll have an amazing time. I’d even go as far to say that it’s impossible for little ones to get bored here. Indoor soft play, the straw barn, outdoor bouncy pillows, farm animals, a petting area and toy tractors galore, they couldn’t ask for more. Every time we visit, Tapnell seems to expand in some form- so it’s always worth a trip.
We live close by to this attraction and, during the summer months, I like to think that Robin Hill almost becomes an extension of our garden. We love packing up a picnic and heading to this scenic country park on a hot, summer’s day. There’s lots of walking between the attractions and play areas (and there are some challenging hills with your much-needed pushchair,) but it’s so worth it. Our toddlers have spent many an afternoon doing ‘laps’ on the ‘cow train’ (seriously, how many times can you sit on a train ride surrounded by cows ‘statues?’). Robin Hill is a lovely, outdoorsy day out which little walkers will love.
It’s certainly a place for the curious- and toddlers are curious little beings, aren’t they?! This is one for the imagination,
with The Fairy Castle, Cowboy Land and the quaint Nursery Rhyme Land to name but a few. Parts of the park have been there as long as I can remember, so personally I love the sentimental feeling of now taking my own children. However, with newer additions such as the enchanting Underwater World and the large Pirate ship to play on, our toddlers are pretty mesmerised by Blackgang’s fantasy feel.
The Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary
We are slowly turning into ‘regulars’ at the Donkey Sanctuary, and our two-year-old Tot is starting to learn the donkeys by name. Although there’s nothing specifically aimed at toddlers, our little ones love animals. They are fascinated by the donkeys and both of our toddlers have practised some of their ‘first steps’ here with neatly designated walkways running alongside the animals. There’s a good cafe on site too, with toddler-friendly treats!
Owl and Monkey Haven
The Owl and Monkey Haven is a very well-kept and cared-for home to these animals. Predominantly monkey-based, we like watching these creatures live up to their name and show off, swinging around! A great destination for young animal fans, another big appeal about coming here is the play park. There’s one for toddlers with a ride-in toy car area and another park for older children.
West Wight Alpacas
Keeping on the animal theme, and also towards the West Wight, is a farm with a difference. As the name suggests, here you’ll find furry friends in alpacas and llamas to enjoy- and intrigue those terrific toddler minds. If your toddler likes animals and likes to walk freely (AKA “Let go of my hand, Mummy,”) then this is good for a walkabout. The Llama Tree restaurant is on site and we stand by it being the best pizza we’ve ever eaten.
Brown’s Golf Cafe
Brown’s Golf Cafe is a bright, warm eatery looking out onto their ‘pitch and put’ and ‘putting’ courses. Perfect for any age. Older children (and adults of course,) can enjoy the golf whilst toddlers can stay safe inside. The cafe provides a thoughtful amount of toys to keep little ones entertained for an hour or two. Our Tots love coming here for a welcome change of scenery and it’s nice, from my perspective, to enjoy a cuppa whilst the kiddies can play.
Beaches cannot be missed off this list and, of course, the Isle of Wight is blessed with them. However, when it comes to summer season and taking toddlers to the beach, we come with demands. We need toilets close by. We need food. Ice cream is a must. And, we need distractions when the sand is no longer sufficing the Tots…
We find Shanklin seafront has all the amenities close by, as well as being a nice, clean stretch of beach. With a good old British arcade on the promenade, which includes a soft play area inside (Jungle Jims,) Shanklin seafront can easily occupy a family for a full day in the warmer weather.
So, there you have it, spoilt for choice. Mum on an Island has given us an insight into her favourite destinations with her little ones. We could go on, but sometimes the best adventures are the ones you make yourself. Do let us know if you have a favourite toddler friendly day out on the island.