This summer, we have been lucky enough to review some brilliant days out, not least this week when we headed to Drusillas Park in Alfriston, East Sussex. With four very excited children, we arrived on a warm sunny morning and got stuck in immediately.
Ironically, the animals held little interest for the boys, and they rushed through the zoo as quickly as their little legs, and big sisters, would allow them. Our first stop was the farm area, where the children loved learning how to milk a cow, and posed inside an egg…
Next up, the children enjoyed taking part in the ever-popular Zoolympics; hanging, climbing, running, jumping and even shouting!
The Zoolympics challenges are one of my highlights, as a parent. Little interactive touches like this and the spotter book really set it apart as a zoo with a difference. It is evident how much the children enjoy these activities, and they definitely help to keep them interested and involved in their surroundings.
Back on the zoo trail, I took Miss J, the boy and his best buddy L in to feed the Lorikeets; an activity that was their highlight up to this point. We bought some nectar, at £1 a pot, and the birds flocked to see us, one even landing on the boy’s shoulder, much to his surprise!
Despite the look on his face above, he did very much enjoy the lorikeet experience; indeed, all three children did. It is not every day that you get to see such beautiful birds up close!
Following on from the zoo trail, we had lunch and then took a ride on Thomas, which was something the boys had been desperate to do all day. We then did something we have not done before at Drusillas – we took a dip in the pool. I strongly suspect that Miss J and the boy could have stayed here all day, splashing and paddling.
It was a great way for the children to cool off and I highly recommend taking advantage of this feature; just don’t forget to pack the swimming stuff!
After our play in the water, it was time for the girls to get all giddy as we paid our first ever visit to Hello Kitty’s Secret Garden.
Within the garden are three funfair rides, surrounded by all things pink, girly and beautiful. However, the boys managed to enjoy themselves too. At three and five, the children were all able to ride the hopper and the tea cups unaccompanied. The girls were also able to ride in the car together, without an adult, though we did have to go on with the boys. I think the cars were a firm favourite with all children!
Despite being a sunny day during the summer holidays, queues for the rides were short, which was a pleasant surprise. Following our trip to Hello Kitty’s Secret Garden, we briefly visited the hut opposite for a tattoo! Also on offer were face painting and hair braiding. The children each chose a tattoo design and, following a short wait, were inked up, for the rather reasonable price of £3.50. Two days on and the tattoos are still going strong, glitter and all, despite numerous soakings in the bath.
To end our day at Drusillas, we spent an hour in the adventure playground, which is utterly brilliant, and easily navigated by adults and children alike – perfect if your little one is an unsteady climber. The children bounced and swung, climbed and spun, rocked and hung… and still they begged for more! They would have happily stayed longer, and there were still things that we did not have time to do in one day.
Here are our top three tips for a trip to Drusillas:
Take a picnic
There are plenty of places to picnic within the grounds of the park and it is much cheaper than feeding a family at one of the eateries on site.
Tickets are cheaper and queuing time is reduced; this is particularly important to remember during the holidays.
Bring a small packet of stickers
The spotter books are very popular and a great idea, however we spent quite a long time waiting for the children to stamp all of their little boxes; a small sticker would work just as well.
Most of all, have fun and stay all day – you won’t regret it!
We were provided with complimentary family entry to Drusillas for the purposes of this review.