Places to see animals with the children

Children love seeing animals, whether it is feeding sea lions or penguins, patting a rabbit on a farm, learning about endangered species or spotting big cats. Across the United Kingdom, there are many wonderful zoos, safari parks, wild life sanctuaries, wet lands, parks, farms and aquariums to take the children to experience a wonderful and educational family day.  Here is out pick of the top places to go.

Paradise Wildlife Park

Paradise Wildlife Park & Zoological Society of Hertfordshire is voted Hertfordshire’s No.1 Outdoor Attraction by Trip Advisor and set in the beautiful surrounding of Broxbourne Woods in the Heart of the Hertfordshire Countryside.

Home to over 500 exotic wild animals including Tigers, Monkeys, Zebras, Lemurs, Meerkats, Red Pandas, Tapirs, Penguins, White Lions, Wallabies, Emus, Birds of Prey, Parrots, Reptiles & Snow Leopards. It also offers a full programme of daily animal shows and events perfect for the whole family. Including On Safari Adventure Golf, National Speedway Museum, Animal Resource Centre plus the Jungle Theatre, Woodland Railway, 3 adventure playgrounds, Tumble Jungle & Paradise Lagoon.

Paradise Wildlife Park is the only zoo in the UK home to five different big cat breeds, with White Lions, Tigers, Snow Leopards, Jaguars and a White Tiger. The latest edition to the Paradise family is a beautiful Jaguar Cub who will be on view to the public from July.

Save an extra 10% online when you use our exclusive booking code: LGWC10.

The Park is situated 20 miles north of London, 10 minutes from Junction 25 on the M25 and approximately 25 minutes from London Liverpool Street by rail. The Park operates a Station Car service to and from Broxbourne station which is £3 return and is only 3 miles from Paradise. More…

two girls looking at cheetah

Gentoo Penguins, Loggerhead Turtles and more at The Deep

Big and small, discover an array of animals at Yorkshire’s The Deep, nearly 5,000 of them to be exact! Home to almost 3,500 fish including the UK’s only pair of Green Sawfish, sharks, rays, jellyfish and many more that can be seen at a daily dive show at 2pm (Monday- Friday at Endless Ocean, Saturday as Lagoon of Light and Sunday at Amazon Flooded Forest).

Get hands-on with some of the smaller species found on UK shores in a touchpool session, happening every half past the hour between 10.30am – 4.30pm at Dylan’s Discovery Corner.

The Deep is also home to some VIPs – Very Important Penguins! There’s a colony of Gentoo penguins in the Kingdom of Ice. Watch these much loved residents feeding at 11.30am and 3.30pm whilst The Deep’s Guiding Team talk about them and the threats to their habitat.

New and exciting additions for 2017 are two Loggerhead sea turtles named Sensa and Mabouche. Spot the lovable duo swimming around and making friends in the Endless Ocean exhibit. As well as marine life there are also a variety of invertebrates, frogs and snakes to discover throughout the attraction. Simply turn up and be prepared to have a fin-tastic time!

Visitors can also save 10% on tickets when booking online.


group of penguins indoors at The Deep

Animal Encounters at Woburn Safari Park

This summer meet some of the newest safari stars and get closer than ever to the amazing wildlife at Woburn Safari Park. Adventure by car in the Road Safari parkland animal reserves then explore the Foot Safari and watch educational keeper talks and demonstrations.

There’s three mischievous black bear cubs – Alabama, Sekani and Kaska – born last year and living in the Kingdom of Carnivores, alongside a family of Canadian timber wolves and seven other black bears.

Animal Encounters in the Foot Safari is home to the newest walk-through enclosure, giving a chance to meet the lovely group of donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs and ponies and ‘Farmyard Friends’ is an opportunity to be face to face with these friendly animals so don’t forget your camera!

