So you’d think the fact that we live on a farm would mean we have enough animals to keep us amused, wouldn’t you?
Well that is true but when it comes to the more exotic kind of beast, I’m pretty sure the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) don’t allow even the likes of me to have baboons running around semi-rural Cheshire and, between you and me, I’m not sure I would be that enthusiastic about ear-tagging a lion.
So for Boo’s third birthday last weekend, we left the farm. I repeat, we left the farm and went on a birthday adventure to Knowsley Safari Park.
The downside of having a birthday in January, apart from the fact it is so close to Christmas, is that the weather dictates the type of activity you can do.
Thankfully it was a dry day but, being in the car a lot of the time, I don’t think it would matter what the weather was like.
We arrived at the gate and paid £10 each to go in which I think compared to other activities and days out, is quite reasonable, Under 3s are free and there are options for family tickets if you have more than one child and another option to have the price of the ticket refunded if you pay for an annual visitor pass where you can visit for a whole year, get special discounts in the shop and restaurant as well as be the first to hear of offers and events.
So we got through the gate, got Boo out of her car seat and brought her in the front passenger seat with me while daddy drove.
Then the fun began.
We saw different kinds of deer and some rhea which daddy liked and then made our way round to the lions.
They were so close.
One was rolling around on its back and looked just like a cat but like my straight-talking husband remarked, “I’m glad we’re in the car.”
There were roars aplenty from Booble who really enjoyed the lions.
Following that there were another three zones filled with antelope and cattle (which hubbie enjoyed). You can take the farmer out of the farm…
Then came my favourite bit. The baboons.
Now, for the purposes of Boo, we called them monkeys but they were amazing. They came bounding up to the car, jumped on the windows, hung off the wing mirrors and generally enjoyed high jinx on our car.
If you have a new or relatively well maintained car, there is a safe route where you can just watch the monkey mayhem from the safety of a fence.
When we emerged from the baboon area, our windscreen wipers were standing in end and, as we pulled up to get out at the elephant viewing platform, a fellow safari guest shouted “oh no, they’ve pulled your door handle off.” I embarrassingly informed him that my husband had pulled it off (and was a but of a baboon himself).
The elephants were majestic and beautiful as ever.
We then moved on to the area where you can get out of your car.
There is a restaurant, gift shop-the usual but as well as that, there are loads of fair rides (which open in February) and a Sealion show.
To Boo’s delight, there was a Peppa Pig ride at the doors of the cafe and we had a quick look round while she shouted “George” and “Oink Oink” from her little car.
We were pleasantly surprised when we bought our lunch. On a trip to an animal park last year, it cost almost £30 for the three of us to eat. At Knowsley, it was just under £15 for chicken nuggets, chips and a drink, a burger and chips and a veggie burger and chips with two coffees. I think that is cheap in comparison.
The other positive thing about the café was that there were big fish tanks dotted all around with tropical fish in them. Any parent knows little ones can get bored when they are waiting for the lunch so this was a lovely touch to see the fish swimming round while you ate.
We visited the safari park out of season yet it was still a brilliant day out so I can’t imagine how much better it could be in the height of summer.
We are already planning our next visit, I can’t recommend it enough.
For more information visit: http://www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk/
This was not a sponsored post.