If I was forced to guess, I'd say that we've been to about 80% of the Isle of Wight's attractions by now.
I'm not exactly sure under which scenario I'd be pressured to make such an estimate, but there you go. Most of the ones we haven't been to are basically shops and I try to avoid taking my small children anywhere with a "breakages must be paid for" sign.
Monkey Haven has been an omission from our collection. I prefer tigers and dinosaurs to monkeys and owls but the Haven won a major award last year and the reviews are very good.
The monkeys and owls are obviously well looked after with their own play equipment which is in a better state than some council parks.
Much like Isle of Wight Zoo, there's a game where you collect stamps as you tour the park and solve a few riddles. Robin Hill recently did something similar with letters hidden around the park and Mottistone Gardens has a flowerpot people trail which transforms it from an attraction for your grandma into something that will fill time with a toddler.
Simple things like this go down well with our five year old, whose excitement goes up another gear when she realises there may be a prize at the end.
At Monkey Haven it was trickier than most, so I was able to earn a few dad points by offering solutions.
The whole place is clearly a labour of love with no signs of flakey paint or grubby playgrounds. In fact, there are two small play areas for different age groups which shows an unusually good awareness that 3 year olds and 9 year olds don't want the same thing.
We spent about 90 minutes there, including a picnic stop, although we do have a reputation with relatives for touring attractions at a rapid pace. If you're looking to fill a bit more time then I'd go for Robin Hill (which costs about twice as much) or Tapnell Farm Park (which costs about the same).
If you've got a couple of hours to spare and a child to entertain, I'd certainly give Monkey Haven a visit.
Isle of Wight Guru's Blog