So we did our first zoo trip this weekend, to Paradise Wildlife Park. It was a really fab day! Not exactly a cheap and cheerful day, but you do get quite a lot for your money!
My advise is pre-book your ticket, the day before at the LATEST! We tried on the morning and couldn’t get ANY discount! You can get 10% off the actual PWP website for individual tickets, but I did find this website https://tickets.picniq.co.uk where tickets were even cheaper! We had to pay £19.80 each. Maddox was free as he was under two. At the gate you can buy family tickets – 2 adults and 2 children for £70.00, 2 adults and 3 children £86.00.
So once in, there are lots of play areas, a sand pit, a lego area, go karts (this was closed , so I’m not sure if you do have to pay),slides, “supermarket” rides and a little train. Lots for the little ones that can move around on legs! Ron has a fear of getting sand everywhere, so we didn’t plonk him in the sand pit! Although make sure you have change as the train is £1, as is the supermarket rides. All that and that’s before you even see an animal! I love a little train ride, this one is great for the kiddies, with hidden dinosaurs, roaring sabre tooth tigers. Its a good start to the day!
In this entrance area you will also find the “gourmet amusement park food”. Burgers, jacket potatoes, kiddies sandwich boxes, salads, fish and chips…the usual over priced grub. I had a jacket potato which came with a bit of salad and a free drink for about £6, it was actually very nice. There are lots of seating areas outside, which we didn’t realise so you can bring your own, which our friends were sensible enough to do!
Sandwich box contained the following at £5.90
*Ham or cheese white bread sandwich (Maddox ate)
*An Apple (I ate)
*Pom Bears (Yep, I ate)
*Chocolate Bar (Me, again)
*Capri Sun (Still in our fridge)
We are both health conscious for the poor boy and are avoiding sugar, crisps etc until he knows about them! This was his first white bread sandwich – he loved it!
After eating we finally got round to seeing what we were there for! I’ve come to realise going out with little ones takes a LOT longer; from getting ready to get out the door – food prep, enough clothes for every weather eventuality – from heatwave to hailstorm, clothes for a poonami, then when you are finally out and at the destination, the fight to get the stiff body in the pushchair, the age it takes to eat, to then having the fight to get back into the pushchair, to then realising a poo has occurred, to admitting defeat and carrying child!
We were off to see the zoo animals!
You could be mistaken in thinking that this hidden zoo down a country lane in the middle of Hertfordshire, could be a bit lame..but its great, its main attraction is he big cats
There are Lions, Tigers, Zebras, Cheetas, Jaguar, Meerkats, Farm Animals, Monkeys, Reptiles, Penguins, Emus. You can get pretty close to them too! There are talks, feeding times, lots of activities for all kiddies.
The whole place is buggy friendly, with ramps around certain enclosures. It is well laid out, so you do not miss anything. We went on a Sunday, it was busy but not overly, so we could spend time at each section.
The face painting is AMAZING, only for those over 2. So again Maddox missed out! But the ladies are fab, fast and there is loads to choose from.
After seeing all of the animals, you are greeted by the soft play area. This is free and has a cafe. It was our first taste of a soft play centre. There wasn’t much of an area for babies/crawlers. Just a small corner with ball pit and a small wall activity centre. Maddox liked that he could practise his pull ups and we could relax knowing if he fell back, his chin wouldn’t find a corner of a wooden table. Our friends 3 year old loved it. However the longer we were there the more the older kids turned up and took over. I don’t know what the age limit, but did seem a bit odd having 3 year olds being able to run around with 8/9 years olds! But I am a soft play virgin, so this could be the norm!
Overall we had a fab day, probably more for us than Maddox! But he loved pointing and seeing the animals. Would we go again..yes probably, when he older and get more out of it and take our own food. Although I do prefer Woburn for animal welfare as the animals have much larger places to roam. The whole zoo debate is a tough one. They look well looked after but you cant deny they do not have lots of room and it is most definitely not their natural habitat. However PWP aim is to educate and to preserve wildlife in Britain.
Link – https://www.pwpark.com