Wednesday, 18 September 2013

We went to the Zoo Zoo Zoo...

As a final treat for the summer holidays we took Little Owl to London Zoo.  Neither Papa Owl or I had been before and were quite excited!
The first challenge was to get there - the website suggested we caught the tube to Camden Town so that's just what we did.  I knew it was a 15 minute walk from the station but realised when I got there that I hadn't printed off the map!  Whoops! Not to worry, there was signs from inside the tube station all the way to the zoo!
We bought our tickets online the night before and took advantage of the Fast Track deal allowing us to skip the cues for an extra £2 per person.  With these tickets we walked straight in - perfect!
We arrived at lunchtime so headed straight for The Terrace Restaurant. There was a great choice of food available for both adults and children.  Little Owl opted for Chicken and Sweetcorn, Papa Owl had Burger and Chips (although it was a posh burger) and I had Thai Salmon and vegetables!  The food tasted delicious although it was a little on the cold side.  One nice touch that I really liked was that the condiments were readily available, you did not need to buy them extra and in doing their bit for the environment, they were in large containers rather than small throw away packets.  This was the same all over the zoo.


Finally it was time to see some animals!
We started off with the tigers at Papa Owls request, but Little Owl didn't really know what she was meant to be looking at until the tiger sat up and stretched just like Clyde cat!

The thing about going to a zoo with a toddler is that you spend rather more time looking at birds, butterflies and fish than I would usually chose to do!  I guess the big animals were just too sedate and far away for her to notice.

OK - so not all the birds were little!

The signs all over the park were good, letting you know all about the animals you are looking at.  I particularly liked knowing how 'at risk' each species is.
The signs for the nearest toilets were also useful!

The monkeys were very popular with Little Owl too!  The gibbons were playing a game of tag, taking turns on who was it!

Little Owl also took particular interest in London Zoo's Royal Baby!

  It was also exciting to get up close to the Black Capped Squirrel monkeys without having a barrier in between.

There were lots of places around the zoo where you could stop for a break, buy refreshments or where you could enjoy a picnic.

There was also plenty of places for children to play.

 There was lots of entertainment around the zoo apart from the animals.  Street performers entertained the crowds near the main entrance.
The flamingo ladies on stilts were lovely, taking lots of time to talk to Little Owl who was mesmerised by them!
I felt for the staff in the aquarium who were making shadow puppets with children as I thought they had a tough job in the semi-darkness, but the results were amazing!
But the thing I was most grateful for was the entertainers that were playing games with children on the grass.  It gave me the chance to sit down in the shade and Little Owl the chance to stretch her legs and wander freely.  Although Little Owl was a bit too small to join in, she was more then happy to watch, and to be honest - so was I.  I particularly liked the game of "pass the parent" where two volunteer adults were being wrapped up in newspaper... we left before they got to the point where they pass the parents round and unwrapped them when the music stopped!
As a big Harry Potter fan I was really excited to go to the reptile house where Harry released the snake in the Philosophers Stone.

In fact, a lot of the zoo looked familiar, not surprising when it is used so often as a back drop for film and TV.

All in all, we had a brilliant if exhausting day at London Zoo.  Little Owl was so interested in EVERYTHING that was happening that she refused to sleep while there... by the time we waved goodbye to the animals she was ready for bed! 

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