Port Lympne Safari Park, Wild Animal Reserve and Hotel

From all the places we have visited, this must be one we have been asked to draft a blog for the most. In this blog post we will be talking about our visit to Port Lympne Safari Park.

We attended in August 2019, so this has been long overdue.

My husband bought me the Giraffe Encounter as a Christmas present and due to the location of Port Lympne Safari Park, we decided to stay overnight as driving there and back would be been too difficult.

With so many accommodation options (the link will be shown below), we decided to go for the Pinewood Glamping option

The pod we stayed in had two single beds and a double futon (there is a bigger option that sleeps four called the Shepherds Hut) and heating.

Outside our Pinewood Pod

The Pinewood site is located at the top of the park right next to the lion habitat and you can enjoy great views from the iconic steps over the Romney Marsh.

On the glamping site there is a communal games room, where there is a pool table and boardgames and a fire pit to toast marshmallows (unfortunately we didn’t realise this would be there and didn’t bring s ’mores ingredients *sad face*).

When you stay on site, you can access the whole reserve from dusk until dawn at your leisure.

Experience

On the day of our Giraffe Encounter, we parked up in the ample car park and headed straight to the pickup point.

On the day, the weather was temperamental and windy, so a lot of the park was on high alert with falling trees causing certain parts of the park to be closed and inaccessible. These weather conditions effected the giraffes when it came to our feeding experience.

We chose the morning session and where lucky enough to driven around in a Safari Truck with a knowledgeable zoo keeper. The driver stopped at every enclosure and the zoo keeper would give us information about every animal that we were able to see. These included being given time to have a look at the immense Gorilla enclosure, the rhinos, the Painted Dog, grey wolves, and the zebra’s enclosures. Along the way we were treated to vast acres of fields with rare animals such as, Przewalski Horses, European Bison’s, Barasingha (a beautiful type of deer), Blackbuck Antelope, Axis Deer’s, etc.

We drove into the enclosure where the giraffes are free to roam and feed from the tall trees. With the weather being so windy, it took a long time for the giraffes to feel comfortable enough to come towards us. When they did though, it was such an amazing experience. They showed us the colour of their tongue (which wowed Ita) and how powerful their tongues are when they pulled the leaves from the branches we were holding.

The whole experience lasted about 2 hours for us and at the end of our safari tour and giraffe experience, we were hungry, so we visited the café near to the drop off to grab a sandwich and coffee to warm up.

https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/experiences/safari-experiences/rhino-or-giraffe-safari/?_ga=2.152177465.1225188690.1584528568-1644418432.1584528568

There are numerous experiences you can purchase where you can get up close and personal with several different types of animals, such as the Giraffes, Bears, Squirrel Monkeys, Rhinos, Big Cats (Tigers), Gorillas, Primates, Small Cats and Tapir Encounters. They start from £75 and last at least 30 minutes.

https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/experiences/?_ga=2.44695716.1225188690.1584528568-1644418432.1584528568

Accommodation

As soon as we finished our lunch and coffees, it was time to check in to our pod. We took a leisurely stroll to the Pinewood area, taking our time to check out the Stately Home and other parts of the site. We stayed one night at glamping site (I believe there are deals for extra night’s if required).

We then realised we would be located right next to the Lion Enclosure. This was exciting as Ita loves lions.

All the facilities were located close to the pods, like the toilets and showers and the communal area.

Waking up in the morning to Lion roars was definitely an experience to savour and take it, the male was very vocal and Ita was enthralled with the personal Lion Alarm we had.

https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/short-breaks/pinewood/?_ga=2.47800487.1225188690.1584528568-1644418432.1584528568

There are loads different options of places to stay, i.e. Treehouse Hotel, Rhino Lodge, Wolf Lodge, Tiger Lodge, Lion Lodge, Bear Lodge, The Bubble, and a brand-new facility at Leopard Creek.

https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/short-breaks/

Animals to See

There are animal talks which give the consumer lots of information and details, every day on site, which include Lion, Gorilla and Rhino Talks, amongst others.

