They always say never work with kids and animals, but these venues across the region beg to differ. Take your little and big ones to enjoy an animal experience and get up close and personal with some of the world’s most exciting creatures.
The Bird of Prey & Activity Farm is home to over 200 birds of prey and animals. With daily displays, animal talks and close up encounters as well as hatchery, ride on tractors, a nature explorer barn and much more, you’ll be busy for the whole day.
You can’t mention wildlife adventures in Bedfordshire and not talk about Whipsnade Zoo. The UK’s biggest zoo, this place packs in all the animal fun. There is a huge amount of daily activities such as demonstrations and animal feedings, so time your visits to the different animals to enjoy these. They also hold special events throughout the year including children’s days and meet the character type events. Looking for something really special? Why not spend a night in one of their ‘Lookout Lodges’ and sleep among the white rhinos.
Fancy a safari? Read our guide to Woburn Safari Park here.
Visit the Dragonfly Centre at Wicken Fen for an interesting day out. Run by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers, there are plenty of colourful displays and a dragonfly pond to enjoy. There are over 22 species of dragonfly currently recorded on the Fen and on warm sunny days a large number of dragonflies can be seen flying along the waterways and ditches.
Don’t miss the cheeky red pandas at Shepreth Wildlife Park or the terrifying tigers. With everything from Egyptian fruit bats through to otters and meerkats, the kids will love a close up experience with nature. They can also ride the little safari train around the park, which is always popular!
Southend’s Sea Life Adventure will see you walking through tunnels with sharks, meeting turtles and getting up close with sting-rays. It is home to over 40 displays and with plenty of feedings and talks throughout the day. There’s plenty of opportunity to find out more about our favourite aquatic creatures (and a few others such as meerkats!).
Colchester Zoo is a popular attraction for the whole family. It is home to many endangered and rare species and 270 species in total. Set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes, there’s plenty to see.Come face to face with Komodo Dragons, meet the beautiful sun bears and watch the giraffes. Enjoy an underwater walk at the sealion exhibit and hop on the land train for a little trip.
Head to Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne to visit a variety of animals – over 800 in fact, including big cats such as White Tigers and Jaguars. Purchase animal feed bags and feed many of the animals yourself, getting up close in the process. If the kids still aren’t worn out, let them loose in one of the five adventure playgrounds or head over to the World of Dinosaurs, where life-like animatronics are used to create a realistic dinosaur habitat.
Have you ever walked a Llama? If not, then why not add a trip to Norfolk Llamas to your bucket list. Spend a couple of hours enjoying the Norfolk countryside in the company of a Llama. You’ll have the chance to meet them, learn more about these gentle creates, take them for a walk and finish with a drink on the patio. Based at Park Farm Nature Reserve, you’ll also be able to pop in to enjoy over 25 acres of parkland which are home to an abundance of bird life.
In the beautifully landscaped gardens of Thrigby Hall, you’ll find an abundance of wildlife. A collection of rare animals from across Asia are housed here and you’ll see endangered tigers, huge crocodiles, noisy gibbons and much more. A raised walkway takes you up close and personal to these magnificent creatures.
Hidden away in a remote part of Suffolk is something you would never expect to find…a Camel Park. Oasis Camel Park is the only camel park in the UK and your only opportunity to experience a real hands on camel adventure. Enjoy a camel ride and learn more about these magnificent creates at the ‘meet a camel’ sessions held throughout the day. There’s also plenty of small animals to pet and even a little train to enjoy. A great day out for the whole family to enjoy. Your beloved dog can also join in the fun, as long as he stays on his lead.
Head on down to Africa Alive for a day of wildlife fun. Described as a walking safari experience, the park is set in 100 and is home to more than 80 different species of animals from around the world including lions, giraffes, meerkats, hunting dogs and many more. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, why not sign up to one of their experiences and get a real hands on experience with your favourite animals.