At ‘Cachorro Range’ meet new arrivals Vinnie and Viv the bush dogs, South American canid species that hopefully will breed a future of adorable bush pups! There’s also a new species called agouti (large rodents) and spiny-tailed iguana, plus later this year keepers will be welcoming red panda and tawny frogmouths to the park! More…

Woburn animal poster

Escape to the Land of Adventure at Longleat

Go on Safari, discover the delights of Longleat House and Grounds, come face-to-face with amazing creatures in Animal Discovery and explore the fun-filled Adventure Zone.

There amazing events happening at Longleat in 2017. Marvellous Monsters sees over 20 larger-than-life animatronic bugs take over the park and these humongous creepy crawlies will make Longleat feel like a hidden land of insects where ladybirds crawl, spiders scuttle and bees buzz plus a whole host of more exotic bugs to discover.

As well as these animatronic stars, see some of their real life counterparts. Longleat’s keepers will be on hand to answer questions and teach more about the wonderful, weird world of bugs.

And that’s not all! The hugely popular hot air balloon extravaganza, Sky Safari, returns this September, bigger and better than ever! Don’t miss the unforgettable Halloween Festival, Fantastic Fireworks and the sensational Festival of Light returning this Christmas.

Brilliant family adventures await you at Longleat! Book online and save 15%.


Lion sitting in between bluebells

Connect with nature at Marwell Zoo

Explore the wonders of the natural world at Marwell Zoo, near Winchester, and play a big part in helping to save them. From ring-tailed lemurs to majestic giraffes, and curious meerkats to stunning snow leopards, the 140-acre park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species.

Spend time with Marwell’s playful primates at ‘Lemur Loop’, a new walkthrough exhibit for summer 2017. Explore the environment of four different species of lemur who will be joined in their new home by a new species for Marwell – green peafowl. With a beautiful landscaped setting, both indoors and out, the new lemur exhibit promises a truly immersive experience.

What’s more, from 1st August to 1st October, enjoy The Great Brick safari: An Interactive Experience with LEGO® Bricks EXCLSUIVE to Marwell Zoo. Follow the free trail of 80 LEGO sculptures made up of over 2 millions LEGO bricks and create your own sculptures in the Great Brick Building Zone.

With all this, plus five adventure playgrounds, a FREE tractor train, rail train and an indoor picnic area, there’s plenty to occupy your little ones. More…

monkey at Marwell

Farmyard fun at Hatfield Park Farm

Families will find plenty of things to do and enjoy at Hatfield Park Farm in Hertfordshire. Covering an area of approximately 25 acres on the West side of Hatfield House, the farm shows the animals in a natural countryside setting. While walking amongst the paddocks, visitors can see donkeys, pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ponies as well as many types of ducks, chickens and geese. By taking advantage of the feeding stations, visitors can see them up close.

Children can play in the sand pits, bounce around on the tractor tyres and climb up and over the wooden tractor or take a trek along the goat pass, a play challenge in the heart of the farm. There is also a miniature train ride that does incur an additional charge.

If you are looking for a special venue for a birthday party, then Kid’s Kabin, an outdoor shelter, can be hired for ‘do it yourself parties’ between 11am and 4pm. The shelter is in the centre of the farm and offers lots of space in your very own private area, indoors and outdoors, for those important party games. It is possible to bring along decorations to personalise the shelter too. <More…>

Hatfield Park Farm Pigs

Extraordinary Animaltronics at Rainforest Cafe

Discover London’s wildest family dining adventure by swapping the urban jungle for the real thing at Rainforest Cafe. Located in the heart of London’s West End, this tropical oasis transports you to the magical surroundings of the Amazon rainforest, combining great food with top notch service.

Burgers, ribs, pasta, steaks and American-style salads combine with animatronics, indoor waterfalls, tropical fish tanks, interactive floors as well as a tropical thunderstorm! If you’re lucky enough to be in London, make a reservation and remember to use this 15% discount voucher for your food bill. More…

Rainforest Cafe elephants

Meet the animals on a real working farm at Kent Life

Discover Kent Life Heritage Farm Park where history and family fun sit side by side. A real working farm, Kent Life showcases and breeds traditional animals. Cuddle corner provides the opportunity to get up close and personal to some smaller farmyard friends – a must for a family day out in Kent. Daily entertainment schedule also offers the chance to meet some friendly animals with feeding and grooming sessions. For a favourite, consider adopting one of the animals.

