Reviewed by Emma Rogers
Everybody loves a trip to the zoo and ZSL London Zoo (or just plain old London Zoo if you’re a Londoner like me) is one of the most famous attractions in the world. Regent’s Park is enormous, so when you navigate around the gates, you enter straight into the main thorough fare of the zoo; Aquarium, Reptile House and Gorilla Kingdom.
The new Animal Adventure attraction is newest the ZSL London exhibition for summer 2019. Aimed at younger children (under 7 years old) it’s a new area just behind the farmyard where you can see several different species of animal and learn about them and their habitat. Low barriers at the exhibition mean that it’s easier for children to see the animals in as close to their natural environments, and daily talks give them an insight as well.
There’s an additional adventure playground with climbing frames and a water splash park. I couldn’t get my 7 and 9 year olds out of the water, and there were much younger children there who were able to run around and enjoy the water in the hot weather. Just a note if you do go – take spare clothes or swimming costumes as there are changing rooms that you can use to get changed in. There’s also a café there and benches where you picnic but if you want to sit on the astro grass, you might need a blanket in case it’s wet or too hot.
We also took the children to the larger exhibitions. Their favourite was the giraffe enclosure, which unfortunately only has 2 giraffes at the moment. They watched in wonderment as the keeper did a talk in the afternoon on how giraffes are built to withstand African terrain.
We also went to the gorilla house and watched as the gorillas were fed in the afternoon. Some folks were being ‘Keeper for the Day’ where you get to feed the animals, see the workings of the zoo and talk to the real keepers. You can get up close to the gorillas in their house (albeit behind glass and a barrier) which is good enough to take descent photos. Outside you can also see the gorillas at a distance where they play in their enclosure with different puzzles and toys.
The girls also enjoyed the Reptile House. This hasn’t changed much from when I was a child which was a bit disappointing as there’s no interaction with the animals like you would have at somewhere like the Sea Life Centre or other smaller zoos. The girls loved the snakes and lizards! Unfortunately, the tiger enclosure didn’t have any tigers on show but we did see the meerkats, otters and lions.
The Butterfly House was a big hit with the under 10s as it was much warmer than outside, and was filled to the rafters with beautiful butterflies! There were staff on hand to talk through different animals and the butterfly house was no exception. It was a good opportunity for some great photos with the children too.
ZSL London Zoo and the new Animal Adventure area are a great day out for little children, probably under age 7. The crowds at peak time make it a bit difficult to move around and with several of the cages closed for refurbishment, there are a lot of animals missing. The new adventure play area with the splash zone was a big hit though and the girls wanted to go back another day just for the water!
Tickets cost from £15.21 to £31.50 (book online to save 10%).
For more information or ot book tickets visit www.zsl.org/ticket/zsl-london-zoo
ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY