Road trip + any form of holiday usually spells total disaster especially as this was the first week of holidays and the forecast was insanely good. Usually I would shy away from anything remotely resembling this situation but after receiving an invite to the utterly fabulous Lulu&Nat pop up launch we couldn’t resist. As Granny had graciously agreed to look after the boy for the day we thought we’d take full advantage of the fabulous weather and hit London Zoo.
First things first, if you’re considering a visit then book in advance here. We saved so much money by doing this and also got a little cash back by going through my trusty cash back website Quidco.com (this isn’t an ad, I genuinely have earned hundreds of £ by using this site over the last few years. They often have extra cash back offers over school holidays too so always worth checking.).
I’m sure you don’t want to hear a blow by blow account of our day so I’ll keep the waffle to minimum and let the pics do the talking.
Pops was a superstar on the train but found them whizzing by her on the platform totally and completely terrifying. Note to self, pick child up next time one comes by at full speed. Whoops. Bad parent.
We both absolutely LOVED our first trip with our new-to-us Maclaren Techno XT. So easy to fold up, light, so much storage, easy to push, lie flat is amazing…and that hood!!! OMG.
My little sis took the day off especially to have an early birthday treat of spending the day with Pops…and maybe me…but mostly Pops…probably only Pops.
We arrived at the zoo late morning expecting it to be completely rammed but were pleasantly surprised. The zoo was so much bigger than I ever imagined and swallowed up any crowds! Tonnes of green space and huge enclosures. Easy to forget you are in Central London.
There are constantly activities going on all over the park – face painting, bouncy castles, specific animal displays, small animal petting etc etc. Poppy got to stroke a sweetie of a rabbit and just look at those little goats trotting along! You can find out the timetable of daily events here.
The Gorilla enclosure was fantastically immersive as if walking through the African jungle. Pops thought this suckling baby was the sweetest thing and kept stroking it. Then, we saw actual juvenile Gorillas!! I’m guessing we saw Gernot, who was born in 2015, playing with his Mummy.
Excitement levels didn’t drop below 9.5 the whole entire time. Just look at that face!
Busiest enclosure by far was the penguins, no wonder though, it was totally fab! The glass wall allowed for amazing visibility across the water. Seeing the penguins darting through the water and interacting with each other and humans through the glass was really special. There is plenty of seating in an amphitheatre style to watch the twice-daily feeding time spectacle plus other talks through the day.
This guy was huge even though Sumatran tigers are the smallest (and rarest) tiger species in the world. I’m pretty sure this is eight-year-old Jae Jae who came to the zoo from Ohio in 2012 to mate with Melati and….it worked! They had twin cubs last year! Yay for breading programmes that will hopefully get this magnificent breed off the endangered list.
But one of our favourite parts by far, was the butterfly enclosure. You can’t tell scale from the pics but these forest-species were colossal! All chosen from the shrinking Tropics of South-East Asia, Central and South America and East Africa. See, I was paying attention!
They landed on everything and everyone and were unbelievably stunning and fragile. Poppy got to see the whole life process from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. Utterly beautiful.
We pretty much saw everything (although an exhausted Poppy meant we didn’t see any of the Outer Circle, sob), petted anything we were allowed to, learnt bucket loads, Poppy’s eyes were wider than I thought possible and smile broader. I would go back in a heartbeat.
We then whisked an overtired toddler off for ice-cream and walk in the glorious Regent’s Park sunshine. Total and utter bliss of a day.
Made even better by this…
…which never EVER happens!
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