Even when I suggest exciting outings to N, he often has a moan about going. There’s always a hook I need to share in order to change his mind. And it’s quite amazing how fast and extreme his mind can change when something exciting is on offer.
With Cotswold Wildlife Park it was the draw of there being a train.
We’ve been to Cotswold Wildlife Park a few times, and it’s always been nice weather, but this time I wanted to make sure we saw all the large animals which we’d not walked up to before. We arrived just after opening time and weren’t parked too far away which was great. As soon as we arrived, we headed straight over to the big cats and giraffes.
They’re always really spectacular. The giraffes were putting on a posing performance for everyone. They’re so sweet and we spent some time watching them. Everyone was excited about the lions because there were cubs wandering around. We only spotted a glimpse of them, before N was dragging me off to get to the train.
The train at Cotswold wildlife park is a reasonable size. There’s its own little station, and it costs 50p a person for over 3s. Walking over to it, we were able to get close to the zebras including a foal, and the rhinos.
The train itself takes you around a similar route, so if you don’t get time to walk to those enclosures to see the big animals, you can spot them from the train.
When we go to Cotswold Wildlife Park we rarely go a particular route. Mostly we just walk and see where we end up. I did manage to drag him through the reptile house and past some of the monkeys. Although with N in charge, the playground area is always within striking distance.
The play areas are brilliant They’ve been expanded since the last time we were there. Lots of wooden climbing frames, fort-style, netting, obstacles, vertical drop slides and more. Previously, most had seemed too big for N, but now it’s more suitable for a wider age range of children. N was in his element – he loved it. It’s really noticeable in the last year how much more gung ho he is about climbing, hanging off things and trying out new physical things.
A quick play then we headed to the restaurant for lunch. We got there about 11.45, and there was already a large queue that took a while to move. The hot food queue was taking ages with the 2 people serving on go slow. I wanted a hot meal but N wanted sandwiches, so he grabbed a table while I queued. The good thing is that the food is good value there, and a choice of portion sizes for different age kids. We got in the queue at the right time because behind us the queue was then out of the door. It’s always a big queue, not helped by the weather looking a bit overcast.
After lunch it was time to go in to the walled gardens to check out the Madagascar walk way area and the penguins. The lemurs were all hiding and sleeping on top of the entry area.
The penguins were similarly not doing much compared with usual. It was because a keeper was in the pool hoovering the floor. N was highly amused by that, and his and other children’s questions about it was making the keeper chuckle too. It turns out that the penguins don’t like the hoover/hose, so wouldn’t go swimming until she was finished that job. We headed for an ice cream while we waited for the penguins to be happier and performing.
We love penuins. Well, who wouldn’t. Our last visit to the wildlife park was with my mum when she was ill just before she died. Before she went into the hospice she wanted to see the penguins because she’d had to cancel going on an amazing holiday to South American where she hoped to see penguins in the wild. Even though it was nearly 3 years ago, N could still remember the visit. Quite often when Grandma is mentioned, he looks all sad and tells me ‘I miss Grandma’. Heartmelt moment.
The penguins weren’t really up to much. A bit of waddling. A baby penguin decided to come and investigate N using the Go Pro and attempted to chew the hanging wrist-strap. Comedy moment for N, and near panic for me when I thought he might let go.
Another playground session before we left, before N fell asleep in the car on the way home. It was another lovely day out, and I’m sure we’ll be back soon.
Do you have any good wildlife parks near you? Do your children love animals?
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