Days Out: Diggerland and the Little Tikes Playzone!
Last weekend, we treated T’s nephew M to a day out at Diggerland. M is absolutely mad for diggers and all vehicles within the ‘digger’ category (please don’t make me name them all), so when we were invited to Diggerland to see the new Little Tikes Playzone we decided we couldn’t not take him as well.
M is two years older than T, although the only thing that gives it away is the difference in height and speech as T gives it a good go keeping up with his 4 year old cousin!
Diggerland is only 2 hours away from Brighton and is a fast and pleasant drive straight up the M25 to Rochester. Leaving at 8am we even had time to stop at the service station for coffee and to treat M to a (rather expensive!) magazine for the journey. As well as Kent, Diggerland also has locations Devon, Durham, Yorkshire, and Worcestershire.
Arriving just before the 10am opening, we had a quick look at the website to find out whether T would actually be allowed to go on any of the rides. Thankfully, the majority of the rides and drives have a minimum height of 0.9m and T is just above that, so he was allowed to go on the rides as long as he sat on our lap. M, on the other hand, had plenty of rides he could go on by himself – being a lot taller – but he was quite happy dragging his auntie Sharon onto the rides with him.
Although, in my opinion, a little pricey (however I imagine this covers the amount of petrol they go through!), there is a HUGE variety of rides and drives to go on for all ages; from Stackers and a variety of Diggers to play on and complete tasks with, to a Sky Shuttle that shows a magnificent aerial view of the park. There’s also a merry go round, a tour train, and a Spindizzy!
We went on a Saturday, but despite this and the weather being glorious the longest time we had to wait in queues was around 5 minutes. This was so the attendants got everyone out of the cabs safely and other people into the cabs safely – which I thought was impressive. There was never a moment where staff were just standing still – they were constantly watching, but making sure everyone was having a wonderful time.
There’s also a handful of ride ons that require a quid or so but that’s you’re only added cost to the entrance fee but certainly not a requirement to enjoy the day.
Value for money
Each ride lasted from 10 minutes if you were in control of a static digger, to 15-20 minutes if you were in control and driving stacker or dumper truck that didn’t want to go the way you wanted it to! Stationary rides such as the Sky Shuttle lasted a lot longer and you felt like you really got your monies worth. There’s also a few bumpier rides for the thrill-seekers in the house.
If you’re not so much of a thrill-seeker, theres also a large soft play next to the picnic area which was the perfect place to go when the midday sun hit.
Eating Out and shopping
Diggerland has several picnic areas dotted around the park and welcomes you to bring your own lunch if you wish. But if you’re not in the mood for sandwiches and warm fruit there’s an impressive canteen style diner that offers a variety of food from burgers and jacket potatoes, to light snacks and filled wraps and sandwiches. We went with the warm fruit option and saved our pennies for the ice cream man located on site!
After lunch, next to ‘The Dig Inn’, is the gift shop and after our day out we ended with a not-so-quick visit. For once, I was actually impressed with the price of the gift shop as well as the variety of toys to choose from. There were smaller, chunkier toys for younger children, or intricate, much bigger toys for older children (or big kids!). We spent £15 and got two decent toys for the boys.
There is also a choice of lego and a rack full of clothing and dressing up options, as well as your usual stationery, books, and ‘I’ve Been to Diggerland‘ style merchandise. I really liked how the toys weren’t just limited to your typical diggers – there were the ‘other’ types of diggers (again, don’t make me name them) for those anoraks who REALLY love their diggers!
Now at Diggerland is also a new Little Tikes ‘Wheelz Playzone‘ which is an area jammed full with sand and water tables, ride on cars, and a huge sandpit full of dirt diggers and dump trucks. We veered into here on the way to the gift shop, which promptly distracted the boys from the thought of getting something from the shop for a few minutes. Thanks Little Tikes!
This area was perfectly shaded, and the large tractor wheels gave me and Sharon ample time to rest up from our day out chasing after a four and two year old. Plus, because T had M to play with we were nicely left alone to talk to each other for a change and not have to get sand in our shoes or squeeze ourselves into a police car – although that still didn’t stop T giving it a good go.
A Pit Stop
This area was a really welcome instalment and is something that little bit different to what we had experienced throughout the day. Placed nicely next to the gift shop, it seemed to calm the boys down before the journey home, allowing them just to sit quietly playing with lots of sand and water.
I also really appreciated the amount of toys available and if the area got a bit busy I’d have no concerns over toddlers fighting over toys (although I imagine they still would!) as there was literally tons! Not to mention an array on vehicles and activity tables.
I would definitely recommend giving Diggerland a visit this summer, as well as the Little Tikes Playzone. Although the park is aimed at children aged 4 plus, T had a wonderful time looking at all the ride ons and was able to have a go himself (with my help) being a taller toddler (although please do check your little one’s height). We were at Diggerland pretty much all day – and that’s with only going on each ride once!
We were offered 4 tickets to Diggerland in exchange for a review, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.