We’ve been on so many days out over the years, and all the obvious places within an hour, sometimes you get a bit lost and run out of ideas where to go. Add in that you need to entertain 2 adults (who would be fine just sitting in a cafe chatting all day) and 2 nearly 8 year old boys who haven’t seen each other in around 2 years. Both like playgrounds and enjoy wildlife parks where we’ve visited together before. So we agreed to try out All Things Wild in Honeybourne again. Neither of us have been for a few years and N’s only visit was for a party when he was about 3 1/2 years old.
All Things Wild is a wildlife conservation centre. A zoo I suppose, although it doesn’t have all the usual animals. They’ve expanded since we were last there, so there’s more animals and quite a few indoor options for when it’s cold like it was when we were there.
It’s great value. You can get a small discount paying online in advance, but we paid on the door – the grand total of £21 for adult and child. It’s a bargain for everything there is to do. We arrived just after opening at 10, and didn’t leave until 3ish. In the warmer months there’d be more outside we wanted to do so I could see us staying longer.
Like most similar centres there is plenty of educational aspects with animal activities or meeting the keeper and feeding slots through the day. You can also ride the dino train at certain times of the day too. We just go with it if we come across something we fancy.
We managed to get the boys to look at some of the animals before reaching the play areas. There’s a reptile tropical house as well as an ocean zone which has different shark models as well as an ocean themed boat and play area. The interactive things went down well with the boys – they were tickled by the ‘what’s the greatest hunter?’ mirror.
Everything at All Things Wild is close together and it’s easy to come across new things to see. There’s also plenty of toilet stops and handwashing facilities.
There are a couple of play areas covering different ages, but the boys were happy enough climbing and playing music in either one.
Then the go karts were calling. While the boys drove round the track, we made friends with the cockatiel. We couldn’t get it to say more than hello, although it wouldn’t talk at all for the boys. There was a smaller karting section for younger children and smaller go karts. In the main track, the go karts were probably best for 6+ years. We had to move the seats forward for the boys – it’s nice to see go karts for older children.
We dragged them off for the dino trail. This is a fair walk around a field with large dinosaur models and information about each one along the walk. We also found some interactive displays for them to answer questions too. The highlight was at the end of the trail were there was an old excavator that children can go on. And even better, an old military helicopter. They spent a while playing in the latter. It’s not everyday you get to sit in a helicopter, let alone play in the cab.
Heading back towards the main cafe we wandered via the outback area to see wallabies and kangaroos. We got to spot a Joey which the boys liked. There is an outback walk through bit but presumably only at certain times of the day.
With All Things Wild the animals tend to be the more unusual ones you don’t see at other zoos. Some we’d never heard of. Last time we visited it was the Coatis that were new, this time we saw tayras and squirrel monkeys. We enjoyed watching one of the beavers swimming around for some time.
Since we last visited they’ve added zebras and bactrian camels. The zebras were hiding out, but on a return later to their enclosure we manage to catch them outside.
Inside the adventures building – which seems to be an education place as it was set up for talks – we found a selfie dressing up box. N loved turning himself into an astronaut. We had a bit of a laugh watching the armadillo running around underneath the blue and gold macaw, and seeing the chinchillas who were cosied up together. I couldn’t stop thinking about the ‘holiday armadillo’ from Friends (I’ve been watching a lot of that recently).
While we were there, we managed to time it to get up close in the lemur enclosure. The black and white tailed ones were hiding inside, so we were in with the red ones instead. Not as cute, but nice to get the chance to see them nearby.
Only the main cafe was open being out of season. It’s next to the main soft play so it’s easy to sit and relax while the children burn off energy. They do a children’s lunchbox option but we chose hot food. N had kids scampi and I had lasagne. Both were delicious as were the chips, although the lasagne was a small adult sized portion. For 2 meals and drinks it cost £16 so not a bad price for good food and there were plenty of menu options.
The boys thought the softplay was good. There’s an area for smaller children in that building, but there’s also another younger children’s soft play barn by the go karts (no cafe there though).
We persuaded the boys out of the soft play to see some more animals. Of course they refused to have their photo taken with the giant polar bear (remains from the Christmas festive decorations which were being taken down), but it looked like there had been a lot going on for the Christmas perieod at All things Wild. It’s definitely worth checking what events they have on through the year.
One last go on the go karts and a wander inside the 2 storey dinosuar building. There you can learn about and meet a dinosaur skeleton, neanderthal man, sabre tooth dinosaur and various dinosaur models. The displays are a good level of information for the boys’ age, and they enjoyed looking around without N moaning he was bored.
Last stop was of course the gift shop. We told them they could have £1 to spend – N finally decided on a pencil while his friend chose 4 pocket sized animals for the same price.
It was a really lovely day out. Not just because we got to catch up with friends, but also visiting All Things Wild which had a lot more than I expected. Always nice to have something beat your expectations. I can see it being a lot busier in summer, but you can definitely make a full day of it with birds and animals to see for all ages.