Review¦ Chatham Historic Dockyard is a great place to visit at any time of the year. There’s always something going on, especially during school holidays! This October half term is no different, as they have opened a mystical experience called Enchanted Dockyard. We visited on Saturday to experience the magic for ourselves!
Our 3 year old daughter Autumn was so excited about visiting the dockyard! We dressed her in her fairy outfit for the occasion. As soon as she was away from the car park, she started running to try and find other fairies!
As you walk into No. 1 Smithery, you are greeted by the sight of several stands, picnic benches and toadstools. Pumpkin carving and slime making were too old for Autumn (they were aimed at children aged 8+). I had a go at making an origami butterfly for her, just like the ones in the enchanted garden that we saw later. However, wand making was an activity she could participate before we were led on our adventure.
She loved picking out coloured pens, feathers and pipe cleaners to decorate her wand with. Of course, she had to leave the tip free so that something magical could happen later. With a little help from us, she got her want to look just as she wanted it. She was very pleased with the result and waved it at some of the Dockyard staff, who pretended they’d had a spell cast on them, to her delight!
The first 30 minutes of your time slot is for doing the craft side of things. Then, with your wands ready, you are called to go on your adventure. After the children have a quick practice of charging their wands, it is time to enter. I loved it now, so goodness knows what I’d have thought of it as a fairy obsessed child! Autumn seemed amazed by it all too; it was truly magical. We paused for some time at the ‘pond’, as she excitedly pointed out koi fish and dragonflies.
She was equally as excited to see a dragon! Before we’d gone in, she’d heard that there was going to be a dragon. She got quite worried and timidly said “Oh no, I’m scared of dragons! They’re scary!” One of the best things about this experience is that there isn’t anything scary. Therefore, this would be a great thing to do for Halloween if you have a child of a sensitive nature. Its suitability also covers a large age range of children, fantastic for entertaining siblings.
Possibly my favourite part was the fairy village, which had glitter sprinkled over it as Autumn walked towards it. She thought it was wonderful, saying “Look, Mummy!” as she pointed at things. There was so much detail, including a little garden with raised flowerbeds.
After our magical journey through the garden, we gathered on some toadstool seats ready for a story. The story involved a ship going, so tied in with the dockyard. However, it was also about magic and the enchanted garden we had been through, with a touch of Halloween. As such, it tied everything together nicely. The children had to charge their wands to make them glow. Then they waved them in the air and us adults waved our phone torches to help guide the ship safely home. Autumn was fascinated by her wand glowing and really enjoyed the experience.
There was just one thing to do before heading back out into the dockyard (where there is also an abundance of things to do). We had to visit Neewollah’s magical shop, of course! The items in there were lovely, as was the aesthetic.
We all had a wonderful afternoon. We hadn’t even got back to the car park before Autumn said “I want to go back and do it again!” Coming from a 3 year old, that is the ultimate compliment.
Entry to the Enchanted Dockyard is included in your entry ticket to Chatham Dockyard. However, upon arrival you will need to book a time slot. The pumpkin carving and slime making activities also carry a small fee. The whole experience takes around an hour and is undercover, so a perfect rainy day activity!
Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary tickets to Chatham Dockyard in return for this review. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.
Welcome to my blog! I'm Laura, a mum of two. I live in Kent with my high school sweetheart husband Dave, our 5 year old daughter Autumn and 1 year old son Reuben.
I write about my experiences of parenting, as well as my plethora of interests including fashion, beauty, cars, weddings, mental health and the home.