Dobronianka is a mini zoo, a theme park, a place for relaxation and fun, just outside of Lodz. This year it reopened: changed, rebuilt, full of new attractions and a different atmosphere – so we came to see if the changes worked out for the better. If you liked the atmosphere of the old Dobronianka, you may be strongly surprised by what awaits you at the site.
The place we want to write about today is located in Dobron – a village near Pabianice. Its proximity to Lodz (about 25 km from the center) makes Dobronianka quite popular, even to pop out for an hour or two for a walk among the animals.
To begin with, however, a little history to highlight the changes the place has undergone. Dobronianka opened in July 2020 – you have to admit that in rather uncertain times, right? The place was business related to Forrest Barycz (now no longer in operation, but it was a glamping and event organization). And the reference to organizing events, special events or team-building meetings remains – Dobronianka is very open to such things and is willing to host larger groups (also for meetings, sports activities or workshops). However, Dobronianka is also (and for us: first and foremost) a place to commune with animals, relax, rest. Entrance used to be free, but as of August 2020, tickets were introduced (the amounts were quite symbolic anyway – PLN 10 per adult and PLN 5 per child).
In the autumn, Dobronianka had to be closed due to restrictions, but still managed to reopen the same season and operate until spring. In March, the owners announced the closure and major redevelopment of the site. On Facebook, one could learn that large equipment has entered the site, and work is underway.
So when it reopened in mid-July this year, we decided to go and see if the changes were worth the wait. Having been in Dobronianka this summer, we couldn’t avoid comparisons with what we had seen just some 10 months earlier. We’ve seen a lot of positive changes, but also a few things we didn’t like at all. This entry, therefore, is divided into two parts: what it used to be and what it is now, to give you an idea of how differently such a place can be developed.
One important note: we were only in Dobronianka during the week or after the season, so we didn’t take part in any extras, animations or events – so we can compare the two trips quite objectively, focusing only on what works all the time.
Table of contents
We were in Dobronianka for the first time on a November autumn weekend. Quite a cloudy weekend ;) At the time, we didn’t yet know that the place was facing renovation, and we promised ourselves to return in the spring, when there would be more sunshine and less mud. However, we didn’t see the old Dobronianka without an autumn aura again.
The beginning of the visit was pretty bad: first, the parking lot, which resembled a threshing floor or construction site, and we regretted not taking wellingtons with us…. At the entrance, a small wooden booth where you buy tickets and food for the animals. We felt sorry for the lady who has to stand in a booth in the near-freezing cold and sell tickets to the few visitors (besides us, there were two other families in the area)
It was cold and drizzling, but it became clear pretty quickly that the aura was the least important thing here. As soon as animals started roaming around us, the children were pooped and suddenly it was no longer cold ;)
At Dobronianka you could really interact closely with the animals: some of them were, of course, in enclosures, but some walked quietly among the visitors. Of course, this also involved the fact that throughout the area you had to walk quite carefully, so as not to accidentally step on the animals or in…. feces ;-) On the grounds of Dobronianka we saw, among others: capybaras, alpacas, llamas , African ostriches, ponies, kangaroos, Patagonian mary, rabbits.
We came for a while, but we could have spent more time – there were barbecue areas prepared, there was a place to rest, there was a pond with fish, and to top it all off we ended up with Halloween decorations.
The place bought us with its quiet, tranquility, proximity to animals, but we also know that on weekends there were various shows and animations, there was a food truck standing by so it wasn’t necessarily so quiet either.
We wanted to return to Dobronianka in the spring, but it was closed, so we only made it in the summer. We were there during the week to specifically avoid the weekend (we wanted to avoid the crowds and loud attractions).
The first thing that positively surprised us was the prepared parking spaces (no sign of a pat down) and the entrance to Dobronianka (with gates, a covered walkway, goodies to buy, and one step further even a restaurant).
But changes continue to abound! First of all, the site’s area has expanded, and it has expanded several times (5 times, to be exact). Sidewalks and paths have been prepared, special covered rest areas, deck chairs, benches. No more need to think about wellingtons when going to Dobronianka! The grass is beautifully trimmed and only animals are missing from it! Because one of the most significant changes is the confinement of all animals in pens.
Something that had completely captivated us before was now gone. Instead of walking among the animals, we can only observe them through the fences. We understand that it is about the safety of animals, because we imagine that especially on weekends, these animals would have no life…. but still, we would prefer fewer animals and a more modest place.
