I’ve been visiting Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire ever since I was a kid. Being only a 40 minute drive from home, my parents used to take me there regularly when I was little and then I started visiting again myself as an adult and for me, it’s one of those truly nostalgic places where I kinda feel at home. I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad visit to Paradise Wildlife Park and despite knowing the place inside out and no longer having to rely on the map to get around, I always enjoy my visits, learn something new and come away having had a really lovely day out. Although I haven’t got kids myself and Paradise Wildlife Park is a family attraction, it definitely appeals to all ages (I saw a elderly man in his 70’s wandering around when I was there!) and has something for everyone.
I was kindly offered 2 complimentary tickets to the park for my boyfriend and I to go and have a visit in the lead up to Christmas. Christmas is always a magical time wherever you go but the decorations had just gone up when we went, the gift shop was decked out in Christmas items and they were building the Santa’s Grotto, reading for the Christmas period. It’s a great day out any time of year but Christmas is extra special, I think!
We began in the animal park, which is the biggest and the “main” area of the park. We headed straight for the lions, one of our favourite animals to see and watched them for a good 40 minutes, whilst two of the lionesses played together and the male lion came out too.
We worked our way round the other big cats, as they have a fantastic big cat territory at Paradise until we reached the smaller animals, such as the otters, red pandas, meerkats and penguins. Arguably, some of my favourite animals. We watched the otters being fed and listened to the talk from the extremely knowledgeable keeper, who told us that when buying fish at the supermarket, ensuring it has a “sustainably sourced” sticker on ensures that no other wildlife’s habitat was damaged during the fishing process, which I didn’t know before!
There’s lots of fab indoor and rain forest-esque areas in Paradise where the animals who require a certain temperature live. There’s a reptile house, which houses snakes, spiders, lizards and all sorts of things that make the hairs on your arms stick up! There’s a fantastic rain forest area which is home to marmosets, cotton top tamarins, emperor tamerins and lots more. I’ve always loved their collection of primates at Paradise Wildlife Park, one of my favourites being the gibbons which we we saw swinging and playing all around their enclosure.
World of Dinosaurs
I haven’t been to Paradise in over a year, so this was completely new and a surprise when we visited. There used to be a small woodland walk area on the other side of the park but since our last visit, they’ve transformed it into a real-life Jurassic Park, with life-size anamatronic dinosaurs, which roar and move (and breathe!) as you walk past them. With all the popular faces, such as Velociraptors, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brachiosaurus as well as plenty I’ve never heard of, plus a ton of information about each one, I thought this area of Paradise was absolutely brilliant and kids are going to absolutely love it.
There’s an excellent photo spot right in front of the T-Rex where Carl and I had a lot of fun pretending we were in Jurassic Park for a good 20 minutes! We finished the day with a quick look around the 2 gift shops, the first one in the World of Dinosaurs, which had plenty of dinosaur related toys, gadgets and books and the second one near the exit, which has their general stock but as I said, was firmly geared up for Christmas when we visited!
Paradise Wildlife Park is a great day out option for all ages but especially families, as there’s so much to see and do from the animals, to the dinosaurs, feeds, informative talks, crazy golf, tons of children’s play areas and more. It’s always a lovely day out, whatever the weather and whatever time of year so if you’re within a reasonable distance and haven’t taken a trip yet, maybe pop it on your list of things to do this Christmas!
Have you ever been to Paradise Wildlife Park? What’s your favourite animal? (or dinosaur!) Let me know!
* Tickets into the park were kindly sent to me in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.