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London zoo - is it worth it?

(24 Posts)
Seenoevil Sun 21-May-17 10:08:58

Thinking of taking my 2 kids to London zoo for the day one weekend..

I live about 2.5 hours away from London.

Plan is to go to London zoo for the whole day, leave the park as late as possible and go to pizza express which is close from what I can see on google maps .. (mainly eating tea up there to let London traffic die down)

We were then going to drive close to legoland (approx just under an hour away) stay the night in a cheap hotel and go to legoland the next day.

So I was just wondering is it worth it, is there enough for a whole day ? Is there many ques ?
Will it be rammed on a weekend ?

My son has asd and will be 4, daughter will be 6.

Planning on using Tesco vouchers to get all 4 of us in and for pizza express.

JigglyTuff Sun 21-May-17 10:15:27

Get tickets in advance to avoid queuing. It's pretty big but not sure it would keep two children entertained all day long. Where are you planning on parking? Unless you go on a Sunday, there is no free parking.

ClashCityRocker Sun 21-May-17 10:17:37

I like London zoo, but wouldn't say it was a full day (particularly if the weather is a bit grim).

Think last time we went we spent about three hours there, but no dc so you could maybe add an hour or two for playing in the play area.

Think there might be stuff for kiddies in regents Park too.

Floralnomad Sun 21-May-17 10:22:10

I'd be more concerned about the queues at Legoland on a weekend , we've done London zoo loads of times over the years but generally as an add on to something else .

NotCitrus Sun 21-May-17 10:35:07

I would think it might be tiring to do both on consecutive days - lots of standing and walking. On the other hand you'd only be doing the kiddie rides and splash zone at Lego land where the queues aren't as bad - do you get DLA for the one with ASD as then you could perhaps get a q-jump thing?

We've spent a good 6 hours at London Zoo, and not seen all of it. Key thing is to manage expectations and explain there are no elephants or rhinos there - despite the zoo sign being an elephant...

Seenoevil Sun 21-May-17 11:04:24

I presumed that London zoo would have a car park that I would pay to park my car in?

Yes we get q jump in legoland as my son is diagnosed, gets DLA, so I'm not worried about Qs in Legoland, we went 3 times last year as my son loves it there.

Daughter will be ok with no elephants etc, son wouldn't even notice there isn't those animals there

6 hours would be fine as we probs wouldn't get there til 10 -11, then tea and drive to the hotel near legoland

Is there anything else really close we could visit? If we were done earlier ... I took my daughter to London last year and we did the London eye, shrieks adventure land and went in the natural history museum.

cordeliavorkosigan Sun 21-May-17 11:08:51

Can park on the streets locally on Sunday for free and I think Saturday too, not in regents Park but a street north around primrose hill. ZSL is too expensive in my opinion but I think that of legoland too. We're members so we go frequently. For awesome pizza try rosso pomodoro in Camden or Franco Manca in belsize park or kentish town. Both are Francos are OK for street parking in the evening.

photographyaddict Sun 21-May-17 11:14:13

I went a couple of years ago and it was fantastic! I didn't even get to see all of it so I'm planning a trip back! 😊

tomatoplantproject Sun 21-May-17 11:22:18

We are members of the zoo and regularly spend the whole day there. There are no big animals but lots and lots to see and do, places to play. It it expensive though and easy to spend extras on food, icecreams, etc. Once you're in there aren't queues but some days it can be a bit crowded especially around the gorillas.

grungeneverdied Sun 21-May-17 11:28:06

Went with my partner and my daughter the other weekend. Loads to see. Would recommend

chocolateavocado99 Sun 21-May-17 11:33:18

I most be in the minority because last time I went (2 years ago) we said we would never go back. It was raining, so that was a bit crap, but we found it expensive, run down, and had loads of closed exhibits.
Maybe it has changed, but if I was you, I would find something else to do. Sorry.

Floralnomad Sun 21-May-17 11:43:06

Have you been to Chessington , that's got quite a few smaller rides and a bit of a zoo .

Seenoevil Sun 21-May-17 12:09:09

Thanks everyone, I appreciate all reviews, good or bad!

