When the boys were younger we used to visit the local zoo pretty much every week. I had a season ticket for us all and it was so handy to go along even if just for an hour or so.
Although it was great for a day out, I found that after a while the novelty had worn off for the boys, and with starting school we couldn't spend as much time there as we used to, and then I got a job and had split with their dad so every other weekend we weren't together.
As a result, I can't now tell you when we last went to the zoo.
We had the opportunity to visit Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, and jumped at it. Despite it being a couple of hours drive there I enjoy an adventure and couldn't turn down a day out with the boys somewhere we haven't been before.
The drive was pretty straight forward thankfully and the wildlife park was really easy to find, with a lot of parking space and a toilet block available at the car park which is really handy after a long drive!
We'd had a look at the Paradise Park on their website before visiting. I was particularly looking forward to seeing the Big Cats and the boys were excited to see the animals as well as the World of Dinosaurs.
The zoo seemed to have a one way system type of route which makes it easy to be able to see all of the animals and to not miss anything out.
It was clear that there was some building work going on and new enclosures being built but this didn't cause much disruption.
The variety of animals at the park was great and was a highlight for us. From the big cats, camels, penguins, to reptiles, farmyard animals and an aquarium.
Another highlight was going for a coffee next to the Tiger enclosure. A tiger was on the platform and with just glass and a short distance between you it was lovely to be able to see it so close. The coffee shop was a little expensive but it was nice to sit down and be able to have a good view of the enclosure.
After having another walk around we went to the car for our picnic then went back in and looked at the enclosures with birds and tortoises. This was a lovely space and the boys spent a while here letting off some steam and taking selfies.
We have a Dinosaur Park near us locally so I was intrigued to see how this differed.
Honestly, I think this was our main highlight. The displays were great, with sound effects and the dinosaurs were animated.....even as far as them moving as if they were breathing!
After walking through the dinosaur section the boys had the chance to dig for a dinosaur. Their was a big fossil set under sand and it was great that children could dig and brush away to discover the dinosaur.
We then walked round and saw there was a big soft play centre, and we also visited the Speedway Museum which was really interesting.
We had about an hour until we needed to leave to get home so we went for a walk to the playground area and were pleasantly surprised to see that there were additional woodland walks, one to see the Wolves and one to see the deer. We were really impressed that there were so many areas and different places to explore.
The playground was really good and catered to a variety of ages. The boys really enjoyed themselves and were sad when it came to leaving.
With so much to do and to see this is the perfect attraction for the whole family, and a mixture of ages.
We had such a great day and would definitely make the effort to travel a similar distance for a day out in the future.
We were allowed entrance into the parks for the purpose of this review. All words are honest and my own.