Paradise Wildlife Park is incredibly well known to us. We live not far away from it and have been several times over the last few years. In fact, before we even lived in our current house, we took Zach to PWP for his 1st birthday, not knowing at the time how close we would be living to it just seven months later.
Put simply, we love it there. I mean we really love it there. The other half is the biggest fan and could quite happily go there every weekend. Zach has been a bit less bothered about seeing some seriously cool animals over the last couple of years (although he does seem to be getting a bit more interested…a bit!), but it’s always a winner for him to go there because they have so much other stuff to do, including a cool indoor soft play and loads of outdoor play areas that he likes to spend all of his time on!
Now Oscar is here though, well he absolutely loves animals and so it was somewhere that we have been wanting to head back to for a while. And then something magical happened. They created the World of Dinosaurs – one of the UK’s biggest Dinosaur exhibitions featuring twenty moving, snapping, roaring, life sized dinosaur models. And for Oscar, who absolutely loves dinosaurs – well we couldn’t wait to take him.
We were very kindly invited to the park for this review and booked ourselves in on the second Monday of the Easter holidays. Unfortunately, the long range weather forecast changed drastically in the days leading up to our visit and Monday turned out to be the wettest day of the Easter holidays so far. It literally poured down all day, bar about an hour. We didn’t let this affect us though, and we still managed to have a great day. In fact, it did us a bit of a favour because for the first time ever, we didn’t have to spend an hour at the play equipment, instead heading straight for the dinosaurs!
Well, I say straight for the dinosaurs – we had to have a ride on the now dinosaur themed train first!
It gave us a glimpse into what we would be experiencing, and when it came to the walk round bit, we were not let down.
Seriously, I am the biggest fan of Jurassic Park (so much so that it came on whilst I was putting Oscar to bed this week and the other half knew to pause it for me even though I have seen it a billion times). I was just as excited about this attraction opening as the boys were (well, Oscar didn’t really know about it, but he would have been majorly excited if he did understand), and when we saw those famous gates, I was itching to get in there.
Wandering around, the dinosaurs are so realistic (as realistic as we see them in the films anyway). They move the same way, they roar the same way and make other noises the same way – especially the Velociraptor, it was exactly like the noise in the kitchen scene in the first movie.
There were moments when I was wandering around, when I found them so realistic that I was just a little bit worried that I was going to get eaten!
We have been to dinosaur exhibits before but nothing comes close to this experience. In fact, we just went to The Natural History Museum and even their dinosaur section doesn’t feel as good as this was!
The boys were amazed too. Oscar stood there roaring at them all and Zach was just amazed by their size – as was I. It is incredible to think that something that big once roamed on earth and this really does show you the scale of some of them – absolutely ginormous. Each dinosaur has a fact board about them too so there is plenty of opportunity to do some learning! We absolutely loved wandering around all of them and would have done it a second, maybe third time, had it not have been raining so much throughout the day!
The rest of our day was mostly about trying to enjoy ourselves in the disastrous weather. We had taken a packed lunch so once we had seen the dinos, we sat down for a bite to eat and then we headed into the animal section of the zoo.This is where Zach usually gets bored, having a real lack of interest in animals. This time though, he seemed to be a bit more interested and ran with me when we could hear the lion roaring!
Oscar loved it of course, for he is a fan of every living, breathing animal. He was fascinated by the white tigers (which are my absolutely favourite), and he loved watching the Cheetah wandering around. And of course, the lion who was pacing up and down putting on quite a show. They really are incredible animals and what I love about Paradise is how close you can get to them.
Every time we got a bit too cold, we popped into the reptile house or the Amazon section because it was nice and warm in there! And of course, I treated myself to a couple of hot chocolates to keep me warm.
It took some effort but Oscar eventually fell asleep and we wandered round with Zach.
Oscar woke up just in time for the Animal Antics show that was on and loved every moment of it – especially the owl that was swooping over our heads (I swear it nearly hit me!).
Once that was over, we knew we needed to wear him out just a little bit (it was a late nap) so we headed into the soft play so that they could have a run around. Again, in his element as it’s one of his favourite things to do.
And then, when we had seen everything that we needed to see, and when we had had enough of the cold and wet, we headed home, grabbing a fish and chip supper on the way.
We had such a wonderful time despite the weather. We could have let it ruin the day but we didn’t, and it enabled Oscar to experience muddy puddles for the first proper time. He was less impressed when he fell face first into one though!
One thing is for sure – we cannot wait to go back and see the dinosaurs again when the weather is a bit nicer, so that we can spend a tad longer enjoying them.
We were very kindly given free passes into Paradise Wildlife Park for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.