Days out diary - child friendly and family activities

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Stratford Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre and River AvonAs we live fairly close to Stratford-Upon-Avon we visit the town quite often. Normally for shopping, Stratford is particularly good for buying gifts, not the best place for general town shopping, but if you're buying presents it's ideal.

I've also been involved in a couple of shows that have been held at the Civic Hall.

The reason that most people visit Stratford-Upon-Avon is through it being the home of William Shakespeare. There are of course many different places to visit to find out more about The Bard. I have visited Shakespeare's birth place and seen some shows at the theatres in the past.

The one place I hadn't been until recently was the Butterfly Farm. Here's a quick run down of both the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Butterfly Farm.

We started the day by going around town. On a busy weekend the worst bit could be getting through the traffic, which is particularly bad if the weather is nice. There is plenty of parking available, although it's not cheap. There is a multi-story car park, and outside car parks on Bridgeway, or a large car park next to the Butterfly farm, off Bridge Foot. Both of these are just a short walk from the town. We walked into the town and around the shops.

There are quite a few places to eat, but not many with baby changing facilities. We ate at the Debenhams restaurant which had a small baby changing room. Other places with baby changing facilities, includes BHS (which has a small mothercare in the store), and some pubs near the canal.

The Debenhams restaurant was quite good, although very small. They had some high chairs, although at the time someone seamed to think that these were for holding their handbag rather than for use by babies. The provide a microwave, and bottle warmers. I had only got a metal baby food jar with me, but the staff were very helpful and provided a VIP pack with a disposible dish, spoon (although I used our own), and bib.

Butterfly at the Stratford Butterfly FarmWe visited the butterfly farm in the afternoon. After paying for the entrance you are allowed to go in and out of the tropical green house as much as you want for the rest of the day. So if you want to visit the farm, but leave for lunch and then go back again then that is fine.

There is an education room by the entrance, which they said we could use to leave the pushchair if we wanted. The first time I carried my baby around, but went around again, and this time left her in the push chair. When she was in the push chair she even had butterflies land on her hand, and on the front of the pushchair.

The farm consists of a large greenhouse, which is kept at tropical temperatures. As you walk around there are lots of butterflies all around (not too many that you feel enclosed by them). There are also some fish in the pools and Iguanas in the main greenhouse, and a area with caterpillars in various stages up to new butterflies. Finally there is also a small room, with some insects and arachnoids, and a keeper was placing some of these onto childrens hands for them to feel.

The admission price is about £5 for adults, and £4 for children over the age of 3. For the length of time that you spend in the farm it's quite reasonable.

Well worth a visit:

There is lots more on offer in Stratford on Avon, in rural Warwickshire (particularly if the weather is nice). Attractions include a nice park area alongside the river Avon, and the Stratford Upon Avon Canal.

There is also a open top double decker site-seeing bus that drives around the local sites and attractions. I've never been on the bus so can't tell you what it's like. Please leave a comment if you've been on the tourist bus.