Especially since there are many additional attractions and loud music playing on weekends – definitely not a friendly environment. So if we go somewhere with an attitude towards nature and animals then we expect quiet, peace and respect for the needs of animals. In places of typical entertainment (e.g. theme parks like Majaland, Energylandia or Mandoria) loud music would not bother us at all.
As for the animals still – there are many more of them, they have large pens, and there are feedings at certain times. Unfortunately, the feeding we attended was done in secret ;) And I guess we are not surprised, the animals can eat in peace, without the accompaniment of toddlers ;)
Of course, you can’t feed the animals with your food, but as in the past, you can buy food locally and treat the animals to it.
A new feature is the opportunity to ride ponies (note, tickets must be purchased in advance at the ticket office!).
What else is new?
- A beach with a stage and a beach bar,
- there are many more animals,
- we have more area for relaxation (deck chairs, hammocks),
- new paths are prepared (although it is difficult to drive a stroller on a road strewn with pebbles in the zoo section),
- Animal-shaped water bikes,
- larger food and beverage facilities (there is the aforementioned beach bar, ice cream, hot snacks),
- Cottages, canopies appeared.
In addition, on weekends there are other attractions such as animations, foam parties, loud music – unfortunately, we were discouraged from coming, but if you are looking for such entertainment, here they are :)
Also recommended in a similar topic:
– Zoo Wroclaw and the Afrykarium in Wroclaw,
– Lodz Zoo and Orientarium,
– Gorlitz Zoo (Tierpark-Zoo),
– Leipzig Zoo,
– Singapore Zoo,
– Vienna Zoo,
– Loro Park, Tenerife,
– Great pandas in Chengdu, China,
– Great pandas at the Beijing Zoo,
– Pandas in China, where to go? Description of 3 centers.
Dobronianka opening hours
Currently, Dobronianka’s opening hours are as follows:
- Monday through Thursday: 10.00 – 18.00
- Friday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
How much does a ticket cost?
As well as the opening hours, the price list varies during the week and at the weekend.
Prices for the current season are as follows (weekday price/weekend price):
- Normal ticket – 20/30 zloty
- Discounted ticket – PLN 15/20
- Children under 3 enter for free
Family tickets are also available (the facility does not accept the Large Family Card):
- Ticket 2+1 – 50/75 PLN
- Ticket 2+2 – 60/95 PLN
- Ticket 2+3 – 70/105 PLN
Directions to Dobronianka
Dobronianka is located between Lodz/Pabianice and Łask (about 25 km from the center of Lodz). By car, take the S14 road, turn off onto the DW482 towards Pabianice, to immediately turn around and drive under the S14 towards Dobroń. Do not worry about the quality of the road, it is poor but you will get there safely :) Dobronianka is on the way, on Clay Street. There is free parking on site.
Where to eat?
There are no bars or restaurants in the immediate area.
Food can be taken with you or eaten at local food outlets. Choose from ice cream and snacks or grilled dishes at the restaurant at the entrance.
Where to stay overnight in the area?
There are no accommodations in Dobron, but nearby you can stay overnight in Kolumna or Pabianice:
- Column Park Hotel
Address: ul. Hotelowa 1, 95-082 Przygoń
Prices: from 280 PLN for a double room (breakfast included)
- Hotel Włókniarz
Address: ul. Kilińskiego 34, 95-200 Pabianice
Prices: from 215 PLN for a double room (breakfast included)
- Willa Sailor Pabianice
Address: ul. Warszawska 114, 95-200 Pabianice
Prices: from 160 PLN for a double room
Our opinion about Dobronianka
Dobronianka is still a super place – but for those who liked the more idyllic, natural look of the old Dobronianka, they may be disappointed. However, if in front of you is only the first time in Dobronianka, there is no need to wonder how it used to be, just come and see for yourself how it is :)
It is a good place if you want to watch the animals, go for a walk, relax on the deck chairs, ride the ponies, etc. On weekends it can be crowded (long queues) and noisy (especially at the beach bar – here the music was loud even during the week), so if it bothers you it is better to go during the week.
Of course, the arrangements are changing, currently the autumn and autumn season is underway, and we will probably come when the Christmas decorations and Christmas atmosphere will set in Dobronianka.
Being in the area, we also recommend you Levitin in Pabianice:)