During our guided tour we could see so many amazing animals that Port Lympne house. We were given extensive information about every animal and all their habits. The zoo keepers were extremely courteous and willing to answer any questions we had.  

Places to Eat

There are numerous places to eat on site, especially if you are staying overnight. We chose the closest option to our stay which was the Pinewood Café, it was easy to get to considering the weather, we had a picky 3-year-old to contend with and the price of food was reasonable.

https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/restaurants/?_ga=2.86010776.1225188690.1584528568-1644418432.1584528568

Conclusion

We really enjoyed our time at Post Lympne Safari Park, Wild Animal Reserve & Hotel. It was a truly unique experience especially with the safari tour, feeding the giraffes, staying in a camp pod and finally being woken up by lions in the morning.

I would definitely recommend visiting Port Lympne, we as a family had an amazing experience and are looking to visit again when we get the chance.

ZSL London Zoo post Covid

Yesterday we were invited back to ZSL London Zoo for their (Home) Schools Out for the Summer event!

We have visited a number of times before and have always enjoyed our visits but we were quite keen to see how the new social distancing rules would be implemented in a zoo!

Ita and Elsie

Lets start with the basics that London Zoo have implemented.

You now MUST book in advance and are broken down into specific times. Morning slots allow entry between 10am-2pm; Afternoon slots allow entry between 2pm – 5pm. (The zoo closes at 6pm).

There is a restriction on the amount of visitors the zoo will take to assist social distancing.

There is now also now 3 new one-way routes around the Zoo. 

Keeper talks and animal experiences will not be running. 

Masks are advised and are mandatory in some walk-through exhibits and indoor areas. (We were asked to wear them to see the lemurs but not the birds area). So don’t forget your mask. If you do, you can purchase one from the zoo for £5. There are stands outside of the enclosed attractions as well as the at the gift shop.

The introduction of the one way route is a very good idea because it really does mean you will not miss out on certain animals. In fact, we saw far more in this visit than we had done before. We had never noticed the giant tortoises from the Galapagos Islands as we usually go towards the kimono dragon. We even braved the reptile home which usually we avoid. Equally, you can safely avoid certain animals by simply walking on and re-joining the route else where.

The beautiful giraffes and the amazing NHS sign!

If you have visited for the festive animals after dark event, you will see the similarities in how the route is laid out. We particularly liked that it was more streamline around the gorilla’s for example, with far less people around because the system naturally encourages you to look ahead. 

However just because safety measures have been implemented, there is still a role for visitors to play! We found that by the kimono dragon area and by the penguin area, people were huddled together without a thought for social distancing. It was really frustrating to even walk past safely and one lady actually approached our nieces buggy to appear inside. The zoo has gone to such efforts to implement these rules and I feel like people should be more accountable in following them!

Reminders like this were all over the zoo

The giftshop is also one way and allows a very limited amount of people in the shop at any one time. All staff here were wearing masks and were good at explaining the process for being inside. You can now exit the zoo without walking through the gift shop too by taking the exit to the right of the shop.

The restaurant has also reopened and also has spots marked for social distancing. We decided to bring our own picnic and eat on one of the many open areas of lawn at the zoo.

There is a car park at London Zoo, which is slightly up the road from the entrance (the post code is NW1 4SX) and costs £14.50. There is also street parking too. We paid approx. £7.20 for 11am – 2pm and parked right outside. Given the new time restrictions is works out better to park on the street. 

London Zoo is still one of the best days out in London (there is no room for argument here!) and I would thoroughly recommend visiting over the summer. If you feel uncomfortable please do tell staff and I am sure they will do their best to assist. We have always found the staff to be friendly and approachable.

The past few months have been tirelessly difficult for everyone, but places like this, have lost out hugely and suffered significant financial impact.

We have donated a few times during lockdown and would urge you too also if you can.

