It had been a late night accompanied by too much booze. Then there was a full-throttle day of two wild and whiny tots to entertain. Any parent who has been there will tell you this is not fun. Any parent who hasn’t been there is a Saint. The rain came down and the kids climbed the walls. Mum simply couldn’t muster the energy to get everyone in waterproof garb and get outside.
Of course I vowed never to get drunk again. But more importantly I vowed never to box the three of us in the flat for a whole day EVER again. We don’t do indoorsy. We go mad.
The following day the rain was persistent, winter temperatures plummeted and it was blowing a hoolie. Now I know I advocate going outside in all weathers, but it’s been a long winter and I just fancied going somewhere the kids could explore without grimacing in sand storms and melting down when they filled their wellies with seawater. They’re only little after all.
I didn’t want to settle for an indoor play zone with all it’s strip lighting and bickering, sweaty parents squeezing through plastic tunnels made for toddlers. So I plumped for the Eden Project.
Because I’m always raving about the beaches and coastline on the doorstep, I often overlook some of Cornwall’s other gems for families. And the Eden Project is one of these places. I mean where else can a one year-old and two year-old travel the world, step into a rainforest and explore nature in t-shirts in the middle of winter?
Eyes wide with wonder they climbed in the eco-car, clambered up the waterfall (not strictly what you’re supposed to do), thundered through the Mediterranean and zig-zagged through the jungle (both in different directions with me in chase). Being so young they didn’t take in the reams of information on offer, but they stared up at the ‘rubbish monster’ (a sculpture made from recycling), ran alongside ‘savage women’ (bronze figures of the Bacchanal women who roamed the mountains with the God of the grape harvest) and rode a motorbike in make-believe California. Then we scoffed giant scones with locally made jam in the bakery.
Mentally and physically stimulated we eventually piled back into the car exhausted.
‘What was that called?’ asked the two year-old.
‘The Eden Project’, I replied.
‘I love the Eden Project’, he said and dropped straight off to sleep in his car seat.
The Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, Cornwall, PL24 2SG
www.edenproject.com, 01726 811911
Adults £23 (online and green discounts available); children £9.50. Admission includes free entry for a year.