Sunday, 31 May 2015
Dudley Zoo & Castle: Review
For Bank Holiday Monday, Daddy Luke and I took Jake to Dudley Zoo and Castle for the day. Here's how we got on...
The Zoo is only a 35-40 minute drive from where we live, sometimes a little less if traffic is good. We had a good run across and arrived nice and early at 9:30am. The attendants were very helpful in getting us parked - and because we hadn't enough change, we were allowed to pay at admissions with our entrance fee and they would take a note of our registration number. I found this to be incredibly helpful, as like many of us I don't often carry much cash or change with me, and when you have small children in tow, this can become stressful.
The Zoo and Castle
We spent a good 5 hours at the Zoo and Castle; it was well worth it. Jake enjoyed the day - he was very vocal and shouted at lots of the animals, some of whom -the giraffes and orang-utans - responded by moving closer towards him, which was cool :)
We began with the flamingos and worked our way around and up to the castle. Jake's favourites were the Giraffes, the lemur walk through (no prams allowed here) and he also really loved the reindeer. He also really enjoyed stopping at parts of the castle and loved to tilt his head back and look up and the high bits.
There were plenty of places to get refreshments around the Zoo and Castle. We took some food ourselves for Jake and some fruit for us but we did have a cup of tea each and the three of us shared a cheese and onion pasty which was delicious.
It's worth noting that if you have toddlers (perhaps 18 months onwards) there are also other experiences that they could enjoy, such as the discovery zone. There are also some small fairground rides, which include a mini pirate ship and some bumper cars. There is also a nice sand-based play area near the farm animals and the camels.
From a parents perspective
In Daddy Luke's opinion, "It was fun and the atmosphere was lively. All of the staff we came into contact with were friendly and helpful. There were chances to rest and stop to gather yourself, and the animals all intrigued Jake".
I liked that there were changing facilities with ramped access so that you could easily get in with pushchairs or wheelchairs. The same was true of the Zoo - it was easy to get around as steps were always coupled with slopes. Although the Zoo is quite hilly - it didn't bother us, and our Mamas and Papas Armadillo Flip XT came into it's own, as it is so manageable and easy to manoeuvre, plus the extra large hood was great when Jake needed to snooze. He was also very comfortable on the padded seat, so he wasn't agitated or restless and we only got him out and carried him when we needed to or wanted him to see something better.
Plus, much of the Zoo is educational too, so you get to find out more about the animals, and the history of the Zoo itself.
It wasn't badly priced and we had a lovely day. We'd really like to go back again in the summer, when I turn 30!
It was a great day :)