To pre-book your visit click the link below.

https://www.zsl.org/ticket/zsl-london-zoo#date

Check out our previous visit to London Zoo here: https://garciafamilyuk.com/2019/09/16/london-zoo/

We also have a YouTube Video from our last visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJGMSSibYYw

Look at the pose 😂

My First Camera

Ad – A month or 2 ago, MyFirst contacted us to ask if we would review one of their child friendly cameras. They sell a number of different cameras including instant printing ones but we decided the best option would be their original camera because of how compact it is.

Itas first camera

The camera is packaged well with no excess or unnecessary wrapping. The box itself is also quite small too at approximately 7 inches long and 3 inches wide. We’re really quite conscious of excessive wrapping and waste when it comes to packaging so I was pleasantly impressed.

Inside the box!

Inside the box was Itas pink camera of course, but also a charger, memory stick and stickers to decorate your camera with. The camera itself was much smaller than I was expecting however, Ita found the size very comfortable. It is light-weight (2.3oz / 65g) and portable that fits in the palm of your child’s hand nearly.

The camera has a 1.5″ color LCD Screen. The quality of the screen is not the best but Ita didn’t complain. We took the camera with us to our day out at Audley End and the long-lasting battery lasted the entire day. In fact, we are yet to charge it!

Specifications

Ita was really happy that the camera came with the option to add funny frames and stickers on top of the photos she took. We are yet to print some of her snaps so when we do I will update this post with details on how well the photos print.

The camera is suitable for 4 years + but I would say it is very easy to use. They also do a slightly bigger camera for children 6 years and up too.

The camera is sold on the MyFirst website;

myFirst Camera

Ita with her camera

Audley End Fairy Trail Press Trip

Just before lockdown was imposed, we were due to visit Audley End Miniature Railway to see their new play area. But then the dreaded Covid struck and had us stuck indoors for months. All our plans were put on hold!

Having visited a number of times before, we knew it would be a brilliant day out and Ita always becomes so excited to see the teddy bears in the woods, so we agreed with Audley End that we would visit as soon as restrictions allowed us to.

Ita with one of the beautiful fairies!

First things first, you must book in advance and it’s only fair that you arrive on time. Audley End have put so much detail into the planning of your visit to make sure you have the best day. The interactive parts are more or less one way but you do not feel guided or hurried. We knew that we wanted to experience our first proper day out with as little people around as possible. With that in mind we decided to book the 10am train ride. This is one of the highlights of a day out here and is possibly Ita’s favourite part!

Ita and daddy

You now enter where the gift shop is usually located and queue to board the miniature train. Little logs with green leaves have been added to help abide by social distancing rules and we found that they were really helpful. There is a number of staff to assist with the boarding and each family is provided with their own little carriage.

The journey through the woods is such a highlight. There are hundreds of teddy bears positioned so creatively such as swinging on trees or having picnics. New to this visit was the unicorn and the dragon. You also go through 2 small tunnels! (Worth knowing!)

The train journey is about 15 minutes long and you can only ride once per visit, at an allocated time.

Once we departed the train, a fairy greeted us and guided us towards the crafts area. Usually you can sit here and make your fairy want but they have now provided take a way bags.

Next, you walk through a beautifully bright floral arch and enter into the magical fairies woods…

Entering the fairies magical forest

The fairy trail is stunning. Absolutely gorgeous. I cannot explain how aesthetically amazing it looks. The effort that Audley End puts in is truly like nothing I can compare it too. It’s not a short little trail either. You can spend quite alot of time walking around. Again, the logs with green leaves were laid out but we did not feel crowded at all and there seems to be a lot of space to navigate around others. My favourite here is the Christmas fairy! They have added a cute trolls bridge and a little photo opportunity too!

Troll food!

After you exit the fairy trail you walk into the huge field with lots of new additions. There is now a really big and spacious play area as well as new fairground equipment like the hoop toss and catapult area too.

The field has plenty of picnic tables but the area itself is perfect should you want to bring your own picnic and find a quiet spot.

All around the play area is cleaning equipment for you to clean the surfaces down once your child has finished playing. It was because of this that I felt at ease with Ita using the slide for example. On top of this, we saw lots of “clean up crews” doing their best to keep everything clean and everyone safe. (Huge shoutout to these people!)

