SUMMER was in full swing at Knowlsey Safari as it welcomed the return of its annual Seaside Carnival event.

Incorporating all the best elements of a British summer at the seaside, the park's foot-safari was overtaken with deck chairs, fair games, giant stilt walkers and even acrobatic performers.

It truly was a feast for the eyes, and the special event was held for families to enjoy over the May half term – from Saturday, May 25 through to Sunday, June 2.

I was generously invited along to enjoy the experience and brought my excited toddler with me.

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The sun was shining and as soon as we drove through the gates, my daughter was squealing with excitement at the thought of seeing a giraffe.

We began with the driving safari, as we arrived just as the park was opening and wanted to enjoy seeing the animals before it became busy.

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Cruising along we saw the rhinos having a wander through the fields, the huge ostriches which like to stand no less than a centimetre from the car and stare inside the window – I found this hilarious but my two-year-old was slightly concerned – and we also saw plenty of deer.

This was all before we entered the lion’s den which was a particular favourite for us all. The lions lay sleeping right by the side of us, stretching and yawning in the sun only moments away.

And my daughter had a chance to practice her roaring sounds as she commented on how ‘cute’ they were and the likeness between them and our pet golden retriever Louis.

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Through fear of losing a car part that I would inevitably neglect to replace, we took the car friendly route away from the monkeys, but still enjoyed watching two little chimps play fight on the bonnet of a Range Rover.

Returning back to the Safari Park, we then set off to explore the foot-safari – an absolute dream for any child.

My two-year-old ran straight for the sand pit play area, before noticing two ginormous people on stilts.

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As we reached the carnival area there were loads of fun stuff to do as a family, including work shops to try using stilts and hula hooping, as well as hook-a-duck and of course the iconic high striker – to test how weak you really are.

After, we enjoyed an ice cream and admired the impressive skills of the aerial dancers as they performed and then let youngsters try it out themselves.

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We wandered over to see the giraffes enjoying their afternoon snacks and the meerkats having a sunbathe.

And whilst we were gutted to have missed the live sea lion show, we caught them as they came out to say hello to their adoring fans after the show – my toddler was mesmerised.

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After dragging her dad on the bumper cars and enjoying one of the smaller rides, our happy child was ready for a snooze, so we ended the day there.

Knowsley is the perfect day out for the family, with so much there to do and see, if you have not been already, you really ought to pay a visit.