Every day is a play day at Chester Zoo and this year they are going to be holding special events that will be extra specially playful. We were invited along this week to take a look for ourselves and have a play!
This year, there is hippity-hopping, skipping, splashing, balancing, climbing and more as you wander around the zoo with new zones being created such as hot lava stepping stones, butterfly path and a skipping lane. We were given an explorer’s guide to the non-stop play as we arrived which included a map showing where all of the play areas are but as we walked around the zoo, we soon spotted the play zones for ourselves.
Why walk to see the animals when you could hop, skip or jump? Walk like an elephant, leap like a lemur or balance like a gibbon? There’s fun to be had all around the zoo! It became a bit of a competition between my youngest two to see who could spot the next one in fact!
There are 20,000 animals at Chester Zoo all roaring, flying, jumping, munching, snoozing and playing happily in 125 acres of fabulous gardens. It has been a couple of years since we last visited and there have been quite a few changes in that time. The tigers are always one of my favourites and they have now moved to the new Islands section which is also home to the amazing Monsoon Forest and a Lazy River Boat Trip.
It is such a peaceful part of the zoo surrounded by the river we loved it. We were having trouble spotting the tigers at first but luckily there was a keeper there that called us over to just the right spot so we could a glimpse of the sleeping mother tiger. He was so knowledgeable and told us all about them it was absolutely fascinating. I have to say that all of the staff that we met over the course of the day were really friendly and couldn’t be more helpful.
We were lucky enough to spot the new baby giraffe while we were there. I wasn’t quite quick enough to catch a photo of it though it was like Bambi on ice! We were stood watching just as the giraffes strolled out of their house and I thought the baby might have still have been inside but then all of a sudden, it burst out behind them! All the adult giraffes were so graceful and striding around the enclosure like supermodels on a catwalk then the baby just came running behind them like it was still working out what its legs were for. So so funny! And such a precious thing for us to see! I’m so glad we got to see it my girls were absolutely thrilled after seeing it being born on the news last week.
There are so many animals to see that I can’t even begin to list them all but it really is a full day out. Many of the animals at Chester Zoo are among the most exotic and endangered in the world and they work around the world to protect animals, plants and habitats from extinction. The black rhinos are breathtaking to see in person. They are in herds and free to wander inside or in their outdoor enclosure.
There are plenty of statues to have your photo taken with too much to the joy of my teen! Ha! We actually have a photo of us sat with these meerkats when we visited years and years ago. My now eleven year old was a tiny baby tucked up in her pram so my teen would have been six at the time so she agreed to indulge me with this photo!
As for practicalities, getting around the zoo couldn’t be easier as there are signposts everywhere so there is no chance of you missing out on your favourite animals and there is never a member of staff very far away. The map is handily broken down into coloured sections making it really easy to plan your route or you can even download a free map app so you can collect special animal badges as you find your way around. There are coffee shops and snack kiosks dotted around the zoo as well as the main restaurants and picnic areas. And of course plenty of games to play as you go along this year! Flamingo balance anyone?