Yesterday we went to ZSL London Zoo. I was a little apprehensive with it being the first day of the Easter holidays that it would be absolutely rammed full of people and we wouldn’t be able to do or see anything, but we were pleasantly surprised! It was a lovely day, a little cloudy but very warm. And the crowds really weren’t that bad! I have seen the queue for the zoo coming right out of the gates and heading off down the road!
After making our way there we queued for ten minutes before buying our tickets and heading in. Adult tickets are £26 and as we had two for one vouchers we got two adults for this price. Our friends used the same type of voucher and received two for one tickets too. Kids under three are free, and with one of our child companions being two and eleven months and the other being just six weeks old, they just went right on through!
A note about the 2 for 1 vouchers. These are available from all national rail stations within London and contain lots and lots of fantastic two for one offers, with everything from theatre, to food, to river tours and London attractions. The only condition being that you need a national rail ticket dated for the day you want to use them. We all bought singles from our local station and used these in order to get the offer. If you do decide to get hold of some of these and use them, please be sure to check the terms and conditions because different attractions have different rules about when the offer can be used.
Maisie had control of the map for most of the day.
We spent many hours at the zoo and had a lovely day. By the end of it everyone was absolutely exhausted! I did find the zoo is incredibly child friendly and incredibly buggy/stroller friendly, but not so much on the baby friendly. We found it was a little short on places to warm bottles, often having to retrace our steps to find somewhere. Considering how large the zoo is, this was a bit of a pain at times but essentially is a small gripe on what was a great day out. I also would like to say how well smoking is managed within the zoo. We only saw two little groups of smokers and even they looked sheepish. It was lovely to be able to walk around in the fresh air (well, as fresh as it can be with warthogs in the area!) without breathing in second hand smoke. Bravo ZSL London Zoo!
Speaking of sheepish… Maisie sang Ba Ba Black Sleep to this particular sheep.
We particularly enjoyed the “Animals unleashed” show in which you get to see some of the animals perform some of he heir natural behaviours. I love learning about how animals live in the wild, and Maisie found the birds flying over her head absolutely hilarious. You have to look carefully at this picture to see the owl.
Another highlight for me was the rainforest enclosure, where we were able to have little monkeys running around on branches above our heads. I also adore Penguin Beach! I love how much room the animals have here and the fact that this zoo is so much more about conservation than “doing tricks” or similar. The majority of the animals seemed happy and healthy in their homes and everything was clean and well structured. It was great to see these animals up close.
Maisie and her daddy had a lovely time meeting a baby penguin. For some reason at first Maisie thought he was absolutely terrifying (the penguin, not daddy!) but they soon made friends.
We had a lovely pet of some goats in the petting zoo, that was until one of the goats decided that Maisie’s beloved map was clearly food! Luckily we saved the map and I kept it safe in my bag for a while in case of any more goat related mishaps! Of course, any time you take a nearly three year old to a place where there is a bouncy castle, some bouncing time must be had.
Then she was able to quickly entice mummy over to the carousel for horsie time whilst Amy and I had some Ellie cuddles.
We were sad not to see the Sumatran tiger cubs that were born in the zoo a little while ago, but I think if I were a tiger cub I would probably hide in my den away from the tourists jabbing at the glass as well! I think we did spot daddy tiger, though. During the course of the day we learnt a lot about various animals, and Maisie, daddy and Auntie Amy had the pleasure of meeting a snake and touching his scales. Sorry, no pics of this – I’m freaked out by snakes so couldn’t get close enough to take one!
Anyhow, a lovely day was had by all at London zoo and I can’t wait to go again in a couple of years when Ellie is old enough to enjoy it. One tip I would give is that if you’re going with kids, be aware that it is a BIG zoo. It took us around five or six hours to get round and we didn’t see everything! Aside from that, take sunscreen if its hot and jackets if it’s cold, because while there is a lot of indoor exhibits, there is not much shelter outside.
Another lovely, happy day with lovely friends and their gorgeous family. Here’s hoping for many more to come!
Many thanks to Sam and Adam for permission to share pics of their gorgeous girlies as part of this post (and other posts!)