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AIU to have felt peeved after this zoo visit?

(38 Posts)
Captaintango Thu 11-Jun-15 07:27:11

School trips at the zoo.
Has anyone else visited the zoo in term time with toddlers and had a bad experience due to children on school visits?
We visited a large zoo on Monday this week with a 2 & 3 year old and found it very difficult for the toddlers to see or do anything as they were pushed out of the way/ stepped in front of by groups on school trips.
(Seven coach loads on premises on the day of our visit)
Aiu to think that the schools should stay together on the trips so that other customers can avoid them and have a chance to enjoy their visit too?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 11-Jun-15 07:34:37


what an odd thing to get annoyed about grin

googoodolly Thu 11-Jun-15 07:36:12

How are they supposed to stay together? They split up so that the groups are easier to manage! I wouldn't fancy keeping track of 7 coach loads of kids in one mass group!

FishWithABicycle Thu 11-Jun-15 07:36:39

Yanbu to be peeved. Presumably each coach load was divided into 4-6 smaller gaggles for shepherding purposes - with numbers like that you could quite easily have a gaggle of kids at every single animal enclosure throughout the day. It would be impossible to avoid them.

The zoo should reduce the number of groups allowed so that there are significantly fewer gaggles than there are animal types, allowing other zoo visitors to avoid them if they wish.

You should write and complain.

Happyringo Thu 11-Jun-15 07:41:54

I agree OP, school groups can completely take over, last time I took my 2yr old lots of enclosures were utterly rammed with large school groups and it was hard to see things. I avoid going in school holidays to try and avoid it being too busy but it's no better if you happen to get a school trip there. I think they should have set days for school trips tbh.

Bathsheba Thu 11-Jun-15 07:42:42

We are in Scotland and we get our school holidays a few weeks before England - we always go on holiday in these weeks because accommodation etc tends to be quieter.

We have been to theme parks and experienced what you describe and TBH whilst annoying, in an outside space it really caused no problems.

We went to Thinktank in Birmingham though and that was horrible with school kids - not the school kids themselves (I work in a school...) but a huge percentage we just wandering around playing on their phones and taking nothing in...they really could have done with being in organised tour groups, being told info and being moved on in a process..

Sirzy Thu 11-Jun-15 07:43:06

The staff should have made sure your children weren't pushed out of the way. However when DS school goes to the zoo in a few weeks there will be 40 children - do you really expect them to stay together?

googoodolly Thu 11-Jun-15 07:47:08

I would bet that 7 coaches was only one school, though.

longjane Thu 11-Jun-15 07:51:01

How do think zoos and other places would survive with out school trips?

bruffin Thu 11-Jun-15 07:58:12

You should write and complain
I suspect the zoo gets its bread and butter money from schools during the week, rather than the odd toddler and parent.

JimmyCorkhill Thu 11-Jun-15 08:03:24

I think the same as you but the other way around! I wish that zoos etc would ban the public and have 'school trip' days. I hate it when you have to move out of the way for the other customers even though you have paid the same to be there.

Now I'm a SAHM and no longer teach I love being out when I see a school trip.. I look at the harassed teacher and breath a massive sigh of relief that it's not me anymore grin

MidniteScribbler Thu 11-Jun-15 08:03:33

If you want a private viewing, then book out the whole zoo yourself. You don't have any right to an exclusive visit to the zoo. The school students are paying customers, just as you are and have just as much right to look at the animals as you do. Try being a bit patient and waiting your turn to look at each enclosure.

Captaintango Thu 11-Jun-15 08:03:50

Admittedly unreasonable to suggest they stay together as I'm aware this would be a nightmare. grin
Set days for trips is a good idea though, we consciously tried to avoid the crowds and visited on what we thought would be a quieter, off peak time.
The seven coaches were not all the same school.
We were trying to get a visit in to the zoo before the summer holidays start and it is rammed.
Not the school children's fault, they are still excited young children too. We just couldn't avoid them.

Only1scoop Thu 11-Jun-15 08:04:07

Happened to us at the sea life centre but they had about 15 trips at one time shock

The next time we called to check and it was fine.

I wouldn't complain though.

Sirzy Thu 11-Jun-15 08:12:59

I think this half term you have to expect school trips to be in places as is peak trip time.

SycamoreMum Thu 11-Jun-15 08:13:40

Oh God. I'm going to a zoo/theme park tomorrow with the DM and DSD and co with my little DD and was worried about this. I may bring my small water gun and wet people who step on her buggy or push us out of the way.

SewingBox Thu 11-Jun-15 08:19:51

Seven coach loads at a "large" zoo would surely still have mean the zoo was quiet, compare to your average weekend?

flanjabelle Thu 11-Jun-15 08:24:16

I had a similar problem at a country park lately. It has a play trail, with wooden play equipment, we tried to wait for the school party to pass so dd had a chance to go on things, but there were so many school parties it was impossible. The problem I found is that there were so many in each group the teachers were not able to monitor all of their behaviour and to be honest the kids were acting appallingly. Barging others out of the way, no concern for others at all.

Same situation with the sea life centre we tried to go to. It was a small one and the children were not allowing others to pass through, not giving any one else the chance to fish or anything. Frustrating, but there isn't really much you can do. They have the same right to be there, but it does make you feel like you have wasted your money.

flanjabelle Thu 11-Jun-15 08:25:59

See the fish!! Not go fishing blush

lottiegarbanzo Thu 11-Jun-15 08:28:40

I think designated school trip days, or being told when you book would be fair.

There is a momentum and collective size to groups that is much harder to negotiate than families and individuals. It does tend to be accompanied by a collective obliviousness to others that isn't really compatible with other customers.

I've experienced that as an adult in museums, never mind with toddlers, and felt that a warning about the timing and expected location of school groups, when buying my ticket, would have been really helpful.

Knottyknitter Thu 11-Jun-15 08:32:58

Seven coach loads would overwhelm our local zoo.

Half term was incredible. As I only have dd at 5 months so far, school holidays weren't even on my radar, and I met up with some other mums of tinies as they love the fish and the butterflies. (With annual membership it isn't too expensive to go for just an hour or two to see a couple of bits rather than feeling we have to "do the zoo" in a day)

Standing room only! We do seem to have avoided multiple school trips so far though, just one or two and well organised to keep disruption to other customers at a minimum.

I always hated trips with worksheets when I was at school, no flexibility to see the things that interested you in more detail or skip past things that were busy.

manchestermummy Thu 11-Jun-15 08:45:15

Oh dear OP. You're one of those parents who give my seven-year-old evils at the playground, aren't you. Or the one who removed their toddler from the slide as my dd1 (four at the time) was "setting a bad example".

Captaintango Thu 11-Jun-15 09:10:26

Haha, no manchestermummy I'm not one of those, sorry.
But I do resent my toddler being trodden on, in addition to the child of roughly 8 years that told my 3 year old niece she was too slow when walking along looking at things. That's just mean.

saoirse31 Thu 11-Jun-15 11:13:00

yabu. very. your children are not any more entitled to visit the zoo than older children.

Whathaveilost Thu 11-Jun-15 11:16:07

In a few years it will be your kid that will be trampling on toddlers!

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