It was brilliant. Even when faced with disappointment after discovering that the Safari Skyway no longer exists (sob) I loved every minute.
Even when the heavens opened and there was a brief storm, it didn't dampen our day in the slightest and it was so hot we all dried off pretty quickly.
Even though we were trying to save our pennies we still had a brilliant time.
When it is so hot, I always worry about keeping us all hydrated. I'm not that great at remembering to drink enough water during the day and, left to my own devices, would often forget to keep myself watered if it wasn't for the kids. With Lily and Ollie I'm always trying to make sure they drink enough - even if, like 64% of parents* I'm not even sure what 'enough' should be!
It can be difficult, especially when out and about, to drink enough but it's obviously especially important during the summer months. I also find it hard when we're having a day trip and the majority of the drinks on offer are expensive, sugar-filled, fizzy drinks. I don't let Lily and Ollie drink fizzy drinks and the main reason for buying our annual passes for Merlin attractions was to save money in the long run. So here are some of my tips for getting your children to enjoy more water (and save cash) whilst still having fun.
Freeze some water in advance and take it with you
It'll melt but still stay cold - and cold tap water is always better than fusty warm tap water! You can also use a thermos-type flask for keeping cold water cool.
Take some Robinsons Squash'd
These handy little bottles contain 'super concentrated' squash that can be added to water in a splash. They come in a range of flavours (the passion fruit and mango is my favourite but the citrus comes in at close second) and can be used anywhere - I've even been taking them to work and am now a huge fan.
Ask for ice
If you're eating in a restaurant and would like to order some tap water, ask for some ice too. I've found that almost all are happy to oblige and all kids love ice don't they?
Add Squash'd to soda water (or sparkling water)
One for the adults, I discovered this by chance when the kiosk didn't sell sparkling water but kindly provided some soda water for free. It still had a lingering taste of fizzy orange though which I wasn't keen on. So I added some Squash'd orange and peach and it was delicious - much nicer and more refreshing than a standard fizzy drink.
Keep offering drinks
Whether you choose water or squash, keep offering it to your child. Sometimes they're just having way too much fun to think about having a drink until it's too late. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, it's always better to keep it at bay by drinking regularly. By reminding them your children are more likely to have little sips throughout the day.
Take their own fun cups
If you take a big bottle of water (or frozen water) then you can also take your child's favourite cup to drink from. They're more likely to drink it if it's fun!
Use a straw
My mum bought some funky twisted straws for when we go down to visit and I'm always amazed at how much joy they bring. It's just a straw! But my kids go crazy for them.
*Robinsons/One Poll Study of 2,000 adults, November 2015