After a few turbulent weeks, we knew we wanted to celebrate Adam’s birthday away from the house. What with Adam’s beloved Nanny Violet passing away two weeks before his birthday, receiving Adam’s official Autistic Spectrum Disorder diagnosis a week later and Nanny Violet’s funeral three days before his birthday we wanted to get away. We had one place in mind to visit where we could celebrate Adam’s birthday in style – Drayton Manor. We asked Nana and Grandad along with Uncle Ben, Aunty Becky and cousins Stevie and Beth to celebrate with us.
Drayton Manor and ThomasLand
We left very early on Sunday morning and traveled to Birmingham in two cars. You can imagine Adam’s excitement of travelling in a car with his favourite person in the world – Stevie. This was the first time we haven’t stayed overnight beforehand and it meant we didn’t arrive until the rides had opened. We headed straight for ThomasLand where Adam opted to drive the Sodar Classic Cars whereas Beth went on Bertie Bus.
This was Grandad’s first experience of a theme park. It didn’t take him long before he wanted to be part of the action and took Stevie and Adam on Diesel’s Locomotive Mayhem.
From then on in Grandad and Nana went on several rides. Nana surprised us all by going on Cranky The Crane Drop Tower readily.
Having the family with us meant that Adam could tell everyone about each ride and we could take a step back and watch him enjoy the rides. Queuing with family also makes the time waiting appear shorter.
Adams favourite ride has to be Ben 10 Ultimate Rollercoaster. I lost count how many times the boys went on it. Even nine year old Stevie admitted it was extremely fast.
Despite this being our fourth trip to Drayton Manor there were still several parts we are yet to explore. On this visit we went on the Drayton Queen Boat for a trip across the lake and the children explored Spencer’s Outdoor Adventure Play Area. As with all our visits to Drayton Manor the day went so quickly.
Regular readers will know of our continuous battle with getting Adam to eat. Due to Sensory Processing Disorder he does not particularly enjoy food and finds sitting down for a meal extremely difficult. As a result the only restaurants we can eat at are fast food chains or ones that have an indoor play area. You can imagine how nervous I was about taking Adam for a family meal to Pizza Express.
I shouldn’t have worried though. It was a day of many firsts and Adam managed to stay in the same area for nearly two hours. We weren’t able to get Adam to eat any pizza but he did enjoy dough balls for the first time. This was helped by having dozens of miniature cars wrapped in birthday wrapping paper which we let Adam open throughout the meal. He also opened Thomas The Tank Engine Busy Book (affiliate link) which had 12 small train figures.
Uncle Ben also spent time showing Adam how to do Stop Motion Animation with his camera and trains. Adam has been hooked on cameras ever since!
Think Tank Birmingham
You can imagines Adam’s excitement at staying overnight in a hotel and having breakfast the next day with his favourite people. We decorated the table with a Blaze tablecloth – the latest car cartoon that Adam adores.
Carrying on the birthday tradition, Auntie Becky created Adam’s birthday t-shirt (take a look at his second birthday t-shirt). Pop over to Bitsy Boo Broidery to see the other personalised hand stitched children’s t-shirts.
We spent the day at Think Tank Museum in Birmingham. This was our second visit. We had been lucky last time as it was incredibly quiet. This trip was much busier but still enjoyable.
Our highlights included playing outside in the sensory garden. The garden catered for all ages and interests. Adam and Beth thoroughly enjoyed the outside water activities, Stevie enjoyed building the bridge and even Nana and Grandad got involved!
Inside, Adam enjoyed returning to Kids’ City including the Stop Animation section with Shaun the Sheep.
Thanks to Drayton Manor, ThinkTank and family, Adam has many wonderful memories of his fourth birthday.
Disclaimer: We are Blogger Ambassadors for Drayton Many Theme Park. We purchased our own meal at Pizza Express and our own tickets for ThinkTank Museum. All thoughts and opinions are our own.