At the beginning of July, a friend who has a little boy the same age as Seren, asked us if we fancied going to Paradise Wildlife Park for the day. What I really fancied doing was staying at home in my safe bubble but I knew Seren would love the trip and I had to be brave. It was my first all day outing since Imogen’s arrival and I was mainly worried about feeding. At that point, I was still expressing milk regularly throughout the day, Imogen – at 7 weeks – was just only just starting to breastfeed well. I had no idea whether she would breastfeed throughout the day or whether I would have to rush home to express milk. I hadn’t fed her in public yet either. I took a leap of faith and it was OK, she fed from me at the park and we had a lovely day.
Paradise Wildlife Park is a zoo based just up the road from us in Hertfordshire. As well as the obvious zoo type animals there are also a couple of good play areas and a little Thomas the Tank Engine “inspired” train ride too. We just wandered really with no agenda and started off with a visit to the primates.
Before heading over to the rainforest area (which was hot!) then on to see the big cats which Seren enjoyed roaring at.
Whilst I was up on the Tiger Treetop platform, Imogen stirred in her buggy down on the ground and my friend picked her up for a cuddle. Apparently, every time she cried, a leopard came over to the fence to see what the fuss was about and my friend thought the leopard must be maternal. I was reminded of the story in the Food of Love by Kate Evans which basically says that babies have evolved to cry when they are put down as babies that didn’t got eaten by tigers (back in the very olden days of evolution!). I thought the leopard must be hungry!
After lunch we saw a falcon display in the Birds of Prey area, then the zebras, before finding a playground to let the kids run around in.
They enjoyed the swings, climbing into the fire engine and jumping on the bouncy castle. Then it started to rain, Imogen needed feeding again, mummy needed coffee and kids needed ice-cream of course!
All of sudden it was time for us to go but we could have stayed longer and our friends stayed to go on the little train and and for more playing.
There is a lot more to see and do than we managed; more animals, various Zoo Keeper talks and soft play for rainy days as well as special events such as sleepovers and tiger feeding experiences. Entrance is on the pricey side, especially in high season, so buy tickets online for a slight discount, use Tesco Clubcard vouchers or wait for offers through Groupon or Littlebird.
Paradise Wildlife Park – www.pwpark.com