Food is served by the play area and is well thought out. There is more than enough space between you and the people serving and again, the logs are there to make sure that when queuing, there is plenty of space between.

After playing for a long while, we headed over to the fairy story telling area. Usually there is a show here but given the issues around distancing, Audley End have cleverly changed this to a story telling session instead. Seats are already set up in a spaced out fashion and we felt completely safe here. The story session is about 15 minutes long and the fairy encourages the children to get involved from their seats.

Afterwards we headed back to the play area and it still did not feel too busy!

Our visit yesterday was just what we needed after such a long period of lockdown. It’s totally changed how I feel about going out again and has given us the confidence to be out and about.

I really do believe that so much planning has gone into this day out. Again, I want to stress that we did not feel hurried or guided and the staff were all so friendly.

I have uploaded an IGTV of our visit so you can gauge how the day goes and see if you feel comfortable in visiting (I would never suggest it if I thought it did not work well).

Here is the link;

In order to visit you must book in advance so here is the link to book;

https://www.audley-end-railway.co.uk/events/

The fair event is on until 6 September!

Things to remember!

You have to book in advance and we recommend the earliest option the better.

Bring a picnic!

Bring your own sanitiser (although there is lots around here).

Tag me in your photos!

Character Dining at Disneyland Paris

Hello again! This time we are going to share done information regarding Character Dining at Disneyland Paris!

If you are familiar with other Disney parks, you will no doubt feel like DLP really does not have as much to offer.

Dinner at Cafe Mickey

However, character dining is one of our favourite things to do at Disneyland and we have not yet done a trip without one! I will always recommend factoring a character meal into your budget as I really think they are a highlight of our trips.

What are the options? Well effectively there are 5 places where you can eat and meet Disney characters. However some restaurants are only open for breakfast and others are only open for dinner.

I have played around with how is best to explain and I think it is best to do it as follows!

Character Breakfast at Plaza Gardens

Character Breakfast:

Auberge De Cendrillion

Ita’s absolute favourite restaurant at DLP. This is because it is also known as the princess restaurant. However, whilst you can have breakfasts here, it is now purely with Mickey and friends, and not the princesses as initially tried! I am not sure why this is actually as ADC is very much known as the place to meet the princesses.

There are 2 breakfast sittings here; 8.15am (for Disney residents using their extra magic hours) and 9.45am.

ADC is based in Fantasy Land quite close to the castle and is a table service restaurant. You will need a valid park ticket to eat here.

Plaza Gardens

You can only eat breakfast in this gorgeous restaurant, however they serve an American style buffet which frankly is delicious. Here you meet Mickey and friends. We have had breakfast here twice and we absolutely love it.

There are 2 breakfast sittings here; 8.15am (for Disney residents) and 9.45am.

Plaza Gardens is at the bottom of Main Street USA and like ADC, you will need a valid park ticket to eat here.

Character Lunch:

Auberge De Cendrillion

Now here is where you get to meet the princesses; usually Aurora, Cinderella, Belle and Rapunzel however we have also been lucky enough to meet Tiana here! I know a few have said they have met Ariel here, but we haven’t (yet).

As above, this is Ita’s favourite restaurant. The princesses are fantastic and pay each child special attention.

You also get to meet Suzy and Jac. When Ita first met them on her first birthday she was terrified, but now she genuinely looks forward to seeing them!

I would personally recommend a lunch over dinner (we have done both). There is actually a 4 princess policy here – if you do not get to meet at least 4, tell your waiter and they will make sure that you do! Not many people know this and it really is a valuable tip.

This is a seated service restaurant and is known to be the most expensive, however I would absolutely try and factor this into your budget.

Inventions

Inventions is a buffet restaurant based on the 2nd floor inside the main Disneyland Hotel just outside of the park. As such, you do not need a valid park ticket to eat here. This restaurant is where you will meet Mickey and friends, but also hosts the more obscure characters too.

Every Sunday this restaurant hosts their Sunday Brunch. Now, for some reason this seems to be a bit of a secret?

