There are tons of ways to spend time together as a family without breaking the bank. Family days out don’t have to be as expensive as you think!
Last week we went to Woburn Safari Park. We had a lovely family day out. We saw lots of animals up close, and best of all it was totally FREE! I used our Tesco Clubcard vouchers to buy our tickets so it didn’t cost us a penny.
Tesco Clubcard Boost is amazing for days out. You can get up to 4 times the value of your points to spend at various attractions. Just log in to your account, pick the deal you’d like and swap your points for vouchers. Some are emailed and some are posted out so check the offer details.
An adult ticket to Woburn will cost you £7.50 in Clubcard points, a child ticket £5 and under 3s are free. If we had paid at the gate it would have cost us £62 for a family of 4! So we made a massive saving by using our Tesco points.
I also took a picnic with us (paid for with my Nectar points) so we didn’t need to spend any money when we got there. Taking a packed lunch is another great way to save money on family days out!
The queue to get in was pretty big which seemed like a bad sign of things to come. Once we were inside, it actually wasn’t a problem. We went on Good Friday, so it was more busy than usual. Apart from a fairly slow trip around the drive through and a long queue for the pedalos, it didn’t affect our day at all.
You start at the drive through safari – although you can bypass this if you want to. I took us about an hour to drive round it all as there were quite a lot of cars on the road.
I’ve never been to a safari park before so it was great to see all the animals close up. They are roaming around freely within certain sections, so you have to keep your windows and doors shut and there are signs explaining that animals could damage your car. Our car is pretty much on the way out so it wasn’t an issue for us. There were a lot of support vehicles around and I saw them herding the rhinos away from the road when they got too close. You also have the opportunity to bypass the safari completely, or skip certain parts like the monkey ensclosure. So if you are worried about your car, you don’t need to enter those sections.
You start at the rhinos then head into the carnivores section, finishing with the monkeys. There’s lots to see on the way round. Although there were a lot of cars on the road, we still saw all the animals including 3 black bear cubs having a snooze in a tree!
Once you’ve finished the drive through, you park up and get out to enjoy the rest of the park.
There’s lots to do including animal enclosures, outdoor playground, reptile house, sealion show (extra £2 pp), animal talks and a big soft play area. There’s also Go Ape, which you can pay extra for, but there’s a minimum age of 10.
When you arrive at the park, you’re given a timetable of all the events and keeper talks happening throughout the day. It happened to be elephant conservation weekend while we were there, so we headed to the elephant talk to see what it was all about. I’m so glad we did because I learnt a lot about how the elephants and looked after (including that they’re taken on daily walks and to their own private lake for a swim) and we got the opportunity to stroke one at the end. I think these are a great opportunity for older kids to learn about animal welfare and conservation.
If you want to buy food and drink there, there are several restaurants, aswell as ice cream and drinks stands. Some of it is quite expensive – £5.49 for a child’s lunch box – but that’s pretty standard these days at attractions like this.
The boys had a little play on the outdoor park and we headed into the squirrel monkey enclosure. For me the best part of the park are these walk through enclosures. The animals are roaming around freely while you walk through so you can get really close to them. Ollie LOVED the wallabies. He thought they were so funny and kept jumping up and down shouting ‘Boing’! He also loved the lemurs and the birds.
By the afternoon Ollie was getting pretty tired and a bit grumpy. We didn’t take his buggy as he likes to walk most of the time. I’d also read online that there are certain areas where buggies aren’t allowed. This includes the walk in enclosures.
I’d just started thinking this was a mistake when I remembered you can go round the drive through safari as many times as you like. So we hopped back in the car and he was asleep within 5 minutes. It was actually a lot better for us the second time around. The road was a lot quieter which meant the animals had all moved closer and we could see them up close. It was amazing driving right past 3 white rhino – we could practically touch them! We also saw more bears which were hiding the first time around. When we got to the monkey enclosure, one jumped on our bonnet which absolutely made my stepson’s day.
As far as family days out go, this was one of the best we’ve had. Overall we had a really good day and I would definitely go back, and recommend it to other families. There’s something for all ages. The boys were 8 and 17 months when we went and they both had a great time – and so did me and my partner! I’m glad we used our vouchers though, as I think it would have been a bit pricey for the whole family if we had paid full price.
- Stroking an elephant at the keeper talk
- Getting up close to the wallabies, lemurs, monkeys and birds
- Swan pedalos
- A lemur jumping right past our faces in the walk through enclosure
- Watching the penguins and sealions swim underwater
Things to note:
- Buggies aren’t allowed in walk in enclosures. If you don’t want to leave it outside, you might want to consider leaving it at home or in the car.
- You can go round the drive through as many times as you want so if it’s busy or bad weather, you can always try again later in the day
- If you use Tesco Clubcard vouchers you MUST print them and take them with you!
- Food is quite expensive but you can take your own, and there are picnic areas available.
- Soft top convertibles can’t do the whole safari – you won’t be allowed in the carnivores section.