Last October, I took Lizzie on a day out to the Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife and Falconry Centre near Sheffield, whilst Christine was at work. And based on my report back, all three of us ended up going back there the following weekend. Which probably goes some way to explaining why it consistently ranks in the top 5 things to do in or near Sheffield on TripAdvisor.
It’s a bit of long-winded name for what is essentially a small animal zoo. There is, of course, a tropical butterfly house, which is also home to some tamarin monkeys, some fruit bats and plenty of small birds. And there are birds of prey there as well, including frequent demonstrations. But you’ll also find meerkats (which seem to be a staple of any zoo in the UK), giant porcupines, wallabies, agoutis, otters, and even some red squirrels.
It’s very much aimed at kids and families. Walk past an information board about skunks, and you’ll get sprayed with water. As well as the real animals, there’s also a woodland walk with fibreglass dinosaurs, which roar when a big red button is pressed. As it was October when we visited, there were lots of Hallowe’en decorations and a haunted house.
But you also get an opportunity to feed some of the animals. At the entrance, you can buy bags of food, with instructions about what can be fed to which animals. Bear in mind that these are limited (to prevent the animals from being overfed) and are usually only available in the mornings. Lizzie really enjoyed feeding the goats and ducks on her visit.
With it being quite kid-focussed, only children aged under 2 are free. Kids aged 2-15 only pay £1 less than adults, which is why we haven’t been back this year. Lizzie can still get in free at places like the Yorkshire Wildlife Park until she turns 3, so we’ll take advantage of this while we can. But we’ll definitely go back here – it’s still a good value day out and we really enjoyed our two visits. You can view more of my photos on Flickr.