What can my toddler handle?
The Best Places in North Wales to Travel with Toddlers
Information provided by associationoflearning.com.
A donation has been provided by the creator of this article to help with the running costs of the site.
Article prepared by Dale Clark, outreach assistant and Rowena Davis, researcher
For many parents, traveling with children can feel like a juggling act.
On the one hand, you want to create a memorable holiday that is filled with laughter and activity. Yet on the other, not all of the places you want to visit are suitable for toddlers.
So what can you do? How can you get the best out of your holiday?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is – what can my toddler handle? Is the destination age appropriate, or are the children likely to get bored? Worse, will the experience go completely over their heads?
Next – is it safe? Does the place have safety procedures and precautions in place to guarantee that their services and activities won’t injure your child?
All of these are real and genuine questions that you need to ask yourself when planning a holiday, yet they are all relevant.
Take a museum for instance. It’s educational. It’s safe. It is a space designed to capture history and pass it onto the next generation. It is everything that you could want as a parent. Yet… will a two to three-year-old really be interested in looking at objects that they can’t touch; that is hidden behind glass, and that can only be learned about from signs that they can’t yet read.
Unless you’ve got a child prodigy on your hands, then sadly a toddler probably wouldn’t enjoy it.
And this is not the only thing you’ll have to deal with…
Common Challenges When Travelling with a Toddler
Dealing with their fears
Most fears at this age are based on trying something new e.g. getting on a boat, staying in a strange, new place etc. The key is to be positive; to help them push through it (sometimes by preparing them beforehand), and to make it into a game or a new adventure.
Boredom, Whining, and Tantrums
The reality is, you won’t be able to please everyone with every activity. However, with careful planning, it is possible to choose places that cater to the interests of all, including a stubborn toddler. Taking advantage of tools such as TripAdvisor can help you to plan your holiday, so each day everyone gets to enjoy something they love. It will take the edge off potential tantrums/whining as you’ll have done your research and will know exactly what to expect.
Every child is different and some you can trust to do more safely than others. However, visiting somewhere new is always a daunting experience for a parent, especially when you have got a toddler in tow. Again, with careful planning and by first checking out the places and activities reviews, website and safety policies; you can escape this fear and quickly discover whether or not your child will be safe to attend.
Tiredness and Naps
Most toddlers tend to still have a nap at this age, so when planning your day you need to consider their sleep patterns. Are you visiting a place where you can take your car/pram so they can nap? Are there things for you to do/or a place you can sit – whilst they are sleeping – so you don’t have to return to the hotel?
Freedom Is Limited
As I mentioned before, not every activity or place is suitable for their age group. From being unsafe to the activity and theme of the museum being targeted at an older audience; you need to consider what is appropriate and what is not. Similarly, given their age, it is likely you won’t be able to explore at night but will be restricted to your hotel during the evenings.
Now don’t get me wrong…
Having a toddler doesn’t have to spell the end of your holiday adventures. You’ve just got to be clever with your planning and location choices.
Do that and then the real fun can begin!
You see, whilst traveling with a toddler will naturally raise planning, safety and age concerns; it can also offer you a variety of hidden perks:
- People are more generous and compassionate when you’ve got a child – from offering you a seat and letting you cut to the front of the cue; children make those around you more compassionate and considerate.
- Children encourage you to make every moment count and see the world through a new lens – children can offer you a newfound appreciation for even the simplest of things, especially if you try to view the activity/place through their eyes.
- Make you slow down – instead of rushing from one activity to the next, children help us to become better observers capable of enjoying our surroundings more.
- Your children will develop better habits – can’t get them to eat at home? The excitement of being away will often encourage them to sit better at the table, finish their meals and use their cutlery properly.
- Toddlers can harness your inner child – have you ever wanted to watch an animated film, but felt too old for it? Children can give you the freedom/flexibility to get involved in childish activities and enjoy things not normally available to adults.
Where to go with Toddlers in North Wales
Travelling with a toddler doesn’t have to be as stressful as you imagine.
And as you can see from the examples below when traveling to North Wales, there are plenty of funs places for you to explore:
- Greenwood Forest Park, Y Felinheli – with an assortment of water and rollercoaster rides; a dedicated toddler play area, and a sandpit with a toy JCB; this location boasts indoor and outdoor activities that are suitable for all the family, all year long.Children can also: take advantage of the longest sledge run in Wales; jump on the Giant Jumper; explore the turrets of Treetop Towers; ride donkeys and go-karts; venture into Crocodile Maze, and the older kids can even have a go at archery.Alternatively, they can try den building and create their own shelters.
- Animal attractions – North Wales boasts a whole host of animal attractions. From the red panda cubs and chimpanzees at Welsh Mountain Zoo (Conwy Bay), to Dwyfor’s Ranch Rabbit Farm; you can even take a trip under the sea at Anglesey Sea Zoo and introduce your toddlers to the creatures of the deep.Other places to consider are:- Greenacres Animal Park, Mancot
– Bodafon Farm Park, Conwy
– Foel Farm Park, Brynsiencyn
– Pili Palas Nature World, Anglesey
– Puffin Island Pleasure Cruise
– Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, Holywell
- Rhyl Miniature Railway – ideal for budding train enthusiasts, you can take your toddler for a train ride and visit the Teddy Bears Picnic.
- Gypsy Wood in Caernarfon – this another fantastic location, where toddlers can happily ride the train and explore nature at its finest.
- Penrhyn Castle, Bangor – rich in history, what is amazing about this particular castle is their choice of activities. They regularly host trails around the grounds, where children can spot items that will earn them prizes. They also love to offer themed outdoor activities, ranging from World War One obstacle courses; dress up, and converted rooms immersed in history.Other fantastic castles to consider:- Harlech Castle, Harlech
– Caernarfon Castle, Caernarfon
– Beaumaris Castle, Beaumaris
– Conwy Castle, Conwy
Now, if you would rather keep your holiday centralised to one town – instead of traveling around – it is still possible to find lots to do in one location. Take the following examples:
- Anglesey – Menai Suspension Bridge, Anglesey Sea Zoo, Greenwood Forest Park, and Glynllifon Park and Garden.
- Conwy – Conwy castle, Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Great Orme Tramway, Great Orme, Bodnant Garden and Welsh Mountain Zoo.
- Port Morien – a small fishing community, from here you can visit Cape Breton Island.
- Llandudno – 19th-century pier and arcades, ancient tunnels, Little Orme Nature reserve, and Conwy RSPB reserve.