So my strategy this year was to keep busy and just have fun. We grabbed a lovely lunch at Frankie and Benny's after church before deciding, on a whim, to use our newly bought Merlin passes to go to Legoland!
We were blessed by a family member at the beginning of the month who gave us some money. Most has been spent wisely - paying off some bills and replenishing our emptied savings. The rest we decided to put towards Merlin family passes. It cost a fair bit, despite taking advantage of their summer sale but we worked out that over the year we'd be able to do things we would never have been able to do otherwise without spending a further fortune.
Our theory paid off because on Sunday we were able to head over (it's about 30-40 minutes away) and check out somewhere we've never been to before.
We didn't have a plan, or any idea of what we wanted to visit, we just went exploring! There seemed to be plenty of activities and I feel like we barely scratched the surface in the four hours we were there.
The models were great, I just couldn't believe the effort that must have gone into making them! Lily was fascinated and Ollie loved watching the trains and boats. We found that we couldn't go on many rides -either because the queues were quite long or because Legoland do not allow babies/children on laps which is tricky with Ollie.
We did however, enjoy the train rides and the incredibly sweet 'Fairy Tale Brook' boat ride. Lily and Matt also tried out the 'Duplo Valley Airport' which looked quite fun.
Whilst exploring 'Heartlake City' we managed to get a great view of the 'Pirates of Skeleton Bay' stunt show and I would highly recommend it if you're planning a visit. I don't normally spend much time at shows when we visit theme parks because there is so much to fit in but I would quite happily watch this show again.
There was so much that we didn't do - I really wanted to try out the submarine ride and we didn't make it to the 'Land of the Vikings' or the 'Knight's Kingdom' so I know they'll be top of the list when we go next.
In order to make the most of our passes it won't be long til we visit either Legoland or Chessington but we will still be keeping our budgets low. Luckily, parking is included in our premium passes and we plan on taking packed lunches, freeing up precious pennies to spend on ice creams or a small souvenir. The passes also give us a discount on purchases and so it is worth actually wearing your lanyard because otherwise it is easy to forget and claim your discount.