Beale Park is not that local to us, but it is a great location just outside Reading/Newbury making it a halfway meeting point between us and other friends located around the country.
It has a variety of small animals for the kids to look at, train ride and a massive outdoor play park, sandpit and paddling pool (for warmer weather).
We visited this week for the first time since coronavirus, so I wanted to offer a quick review on how it is working with the current restrictions in case you are looking for ideas of things to do this half term!
Tickets are currently restricted and being sold on a first come first served basis – great if the weather is nice and you can get there early. It was quite a rainy day when we went and I was surprised about the amount of people still there – so I would guess it would popular on a good weather day and you’d need to get there early. It costs £12 for adults and £10 for kids over 2 – which makes it slightly cheaper than the farm park type places local to me.
Each entry gets a free ride on the open-air train, which they have made Covid safe by restricting the carriages so there is an empty one between each family. Daisy absolutely loved this and was really novel for her as we haven’t been on a train for so long. You get to see a lot of the animals from the train so it’s a good place to start to get your bearings.
The outdoor play park is huge. There is an area with little tikes cars and slides – hand sanitisers on the way in and out, then a big playground and sand pit area which are shipwrecked themed. There is a paddling pool but that is shut at the moment due to the weather. Daisy adored the play park and we easily spent over 2 hours there without her getting bored – it is the perfect age and difficultly for her at 3. She needed very little help from me on any of the climbing frames, but they were still large enough for her to find them exciting. I think Charlie would also enjoy it aged 5, but I suspect any kids older than about 7 would be a bit bored as it wouldn’t be challenging or big enough.
Due to Covid restrictions there is no indoor area to eat and only a takeaway food place. This was fine for us, but it would mean it would be difficult on a very rainy day.
I eventually dragged Daisy away to look at the animals, she particularly liked the giant tortoise and the lemurs, but there are loads of other animals to look at too.
Beale Park go all out for Halloween giving FREE entry to every child dressed up for Halloween with a paying adult. I thought that was a really sweet touch and a great way to save some money this holidays. There is a family trail about the animals linking it back to Halloween with a prize for all completed trails, a pumpkin carving competition with the winner receiving free season tickets for next year and the pumpkins going to feed the animals! There are a load of different Halloween activities everyday as well.
Overall I thought is a good value day out which we both really enjoyed, excellent value if you can get the Halloween special pricing with kids going free.
Let me know if you plan a visit – I’d love to know what you think too 🙂