“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Case and I have paid a couple of visits to the Tropical Butterfly House now; our first being on the day we got together (aww) and the other a few weeks ago. On each trip, we’ve seen the cute, the ugly, (but still cute) the strange and the downright beautiful.
When it comes to our love of animals, the Tropical Butterfly House always delivers. It may not be the largest or have the greatest selection of animals in the world, but it’s a perfect and fairly local attraction to satisfy our love of all things fluffy, furry and feathery.
The staff are obviously very passionate about what they do and working with animals must truly be one of the best jobs in the world. The main attraction, the ‘butterfly house’, is basically a huge greenhouse style building, which allows countless varieties of butterflies to fly freely between visitors, (sometimes landing on you, if you’re lucky!) This section is also home to some lovely parakeets, snakes, creepy crawlies, bats and even caimans! They’ve got an incredible home here with plenty of space to roam or fly around. There’s also lots of fruit dotted around so you can hand feed the beautiful and colourful birds, (as modelled by Case, above). It’s incredibly warm and humid in here, so be prepared to melt! (Not like it’s any different to the current heatwave in the UK!) Don’t worry, it’s totally worth it.
When you explore the outdoors, the centre is laid out in a way where you are guaranteed to see everything. The route we took most recently first led us to the guinea fowls and marmosets. Both very strange but incredibly cute. Alongside these enclosures, we found some ducks, and my God – they were so friendly! They also have a look about them which makes them look like they’re always smiling. They definitely were on this day seeing as we’d bought some food for them from the ticket office… 🙂 They shared their enclosure with an impressive looking peacock (who was quite obviously the boss) and lots of lovely chickens.
We managed to see some baby chicks which were only days old. I have a soft spot for chickens as I have 2 of my own at home! The chicks here were so tiny and it was lovely to see them being looked after by their mum and a very protective cockerel.
One particular part of the Tropical Butterfly House is very unusual. When walking through the gate, you’re met with a beautiful little section that has been very carefully kitted out for bird watching, bug spotting and relaxing in the calming company of nature. We particularly enjoyed the coin hammering log, although I didn’t have any luck. Need to get to the gym, I think.
This section, as with any other part of the centre, is great for kids. There’s multiple information boards giving out information about the different bugs you can spot and animals you can see, as well as the species of birds you can find in the dedicated bird watching area. Binoculars included!
The path led us round to a variety of exotic birds and impressive owls, and seeing them up close really makes you appreciate their beauty. A lot of these birds like to keep themselves to themselves, but looking at them will satisfy you, I guarantee! Again, there are information boards next to each enclosure, giving you some interesting facts about the animals and where they originate from.
Moving on around the enclosures and you’ll get to the meerkats and lemurs, both with very impressive homes to roam about in. Although we haven’t done it yet, there’s the opportunity to book a hands on experience with these lovely creatures, so it’s definitely worth looking at if you’re interested. You can also get up close with those creepy crawlies and exotic birds too, as well as listening to some interesting talks about them at the main show area. On our latest trip, we managed to sit in on the free flying bird display which was incredible. The animals are so well trained but can be a bit cheeky at times. It’s so nice to see their personalities shine through! 🙂
We end up spending a good few hours here when we visit and each time we find something new to see. One thing I’ve seen announced recently is the arrival of a new baby wallaby on the premises! There’s also been the dinosaurs in the Dinosaur Trail hanging around that we like to chat to, but beware of the sound effect buttons… kids usually press them when you’re around and you pretty much jump out your skin. (They’re not real, Em. Not real.)
If I was to pick a highlight of our trip, it’d have to be the free flying bird display, which is both beautiful and impressive. The option to feed the animals is also an added bonus and allows you to get closer to your favourite animals than you have done before. Don’t worry – they’re all super friendly animals and there is only a very minimal chance you’ll get your fingers bitten off! I am of course joking, everything is entirely safe and all the animals are very well trained.
We’ve been very lucky to pick out pretty sunny and hot days when we’ve visited the centre and I think both times I wore jeans. (Rookie error, never again). Seeing as most of the must see animals require you to be outside, make sure you pick a nice day if you’re visiting. Or just wrap up, I guess! There’s a cafe (with ice cream!) that serve a selection of hot and cold food to fuel your day of animal viewing. All in all, a very lovely place to visit and you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time if you’re an animal lover!
We’d definitely recommend giving this a go if you’re in the Sheffield area. It’s pretty easy to get to by car and there’s enough to see in an afternoon! Would you recommend anywhere similar to visit? 🙂