Every year without fail we have made a trip to Drayton Manor with Leo, right from his very first year. Admittedly the first experience was more for the big kids than our pre toddler, but I am sure he enjoyed taking in the sights and sounds as we navigated his very first theme park on his very newly found feet. Little did we know, that trains and Thomas the Tank Engine in particular were going to become firm favourites over the next few years!
The second time we visited Leo was older, he was now 2 years old and it was here at Thomas Land that Leo took his very first roller coaster ride on the troublesome trucks.
That day still makes me smile as I think back on it, the laughter that flowed so naturally throughout our time there on that early date in September. I remember the weather being on our side and Leo decided he wanted to have a go on the Troublesome Trucks. I was over the moon, he was going to be a little adrenaline junkie just like his Mumma! So we hopped on and I admit I was expecting tears, I thought it was going to be a long couple of minutes around the track, but that boy of mine couldn't stop smiling, and his reactions just kept me chuckling as we continued to get on and off again.
You know those days that just happen so naturally, those days that are so un-planned that everything just unfolds exactly as it should? That day was perfect, I couldn't have planned for it, because if I had it would not have been as successful as it was. This moment right here sums up my entire day, that smile as I enjoy my little man growing up is something I still treasure today. It is one of my favourite photos of us naturally having a good time and enjoying new things for the very first time.
I shall tell you what else puts a massive smile on my face, and it's one of the most simple things in the world, but makes such a difference in my book....
The Fat Controller is ALWAYS played by the same actor. ALWAYS. Each and every time I have been, we are greeted by the same cheerful man who always makes such an effort.
Over the past year, Leo and I have been able to visit Drayton Manor even more frequently than just annually. We live just over 50 minutes away from Tamworth and the commute is so easy, and back in 2015 we were invited to Thomas Land for the day with the potential opportunity to become ambassadors for the year, and you guessed it... We rose to the occasion and were over the moon to be able to work with a brand that we truly hold close to our hearts. We have so many fantastic memories that we have created here over the past couple of years, and it has been a real honour to be able to create so many more.
At the end of the Summer holidays before Leo started his very first day of school, Leo and I took a trip over to spend a few hours and just let our hair down before things got more serious with his very first day of reception. Then in October I was really excited to see the very impressive War of the World Firework Spectacular situated over the lake, to celebrate Drayton Manor's 65th Birthday! Then at the beginning of December Leo and I were back again for the Magical Christmas!
If there is one thing Drayton Manor know how to do, it's put on an event and keep you wanting to come back for more! So when I told Leo that we were heading back on over this weekend for a fun filled day out, he was over the moon. So far over that he was late to bed last night, and up bright and early ready to get over to the park for 9:30am. The press in attendance were able to enjoy the park for an hour before it opened up to the public, and this went down beautifully. At 4 years old Leo is still no good at lining up. He doesn't understand the concept and if it's any longer than 5 minutes, then we usually have to say goodbye to the idea.
It was a cold clear day but with no rain to contend with I knew we were on to a winner, we made our way around our favourites but Leo had already informed me upon arrival that today... Today we would not be following tradition and riding the Troublesome Trucks. Apparently we are going through a bit of a scaredy cat streak,,, I think it might have something to do with riding Ben 10 for the first time last year... The video below might shed some insight.
We didn't let that stop us though and happily rode Bertie Bus, Jeremy Jets Flying Academy, Harold's Helicopter Tours, Sodor Classic Cars and of course Leo's all time favourite... that he would quite honestly get on and off all day given half the chance... Thomas's Engine Tour.
We took a good friend of mine along on this occasion with her lovely little boy Jack. It was the first time that Leo and Jack had met, so we thought that this would be the absolute perfect opportunity to get them together, and of course so us Mummies could benefit from a gossip on the way around.
Two boys ready to take on Thomas Land.
What I love about a visit to Thomas Land, is that I know we are guaranteed a great day out. For Leo and I this really is a day that we are quite happy to do as a twosome. I get to enjoy him all to myself, I get to watch him laugh and smile in an environment that he adores. It is even more special these days with school being thrown into the mix, and any opportunity that we have to just tune out from just how serious life can be at times is a welcome distraction.
We brought a picnic along with us and sat under the winter sun by the lake, there are plenty of benches and picnic benches around if you decide to bring your own food with you. I usually like to go and sit in the Grill Inn for more of a sit down meal, but today the adventure of a picnic won over, and I knew this would appeal more to Leo.
I am pleased to report that yet another fantastic day was enjoyed all around. Leo is already asking when he can return again, and I don't think that date will be to far around the corner. Now the weather is warming up again we will most definitely be looking to get outside and enjoying ourselves more (especially when we can leave the coats at home!).
The day completely wiped Leo out, and as soon as the car was pulling away, I had one sleeping 4 year old dreaming in the back of the car.
See you soon Drayton Manor! Thank you for another fantastic day full of new memories to add to our beautiful collection.
You can see some snippets from our fun day out below
Disclaimer: Leo and I were invited along to Drayton Manor and provided complimentary access in exchange for this post. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, we have been big fans of the park for many years, and getting to work with a brand that we are genuinely passionate about has been a fantastic experience.