With Toddler L approaching 20 months old, this year saw our first proper Easter. We’d thought about doing something last year, but the sprog was a bit too immobile and her understanding was somewhat lacking. Fast forward 365 days – or should that be 366 with it being a leap year – and it felt right to make a bit more of an occasion out of Easter for our walking and (kind of) talking bundle of energy.
We’d considered doing an Easter egg hunt at the nearby National Trust Ashridge Estate, but as the weather forecast wasn’t looking too great, we decided that acres of mud, a rain-soaked toddler and wet chocolate wasn’t the best combo for commemorating Easter. Although, to be fair, I’d eat chocolate in pretty much any condition.
Instead, we headed over to The Galleria in Hatfield to check out the free Easter event they had on offer, which included bunny bowling (not ‘boiling’ as I initially typed), egg toss and face painting. In addition to the Easter activities, there was obviously all of the usual stuff too – if you’ve not been before, there’s over 80 outlet shops, a number of restaurants, a cinema and a jungle themed adventure area called Get Wild!
We’ve been to The Galleria a few times before to have a wander around the shops, and quite randomly, to play adventure golf for my birthday last year. However, Toddler L has always been a bit young to tackle Get Wild! so we were looking forward to a bit of retail therapy, indoor adventure and Easter fun.
After arriving and parking in the multi-storey car park, we headed over to Get Wild! so that the sprog could stretch her legs. The indoor play area is located on the ground floor, slap bang in the middle of the shops, and takes up an impressive amount of space. We first headed to the designated toddler area, but truth be told, it was a little boring and she was soon making her way to the bigger equipment. I guess it’s like going to a steak house and ordering the vegetarian option.
The next hour saw us tackle the majority of obstacles within the play area. I say ‘us’ because the missus and I took it in turns accompanying Toddler L a she made her way up spiral staircases, through tunnels, over rope bridges and down slides. As it’s suitable for 1 to 12 year olds, we were there to make sure she stayed safe on some of the more challenging equipment – and push the bigger kids out of the way – but she more than coped with the majority of what was thrown at her. FYI, that’s a figure of speech, it’s not like some of the games from Takeshi’s Castle.
Part way through our jungle fun, a couple of giant bunnies turned up with some chocolate for the kids. It was the perfect timing because I’d worked up a sweat on a particularly tight tunnel suspended in the air. I’m also 97% sure that the rabbits were part of the Easter entertainment rather than something from a real life Donnie Darko.
After a bit more crawling, running, sliding and climbing, we called it a day at Get Wild! I was really impressed with the indoor play area – staff were friendly, there was plenty of seating, the equipment was clean and there was a lot to do – so I expect that we’ll definitely be going back again soon.
Our next stop was to grab some food. There’s a number of restaurants at The Galleria – such as Bella Italia, Chiquito and Nandos – but these are over by the cinema and away from the shops. As the sprog was getting a little hangry (angry through hunger), we instead popped into Costa for a quick bite and drink.
I obviously made the smart decision to sit as far away as possible from Toddler L, which meant that I didn’t have to share my food. The missus was less calculated about her seating position and was forced to surrender a fair share of her chocolate chip muffin and raspberry iced drink. Muwhahaha!
Next, we headed upstairs to check out some of the Easter activities on offer. These were set in a quiet area at the back of the shopping centre and comprised of a number of stalls manned by The Galleria staff. Our first stop was bunny bowling – or skittles as it would probably have been called if it hadn’t been Good Friday.
Toddler L was given the chance to throw three balls down a grassy lane in order to knock over the pins. Despite giving it a good go, her best attempt only managed to reach half-way. It’s the taking part that counts though, right? Plus, she got a chocolate egg anyway so she was more than happy.
We then went over to the egg toss where the sprog was able to play one of her favourite games – taking out and putting items into containers. She didn’t quite grasp the concept of throwing the balls into the different baskets from a distance, but that didn’t dampen her enthusiasm and celebrations when she moved a fake egg from one container to another.
The next stop was a table where she could do some colouring in. With felt tip pen in hand, Toddler L went pretty crazy scribbling different colours over the paper. She had plenty of fun doing this, although I’ll be honest, she didn’t do too good a job at keeping within the lines – more practice required. There was also the chance to have her face painted and plant some seeds, but she was a little young to get involved in these.
After getting our fill of Easter-related activities, we went for a wander around a few of the shops, including TK Maxx, French Connection and Gap. With it being that time of year which celebrates when Jesus fed the five thousand with three Creme Eggs – or whatever the story is, I’m not religious – we obviously had to stop by the Cadbury store to replace the Easter eggs that we’d already eaten this year.
After stuffing our faces with some of the aforementioned chocolate, it was time to head back home. We’d spent the best part of the afternoon at The Galleria and had found things to do to entertain both the toddler and ourselves. It was great that they’d put on a few activities to celebrate Easter and Get Wild! was a massive hit.
That’s all from me – I’m now going to get even fatter finishing off the discount Easter Eggs that the missus brought home yesterday!
What did you get up to over Easter? Have you ever visited the Galleria before? Let me know below!
N.B. We were provided with a gift card and entry to Get Wild! in exchange for writing about our experiences of the Easter event at The Galleria.[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_text=”Like what you’ve read? Want more? Pop in your email to get all of the latest posts.”]