Life can become incredibly busy sometimes and it’s quite easy to forget to take time out for you and the ones closest to you. Therefore, Mark and I have made an oath to have a “family day” at least once a month. This means that we keep the day free and plan to do something that is “Holly” centred. This can sometimes take a little researching due to the weather.
However, Mark suggested that we take Holly to Tropical World. This worked out really well as it was very chilly when we woke up and I didn’t fancy staying outside all day.
Tropical World is situated in Roundhay which is North East Leeds. Growing up in North Leeds, our family used to go there all the time. It was weird taking Holly. Never did I think that I would be taking my own daughter one day.
The exhibit is separated by zones these are dry/arid, nocturnal and tropical it reminds me a bit of that television programme “Crystal maze” that was presented by Richard O’Brian. You can see a variety of different animals, reptiles, birds and insects (thankfully most of them behind glass). The butterfly house is the main attraction. There is quite an impressive collection of different species of butterfly which freely fly amongst the visitors. It’s quite amusing to watch people nervously ducking and diving to avoid the butterflies. Having said that, I had a small panic as one landed on my face (this amused Mark). Holly was very comfortable in the company of the butterflies and watched intently as they fluttered by her.
There is plenty to see and it only takes approximately 30 minutes to go around all of the exhibits. This is quite a relief when you have a small child, mind you we didn’t read every piece of information presented to us. For a longer day out, you can visit the gardens that surround Tropical world and Roundhay Park is only a stones throw away.
Whilst this is a lovely attraction, we have visited a similar place on the Isle of Anglesey. We found that the staff on Anglesey were more involved with visitors, teaching about the exhibits and bringing some of the animals out of their enclosures and handling them. You’re kind of left to just get on with it at Tropical World and are cattle prodded through a series of walkways and corridors which aren’t particularly wide in some places for prams and wheelchairs.
Although there could be some improvements, it’s a good day out for children of any age and there’s a fantastic gift shop for a wide price range. At the moment, they have a large selection of Eric Carle “Very Hungry Caterpillar” merchandise which we bought a couple of things from for Holly’s birthday.
We met up with some friends and went to The Roundhay Fox for lunch.The food was really good and reasonably priced. However, although we were told that our food would take 30 minutes after ordering, it felt like much longer than that. The high chairs were also filthy and I struggled to clean off the dried on food. There was also no fastenings on Holly’s to secure her in. Despite this, I’d like to visit again perhaps at a less busy time and enjoy some of their cask ales in front of the coal fire.