There’s also plenty to discover by taking a stroll along the nature trail.

Located in the Garden of England, explore the collection of historic buildings, including Britain’s last working coal-fired Oast House. Children will enjoy an array of family fun, including indoor and outdoor play areas, donkey rides, bouncy castle, tractor rides, paint-a-pot studio and more!

Kent Life is much more than just a day visit. Along with the extensive special events programme, Kent Life is also an ideal venue for school and group visits, children’s parties, conferences, private hire and weddings. More…


Discover Dinosaurs at Knebworth House

Animals of a different sort at Knebworth House this summer where there is a trail of 72 life-sized dinosaurs located in the Wilderness Garden. Exploring the woodland paths, children can learn about fascinating pre-historic creatures. There are information boards throughout the Trail and look out for the wind-up sound box to hear the dinosaur roars.

On 6th August there is a Dino Adventure at Knebworth House. Brave adventurers who complete the Knebworth dinosaur trail quiz and find all the dino eggs can claim an exciting reward. The Trail Sheet is sold in Gift Shop for £1 (in addition to park and gardens admission).

Ventura Wildlife Rangers will offer hands-on experiences with reptilian relatives of the dinosaurs, including snakes, lizards and tortoises and will help children hunt for fossils hidden at the Dino-Dig Palaeontological Site. Book tickets for this great event now.

More dinosaur adventures on 13th July when the Illyria Theatre Company is performing ‘The Lost World‘. Join Professor Challenger and his team as they travel to an uncharted plateau in South America where they become involved in tribal warfare and encounter terrifying dinosaurs previously believed to be extinct. In this version of the classic plot, these adventurers are the first to bring the monsters back! More…

mammoths in spring flowers

Animals Galore at Godstone Farm

Discover, explore and have fun at Godstone Farm. Set in the beautiful Surrey Hills and a short distance from the M25 the farm is a great fun filled day out for the whole family.

See a large variety of over 500 large and small animals including highland cows, reptiles, llamas, giant rabbits and lots more. There is plenty to do with tractor rides, animal handling, pig racing, sandpits, Dino Trail, feeding sessions, den building, ride on runway and lots more. Leave time to make use of the soft play barn and giant adventure playground. Whether it’s climbing, swinging and balancing, sandpits full of buckets and spades or letting off steam in the soft play area, there’s something for everyone.

This summer there is Animal Antics including ferret agility, runner duck racing, pony grooming, animal encounters and much more. There’s 10% discount for online bookings 5 days or more in advance.

Also there are awesome seasonal events including Summer Activities, Willa the Witch and Spooktacular Halloween, Low Bangs Fireworks Display and Meet Father Christmas!

boy and girl holding rabbit and guinea pig

Beaver Water World

Beaver Water World is a small Animal Rescue Charity & Zoo just outside Biggin Hill, Kent. They are one of the largest exotic rescue charities in the UK.

Offering a great value day out for families, school groups and anyone who loves animals. With hundreds of different & interesting creatures such as Lemurs, Meerkats, Snakes, Lizards, Parrots and many more feathered, furry or scally friends, there’s lots to see.

The primary aim is to educate all generations about exotic species and how vital it is to conserve the species opposed to keeping them as pets. Beaver Water World also aim to take part in conservation and breeding projects for the endangered Red Squirrels & European Beavers.

Beaver Water World offers a variety of “Experience Days” & “Activities”, such as Birthday Reptile Parties, Keeper For The Day, Meerkat Feeding Experiences, as well as venturing out for educational talks with the reptiles.

Open 7 days a week, 10am to 5pm, alternatively you can contact them on 01959-577747 or via the Website “Contact Us” form for more details. More…


Have we missed your favourite place to go and see animals? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.