Nestled in Broxbourne deep in the Hertfordshire countryside is the Paradise Wildlife Park. Founded in 1984 the park is known for its breeding and conservation work. It has been voted Hertfordshire's top tourist attraction and has a trip advisor rating of excellence. We are always looking for fun and family friendly places to visit especially with an animal related theme for my zoo and reptile mad son. When we were invited along to Paradise Wildlife Park to visit for the day and experience the new and VERY exciting World of Dinosaurs exhibition I had 2 very excited children on my hands.
|This picture cracks me up, my husbands face haha!
Broxbourne is about 90 minutes from us, it was a fairly straightforward journey and really not too far for us to travel, we went through some rather lovely countryside and twisty, turny roads as we were approaching the wildlife park. On arrival there were plenty of car parking spaces and we parked up only a couple of minutes walk from the entrance. It was a bit of a damp day but the weather did start to clear as we were arriving which was a good omen, there is nothing worse than walking around an open air zoo in the rain!
There is a fabulous amount to see, the park is big enough to have a wide variety of species to see but not so big you feel like you're rushing around and not seeing everything. The enclosure's are well spaced out and I found they were of adequate space for the animals and catered for their needs, the animals we saw all appeared happy and content which for me is very important when visiting places like this.
Some of the animals you'll see when visiting are snow leopards, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs, lions, pandas, gibbons, snakes, lemurs, tapirs, penguins, camels, zebras, wolves, meerkats and so much more. This is just a small selection there really is so much to take in.
The paths are spacious and pushchair friendly, it's mostly accessible but there are a handful of ramps and steps to negotiate to get a higher view of some of the animals. Wear comfortable shoes as you'll be doing lots of walking from one place to another. There is a good selection of eating places around the park however I felt there wasn't a huge amount of picnic tables from what I could see which could pose as a problem if it was super busy and in high season, we didn't really have an issue as it wasn't super busy. When we visited it was just nicely busy, and we were able to enjoy everything and see it all without having to wait or being shoved out of the way.
The most exciting part of the trip (before the dinosaur's) was without a doubt the Angkor reptile house. As with all animal related visits all Alfie really wants to see is the snakes and spiders so Elarna then follows his lead. After we had seen many of the bigger animals we couldn't keep Alfie any longer from tracking down the reptile temple. He was completely in his element, his highlights being the (flipping huge) green anaconda and reticulated python as well as all the other slitheries. He just flipping loves snakes!
It took us quite some time to make our way out of the reptile house, although I didn't hugely mind as I love seeing the kids faces light up when they enjoy seeing animals they love. The only downside is Alfie then requesting a larger snake as a pet......regardless of us actually owning our very own snake (just a cornsnake mind you).
After making our way around the rest of the park we let the kids have a go on one of the play grounds that are available around the park, there was a great slide that was free to use here also which gave us a slight breather for a few minutes while they had a go on it - shame we encountered a very rude bunch of people at this point with children pushing in and general no respect for anyone else, but we didn't let this spoil our time, it did however make us move on from the slide sooner than we wanted to.
After taking some time to enjoy the penguins and meerkats we decided that it was time to head over to the exciting new addition to the wildlife park....... 'world of dinosaurs'. Scroll down past some more pictures to read all about this exciting new feature.
The world of dinosaurs is a super exciting, new attraction which opened only a few weeks ago. Featuring realistic, life sized dinosaurs that move, snap, roar and interact this is sure to be a very exciting new feature to the park. We were so excited to see it all, having visited a couple of similar things in France we had high expectations!
On entering the bone lined walkway into the world of dinosaurs it's clear to see that alot of time and money has been invested in this to ensure that visitors have an amazing time. There is music and sound effects from the beginning to enhance the experience and there is also the option of having a dino train ride around for even more fun.
On walking around we were all blown away by these animatronic dino's. Seriously these things are flipping amazing the detail in them was incredible, even down to the way the body of the dinosaurs actually appeared like they were breathing, it was really was quite something and a little creepy!
Due to the size of the dino area it wasn't busy at all and we were able to amble around at our own pace taking in the intricate nature of the dinosaurs and read a bit about them.
The dinosaurs are motion sensitive so will activate when you walk past them, they roar, move and grunt and some even spray water at you. Alfie thought they were brilliant.....Elarna was a little scared and wanted to be carried around so something to bear in mind if you have littlies.
The T-rex photo opportunity was fab, as were the selfie points dotted around the walk......so much fun! Having the addition of the jeep within the park really did make you feel like you were an extra in Jurassic Park!
You are free to wander around the trail and if you want can walk around again or take the train as mentioned above. This is an outdoor exhibition and we were very lucky that the rain had stopped and it was dry but the paths may not be great if it rains or it might not be as enjoyable if it was wet.
We really had such a brilliant day we wouldn't hesitate heading back over to the paradise park. There was lots to do, it was fun, interactive and full of lasting memories. On our way home we stopped for a bite to eat and I would say we definitely deserved the below .........
So, if you're in the area or not far away I would highly recommend a visit it is such a great day out.
* Please note we were kindly gifted free entry to the park in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.