Newest Review: ... We spent around 3hours in the park but could have spent longer had our son not been exhausted from all the walking! I would give Blackp... more
Let's go to the zoo!
Member Name: baby-cakes
Advantages: Great fun, so much to see
I am a massive fan of Blackpool, as much as people say its cheesy, dirty, expensive etc, i still love it there and go quite a few times a year. During my many visits, i had never actually been to the zoo there, and as a massive animal fan too i thought it was finally time to go - taking my daughter was the perfect opportunity to go!
Our trip to the zoo - we planned our day out (me, my friend and our children) quite a few days in advance so we were both happy and disappointed when the day arrived and it was extremely hot - pleased as it was a lovely day to be out, but disappointed as we were dreading the amount of people that would be there. When we arrived we saw that we were correct about the amount of people there and ended up on the far car park, which wasn't all that bad as it isn't too long a walk, but we were shocked to see that the car park is pay and display which we had no idea so had no change for the machine - this meant a walk all the way to get some change and back again, then back to the gates to get in. Not a great start!!
On entering the zoo we were provided with a map of the whole area along with a list of activities such as feeding times which was brilliant as that was something i really wanted to see and for my daughter to see for the first time.
When we got into the zoo itself i was really surprised at how big it is, i really didn't expect it at all so that was a bonus. There is a wide range of animals in the zoo - Gorilla's, Orangutan's, Lemur's, Spider Monkey's, Lion's, Tiger's, Giraffe's, Sea Lion's, Elephant's, Reindeer, Donkey's, Meerkat's and Penguin's to name just a few. There is also a range of birds and reptiles, so almost every animal/mammal you can think of you will find in this zoo.
The Penguin enclosure was only opened in 2009, it was just being built when i visited so although i haven't actually seen them yet i think this will be a real highlight of the zoo visit.
It is brilliant how close you can get to the animals, just a glass screen seperates you from the likes of the lions and tigers and this is a fantastic photo opportunity in my opinion. The feeding sessions are exciting to watch, we were lucky enough to get a really good spot to watch the sea lions perform and being fed, that was maybe the best part of the day.
As well as the animals to see, there is a dinosaur safari trail where you come face to face with the huge dinosaurs - tyrannosaurus rex, marine reptiles and over 30 other amazing prehistoric creatures. Going on the trail will take you under an erupting volcano, past spouting water, running streams and misty lakes. There are some awesome sound effects which brings the whole prehistoric era to life. This is a brilliant trail and the children seem to love it - as well as many of the parents!!!
There is also a walk through indoor area where there are loose monkeys but this was pretty much my idea of hell, i was absolutely terrified and couldn't wait to get out of there but for people who aren't afraid of monkeys i would say they would love this section of the zoo.
Other activities in the zoo include face painting for children which is £4.00 so not too expensive and there are kiosks to buy ice cream around the park. I was glad to see there were plenty of tables throughout the zoo, as we took a picnic so it was great to be able to have different areas to choose from. The large entrance area to the zoo houses a modern coffee shop, a large gift shop, a soft play area for the children, a lecture theatre and toilets. Next to the elephant enclosure is a large cafe which serves a good range of food which i can't comment on as we didn't eat there but as we passed it was packed out so i can only presume it was good! The gift shop has a large range of souveneirs to take home, these include soft toys of many of the animals, clothes, stationary and many many other things. My daughter chose some zebra ears (a headband with little ears on) and a toy elephant.
Talks and feeding times are at set times during the day - these are as follows:
10.50 Spider Monkeys
12.00 Sea Lions
2.00 Sea Lions
2.20 Red Pandas
2.45 Big Cats
3.30 Sea Lions
4.30 Creepy Crawlies
4.45 Sea Lions
I would say to try and arrive early to these as they fill up very quickly and it can be disappointing not to get a good view.
Prices: Adults £14.50
Children £10.25 (under 3's are free)
Concessions/Senior Citizen £12.50
Family ticket (2 adults/2 children) £44.00
Discounted family ticket (2 adults/3 children) £53.00
There are memberships available until the end of the year if you would be a regular visitor, these are reasonably priced at £29.00 for an adult and £20.50 for children. Another good point is that Tesco Clubcard vouchers can be used here (the ones you trade your vouchers in for) however please note they do take quite a few days to arrive so order in plenty of time!
Finally, outside the zoo you will find Arnie Aardvarks playbarn which is a fantastic indoor play area set on three levels and there is a good sized area for toddlers also. There is a huge four lane tiger slide in the barn along with ball cannons and a large sports area. The playbarn is at a seperate cost to the zoo.
Blackpool Zoo is extremely easy to find, it is situated on East Park Drive and is well signposted on the way into Blackpool whichever route in you take. If you are coming from the motorway, follow the M6 to junction 32 and then follow the brown signs. If you are using sat nav, the postcode is FY3 8PP. The zoo is extremely clean and we found the staff to be very friendly too which adds to the experience of the day.
Overall i think a trip to Blackpool Zoo is a really good day out, the children (and adults) love it, there is such a large range of animals to see, the talks are good to watch so there really is something for everyone. I can't wait to go back again during this summer, and especially can't wait to see the Penguins!!
Summary: a really fun day out
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