Yes we went to chessington last year, I didn't like it tht much really, I felt like my kids were to young for it last year

Whereisthecake Sun 21-May-17 12:14:15

If you wanted To go to London, how about the sea Life centre and the London eye? (London eye is literally outside sea world) if they like animals and stuff, it's a good day out.

Took about 2 hours to get round sea world (when I went with OH and no kids) so could take longer with children. And there's also Big Ben etc right opposite too. The tube is no longer than 10 mins away from Buckingham palace too. Food places are near.

Whereisthecake Sun 21-May-17 12:15:03

Ps. I think the zoo is great but if the weather is bad, it might ruin the day a bit.

Floralnomad Sun 21-May-17 13:05:46

Yes , I suppose it depends what your children are like , mine had
outgrown Legoland by 6 and always preferred Chessington and Thorpe Park , which years ago was very child friendly .

robinia Sun 21-May-17 13:15:12

Is the Sea Life Centre the London Aquarium? If so we had it done and dusted in 40 minutes. And bloody expensive it was too. I guess it depends what your dc like - mine weren't interested but love London Zoo. I don't know about parking as we've always used public transport. Maybe park a bit further out and get a bus in - that can occupy a bit more time?
Chessington and Thorpe Park are aimed at older children than your dc. My dc still love LegoLand and they're older than yours.

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sun 21-May-17 13:19:22

you used to be able to 4x your tesco clubcard vouchers for London Zoo....I'd certainly do that if it was still possible.

CormorantDevouringTime Sun 21-May-17 13:28:38

I really like London Zoo, and my animal-loving DC would happily spend a full day there - when they were that age I'd have to tear them away from the several playgrounds so they could go and see all the actual animals before we were kicked out. There's a lot of different areas and activities and shows - get the timetable and see them all.
www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/visitor-information/zoo-activities

The only objection is the eye watering face value cost but if you're all stocked up with Tesco vouchers then you should be fine. If your DC really like animals I think it's an excellent plan.

corlan Sun 21-May-17 13:31:40

London Zoo can definitely keep you busy all day! They have keepers talks to break up the day and a couple of playgrounds so the kids can run around.If it's a hot day take a towel and their swimming cossies as there's a little fountain area where they can get wet.
I have never managed to see all of the zoo in one day as there's so much on. Here's a link to the daily activities www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/visitor-information/zoo-activities

Seenoevil Sun 21-May-17 15:27:33

My kids Are not really bothered about sea life creatures and centres, iv been to a couple before but they seem to get bored rather quickly.

Yes you can still get 4 x the value so £2.50 is £10 worth of zoo vouchers .. I think I have approx £30 in clubcard vouchers so enough for us all as I enter as a career for my son as well so we only need 1 x adult and 2 x kids to pay. I did see the normal admission prices and was abit shock

Thanks, I think il go for it and just drag it out if possible if I do everything to quick which I doubt I will.

Seenoevil Sun 21-May-17 15:27:54

I didn't know they had a water but so thanks for the tip and il take there costumes too!

Wiifitmama Sun 21-May-17 15:34:34

We live locally to the zoo and have been members for years. My kids are all that bit too old now so we haven't renewed. However, I would say that so long as you are not paying the eye watering entrance price, your plan is excellent. You could easily spend a full day there - I don't really understand those who are saying otherwise. In fact, I am not sure one full day will be enough! There are lots of animal shows throughout the day, playgrounds, a children's zoo area, inside buildings such as the rainforest, the bug house, the reptile house. There is always somewhere to shelter from the rain. A good tip if it is raining and you need somewhere to eat a packed lunch indoors, head to the aquarium (it is right by the entrance) as there are benches indoors. There is a car park but it is small and I am not sure what the cost is. You can pay for parking in the streets around, but again I don't know all the rules. I think their website has that information though.

noramum Thu 25-May-17 22:10:39

A word of warning. Google may think it is just one hour from the zoo to Legoland but you will drive in the afternoon rush hour. That could easily be at least 2 hours stop and go.

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