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Family day out in Crawley - things to do

PUBLISHED: 10:18 13 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:18 13 January 2016

Tilgate Park, Crawley

Tilgate Park, Crawley

JON RIGBY 07850 900673

Every month, Emily Bamber and her family test-drive days out around Sussex. This month it is the turn of Crawley

If it rains...

On a cold wet day there’s nothing like a silly panto or a beautiful ballet to get you into the Christmas spirit. Check out the programme at The Hawth Theatre: the line-up in December includes Town Mouse and Country Mouse, Jack and the Beanstalk and a Russian Christmas celebration, all with matinée shows. Alternatively if your little ones can’t sit still, head to Treasure Chest Soft Play Centre on Faraday Road for pirate-themed mayhem with slides, ball pits, ride-ons and more.

01293 553636; parkwoodtheatres.co.uk | 01293 549009; treasurechestsoftplay.co.uk

If it shines...

It may be winter, but more than 100 species of animals are waiting to meet you at Tilgate Park Nature Centre; and what’s more, entrance is free in December. So wrap up warm and watch feeding time, follow a quiz and a nature trail, and meet everyone from endangered species to farmyard friends. If it’s a special occasion children can become a keeper for an hour or sign up to adopt an animal. If they have any energy left then head to the play area afterwards or take a walk around this vast park and enjoy the lakes, forest paths, formal lawns and walled gardens.

01293 521168; crawley.gov.uk

Family lunch

• Walled Garden Café, Tilgate Park - Enjoy a light lunch in this smart café in the former walled garden of Tilgate Estate, and explore the maze afterwards.

01293 521168; crawley.gov.uk

• Royal Oak, Ifield Green - On the outskirts of Crawley, this popular gastro pub sources meat from the local butcher and has a children’s menu.

01293 544444; Royaloakifield.com

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