Drusillas Park is one of the South East's best family attractions. It is more than just a zoo with rides, playgrounds, water fun and mazes. We took the kids along on May Bank Holiday using our Tesco Clubcard vouchers and were intrigued to see how Drusillas would fare on a super hot Bank Holiday Monday.
Drusillas is located just off the A27 aboout 6 miles from Eastbourne and 12 miles from Brighton. We are near Gatwick and it took us about 45minutes to get there.
The gate price for entry to Drusillas is usually £20.95 per adult or child over 2 (Under 2's go free) but you can get discounted tickets if you book in advance via their website bringing the cost down by £2 per person. We used Tesco's Clubcard voucher and at the moment £6.50 of clubcard vouchers gets you 1 person admission. Which is such a good deal. However it is changing on 11th June and will be 3x value so £2.50 vouchers will get you £7.50 towards Drusillas so you'd need about £7 of Tesco vouchers for one person's entry. Still an amazing deal if you have vouchers kicking about. If you live locally and visit a lot you can become a member to get year round entry which works out about 20p per day.
During the Summer months the park opens at 10am and closes at 6pm. We arrived at 9.30am and joined the queue so we were some of the first people into the park (if you are a member you queue at a separate gate so you get in faster). It was a super hot day so we used the time to apply suncream to us all.
The rides don't open until 11am so we headed to Eden's Eye maze which the girls loved and visited several times throughout the day. We then made our way down to the permanence area to wait to meet the Paw Patrol Characters. Character meet and greet days are marked on the website timetable and there are a wide assortment of different characters to meet on different days. Paw Patrol super fan Little I was hopping with excitement to meet Skye (Rubble was there too).
11am hit and we went straight to Hello Kitty Secret Garden to try out some of their rides. It was really quiet so the girls got to go on each ride multiple time. The rides are perfect for younger kids as the height restrictions are quite low but adults do need to ride with smaller kids on some rides - like the cars where Husband squished himself in with Little I. We found the rides to be quiet all day which we were really surprised about as it was a bank holiday weekend but took advantage of it!
After an hour in Hello Kitty land we decided to fuel ourselves with an early lunch before we hit the zoo trail. You can take a picnic into Drusillas Park but we had decided not to carry too much with us as no buggy these days to lug everything around on!
We opted for the Explorer's Cafe which is a canteen style restaurant where you can choose from a selection of hot and cold food. The kids meals were quite good value but not all the same price so you had to pay attention. The kid's slice of pizza was £3.50 and came with a drink but the kids sausage, chips and beans was £4.95 without a drink. The adult food was also reasonable. My huge jacket potato with unlimited salad (you helped yourself) was £6.50. Husband opted for a kids portion of lasange with salad at £4.95.
The park also has the Oasis cafe which is more of a fast food, burgers and chips style place if that is what you fancy. You can pick up Starbucks coffee, ice creams and fresh smoothies around the park too. As it was so hot we bought the kids slushies for the zoo. I was expecting to pay a fortune for them but the long bottles were just £2.99 each with a refill for an additional £1.49. This is excellent value.
After lunch we hit the zoo. The zoo is a trail which loops around and is easy to follow. It was quite busy at this point and I'm glad we didn't have the buggy with us. The zoo has lots of reptiles and small animals like monkeys, sloths and lemurs. To keep the kids interested you can pick up free animal spotting booklets which you stamp when you find the animal.
Also older kids can take part in the Zoolympics, dotted around the zoo are challenges to see how you match up to different animal. There are challenges like how high you can climb, how fast you can jump and how loud you can scream! You record your results in another little book - so remember to take a pen!
After the zoo we went on some more rides in the safari zone. Our favourite was the cheetah ride which went super high and the girls loved because they got to control the height with a button. There is also a hippo bus which the kids found fun and a train which takes you on a little loop around the park. (Look, there a picture of me! I was actually there...)
Next we hit the big play area - and I mean big. There are two zones, one for under 6's and one for bigger kids. We really struggled to keep an eye on where the kids were but they of course loved it. One of their favourite bits was a giant elastic tunnel where you had to climb to the top then could fall slowly back down to the bottom. They spent ages in it!
Our final stop was the splash pad - which due to the boiling weather was packed! We now understand why the rides were so quiet all day, everyone was here! The kids had so much fun . There are an assortment of water jets, fountains and guns and the ground is soft in case of any slips. The kids had a blast and it was a great way to cool off. I was so pleased I'd packed their swim gear! There isn't any shade over the spash pad though so bring sun cream and cover ups.
We left the park around 5pm with two very exhausted girls in tow. We had a super day and I would thoroughly recommend visiting. The only thing that niggled me was there were 2 attractions in the park you had to pay extra for. We didn't go on them but it always annoys me when you pay a gate price then they expect more for extra rides. However, saying that food and drink was very reasonable in the park and we didn't come away feeling ripped off at all.
Thanks for a lovely day Drusillas. We will be back in the Summer Holidays!
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Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.