MoneySupermarket.com have a great selection of days out vouchers, which are well worth a look for discounts and money-off vouchers for family attractions throughout the UK. Thanks to Tots100 and MoneySupermarket.com we were lucky enough to get the chance to visit Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire: our first family trip to a zoo!
Paradise Wildlife Park is just right for a toddler to walk around in a morning, the enclosures are fairly close together so each animal is a short stroll away and we found that most animals were easy to spot as many enclosures have a glass wall so even young children or babies in prams can see the animals without needing to be carried or lifted up. We went on a very cold day which also helped with seeing the animals, as many were indoors so we could get very close.
Daddy Damson and I love big cats and we weren’t disappointed – Paradise Wildlife Park actually has one of the best collections of big cats on display in Britain.
Our highlight had to be the cheetahs. The zoo has a board walk around some of the big cat enclosures so you can actually look down without any cage or glass between you and these magnificent animals. We never imagined we would see cheetahs so close and so clearly in a zoo but the view from the height of treetops was spectacular and Blue was mesmerised.
As well as the cheetahs at Paradise Wildlife Park we also saw white lions, tigers, leopard and even a snow leopard.
I was smitten with these beautiful red pandas.
Blue was lucky enough to see the zebras who obliged us with a magical meeting just centimetres away.
We also loved the penguins, even though most of them were hiding to keep out of the freezing cold! You would have thought that if any animal was going to enjoy the winter weather it would have been the penguins but they were the most shy of all the animals.
The lemurs and the meerkats were showcasing their best ‘take me home please’ look – bless!
We were all really impressed with the range of animals and how close we were able to get. The ability to get so close to many of the animals made a huge difference to the experience for Blue, whose new favourite animal is a zebra.
Once we had walked around the animal park we wandered over to the adventure playground and ate our picnic lunch. There are options for eating at Paradise Wildlife Park but on this occasion we took our own food. If you go on a wet day you have very limited options for a picnic as most of the outdoor tables are not under cover. We were lucky that it was dry but it was cold as there isn’t much shelter. We warmed up afterwards with a run around the adventure playground. There was an old fire engine and steam train which have been converted so little ones can clamber over them and the fire engine was a huge hit with Blue – in fact he took some persuading to come down!
When it inevitably did start to rain we headed for the Jumble Jungle soft play area which was cosy and mercifully not too busy when we visited. Blue had a chance to run around but soon the excitement was too much and he was ready to dream of cheetahs, zebras, penguins, lions and fire engines.
We didn’t have time to see the Birds of Paradise or the Woodland Walk but we will definitely be back. Although parts of Paradise Wildlife Park are showing signs of age and there is a curious obsession with slot machine ride-ons that are better suited to outside a supermarket rather than in a wildlife park, overall we really enjoyed our time at Paradise Wildlife Park and it is certainly a great place to introduce young children to more exotic animals.
Disclosure: Our tickets were courtesy of MoneySupermarket.com