My parents had the day off of work so I decided to organise a family trip to Paradise Wildlife Park. It’s quite local to us & only took us around half an hour to get there. Myself & B have been a few times before but my dad hasn’t been since I was around 10!
That made me appointed tour guide, map? PAAHH who needs one of those!
The park open at 9:30am but we arrived at around 10:15am & the carpark was already quite busy. The queuing system leaves much to be desired, there were only 2 tills open & 2 queues( One for pre-paid tickets & members) & another for tickets on the day.
In my infinite wisdom I decided to become a member with a HUGE queue of people behind me! Yes yes, I am a crowd pleaser.
It only took me 10 minutes, the people queuing must have loved me.
It was so popular with B that I literally had to carry him kicking & screaming away so we could do something else, like see the animals!
I took my role of tour guide very seriously, I donned my tour guide hat & sash… Only joking!
I did my best impression of a tour guide & sent us all walking aimlessly around, happening upon animals & acting as if it was my intention all along.
The Red Pandas while exceptionally cute only kept B’s attention for about 2.5 seconds before he screamed for MONKEEEEEEYS.
Now I am expecting a huge round of applause for what I’m about to say… Are you ready?! Yes?! I managed to distract a slide crazed toddler long enough to get him to the Gibbons & thus change his mind set to… MONKEYYYYS.
The Gibbon thats hanging around in this picture was hilarious, such a huge character & show person. If B could have stayed there all day, trust me he would. He was mesmerised & rightly so, they are such amazing animals.
Our next purposely, just so happened upon destination was the Otter enclosure. B is obsessed with running water & water features so while they got a great amount of attention the Otters were all but ignored.
If you don’t believe me, look at this image. Believe it or not there were no otters in this part of the enclosure, it was just a waterfall!
The Otters did come out but B had already run off looking for the slide again!
The only way I managed to get the boy off of the idea of the slide again was to let him run off & be tour guide himself, he was an exceptional tour guide & he managed to get us to the lions. I’d like to say that was his intention all along & that he is a gifted child, so lets stick with it. You can view the Lions from ground level or climb up & see them from above.
They are such beautiful animals, I am a fan of household cats & hey…. they aren’t much different!
I can’t carry on without showing you the beautiful picture I managed to take, everyones seen lions before but these pads cannot be left unshown.
From the walkway you can visit the Tiger Treetops Cafe, A cafe where you get to sit quite close to the stunning Tigers(protected of course), you can see the Tigers from outside also, not to forget the Cheetahs, Jaguars & Snow Leopards.
They are such beautiful animals, I can’t help but love them, even though they could easily eat me up! YUM!
In my infinite wisdom I recommended heading into the Reptile Temple, somewhere I’ve never ventured into & probably wouldn’t ever step foot in again. I’m not a huge fan of Reptiles but B is & my parents are also quite interested in them too.
The small temple is very warm so I don’t recommend heading in there if you have issues with heat like I do sometimes. The room has a small variety of Reptiles in, I only remember seeing the Bearded Lizard, numerous Snakes & an Alligator, however on their page they also state other Reptiles such as a Tarantula, Gecko & Tortoise to name but a few.
These Green Anacondas gave me heart palpitations just because of their pure size, I could’t stand by that window for too long!
Lastly we spent some time with the Chinese Alligator, who I’m quite convinced wanted to eat me as the second I got to the glass it turned & stared at me till I left. What better opportunity for a selfie hey!
I decided to take the family, I’m sorry my tour, to the Meerkats. B absolutely loves the Compare The Market Meerkat advert & from the Chessington blog you can see he also loves Meerkats. Alas today he was having none of it so I only got to see them very quickly. They were still super cute though.
Next stop The Woodland Railway, ALL ABOARD.
You know though, things with a toddler don’t always go to plan & guess where we ended up again?! Yes, The slide!
Yet again after 10 minutes I had to pull him away kicking & screaming & I managed to FINALLY get him to the Woodland Railway.
CHOO CHOO, ALL ABOARD!
You pay £1 per person, per ride(Unlimited free rides when a Member).
The little journey whilst not long is perfect in time & very sweet. Travelling through the woodland you get to see wolves & lots of dinosaurs, the wolves are real, dinosaurs aren’t BUT shhhh don’t tell the kids!
My son is beyond obsessed with trains right now, he gets taken on a miniature railway every Sunday!