It takes place each Sunday between 1-4pm. Every week the theme of the brunch changes which makes it very different from the standard meal (lunch or dinner) at Inventions. The themes include Lilo and Stitch, Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland however you will not find out in advance what the theme will be!

In addition to rare and special characters, you will also get the VIPs (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, Pluto, Chip and Dale) in special outfits each week as well.

Character Dinner:

Auberge D’Cendrillion

Auberge D’Cendrillion open their dinner reservations for 6pm and is much the same as the lunch, so please see above.

Café Mickey

Is based over by the Disney Lake in the Disney Village. A lot has changed here over the years and it is now only open for dinner.

Here you meet Mickey and friends so if you have booked a character dining else where, it is worth weighing up how worth it this visit is.

We had dinner here in 2017 and we really enjoyed it. The staff were lovely and the characters made a huge effort with a one year old Ita. It is a seated service and the food is basically a selection of pizza and pasta which is perfect for a child.

As it is based in the Disney Village you will not need a valid park ticket so this is a good way to kick off or close your trip to DLP.

Buffalo Bills Wild West Show

I have included this show because you get to meet Mickey before it starts and it also serves a tex-mex dinner during it also. I am actually going to refer to this place as an arena as it is pretty big! Inside the arena there are 2 category for tickets. Before the shows starts you will have the opportunity to meet Mickey in his wild west costume. I have actually watched this show twice before having Ita and whilst it is good fun, it is loud and dark so it wouldn’t appeal to her at all. The start times are at 6.30pm and 9.30pm so may not be suitable for a smaller child and the 6.30pm show is known to sell out.

The tickets can be quite pricey too so I would really think about what this experience might add to your trip!

This arena is based in the Disney Village but closest to the parks so again you will not need a valid park ticket to watch this show and eat here.

These types of Character Dining Experiences at Disneyland Paris are incredibly popular and get booked up very quickly. So, to avoid disappointment, advance reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to six months prior to your arrival date.

You can call the Dining Reservation Service on +33 1 60 30 40 50.

Lunch at Auberge D’Cendrillion

Princess for a Day, Disneyland Paris

Last year we travelled to Disneyland Paris to celebrate Itas 3rd Birthday. One of the main things we planned to do was the Princess for a Day experience. This experience is the equivalent to the Bippidy Boppidy Boutique in America.

You cannot book this experience in advance prior to your trip however, once you are in Disneyland you can book for up to 3 days ahead. (This is really handy for planning your activities). Something to be aware of though is that the minimum age for this experience also is 3 years and this is because of the makeup/ face paint.

The only way to book this experience is by entering to the Disneyland Hotel and heading to Gallerie Mickey (the hotels giftshop) on the 2nd floor.

The experience ranges from about 55euros all the way up to a couple of thousands of pounds. The basic package includes hair and makeup as well as a certificate and a photoshoot to finish it off. The most expensive package is the same, but you meet a Disney princess and spend the day with her in the parks. Amazing, right?

We went for the basic package because we had no idea what to expect and I didn’t want Ita to get bored. We waited outside the experience area to be called in and Ita was placed in a chair ready to have her hair and make up done!

Ready for hair and make up!

The lady doing the hair and make up was really skilled. Ita had very short hair here and she still managed to do a french plait so don’t worry if you’re child has short hair.

Look at her face!!

The hair and make up part takes a very short amount of time. Maybe 10 minutes max? Once this is finished the lady sprinkled glitter over Ita and told her that her photo shoot awaited!

Smile!

The photo shoot area is right next to the makeup area. The photographer really makes the effort to get beautiful pictures and was very engaging. These photos are purchased at the gift shop afterwards.

Taa-daa!

The entire experience is about 20 minutes long which seems very short. However, the cost reflected this and I do think any longer and it wouldn’t be so fun. I have to say, Ita thoroughly enjoyed this and she certainly didn’t think it was over quickly.

I think this experience is definitely worth booking for a little princess. There is the option to transform into a pirate too but I’m not sure that has the same excitement. The price for the basic package is worth it and you can bring your own outfit like we did.

