11.10.12

Too much fun for one person to take!

I live near a few good places to see animals. Places like Marwell, Middle Farm (where I am regularly drawn to buy strawberry cider) and Drusillas Zoo Park.

I haven't been to Drusillas for years, not since DD was much smaller, so when I was asked if I would like some tickets in exchange for a review I was quite excited, not as excited as DD though who jumped for joy and squealed  "yes, yes, do it" So this Sunday last saw me and two 12 year olds embarking on a trip to Drusillas (via Middle Farm!) to see what had changed.

We were impressed! It is not a cheap day out, but it is a great value one! With all those animals to feed (more later) and a fabulous adventure playground to maintain I think the prices are very reasonable , and a season ticket if you live near would make it a real bargain.

We began our journey through the Zoo (wisely placed before the playground, because most children would play all day and never be lured to see the animals in my previous experience!) through a tunnel I well remembered with some cute mice in a tiny 'house' , reptiles, and then many tiny tamarins. The tiny monkeys and tamarins were a great hit with the girls particularly as they ran (the tamarins not the girls!) through tubes above our heads. We were a little grossed out watching them eat live grubs! But it was certainly educational.




We had already grabbed booklets to record our Zoolympics scores as we went round, and I discovered I weigh as much as a chimp (not sure those scales are 100% accurate if I'm honest) So then next on the list of (free) things to try was hanging like a monkey...




The Zoolympics is a great idea to make things real for the kids, the booklets are free and all ages enjoyed the 'trials' to see how like the various animals we were (No surprise they could shout louder that I could).



So much to do and see! So many animals and lots to learn, though all so much fun we barely realised we were learning! (do you know what the collective noun for a group of caterpillars is? answer at the end of the post)



We thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the animals - and while the farm area hasn't changed much in the last few years and is still quite small, there were some exciting new things to see in the rest of the park, the sloth being my personal favourite (in a walk through area with the fruit bats, another animal I really love to watch!) Also some baby animals, such as a baby flamingo, and a tiny Lars gibbon (the gibbons were fabulous and sung to us in the car park when we arrived)




The entire site is well laid out with lots of thought for families and children, there are snack places to get coffee, picnic areas (including one next to the car park so you can avoid lugging your hamper miles and miles - there is even a mini playground there too) There is a restaurant (which we didn't try but looked good) , while we ate 'junk' food (but tasty!) in the Oasis Cafe. (Where the coffee was delicious - and I'm a coffee snob - AND there was free wi-fi)

 The toilets are new and very well maintained and clean, around the park there are lots of hand washing points with low sinks for children.At the farm there are singing chickens to remind you to wash your hands ..




 There is a larger picnic area in the centre of the park too, between the zoo and the playground. I know I missed things out of this review, I just don't have the space to include it all - do check out the Drusillas website it you don't believe me!

And of course there was plenty of time to be silly (they have Halloween themed events coming up, and a Moshi Monster is visiting!)



There is a great new lemur walk, and a place you can feed some gorgeous little parrots. We were lucky to have perfect weather but many sections were under cover including the pet area (a little lacking in giant Australian stick insects if you ask me - I may donate a few to Drusillas) Where you could see small animals and get advice on their care, the girls loved the mice.

 




We managed to stop for lunch (rat in a basket?) - we settled for nuggets and chips :-)



We also explored the maze, a fun interactive experience with clues and creepy goings on...



and saw an elephant (may be a lie)



and rode on Thomas the Tank Engine (not the most exciting thing there but probably great for a Thomas fan under 4 years old) but we ate fresh cooked donuts from the station cafe which were scrumptious!



before the girls rushed off to the Adventure playground (nicely laid out and with a separate indoor soft play area and a section for under sixes so they don't get trampled.)



The girls played for over 4 hours, I had to drag them out at closing time! (the Spider Tower was their favourite place)


After a fun packed day we were sad to leave. Will we be going back? Of course.

oh and the caterpillar thing? an ARMY! who knew?!


  • Looks 9/10 
  • Value For money 10/10 
  • Usability/Usefulness 10/10 
  • Fun 11/10