Saturday, 30 July 2011

Paradise Wildlife Park

Day 6 of the summer holidays and it's the weekend! We decided to take the children to Paradise Wildlife Park near Broxbourne in Hertfordshire. As well as an Animal Park, there are loads of playgrounds dotted about, so it's a great place to go with young children; also, there's a soft play centre with a Starbucks cafe (made my husband very happy), a waterpark, and a Bird of Paradise centre. Your entry ticket gives you access to all these areas, but small charges apply for some rides and attractions. I particularly like the Animal Park because it has walkways over the animal enclosures so you get really good views of the animals.




We arrived as the Park opened, so we had space to browse in peace. There's a funfair and bouncy castles on the way in (free to use), so we took our chance and had a go on them while it was quiet. The animals were having their enclosures cleaned because it was early, so the children got to see a lot of poo and straw! We had a very close encounter with some fruit bats (hubs had missed the sign that read "Warning, free flying bats"), the children are still talking about it now we're home (8 hours later!).



Another good thing about this Park is that you can buy food to feed some of the animals (obviously not the lions, which my daughter wanted to feed!). She did enjoy feeding the rabbits and sheep though (we also fed reindeers and emu, they are SCARY!).


We spent some time in the playground area and soft play centre around 11am, then had a trip on the Woodland Train and turns on Formula Karting (£1 per person for both these attractions). At lunchtime we took our picnic into the waterpark area; we'd come prepared with towels and swimsuits for the children, so after their lunch they had a splash about for an hour. We then headed to the Birds of Paradise area to watch the display, we were amazed when an owl brushed our hair as it flew overhead (demonstrating silent flight). The children loved it!


In the late afternoon we watched the penguins being fed and enjoyed a tractor ride around the park. We also visited the National Speedway Museum, which is a rather random addition to the Park, but the children enjoyed looking at the bikes and trophies.


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