I highly recommend this little Woodland Railway ride, especially if your child loves trains.
We had a fabulous time on the Train, so much so we went on twice.
After our train ride we decided to head to the sandpit, I’ve never been in the sandpit before & regret not having done so, its brilliant! B decided to start being afraid of sand in his feet here so refused to move & just did digging in one spot so he didn’t have to move his little feet.
We spent quite a lot of time in the sandpit, unfortunately the sand was pretty dry BUT WAIT, Grandad had an idea!
He managed to dig down & get B some wet sand so he could build fabulous sandcastles!
I found the sand area quite peaceful & a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the park.
By this time Grandad was STARVING so I had to find him somewhere to eat, he settled on Safari Sam’s Diner.
For being a term time day the park was quite busy & the queue for the diner whilst being quite small took absolutely AGES to clear. The Diner isn’t particularly cheap but the food is quite reasonable for a park diner, I highly recommend the chips! They were scrumdiddly! Little B thought so too, so much so he polished his Nanna’s chippies off.
I decided to take my tour group(Haha) to see the Birds, it just so happened that when we got there the Bird show was on. You are more than welcome to walk around while the show is on & look at the caged birds but I do recommend heading over here when the Bird show is on.
I didn’t quite realise how much my son likes birds till this moment. He was transfixed & found the swooping Owl hilarious.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the interrupting Macaw, the poor lady doing the show was getting drowned out by this cheeky tinker.
B found this particular one hilarious, he kept hitting the board that was on the railings as some kind of morse code to tempt him over!
Soon after this picture was taken the morse code upped in frequency & volume & we had to make tracks before B became the Bird Boy of Hertfordshire.
We headed to the playground, which is rammed full of slides, swings & a Dinosaur themed assault course. Alas B decided to completely bypass this & off we trekked to do The Woodland Walk!
The Woodland Walk is a short trail through the woods, along the way you meet Reindeer, Deer, Owls, Foxes, Wolves & of course Dinosaurs! I mean what type of Woodland Walk doesn’t have DINOSAURS. This is the same Woodland that the train goes around, but on a different track so don’t worry you won’t bump into it!
We really enjoyed our walk & it was completely empty so we had a lovely quiet walk around.
B was getting tired by this time, he was doing exceptionally well having been there for 3 hours. We decided to do one last thing & settled on The Formula Fun F1 Cars. B has a lovely ride on car at home that he flat out refuses to use. He will happily sit in it & watch his pad but refuses to let you move it, I wasn’t expecting him to love it but ALAS HE DID. You pay £1 for a go on the cars & trust me its worth it… Look at his little face!
I have got a longer version of this but it included other children in it so I decided to cut it down. I recommend keeping a close eye on your children on this ride as one child deemed it appropriate to continually ram my son for no reason. His mother thought it was funny which made it ten times worse. These aren’t dodgems, otherwise I wouldn’t have minded.
I was beyond proud of B for being brave enough to go on this, even the other child didn’t bother him too much! If this ride appears empty then its prime time for letting your little one have a few laps around!
On the way out I decided to have a peek at Paradise Lagoon, HUGE mistake as when B saw it he instantly wanted to go for a paddle! OOOPS, Mean Mummy had to pull him away & get him in the car. It is somewhere that I will take him to the next time we go as it has a fantastic looking paddling pool & slide! Sadly I don’t think I’d be allowed in 🙁
Here are some hints & tips so you & your family can make the best out of your day at Paradise Park:
*Buy your tickets online ahead of your trip so you can save money & get into a shorter,quicker queue YAAAY
*Bring swimming nappies(age dependent), swimming bits & a towel in good weather just incase your little one makes a mad dash towards Paradise Lagoon.
*Look at your map so you know where you’re heading & what time the shows, talks & feeds are on.
*If you don’t want to spend too much money, bring a picnic, there are plenty of places where you can eat it. They even have a covered picnic area.
*Bring change for the amenities that cost extra, The train, ride on rides & food as just a few examples.
*Check out the soft play area in Tumble Jungle as you walk in. I didn’t mention it in the post as we didn’t go in on this visit but I highly recommend it so you get a little sit down & get the kids to let off some steam.
*Make sure you check out all the animals, they are too beautiful to be missed.
Lastly HAVE FUN & ENJOY YOURSELVES.