Seeing wild animals in captivity isn’t to everyone’s taste, but there’s no doubt kids love having the chance to get close to the incredible creatures they see in their storybooks. Every morning, my toddler asks to see cheetahs and snow leopards on my phone. I’m pretty sure her interest was sparked by a visit to Paradise Wildlife Park.
If the prices (and crowds) at London Zoo make your eyes water, there’s an alternative. We’ve visited Paradise Wildlife Park a couple of times and I’m sure we’ll go again soon.
It’s located near Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, so it’s a reasonably short trip in the car. Or you can get the train to Broxbourne and the park has a pick-up service.
Once you’re there, there’s tons to do. You can go straight to see the big cats (lions, white lions, tigers, white tigers, leopards, cheetahs etc) or see some smaller creatures first.My toddler really enjoyed the lemurs and monkeys (there were some really tiny ones). The zebra made an impression on her too and she now likes to dress as one from time to time.
If you want to eat in the cafe, you can tuck into a sandwich while watching the tigers get stuck into their tea. Alternatively there’s a covered picnic area where you can eat your own food.
There’s loads of outdoor space, playgrounds, a farmyard and a soft play area. There are also daily displays and talks relating to different animals. Although we’ve visited twice, there’s loads of facilities we haven’t tried yet.
There is a big shop, where if you’re very unlucky, your toddler will insist on acquiring one of these. It makes a noise which is nothing like a tiger roar.
What? Paradise Wildlife Park
Where? Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, EN10 7QA (For directions, click here)
When? Every day, 9.30am-6pm
How much? Check here for prices – under twos go free and online tickets are cheaper.
Facilities and access There is a free bus from Broxbourne station (details here). The park itself is one a fairly large site and there are some walkways that would require you to carry your buggy up a few steps. Generally access is good. There are cafes, picnic areas, baby change etc.