It’s half-term for the majority of the country – in fact we are on week two! It’s a time when you need to keep the kids entertained all the time. I know you can’t always rely on good weather, but if you are near London here’s a good idea. We were very kindly invited by Attraction Tix to visit London Zoo, and the Halloween event they are running for half term Boo at the Zoo.
Boo at the Zoo
If, like me, you had no idea that London Zoo did this event for half-term then check out this video to see what it’s all about.
Throughout the day there are various different spooky events going on that are all great for kids. You can carve a pumpkin, make a bat mask or get your face painted. There’s also special spooky Halloween themed talks and displays, as well as a kids disco and storytelling.
The only activity that costs extra is the pumpkin carving, which is just £3 for 1 or £5 for 2, but you do get to take it home with you. We didn’t do this as we were travelling by public transport but had we been driving then we would have. We headed straight to the Halloween hub and walked through the creepy extinction walk finding all sorts of clues along the way.
This was Clems first time visiting London Zoo and I think we can safely say we will be back again. She absolutely loved it. I was a bit worried before we arrived as we didn’t take the buggy and it was such a long day but she coped so well. The first area we headed to was Penguin Beach to see the penguins. One of the things I really like about London Zoo is that you can get up close to almost all the animals. Penguin beach has lots of glass areas so you can see the penguins swimming about if they aren’t on land.
One of the areas I was really impressed with was the new Lion experience – Land of the Lions. Three walkways cover the 2,500sqm exhibit with thrilling, immersive Indian-themed areas to explore – including a train station, crumbling temple clearing, high street and guard hut. For the first time, big cat lovers can embark on an interactive Indian adventure as they help ZSL’s forest rangers deal with a ‘lion-emergency’ in the Gir Forest, and lend a hand to the veterinary team who come to the rescue. The whole area was really impressive, very detailed and colourful. We also got to see a lion which is good. We have been to a few other zoos and have always had problems actually seeing the animals. But we didn’t experience that with London Zoo, apart from the gorillas who were relaxing in their hammocks so were hard to spot!
Lions, tigers and penguins – oh my!
Just before lunch we headed to the auditorium to see the Animals in Action talk. It was really interesting, and interactive. The show was themed for Halloween, which was really good. Clem loved seeing the owl in action as it flew from corner to corner over the crowd. We didn’t bring a packed lunch so headed to The Terrace Restaurant for some food. You can get a kid’s meal deal for £5.75 that included a sandwich, pot of jelly, 2 snacks and a drink. The snacks ranged from crisps, baby bell or veggie pots with tomatoes, cucumber and carrots which I thought was really good.
The restaurant had lots to choose from, we opted for the burritos. But you could get sandwiches, salads, fish and chips, pizza, as well as drinks and cakes. I couldn’t help but drool over the yummy looking Halloween themed treats. There were toffee apples, witches hat cupcakes and giant meringues.
After lunch we headed back to explore some more. We picked up a map whilst we were in the restaurant as we didn’t have one which helped us find where things were. However the areas are all sign posted so it’s pretty easy to get around. We headed to the tigers and gorillas, stopping to look at some monkeys on the way. By this point Clem was getting a bit tired, so we had a quick look in the reptile house and aquarium before heading under the road to see the zebras, giraffes and meerkats.
Overall we had a lovely day, Clem thoroughly enjoyed herself. She loved making her bat mask, and wore it for most of the day. I would definitely recommend going to the Zoo for half-term. Even if the weather is rubbish, it rained whilst we were there, there is a lot undercover or inside to see. Plus with all the Halloween events going on the kids won’t get bored.
The zoo is more than 170 years old, and some of the buildings are listed, however I noticed there were lots of lifts available for those in wheelchairs or with a buggy. The paths were generally tarmac and there was level or ramped access to most buildings. However the slopes leading from one side of the zoo to the other, under the road, are pretty steep. As we didn’t park I can’t comment on the parking situation but imagine there is plenty.
It’s also really easy to get to via public transport. We caught the tube to Camden Town and then it’s just a 15 minute walk to the Zoo from there. You can also walk from Regents Park. If you wanted to catch a bus instead there are several that stopped outside the entrance. Check out the ZSL London Zoo website for more details.
Tickets at the gate cost £29.75 per adult and £22 for children aged three to 15. Children under three go free. There are deals and discounts available for booking online in advance. For more information about ZSL London Zoo visit the website here.
You can also ave an extra 10% off tickets when you book through AttractionTix – just use the code BLOGGER10 at the checkout. The code expires on 31st October 2017 and is valid for half-term dates and beyond.