We’re a family who like to get out into our stunning countryside for long walks up hills, fells and mountains but in the school holidays I like to take my kids to different attractions. In February half term we spent a fun morning at Butterfly World at Preston Park near Yarm. There’s plenty of free parking, admission was £12.50 for me and two children. They stamp your hand on entry so you’re able to go back in if you need to visit the toilets across the way. Preston Park also has large country park style grounds that flank the River Tees and make a nice stroll in a loop. The old hall is a museum that’s we’ll visit on another day. There’s also a cafe and large, well equipped children’s play park.
The butterfly house itself isn’t that large, you can walk round (one way system in place) in 5 mins but the beauty of it is going really slowly and enjoying the feel of a tropical rainforest with free-flying butterflies. That’s right, free- flying, they are not caged, they will fly close to you and even land on you! Some of them are really quite large and all are beautiful. We arrived for 10am opening and I’m glad we did, it was humid in there! We spent an hour at most walking round several times to take it in and visiting the side room which has meerkats, tarantulas, iguanas and more. My 9 and 6 year old really enjoyed it, they were especially amazed at the size of the fish (which can be fed at certain times of year and early in the day).
We paid a visit to the toilets (not great by any standards) and the cafe before heading into the play park. There are huge climbing frames/nets, slides and swings for older children and plenty for younger ones too.
We took a walk to the river and saw the ducks, swans and gulls diving about before having a stroll round the parkland and back to Butterfly World for a last look at the blue butterflies! It was nearly lunch time and boy it was even more humid than at 10am! My camera and glasses kept steaming up!
We went home for lunch but it would have been easy to take a picnic and spend all day at the park. We’ll definitely go back to visit the museum in the summer holidays.