This past weekend, we headed to Doncaster family fun at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. It is only about an hour or so from us which is great!
As soon as we arrived we were greeted by sculptured lions at the gates, and directed to the Rhino Car Park. I knew I would miss Africa, but it hit me unexpectedly hard.
I guess it was a combination of glorious weather, African animals, and the fact that the girls were in their element. The whole thing was a completely different cultural experience to our last trip to Bolton Abbey but it was a good family day out filled with fun, and another opportunity to create memories.
Planning Our Visit
We booked our tickets to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in advance via their online booking system. It was so quick and easy, but they do recommend booking in advance.
Price: 2 Adults & 3 Children cost us £79.00.
On arrival we walked through the gift shop area and were greeted by a gorgeous giant Polar Bear!
I really wanted a picture with him, but my girls beat me to it. I also realised it would most probably be undignified for me to shove my girls out the way to get my own bear hug!
From here we proceeded to the admission queues.
As we joined the ‘pre-booked tickets’ session we realised it hadn’t been necessary to pre-book. Both queues moved at the same speed so it wasn’t necessary to pre-book. But I’m still glad we did.
We packed our picnic to take with, but left it in the car rather than hauling it around with us.
Top Tip: Eat a BIG breakfast before getting there, take a bottle of water with. The food is a bit pricey.
It had to be done. Our first stop was lion country.
Now, I have to be honest, I am not a fan of wild animals being kept captive. BUT, I do realise that in certain situation these animals are living their most realistic and ideal dream after being rescued from deplorable situations.
All the big cat enclosures were amazing. The animals had ample space, water, shade, and were most certainly NOT underfed.
We got to see the lions, tigers, jaguars and leopards. I did have a little chuckle to myself when I compared the lion & tiger enclosures to the leopard enclosure.
The lions and tigers were kept in enclosures that closely resembled their natural habitat. That’s not to say the leopards weren’t, but their enclosure almost resembled a maximum security prison. I know that this is because of their amazing climbing skills and agility, but like I said, I did have a little chuckle to myself. Leopards are NOT to be messed with or underestimated.
Did I mention it was hot!? Even the Rhino was hiding from the sun … but still so gorgeous!
The Wallaby Walkabout was definitely a highlight for the girls. As we got there, one of the park rangers was doing a talk about these cute creatures. I did learn something quite shocking. A female Wallaby is basically pregnant or caring for her newborn, her entire life. They are prolific breeders.
But still … look how cute! The girls even got to see a mommy wallaby bouncing around with a joey in her pouch and it would stick its head out every now and then. The girls were mesmerised.
The other highlight for us, and me in particular was seeing the Polar Bears! I don’t think I have ever seen Polar Bears in real life. I was amazed by their size, agility and grace. The need to just bury my face in the fur and cuddle them was strong, until of course I remembered that they are indeed one of the world’s apex predators.
I managed to do an InstaStory Live showing two of them play fightings, and here’s another little video clip I took of them.
I could go on and on. In addition to the highlights mentioned above we also loved the Leaping Lemurs, the Giraffe, the meerkats, and of course the baboons (even though I currently have my own that I had to pay for to see more baboons … #motherhood).
Other Facilities & Attractions
In addition to the animals, there are various restaurants, refreshment stands, coffee houses, picnic spots and other amenities available including an awesome children’s play area set in a fully shaded forest setting.
I was extremely impressed by the cleanliness of all the facilities, but also by the staff’s complete dedication to keeping the animals safe from the public, and the public informed and educated.
I’m sad that we missed the Big Bugs Live talk. They also offer various other talks around the park at dedicated times.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park also offer mini-experiences, VIP experiences, and annual passes. Even our own entry tickets could have been endorsed for a future visit over the summer holiday at a discounted prices.
Also advertised are the Wild Life Safari Nights they have planned during August. Check out their website for more information and to see which concert you would love to go to. Personally Saturday the 11th is ringing my bell! Shhh … big surprise, I was a 90s teenager!
I loved being there and getting a much-needed African fix as I was just starting to feel a little homesick! Even though we have moved across the world to live in the UK, a part of us will always be African. That said, I am extremely grateful to be able to show my girls a different way of life, and give them different experiences to what they have known up till now.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park should definitely be on your list if you are looking for a great family fun day out in the Yorkshire area. It is a really lovely, relaxed and fun day out for all the family and the facilities are excellent.
Disclaimer. This is not a sponsored post. We paid for our own tickets, I just really loved going there.