Paradise Park - Newhaven


Don't you just love it when you visit a place and it just exceeds all expectations?  Well this happened to me last week when we decided to visit Paradise Park in Newhaven and all I really knew was - it's just a garden center with a few dinosaurs.

Well yes, it is a garden center and yes there are dinosaurs - but there is so so much more to do and see I can't recommend it enough!! Especially, if you're going to go with the thought 'It's just a garden center with a few dinosaurs'!

We arrived at the 'Garden Center' at around 10am and there in the foyer is a full size (I assume, no idea really if it's full size or not but it's bigger then me!) Velociraptor - so we're at the right place then!

Paradise Park - Newhaven
Welcome to Paradise Park - Newhaven
We paid our way and entered the Planet Earth Museum.  It's rather loud in here, lots of dinosaurs roaring at each other and darker lighting which all probably added to the fact Max got scared, and I mean proper scared and started shaking when he saw the first dinosaur... which then moved!  I must admit it slightly freaked me out too - it's very realistic!  So I picked him up and told him to hide is eyes as we run past.  This happened quite a few times through the museum route.  Bless his little heart!

Paradise Park - Newhaven
Planet Earth Museum at Paradise Park
After seeing a few scary dinosaurs we finally got to a Triceratops which is one of Max's favourites and he soon plucked up the courage to walk through the rest of the museum.

The end of the trail leads on into the Plant houses which is rather calming and Max seemed to enjoy running off ahead along the pathways until we reached the Oriental gardens where he loved the fish..... and the bridge.

Paradise Park - Plant Houses
Paradise Park - Plant Houses
Paradise Park - Plant Houses
Paradise Park - Plant Houses
Paradise Park - Plant Houses
Paradise Park - Plant Houses
When we left the Plant Houses we were are given a few choices on which way to go next, so I now can see why they give you a map at the beginning.  So after a quick play in one of the play zones we moved on to the Dinosaur Safari path.

This was much more pleasant and less scary then the museum.  Bright, colourful and non moving dinosaurs - although still noisy

Paradise Park - Dinosaur Safari Path
Paradise Park - Dinosaur Safari Path
We then ventured on into the Paradise Gardens and here we kept seeing little gumball machines for fish food.  It turns out you can feed the carps that are in the ponds outside!  How fab is that!  So once we'd completed our trek round the gardens we had some lunch in the garden center restaurant and picked up some fish food (which you can purchase at the entrance).  There is a seating area out in the gardens near the play zones so I'm sure picnics would be allowed.

So after we had some lunch we bought a token to have a ride on the little train that goes round the gardens - now these seats are no very wide at all and I was sure my child bearing wide hips were going to get stuck getting in - but somehow I got in there (and out again) and Max loved it.

Paradise Park
Paradise Park - Newhaven
Armed with our fish food we went off to some of the ponds and fed...........the ducks!  We seemed to have a posse of ducks following us around the minute they spotted the fish food!  One even had the cheek to take the food bag out of Max's hand!  So we fed some fish and the ducks and it was great fun, but again, slightly weirded me out and felt like the pied piper when we were walking between ponds.

video

Finally with all the gardens seen, fish fed and dinosaurs roared at we headed over to another playzone which is both indoors and out.  There is a soft play area, video games and remote control cars inside which is very specious and then outside there is a sandpit, park area and my favourite - miniature golf!

Paradise Park Play Zone
Paradise Park - Play zone

Paradise Park Play Zone
Paradise Park Play Zone

Paradise Park Play Zone
Paradise Park Play Zone

So what do you think?  Not bad for a garden center with a few dinosaurs is it.




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