There are some days out which just stick in your mind as being particularly enjoyable and worthwhile and our recent trip to Pili Palas Nature World in Anglesey definitely fulfils that brief.
We were drawn in by the tropical butterfly section but there is actually a lot more to Pilia Palas than just the butterflies. Whilst it isn't a huge attraction, we thought the prices were more than fair and although it was busy, it wasn't so busy that we were on top of people either which is always nice.
The butterfly house is definitely the main attraction; the thing that people come for and that was a little bit crazy as it's also one of the first places that you come to. Kids are obviously very keen to get up close with the butterflies and the heat means that it can get a bit much. We ducked out after about 15 minutes and came back later in the day and it was much quieter.
There are numerous opportunities for children to get up close with the animals and reptiles here from stroking a python to petting a rabbit. Again this was a little chaotic with all parents and children piling into the small space so I'd recommend leaving it to one of the later sessions if you are interested.
The farmyard section was pretty quiet when we walked by; there didn't seem to be a whole lot going on so other than a quick hello to some of the animals here we just kept on towards the playground.
We were particularly impressed with the play areas; there is an outside playground with a giant wooden castle, zip wire and assault course which is surrounded by picnic benches and a small undercover seating area too. There is also a wooden playbarn and bouncy castle next to the cafe which again, offers picnic benches and seating for parents. Our kids just love being outdoors and the first thing they always ask is whether there's a playground so this was a real thumbs up. The cafe does advertise itself as having a soft play section but this is very much for toddlers.
There are a number of different indoor sections, and there were some interactive elements in the bug zone.
We were thrilled to find our very own Pascal (pet chameleon from Tangled) and there was even a Meerkat enclosure. Meerkats are so much fun and Eli spent a long time just sitting and watching them scamper about.
There is also a nature trail which takes you right past the resident alpacas; easily Meg's favourite animal of the day. She was fascinated and asked a number of times whether our garden was big enough to take one home!
We ended our visit with another quick runaround the playground followed by a visit to the birdhouse to say hello to the parrots.
For us this was not an entire day out; we got around 2/3 hours before the kids were itching to go and explore somewhere else. I think at 5 and 7 they were happy to race around, do some exploring and get up close with the animals and that was fine. Perhaps if the butterfly house hadn't been so busy we would have stayed longer as this was a particular favourite and they both enjoyed spotting the different types of butterflies and having them land on us all.
That said, if you bring a picnic (there are plenty of places to sit and eat) then it's an enjoyable and fairly cost-effective day out and we did have a great time. Beaumaris is also not too far away and after we had left Pili Palas we headed there to the waterfront and to enjoy some ice cream, which you can read more about here.