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Flamingo Land Review - South Yorkshire's Days Out Diaries Reviewer

Written by our South Yorkshire Days Out Diaries reviewer - Nicole Biney

Everyone knows travelling with kids is a nightmare but to be fair, the 90 minute journey only consisted of 2 spats and 1 hair pulling incident which I consider a result, but still, it was a relief to pull up to the big Flamingo Land sign into a FREE car park!

The queue for tickets was minimal, we stepped straight into a courtyard area and headed to some decent toilets and I grabbed the obligatory coffee to start the day before heading into the main park. It’s quite easy to follow the mapped path to all the rides. It’s well signposted to all the areas and is basically a very big circle with some filling in the middle.

Now my kids don’t fit a happy mould of us being able to queue for anything and all sit happily into a carriage, 2 in front, 2 behind. I’ve got an 11 year old who is basically invincible, she sees a ride and raises it by 10. She’ll ride all alone as a single rider.  Nothing phases her. She wants the biggest scariest beast she hits the height chart on. My 4 year old is similar, only vertically challenged, her spirit is large, her legs aren’t, so standing at height charts can often evoke many emotions that she generally expresses outwardly for all other parents to see by crying and kicking one of her siblings. Then there’s the boy, 7. He’s terrified of those stannah stair lifts they stick in care homes in case they go too fast... he has to watch every ride go around twice before he decides whether he can handle the trauma and will question me on every twist and turn as we queue.

The eldest, Isla kicked off proceedings with a ride on Navigator, basically a giant saucer that rotates as it glides forward and backwards like a pirate ship over its tracks. A nice warm up to the bigger rides to come.

In the interests of fairness that left the younger 2 to go on a ride of choice, so we headed to the F1 track to ‘race’ one another on the slowest F1 track known to man... I have to remember the age this ride is aimed at ! It’s not meant to be silverstone ! The kids had to sort of steer the car along the tracks at a very controlled speed and they enjoyed it which is all that mattered, and we all got to go on the track together at once.

It wasn’t the warmest of days so we ignored the outdoor water play area, but I can imagine on a hot day, this area would be heaving with squealing soaked children enjoying the space and freedom to cool down.

The Flamingo Land Zoo

The zoo area seemed to flow next, so we decided to check out the wilder animals in the selection arriving first at the hippos! Now I actually didn’t know the UK even housed any hippos! If I’m honest, they were doing what hippos do best and were submerged into the murky waters looking like large stepping stones, but still, hippos! Always one to love a giraffe, we saw 3 of the beauties eating in their shelter and pretty close up too, before heading over to the tiger enclosure. Now this was the favourite part. The tiger was busy eating a large chunk of raw meat. Being nocturnal it’s unusual to see a tiger in a zoo by day that’s not hidden by foliage, so this was a lovely sight. At one bit, she turned to stare at us and I got a fab picture. I think my 4 year old was slightly scared by this level of attention from the tiger because she insisted on leaving straight after the tiger made eye contact, so we headed towards the monkeys which were hiding and found ourselves at The Peter Rabbit section.

There’s a lovely cafe in this area with an abundant play area right outside, so we decided to stop for food and the I let the kids have a play while I had another life saving coffee and waited for our order. The food was really nice and the staff brought everything to the table so all in all this was a nice relaxing experience. An adult meal, 3 kids meals and 4 drinks came to around £32, so reasonably priced to boot. The kids popped back inside to eat, left to play, and repeat x4 while I sat enjoying my cuppa and being warm.

They came bounding in telling me Peter Rabbit himself had made an actual appearance so I had to rush out to take a photo of them with Peter which I duly did. To be fair, this was an amazing replica of Peter. Authentic and believable- see for yourself! The play area was lovely, and peacocks roomed freely around the play section which was nice to see. The rides in this side of the park are quite ‘young’ even for my 4 year old, so we skipped onto the dinosaur area via another outdoor play area and I gazed longingly at some of the other parents having a pint in the onsite pub/eatery.

We had a couple of rides in dinoland which suited all the ages of mine and it was actually nice for us all to be entertained together, Although, I suspect the oldest was just humouring me because she begged to go onto the giant sky swing straight after. By this time it was getting pretty late in the day, and I was ready to tackle the 2 hour drive home now I was highly caffeinated, aware that rush hour was soon upon us for at least part of that journey, in low season, the park closes at 5pm. Flamingo land wasn’t ram packed and the queues weren’t massive, possibly due to the time of year. But there’s enough rides for a variety of ages throughout the park to give everyone a good day out. There’s still development in the park with a new ‘big’ ride under construction and a little caravan park on site.

Final Thoughts?

There’s plenty of places to eat and drink throughout, and for summer, lots of little shacks selling ice cream, slushes and snacks in amidst the park. You’re never too far from a toilet which is always a plus when you have young children and are a mum that drinks lots of coffee,  and the gift shops aren’t thrust upon you, they’re there, but they’re ‘optional’. The staff were polite and the park was clean throughout, the zoo is a little bit dated and could do with a freshen up in look, but still, they have actual hippos ! All in all, a lovely day out and a tick on the ‘cool parent’ chart for me!

As for the journey back home....
3 fast asleep children-  0 arguments. 0 hair pulling incidents.... Result 


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