Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Days out: Tollcross Park

One of the most amazing things is that Cubling is now really taking part in life. It happened sometime before her second birthday, this realisation that she now is a very definite person who understands, who has preferences, who can wrap mummy and daddy around her little finger. She can talk, she remembers, she communicates her interests.

So anything we now do is so much more rewarding. She really engages, enjoys and shows us her take on things. Perfect time to start a little series of places to go which are great fun with a toddler. This is the first in hopefully a decent sized series of recommendations for toddler friendly activities. Most will be around about Glasgow, but let's see how far we'll venture in the next few months.

My first installment has to be Tollcross Park, not just because we've been very recently but also because it's becoming my favourite lunchtime hangout (apart from those days where my legs are sore from unaccustomed exercise and I opt for a blog post about selfsame park instead). Located in the heart of Glasgow's East End, it's nothing short of a gem. It's not massive, but big enough to get away from the hustle and noise of the city, it is hilly enough to make even a short job a real workout, and the size is ideal for those 40 minute brisk walks that I've set my mind on to make up for my new car commute to work.

All of that aside, it's fabulous for a day out with children. One of its main attractions is the children's zoo, with all the farm animals you can wish for, a rather tame peacock pair, goslings and even eggs that mrs hen has just laid. Complete with a fun ranger's centre (as in people who work outdoors, not the football team, we're definitely in Celtic land when in Tollcross), it's good for hours of fun. The centre even has drawing activities apart from all the interesting stuff about nature.

The nearby glasshouse can be reached by walking past paddocks of sheep, llamas and highland coos, as well as a beautiful glen walk along a little waterway, with picknick tables and rosegardens next to it. Even if you've forgotten to take your picknick, do not fret, because food is available both at the glasshouse and the also nearby Tollcross leisure centre. While the leisure centre beats the glasshouse for food range and value for money, the glasshouse in itself is an attraction with its tropical plants and above all, a small softplay area.

After all that activity toddler may want to nap in buggy while mummy and daddy go for an extended walk through the lovely park.

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