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Zoos and Wildlife Parks To Visit In Cornwall

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Are you after a little something different this weekend, an afternoon perfect for a family adventure among tropical trees, giant slides and furry friends?

There are plenty of zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums dotted across Cornwall.

Explore and admire the animals going about their daily life, just hanging out and fish that just keep swimming…

Newquay Zoo

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Newquay Zoo is the perfect location to discover over a thousand of the world’s rarest and endangered animals. Expect to learn all about the biodiversity within the zoo and get up and close to the most beautiful and intriguing animals from all over the world.

You will have the chance to go behind the scenes and get a real flavour of how the zoo is run and gain an insight into how the animals are cared for. Take a stroll over towards the lions, you may even catch sight of them being fed!

The kids will be having tons of fun, with something new to discover around every corner. Whether it’s another interesting animal to meet or they’re busy being little monkeys in the adventure playground – there’s always something to keep them busy.

There are plenty of hands on experience to have at Newquay Zoo, with educational activities and clubs certain to spark inspiration and certain to boost the children's knowledge on biodiversity. Stay up to date on the website as there is always events throughout the year to look forward to.

Grab a bite to eat at Café Lemur, there’s loads of goodies to get your hands on - from cakes to ‘animal’ lunchboxes! You will find benches throughout the zoo, and picnics are very welcomed! Take a break and tuck into sandwiches - you may even have some feathery friends come over to say hello!

Don’t forget to leave without a special souvenir, the gift shop is filled with Fairtrade and ethical gifts. Perfect for presents or a little something to remind you of your wonderful day. Newquay Zoo is just a short walk away from the buzzing town centre, for even more activities to keep the family entertained where the fun just doesn’t stop!

Cornish Seal Sanctuary

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The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is home to a whole array of wonderful wildlife – not just seals! You’ll find otters, penguins, goats and sheep all within this 40 acres of stunning Cornish countryside. At the sanctuary in Gweek, it’s the only operational seal rescue centre in Cornwall and it still remains a life line for stray and injured seals discovered all across the Cornish coast.

From grey seals, common seals to sea lions you’re bound to make some friends. Take a visit to the seal rescue hospital which is always busy helping poorly pups in need and care.

There’s so much to see! Create a splash within the fun-filled rock pools, go on search for amazing discoveries – you never know what you might find. Learn about what animals are hidden in our Cornish rock pools, a guide will accompany you with any questions to help you along to way.

Don’t forget to attend feeding time with the seals. What a fantastic experience and one you’ll no doubt want to see again. After this show, you will probably want to take one home with you - we wish, but why not consider adopting a seal before your day ends?

Cornish Seal Sanctuary provides experiences like no other in Cornwall. You could be a Keeper for the day, where you will learn tons about how the sanctuary works. Take a tour and become friends with seals, penguins and otters as you take part in feeding time.

There are plenty of events to get stuck into all year round so head on and see what you can find.

Blue Reef Aquarium

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Located in the busy town Newquay, Blue Reef Aquarium awaits you. You’ll find over 50 naturally themed habitats from Cornish waters to exotics seas. Come face to face with freshwater turtles, jellyfish and even a pufferfish! Walk through the magical underwater tunnel and catch sight of the giant loggerhead turtle, reef sharks, shoals of fish and so much more.

Blue Reef Aquarium is committed to conservation of the animals and also welcomes families, schools and groups to participate in guided tours. Learn all about the animals, fun facts and how they keep the aquatic animals happy!

Tuck into a wide selection of snacks, meals and drinks over at Blue Reef Café. Perfect for relaxing after a tiring day of browsing the aquarium. There’s also a gift shop filled with marine themed gifts to get your hands on.

Paradise Park

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Paradise Park located on the edge of Hayle is perfect for an afternoon. A superb day out to explore and discover over 140 species with a total of 650 birds.

Stroll around the park and meet penguins, otters, eagles and even red pandas! Attend the feeding events with the penguins and otters which happen daily within the park – you may even be asked to help.

Dive into The Jungle Barn and have tons of fun in the indoor play centre, ideal for those rainy days. Fly down giant slides, get silly in the soft play area. It’s the perfect location for a Birthday Party and parents can join in with the fun!

Explore other areas of the park, such as the Fun Farm filled with wonderful farm animals such as friendly sheep, miniature donkeys and rabbits to cuddle! Then hop on the Jungle Express Train which operates during the Summer months, travel in style and overlook the active park by catching sight of the otter enclosure and travel through the Parrott Jungle.

Visit Otter Pool Café and indulge in the many treats it has to offer with plenty of delicious drinks from milkshakes to Cornish Coffee, certain to tickle your taste buds!

Porfell Wildlife Park

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Take a walk on the wild side. Located near Liskeard, once a small farm is now Porfell Wildlfe Park packed with family fun. You have the chance to meet hundreds of exotic animals, and you could even be a Keeper for a day. Watch as owls soar over your head and admire the meerkats going about their day to day chores – keeping watch!

Head on over to the children’s farm to become hands on with getting close to the farm animals! Take a visit to the Massai Village and see how humans and animals coexist in the wilds of The Great Rift Valley. Reflecting upon how Massai people respect the land around them, a fantastic cultural experience. Pop inside each hut and admire the beautiful displays of Massai craft, clothing and history and keep your eye open for sights of zebra, eland and ostrich roaming the African enclosure.

Once your day comes to an end, visit the Peacock tearooms. There are plenty of picnic tables to enjoy some delicious snacks or a relax with a picnic. You may even get a show from one of the Peacocks!

Screech Owl Sanctuary

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An enchanting and wonderful place to visit this weekend is Screech Owl Sanctuary. They won Gold for Small Attractions at the Cornwall Tourism Awards in November and it’s no surprise as it’s a wonderful day out for the family in St Columb.

At Screech Owl Sanctuary, they provide care and rehabilitation for owls who are sick and injured. They take care of the owls and release them into the wild once they are fit to do so, if they are permanently disabled they will find a comfortable home within the sanctuary. It’s a fantastic location to increase awareness of owls in Cornwall and ensure they are protected.

Owls are rarely seen, therefore it’s fantastic to have the chance to get close to these beautiful birds at the Hand Tame area. Visitors are welcome to come meet and touch the owls.

That’s not all, Falconry and flying displays are there to be experienced, a breath taking way to spend your afternoon. Enjoy a guided tour around the sanctuary, or go on search for the many animals you can find within the park - including raccoons, alpacas, kookaburra, meerkats and more!

If the kids are still after more fun, there’s a children’s play area to keep them active. And of course, Tiggy’s Tearoom to grab some delicious homemade goodies.

Fowey Aquarium and Sanctuary

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Fancy discovering the Cornish Coast, indoors in the warmth? Take a visit to Fowey Aquarium and Sanctuary to explore the various marine life found around the Cornish Coast. Despite being small, it’s packed full of wonderful and mysterious marine life to make your day busy.

Most of the fish are obtained by the local fishermen, providing a wonderful rich experience of real sea life and then get returned to the sea after a while therefore creating a whole new range of marine life to see on a regular basis.

Find fish, a conger eel, crabs and lobsters all within arm’s reach. Head on over to the Touch Pools and you may even be able to give a crab a little stroke – that’s if you dare!

Find local, unusual creatures and take plenty of photos of your favourites. If the kids don’t want to go home head towards the aquarium shop. You’ll find a great amount of fishing gear such as crab nets for the kids, who are keen to get involved in the marine way of life!

Where will you go wild?

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