25 Apr Paradise Wildlife Park Hertfordshire Review
We were lucky to be invited to go and review Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire. I’d wanted to go for ages, Oliver LOVES dinosaurs and Charlie loves animals. I’d been put off by the fact it was in Hertfordshire and Charlie doesn’t travel well in the car, but I was pleasantly surprised that it actually only took an hour to get there from our home in Essex.
On entering the first thing we saw were the huge gates to the World of Dinosaurs. Oliver squealed with excitement, the large dinosaur bones walkway, the footprints and the Jurassic Park music make it really atmospheric.
The animatronic dinosaurs were amazing, the photos just don’t do them justice. Oliver, at 4 years old, is not easily fooled, (he knows that the Easter bunny we saw recently was a man in a bunny outfit) but he thought they were real. They make noises, they move in really fluid motions and their eyes and mouths move. They really do need to be seen to believe how good they really are!
The dinosaur park is a one way system that you walk round, it wasn’t very busy when we went, but the walk ways in between were wide and spacious so even on busy days you’d be able to see plenty. Despite being in the woods the paths were buggy and wheelchair friendly. We managed to spend over an hour just seeing the dinosaurs, Oliver wanted to hear every single detail about the dinosaurs so we spent a long time pouring over the information boards. There are some really good photo opportunities around the dinosaurs!
After being outside for so long we were really cold so we went to the ‘Tumble Jungle’ soft play for a hot drink and to warm up. The soft play was large, with areas suitable for both of the boys, even newly walking Charlie.
It was spotlessly clean, a real bug bear of mine is grotty soft play, and this was not grotty at all. There was a variety of food for sale here like baguettes and snacks, but we both had just had lattes to drink. They were from a machine and if we returned we wouldn’t have them again. I would recommend having tea, which I did afterwards and it was lovely.
We decided to go and see some of the animals – for a small zoo Paradise have a large selection of farm and zoo animals. The enclosures were well designed so you could get a really good view of the animals. Our favourites were the camels, the llamas, the tiger and the lion. We enjoyed feeding the lorikeets although I wasn’t impressed when one landed on my head!
We watched one of the big cats being fed and enjoyed a talk by a zookeeper. We especially liked being able to see the lion up so close, we could hear him roar from across the park and found him by following the sound!
We had lunch in Safari Sam’s Diner which had plenty of tables when we went to eat at about midday. There was a vast menu of things like salads, burgers, jacket potatoes and sandwiches.
I had chicken goujons and chips, my husband had burger and chips, Oliver chose a picnic box which consisted of a sandwich, an apple, crisps, a chocolate treat and a drink, and Charlie had fish goujons, chips and peas. The adult’s meals were £7.50 each and the children’s were around £5. They also serve breakfasts in the morning, and have a licenced bar.
I’m a real lover of the Ikea Antilop highchairs and I’m pleased to report that they had plenty of these high chairs and they were all clean.
Throughout the park there are numerous play areas, including one solely for the use of disabled customers, including apparatus that wheelchair uses can use. This is kept locked so that it was kept for use solely for disabled customers’, there was a notice on it where to obtain the key.
I was impressed to see a sign for an infant feeding room. I don’t usually use these rooms I’m happy to feed Charlie out and about, but I think it’s a lovely facility for people to have if they want to use them. I went for a nosy to see what it was like and it actually doubles as their first aid room, but its spacious and private, with a bed and a chair.
There are optional extras that you can pay £2 per person for, on top of your entry price. These are the Safari Adventure mini golf and the dinosaur themed land train.
Oliver enjoyed them both, the land train takes you back into the World of Dinosaurs and you see them from a different angle. The mini golf is a themed course of 18 holes including a loop the loop, which takes you on a safari adventure seeing zebra and tigers etc. Although Oliver enjoyed the land train, he had already seen the dinosaurs and was the ride only lasted approximately 5 minutes. The mini golf took Oliver and Daddy 45 minutes to complete and was in a totally different area of the park you couldn’t otherwise get to, so in terms of value for money I think the mini golf was better.
My top tips for making the most out of your day at Paradise Wildlife Park:
- Get a map and find out when the interactive displays and feedings are. Plan your day so that you don’t miss any that you want to see.
- Eat early or late (or take a picnic). Don’t go for lunch at 12.30pm and expect a table at peak times of year. It wasn’t that busy in the park when we visited but there were only a few tables left in the large restaurant. I can imagine on a busy day you’d struggle to find a table.
- In summer there is a splash park paddling pool so take a change of clothes and a towel.
- Plan your pit-stops so you can have a drink in peace and with a good view, I recommend a cup of tea in the soft play and also stopping for a drink in the tiger lookout café.
You can book tickets online here before going to beat the queues and also to save yourself 5%!