Saturday, 9 June 2012

A day out with Harry in Brighton

I've been meaning to take Harry out on a day trip, just the two of us, for a while now, but things have always got in the way (mainly terrible weather!). Today dawned bright and clear, and the winds had died down, so I decided that now was the time.

We travelled by train, and our first stop was the Sea Life Centre, which has recently re-opened after being refurbished. For me there are two things which really set this Sea Life Centre apart from the others in the chain that I've visited. The first is the stunning, historical building, which has been an aquarium since 1872 and which I used to visit as a child when it was a dolphinarium (the dolphins are long gone now!). The second is that, because it is so old, some of the creatures have clearly been there for a long time and have grown accordingly. There are some truly enormous eels, fish and crabs!

Then we walked underneath the pier and visited the Penny Arcade Museum, a free museum with a collection of penny machines that you can use by inserting old pennies. Also somewhere that I used to visit when I was little with my Grandma, although as she had her own collection of old pennies we didn't need to buy them! I bought 10 for £1.20 and managed to win some more, so we had enough for a good go. They were mainly pinball style games to play, and Harry was able to operate them too.

A day out with a small child in Brighton

Then we walked up on to the Palace Pier. It was very windy and yet I was amazed to see people actually swimming in the sea! We went into the amusement arcade and I changed some money so that Harry could have a go on the 2p sliding machines. He loved it, and he won a few times so that pleased him (although of course all the money that you win goes straight back in!)

We walked back through the town and past the Pavillion. I was hoping that he might remember it from watching The Snowman but he didn't seem to, hopefully next time he watches the film he will remember actually seeing it! We had a sit down in the park outside, or at least I did, while I encouraged him to burn off some energy by running about chasing seagulls and pigeons.

A day out with a small child in Brighton

I decided that then it was time for me to be a bit selfish so I took him to the Brighton Bead Shop, which is wonderful. I parked him in a corner with a box of raisins (it wasn't very pushchair friendly) and I had a quick run round, sorting out differently priced beads into little plastic bags. I only spent £2 and managed to acquire a nice selection of pretty beads. I have something in mind for them so watch this space!

Our final planned activity of the day was a hike up the hill to the Brighton Toy and Model Museum, which is located underneath the station. It was £4 for me and Harry was free. It may seem expensive for a small museum, but it was well worth it, and we spent longer there than at the Sea Life Centre. There are hundreds of toys and models to see, with an emphasis on trains but also other vehicles, various construction kits and other toys like puppets and toy kitchens. There were two working train layouts, one ran continously and the other was operated by a button. Harry loved just standing on a chair and waiting for the trains to go past over and over again, and he was also delighted by the rest of the museum. (Look Mummy, a car! Look Mummy, a tractor! This tractor has a trailer! and so on).

A day out with a small child in Brighton

I thought that this was the end of our day, seeing as though we were now back up at the station, but Harry announced that he didn't want to go home yet, so I found us a cafe for a sit down, a hot chocolate and a brownie. Then it was back to the station, with a very tired little boy!

A day out with a small child in Brighton

We had such a lovely day, it was so nice to be able to concentrate completely on Harry for once, rather than having to slot him in around Mia. It's definitely something that we need to continue doing with each of them as they get older.

10 comments:

  1. What a lovely day out, you certainly packed a lot in!

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    1. Well you know what we're like, if you're going somewhere you might as well do as much as you can!

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  2. I love the old penny arcade. I drag everyone there! :) Never been to the toy museum I might have to take my dad (and Kit) as he is train-mad. Glad you had a lovely day.

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    1. The penny arcade is great! I would really recommend the toy museum, it's not huge but there is a lot crammed in there.

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  3. I remember the Penny Arcade museum, fantastic :) Sounds like you had a lovely day.

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    1. It was a bit different to how I remembered it (isn't it always!), it was mainly ones with games to play whereas I remembered more of the ones where you put the money in and made a little scene come to life. You should hop down on the train and take the girls to Brighton, it's not actually that far for you!

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  4. It sounds like a lovely day, he's gorgeous! I can see a bit of a cheeky grin

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    1. Thank you! Yes, he's a cheeky thing!

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  5. Sounds and looks like a lovely day out. Bet you both slept well that night!

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    1. Yes, we certainly did, he was straight off to sleep!

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