run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Sunday 17 September 2017

Review: a baby and toddler-fun day trip to Margate

When a sunny weekend blows into town, I'm drawn towards England's coastline like baby vom to a white T-shirt. The only problem is, so is everyone else. 

So when we were invited to visit Dreamland, Margate with face-painting specialists Snazaroo, in the middle of September - it sounded ideal. We hit the weather jackpot as the sun came out, there were no queues for any rides, and Dreamland - the retro fairground that dates back to 1908 and is compact and walkable, has lots for tots, and is packed with smiley staff and lovely designs - was brilliant. 

We kicked off getting Snazaroo'd up - I had no idea how much face-painting had moved in since my childhood. No longer the lurid whole-face butterfly or dinosaur look that takes hours of scrubbing to remove - their expert artist doodled my nieces festival-cool flowers...

Mr ROOW into a spider...
and tiny man got the hand-airplane he requested!
In fact, it's so much nicer for a family day-out than the big names like Thorpe Park. It might not have wild, heart-stopping thrill rides, but Dreamland does have the oldest-rollercoaster-in-the-UK, a helter skelter, great street food carts, swing boats, slides, carousels, lovingly-restored rides AND, just outside its entrance, sea, sand, a sprinkling of nice shops (for that nap-time stroll). It was also a super easy journey - a 90-minute train ride from St Pancras, which has loads of free local parking on weekends. 

It's pretty reasonable too - all-ride wristbands start at £15, or you can pay for each ride. And elsewhere on-site, there's the Octopus Garden (which costs extra)- an amazing Kidzania-type space full of big pretend shops, kitchens, a little beach, circus tent, and even a chalk-board-roomed art gallery (the Turbot Gallery - with some modern artwork that made more sense than the walls of the Turner down the road). There's a soft play area and ball pond, too, plus arcades and roller disco. But we spent most of our time in Dreamland's outside areas: riding the rides, gazing at the bright colours, toddling the wide open spaces, and climbing the almost-Hollywood huge letters..

Elsewhere in Margate there's plenty to do too - this time we just strolled the beach before catching the train home - but in the past we've taken a saunter to Turner Contemporary's beautiful (and free) gallery, with lots of space for tots to explore, and took advantage of tiny man's afternoon-nap for a round of mini golf at possibly Britain's most scenic green... 
 * Thanks to Snazaroo for a fab day out, amazing painting and organising tickets to Dreamland, but rest assured that we're seriously gobby and only rave about things we love.


  1. Totally disagree that Dreamland is baby and toddler friendly. Aside from the carousel was there anything else a toddler below 1m could go on? Great blog and glad you had a good time but I disagree.

    1. Yes ours went on lots of vehicle rides! Rocket, cars, motorbike, loved them and also the huge slide in our lap. He also liked the swing boats a lot, and the huge soft play!


© run out of womb. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig