We were greeted by cheerful characters, Christmas trees and fake snow. Festive music played keeping everyone in a Christmassy mood. Santa has his own grotto with a workshop full of toys and helpful elves. It's magical! You can meet a cuddly meerkat and ride on Santa's sleigh adding to the magic of the season.
The fun fair is closed for the winter giving the walk-around area a calmer ambience. There is lots to see on foot. The African Village has free roaming lemurs, families of meerkat and friendly goats. We loved the village's attention to detail.
The meerkats live in enclosures with glass sides so you can see them clearly. They were cuddling together to keep warm which delighted the children! Everyone watched mesmerized as they stood up and looked around. Kizzy swears one was dancing to the Christmas music.
The Goat Walk is a lovely hilltop area with free roaming goats who just love being petted. Ella and Kizzy channeled their inner 'Heidi the Goat Herd' and spent ages stroking, cuddling and talking to the characterful creatures who loved every moment of the attention.
In Hippo Lake the huge beasts were dozing at the water's edge. Discovery Cove has lots to explore. The Reptile House gave us the chance to try our best Parcel Tongue to the snakes on display. Twilight Cave was fabulous. The bats were very active and we watched as one climbed up a branch using the claws at the tip of its wings like little hands. Small bats buzzed around our heads illiciting squeals from the kids. The penguins in Penguin Cove looked chilly huddled up together...but I'm sure the Antarctic is much colder! There is a Sea Lion Theatre show but unfortunately we missed it.
The Lost City Plaza has a selection of shops and a fast food outlet. We enjoyed mince pies and mulled wine. The souvenir shop is perfect for a spot of shopping. The huge array of cuddly toys proved very tempting!
We really enjoyed the walk around the exhibits and loved being entertained and educated.
We returned to our car for the Wild Winter Safari. The four mile drive-through is home to more than 600 animals including the UK's only pride of rare white lions. There are opportunities to get up close to the free roaming animals on the lookout for someone to feed them! Animal food costs £3 a box and is well worth buying. Feeding the deer is a really incredible experience for little ones. Freddy gave us some safety advice before we set off.
It was quite late in the afternoon when we started our journey so it was very quiet so we went at our own pace stopping to watch the animals and feed the deer at our leisure.
Freddy was a bit worried initially about animals "eating our face" or "getting in our car" but soon got over his concerns and excitedly watched as deer surrounded our car hoping for a little snack.
It was magical for the children to feed them, laughing as they nibbled the pellets from their hands. Freddy's technique was to drop the food but he still watched excitedly as the animals gobbled it up.
As well as goats, cattle, deer, camels, llama, emu, zebra, rhino and giraffes, the drive through has sections with big cats and wild dogs behind fences. You get very close to them from the safety of your car. The pride of white lions were spectacular. Some were play fighting over a twig, just like playful kitties...only bigger! The white tigers and cheetahs were prowling the fences. We got a great view of some beautiful exotic creatures.
As the sun set on a beautiful day, we felt really close to the animals who were watching us as intently as we were watching them.
West Midlands Safari Park really is a perfect day out. The animals were very active and happy to approach the car which is the magic of safari drive-throughs. The experiences that the children had were wonderful and unforgettable. So whatever the weather, whether it is a sunny, summer's day or a chilly winter day, West Midlands Safari Park is a great venue for a family day out.
We visited West Midlands Safari Park as part of the Moneysupermarket competition to find Britain's best family days out. Take a look at their site to find great deals on family days out!