Friday, 24 August 2012

Colchester Zoo

With just a few weeks of summer holiday time left to enjoy I thought I'd share my recent experience of a local attraction...

To celebrate my sisters' birthday we all went to Colchester Zoo. None of us had been there for years so it was really exciting as it had changed so much. We had been forecast rain but we didn't let it put us off, especially after surviving the rain at the Brentwood Beer & Music Festival so we packed our wet weather gear and set off on our way.

It didn't take long to get there and from Tollgate it was really well signposted. We arrived in time to see the penguin display and little girl was instantly really excited and it was just as much fun for us to see her excitement. I was really impressed by how her speech was coming on as she was able to name almost everything we saw.

We saw so many baby animals, which I thought was a really nice sign - I don't confess to be an expert but it suggests to me that the animals might be comfortable in their surroundings and treated well if they are reproducing. They also had really nicely sized and well decorated enclosures with plenty of scope to shy away from the crowds if the want or need to.

Can you spot the baby meerkat?
There were so many highlights of the day and my compliments go out to Colchester Zoo because not all of the highlights were the animals, there were several ways they have added some very fun, interactive and educational value to the place.

The first thing I was impressed with was the sea-life centre type underwater tunnel at the sea lion enclosure so that you could see the sea lions swimming up really close. Little girl loved this and I got some lovely photographs.

I was also impressed with the interactive educational games. These entertained us adults in particular the tug of wars with animals of varying strength which bought out the competitive side of my husband who could not accept that he could not shift a tiger, and the amazing game that measured how fast you run and compared the speed to different animals. This was particularly funny because we all took part (except little girl, who in hindsight should have) and we had great fun trying to beat our own PB and each other! The winner was my sisters' other half who actually broke the world record which led us to either tout him for Rio, or accept that maybe the machine needed calibrating!

Another memory I will never forget is the giraffe feeding. Little girl absolutely loved this so much that when she'd had her turn she walked up to the nearest bush and picked a leaf and walked back to the giraffes holding it out. I thought it was so sweet! 

Collecting more food for the giraffe
I will also always remember the wolf enclosure. Just before we went there I had begun to feel a bit tired so we stopped for a coffee. I normally go decaff so I was buzzing a bit so when my husband started howling to get a reaction from the wolves I joined in too. The wolves didn't do anything except look at us like we're nuts but little girl started joining in too. Her howl was really cute.

I can't believe how fast the day went, we stayed there right up to the end and our feet ached like mad. There was so much to see that we didn't have time to let little girl have a go in the massive adventure playground which was a shame, there are photographs somewhere of me as a toddler in the Colchester Zoo ball pit and I would love to have taken the same kind of photo for little girl so I guess we'll just have to go back!

We were all so knackered when we finished we all ended up round mine for a takeaway and it was a great end to a great day out so if you're stuck for something to do I can definitely recommend Colchester Zoo :-)

(I have not been paid to write this post, I'm just sharing a genuinely lovely experience)


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