If you asked my kids what they wanted to do on a day out it would be unanimous
Go see the animals !
Howletts is less than a 5 minute drive from our house and I couldn’t believe it when I worked out it had been nearly two years since we had been so when I informed the kids we were heading there last weekend they were beyond excited.
Many Animal Parks are now showcasing Dinosaur Exhibitions including Howletts sister site Port Lympne but Howletts this Easter launched a one of a kind exhibition…
Animals of the Ice Age
We decided to make the Animals of the Ice Age our first part to visit, checking out Addison’s favourite animal at Howletts on the way past, The Red River Hogs.
The Animals of the Ice Age are set in one of my favourite parts of Howletts, The Woodland Walk.
What a perfect place to put them. They nestle somewhat naturally in between the trees and enclosures close to the paths so that the kids could see these life-sized prehistoric creatures up close and personal. On arrival children are given an activity pack to complete learning even more about these animals via simple and fun questions. My kids love an activity pack but put them to one side as they were just too excited and enthralled seeing each new animal with every step.
As a Mum I loved that everything can be seen no matter how tiny you are, maybe due to the sheer size of them, who knew animals were so large then. The signs with each animal are excellent. My kids love a fact so it was great that the signs told you the name of the animals but also how to pronounce them, they made sure that they were engaging and included great stats some likened to the size of modern day transport or equivalent looking animals, allowing the kids to really understand.
With every new step Deacon would shout “Oh My” as he was met with another new animal to learn, we were all particularly taken with the MEGATHERIUM which basically is a Giant Sloth, Addison wanted to take him home for cuddles, but with it weighing in over 5 tonnes and 19ft tall I don’ think he would fit in our house.
Following on from the Animals of the Ice Age walk you still have over 400 modern day Animals to enjoy at Howletts as well as a great kids play area.
Ever since I was little what I have loved about Howletts is how well they care for their animals, because as a Conservation Charity their main goal is to help stop endangerment and release animals back into the wild with the help of the Aspinall Foundation.
We have always taught our kids to understand the importance of that and to respect animals. Howletts really teaches children all about it with the signs around the park and with the variety of animals they have, including the largest herd of African Elephants in the UK, who as always were on top form showing us how they drink, eat branches and even cover themselves with hay using their trunks.
I am not sure any of the kids could pick their favourite animal as Howletts allows you to experience so many, all with their own individual characters that make you fall in love. By the end of the day Addison had 3 firm favourites on top of her Red River Hogs, the Gorillas have won her over as we got to watch a similar relationship to that of our own between the Baby Gorilla and his Mummy and with the Javan Languars showing her how to eat Eggplant they soon were added to her list.
Both the kids have declared they want Howletts passes for their Birthdays so we can go everyday (well it is round the corner I guess).
Howletts really now has it all for the perfect family day out. With everyone’s favourite animals, play park, picnic areas a plenty (even in the middle of the Bison enclosure), yummy Doughnuts and now an engaging exhibition which shall remain as a permanent feature at Howletts.
*We received free entry and a lunch voucher but all views are honest.