After almost a week of being couch bound with a poorly Evie (minus our mini adventure to St. Michaels Mount) we finally have our energetic toddler back.
Desperate to be reunited with the fresh air and the world, we headed outdoors and took Evie to the oh so far away (Ok, I lie. It’s literally around the corner from our house) Paradise Park.
We come to Paradise Park a lot, but this trip was a little bit more magical than usual. Evie got to meet a real life penguin!
More of that later. First up, how adorable are these red pandas?
I’ve been coming to Paradise Park since I was a child and in all that time I’ve only seen the red pandas once. Normally they’re inside their little house sleeping.
But, they’ve just had cubs (you can see the cubs on the night cam sleeping in their beds, so cute!) so they’re being protective parents and keeping guard of them outside.
If it didn’t say on the fact sheet attached to the enclosure, that red pandas can’t jump, I would swear down to you that the red panda on the left looked ready to pounce on us the whole time we were there.
Evie was absolutely convinced they were cats. There was lots of ‘hi cat cat, awww cat cat!’ much to the amusement of everyone who was around us.
The great part about coming so regularly is that Evie seems to have suddenly remembered her way around. Today, we let her take the reigns and walk us to where she wanted to go.
She took Jamie and I down to the farm animals (I say she took us, she ran off and we had no choice but to follow) and tried to feed the goats herself (minus the food). Luckily this mama was prepared with some non-pretend goat feed in my bag.
As you can tell from my hunch she’s also gotten a lot heavier. Oh I miss the days when she was light!
Evie and Jamie then fought over who was going to go in the tractor and both kept taking it in turns. Although Evie was so cross every time Jamie climbed in.
Does your toddler have a death stare? Ours seems to have perfected hers.
We did originally try and time our visit with the ‘Flight Of The Rainbows’. This is where you can go into the Australian Aviary enclosure and they let the beautiful Lorikeets out of the cages to fly around and feed.
You purchase some nectar in little pots, so that the birds will land on you to feed. We were so gutted that we had only just missed it when we arrived. I think Evie is the right age now to not be frightened by the birds flying about, but we’ve got a great excuse to come back again.
Instead of feeding the birds, we waited around so that Jamie could watch the penguins being fed. Normally a few lucky people can go in and help to feed them, but they were cleaning the enclosure today so it wasn’t safe.
After the penguin feeding we were so lucky to get to meet a penguin up close! Every time we come we either miss this part, the queue is too long or it’s breeding season.
It really was a special moment. Only a few of the penguins have been hand-reared and are friendly enough to meet.
We were led into a small enclosure, separate from the other penguins, to meet this one. There was also a little baby penguin running around our feet. He hasn’t yet been introduced into the group of penguins and he was also a bit unsure of us. But he was so, so cute!
With the adult penguin, we were told to stroke the lower back but Evie insisted on stroking the entire length of the penguin like you would a cat, so Jamie had to hold her arm to stop her from aggravating it. The penguin loved being petted, although I think Jamie might have enjoyed it most!
This was definitely a great end to a pretty crappy week.
After the penguins we had a quick skirt around to look search for some owls, rabbits and squirrels. We’ve been teaching Evie about seasons lately and lots about Autumn. In all of her autumn books these animals feature.
We weren’t sure if she’d notice the similarities but as soon as we walked past some owls she went ‘ooohhhhhhh wow hi owl!’ I could have cried over the cuteness! I love this age. We were so engrossed in the birds, which is what paradise park is all about, that apart from this blurry one, I completely forgot to take pictures.
We ended our visit in the ‘Jungle Barn’, a huge indoor soft play area. Mostly to let Jamie play with Evie for a change. I am such a helicopter mum. I actually hover around her panicking that she’s going to hurt herself, even in soft play areas!!! Please, please tell me I’m not the only one who does this?!
P.s. – I feel that I should add that Paradise Park does have a lot more than we’ve described, like train rides, a huge indoor soft play centre, lots of farm animals, bird flying shows, outside parks, otters and much more. It’s also full to the brim with an enviable variety of exotic birds. Although this isn’t an advert or a sponsored post, I really do love it here and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in Cornwall!
Have you ever met a penguin? What’s the most exotic animal you’ve ever had a close encounter with?