During the summer holidays, one of our best day trips was a visit to Drusilla’s Park in Sussex. It was our first visit to the park and we would definitely go back again.
Drusilla’s Park is a zoo with lots of interactive elements and children’s activities. It’s home to a Thomas the Tank Engine attraction and a small Hello Kitty Secret Garden area with rides, along with many small zoo animals. They also sometimes have character appearances, as we saw advertised around the park.
You can easily spend a whole day exploring Drusilla’s and it is fun for the whole family.
When you first enter the park, you will go through the animal sections, starting with monkeys. There are so many varieties in Drusilla’s, and each area has some clear and simple information about the animals inside.
A lot of the displays are very interactive and hands on for the kids which makes it much more engaging for them. While looking at the animals, look out for signs for the sensory trail too as there are lots of tactile attractions along the route, such as this digging area
If you want to see the animals being fed, there are animal feeding times and talks available for the penguins, lemurs, otters and macaques.
How long can you hold your breath, hang from monkey bars or stand on one leg? How high can you climb? How fast can you run?
Another way for children to burn off some energy in Drusilla’s is at the play area, which we were really impressed with. There are areas for 7+ and under 7, along with a sunken trampoline, a zip line and lots of swings, slides and climbing equipment. Our boys could have stayed in there all day!
There are also a couple of rides that you can pay an extra fee for, like the inflatable slide. The kids really wanted a go, so we were happy for them to go on that too. You get 6 slides for the small fee (I think it was 3 pounds) and we were able to split these among all the kids without any issue.
This area is next to Thomas’ train track, and plenty of places to buy food. As you continue your way around the park from this area, it’s more about the rides and attractions, without any animals to see. We did the animals in the morning, and the other half of the park in the afternoon and that worked out well for us.
The boys all enjoyed riding in Annie and Clarabel, pulled by Thomas. There was no queue for this ride, which is great, and while you ride around along Thomas’ tracks you have to look out for Thomas related quiz questions which was a great addition to the journey. The train ride is a round journey and will drop you back at the same station, from where you can go off to explore the rest of the park.
Nearby to the station, there is the Eden’s Eye maze which was fun to run through, looking for clues
There is also the Explorer’s Lagoon nearby, an outdoor splash pool. We hadn’t brought any swimming things with us, so made sure not to draw the kids attention to this too much – but from what I saw of it, it looked like great fun if you visit on a sunny day – we’ll be sure to pack a towel for the kids text time!
Another highlight on this side of the pack is Hello Kitty Secret Garden. I have to admit to having a soft spot for Hello Kitty myself, and if you do too (or your kids!) then this is the only Hello Kitty themed attraction within Europe, so although not huge – it’s definitely worth a visit.
Hello Kitty Secret Garden includes three rides; the Hello Kitty hopper ride, the Hello Kitty car ride, and the Hello Kitty tea cup ride. All are in good condition and very clearly Hello Kitty themed – they look great!
My boys loved all three of the rides, apart from my youngest, R, who got a bit scared at the top of the hopper. Luckily the ride operator was really understanding and was able to bring the ride down straight away to take him off before continuing for the other children, which was really reassuring. He soon cheered up once he had a turn on the car ride!
If you’re not too far from Drusilla’s, I would definitely recommend a visit with the family. As you can see from our pictures, there is so much to do and it combines so many different elements to make a really fun day out that would appeal to any child.
Visit the Drusilla’s website to find out more.
We visited Drusilla’s Park as ambassadors of 1066 Country
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.