Another last hurrah.. The Scottish Deer Centre. Just down the road from us, but since we never had a car, we'd never made it a priority to go. There is a bus that goes right passed it, but I had sworn off buses very early in my Scottish career when I realized they led to nothing but hot flashes, cold sweats, misery, and nausea.
We had some Tesco points to use up, so I planned our last few activities based on that. Much to my delight I found points could be used for tickets to the Deer Centre, so off we went with our favorite Buchanans! Four adults, a three year old, a two year old, an 11 month old, and a five month old.. we were not lacking in volume or awesomeness. We found ourselves briefly trapped in the gift shop (conveniently located right next to the entrance for tickets) as our children (and possibly us) ooohed and aaaaahed over the stuffed animals and toys and waited for everyone to get ticketed. But of course, we also purchased pellets of the feeding variety to bestow upon the fenced in wildlife :). And off we went to find some deer!
While Aed had no idea what these were ('Hi Cow! Hi Doggie! Hi Horse!' etc, etc), he was VERY excited to see them. He ran right up and let them know they were appreciated.
The boys had so much fun! Ian attracted a few with his bag of food...
While Travis went for the Interpretive Dance appeal. (Notice the rolled pant legs.. it was very muddy.) Both entirely effective approaches, though one was certainly slightly more entertaining. (Piper was super impressed with Dad's moves)
Aed tried with all that was in him to get some food into those deer's mouths. I think he managed to get a few pellets in, but mostly let go of them just as the poor things would get their lips up to his fingers.
I don't know about you.. but in my opinion there is far too much cute here! They had these little stump chairs all along the path, and while we had a hard time getting Aed to sit still for a picture, we also had a hard time getting him to get up and keep walking with us! He couldn't decide what he wanted to do.
There is also a tree walk, during which we were supposed to encounter red squirrels, but I'm pretty sure our squirrels were hibernating. Regardless it was very fun to walk up high through the trees, and to see some of the bigger deer sparring down below us.
This is Hamish (we named him). So named for Hamish the Highland Cow (one of our favorites)! We tried so hard to get him to come over, or even turn his head, but he would not give in. Stubborn cow. So we fed the sheep/goat things instead. I can't remember what they were but I think they were puffy. And enthusiastic.
Then.. Man oh man.. We found the giant play area. With the hugest slide ever. Enclosed to make it even more fun! You can bet I climbed up and slid down that thing with Asher strapped to my chest. Everybody took at least one turn :). It was really fun. The whole area was just different levels of wooden climbing structures. Not the easiest for a toddler, but we had no trouble making sure it was fun.
Right next to the slide were these poor, crazy wolves. Pacing and pacing and generally making me uncomfortable. So I took an uncomfortable picture.
Aedster and Daddy went down the slide together several times.
This was the dark and intriguing entrance to the long, blue slide. Just below was the last of three ladders you had to climb to get to the rather small opening (not easily navigated with a child strapped to you :).
We had so much fun, I told Ian I wished we had known we could use our Tesco points for the Deer Centre sooner! We loved our experience so much and highly recommend it for anyone in the area. It's a very fun outing, and not too far away. And, if you're in good company (thanks, Buchanans!) it's a wonderfully memorable experience.