Tip! Book early if you can as you can head out into the park afterwards. The cast members seem to recognise the make over and pay special attention!

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Homemade Easter Treats

With the lockdown still ongoing, we have had to keep our Easter activities strictly home based. We’ve done so many crafts so decided to make some non baking treats!

Milk chocolate version 💛

Milk chocolate Rice Krispie treats are by far the most synonyms with Easter and also so easy to do! All you need is 3 ingredients and a few minutes to hand.

Recipe –

200grams of milk chocolate, 350gr of Rice Krispie cereal and mini eggs for decorating.

Firstly break the chocolate into pieces and melt in the microwave for a total of 3 minutes, but stirring the chocolate every minute or so. You can also melt the chocolate over a hob.

Once the chocolate has melted, mix together with the cereal in a large baking bowl. Then simply pop the mix into cupcake cases and decorate. We used mini eggs here but you can use anything! Then place in the fridge for an hour to set.

And there you have it. It’s as simple as that and you don’t need butter or oil like other recipes I have seen!

Taa daaaa!

We also made while chocolate and marshmallow versions too, which take a slight more but of skill and time, but are also very easy!

White choc and marshmallow treats

Recipe –

200 grams of white chocolate, 350 grams of Rice Krispie cereal, 20 mini marshmallows and whatever you decide for decorating!

Firstly melt the whites chocolate like before, in a microwave for 3 minutes but stirring every minute or so. At the last 30 seconds add the marshmallows. (Do not add them initially as they will burn!)

Once the chocolate has melted, mix the marshmallows well (they will continue to soften). Then add the Rice Krispies and mix. Pop them into cupcake cases and decorate.

This time, do not put them into the fridge. Instead set them aside to set. The marshmallow will harden on its own!

Personally I prefer the milk chocolate version but both Ita and Dominic love the white chocolate mix!

Time to enjoy!

Online dance classes by Sadlers Wells

Ita’s excited!

Sadler’s Wells have recently announced new dance performances and workshops available on their Digital Stage during the current theatre closure due to Covid-19.


As part of their Take Part scheme they are sharing workshops and activities aimed specifically at 2-6 year olds and families who may be at home during this time.


The workshops are available for free via the Sadler’s Wells YouTube channel, and will all be available from 12pm today for viewers to watch at their leisure.


All workshops have been created and will be hosted by Cherie Coleman, who runs Family Friday sessions at Sadler’s Wells. They will feature 10 different movement activities for children to follow and dance along to at home.


This Friday also sees the next Facebook Premiere go live at 3pm, featuring ballet LORENT’s magical production, Rumpelstiltskin.

Sadlers Wells want to see families get involved this week so don’t forget to join the conversation with them via their social channels (@sadlers_wells).

Ideas to Keep the Kids Entertained in Collaboration with Little Tikes

With over 50 years of play experience Little Tikes has pulled together its top ten tips to keep kids busy – whatever the weather! Open the patio doors if the sun is shining and get little one’s into the outdoor spirit or get creative inside.

  1. Get closer to nature by creating your own family treasure hunt in the garden. Involve children by asking them to come up with their own reward to keep them engaged. You could even make it a weekly or monthly treat!
  1. For warmer days water is perfect for giggles in the garden. Fill Tupperware containers with water, collect different sizes of paintbrushes and get little ones to draw shapes, animals and write their names on the patio. Add some food colouring to the water for added excitement Or let imaginations run wild with water table fun. Set up challenges, make waves and watch the hours pass by!
  1. Let little tikes put their social skills to practice as they play shops for the morning. Roleplay is an essential part of development and it’s even more fun when mum and dad get involved!
  1. Keep active whilst improving children’s mobility and co-ordination with a family sports day. Set up a relay of games and pick from a series of fun sports including a running race, a wheelbarrow race and a game of football. Adults and children can take it in turns to be the judges and contestants to mix up the fun!
  1. Make maths fun by counting, multiplying, dividing and subtracting using different things from around the house. Toys, teddies, cushions, spoons. Let kids pick the props and get counting!
  1. Let your little one take the wheel in their very own car. Use blankets to create the shape of the car on the floor, use a cushion as a steering wheel and let imaginations run wild as kids (and the whole family!) head off on their own adventure.
  1. Let children expand their imagination and have fun creating their own special fairy garden. Children can have lots of fun exploring in the garden to find twigs and leaves to make a fairy kingdom!
  1. For a calmer activity get kids to write their own story. Grab some paper, a selection of pens and let the creativity flow! You never know, it could be the next best-seller!
  1. Den building is ideal for indoor or outdoor play. Create a cosy den filled with pillows, blankets, toys and magazines. It’s great for children to create their own private space and create that parent-child bond when building it! Parents can also encourage children to unwind and relax with colouring and activity sheets whilst playing inside.
  1. One childhood game that has been passed on through generations is hide and seek! No matter how big or small, everyone can have fun counting to 20 and finding a spot to perch in. What’s more – toddlers can practice their counting skills!

