This year, Birdworld celebrates its 50th anniversary and they have some sp’egg’tacular (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) Easter activities for you all to enjoy. This weekend, the Mumbler family was invited along to see what’s on offer this Easter holidays.
I sometimes forget just how much young children enjoy seeing birds. From the moment we arrived the Mini Mumblers were completely entranced – they were pointing out all of the colourful birds, encouraging ducks to get into the water, and copying the noises all the parrots made (I maybe didn’t enjoy that last one as much!). Birdworld is home to many species of bird, spread out over some fantastic exhibits. Our favourites had to be the Humboldt Penguins (you can watch them get fed during daily shows, see here for daily events timetable), the parrots in their spectacularly large ‘free flight’ enclosure, and the owls.
In typical bank holiday fashion, the day we chose to visit was very wet – wellies and waterproofs were definitely required – but I think it says a lot about a place when you can enjoy it even when the weather is horrible, and there was still lots to keep us busy, as well as a multitude of puddles for the boys to jump in along the way. In fact, Birdworld is really three parks in one, with the Bird Park, a farm, and an aquarium to visit. With so much to do, here’s a list of our top things to do for families with children under 5.
Jenny Wren Farm
A popular attraction for younger visitors, this farm is filled with traditional farm animals (sheep, chickens, goats), some less traditional reindeer, as well as smaller animals that can be handled (or just stroked if your child prefers) during the daily ‘Animal Encounter’ sessions (although be aware these are held outside, so are weather permitting). Perfectly timed for Easter, the farm also has 9 new baby lambs, as well as young chicks and bunnies. The farm does get quite muddy in wet weather, so plan accordingly and make sure you’ve got your wellies!
We spotted three playgrounds around Birdworld, a small one in the Jenny Wren Farm, perfect for the little ones, a slightly larger one nearby (just outside the Discovery Theatre), and a large climbing frame (more suited to older children, although our adventurous 4 year old was happy to have a go) on the Safari Lawn. These are all well positioned with picnic tables nearby so you can keep an eye on your children whilst you sit down and have a drink or eat your lunch.
During the school holidays, Birdworld are running additional entertainment on weekdays with either twice daily shows from Chubby the Clown or Easter arts and crafts (see website for the Easter timetable). The entertainment all took place undercover so wasn’t affected by the weather. Also available was face painting for £1.50 per child. This was the first time either of our boys had agreed to sit still for long enough to have their faces painted, and they were very pleased with the results. There is also an Easter Eggstravaganza egg spotting trail around the park throughout the holidays, with 50 eggs to spot, and prizes up for grabs. Unfortunately we had to abandon our efforts as the paper got a bit sodden, but if you hand back your completed trail sheet, you get placed into a draw for the chance to win prizes including Penguin Feeding vouchers and cuddly toys.
Cars and Trikes for hire
I’m sure most parents of young children will agree that the problem with going for a day out is that children either get tired, or just bored of walking, leading to lots of pleading to be picked up. Birdworld have the solution with some Cozy Coupe cars available for hire, so your little ones can drive themselves around the park for the day (and don’t worry, there’s a parent handle on the back so you can stop them from crashing into people (or birds) as they travel around). Cars are available for hire for just £5 (plus a refundable £10 deposit).
Just outside the entrance to Birdworld (but also included in your admission cost) is the Underwater World aquarium, with over 30 exhibits including colourful marine reefs (there were lots of cries of “Look it’s Nemo” at this one), turtles and miniature crocodiles, as well as fish of all sizes. What’s great is there are stools provided at the entrance that you can take round with you so that your children can see into all the tanks – definitely an added bonus. Be aware though, the walkway is a little narrow in places, so anyone with a double buggy would need to leave it behind and pick it up at the exit.
And that’s not even all of it. There are a couple of things I’d love to try next time we visit, including the Safari Road Train, which takes you around the park to see some of the larger birds, the Discovery Theatre Show, where you can see a range of birds displaying their natural behaviour, and the Outdoor Flying Display.
For more information about all there is to see at Birdworld Surrey, visit their website at birdworld.co.uk. Or you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Birdworld provided Crawley Mumbler with a complimentary family ticket in exchange for this review. All of the views expressed here are my own and reflect the personal experience of myself and my family on the day of our visit.