I like the idea of zoos far more than I like actually going to the zoo. I love seeing the animals and watching them live and play but to often when I actually get into one I rarely really enjoy myself. It is a hard compromise for a zoo. If the animal enclosures are to big and natural you run the risk of not actually seeing the animals but if the enclosures are small and filled with concrete I just get really sad for the animals. I feel like Dierenrijk: Nuenen is perfect. The enclosures are really spacious and the animals seem really happy.
The best thing about Dierenrijk is that it is the perfect zoo for kids. There are playgrounds everywhere. When my kids were little they really weren’t very interested in the animals so the playgrounds took center stage. Now that they are a little older they are enjoying the animals more and more.
The inside of Dierenrijk follows a path and there are only a few points that you can go different ways. I think this is ideal for children because they can run ahead a bit and I don’t have to worry to much. I like to give my kids as much freedom as possible within safe limits and the fact that they really can’t stray from the path makes this possible.
There are lots of animals to see!
And there are new babies! Watching the polar bear babies play with a ball was the cutest thing ever!
There are two main play grounds. One just inside the entrance and one at about the halfway point.
The first one is the biggest and there are tables all around it.
There is also an indoor playground just next to it.
The playground at about the halfway point is more compact but there is still lots to do. There are also picnic tables all along one side.
There are small playgrounds also scattered throughout the zoo
There are 2 places to buy food inside Dierenrijk.
The first is just inside the park next to the big play ground. You can get all kinds of food and drinks here and there is an indoor seating area.
At the park halfway through the zoo there is a small counter that sells drinks, ice cream. and some fried food. This is only open on the weekends or during the summer.
We have had our year passes for about 5 years now and the place gets better and better. Within the last year they have added loads more picnic tables throughout the park. The also have new lovely kiosks with coffee, cold drinks and ice cream scattered throughout the park. I’m sure they are only open on weekends or during school breaks but they are great on busy days.
Some practical information:
The Year Pass:
A year pass costs 42.50 Euros per person. With the pass you also get half off parking.We have had passes for years because once you have gone twice in a year you have almost covered the cost of the card!
With the year pass Dierenrijk ends up being a really inexpensive day out. We pack our own food and drinks but the kids always get an ice cream before we leave.
My kids have a great time every time we go. I know that its a guaranteed fun family outing.
Looking for more to do with the kids? Check out some of my other recommendations: