I love a zoo! There is nothing better than having a day out seeing the beautiful animals that share this world with us. Of course I would much prefer them to be free and wild, roaming their natural habitat and living as they should but hunters and the threat of extinction is a nasty habit on earth. It’s a shame people feel the need to hurt these outstanding creatures for their fur and tusks. I think they are jealous and hope karma comes back on them. There has to be some kind of punishment for killing such breath-taking animals?
As a birthday present to our lovely JoJo we took her to Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. We have been to Marwell and Whipsnade (manly because they have red pandas) so searched for somewhere new and discovered Paradise Wildlife park. And yep, you guessed it. They have red pandas, it pretty much sealed the deal. How can you not love red pandas, they are ridiculously adorable and fluffy and cute!!! and…and…ok I will stop going on about how amazing they are. Just can’t help it. They are the definition of cuteness!
We arrived at Paradise Wildlife park at around about 9:30 which is when they open. I strongly recommend arriving at this time as it was quiet and empty. Gives you a good chance to see some of the animals before hordes of people arrive and start pushing you out of the way. I have gotten much better at not letting people push me around. I was here first, you can wait. *sticks out tongue* You have to pay for parking which is £3 for the whole day, very reasonable we thought. Some places it can cost about £10! And you get your hand stamped when you go into the park so you can go back and forth throughout the day. Perfect.
From stepping one bunny paw inside the park it was clear that they were very well catered for children. Tons and tons of slides, soft play areas, bouncy castles, mini arcades the lot! A child’s dream! Cabbit didn’t know which way to look, there was so much for him to explore. We decided to see the animals first and then let him go crazy on all the entertainment. Lucky for us he felt the same way too.
From previous zoo experiences, Paradise Wildlife Park has very few animals but it does make up for that in the type of animals they home. For instance, white tiger and white lion. I have never seen them before and wow they are truly stunning creatures. They appeared very elegant in their lounging around. Most of the animals where just lying around in the sun being lazy but who could blame them. It was a stupidly hot day. Good thing we had all applied plenty of sunscreen before hand! They had a good selection of big cats such as snow leopards, tigers and jaguars which is bliss for us being cat people. They had a big walkway all around them so you could get a birds-eye view and have a nose at them dozing. Cabbit loved it and could not stop roaring at them. He definitely got plenty of exercise running back and forth to each big cat area and trying to wake them up. They also had a little stall where they were selling snow leopard toys to help raise money for the snow leopards. JoJo treated him to a snow leopard puppet which roared at him throughout the day. He was a very happy boy. ROAR!
After seeing the big cats and a few other animals like Zebras, wolves, meercat and bats we headed towards the red pandas. We only saw one but that’s more than enough for me. Perched and as happy as can be in the tree I went into complete meltdown at how fluffy they are. Every time I have seen a red panda I have just wanted to cuddle it and take it home with me. IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE!!!
We then entered the Reptile Temple which had some beautiful snakes like reticulated python and anaconda which is the worlds biggest snake. Massive this snake was, he was very chilled out in his pool! Cabbit gave a friendly hiss at all of them, he likes his snakes much like his father and I. I get the feeling he wants one as a pet as when he sees a snake he gives me this look of “Please can we take it home? I will love it forever!” and finds it hard to walk away from them. Hmmm maybe. One day.
Me, the boy and JoJo then hopped on the Woodland Railway (£1 each) which took us past wolves, woodland animals and best of all dinosaurs! Our son being obsessed with trains as he is was extremely happy about this and could’t help but say “Choo choo” every five seconds. It was a lovely little ride, very picturesque and peaceful. Mogwai enjoyed it too as I got a few little kicks here and there. Was very tempted to go around again but our tummies were rumbling and telling us to eat. Always listen to your stomach, it know’s what’s best! FOOD!
We always tend to make our own packed lunches whenever we have days out as it’s cheaper and easier with a little fussy eater. If you’d rather buy your food there, they offer a good selection of hot and cold throughout the park and a Safari Sam’s diner. Didn’t get a look at prices but I can take a guess that it won’t be cheap. There are a lot of scenic picnic areas for you to relax in and take in the beauty of nature. We opted for a bench table in a play area which had some big lego bricks. It was empty and perfect for our son to play in after he had demolished his food. There was also a coin operated formula one car track nearby which Cabbit and husband enjoyed after our pit stop. Cabbit kept telling his father how to drive and taking over. A quick glimpse into the future I giggled to myself, these two when it comes to our son learning to drive. I would have loved to have gone on them too but being 28 weeks pregnant and the size of a whale kinda stops me.
We then walked the woodland walk where we saw foxes, deer, reindeer and another favourite of mine, owls. I felt very tranquil walking though the woodland with the birds singing and trees gently swaying. Then my thoughts were loudly interrupted by the shouts of “CHOO CHOO’ from my son as he saw the train pass by. Got to love him.
After we exited the woodland walk we ended up in pirate’s cove and adventure land. A huge outdoor play area for children, a pirate play ship with slides, a dragon slide, a shoe slide, a tree slide, lots and lots of slides! But also lots of fun as Cabbit spent a good while testing out each slide and seeing which one he preferred. Pirate ship was the winner. I thought it was genius as it gives the parents some time to sit down and recharge while little monsters burn off some energy and have fun.
When Cabbit finally had enough we took a leisurely stroll towards the Bird Show Arena and saw more owls and some macaws hornbills. If anything it just really made me want a pet owl even more. It would be cruel to keep it inside, I would want them to be able to fly free and trust them to come back. Maybe one day? Or I could work with them? That would be pretty awesome! I could be the crazy bunny and owl lady. Would just have to extra careful to not have them anywhere near each other because you know, owls eat bunnies.
Overall an amazing day out with the family. I would highly recommend a visit especially if you have children. It has tons of things for them to do and keep them busy. Not many animals but a lot of activities to do. Very likely to come back when Cabbit is a bit older and his baby brother is here so they can play on things together. Definitely aimed more at children of about 5 years old but still has plenty of things for toddlers to explore.
Have a look for youself on the website, https://www.pwpark.com
Check out more of our visit below in my YouTube video and let me know what you think!
Hop hop wiggle wiggle