Both our children, Little Mister H especially, love animals and dinosaurs. So we were really thrilled to be invited along to Paradise Wildlife Park earlier in August – as it has plenty of both.
Paradise Wildlife Park – A Review
Situated just to the West of Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, Paradise Wildlife Park is under an hour’s drive from my parents’ house (where we were staying with the kids for a few days). It’s a pretty convenient location for anyone north of London and is well signposted and easy to find. We arrived just as the park was opening at 9.30am.
After entering, we went straight to the birds. This area of the park is quite secluded from the main part and was very peaceful first thing in the morning. Little Miss H was in overdrive at this point and spent about 3 seconds looking at each bird before moving onto the next one. We did manage to slow her down a little and enjoyed seeing some beautiful owls, parrots, toucans and hornbills.
On the way from the birds, we stopped off at Dumbleby Forest, a delightful little playpark with a fire engine, gypsy caravan and swings. Little Miss H was particularly keen to have a play and we were happy to let her burn off some energy. There were lots of picnic benches here and we made a mental note to go back there for our lunch, which Mr H had packed earlier.
Paradise Wildlife Park is split into two halves divided by a road. One half is all about animals – including lions, meerkats, lemurs and penguins. The other half has the restaurant, main playpark and dinosaur display. We decided to do the animals first.
The Animals At Paradise Wildlife Park
We loved the animals at Paradise Wildlife Park! Here are our top five highlights.
1. The Outback Trail
This walk-through display includes wallabies and emus, backed by some atmospheric digeridoo music. We really loved being able to get close to the animals in the Outback Trail.
2. Big Cat Walkway
One of the things we especially liked about Paradise Wildlife Park was the high walkways above many of the enclosures (there are steps up to all of these but there are plenty of buggy parks). The longest walkway runs across all of the big cat enclosures. We saw jaguars, tigers, cheetahs and lions all from the Big Cat Walkway.
I love otters! They always seem so playful and busy. Two of the ones we saw here seemed to be having an extended play-fight, nipping and squeaking at each other constantly. We stood watching them for quite a while.
Mr H had to go into the anaconda house alone. I hate snakes. Little Miss H hates snakes. But I’m including the anacondas in this list because Mr H was super excited about them. He said he’d never seen anacondas before and that they were both enormous and very beautiful. We’ll have to take his word for this as I kept my eyes shut tight when he tried to show me a photo. I really hate snakes.
Unlike the snakes, everyone in the family agreed that the penguins were brilliant. Little Miss H, who’d been rushing around the park up to that point, really stopped and watched the penguins. Only pausing to show us her best penguin walk, which involved clamping her arms to her body and wobbling from side to side. It is very cute.
We spent about two hours seeing the animals before taking a break for lunch. After our picnic, we headed over the road to the World of Dinosaurs.
The World Of Dinosaurs At Paradise Wildlife Park
The World of Dinosaurs at Paradise Wildlife Park is amazing. As well as being incredibly detailed they are also animatronic. They move their necks and tails, open and close their eyes and open their jaws to give you a big ROAR. They look and sound so lifelike. I was worried that the kids might find it the World of Dinosaurs a little scary but instead they both loved it. Little Mister H just kept going roar, roar. ROAR the whole time.
Before walking around the World of Dinosaurs, we took the Rex Express train ride. You get to see some more dinosaurs that are not easily visible from the main display. It’s an extra £2 per person (under 2’s get on free) but we thought it was great fun.
More Things We Loved About The World Of Dinosaurs
A couple more things that we loved about the World of Dinosaurs display were:
• The member of the dino team who was full of fascinating dinosaur facts and told us all about the Utahraptor (currently the largest raptor that ever lived). We spoke to him for about 10 minutes and learnt loads.
• The jeep positioned just in front of the T-Rex is perfect for a dramatic Jurassic Park inspired photo (however, this was the one bit of the display that Little Miss H did find a bit scary).
Overall, we thought the World of Dinosaurs was absolutely brilliant.
Playparks, Ice Creams And Final Thoughts
We began to think about heading home after we had finished in the World of Dinosaurs. We wanted Little Mister H to nap in the car on the drive home. But there was just enough time for them to have a play in the Pirates Cove adventure playground. This is a big playpark with loads of activities for children of all ages. Little Mister and Little Miss H loved all the slides. And we had to tempt them with the offer of an ice cream to get them away. We all felt like we deserved an ice cream by then.
In short, we thought Paradise Wildlife Park was a great day out. We spent almost five hours there and could probably have stayed longer. There was a huge amount for Little Miss H and Little Mister H to do – animals, dinosaurs and lots of places to play. We’d definitely go back next time we are staying with my parents.
Have you ever been to Paradise Wildlife Park? Did you have a photo taken in the jeep in front of the T-Rex?
We were given tickets to Paradise Wildlife Park for the purpose of this review. But as always all opinions, words and images are 100% honest and 100% my own.