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Great funfilled family day out
Member Name: tafdog01
Advantages: Loads to do
Disadvantages: Balloons too expensive !
I have been a member of Chester zoo for the last 3 years and a frequent visitor there for the last 20 years so thought I should share my thoughts on the place with you guys .It has changed an awful lot in this time but definitely for the better . I am not going to go through the place animal by animal, I think we'd all nod off but I'll go through a few highlights with you, plus hopefully a few tips on how to enjoy your day more.
Something for the boys! - Not wanted to appear sexist as I know a lot of girls that like this feature to - The bat house! It seems to be 80 % boys / men who enter this house, though I have to say having been in it's worth a look the bats literally whiz by your head, much to the delighted shrieks of the school groups in there! Every time I go in a staff member says 'don't worry they won't hit you they have sonar!' and every time some dozy bat skims the top of an unsuspecting soul - I think the bats are just getting up to some mischief myself!
One word of warning I went in once with my mum and a bat pooped on her head - she hasn't been in since!
Something for the girls! - This is the latest addition to Chester zoo the butterfly house. This is situated in towards the back of the zoo and is basically a fancy green house filled with butterflies and plants. These are no ordinary butterflies however they are massive and gorgeous colours. They are also really easy to photograph so you can come away with some nice souvenirs.
One thing to watch is to not go in on a really hot day as it's stifling in there on a normal day.
Also they have a mirror just as you walk out to make sure you don't have any butterflies on you as they will die if they go out into the normal climate. I had one attached to me last time, they actually don't look that cute when they are close up, they look more like a big ugly bug with wings!
Something for the tots! - The Monkey house is particularly good for little ones, mainly because the monkeys are friendly and inquisitive just like the tots! There's always a lot of movement so the tots find them entertaining, there is also a small waterfall in this house that my kids used to like when they were really small. It's also very safe as it has 2 heavy wooden swing doors each end so it is impossible for them to escape unless your baby is bam bam!
There are also some puzzles in here for older kids but a couple feature animal sounds which little ones will love to press and hear the different noises.
A Rare sight - If you go down to Chester Zoo today, and see the bear your in for a big surprise! I say this only because the hundreds of times that I have been to this zoo I have seen this bear a handful! My top tip on spotting this shy character is to head there first thing in the morning when it 's a bit quieter , he likes to have a morning amble about then. If you are unlucky enjoy the rest of your day and just pop back at the end (he is located fairly near the exit) this way you double your chances. He is a really good looking animal, worth the effort!
Play areas - There are various play areas about the zoo, the best one for older kids is situated by the Lions. This has a small area attached to it for little ones too but it's quite small. It also has a large grass area which has free shows at various times throughout the day. The best one for smaller children is by the orang-utans this has not long been built and is a great addition for anyone who has kids under 6. This has an ice cream stand by it and the nearest toilets are by the jaguar house.
Another fun area for the kids is by the marmots, they have built tunnels for the kids to run along and pop their heads up in the middle of the enclosure. Don't worry they are protected by Perspex; they will love this close up look at these cute animals.
Places to eat/ Shops - All the cafe/ restaurants are much the same, they sell main meals such as pasta, lasagne, fish and chips at reasonable prices, and you also get a discount if you are a member. You can also eat in the manor house but think this specialises more in cream teas etc.
Shops - there are 2 one by the entrance and another right over the other side of the zoo, this one is slightly smaller and isn't always open all the winter months. There are also various ice cream stands about the zoo. There is one that sells luxury ice cream with funny animal names by the entrance.
Top tips - If you can go on a weekday and out of school holidays it is so much quieter, Thursday and Friday are the busier weekday's as a lot of school trips go on these days.
Helium Animal Balloons - ridiculously expensive and every kid wants one, last time I went these were £6. My advice if you are going to get one, wait till you are going home, they are a pain to carry all the way round (we all know it's mum and dad that end up with them) .Also you see at least 10 on your way round floating off accompanied by the crying of a distraught child the balloon ends up costing you £12 as you get a replacement!
Indoor food area- there is an indoor food picnic area by the jaguars at the back of the zoo, which not many people know about. This allows you to take your own food no matter what the weather, which helps save you quite a bit on your day out.
I hope I've given you enough information , there is more I could mention but I think I have covered what for me are the best bits of this great day out . By far the best zoo I've ever been to in the U.K. or abroad.
Summary: 5 stars we as Britains should be proud of this place!
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