Parents and guardians can also download activity sheets from the Little Tikes website. From colouring sheets, spot the difference, counting games and word searches – there’s even an activity certificate for well-behaved little tikes!

Little Tikes Activity Sheet

There’s also a wide range of toys for all ages, from the classic Cozy Coupe and the iconic Turtle Sandbox to the popular Little Baby Bum toy range. 

ZSL Whipsnade – Dunstable, Bedfordshire Press Trip

As you can tell by our blog and social media, we are huge fans going to the zoo. Over the past few months we have visited ZSL London Zoo and Paradise Wildlife Park, on this occasion we were invited to ZSL Whipsnade.

We have visited ZSL Whipsnade before and had a really good time. We enjoy and appreciate the vast amount of space the animals have, to be able roam and “be free” at Whipsnade.

There are so many animals you can see here that you cannot see at other UK zoos, this includes the huge elephant enclosure and the elephant care centre (one of Ita’s favourite animals, thanks to Dumbo, are elephants, so she really enjoyed this area), there are also rhinos, brown bears, wolverines, flamingos, amongst others.

There are so many good enclosures which provide you with all the information and details you need to know about each specie, and you can get really close to certain animals too.

Sitting on a pile of elephant p..

Our first port of call is always the butterfly house, it is a beautiful set up and so many different types of butterfly and moth. Ita and I love walking around and trying to see the most beautiful butterfly’s, of which there are a lot.

Looking at all the different types of butterflies

We really enjoyed getting as close as you can get to the tigers, the lions and my personal favourites, the giraffes. The giraffes have an amazing area, as it was cold and windy, they were in their stables and you can watch them eat and walk around.

The amazing giraffe section

Another highlight was checking out the red panda, we did this as a zoo keeper was in the enclosure making sure the panda was ok. She was nice enough to show us the panda who was in his little bedroom, sleepy as it was cold and windy that day.

There are lots of places to grab something to eat at the zoo. We did this at the Base Camp Restaurant in the middle of the park. You can get a hot drink and a sandwich or something warm to eat.

We couldn’t recommend ZSL Whipsnade more, it is a huge zoo, they seem to look after the animals impeccably and there are so many amazing animals to see.

There are other restaurants at the park, from sit-down places to eat, to a café where you can pick up drinks and snacks. All the information can be found here:

https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/visitor-information/food-and-drink

There are also options for staying at the zoo overnight. You can stay at the Lookout Lodge where you will sleep near the white rhinos and reindeer and would be an amazing experience. The experience costs £298 per couple, with lots of extras included.

https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/lookout-lodge-sleepover-at-the-zoo

There are a few upcoming events for children where you can meet Paw Patrol’s Chase and Skye on the 4th April.

https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/whats-on/paw-patrol-at-zsl-whipsnade-zoo

The Trolls characters Poppy and Branch on the 5th April.

Stickman and Gruffalo on the 18th and 19th of April.

Have a look at our previous blog posts for other visits to Zoo’s in the UK:

Paradise Wildlife Park

ZSL London Zoo

Ventura Wildlife Park