This week I discovered Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I’d been told that it was a great day out and headed there not knowing what to expect. It was just me and Tod and I have to say that the first 45 minutes were pretty fractious. Tod is 2 years old and although I was excited by seeing safari animals lazing around in deepest, darkest Doncaster, Tod didn’t really get the peculiarity of this. Lion, dog, dairy cow – it’s all the same to him. So, thinking he was facing a day of looking at stuff that he couldn’t touch, play with or eat, he had a full-on head-bowed, arm-crossed, dirt-kicking sulk. Sigh. It was going to be a short trip.
It was almost lunchtime so to take the pressure off we headed for a treat eat. We went to the Caramba cafe/kiosk. Great seating under shaded tiki hut style tables (perfect for rain or shine) but the food was so-so. However, it had the desired affect and we were both ready to give the park another go. Our first stop was the Forest Adventure play area.
This is a kind of wooden obstacle course and climbing structure like a massive treehouse. Tod is a little too young to be set free on it so it was just as much effort, I mean fun, for me following him round. I have to say that some of the most polite and patient kids I’ve ever come across were playing in this area. They were kind to this slow and stumbling mama.
After this we headed to the Leaping Lemur ranger talk. This was really interesting and kept Tod entertained and laughing for the full talk. There are loads of ranger talks and demonstrations throughout the day. Another great feature of this park is that many of the enclosures are walk throughs so you can get up close and personal to the animals – wallabies crossing your path, lemurs jumping overhead. The park puts a lot of faith in the visitors to be responsible for your own health safety and that of the animals.
We slowly made our way to the Monkey Play House, a soft play area with a section for under 5′s and larger area for older kids. This gave me a chance to chill while Tod explored the under 5′s area in safety.
I would have said that this was his favourite part until we walked passed the meerkats and he was mesmerised. He had to be wrenched away after about 20 minutes and only then with the promise of heading to the Jungle Play Barn. This housed 3 big slides (Tod was only age appropriate for one of them), a ball pool and a kind of small fun house section for under 5′s.
Needless to say at the end of the day we had had a brilliant time. There were plenty of activities and animals that we missed in this visit so we will definitely head back again with a clearer plan of action.
Tickets are £14.50 for adults but under 3′s are free. 3-15 year olds are £11.50. Well worth it in my opinion. The food is also reasonably priced but there are plenty of picnic areas if you decide to BYO. There are also convenient toilet stops but baby change facilities are limited.