Hi my name is Star and I have been lucky enough to call Gran Alacant my home for over 11 years now. My 9 year old daughter Ashlee and I are often “Out & About” enjoying the local attractions and culture in this part of Spain. Over the next few months I will be sharing some of our experiences with you to encourage you to go “Out & About” yourselves and maybe learn a little bit about this beautiful place we call home.
This year Ashlee was lucky to be able to attend the Summer School at Terra and Aqua Natura, which she has been wanting to do for many years. As we arrived at the entrance on the first day, Ashlee was really excited about the fun things she would be doing over the next two weeks. She met the Summer School monitors and was put into the appropriate age group as the kids are split into under 5’s, 6 to 8’s and over 9’s. I waved goodbye and couldn’t wait to pick her up later that day and find out what activities she had done.
The schedule ensures that all the children go to both Terra and Aqua Natura every day, as some of them only attend from 0900 to 1400 and others stay for lunch and leave at 1500 or 1700. During the first week Ashlee learnt about the Tiger family, the new baby Jaguar, Petita the Elephant (whose birthday is celebrated with a Holi Festival in August), the difficulties they had keeping the Prairie Dogs in their new enclosure and explained to me that many of the animals we believe to be Monkeys actually aren’t as officially
Monkeys have tails! Who knew!!!
She also had to go around the zoo learning facts about the animals for her passport.
In Aqua Natura she spent lots of time playing with her new friends in the kids play areas and going down the many slides.
Ashlee also got to Swim with the Sea Lions which she absolutely loved and was one of the highlights of her week. In fact, any visitor to Aqua Natura can Swim with the Sea Lions as they have many different options. A 15 minute experience costs from €38 per person and up to 5 people can be involved in a VIP group interaction that lasts for 30 minutes for €250.
For €90 per person you can spend 4 hours being a Sea Lion Caretaker and they also offer Sea Lion Therapy sessions for those with special needs that costs from €150.
During the second week Ashlee made bird houses that will be used in the Aviary, helped to put fruit in the trees for the birds to enjoy, found out how important honey bees are and even brought some delicious honeycomb back for us to taste. Ashlee also got up close and personal with the amazing birds of prey and was able to become a Mermaid.
The Mermaid/Triton experience can also be done by anyone, lasts approximately 50 minutes and costs €20. Ashlee and her friends have done this experience before and she has loved it both times. It starts with a makeover and photo shoot before everyone gets into the pool and learns how to swim with a Mermaid tail.
The Summer School has a mission to “Save the Planet” and is for a minimum of 2 weeks. It costs from €150 depending on the hours and if lunch is needed and as Ashlee has an annual pass we were able to get a 10% discount off of the Summer School price (not the lunch).
The kids do need to understand Spanish although some of the activities are in English. Ashlee really enjoyed her time at Summer School and didn’t want it to end. She has come away with new friends, an expanded knowledge of the animals and lots of great memories.
There are also many other different activities that people can participate in at Terra Natura including being a keeper for a day, Donkey Rides, Raptor and Elephant Experiences going on a Night Safari or being a Fairy or Pixie (which Ashlee has also done and loved).
We also want to remind you about the amazing Holi Festival which is a fabulous event to celebrate Petita the Elephants birthday and one of our favourite days out during the Summer. This year it takes place in Terra Natura on the 24th August and you can read all about it in one of our previous articles that is available at the Gran Alacant Advertiser website.
Until next time
Star and Ashlee xxx