We were invited to try out Rathwood’s Summer Train experience, the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Rathwood is located in Tullow, Co. Carlow and we live only about 25 minutes from there so we were happy to try it out.
The event itself was about 45 minutes which I thought was a bit short, but it was action packed. On arrival Goldilocks told us her story of losing Baby Bear while minding him and that we would need to go on the train to try and find her. But before we could go on the train we were brought to a log cabin where the children made their own teddy bears. Each child was given a choice of bear and a bag of stuffing to pack the bear. This part was parent supervised, and direction was minimal, so we helped the boys ourselves. It was quite fun watching Mr. dairy free kids trying to stuff a teddy!
When the cuddly bears were all made up, we boarded the train for the journey in search of Baby Bear. Goldilocks guided us through the woodlands and enchanted forest and led lots of games, jokes and songs for the kids.
At one point we stopped and she gave every child some brown bread to feed the geese. It was lashing rain at this point so we threw from the train but the kids loved every minute. Goldilocks was in our carriage and the boys had great fun laughing and joking with her on the journey.
Luckily, baby bear was found and all the bears led the boys and girls up to the picnic area where each child was given a paper bag containing fruit a drink and a cookie. I knew in advance about the picnic and while they had no dairy free alternative to the cookie, it was OK to bring our own. I brought granola bars to swap out for the cookies for the boys.
The picnic was inside due to the rain but they had a lovely spacious area inside and the kids didn’t even notice there was a change of plan. The bears and goldilocks stayed around for photos with the kids.
My boys 8 and 5 both enjoyed it, I was worried it might be a bit babyish for the older boy, but he was happy enough. I think 8 would be the absolute max age for this activity though. Tickets cost €10 per child and €6 per adult and can be purchased on the Rathwood website. Children under 12 months are free. We received the tickets in return for the review but I don’t know if I would pay that much with the ages of my boys now, but would if they were both younger. The 5 year old was at a very good age for it.
We received a voucher for ice-cream for the boys in the restaurant when we checked in and we took the opportunity to have Sunday lunch there for the four of us (any excuse!). The staff happily allowed the boys to have smoothies instead of ice cream tubs due to their allergies. I was delighted with their allergy board also in the restaurant which was very well marked out. There is plenty of other things to do in Rathwood – childrens playground, maze in the shape of Ireland (€3 per person entry), walks, shopping, garden centre etc. so you could definitely make a day of it.
Disclaimer: I received tickets for this event in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.