Tropical Birdland is a very fun and unique day out with the family, and can keep kids and adults alike in awe at visiting hundreds of incredible birds.
We’ve been several times with Lily since she was tiny, including three times for their Christmas Fairy Walk – something I would recommend for a magical festival experience.She is now nearly four and had another amazing visit.
Tropical Birdland is a 6.5 acre bird sanctuary situated in Desford, Leicestershire and is an open and accessible trail among some incredible birds. Even at the entrance you walk past an amazing Snowy Owl.
The car park is all off-road and grassy, so on wet days I’d really recommend some wellies – also useful for walking round the parks. The paths are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, and provides a great interactive experience for children and adults of all abilities.
Not all birds are caged – there is an open Parrot Walk where you come across so many beautiful and colourful parrots, as well as walk-through aviaries where you can come across some amazing birds.
All birds and bird houses are clearly labelled with information about the birds and what to feed them, and you have plenty of opportunities to feed the birds with the optional bird seeds and nuts on sale at reception.
There is also a lovely woodland walk through the trees to come up close to nature and wildlife as well as some resident goats to visit too. Right by the exit and by the cafe is a fantastic area where you can meet and greet all types of birds, from parrots to lorikeets.
Lily loved this area, and although was nervous at first, the staff were so knowledgeable and friendly, that she was soon holding all the birds – and even wanted to go back here again afterwards – it’s not often I can drag her away from play areas!
Although the toilet block isn’t very modern, you’ve got to remember you’re in the middle of a bird sanctuary, but there are plenty of places to wash your hands after touching the birds, and it is near the café and play area too.
The Real Maccaw Café is a lovely place with plenty of seating inside and outside to enjoy a coffee, treat or lunch. We were off swimming afterwards so Lily enjoyed the children’s boxes, with a freshly made sandwich, fruit, yoghurt and other little treats.
I enjoyed this café as I could have a coffee outdoors while Lily enjoyed the play area – win win!
The play area is great and absolutely huge. There’s not much suitable for smaller kids and she often got frustrated as a tiny one as she couldn’t use the wooden climbing frame – only the swing and see-saw, but now she is bigger, her legs are long enough to use everything.
It is a huge wooden structure with big slides, climbing walls, rope bridge and more – great for little explorers. If it wasn’t for the calling of the Parrot Walk at the end, she would have happily stayed there.
There’s also a little gift shop at the end as you head through the exit, with small (and big!) toys and souvenirs of your visit, with some good pocket-money items in there too.I can’t avoid mentioning the Santa experience and Fairy Walk again – an incredible and magical experience during winter evenings, where you follow a beautiful trail through the dark trees, lined with glowing fairies along the path.
You can carry a glowing lantern and meet Santa in his wooden house, as well as experience a whole host of festive fun during the early evening too.Just a warning – it books up fast, but it is one of the most spine tingling Christmas experiences in Leicestershire – and even meeting Santa itself made me feel magical, but I won’t give any spoilers to why!
Our latest visit was on a Monday morning in June and we had the place to ourselves for most of the morning, with one other little family and small special needs school group joining later, so it made it such a lovely experience, and everyone there was truly enjoying it.
I’d really recommend it and it is a great place to spend a few hours with children of all ages, with plenty of opportunities for interacting with the birds and learning about them too.
Tips for visiting with the family
- It is a mainly accessible place to visit with pushchairs and wheelchairs
- You can host affordable birthday parties here too
- Wear wellies, especially if it is wet, as it can get muddy – even in the car park
- For the Santa Experience and Fairy Walk, book up in advance as it can sell out really quickly, but it is really worth it – and more affordable than some Santa experiences!