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Lions, Tigers and Bears
Member Name: jenmck
Advantages: lots of animals, nciely spaced out.
Disadvantages: Could be expensive
As an adult visiting a zoo has never been on my wish list. I only vaguely remember going as a child. However since having my son, a fun day out at the zoo seemed like a good idea. He's approaching 2 and is developing an interest in animals (mainly cats).
Chester Zoo is the nearest to us (we're South Manchester) but we decided to wait until early September, once the schools have gone back before going. The Zoo opens at 10am, so we arrived shortly after that.
Already the queues were forming and we had to wait about 15mins to get in. It cost us £15 each, but son being under 3 got in for free. Included in this price was a donation to the Zoo which could be gift aided. However once we were inside the Zoo was really quiet and pleasant to walk round.
The animals are nicely spread out with not too far to walk in between each section. Which was great, especially in the afternoon when my son was tiring. My son was also distracted by the monorail (he loves trains) which we went on after lunch. This was an additional cost of £1.50 per adult (again children under 3 are free) But this is only for one journey to the next station.
We also decided to eat at one of the restaurants. The food was ok but basic, sandwiches and salads in the cold food. Fish and chips, chilli, burgers, nuggets, pies, jacket spuds in the hot food. We decided on hot food and the food was ok. It was a little on the pricey side but expected that. There were plenty of picnic areas set around the zoo if you wanted to take your own. Also plenty of toilets in each area.
So what animals did we see?
Elephants, giraffes (including the new baby), various monkeys, including the great indoor section for Orang-utans, Jaguars, lions, penguins, zebra and meerkats. There were more see but my son and myself (I am pregnant with no2) were tiring so we cut some animals out.
We had a quick wander around the shop before we left which sold the usual sort of Zoo related gifts: soft toys, books, t-shirts, and balloons. From the cheap to the expensive. My son was instantly attracted to the animal balloons but these were quite large and I could see problems trying to part a toddler from balloon back at the car.
Overall we had a great day. Yes it was a little expensive, but worth it to watch my son's face when he saw an animal for the first time (the monkeys in particular). It was a great time of year to visit, not crowded and the weather was still okay, in fact it was the driest warmest day we had had for awhile.
After you've paid the entrance fee you can spend as much or as little as you want.
Summary: great day out
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