One of my favourite things to do with my kids is to go to the zoo. We are incredibly lucky in that we live 7 minutes drive from Chester Zoo, one of the best attractions in the north west (I think). My family have been members for the last 3 years and we certainly get value for money out of our membership. On average we go once a week. On a good week we go twice. In fact if I were to look through all my photos of the “nest” in the orang-utan house I could probably do a time lapse of my kids growing up I have so many snaps of them there.
My friend and I have children the same age, our boys are 3 and our girls are 2(ish) and we have a proper little routine sorted out for our “Zoo days”. We go through the monkey house and walk round the quieter bit with the zebras and painted dogs, before heading to the jaguar cafe for lunch. It’s the little one in a corner that not many people seem to know about, so it’s much more relaxing than the bigger cafes. It means the kiddy winks can wander round a bit more without getting in too many people’s way, although I do feel sorry for the lady who has to clean sticky little finger marks off the windows after our visits (invasions). After lunch it’s Jaguars, play area, orang-utans then penguins, round past the lions and up over the walkway with the cheetahs and warty pigs (love, love love that name). We end up back at the entrance for more coffee.
Because we go so often we probably don’t spend much time looking at the animals, we have our favourites and always visit them but we don’t feel bad if one day we miss out a lot of them. For us the zoo is more about a safe place to let the kids run round without worrying about cars. The layout means that they can get a fair distance from you without worrying about losing sight of them, and the indoor sections and the cafes mean that we are able to go through the winter and on damp days without getting to wet; although one day in January we did give up after lunch when the rain was torrential.
The title for this post was supposed to be My sunny zoo day. Last week was our first nice-ish weather and we were hoping to be able to start our summer picnic zoo days this week. It’s cheaper because we take our own food and we get to sit on the grass and watch the kids run round with balls and play under the trees. Sadly the weather’s playing silly beggars again and the sun didn’t have his hat on – or if he did we didn’t see it because he spent the whole day hiding behind a cloud. The rain mostly held off which was nice and we actually did sit on the grass for 20 minutes or so before getting too damp but it wasn’t the glorious sunshine I’m longing for.
Hopefully soon the weather will pick up and we can have some more of the gorgeous sunny zoo days we so enjoyed last year.